Which Game Subscription Service is Right for You?

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Robert_Stark
edited November 2023 in Gaming

Ever wish you could get more bang for your gaming buck? With a gaming subscription service, it's like a Netflix binge for gamers—unlimited access to their catalog for a flat monthly fee. Even on low-spec devices like Chromebooks, you can game on the cloud. Here's your guide to the best gaming subscription services.

1. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Best for multiplatform gaming 

Dubbed the Netflix of video games, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the real deal for any gamer. Console junkie or PC lover? Doesn't matter. This gaming subscription service caters to you with a massive library of over 400 top-notch PC and console games— including Forza Horizon and Halo. Play brand-new games the same day they are dropped. Add in EA Play access with fan favorites like:

  • Battlefield 
  • Madden NFL 
  • The Sims

Multiplatform magic is where Xbox Game Pass Ultimate shines. Seamlessly shift from your Xbox to your PC without missing a beat. On the move? Cloud gaming's got your back, letting you jump into the action on iOS and Android devices. Start a game on your console and keep playing it across supported mobile devices, tablets, and PCs.

Dive into gaming with your new Acer, Predator, or ConceptD Windows 11 PC. Get a free one-month PC Game Pass and enjoy hundreds of top games, including new additions. It's the perfect spot to find your next favorite game. Game on!

Platform compatibility: Xbox Series X, Series S, Xbox One, PC, Mobile Devices 

Cloud gaming: Yes 

Cost: $14.99/month

2. PlayStation Plus: The Sony VIP pass 

PlayStation Plus is your VIP pass access to hundreds of PS5, PS4, and classic PlayStation games. With the 2022 revamp, the service offers three tailored tiers to suit your gaming style. The premium tier even offers PC cloud streaming via an app and an Xbox-compatible controller.

Choose your tier, shape your experience: 

  • Essential: Your starting line with online multiplayer and a few free games per month. 
  • Extra: Stepping it up with an expanded library featuring over 400 PS4 and PS5 games, Ubisoft+ included. 
  • Premium: The all-in package. Adds cloud streaming capabilities for PC and a wider game catalog that dips into retro titles. Plus, it offers time-limited game trials.

Each tier builds upon the last, offering an increasingly immersive gaming experience. While the premium tier is steep, it's a strong contender if you're a die-hard Sony fan aiming to play on your PC.

Platform compatibility: PS4, PS5, PC 

Cloud gaming: Yes 

Cost: Starts at $9.99/month for Essential, $14.99/month for Extra, and goes up to $17.99/month for Premium.

3. Nintendo Switch Online: Bare essentials, big on nostalgia 

For a mere $19.99/year, Nintendo Switch Online is your only route to unlock online multiplayer on the Switch. While it's not as feature-rich as its competitors, it comes packed with cloud save options and a retro vault of NES and SNES classics.

If you're considering the pricier Expansion Pack, it's probably overpriced unless you're deep into Switch or retro gaming, and it gives you:

  • Animal Crossing DLC 
  • Splatoon 2 extras 
  • Mario Kart 8 add-ons 
  • N64 and GameBoy Advance classics

Just remember, those add-ons vanish if your subscription does.

Nintendo Switch Online is Nintendo's stripped-down but cost-effective answer to its rivals. So, if multiplayer and classic gaming is your jam, the basic tier has your back.

Platform compatibility: Nintendo Switch 

Cloud gaming: Yes, but limited to cloud saves for specific games. 

Cost: $19.99/year for individuals, $34.99/year for a family plan of up to 8 users. Expansion Pack is $49.99/year and $79.99/year for a family.

4. EA Play: Heavy-Hitter with a catch 

For just $4.99 a month, EA Play serves up a robust library of games, from sports classics like FIFA and Madden to action-packed titles like Battlefield and Titanfall. This gaming giant raked in $7 billion in 2022, making it an industry heavyweight.

Choose your plan: EA Play Play vs Pro 

EA Play offers two tiers: Play and Pro. Both come with their own set of perks with Pro offering unlimited play on all titles.

Key features:

  • Early access: Get a 10-day head start on brand-new EA games. 
  • Exclusive content: The Pro tier amps up your game with exclusive content, giving you unlimited access to EA's latest titles, while the Play tier limits you to a 10-hour trial. You'll need to purchase the game to continue playing. 
  • Savings: Enjoy a 10% discount on EA's digital purchases, from full games to DLC.

However, if you've already subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $14.99 a month, EA Play is included. So, think twice before doubling up on subscriptions.

Platform compatibility: Xbox, PlayStation, PC 

Cloud gaming: No 

Cost: $4.99/month for Play, $14.99/month for Pro

5. Ubisoft+: For the action aficionado 

This European publisher offers Ubisoft+ with over 167 all-you-can-play action and adventure titles. Think Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and Rainbow Six Siege. At $14.99 a month for the basic plan, it's pricier than some alternatives, but it's a goldmine for Ubisoft's game fans.

