10 Major Video Game Subscription Services Ranked Worst To Best

Subscription-based services are becoming more and more normalized. What has applied for households around the world regarding video-on-demand streaming services is now starting to become true for the video game industry. The popularity of video game subscription services is on the rise, with its core function being similar to popular VOD apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. The subscription model provides gamers with access to a wide variety of games for a set monthly or yearly fee that could provide utility for the avid gamer looking for a little more bang for their buck.

As more and more services begin to hit the market, it is important to recognize the utility each offers and what helps set one service apart from its competitors. Some services are more widely available than others due to exclusivity deals and major platforms looking to streamline native content, though availability has little to do with the overall viability of a streaming option. Every video game streaming service needs to be given a critical look based on how well it fulfills its promises to the consumer relative to the cost. Much like buying a new television or computer, value is usually the ultimate separator between competing streaming services.

Here are 10 major video game subscription services ranked from worst to best.

10. Ubisoft+

Ubisoft is a respected name in video games thanks its extensive software. Ubisoft+ gives players access to more than 100 games from this library, including titles from the celebrated "Assassin's Creed" and "Tom Clancy" series of games. Initially launched in September 2019 as Uplay+, Ubisoft later rebranded its streaming service to Ubisoft+ in 2020. The overall features of the streaming service, combined with the quality of the games, are fantastic. However, Ubisoft+ is held back by one key component — value.

A Ubisoft+ subscription starts at $14.99 per month for PC gamers, but those looking for multi-console access will need to fork out $17.99 per month, making this service exorbitantly more expensive than its competitors. While the library of games is great for one video game publisher, it is just that –- a library of games from one publisher. Other cheaper options give gamers a wider variety of options and thus provide more value and utility in the long run. 

That's not to say Ubisoft+ lacks features. Subscribers can play new releases on day one and access premium editions of games, as well as exclusive in-game content and discounts on purchases. The premium tier also adds flexibility allowing users to play their saved data between consoles. However, the nature of the content means users must be a fan of Ubisoft games to justify the purchase. Even then, the exorbitant cost of the service could scare off prospective subscribers.

9. Amazon Luna

Amazon Luna specializes in cloud streaming, allowing subscribers to stream games directly to their devices without the need for a gaming console or high-end gaming PC. Amazon launched Luna in late 2020, allowing gamers to play some of their favorite titles straight off their television. The flexibility of the service carries significant appeal, as premium gaming consoles and PCs are more expensive than ever. The service offers a solid selection of games from publishers such as Ubisoft and Capcom, with new games added regularly.

One of Luna's standout features is its multi-device support, allowing subscribers to play games on a variety of platforms, including PCs, Fire TVs, and select iOS and Android devices. Multi-device support means gamers can start playing on one device and continue on another without losing progress, similar to how Ubisoft+ handles saved games between consoles. Luna also sells its own controllers specifically for its service. 

The service also offers some flexibility in its pricing. Amazon Prime subscribers can try Luna right now on their various devices, with Luna+ starting at an additional $9.99 per month, which includes even more games and features such as 4K streaming. Ubisoft+ subscribers can also access their library through Luna. However, cloud streaming is a new technology that remains generally inferior to native gaming, and the pricing means users could end up paying more than $40 per month to access all that the service has to offer.

8. Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass, created in 2019, does not attempt to be anything it is not. The service offers a curated collection of premium apps and games without ads or in-app purchases for a monthly fee. Among the games included in the service are popular titles such as "Stardew Valley" and "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" alongside lesser-known indie games and puzzle games. The service's most notable feature, however, might be that it allows subscribers to share their subscription with up to five other family members at no additional cost, making it an attractive choice for families who want to access a large selection of premium apps and games without breaking the bank.

Google Play Pass is priced at $4.99 per month, which is more than reasonable for the number of premium apps and games included in the service. The user interface is easy to navigate, and the service is regularly updated with new content. While Play Pass is primarily focused on mobile gaming, it also offers some games that can be played on Android TV devices or Chromebooks. However, the service does not support gaming on consoles or other non-Google devices. The offering of games, while deep, also lacks star power. While there are a handful of aforementioned heavy hitters, subscribers are very much getting what they pay for with this service.

