Xbox Game Pass vs. PlayStation Plus Collection: What is the Difference?

With the PlayStation Plus Collection revealed, we break down how it compares and contrasts to Microsoft's long-standing Xbox Game Pass.
With the PlayStation Plus Collection revealed, we break down how it compares and contrasts to Microsoft's long-standing Xbox Game Pass.

We now know everything we need to know about the PS5 and Xbox Series X and Series S as we head toward their exciting November launches. Prices have finally been revealed, specs were shared long ago, and launch lineups have been determined, barring a few last-minute moves. 

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With the PlayStation Plus Collection revealed at Sony’s most recent online showcase, some are wondering how the PS Plus Collection compares to Xbox Game Pass. For those answers, we break down everything they share in common as well as all the ways they’re different.

Here’s what you need to know about PS Plus Collection vs. Xbox Game Pass.

Are PS Plus Collection and Xbox Game Pass Worth It?

Both the PS Plus Collection and Xbox Game Pass are gaming libraries, but to really understand their value, it’s best to start with how players can gain access to each of them.

What is Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is a $9.99 per month subscription on Xbox consoles or Windows PC that gives players what Microsoft advertises as “over 100 games” to play for as long as they subscribe to the service.

There’s also Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a $14.99 per month version of Game Pass that bundles Xbox Game Pass for console, PC, and Android devices via the cloud, Xbox Live Gold, and EA Play (EA’s own subscription service).

It’s worth noting that for many consecutive months and still to this day, the Xbox Game Pass library actually includes more than 200 games with over 150 of those now available on phones and tablets via xCloud

The library of games is ever-shifting, with games coming and going at a pace of at least every few weeks. But normally, when a game hits the Game Pass library, it remains there for at least several months and often over a year. You can find the full list of current Game Pass titles on Xbox.com.

Game Pass also includes many indie games, as well as every Microsoft first-party game on their launch days for no additional fee. This includes upcoming games such as Fable, State of Decay 3, Halo Infinite, and Gears Tactics among many more.

What is PS Plus Collection?

Unlike Game Pass, which first arrived in 2017, the PS Plus Collection is a new incentive program offered at the launch of the PS5 this November for all PS Plus subscribers.

Sony has bundled 18 of the PS4’s most critically acclaimed games, including The Last of Us Remastered, Persona 5, and Batman Arkham Knight, into a single package available for PS5 players who subscribe to PS Plus, Sony’s equivalent to Xbox Live Gold. PS Plus is available for subscription at $9.99 per month.

The PS Plus Collection differs from Xbox Game Pass considerably, but above all, it’s a difference in volume. While most avid PlayStation players and virtually all those buying a PS5 at launch will already be PS Plus subscribers, making it a seamless collection to claim with your PS5, the library of games is limited to only 18 games, at least for now.

Sony has not clarified whether the PS Plus Collection will grow over time or if it’s meant only to reward early adopters with backwards compatible games to play when the PS5 arrives this holiday season. 

It seems more likely that PlayStation will continue to grow its PS Now subscription service rather than the PS Plus Collection, as PS Now is their Game Pass analog. However, until Sony confirms one way or the other, this is honestly our best guess. For now, here’s every game included in the PS Plus Collection.

PS Plus Collection games list
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1
  • Bloodborne
  • Days Gone
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • God of War
  • inFAMOUS: Second Son
  • The Last Guardian
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Persona 5
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Until Dawn

PlayStation has promised that 99% of PS4 games it’s tested for backwards compatibility have worked without a hitch, so these titles are just some of the most exceptional PS4-era games players will have access to when the PS5 arrives. 

Though it contains a dozen PS4 games, the PS Plus Collection is a PS5 program, so these games won’t be available to PS4 owners. Think of it as an instant grab bag of great games to play day one on PS5 alongside other new titles such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Godfall, and Destruction All-Stars.

How long will the PS Plus Collection be available? 

We’re still waiting to learn more details about the PS Plus Collection such as how long it will be offered, but for now, it’s understood that anyone who is getting a PS5 at launch who also has an active PS Plus subscription will unlock these 18 games for play digitally.

How much is the PS Plus Collection? 

The PS Plus Collection is free for PlayStation Plus Subscribers. As noted above, PlayStation Plus costs $9.99 a month, though there are discounts for subscribing to more than one month at a time, as there are with many other subscription services. There is also a 14-day free trial for new subscribers.

Here are the packages available:

  • 1 month: $9.99
  • 3 months: $24.99
  • 12 months: $59.99

If you’re getting a PS5 on launch day, it’s extremely likely you already have a PS Plus subscription, and therefore it costs you nothing extra to enjoy this collection, making its value obvious even if you’ve played many or most of these games already. And if you’re new to the subscription, it may be that you’ve played few or none of these games, thus making it an even more attractive offer.

Simply put, it’s worth it in either case. Having said that, it’s also quite obvious that it doesn’t really hold a candle to Xbox Game Pass. 18 games versus 200+ just can’t reasonably be compared, plus if you factor in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s many other perks, such as cloud gaming on mobile, EA Play subscription, and more, it becomes a better deal.

Consider third-party “Perks” such as free trials to Discord Nitro, Spotify Premium, and Postmates Unlimited, and Game Pass is the far-and-away industry leader in gaming subscription services.

That’s a trend we expect to continue into the next generation. In fact, we’re writing this story just hours after Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda, and all its properties and IP, including eight more studios. The likes of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, and Wolfenstein are now under the Microsoft umbrella and will also come to Game Pass at their respective launches.

PS Now will look to grow too, in order to one day keep pace with Game Pass, but for now both the PS Plus Collection and Xbox Game Pass offer great values for what they are, even if the differences make them pretty lopsided for anyone on the fence.

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Author
Mark Delaney
Mark is a dad, husband, bicyclist, animal rights activist, and a gamer, of course. You can find him on all platforms covering co-op, indies, horror, battle royale, or whatever else he's obsessing over right now. In addition to GameSkinny, he's been published on GameSpot, IGN, GamesRadar, EGM, Escapist, Official Xbox Magazine, and a bunch of other great outlets.