Right now, you can hardly move for the number of game subscription services popping up left and right. It all sort of began with PlayStation Now and Humble Monthly, but it’s Xbox Game Pass which has truly kick-started an all-you-can-eat subscription revolution.
Unfortunately, if you want to subscribe to all of these services you’re looking at a fairly obscene annual cost for games which you’re (largely) not going to be able to keep once you stop paying. It means we’ve got to pick and choose carefully which ones to subscribe. Luckily, all of the services do offer monthly options so you can subscribe, play the games you want, and then cancel immediately.
With all that in mind though, here are all the current big players in the gaming subscription market, and what they each bring to the table.
Apple’s new Arcade subscription service is refreshingly straight forward. It’s got a library of over 100 games with no in-app purchases or microtransactions. All of these games are mobile-oriented titles which could be a drawback for those who prefer ‘core’ gaming experiences.
Apple Arcade games are all playable on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TV. All it costs is a $4.99 monthly subscription.
Xbox Game Pass
The biggest name in game subscription services right now, Xbox Game Pass includes access to a huge (and growing) library of Xbox titles. All first-party Xbox Games Studios titles are available on the service at launch, along with plenty of indies.
Xbox Game Pass is split into three services - Xbox Game Pass ($9.99/mo), Xbox Game Pass for PC ($4.99 but going up to $9.99/mo) and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($14.99) which includes both Xbox and PC Game Pass.
Unfortunately games do leave the service from time to time so you do need to be wary if you’re halfway through a title and it gets whipped off.
Sony’s normally great at marketing but it’s really shot itself in the foot with PS Now. Despite offering PS4 game downloads, PS Now is inextricably linked with game streaming. Older PS2 and PS3 games do still have to be stream, sure, but all PS4 titles can be downloaded to your console and played locally.
PS Now boasts a huge catalogue of 800 games and is available for $9.99/mo or $59.99/yr. The downside to PS Now is it does not include any new first-party Sony titles on launch day.
Origin Access Premier
The subscription you want if you happen to love Electronic Arts titles. Origin Access Premier is $14.99/mo or $99.99/yr and includes all EA published games on day one, plus all released DLC. If you buy at least two EA games a year this package makes a great deal of sense, although the fairly limited library is probably the service’s greatest weakness.
Ubisoft’s version of the all-you-can-eat subscription is comfortably the priciest of the bunch. It’s $14.99/mo with no annual discount and it’s only available on PC. For your money you get access to Ubisoft’s entire library of PC games, including day one editions of new titles. The games included are the ‘Ultimate’ editions with all DLCs.
The value of this service hinges heavily on your love on Ubisoft games. Since the service launched, the only new title has been Ghost Recon Breakpoint and there are no further Ubisoft titles until at least April 2020.
Humble Monthly is a little difference to the other subscription services in that all of the games you receive for your monthly subscription price ($12/mo) are yours to keep forever (or sell, if you see fit).
The risk with Humble Monthly is only a couple of games are revealed before payment is taken. The rest are unveiled at the end of the month so you could end up with literally anything.
At some point in the near future, Humble Monthly will also be changing to Humble Choice. This is a new system where a number of games are revealed and subscribers can pick the games which they want to unlock. Current subscribers can stay subbed for $12/mo (10 games) while new subscribers can opt for Basic (3 games for $14.99/mo) or Premium (9 games for $19.99/mo).
That’s all the services then, but which do you think is currently the best? And, secondly, which ones are you currently subscribed to? Get voting and remember to everyone know why in the comments section below!