While I’m not personally stoked on the notion of subscription services, I do have to admit that gaming subscriptions like PlayStation Plus have become quite attractive in the last couple of generations. In addition to playing online, you get lots of cool perks and bonus features, including free games! Everyone likes free stuff. PlayStation Plus offers all of those features and more, though the precise extent of your PS Plus subscription should depend on what you actually want. So, what is the best PlayStation Plus membership?
What Is the Best PlayStation Plus Membership?
While all PlayStation Plus memberships offer the same basic features like online play, free and discounted games, and cloud storage, the higher membership tiers also offer a few attractive extras that you can’t get at the lower tiers. Of course, the higher tiers cost more, so you need to decide how much those features are worth to you.
To aid in your decision-making process, let’s break down what’s included in each tier of PlayStation Plus membership, as well as how much they cost to subscribe to.
PlayStation Plus Essential
This is your basic-tier PlayStation Plus membership. It’s got all of the essential doodads (as the name no doubt implies) plus quite a few additional bonuses. A PlayStation Plus Essential membership includes the following:
- Monthly Games: Every month, you can claim a particular game for free, no strings attached. Even if your PSPlus expires, it’s yours to keep.
- Online Multiplayer: Play online with other PSPlus members.
- Exclusive Discounts: Buy games through the PlayStation Store and get a discount.
- Exclusive Content: Special items and cosmetics in certain games, usually free-to-play ones.
- Cloud Storage: Back up your game and system data online in case your console explodes or something.
- Share Play: Play local multiplayer games with distant friends through a remote connection.
- PlayStation Plus Collection (PS5 exclusive): Access a curated library of PS4 games at no additional cost.
- Game Help (PS5 exclusive): Press your PS Button for spoiler-free hints in supported games.
- Free Shipping: Buying hardware or accessories from the PlayStation store? No charge on the shipping.
Subscribing to PlayStation Plus Essential costs $9.99 monthly, $24.99 for three months, and $59.99 for 12 months.
PlayStation Plus Extra
You already get a lot of gaming value from the Essential plan, moreso if you have a PS5, but let’s say that’s not enough for you. You need a steady drip-feed of new games to play ’round the clock. For you, we’ve got PlayStation Plus Extra.
A PlayStation Plus Extra membership includes all of the perks from Essential, as well as the following:
- Game Catalog: Get access to a massive catalog of PS4 and PS5 spanning years and genres. Download and play any game in the catalog for no additional charge. Don’t see anything you like? Don’t worry, new titles are added regularly.
Subscribing to PlayStation Plus Extra costs $14.99 monthly, $39.99 for three months, and $99.99 for 12 months.
PlayStation Plus Premium
Perhaps Extra still isn’t enough for you. Not only do you want lots of games to download and play at your leisure, but you want access to the entire PlayStation back catalog and then some. For the discerning palate, we’ve got PlayStation Plus Premium.
A PlayStation Plus Premium membership includes all of the perks from Essential and Extra, as well as the following:
- Classics Catalog: Take a trip back to the golden years with an additional library games pulled from the original PlayStation, PS2, PS3, and PSP, all free to download and play.
- Game Trials: On the fence about the latest big release? Try out a Game Trial to get a little taste of the action before committing to a purchase. If you end up buying the full game, all of your progress will carry over.
- Cloud Streaming: Don’t have time to download games from the Game and Classics Catalogs? Stream them instantly over your internet connection.
Subscribing to PlayStation Plus Premium costs $17.99 monthly, $49.99 for three months, and $119.99 for 12 months.
What’s the Best?
If all you care about is playing online with your friends, a PlayStation Plus Essential membership is plenty. You still get lots of cool features, especially if you’re on a PS5, and of course, it’s more economical. However, if you’re absolutely jonesing for a massive library of games at your beck and call, I would suggest skipping Extra and going all the way to premium. If you’re gonna get the library, you might as well get all of the libraries, and honestly, there are some proper bangers in the Classics Catalog that everyone should experience at least once.