PC Gaming Subscription Services: Overview & Comparison
With an abundance of music-, movie-, and TV-based streaming services like Spotify or Netflix, there’s also a wide variety of subscription services that cater to the needs of gaming fans. According to Google, the Internet giant and trendsetter, ‘the future of Gaming is not a box’. Naturally, this self-fulfilling prophecy is now coming into fruition, elevating game subscription services (also referred to as cloud gaming services) to the highest level of modern gaming trends.
Game streaming is a great alternative to purchasing games. While the cost of an online gaming subscription service is usually a lot more appealing than buying the latest games individually, another benefit of these subscription services is that you get to start playing without having to wait until your favorite games install or update.
Therefore, if you have a stable Internet connection and if you love switching from one title to another, then you should consider trying one of the game streaming services listed below. In today’s post, we’ve prepared a selection of some of the biggest cloud gaming services to provide you with a handy overview of what the market offers, thus helping you pick the option that suits your needs best. So, read on and enjoy deciding which of the hottest game subscription services is the most valuable for your video gaming needs.
Xbox Game Pass for PC: Great and Reasonably Priced
Cost: $9.99/month (beta $4.99).
Number of Games: 140+
Cool Titles: Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Wolfenstein 2, Prey, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, and lots of other notable indie titles.
Latest Titles: Blair Witch, Gears 5, Dirt Rally 2.0, Saints Row 4.
Most Anticipated Titles: Age of Empires 2 Remastered, The Outer Worlds, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Wasteland 3 (2020).
At $10 per month, the subscription service grants you unlimited access to a library with over 140 games. It features a boatload of old-but-gold titles like Resident Evil 4, as well as some newer games, such as Metro Exodus and the much anticipated Gears 5. If you have some spare time, as well as a storage room on your machine, you’re free to download a multitude of Xbox titles and play them to your utmost satisfaction. There’s absolutely no catch — it’s all about your video gaming drive, your controller, and a never-ending realm of your favorite games.
If you’re into offline singleplayer games, then the Game Pass is exactly what you need. Because you won’t need to deal with co-op servers, you can avoid separately getting Xbox LIVE and focus on a huge selection of the titles you love — that’s a lot cheaper than purchasing each one individually. In addition to this, according to Xbox, their subscription service fans access some juicy plum deals and exclusive discounts.
It’s clear that on paper the Xbox Games Pass service sounds like an awesome deal. However, there are certain factors that may put you off from subscribing. For example, if you have very little time to play video games, then the Game Pass extensive library won’t be of much use to you. Plus, if you’re into pillaging one and the same open-world title long-term right until you beat it, then you’d better consider purchasing that game individually as opposed to investing $10 per month in the Game Pass service.
- reasonable price;
- great choice of titles of various genres;
- a slew of new games;
- tons of excellent indies such as Human: Fall Flat, The Escapists, and BattleBlock Theater;
- big-budget titles like Gears 5 and Forza Horizon 4 provide exceptional value for the money.
- the PC version features a lot less huge titles compared to Xbox One;
- the recently launched Xbox app is not bad, but still a little slow.
Top 3 Best Titles Featured
Gears 5: Hours of Co-op Gameplay and Depth
Price: $79.99 plus in-game purchases.
Game length. With enough skills and determination, you can complete the game in 17.5 hours.
Game description. Gears 5 is an awesome third-person shooter video game and a wonderful addition to the series. The story boasts new levels of depth and breath-of-fresh-air plot twists. The title provides its fans with new open-world elements while preserving what has made the previous installments so popular: stunning visuals, tons of action, exciting storyline, as well as unique humor and atmosphere. Gears 5 is often referred to as the Metro: Exodus of the Gears of War saga.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance: Realism and Immersion
Price: $29.99 plus in-game purchases.
Game length. On average, it takes players 70 hours to complete the game. However, if you get carried away by the atmosphere of the game, you can literally stay there forever.
