Feature Article

The Best Gaming Subscription Services In 2022

There are plenty of game subscription services out there, but which ones are worth your money and time?

The game industry appears to be following in the footsteps of the movie/TV business. Not only is physical media becoming less dominant as the years go on, but so is the concept of buying games a la carte. Game-subscription services have boomed in popularity in recent years. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, in particular, has shown that the future of gaming may very well be tied to monthly fees rather than $60-$70 games. With that in mind, we've rounded up the best game-subscription services available now.

Many of these services let you download and play games offline just like you would normally, but a few of our picks also have game-streaming services. Nowadays, you don't have to be in front of your Xbox or PC to play your favorite games; you can stream them directly to the devices you carry around in your pocket all day. And though TV streaming services have become so segmented that subscribing to everything you want costs as much as cable--you know, the thing these services were supposed to replace--game-streaming services are often all-in-one solutions. In fact, the best game-subscription services offer incredible value, saving you money and offering you more than you could possibly play in your free time.

We've kept our list of the best game-subscription services to the very best across consoles, PC, and mobile devices. We hope that our thorough looks at each of these subscription services help you make the best decision for your needs. In the coming months, we'll continue to update this list as services evolve and change. Perhaps we'll even be able to add new subscription services to this list.

Xbox subscription services

Microsoft offers four different gaming subscription services.
Microsoft offers four different gaming subscription services.

Let's kick things off with Microsoft's suite of subscription services. You technically have four different options for Xbox and one for PC, but Microsoft offers an all-in-one package that is the best value in gaming today.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Although this list is in no particular order, if we had to choose one gaming subscription service that is the best overall, it would certainly be Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

At $15 per month (after a $1 30-day trial), Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is roughly the cost of a Netflix subscription. And much like Netflix, Game Pass specializes in variety. With more than 400 games in the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate library, there really is a game--and likely many games--for everyone, regardless of which genres you favor.

Part of what makes Xbox Game Pass so great are its day-one releases. Every first-party Microsoft release is available on the service the day the game launches. The rest of 2022 is sparse when it comes to exclusives, but 2023 is absolutely stacked thanks to Forza Motorsport, Starfield, Redfall, Stalker II, and more. Those are some of the most anticipated games of 2023, period, and they will be available from launch day on Game Pass. A wide assortment of third-party games have also launched (and will continue to launch) on Game Pass just this year, including Tunic, Nobody Saves the World, TMNT: Shredder's Revenge, and more. Games cost upwards of $70 at launch, but Game Pass lets you dive in without committing a large chunk of money to one game. Day-one releases alone make Game Pass Ultimate worthwhile.

If you're new to Xbox, Game Pass opens up the door to Microsoft's back catalog, including Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, the Gears franchise, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and plenty more. On top of that, the service often gets AAA third-party games not that long after launch. Some great examples of this in fairly recent history include Scarlet Nexus, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Back 4 Blood. And thanks to Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, the catalog includes many hit franchises such as Dishonored, Doom, and Fallout.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes an EA Play membership, which further adds to the library with around 100 games, including Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, many Battlefield games, Dirt, Need for Speed, and older sports titles. When it comes to the brand-new iterations of EA Sports titles, you can try them out for 10 hours to help you make an informed buying decision. You also get discounts on EA games and DLC, including brand-new releases.

The library of games on Game Pass changes throughout each month, with a handful of new additions arriving and another batch of games that leave the service. It's nearly impossible to play everything that comes to Game Pass, but that's also what makes it such a delight: There's always something new to play. Microsoft always gives advance notice on games that are coming and going, and it's worth noting that you can buy any game in the Game Pass library at a 20% discount if you're a member. That way if a game you play all the time is leaving the service, you can purchase it for less than retail price.

In addition to having access to games on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, Game Pass Ultimate subscribers also get the PC Game Pass library. Most of the time, these are Xbox Play Anywhere titles, so your progress on Xbox can transfer to PC and vice versa. PC Game Pass occasionally gets exclusives, though. To top it off, the subscription comes with Xbox Cloud Gaming, a streaming service that lets you play a huge chunk of the Game Pass library on the go via the cloud. Xbox Cloud Gaming works with iOS, Android, and PC.

Oh, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate comes with Xbox Live Gold baked in, so you get a few free games each month as well as access to online multiplayer. It'd be nice if you could pay for an annual subscription and get a discount--like most other services on this list--but even at its total yearly cost of $180, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a bargain.


Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass (without the Ultimate) grants access to the library (sans EA Play titles), but you won't be able to play online multiplayer, as it doesn't come with Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Game Pass is $10 per month. If you really only play Xbox games solo and don't care about online multiplayer at all, it's not a bad idea to save $5 a month and opt for regular Game Pass. You can only play Xbox Game Pass titles on Xbox with this subscription, so you're missing out on PC and Xbox Cloud Gaming. You still, however, get the 20% discount on the library of games, should you choose to buy them before they leave the service.


PC Game Pass

If you're a PC gamer and don't own an Xbox, opting for PC Game Pass makes the most sense. For $10 per month, you get a library filled with hundreds of games, including all of the first-party Microsoft games available on PC and a significant number of third-party games that are featured in the Xbox Game Pass library. Since you don't need an Xbox Live Gold membership to play online multiplayer on PC, this particular tier of Game Pass feels far more complete than the standard Xbox Game Pass. Keep in mind that you don't get access to cloud gaming with PC Game Pass; you need the Ultimate subscription for that.

We recommend PC Game Pass over any other subscription service that focuses on PC gaming.


Xbox Live Gold

It's strange to say now, but Xbox Live Gold feels like an afterthought in 2022. Microsoft is focused on Game Pass Ultimate, and that's really apparent when you see the list of free games that Microsoft gives out each month as part of the Games with Gold program. The freebies have been, let's say, underwhelming for years now. Historically, Microsoft has given away a pair of Xbox One games and a pair of backwards compatible Xbox 360 (or original Xbox games), but September is the last month for the backwards-compatible freebies. But any Xbox 360 games that you've claimed in the past will be yours to keep even if your subscription lapses.

Overall, the main perk here is access to online multiplayer. We only recommend getting an Xbox Live Gold subscription a la carte if you mainly just play a couple of multiplayer games with friends each year, such as Madden, FIFA, GTA Online, Call of Duty, etc. If that describes you, then you're saving a lot of money by just going with Xbox Live Gold. The subscription costs $60 per year or $10 per month. The monthly plan is twice the price over the same period of time, so don't go that route unless you only play a game for a couple months per year, such as the new Call of Duty at launch.

It's worth noting that popular free-to-play games don't require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online multiplayer with friends. So if you're largely interested in Fortnite, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, or Warzone, among others, you can skip Xbox Live Gold altogether.


Read more about Xbox Game Pass


PlayStation subscription services

There are three PlayStation Plus tiers now.
There are three PlayStation Plus tiers now.

Up until recently, PlayStation Plus was essentially PlayStation's version of Xbox Live Gold. Now, much like Game Pass, there are multiple tiers of PlayStation Plus to choose from for PS5 and PS4 gamers. The new tiers replace Sony's PlayStation Now service, which offered game streaming and downloads for hundreds of games. Since this tiered model is so new, it's hard to definitively say whether the higher priced tiers will be as good of a value in the long run as Game Pass. But given what's available now, we can confidently recommend at least trying them, simply because the library is large enough that you'll almost certainly be happy for the first year. Let's break down all three tiers.

PlayStation Plus Essential

PlayStation Plus Essential is the rebranded base tier of the service. The main perk that makes it a must for most PS5 and PS4 owners is access to online multiplayer. The vast majority of games that support online multiplayer on PlayStation require an Essential subscription. However, some popular free-to-play titles such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Warzone do not require players to be a PS Plus subscriber.

That said, PlayStation Plus Essential offers better value than Xbox Live Gold. It costs the same at $60/year or $10/month, but PlayStation tends to give away much better games. In 2022 alone, PlayStation has given away a bunch of great games, including Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2, Persona 5 Strikers, and God of War. You get three free games each month, but sometimes one of the freebies is only available on PS5.

PlayStation 5 owners also have access to 19 extra PS4 games, including Uncharted 4, Ratchet & Clank, Days Gone, and The Last of Us: Remastered. This provides even more value for Essential subscribers, but you can only play these extra games on PS5--at the PS5's launch, some players actually got banned for using account-sharing to grant PS4 users access to the games

Though the freebies and online multiplayer are the main selling points, PlayStation also locks cloud saves behind a PS Plus subscription. Cloud saves are a nice perk, because you can easily pick up where you left off on a different PlayStation console. When you upgrade from PS4 to PS5, all you have to do is sign into your PSN account and your saves will be there automatically.

