Right now, times are tough, and a lot of people are experiencing financial difficulties. Video games have never been the most affordable pastime, and while subscription services are becoming the norm for most media content, the majority of people cannot afford to subscribe to all of the services available to them. As a result, gaming subscription services must be competitive and appealing, and many do so by providing free games as a way to entice customers to sign up.
As a general rule, different gaming subscriptions such as PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold will appeal to different audiences, and the best service will be determined by the individual’s specific requirements. Choose the right subscription service based on factors such as brand loyalty, game options, and preferred method of play. Here is a list of all the subscription services that offer free games, as well as how much they cost.
As a member of PlayStation Plus, you’ll receive between 2 and 3 free monthly games, which can be redeemed at any time during the month and are available to play for as long as your subscription is in good standing. PlayStation Plus is available on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation Vita. PlayStation Plus subscribers who own a PlayStation 5 will also have access to the PS Plus Collection, a collection of some of the most iconic games from the PlayStation 4 era that will be available for free to play on the PlayStation 5. There are numerous discounts included as well, but the most important thing to remember is that this service is required in order to play online through the PlayStation Network. The subscription costs $59.99 USD per year, or $9.99 USD per month.
PlayStation Now is a streaming service that provides access to older PlayStation games, with the added feature of allowing players to play these games on a computer. Even though the pricing for PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now are the same, the services do not overlap in terms of content.
NINTENDO SWITCH ONLINE
As the Nintendo Switch continues to set new sales records, Nintendo Switch Online provides Switch players with access to a service similar to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, which allows them to participate in online games. The service also includes a library of free-to-play games, which are typically retro titles with some new properties thrown in every now and then. The Nintendo Online catalog, which updates available games in bundles at the same time, costs $19.99USD per year, $3.99USD per month, or $34.99USD per year for a family membership that includes up to 8 Nintendo account holders.
AMAZON PRIME GAMING
Amazon Prime Gaming, which was previously known as Twitch Prime, demonstrates that Amazon is becoming increasingly interested in gaining a monopoly on the gaming market. One of the most significant advantages of this service is that it is included at no additional cost with any Amazon Prime or Prime Video membership. Free games are offered monthly for a limited time, along with some in-game items and a free Twitch subscription each month; the Amazon Prime membership that includes this service costs $12.99 USD per month or $119 dollars annually.
XBOX GAME PASS
Xbox, like PlayStation, offers two subscription services, but it bundles the two together at a discounted rate. Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold subscription includes 3 to 4 free games that rotate each month, but Xbox Game Pass includes a catalog of hundreds of games that is updated on a regular basis. It is possible to purchase both of these services separately; however, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes both, and Xbox Live is required for online multiplayer. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is available in a variety of tiers and price ranges, with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently costing $14.99 USD per month.
It is only available on the PC, but the Ubisoft+ subscription service gives Ubisoft fans access to more than 100 titles from the company. Additional benefits of Ubisoft+ include monthly rewards, the amount of which increases the longer a person has been a member of the service. The rewards are in-game items for a variety of Ubisoft games, and the service is available for $14.99 USD per month per user.
APPLE ARCADE AND GOOGLE PLAY PASS
Apple Arcade, which caters to gamers interested in apps and mobile games, has a catalog of approximately 180 titles. Furthermore, this subscription eliminates in-game advertisements and purchases, which are two of the most significant drawbacks of app gaming. It costs $4.99 USD per month to subscribe.
Google Play Pass also removes in-game advertisements and purchases, which is the main selling point of these two services, especially considering that many app games are already available for free. The Google Play Pass also provides access to hundreds of titles, with the selection being updated on a monthly basis, according to the company. The cost of these two services is nearly identical at $4.99 USD per month or $29.99 USD per year, and the only difference is the games available and the device used.
EA Play is available on a number of different platforms, but you must select one when you sign up for a membership (there is currently no cross-platform subscription). This service, which was previously known as Origin Access, provides access to over 90 free games as well as a Pro tier that provides additional benefits such as discounts and early access to games. Standard membership costs $4.99 USD per month or $29.99 USD per year.
Known as Humble Choice, it is a subscription service provided by Humble Bundle, and it is something that any fan of free games should be aware of. The subscription service offers various membership tiers, with the lowest tier package providing access to the Humble Trove, a collection of approximately 100 video games to choose from. Increased storewide discounts and monthly free games are available at the higher tiers, with the premium level including nine monthly free games and the basic level containing just three. The premium tier costs $20 USD per month, while the basic tier costs $15 per month and the lite tier costs $5 per month, with sign-up discounts available frequently. Humble Choice, in contrast to other services, allows users to actually own the free games they receive each month.
HONORABLE MENTION: GET FREE GAMES WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A SUBSCRIPTION
If the monthly or yearly fees for the services listed above still seem excessive, there are a plethora of other online gaming services that provide free games without the need for a subscription to play. Humble Bundle, which was previously mentioned, also offers some of the best bundle packages that gamers can purchase for a one-time fee rather than having to subscribe. While this does incur additional costs, it is difficult to be dissatisfied with the fact that you can obtain games worth hundreds of dollars for as little as $1. Typically, Humble Bundles are created in support of a specific charity, and game developers agree to include their titles in the bundle; as a result, indie games are the majority of the titles included.
In addition to Steam, GOG, Epic Games Store, itch.io, and other services, free games or reasonably priced game bundles are frequently given away by these services and do not require a subscription to play. Again, these are almost always indie games rather than big-budget releases. However, while most content producers believe that subscription services are the future, there are some who are not fans of digital content at this time.