Game description. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an RPG where you take on the role of Henry, the uneducated son of a blacksmith. Pushed into a deadly civil war, you have to watch the enemies destroy your home and kill your loved one. Ultimately, you take revenge for everything the invaders have done to you. Despite being slightly buggy, the Kingdom Come: Deliverance game is stunning. It will amaze you with fantastic graphics, exciting quests, an excellent combat system, and absolute immersiveness.
Wolfenstein II: Highly Anticipated and Super Fun
Price: $59.99 plus in-game purchases.
Game length. You can beat the game in about 10 hours, but it depends on the level of difficulty, as well as your skill level.
Game description. Wolfenstein II is an action-adventure FPS and a very anticipated sequel to the previous installment, Wolfenstein: The New Order. The game will send you to Nazi-ruled America where you will engage in recruiting the most fearless leaders to fight against the Nazi regime. While making the best out of Wolfenstein II, you will enjoy solid graphics, buttery smooth gameplay, some thrilling action, impressive level design, and top-notch soundtrack. In other words, the title is a great compliment to the Wolfenstein franchise.
Ubisoft’s UPlay+: Good, but a Bit on the Pricey Side
Number of Games: 109+
Cool Titles: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, The Division 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, The Crew 2, Watch Dogs 2, Far Cry 5.
Latest Titles: The Division 2, Trials Rising, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Updates, Anno 1800 Gold.
Most Anticipated Titles: Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters.
Ubisoft has launched its own game subscription service for PC and is now competing with similar game companies to offer the ‘Netflix of games’ to their devoted players. During the last decade, Ubisoft has released a plethora of top-rated video games. Most of them are up for grabs in the Ubisoft’s UPlay+ library. As a matter of fact, with UPlay+, you can download and play over 100 Ubisoft titles from the company's rich library.
Along with the new titles, you will also access the legendary video games from the past, such as the Heroes of Might and Magic series, Prince of Persia, as well as the early installments of Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell. Furthermore, with UPlay+, you will have access to premium game editions, as well as beta and early access games.
By the way, the newest titles typically become available to the UPlay+ subscribers up to 3 days ahead of their official release dates. The only drawback here is that there are not so many new Ubisoft game releases planned for the UPlay+ subscribers to eagerly anticipate the service’s library update.
- an ample choice of the recently released Ubisoft games;
- a lot of brilliant titles from the past.
- the service is a bit on the pricey side;
- only 5 new releases are planned for the upcoming 6 months;
- the library doesn’t include the Just Dance series.
Top 3 Best Titles Featured
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege: Excellent and Innovative FPS
Price: from $19.99 (standard edition) to $99.99 (ultimate edition) plus in-game purchases.
Game length. You can beat the main mission in 7 hours, while when it comes to the co-op mode, completing the game will take 70 hours minimum.
Game description. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is a deeply satisfying terrorist-hunting shooter with multiplayer being the key focus of its great tactical gameplay. You will definitely fancy the game’s well-designed maps, top of the line mechanics, amazingly tense atmosphere, dynamic environment, and overall polished and thrilling tactical gameplay. The title is the thirteenth installment in the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Franchise. It provides an endless amount of fun and, according to the players, resembles a movie that you can control.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: a Truly Massive Game
Price: $59.99 plus in-game purchases.
Game length. You can beat the game in 50 hours. However, if you enjoy exploring the game’s world while playing, it might take you twice longer to complete Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
Game description. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing video game where you get the chance to become a legendary Spartan hero, discover the mysteries of your past, and influence the destiny of Ancient Greece. The game will shower you with such amazing perks as work-of-art visuals, smooth and enjoyable combat system, fun quests, fantastic soundtrack, as well as stellar character customization. Basically, when creating Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Ubisoft intertwined all the best aspects from the previous installments, while injecting some brand new ones. The results came out brilliant.
Watch Dogs 2: Everything the First Game Should Have Been
Price: from $19.99 (standard edition) to $99.99 (gold edition).