Choose your subscription: Basic vs Multi-Access 

Ubisoft+ offers two tiers: a basic plan for PC gamers and a Multi-Access plan for those wanting to game across multiple platforms.

Key features: 

  • Day-one access: The latest Ubisoft game? You can play it right on launch day. 
  • Exclusive loot: Enjoy premium editions and unique in-game content. 
  • Cross-platform play: The Multi-Access plan lets you hop between PC, consoles, and cloud gaming.

While the library is killer for Ubisoft fans, it might not be the best value for every gamer. It's an entire library but from just one publisher. Check out your other options if you're hunting for more variety and value.

Platform compatibility: PC, Xbox, Luna 

Cloud Gaming: Yes, through Luna. 

Cost: $14.99/month for Basic, $17.99/month for Multi-Access

6. GeForce Now: Power up without breaking the bank 

Got a budget laptop or Chromebook but crave a high-end gaming experience? Nvidia's GeForce Now levels the playing field, allowing you to stream games you already own. Whether you're dodging the GPU market crunch or want more bang for your buck, this service might be your best bet. 

Choose your adventure: Free vs paid. 

GeForce Now offers a free plan as well as a premium tier at $9.99/month. Both let you play your existing game library, but the paid version takes it up a notch.

Key features: 

  • BYOG (Bring Your Own Game): Play titles you already own from places like Steam or Epic Games. 
  • Stellar performance: Thanks to Nvidia's killer hardware, it feels like you're playing on an ultimate gaming machine. 
  • Versatile platforms: Compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and Chrome OS. 
  • Colossal library: Access a wide range of games from big names like Ubisoft and Bethesda. 
  • Session length: Free users get an hour per session, while the paid plan has extended time.

Who's it for? 

This service shines if you've already sunk money into a game library or are not ready to splurge on a high-end gaming rig. But remember, your experience will live or die by your internet connection (at least 50 Mbps for the highest quality).

In short, if you're looking for top-notch cloud gaming or want to squeeze more power out of your existing hardware, GeForce Now should be on your radar.

Platform compatibility: Windows, macOS, Android, Chrome OS 

Cloud gaming: Absolutely, it's all about the cloud. 

Cost: A free plan lets you game for up to an hour. Priority Tier at $9.99 monthly gives you better hardware and quick server access. Ultimate Tier, at $19.99 a month, offers top-end graphics, 4K, and up to 120fps.

7. Amazon Luna: Flexible and fresh 

Meet Amazon Luna, Amazon's venture into the cloud gaming universe. Customizable channels, Amazon-grade reliability—it's a fresh take on streaming games.

Luna lets you mix and match channels to create your ideal gaming setup with:

  • Luna+: $9.99/month gets you over 100 game titles, including Batman: Arkham Knight, Control, and Resident Evil 2
  • Ubisoft+: $17.99/month, dive deep into Ubisoft titles like Assassin's Creed we covered above. 
  • Jackbox: Party game fun at just $4.99/month. 
  • Prime perks: Amazon Prime members? Enjoy a rotating selection of free games.

A single subscription covers two devices, making it a top pick for family gaming. Luna's good to go on everything—Windows PC, Mac, Fire TV, Fire tablets, iPad, Chromebooks, and even your phone.

Luna is ideal if you're already in the Amazon ecosystem or just a casual gamer. Maybe not the best fit if you're after a mega-game library or desktop-level performance.

Platform compatibility: PC, Mac, Fire TV, Fire tablets, iPad, Chromebooks, iPhone and Android 

Cloud gaming: Yes 

Cost: Starts at $9.99/month for Luna+, with added costs for extra channels.

8. Humble Choice: Affordable gaming with a heart 

Looking to game without breaking the bank and do some good? Meet Humble Choice. For just $11.99 a month, you're not just playing but also giving to charity.

Key perks: 

  • Monthly mix: Take home 8 PC games from indie to big-name titles each month. Yours forever. 
  • Vault access: 50+ games that are yours to download and save. 
  • Humble store discount: Up to 20% off on games.

October drop: 

  • Metal Hellsinger 
  • The Quarry Deluxe Edition 
  • Mr. Prepper

Ideal for the budget gamer with a big heart. You can expand your game library without bleeding your bank account dry, all while supporting charity. Like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass, Humble Bundle offered a Game Collection of free inide titles to subscribers. This perk will be discontinued on November 7.

Platform compatibility: PC 

Cloud gaming: No 

Cost: $11.99/month

Finding your gaming nirvana 

Whatever your gaming vibe—action, casual, or retro—these 8 subscription services have something for everyone. Pick based on your style, budget, and net speed, then get ready to level up.

Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech.

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