Every game subscription out there and how much they cost
What started as a new idea with Xbox Game Pass has become a necessity for any serious game developer. Microsoft has changed the gaming landscape by continuing to improve the offerings on Xbox Game Pass with more exclusive and premium titles. Other developers sensed the changing tides and tried to adapt, but it led to a flooded market with too many options to grab.
With Sony recently launching its competitor Game Pass Ultimate in PS Plus Premium, there are even more games available for a low monthly cost. Each individual player’s needs are unique, so there’s never been a better subscription service, but it’s important to assess the options available before getting locked in. For every gaming subscription available, gamers should consider what it offers, and most importantly, the cost.
Xbox Game Pass is the original gaming subscription that everyone is trying to keep up with. Game Pass offers a plethora of games across all genres that provide players with a full gaming experience, from small indie games to AAA payouts. However, there are a few different tiers offered by Xbox.
Xbox Live Gold costs $10 per month, or $25 for three months, and lets subscribers play games online with friends. Players also receive two free games every month through Games with Gold. Also for $10 a month, Xbox Game Pass for console or PC. These subscriptions provide more than 100 games, with inbound and outbound titles, and deliver Microsoft-owned titles on launch day. The PC version also has access to EA Play games.
Microsoft’s latest and greatest tier is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. For $15 a month, Ultimate subscribers get access to all the benefits of the console and PC versions of Game Pass, Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and exclusive offers in the Microsoft Store. If gamers want the full suite of Microsoft games, Ultimate is the way to go.
On the Sony side, PlayStation has just released its new PS Plus levels: Essential, Extra and Premium. For $10 a month (or $60 for a year), PS Plus Essential lets users play online multiplayer and gives users two free games a month. PS5 owners also get access to the PS Plus Collection which adds 20 of the best PS4 games at no extra cost. The top tier is PS Plus Extra, which offers all the benefits of Essential and a catalog of over 400 of the best PS4 and PS5 games for $15 a month or $100 for a year. Finally, there’s PS Plus Premium at $18 per month or $120 per year. Premium provides the functionality of Extra, Essential and over 340 additional games from PS3, PS2, PSP and original PlayStation. These titles are available via cloud streaming or download to a PS5, PS5 or PC. Most games from the PS Now service have also been added to PS Plus Premium via cloud streaming.
Nintendo also has its own subscription service for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo Switch Online costs $4 a month, $8 for three months, or $20 for a year, and gives subscribers access to Nintendo’s online multiplayer service, cloud save, and voice chat. Players can also choose from a library of over 100 classic NES and SNES games. In addition to normal Switch Online offers, users can also subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Expansion Pack for $50 per year, which offers all of the above plus a library of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, as well as other bonuses like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe‘s Booster Course Pass.
Some developers also offer game subscriptions. EA Play is the most popular, mainly due to its association with Xbox Game Pass, but players can also subscribe to EA Play on their own. For $5 per month or $30 per year, the basic version gives access to a collection of premium EA games, exclusive rewards and content for EA Play members, 10% off other EA games and 10 hours of access to EA games 10 days before launch. Players who want more can subscribe to EA Play Pro which offers the benefits of the basic version, 50 additional EA titles and unlimited access to pre-launch and new games. EA Play Pro costs $15 per month or $100 per year. Both versions are available on Xbox, PlayStation and PC.
For fans of Ubisoft titles, Ubisoft recently renamed UPlay Plus to Ubisoft Plus and is a great option. For $15 per month, subscribers receive over 100 premium editions of Ubisoft titles, including new releases available from day one. If any games have DLCs or season passes, Ubisoft Plus subscribers have access to all top-tier editions of the games. Ubisoft Plus is currently only available on PC, but for $18 per month, users can also receive cloud streaming access through Luna or Stadia.
Cloud gaming subscriptions
For gamers with high-speed Internet access and without a console, cloud gaming has become an inexpensive option. Google’s Stadia was one of the first major players in the cloud streaming market and also has a good subscription service. For just $10 a month, Stadia Pro subscribers get access to over 30 titles, with more titles added every month, and exclusive discounts on other games. Additionally, Stadia Pro users get access to 4K and 5.1 surround sound streaming, compared to standard 1080p and stereo sound at base level.
Amazon also offers a cloud gaming service called Luna. Luna is a bit different from other cloud gaming services, as Luna allows users to subscribe to “channels” such as Ubisoft Plus or Jackbox TV within its platform. Luna offers its own subscription channel, Luna Plus, for $9.99 per month and gives users access to a variety of games. Amazon Prime members also have access to the Prime Gaming channel on Luna and its collection of games such as The devil may cry 5 and Observer: System Redux.
Mobile gaming has come a long way since the days of flappy bird. iPhone and iPad users can access Apple Arcade for $5 per month or $50 per year. Apple’s mobile games subscription gives users access to over 200 exclusive titles and removes the games from any advertising or in-app purchases. Players can also use Apple’s Family Sharing feature to give up to five family members access to Apple Arcade. Although not known as a game developer, Apple has quickly established itself as a gaming leader.
For those with Android or Google phones and tablets, Google Play Pass costs $5 per month or $30 per year. Google Play Pass provides access to over 800 games and, like Apple Arcade, is free of ads or in-app purchases and can be shared with up to five family members. Unlike Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass has no exclusivity on its platform; it simply provides access to games that users usually have to pay for individually.
MORE: PS Plus Premium vs. Xbox Game Pass: A Comprehensive Comparison