At just $5 per month if you opt for the yearly membership, PlayStation Plus Essential is easy to recommend to all PS5 and PS4 owners.


PlayStation Plus Extra

PlayStation Plus Extra comes with all of the perks of an Essential subscription as well as a library consisting of more than 300 PS4 games to download and play whenever you want. PS5 versions of some games are sprinkled in here and there, but it's mainly PS4 titles. The library includes some heralded exclusives such as the Director's Cuts for Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding as well as Marvel's Spider-Man. You also get plenty of third-party games, including AAA titles from major publishers: Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Fallout, and Final Fantasy are just a few of the notable franchises represented in the PS Plus Extra library.

PlayStation Plus Extra costs $15 per month or $100 for a 12-month membership. So, is it worth the cost?

Right now, yes. The service is only a few months old at this point, and the initial library of games is certainly strong. But there are a couple of key things to consider when deciding whether to keep the Extra membership for the long haul. PlayStation is not launching its exclusive games on the service on day one, and so far the actual PS Plus Extra launch games has been practically nonexistent, except for the adorable cat simulator Stray.

PlayStation has been adding games to the service each month, though. August has brought multiple Yakuza games, with more to come to round out the franchise. Last month, a bunch of Assassin's Creed games landed in the library alongside Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and Marvel's Avengers. And in September subscribers will be able to download another handful of games, including Deathloop and Chicory: A Colorful Tale, two of the best games from last year.

PlayStation Plus Extra has a ton of potential, but you may have to be fine with not getting many day-one releases on the service. If you're new to PlayStation, we'd highly recommend subscribing to at least the Extra tier. And you should perhaps even consider…


PlayStation Plus Premium

PlayStation Plus Premium is the priciest tier to subscribe to at $18/month or $120/year. But, naturally, it has the most content. PS Plus Premium unlocks the Classics library, PS3 games, and game streaming on console and PC.

All told, you practically double the PS Plus library by going with Premium over Extra. Out of the hundreds of games in the Premium library, the majority are PS3 games. Because of the convoluted PS3 architecture, you can't download PS3 games on your PS5 or PS4. Instead, you have to stream them. If you have a solid internet connection, PS3 game streaming works incredibly well. The library of PS3 games is quite impressive, too, with Red Dead Redemption, God of War, Resident Evil. Ratchet & Clank, and many more hit franchises represented. The PS3 library is essentially the same as the now-defunct PlayStation Now service.

The Classics library, which includes remasters as well as PS2, PS1, and PSP games, is a bit sparse at the moment--especially on the PS2 and PSP side--but it also has potential. What's unclear at this time is how often PlayStation will add to the Classics library, as it has largely gone untouched since the service launched.

You can gain access to game streaming on PlayStation and PC for select PS4 games in the Extra/Premium catalog. This can be helpful if you're traveling or if you don't want to take up space on your hard drive to simply try a game. PS4 game streaming works every bit as well as PS3--as long as you have a stable high-speed internet connection.

Considering it's only a couple bucks more than PS Plus Extra, we think it offers a better value overall. Premium considerably adds to the library to make it the most plentiful library on this list. There are concerns about the Classics library remaining stagnant, but we'd recommend checking it out at least for a month or two to see if you wind up enjoying the nostalgia factor.


Read more about PlayStation Plus


EA Play

EA Play has the benefit of being a multi-platform service.
EA Play has the benefit of being a multi-platform service.

EA Play is a budget-friendly subscription service with a lot of perks for the price. It's only $5 per month or $30 for a whole year. So, yeah, you're only paying $2.50 per month if you opt for the annual membership.

EA Play has roughly 100 games in its library, but this number is a bit inflated because it includes some rather old editions of sport sims. However, the current library is pretty solid with Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, multiple Star Wars games, a bunch of Battlefield games, the Dragon Age franchise, and more. Even if you just want to play Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, paying for a year of EA Play won't cost you much more these days than a copy of the game. And then you're getting a bunch of other games, too.

One of the cool things about EA Play is that it's offered on PC (via Origin and Steam), Xbox, and PlayStation. Xbox users get the largest library, mainly because it includes some Xbox 360 games. Since PS3 games can't run natively on PS4 or PS5, you don't get the PS3 versions of those games. The Origin and Steam libraries are close to the same size.

