These days you can stream just about anything. From your favorite music to your favorite movie, entertainment comes into our homes without needing much, just a subscription streaming service to Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. In fact, streaming has become so popular almost no one buys physical DVDs or CDs anymore. So it makes sense that video games, which come on discs, would follow suit. Today’s video game streaming services make everything from new releases to childhood classics available to play with just a few clicks of a button.
Streaming services allow gamers to ditch the idea of forking over hard-earned cash to buy a specific console just to play the newest video game releases. Now we can access hundreds of titles and play them just about anywhere. In addition, it’s not just companies like PlayStation that offer streaming services. A few other companies are making their mark in this corner of the world. And with many video game streaming services available, the choices are plentiful. However, to avoid breaking the bank, we must decide which video game streaming service is the best.
So let’s explore the best game streaming services, everything from Apple to Microsoft, breaking down each by their game library, price, and supported platforms. And we’ll do this to help you decide which streaming service to subscribe to. Let’s begin so you can get started streaming your video games today.
What Are Video Game Streaming Services?
Before diving into the best streaming and cloud game services, let’s define what that means first. Game streaming services allow you to play video games remotely. The games you play are hosted on a remote server and streamed to your device. In addition, some streaming services allow you to download the game to your console or another device, allowing you to play offline and from just about anywhere. Now, let’s explore the best game streaming services available today.
Xbox Game Pass
When it comes to video game streaming services, it should be no surprise that Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass ranks as our top pick. The service is relatively affordable, has an excellent game library, and offers stable performance.
Xbox Game Pass allows gamers access to over 100 titles released on Xbox and third-party releases, downloading the games directly to your Xbox and Windows PC. In addition, you can stream most games to an Android device using Xbox Cloud Gaming and the Xbox Game Pass app. If you don’t have an Android, you can download them to iOS and Mac devices using Safari or Chromebooks using Chrome. In the future, Xbox might even support Samsung Smart TVs.
Xbox Game Pass Games
When it comes to video games, Xbox Game Pass has one of the largest and most expansive libraries available. Subscribers gain access to the entire Halo franchise and a big mix of other Xbox and third-party titles that no one would find disappointing. In addition, gamers will get every new Xbox game on launch day using Games Pass. Some highly anticipated titles include Fable 4, Elder Scrolls 6, Redfall, and Starfield.
Xbox Games Pass Pricing
Games Pass has three plans that work with almost any budget.
Currently, the Console and PC plans are at $9.99 a month. They both allow gamers to play on console and PC and enjoy same-day releases. However, get the PC plan if you want access to EA Play.
The Ultimate plan is $14.99 a month and offers the ability to stream on a console, PC, and cloud, and it includes same-day releases. This plan also includes Xbox Live Gold and EA Play.
Xbox Games Pass Platforms
Subscribers can play Games Pass games on their Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, mobile, Web browser, and smart TVs.
PlayStation Plus ranks on our list in the number two spot. We give it this ranking for a few reasons. First, the service includes a plethora (over 400!) of games available. Second, the three pricing plans, each with separate payment terms, make choosing a plan that fits your budget easy. Third, PlayStation Plus doesn’t require super-fast internet speeds and works really well on both PS4 and PS5.
Long-time PlayStation fans may have noticed how Sony decided to ditch its classic PlayStation Now for PlayStation Plus streaming, adding two additional pricing tiers. In addition, memberships automatically migrated to the PlayStation Plus Essential plan for most folks back in June 2022.
PlayStation Plus Games
One of the most significant selling points of PlayStation Plus is the number of games you get access to, including those you can’t find anywhere else. Of course, we’re talking about God of War, Resident Evil, and Demon’s Souls.
PlayStation Plus also allows subscribers access to Game trials. Game trials are a great way to try out a game before you commit to buying it. As a bonus, you won’t lose any Trophies earned or progress made if you decide to buy the game – all that carries over with the purchase.
PlayStation Plus Pricing
PlayStation Plus Premium has three pricing tiers and you can pay monthly or yearly. All three plans include cloud storage, access to Game Help, and exclusive content.
