Best gaming subscription services you can sign up to right now
What gaming service gives you the most bang for your buck? We take a look at Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo and PC.
Streaming services are all the rage these days and in the TV and movie world there are now so many to choose from that it can be hard to keep track of which ones are the best value for money.
But streaming services offer more than just a multitude of TV show and films – there are many for the gaming world too that all offer different things and each has its own advantages and disadvantages that go along with them.
We have taken a look at all that is on offer in the UK for streaming some of the best games around, old and new, and we have compiled them into one handy list for you below. Across Xbox, PlayStation, the Nintendo Switch and PC gaming, here are the streamers to check out.
Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live Gold used to be the cream of the crop of gaming subscription services. Back when Games with Gold launched, the anticipation was always high as to which free games we would get as part of the subscription and there were some major titles that popped up from time to time.
But those days are gone and while we do get a selection of games each month for nothing, we can't even remember the last time there was one that blew us away. That's all because of the launch of Gamespass - which we will get to below - that has changed the game for Xbox and now the basic subscription service is left feeling a tad redundant.
You do still need it for online gameplay although any free-to-play games no longer require you to have a subscription.
Cost: £5.99 per month
Where to buy: Xbox Live Gold from CDKeys
But what Xbox Live Gold lacks, it more than makes up for in Gamespass and Gamespass Ultimate. The library you get with it is huge and there are far too many titles to list that are yours to download and play when you sign up - including a massive drop of Bethesda games that were added recently. The library is constantly updated and in even better news, any new exclusive Xbox games are automatically added to the list - great news with Halo Infinite dropping later in the year.
Gamespass Ultimate combines the features you get above but also adds in Xbox Live Gold so you can get the whole lot for a yearly or a monthly fee!
Cost: £7.99 per month or £10.99 per month for gamespass Ultimate
Where to buy: Xbox Game Pass from CDKeys
PS Plus is the equivalent of Xbox Live Gold for the PlayStation and also gifts subscribers with free games each month - normally two. While Xbox was originally leading the way with the quality of these freebies, PS Plus is now the top dog with far better titles offered each month.
You also get access to online gaming and other perks such as free skins for certain games and 100 GB of cloud storage for your game saves. Truthfully though, the service is not what it used to be and dropping support for the PS3 was a frustrating decision. But we do have the PS Plus collection now on the PS5 - so swings and roundabouts!
Cost: £6.99 per month
Where to buy: PS Plus at CDKeys for £43.99
This service is great but its performance depends on how fast your internet connection is. PS Now has hundreds of games ready to play from the PS2, PS3 and the PS4 and while some can be downloaded, mostly the PS4 titles, a lot are only available to stream.
Now if you have good internet then this is a great thing as you won't be running out of space any time soon as you'll be streaming from the cloud and it is great to avoid all the downloading times that can be frustratingly long with bigger titles. But streaming does have its drawbacks and if your connection is a bit iffy, you'll either find that the quality has been dialled down a lot or you won't be able to play the game at all.
Cost: £8.99 per month
Where to buy: PS Now from Amazon
Read more: Upcoming PlayStation games for 2021
Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo Switch Online is pure Nintendo nostalgia heaven! Once you join up, you'll be treated to a huge amount of classic titles ranging from NES classics like the original Mario to SNES titles like Donkey Kong Country. While the service is lacking in more recent games and has a notable lack of Pokemon classics, it's still a great one for those who want to relive the games from days gone by and it's super cheap too!
Cost: £3.49 per month
Where to buy: Nintendo Switch Online from Nintendo
Read more: Upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2021
Prime Gaming used to be known as Twitch Prime before the name change and this is worth checking out for PC gamers. You get free games each month which you actually get to keep unlike some others and while you can't play these on Steam - well, not easily anyway - it is still worth your time and money as not only do you get the games, you also get free loot too!
Cost: £5.99 per month
Where to buy: Prime Gaming from Amazon
Another one for PC gamers, Utomik is one that you may not have even heard of. There are over 700 games in the library and while some are smaller indie titles (not that there is anything wrong with indie gaming), there are some big hitters on there - even if they are a tad dated now. The cost for the service is not bad at all and while you do need to download the games, you only need to download a portion of it and the service will stream the rest - so it's a time and space saver too!
Cost: £4.49 per month
Where to buy: Utomik from Green man gaming
EA Play, formerly EA Access, is a bit of a strange one now. On the Xbox, it has been merged into Gamespass Ultimate and you now get all the games EA has to offer as part of the Xbox subscription. And Xbox is the way to go for EA Play even without that as it has far more games than the PlayStation version does - and it remains a separate service on the Sony consoles too.
Another downside is that your subscription does not carry over between consoles so if you own an Xbox, PlayStation and have a Steam account and you want EA Play on them all, you'll have to pay three times which still seems like a baffling move for EA to make and certainly a frustrating one for gamers.
Cost: £3.99 per month.
Where to buy: EA Play from CD Keys
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