7. Humble Choice

Many PC gamers might already be familiar with Humble Bundle, a digital storefront that offers limited-time collections of games, books, software, and more. Humble Choice is Humble Bundle's subscription service, which offers a selection of games that subscribers can choose from each month, along with other perks like discounts on purchases and access to a library of immediately playable games. The service was launched in December 2019 and adds new games to the service every month. The games are available to download through the Humble Bundle platform, and subscribers get to keep them forever, even if they cancel their subscriptions.

This service is also unique in that it supports various charitable causes, with five percent of the monthly proceeds from subscriptions going directly to a different charity every month. Humble Choice will run subscribers roughly $12 a month or $129 for a year. Users also have the ability to skip months if they wish. 

The ability for gamers to choose the games want each month is a unique feature that sets it apart from other subscription services, but the uncertainty on what games will be available on a month-to-month basis may steer consumers elsewhere. Nevertheless, Humble Choice's value for PC gamers is undeniable and its work with charitable causes helps separate it from similarly-priced competitors. 

6. Apple Arcade

As a subscription service for mobile games, Apple Arcade does not compete with Google Play as much as it simply offers a similar array of features for Apple devices. Apple launched the service in 2019 with its library of games available to be played on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Games can also be downloaded and played offline. What separates Apple Arcade from Google Play, however, is the exclusivity of its content. While there are many Google Play games that can be accessed on Apple Arcade, the inverse is not necessarily true. The relationship between the two apps is somewhat similar to the one that exists between Windows and Mac software, with Windows optimizing its apps for Mac interfaces while Apple maintains exclusivity over its own software.

Apple Arcade comes in, like Google Play Pass, at just $4.99 per month. This subscription fee includes access to all games in the library, including "Football Manager 2023 Touch," "Sonic Racing," and "What the Golf?" While some of the games can be played on Apple TV and Mac computers, Apple Arcade is largely a mobile offering and thus does not include the variety of games that will put it on par with some of the top subscription services on the market. However, it is a great option for gamers who want to play Apple-exclusive titles and other premium mobile games without ads or in-app purchases.

5. Playstation Plus

Some of the most sought-after video game streaming services are inevitably going to be the ones linked with some of the top home consoles on the market, and Sony's PlayStation Plus is certainly no exception. PlayStation's service is unique to some of the previously mentioned services due to the fact it includes online multiplayer access, making it a necessity for those looking to take their favorite PlayStation games online. However, PlayStation's subscription service also comes with free monthly games and a host of other features. Each month, subscribers receive a selection of free games that can be downloaded and played for as long as they remain subscribers. These games include both indie titles and popular AAA games, and they're usually a mix of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 titles.

PlayStation Plus is also notable for having swallowed PlayStation's other add-on service, PlayStation Now. The service strictly dealt with cloud gaming for classic Sony titles and allowed for remote play with PCs and other devices. With the invention of PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now's features have been hidden behind the premium third tier of PS Plus. Ultimately, PS Plus subscriptions start at $9.99 per month for the most basic tier and can go as high as $17.99 per month for the premium tier. 

Given what PS Plus is able to offer its consumers, its pricing tiers would be reasonable if optional, but its baseline pricing for those simply looking to utilize online features in their favorite games falls short of its two main competitors, Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch Online. 

4. Nvidia GeForce Now

Perhaps the most underrated video game subscription service on the market might be Nvidia GeForce Now, the streaming service from the company that produces some of the top GPUs on the market. This service specializes in allowing users to stream and play their favorite PC games on a variety of devices. The service is arguably the top option for cloud gaming, as it runs games on powerful remote servers owned by Nvidia and streams the gameplay to the user's device over the internet. Like other cloud streaming services, a strong internet connection is imperative, but Nvidia's high-end cloud hardware ensures that players can play their favorite games without performance issues.