Game length. You can beat Watch Dogs 2 in 30 hours, but it certainly depends on the level of difficulty and your gaming experience.
Game description. Watch Dogs 2 is an action-adventure open world third-person game that showers you with superb hacking action, as well as amazing graphics, excitingly smooth gameplay, plenty of fun missions, and tons of exploration possibilities. Through the gameplay, you will constantly meet charming characters, hack everything around you, own the World Wide Web, and have lots of fun. Watch Dogs 2 is a lot better than the first title. The game’s world is beautiful. It will definitely make you want to visit San Francisco!
Origin Access: Make the Right Choice
Cost: $5/month (Basic), $15/month (Premier).
Number of Games: 220+
Cool Titles: Battlefield V, FIFA 20, Madden NFL 20, Anthem, Star Wars: Battlefront, Unravel Two, A Way Out.
Latest Titles: FIFA 20, Madden NFL 20, Sea of Solitude.
Most Anticipated Titles: Need for Speed: Heat, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, The Surge 2.
EA was the pioneering publisher on the market who offered a gaming subscription service. Featuring the most lucrative library of games, it still remains a very powerful player on the scene. Even though you’ll have to invest some extra bucks in Premier, accessing EA games 5 days before their official release is a noticeable benefit. If you’re a fan of sports titles like FIFA and Madden, you will definitely make the most of this rather expensive subscription plan. If you’re just looking to access a lot of games, including some remarkable indie titles like Pillars of Eternity and Into the Breach, then the Basic plan will be more than enough.
- early access to EA titles (10 hours of play for Basic subscription, limitless access for Premier);
- attractive basic subscription cost; if instantly getting your hands on the newest releases is not among your priorities, then basic subscription is your most cost-effective option;
- a great deal of top-rated games of various genres, such as FIFA 20, Need for Speed, and the best Star Wars titles.
- Premier subscription plan is expensive, especially taking into account the vague difference with the Basic plan;
- the majority of games featured in the Origin Access library are the not-so-popular older installments;
- the latest titles are mostly all about indie games.
Top 3 Best Titles Featured
Battlefield V: Massive and Addictive Shooter
Price: $59.99 plus in-game purchases.
Game length. You can beat the game in 7 hours. Not too lengthy, but those 7 hours will definitely be filled with tons of fun.
Game description. Battlefield V is an epic multiplayer-focused World War II-themed first-person shooter video game that will blow you away with great gameplay, fantastic plot, and impeccable character customization. The game takes combat and transforms it into powerful online warfare. This thematic continuation of Battlefield 1 provides an incredible level of detail when it comes to the beautiful sceneries and locales, as well as voice acting and storyline. To cut a long story short, this title is the best Battlefield game in years.
FIFA 20: Still Great and Fun to Play
Price: from $59.99 to $99.99 (depending on the package).
Game length. It depends on your football acumen. It’s possible that you will enjoy playing the game non-stop, especially if you’re a football fan.
Game description. FIFA 20 is a football simulation video game and the 27th installment of the FIFA franchise. Some of the greatest perks of this new title are: the new Volta mode, enhanced visuals, as well as empowering strength and speed attributes. There are some weak spots within the game, such as, for instance, somewhat annoying Career mode additions. On the whole, FIFA 20 is an awesome and exciting football game that hasn’t lost its charm with this new installment. If you’ve enjoyed the previous titles, FIFA 20 will appeal to you as well.
Star Wars Battlefront II: Immersive and Exciting
Price: $19.99 (standard edition) plus tons of in-game purchases.
Game length. On average, you can complete this game in 30 hours. However, it depends on how many in-game purchases you’ve made and how much you like Star Wars.
