Games with Gold vs. PlayStation Plus: May 2014
by Zachary Bridge on May 10, 2014 at 09:00 AM EST

Microsoft’s Games with Gold program and Sony’s PlayStation Plus both offer a new batch of free Xbox and PlayStation games each month to the subscribers of their premium services.

Games with Gold vs. PlayStation Plus May 2014 1

Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3

The comparison between the free Xbox 360 and PS3 games is where the meat of the competition lies.

This month, Sony offers three PS3 games (Puppeteer, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and Skullgirls: Encore) against Microsoft’s two contenders on the Xbox 360 (Dust: An Elysian Tail and Saints Row: The Third).

The combined value of the Games with Gold games is $34.98, while the average value is $17.49. The combined value of the free PlayStation Plus PS3 games is $114.97, with an average of $38.32.

The free Xbox 360 games being offered in May are a bit older than the free PlayStation games. Dust: An Elysian Tail came out in August 2012, and Saints Row: The Third released in November 2011. In comparison, Puppeteer and PES 2014 debuted in September 2013, and Skullgirls: Evolution is from February 2014 (though it’s a re-release of Skullgirls, which originally came out in April 2012).

Dust: An Elysian Tail and Saints Row: The Third have an average Metacritic score of 83.5 and an average Metacritic user score of 7.70. Puppeteer, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and Skullgirls (Skullgirls: Encore doesn’t have a Metacritic score, so I’m using the Metacritic score for the original Skullgirls, which is the same game) have an average Metacritic score of 80.0 and an average Metacritic user score of 6.47.

Overall, Sony is offering a lot more on last-generation consoles than Microsoft this month. The fact that Sony is offering three games for last-gen consoles while Microsoft is sticking with two is a huge advantage to Sony. The value of the PS3 games is much higher than the value of the Xbox 360 games, which is at least partly due to the fact that all of the PS3 games offered were released within the past year. The only place where Xbox 360 has a major advantage is with the Metacritic user score; Metacritic users didn’t like PES 2014 and Skullgirls nearly as much as the critics.

Games with Gold vs. PlayStation Plus May 2014 2

Games with Gold vs. PlayStation Plus

The last-generation consoles is where any competition between Sony and Microsoft ends, as far as free games.

Microsoft still isn’t offering free Xbox One games with the Games with Gold program, but Sony has been putting up a free PlayStation 4 game every month since soon after the console launched.

Sony also has the PlayStation Vita, which adds another two games to Sony’s repertoire in May. Sony offers three times the number of games with PlayStation Plus as Microsoft offers with Games with Gold.

I’m not saying that Microsoft needs to make a handheld in order to compete with Sony, but they do need to start offering free games for the Xbox One. If they match the Xbox 360’s model and offer two games a month for the Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold might actually be able to compete with the value that PlayStation Plus currently brings to the table.

Right now, though, PlayStation Plus subscribers are getting a lot more bang for their buck than Xbox Live Gold users.

Edited by: Samuel J. Paul


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  • Illusive Man

    You are only renting those games on PS4.

    • dj_funky

      not really, troll along and play old old old games son.

    • You are flat out wrong

      At least the PS4 has games.

    • Diago


  • BlackBible

    Hmph, It seems that a lot of games Xbox is making free Playstation already did a long time ago.

    • Edonus

      But with games for gold those games are yours….. completely and totally. Not for a certain amount of time or as long as you keep this or that. MS really gives you the content. Now you can argue that Ps+ gives you access to more games and even newer games but it should be framed properly. One is giving you games the the other is giving you access to games.

      • BlackBible

        Does it really matter when all the games are digital anyway? You can’t trade them in. They don’t gain value. You can’t get games with gold with out XBOX Live , and you can’t keep the games on PSN plus with out PSN plus.

        • Edonus

          But 5-10yrs down the line I can hook my Xbox 360 up and play all those game I got from gold whether I have a subscription or not. With PS+ they would be gone. Thats the difference between having something and just having access.

          I do agree the playing filed is leveled. They are both services that give you something. i just think that some of the details for games for gold get glossed over in the argument.

          • David Brown

            You’d be surprised. When you look at info under expiration, a lot of games offered for PS Plus don’t actually expire. I categorize my games in folders. Its more like a 25/75 split right now for PS3 games. Its usually the Indies that don’t expire.