EA Play is a solid service, but subscribing to it directly doesn't make sense for people who own an Xbox, since EA Play is baked into the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate library. If you only game on PC or PlayStation, the yearly cost is low enough that it makes sense to subscribe even if you only think you'll play a few games.

The service also comes with game trials that let you check out EA games a few days early and play for 10 hours before being forced to make a decision. This is nice for sports games like Madden, FIFA, and NHL. You can get a good idea if the changes from year-to-year are enough to warrant buying the new version of your favorite sports game.


EA Play Pro

Electronic Arts offers a Pro tier as well for $15 per month or $100 per year. The main benefit of EA Play Pro is that you gain early and full access to all of EA's new releases. In some ways, EA Play Pro is basically Game Pass for sports sim fans. Most of EA's most popular new releases each year are the aforementioned sports games. If you play multiple of them, paying for a year of EA Play Pro offers better value than buying the games separately. Rather than spending $120-$140 (depending on platform) to play Madden and FIFA, you can spend $100 and get those games and many, many more, including Battlefield 2042 and any other upcoming shooters, racing games, and everything else that EA releases.


Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade

Are you tired of playing mobile games that interrupt your gaming with annoying ads and beg you for money every other moment? Apple Arcade might be just what you need. The service launched in 2019 and now has more than 200 games. There isn't a single microtansaction to be found here, and it only costs $5 per month or $50 per year. The library is excellent and ever-evolving, with a focus on premium new releases from popular studios. Apple Arcade gets a ton of exclusive games, too. Oftentimes these are timed exclusives such as the brilliant What the Golf? and Grindstone, but the list of great Apple Arcade games seems to expand every month. Though some of the best Apple Arcade games have been ported to other platforms, you can't play them on iOS devices without a subscription.

A wide variety of genres are represented, from deep role-playing games to relaxing puzzlers; Apple Arcade caters to all different tastes. There are too many standouts to list here, but with great titles such as Fantasian, Mutazione, Oregon Trail (really!), Card of Darkness, and Shantae and the Seven Sirens, there's a ton of strength in the library. This is one of those cases where the price is definitely right. In addition to the many new exclusives, Apple Arcade offers re-released versions of popular mobile games dubbed "Timeless Classics." The extensive library of classics feature full versions of past gems with no ads. The list includes Monument Valley 2, SpellTower, Crashlands, Crossy Road+, Layton's Mystery Journey, Monster Hunter Stories, and many more.

Apple Arcade games are playable on iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV. Many of the games offer full controller support, so you can play them with an Xbox or PlayStation controller. Alternatively, if gaming on an iPhone, you can pick up a dedicated handheld controller like the Backbone One or Razer Kishi. These controllers turn your phone into a Nintendo Switch-esque device.

We'd recommend Apple Arcade to every iOS user. You can cancel at any time, but with such a low price, you'll probably always get more than enough value, especially if you travel a lot. You can even share your Apple Arcade subscription with five other people via Family Sharing. That's less than a buck per month for each person.


Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass includes a vast library of popular Android apps.
Google Play Pass includes a vast library of popular Android apps.

Google Play Pass launched around the same time as Apple Arcade. It also costs $5 per month, but an annual subscription is only $30. The service not only includes games but apps that typically cost money. Since we're in the business of game-subscription services here, let's focus on the games. There are many hundreds of games on Google Play Pass, though Google doesn't offer an exact figure.

While Apple Arcade focuses on exciting exclusives, Google Play Pass hones in on multiplatform hits you've heard of that happen to be available on the Play Store. Here are some of the highlights: Stardew Valley, Star Wars: KOTOR, This War of Mine, Limbo, Death Squared, Sonic the Hedgehog, Terraria, Portal Knights, and Monument Valley 2.

Like Apple Arcade, you can share your Google Play Pass subscription with up to five family members. Many of the games can be played with a controller such as the Razer Kishi V2 or basically any other Bluetooth controller you happen to have. If you're an Android user, Google Play Pass is a cheap way to play premium mobile games, especially if you go with the yearly subscription and share with family members.


Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online is great for nostalgic gamers.
Nintendo Switch Online is great for nostalgic gamers.

As Nintendo tends to do, its online service for Nintendo Switch is a bit different than other console subscription programs. The base package of Nintendo Switch Online costs $4/monthly, $8/three months, or $20/year. Like PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold, it unlocks access to online multiplayer. Switch Online is required for most online multiplayer games, including all of Nintendo's first-party titles. That means if you want to visit your friend's Animal Crossing: New Horizons island or play multiplayer online in Splatoon 3, you need a Switch Online subscription.