The Essential plan grants subscribers PlayStation Plus benefits, online multiplayer, and discounts in the PlayStation store. The Essentials plan is $9.99 monthly, $24.99 for three months, or $59.99 yearly.
The Extra plan grants subscribers the benefits of the Essential plan, plus access to the Game Catalog. The Extra plan is $14.99 monthly, $39.99 for three months, or $99.99 yearly.
The Premium plan includes everything in the previous tiers, plus access to Game trials, cloud streaming, and the Classics Catalog. The Premium Plan is $17.99 monthly, $49.99 for three months, or $119.99 yearly.
PlayStation Plus Platforms
Subscribers can play PS Plus on their PS4, PS5, and PC.
Nvidia GeForce Now
Nvidia GeForce Now has potential, hence it’s at our number three spot. The service allows you to play any games you own on the cloud, but you must own those games. So, rather than offering its own games, GeForce Now lets you stream and play games you have on Steam, Ubisoft Connect, GOG, and Epic Games Store.
Nvidia GeForce Games
Nvidia GeForce Games only works with games you already own. However, the library of games holds over 1500 titles that you can play anywhere on various devices. In addition, Nvidia adds new games weekly, so subscribers can always look for their favorites to be added.
Nvidia GeForce Pricing
Nvidia GeForce also has three pricing tiers, the introductory tier being free. Free is good, but it does come with the caveat of only being able to play up to one-hour sessions. And when you’re gaming, one hour can go by in 5 minutes.
The mid-tier, called Priority, at $9.99 per month, allows sessions of up to six hours, and has better resolution. Subscribers can also get it for $49.99 for three months of access.
The Ultimate tier is $19.99 a month or $99.99 for a year’s worth of access. This tier includes an eight-hour cap on playing, with even faster service and better resolution.
GeForce Now can be the cheapest or the most expensive option, depending on how many games you own and how often you play.
Nvidia GeForce Platforms
Platforms that support GeForce include Mac, PC, Chrome OS, Web browser, mobile, and smart TVs.
Amazon Luna ranks fourth on our list due to its clunkiness and the fact that there is no way to download games with a subscription. However, Luna is a great ready-made option for those with Amazon Fire tablets and Fire TVs.
Amazon Luna Games
As we mentioned, there’s no way to download games, minus some Ubisoft Connect games that will set you back an additional $18 a month. However, Luna has a decent library of games, everything from retro to new releases.
Amazon Luna Pricing
Amazon Luna offers one price point, a $9.99 a-month subscription fee. In addition, subscribers can access single and multiplayer games and a library of Ubisoft offerings.
Amazon Luna Platforms
Amazon Luna subscribers can play Luna games on their PC, Mac, Amazon Fire devices, and smart TVs.
Apple Arcade, Apple’s game streaming service, comes in fifth place as it aims to compete with Sony and Microsoft by recreating the console experience without needing expensive hardware. With Apple Arcade, subscribers can download their favorite games and play them.
Apple Arcade Games
Apple Arcade games include exclusive titles that span a multitude of genres. Gamers of all ages can explore adventure, strategy, board, card, puzzle, and more game genres by visiting the App Store.
Apple Arcade Pricing
Apple Arcade pricing is $4.99 a month after a one-month trial. If you opt for Family Sharing, you can share this subscription with up to five people. Also, gamers can score three months of Apple Arcade for free if they buy an Apple device. Additionally, if you bundle Apple Arcade with Apple One, you can get Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iCloud storage, and more for one monthly fee.
Apple Arcade Platforms
Subscribers can play Apple Arcade games across their iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.
Choosing the Best Video Game Streaming Service
Choosing the best video game streaming service can be challenging for a gamer. On the one hand, you want access to the best, newest games the day they become available. But, on the other hand, you need to eat and pay rent. Therefore, when deciding which gaming service is best for you, you will probably want to compare the games available with the pricing plans. Another important factor is what platforms the service supports. In addition, take into account technical specs like bandwidth needed and resolution. This list should help you narrow down which service is right for you or the gamer in your life. And hey, before too long, more game streaming services will become available, offering even more to choose from.
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