            The Vita games always expire, most Mini’s when they were being offered expire, and PS1 games usually expired. I do believe PS4 games prolly expire but I can’t check without owning the console(I do add to the cart though to make sure I can play them when I get one). Overall since I had PS Plus since its inception(that magazine thing before that which did a free game on a smaller basis) I probably have 200+ games. Its created a ridiculous back log and feels overwhelming. I’ve deleted a lot I just don’t intend on playing or care for or already own.

            It used to be a closer to 50/50 split on what didn’t expire though. Most Playstation Users are completely unaware that they get what I call “for keepsies”. Hardly anyone ever checks. Your opinion isn’t even ignorance as a result, just a fact that doesn’t get reported. Even a surprising amount of games that offer cross buy don’t expire on PS3.

            Years from now though when “x” amount of time passes, even if the store shuts down… people will still have Plus as its PS4’s online portal like Live is. The PS3 will still authenticate and update the expiration. I buy year subscriptions when Amazon offers them for $30. As a result my Plus expires right now sometime in 2016 all for the cost of $60 instead of $100.

            Think smart, educate yourself. :)

          • David Brown

            list of games now that i’m in front of my PS3 that i didn’t delete that are free(even upgrading to a 500gb PS3, since i also movie on this thing i have space issues)…

            Castle of Illusion(new one, old Genesis one has an expiration), Guardians of Middle Earth, Brothers Tale of 2 Sons, Choplifter HD, Bit.Trip Runner 2, Galaga Legions DX + Pac Man Legions DX, Rochard, Shank 2, Dyad, Joe Danger 2, Quantum Conudrum, Closure, Retro City Rampage, Dungeon Defenders, Scott Pilgrim, Plants vs Zombies, Trine, Trine 2, NBA Jam: On Fire, Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone, Renegade Ops, The Cave, Awesomenauts, Zen Pinball 2(Zen Pinball 1 was free, had an expiration, but tables imported), Dead Nation, Ibb & Obb, Machinarium.

            I purchased a lot of stuff that also ended up in Plus so i have no way of checking those, and have deleted like i said a lot of games out of space concerns. I categorize games by changing the “Album” category. My PS Plus album sits at 46 games that i haven’t deleted. Both Capcom and Sega always have even their smaller games with expirations, and most AAA games. I do know there were a few AAA’s that lacked an expiration but like i said before, i delete things for space. I have a habit of converting Movies and TV to an ‘.264’/’AC3 Surround’/MP4 format and also use the PS3 for a true media center. I like the format because as my 360 can also use it, though you have to watch from a removeable on it(i had to go that route when my PS3 phat finally kicked it).

            All this being said, as Saints Row already passed through Plus, i’d love to get my hands on Elysian sometime. The Demo was fun. ^_^

          • sd

            I guess in 5-10 years you have a point, assuming the xbox one lasts longer than the 360.

            For me xbox is about faster servers and PS about accessing more games. I need faster servers over games.

            But I am looking forward to seeing what MS offer for the Xbox One. Personally my choice would be 1-2 free games, 1 free movie rental (this would be a big bonus) and family game sharing options. If I can play games that are owned by family members living elsewhere then that would be great.

          • You are flat out wrong

            Your long term access benefit amuses me considering MS’ focus on online for the Xbone.

          • yourstupid

            Bravo someone smart yay

          • Mark

            Lets be real, you’re not gona be hooking up your 360 10 years from now.

          • Edonus

            Why not…. If they do some kind of backwards compatibility I will always have my 360 close at hand. There are games on the system I enjoy playing. I went and bought the Genesis collection. People are excited about PS now and them giving access to Ps1 and Ps2 games….. The “real” is that there is a market for old games and since the 360 has some good media functions I keep it around.

        • sd

          Keeping the games will be irrelevant on the PS4 for almost every gamer. The reason is that you need PS+ to game online. Pretty much every gamer plays online, meaning they will never cancel their subscription. Also if you do cancel you get access to the games again when you rejoin. PS + for me was always much better.

          Having said that the Xbox One is the only console that gives me fast local servers. Sony servers were always much slower and located in a different country (Asia instead of Australia).

          • jnemesh


          • sd

            Yes. As I said before I am an xbox One owner. but anyone saying that Xbox live is better value because you “keep” the games is deluded. PS + has always been amazing value and much better than the live membership. MS need to catch up and do something on the xbox one.