Nintendo isn't particularly known for great online multiplayer, and that continues to be the case with the Switch. Online suites for popular Switch games are often barebones and you'll likely encounter more performance issues than you would on PlayStation or Xbox. Nintendo, as a family-friendly platform, often emphasizes local multiplayer. The really popular third-party online games--Fortnite and Apex Legends, to name a couple--don't require a Switch Online subscription.

Switch Online members do get huge libraries of classic SNES and NES games from franchises such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Metroid, and plenty more. These games feature save states and rewinding, which are nice perks that make these games more approachable than ever before. Though Nintendo does add to these libraries here and there, these days it's mostly obscure games that are put on the service. Switch Online also is the only way to play Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99, a pair of chaotic battle royale spins on these two classics, and both are a lot of fun.

Lastly, a Switch Online membership provides cloud saving functionality for most games, which comes in handy when you make the move from a regular Switch to a Switch OLED or if you have multiple Switch consoles at home.

If you do have multiple Switch consoles or have close friends who own one too, you should opt for the Nintendo Switch Online family plan for $35 a year. This lets you share the benefits of Switch Online across a whopping eight Nintendo Switch consoles.


Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack

Last year, Nintendo expanded the Switch Online service with a second tier: Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. Yes, it's an uninspired name, and the service still feels somewhat incomplete due to the price. At $50 per year for an individual membership or $80 per year for a family plan, it's a big jump from the base service.

The Expansion Pack adds Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis libraries. These aren't nearly as robust as the SNES and NES libraries. The N64 library is home to some of the most beloved games from the platform, including Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Paper Mario, and Super Mario 64. The emulation, however, is hit or miss here. Performance hiccups and visual oddities hurt the overall experience. The Sega library features more than 25 games at this point, including Castlevania: Bloodlines, Phantasy Star 4, Streets of Rage 2, and other Genesis classics.

If the Expansion Pack stopped there, we probably wouldn't recommend it. However, Nintendo has been sweetening the pot with DLC for popular games. Right now it comes with the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass ($25 value), Animal Crossing Happy Home Paradise ($25), and Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion ($20). With new courses being added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe until the end of 2023, the Booster Course Pack is well worth having. Meanwhile, Happy Home Paradise significantly expands the wonderful New Horizons. If you're interested in either of these add-ons, the jump to the Expansion Pack makes sense for at least a year.

The Expansion Pack will have to continue offering additional bonuses to remain worth it at its current price point. If you don't care about Mario Kart or Animal Crossing, we think the Expansion Pack is a pass for now, unless you just really want to play old N64 and Sega games on your Switch.


Prime Gaming

Prime Gaming is included with your Amazon Prime subscription.
Prime Gaming is included with your Amazon Prime subscription.

Prime Gaming is included with the cost of an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $15/month or $139/year. To be clear, we do not recommend signing up for Amazon Prime purely for Prime Gaming. It's absolutely not worth it. But Amazon Prime itself is very worth it for many people, primarily for the ultra-fast free shipping and frequent exclusive discounts at Amazon. Prime Gaming is just one of the many other perks that is lumped into the membership. We're highlighting Prime Gaming here because it's actually quite great and somewhat overlooked.

Amazon gives away free PC games every month via Prime Gaming. The number varies, but it's usually around a half dozen. Sometimes Amazon goes all out--like during Prime Day--and gives away dozens of games in a short window. Though some of the freebies are obscure, you often get heralded indies and even AAA games such as Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, Assassin's Creed Origins, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Madden NFL 22. And those are just a handful of the free games Amazon has given away just this year.

In addition to the free games, Prime Gaming offers free in-game content for a bunch of the most popular multiplayer games, including Destiny 2, Apex Legends, Pokemon Go, Warzone, and GTA Online.


Amazon Luna - Prime Gaming Channel

Amazon's Luna game-streaming service isn't worth the subscription cost, but we wanted to mention it here because you can try Luna without spending any money. Amazon recently added an extra perk to Prime Gaming that's pretty cool. Each month, Amazon adds a handful of games to the Prime Gaming Channel that subscribers can stream for free. The games are only available for one month, so the perk is really to just give you a taste of the Luna service. It's worth giving it a try to see if you like it.


