I had a chance to glance at the list of upcoming free games for subscribers of PlayStation Plus and Xbox’s Games With Gold. Once again, PS Plus blew away the competition with A Plague Tale: Innocence for PS5 owners, as well as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Virtual Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown, and WWE Battlegrounds for PS4 players. This lineup was in comparison to Games With Gold, which featured Planet Alpha, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break, Conker: Live & Reloaded, and Midway Arcade Origins. Nintendo provides free access to original NES and Super Nintendo titles through its Nintendo Online service, but the company has not added any significant games for a while. PS Plus continues to be the standard when it comes to value in this type of subscription service.
Greedfall, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Control Ultimate Edition, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Remnant From the Ashes, Days Gone, Zombie Army 4: Dead War, Battlefield V, and Wreckfest are among the games that the PS Plus service has provided since January of this year. That’s an impressive lineup that makes a PS Plus subscriber more than happy with his/her subscription. What’s even more astonishing is that there are still five more months remaining in the year. If you are a subscriber to Games With Gold, there have been some gems in there throughout the year to date such as Little Nightmares, Resident Evil, Gears 5, Metal Slug 3, and Injustice: Gods Among Us. But Games With Gold is struggling to match what PS Plus provides.
The difference between PS Plus and a service such as PlayStation Now is that PS Plus allows you partial ownership of a game as long as you remain a subscriber. PlayStation Now is the equivalent of a Netflix rental service where you never own the games at all. You are at the complete mercy of whatever games are within the rotation. I use the phrase “partial ownership” concerning PS Plus because the games that are given away through the service are only active as long as you continue your subscription. It’s also the same with Games With Gold. If your membership is active, then you can play the games as much as your heart desires. As soon as your membership ends, the game will no longer be playable without a regular purchase.
While I plan to download Black Ops 4 and WWE Battlegrounds on my PS4 Pro, the only game of interest to me in the Game With Gold collection is Midway Arcade Origins for my Xbox 360. Because Xbox Game Pass is such a great service with tremendous quality, it is disappointing the same value isn’t provided for the Games With Gold service. Xbox Game Pass trumps PlayStation Now, but PS Plus obliterates Games With Gold. Especially with the large library of exclusives Microsoft has, the company can offer much better. Many titles can be offered from franchises such as Gears of War, Halo, Forza, State of Decay, Ori, Crackdown, and many others. And let’s not forget that The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, and Wolfenstein games are within the Microsoft umbrella as well.
Meanwhile, Nintendo is so successful that they could have just one game available on Nintendo Online and it would generate subscribers. I don’t understand why games from retro consoles/handhelds such as Nintendo 64, Gamecube, GameBoy, and GameBoy Advance have not been uploaded to the service. To only have select titles from the NES and Super Nintendo consoles undermines the potential of the service. Nintendo has amassed a huge library of first-party titles and exclusives over the years. Super Mario 64, Super Mario Kart 64, Luigi’s Mansion, Metroid Prime, Super Mario Land, Wario Land, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, F-Zero GX, Pokemon Colosseum, the original Super Smash Bros., and many others seem like no-brainers. How much better would its Nintendo Online service be if the company decided to its library to work? What I have in mind doesn’t have to include the more current Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo DS, or the Nintendo 3DS collections that Nintendo is still making money off of.
It’s interesting posting on this topic because I remember when a subscription service was just for online play and access without any games included. Overall, I think it’s pretty cool that games are offered like this at all. I also realize that what I view as valuable could be different for the next gamer. What do you all think about this month’s PS Plus and Games With Gold games?