      • sd

        This is true, although to play online do you not need ps + now? So if that is the case the vast majority of people will never unsubscribe, making it an irrelevant point. Also when i did unsubscribe from PS+, on the PS3, I didn’t lose the games. All you have to do is re-subscribe to play them again.

        By the way, before I get battered for saying PS+ is far better value I should point out that I am an xbox one owner.

      • RoadShow

        Xbox would be far better Sony’s style if it meant better games.


        NO browser
        No streaming
        No premium apps
        No cross game chat
        No video capture
        No one guide
        Not even free to play games

        Without paying for XBL. $300 every 5 years

      • Tj Yau

        Actually they recently changed it to where you keep the games. If you look at the newest racing game they released.

        • Edonus

          I think you are talking about Drive Club and that is a totally different thing. They originally were giving you a discount if you bought the game digitally but if you cancelled service you would lose the game. Now they said they wont do it that way. I am not sure what their new solution is.It could be just not offering the discount.

    • yourstupid

      are you dumb or just ignorant psplus free games are not free its behind a paywall xbox games with gold yours to keep forever buy a month keep any game FOREVER not forced to continue to fork money over for the option to play a supposedly free game. STOP WHINING and shut up


    Id rather have saints row than all the other titles put together

    • Gamez Rule

      PS+ already had saints row back in June 2013.

      It came with other games too..

  • Josebian

    the only problem is that xbox free games you KEEP even if you dont have gild anymore, while playstation plus you only get to play so long as you keep your membership up to date

    • Haha

      So you would have an xbox that can ONLY play very old games. Even though you cant access the games with out plus. You still get Netflix Hulu Internet mutiplayer and just about everything thats hidden behind a pay wall on xbox. So while you play games that I got for free and beat years before you. I still have full access to my console. Also If i decide to get plus again those games will still be available.

    • David Brown

      Not always true in fact. Most Playstation Users are just as unaware as you though. Even some AAA games are “for keepsies”. Read my above comment to Edonus for more in depth. But many of those Indies do not in fact expire. People just fail to check the info on the games because that’s what thet believe. Many games lack any expiration date at all.

  • Dangerousjo 1985

    Mmm let’s see one gives you free games to own forever and the other rents games to you that you pay for every month.. Im good with gold..

    • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

      I’d much rather “rent” the amazing games Sony gives out, then own forever the garbage you guys get from Microsoft. I’m good with Plus.

      • Dangerousjo 1985

        Well if psn goes down for a day or two one day we well see if you can still play your rented games..

        • Gamez Rule

          Of course you can LMAO!

          I allow Two PS3s to use the PS+ content I get given and one of those consoles is offline once I’ve placed the games onto the console ) and even the offline PSP has games running from PS+ / PSN.

          • Dangerousjo 1985

            Lol what happends if your main account goes down that pays for psn.. And those free games wink wink lol

          • Gamez Rule

            Nothing at all. Even when PSN was done for ages, all content worked fine on consoles. All accounts went down that paid for PS+ and games still worked?

  • Gamez Rule

    PS+ is a multi featured service, not a game rental service. You get given stuff like Map-Packs to keep forever, you can keep all the Avatars / Dynamic Themes / Add-ons, including DLC which “do not expire” when a PlayStation Plus subscription lapses. Whatever you buy ( using the PS+ discounts ) is also yours to keep forever.

    So yes you do get to keep PS+ content even when your sub expires, it’s just the games given to PS+ subscribers stops, BUT they are still tied to your account so you still get to keep them. To use them you need to re-subscribe.

    BUT even with Games with Gold the games offer is only available for paid Xbox Live Gold members only. You cannot have those games unless you pay MS first too? And you need to be with XBL for one Month ( unlike PS+ )

    So yes you get to keep the games given too you from GFG once your XBL sub expires, BUT you cannot use the online features of those games
    without an XBL online membership. XBL Online Fees still apply and if you
    don’t pay, you’ll loose your games library that needs online access?
    So if you don’t pay XBL you can’t use ANY online content on the MS consoles whatsoever. ( Even IF you bought the content ) Something that PS3 gamers don’t have to worry about.

    So right now you an get 13 games across three platforms from PS+ ( For Free ) SEE PIC!

    Or you can get One game for one platform from Games With Gold ( For paid Gold members only ) SEE PIC!

    I’ll let people decide what offers better for the price?