Game description. Star Wars Battlefront II is a very solid and technically fabulous Star Wars film franchise-based action shooter and a breathtaking sequel to the 2015 video game. This time around, we all get the complete Star Wars title we deserve, filled with splendid diversity, excellent story, mind-blowing space battles, beautifully rationalized Arcade mode, and a great deal of content that will please even players with the most sophisticated taste. Battlefront II is magical, and it will definitely evoke a stirring bit of nostalgia in you, while at the same time tackling your craving for a polished and spicy shooter.
Discord Nitro: Access to Great Games from the 2000s
Number of Games: 97.
Cool Titles: Mafia, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Bioshock, Saints Row 3.
The Disco Nitro game library features top-notch (but rather outdated) titles. If you’re feeling nostalgic for the good old games from the 2000s, this subscription service is just the ticket. You can opt for Discord Nitro if you love Discord and are looking to unlock additional game functions like custom emojis or access a limited selection of excellent indie titles. The Discord Nitro subscription service is definitely inferior to the ones we’ve elaborated on above, but it does have its aficionados as well.
- tons of perks for Discord users.
- rather expensive;
limited game library.
Top 3 Best Titles Featured
Mafia: the Great Classic of the Mafia Series
Game length. On average, it will take you about 15 hours to beat the game, but those 15 hours will fly by unnoticed — yep, the game is that good.
Game description. Mafia is an open-world action-adventure masterpiece of a video game released in 2002 and focused on the life of Tommy Angelo, a fictional mafioso from the 30s. The game is rather long and challenging, some missions can take lots of attempts to complete. Don’t let this tiny disadvantage discourage you, though. With its slick storyline, likable characters, movie-like atmosphere, amazing soundtrack, as well as smooth gameplay packed with driving and 3d person shooting, Mafia is a definite recommendation for all old school gaming fans.
BioShock: Unique Gameplay & Immersive Story
Game length. It will take you approximately 15 hours to complete the game, but you can always opt for in-game purchases if you want more of BioShock.
Game description. BioShock is a well-crafted and absolutely immersive first-person shooter. In many ways, this timeless game remains as powerful as it was when first released. To put it in figurative terms, BioShock has aged extremely well. You’ll be amazed by the game’s ambiance and soundtrack, as well as its dramatic plot and fascinating environment. Cutting to the chase, BioShock is not just another FPS. It’s immersive, challenging, and goosebumps-inducing.
The End Is Nigh: as Good as Super Meat Boy
Game length. On average, the game takes up to 20 hours to beat. But if the title grows on you, you might want to enjoy each level to the fullest, and i.e. spend a lot more time playing the game.
Game description. The End Is Nigh (TEiN) is an insanely challenging platformer often referred to as a worthy spiritual successor to Super Meat Boy, except in the former title, you’re limited to clinging to edges instead of wall jumping. Despite the obvious similarities, the two games are very different. While Super Meat Boy focuses on speed, The End Is Nigh emphasizes precision. The End Is Nigh is technically polished, it will please you with its fluid gameplay and inspiring soundtrack. The game is hardcore, but rewarding. You will enjoy its masterfully crafted levels and have lots of fun dying!
The Bottom Line
Having analyzed the game libraries, the prices, and subscription plans offered by some of the major game streaming services, our experts have come to the conclusion that Microsoft (Xbox Game Pass for PC) and Electronic Arts (Origin Access) provide the best offers on the market. If accessing the EA games right after their release date is not among your ultimate goals, then we recommend purchasing the $30-per-year Origin Access Basic plan and investing in the Xbox Game Pass subscription on a monthly basis. That way, you will have limitless access to a huge game library with the best — and the newest — titles.
If you’re wondering about the value of these subscription services in general, truth be told, it depends on your individual gaming style and preferences. In today’s post, we’ve provided brief-yet-informative overviews of each worthy game subscription service that currently exists on the scene — just for you to look at them from a few angles. We hope it will help you make the right choice, boost your gaming potential, and enjoy your favorite titles whenever you’re up for them. If you’re already making the most of any cloud gaming service, feel free to share the pros and cons in the comment section below. We appreciate your feedback greatly.