The service's versatility in devices is one of its strengths, as it can run on almost all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and even Chrome OS. Nvidia also spared no expense with its library, pulling games from famous publishers such as Ubisoft and Bethesda, as well as indie titles and free-to-play games. The GeForce Now library does not end there, however, with users having the ability to bring games over from their Steam or Epic Games accounts and purchase titles from the GeForce Now store. 

GeForce Now. which includes all of the above, is priced at $9.99 per month, with a free option that allows users to play for up to an hour per session. Considering Ubisoft Plus charges twice as much for its premium tier when GeForce Now includes many Ubisoft titles, this service should be a no-brainer for dedicated PC gamers looking to give cloud streaming a try.

3. Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo's decision to put its online features behind subscription models surprised some, as its previous consoles offered free online capabilities. While Nintendo Switch Online offers plenty of incentives to its subscribers, it is also mandatory for those looking to play online with friends. Considering some of Nintendo's most critically acclaimed and highest-selling titles like "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," and "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" have key multiplayer features, most Switch users will have an NSO subscription out of necessity.

In addition to accessing online multiplayer features, Nintendo Switch Online includes cloud saves, allowing subscribers to back up their saved data online and move their data to their new system. The base-level Nintendo Switch Online subscription provides access to a classic library of games from systems such as the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, and Game Boy. The premium tier of the service provides players with added access to a library of games from other Nintendo consoles, such as the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Advance, in addition to premium downloadable content in almost all of the Switch's biggest titles. 

Nintendo Switch Online is priced at $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 for a year. A family membership is also available for $34.99 per year, which allows up to eight Nintendo Account holders to share the benefits of Nintendo Switch Online. This level of flexibility, as well as its competitive pricing, helps Nintendo's subscription service stand out. 

2. EA Play

Electronic Arts stands out for having one of the best — not to mention the oldest — video game subscription services on the market. EA Play debuted in beta form exclusively on Xbox One in July 2014 and was officially launched the following month. The service is available on PC, Xbox consoles, and PlayStation consoles. In addition, it is included in Microsoft's premium subscription service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The service gives players access to EA's immense library of popular sports simulations such as "FIFA" and "Madden" series, standout first-person shooters like "Battlefield" and "Titanfall," and celebrated role-playing games like "Dragon Age" and "Mass Effect." Given how well-rounded its library is, EA can offer what few other publishers can in terms of variety in its games.

One of the distinguishing features of EA's service is early access to select new releases, as subscribers can play some of EA's new games up to 10 hours before their official release. The premium service, EA Play Pro, also offers exclusive in-game content for select games, such as cosmetic upgrades, weapons, and other enhancers in addition to access to deluxe edition titles. If the money saved on having an EA Play subscription is not enough, subscribers can also save up to an additional 10% on digital purchases of EA-published games they wish to own and play at any time. 

Priced at just $4.99 per month and $29.99 per year, EA Play provides outstanding value considering a year-long subscription is half the price of a new release. EA Play Pro, meanwhile, runs players $14.99 a month or $99.99 for a full year.

1. Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate

The title of best all-around video game subscription service belongs to Xbox Game Pass and its premium tier, Game Pass Ultimate. For those looking to pay a premium and receive a premium, Xbox's subscription service will be tough to top. Xbox Game Pass provides its players access to a library of over 300 games on both console and PC and is priced at $9.99 per month. Game Pass Ultimate, meanwhile, includes all the benefits of Xbox Game Pass as well as an Xbox Live Gold membership. An Xbox Live membership, like Nintendo Switch Online and PS Plus, is essential for those looking to game online, but when bundled with Game Pass Ultimate makes for a $10 value for the consumer before describing the service's other standout features.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate provides its player base access to a chunk of its library on PC in addition to Xbox Game Studios titles on the same day they are released, allowing users to play premium titles in succession without having to make multiple $60 purchases. EA Play, Electronic Arts' subscription service, is also included, providing an additional $4.99 per month of value to subscribers. 

Subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can be had for $14.99 per month while also offering a variety of different subscription options and a one-month trial for new subscribers. Stacked with an extensive evolving library of games, a built-in Xbox Live Gold subscription, and discounts on full game purchases, Game Pass Ultimate is great for those looking to double down on Xbox and PC gaming.