  • RoadShow

    Very well written article. Finally a complete review of both offerings which shows just how pathetic games with gold is. Don’t get me wrong, glAd that after 12 years of nothing XBL finally gives something for the subscription that puts all basic features behind a paywall

  • Kam Williams

    Well it seems MS is experimenting with different offerings and Sony has had more time to fine tune their program. Not sure what the big deal is really. None of the games either of them are giving me really thrill me either way. Its a nice perk but nothing to rage over.

    I mean at the end of the day, if you are really excited about Halo 5 and Gears 4 and Titanfall and Quantum Break and Sunset Overdrive, etc…are you really going to buy a PS4 to get a few free games you did not chose to buy on the day of their release?

    Don’t get me wrong, its a fair conversation to have and if Sony fans want to be awarded a point on the free games front, I’ll give them that. I haven’t bought either system yet because I was waiting for E3. But I will tell you this, a free copy of a puppet game is not really moving me from that monster known as Gears of War: Lazarus…lol. To each his own though. Enjoy your purchase and relax.

  • Failz

    Such a petty subject. Honestly people caring for games that are free? Who cares the games on both services are old. There in bargain bins in electronic stores for less then $10 and there yours forever. If you brought a next gen console to p[lay indies or games released on last gen systems years ago then you have problems. There’s nothing to brag about there just old games which you probably already own anyway.

    Steam does it better then anyone else. Because Steam is a free service that has true free games like Dota 2, for no cost WHATSOEVER. PS+ requires a subscription so these games aren’t free. Unsubscribe and try playing those free games.. If you cant see Sony’s plan then your blind. Its all a trap to get you to pay. Steam doesn’t ask for anything and you can even play those games offline and there’s are a lot more to choose from.

    Want real bargains wait for the Steam Sales.

    • ps4lol

      Microsoft fanboy shill meltdown.

  • da Boss

    Xbox users pay 60$ for less, PlayStation gamers pay 50$ for more. Microsoft should at the very least lower the price of Gold to 50$. And if they really want to start competing with +, 40$. At 40$, they might somewhat be even (though not really). Now, 30$, that would even things up quite smoothly. 20$? That would skyrocket Microsoft ahead of Psn+.

    • DLConspiracy//

      Apples to oranges. Xbox just started gold not so long ago. Ps+ is great no arguing that. Free or rentable games is always a good thing. However you are not considering the other things Xbox does and will give you. For one hands down chat is better on Xbox. If you get a chance compare it. That means they stream a better quality bit rate chat. Those who like to use Skype get 3 way which Skype charges for more than 2. Those who like to work out also get xbox fitness which is pretty great. Xbox puts towards their servers while Ps+ covers games. So where they lack is practically opposite of one another. The difference is great. Soon there will be TV shows and more free games for Xbox and believe me they will catch up to giving titles away. With that said if you like MP gaming and chat. Most prefer Xbox. If you like a rentable free game service you choose PS+. I think that games for gold is about to get a whole lot better though. Mark my words.

  • Dirkster_Dude

    It isn’t really a contest because no one at this point will be switching consoles based on what games the online services provide with said service. For the most part I think it is hit or miss whether the games are appreciated at all. I can tell for myself that this month I can’t stand any of the games for the PS3 even though free I would never play them whereas only 1 of the games provided for the 360 is something I would even consider.

    • Gamez Rule

      “It isn’t really a contest because no one at this point will be switching consoles based on what games the online services provide with said service”


      I know loads of people that now use PS+ and have given up their XBL accounts completely.

      When XBL came out IMO it was much better than PSN, but as soon as Sony gave out PS+ it took from MS and showed to people that XBL wasn’t that special anymore.

      I mean even right now as we type Games with Gold is currently limited to the Xbox 360 ( Not even giving to new XBL members with the Xbone ) Meanwhile PS+ offers to PS3 / Vita / PS4 ( PSP can also use games from PSN / PS+ )

      Microsoft is now the network playing catch up. No wonder why PSN hold more than twice the accounts than XBL. ( And before people say it’s because PSN is free ) well guess what, when you make a new XBL account you got One month free XBL Gold ( OR given a free Silver-account ) which is now called Xbox Live Free? People even made XBL accounts just to boost, cheat, ect.