Netflix Games

Netflix Games
Netflix Games

Just like with Prime Gaming, do not subscribe to Netflix for the games. We probably don't have to say that because absolutely no one would do that. In fact, less than 1% of Netflix subscribers have even played a game via Netflix Games. That's still 2 million people regardless, but there's no doubt that Netflix could do a better job of advertising this nice perk. If you have access to Netflix, though, you should check out Netflix Games. There are some very good titles on that service, and you can download via the App Store or Play Store. Poinpy, Moonlighter, Hextech Mayhem, and Into the Breach: Advanced Edition are a few of the standout titles. We gave Into the Breach a 10/10 in our recent review of the mobile version. Please play Into the Breach via Netflix Games.


Humble Choice

Humble Choice subscriptions also help fund charities.
Humble Choice subscriptions also help fund charities.

Outside of PC Game Pass, Humble Choice is the best subscription service for PC gamers. At $12 per month, Humble Choice is reasonably priced and comes with several perks centered around getting you access to PC games for cheap. The main benefit is the free games that are given to members each month. Unlike some other services, you get to keep these games forever after you claim them. And the lineup is typically pretty great, too. For instance, August's lineup featured The Ascent, Hot Wheels Unleashed, A Plague Tale: Innocence, In Sound Mind, and Gas Station Simulator. Humble doesn't provide a schedule months in advance, so you are getting random titles each month. That means there is a chance you'll pay for these games ahead of time and not be interested in any of them. But overall, Humble tends to choose highly rated games that are certainly worth giving a go.

On top of the monthly freebies, Humble has the Vault, which is a growing collection of more than 50 indie games that you can download and keep forever.

Lastly, there's a rotating batch of games in the Humble Choice Collection. These games are tied to your membership, so if you unsubscribe you'll lose access to them. That said, considering you get to keep everything else, the Humble Choice Collection feels like a nice bonus. Plus, you will always have new games to try out each month.

Subscribing to Humble Choice not only helps fill out your PC game library, but it benefits good causes. Five percent of all Humble Choice revenue goes toward a different charity each month. And by being a member, you get exclusive discounts on games sold on the Humble Store. Many of the games sold on the Humble Store are Steam keys, so you're saving money versus buying them on Steam. And whenever you buy a game from Humble Bundle, you'll be helping out great causes.


Nvidia GeForce Now

Nvidia GeForce Now lets you stream PC games over the cloud
Nvidia GeForce Now lets you stream PC games over the cloud

Graphics card manufacturer Nvidia has been in the cloud streaming service business for years. In fact, GeForce Now went into beta way back in 2015. Though other game-streaming services have tried a similar approach (Google Stadia, Shadow, etc.), Nvidia GeForce Now remains the best option.

It's important to note that Nvidia GeForce Now is quite different than other services on this list. There isn't a library of games to choose from; you have to purchase the games from digital storefronts just as you would regularly. After connecting GeForce Now to your libraries such as Steam or the Epic Games Store, you can then stream your games via the cloud, taking advantage of premium rigs. GeForce Now is aimed at people who either don't have a high-end gaming PC or want to game on the go, too. The service is supported on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Nvidia's Shield TV. GeForce Now doesn't support every game, though--far from it, in fact. Thousands of games are GeForce Now ready, but you should check the full list before committing to the service.

There are three tiers of memberships: Free, Priority, and RTX 3080. The free tier only lets you play for one hour at a time on a very basic setup. Priority costs $10/month and gives you 1080p resolution at 60fps on premium servers with RTX-powered graphics. You can play for six hours at a time. The RTX 3080 tier costs $20 per month, and, as the name suggests, lets you connect to rigs fitted with the high-end RTX 3080 graphics cards. You can stream for up to eight hours in a row at 4K resolution and 120fps (as long as your chosen device supports it). Regardless of which plan you pick, the session limit isn't a daily limit. In fact, you can jump into the queue immediately after your session ends and quickly jump back into your game.

We'd recommend checking out the free service first, but Nvidia GeForce Now offers great overall performance. Yes, it can get quite pricey, especially since you also have to buy the games, but it's a reasonably easy way to gain access to high-end PC hardware. This is a service that you may want to subscribe to off and on over time--whenever you have a particular game that you're interested in.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com


stevenpetite

Steven Petite

Steven Petite is GameSpot's lead commerce editor. He covers gaming and tech deals, preorder guides, and best lists. Follow him on Twitter @steven_petite

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