      • Dirkster_Dude

        You have your circle of friends and acquaintances and make the assumption everyone is like you. Statistically most people will NOT spend the amount of money required on a gaming console just for some free games of which they don’t even know what they will be until either service tells people a month or so in advance. Now if they are already half way convinced, but haven’t taken the plunge this might push them over the edge to make a decision which is 1 reason why I think Sony and Microsoft do it. If Sony or Microsoft considered the value add for the services a bigger deal they would market them more. I will also say I think Sony’s offerings of free games is better so far than Microsoft’s.

        • Gamez Rule

          Oh no you clearly stated ..

          ” no one at this point will be switching consoles based on what games the online services provide ”

          I have explained you are wrong in believing that as people I know myself have sold their MS consoles and bought PS3/PS4 over MS consoles due to the games that PS+ offers.

          Now you posted .. “You have your circle of friends and acquaintances and make the assumption everyone is like you”

          Well lets put it this way. PSN over 110 Million accounts ( over twice the XBL accounts ) while PS4 console count sits at over 7 Million sold, while MS ships only 5 Million ( will not release sold figures ) Now this shows I made no such assumptions, BUT shown proof that more gamers want Sony over MS.

          • Dirkster_Dude

            Gee, I still don’t agree with you that people who have already purchased a game console to switch because of the offerings of there online services. Your facts are also assuming they have purchased a gaming console for the same reason you have apparently, which may or may not be true. And yes, figures LIE all the time.

          • Gamez Rule

            Look when people say they don’t use XBL anymore because ( of whatever reason ) like PS+ is better than XBL, and they moved over to Sony consoles due to the offerings PS+ has you don’t have to agree with them, but who are you to disagree LOL

          • Dirkster_Dude

            Who am I? A person with an opinion who doesn’t care whether someone agrees with me or not.

          • Gamez Rule

            See an opinion doesn’t change a fact as you are well aware, and from XBL official figures it shows that it has less accounts made than PSN from Sonys official figures. That factually also shows that more accounts were made on PSN than XBL.

            IMO due to PS+ being so popular and being part of PSN I believe that MS better do something with XBL to show it’s customers it is worth staying for as otherwise XBL could be always playing catchup to public demands.

  • Anthropophagic

    You did neglect to mention that, unless they have changed it, I think Xbox folk get to keep their games. Might be a big deal to some people, and not to others. Regardless, anything extra is always a good deal. PS, or XB.

    • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

      Its a know fact you can keep the garbage Microsoft gives you.

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    And Saints Row: The Third was already given free to PS+ members ages ago, way to catch up Microsoft.

  • Axe99

    A tiny point of order:

    “but Sony has been putting up a free PlayStation 4 game every month since soon after the console launched.”

    Resogun and Contrast were available with PS+ on launch day, there was no delay before PS4 got PS+. There was a delay on Vita, but it was less than I was personally expecting.

    That said, it’s all stuff for next-to-nothing – Games with Gold is clearly the lesser offering at the moment, but both are good deals that we should be happy with – good is good, even if one is better :).

  • themuIe

    PS+ works across 3 platforms for the same sub.


  • Gamez Rule

    Xbox’s UK marketing director Harvey Eagle has said that the Xbox One console will
    not function without Kinect connected. “Kinect does require to be
    connected to Xbox One in all cases, yes,” he said. ( So not true ? )

    Now we already knew MS lied about the Xbone not able to function without Kinect BUT..MS just stated Xbone will now ship without Kinect LMAO! ( Another 180 )

    MS dropped the ball with this because when you think of it without the
    Kinect a lot of the user Interface that’s built to work around it stops.
    Xbone just become an Xbox360 with a blu-ray drive?

    So there we have it.. Xbots always stated that MS wouldn’t sell the
    Xbone without the Kinect due to the console needing the camera and MS
    wouldn’t do another 180 on the console, and BAM! There It Is? Kinect =

    So anyway MS made the right step IMO, but the price still needs to come
    lower as it’s now at the same price ( apart from $0.99 ) as the PS4
    which is the more powerful games console out the two ( people buy a
    console to play games you see ) and PS4 is known as the better horse to
    bet on at the moment hence why it’s been outselling Xbone.

    Take off another $65 / £35 from the Xbone price and sales might just start moving again ( like they did months ago )

  • Gamez Rule

    Games with Gold on Xbone will work pretty much like PS+ requiring an active subscription to play them.

    **Free Games Offer: For paid Gold members only. On Xbox One, active Gold membership required to play free games you’ve downloaded. Must download titles during designated window. Kinect and/or hard drive required for some games.

    ? Time shall tell I guess.

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