If you’re on the hunt for a great gaming deal at this year’s Black Friday deals event, then it’s well worth considering picking up a gaming subscription. Gaming subscriptions grant you access to gaming content for a monthly or annual fee – a bit like Netflix for games.
There are a plethora of gaming subscription services around, from PS Now, which allows you to stream PS2, PS3, and PS4 games on PS5, PS4, and PC, to Nintendo Switch Online, which grants access to online multiplayer and a growing library that includes NES and SNES titles. But there’s one gaming subscription service that beats them all: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the king of gaming subscriptions right now, offering access to over 100 top-notch games, access to online multiplayer, and much more. What’s more, we expect it to be discounted as part of Black Friday Xbox Series X deals.
Why is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate so good?
So what makes Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the daddy of gaming subscription services? Well, it’s primarily the amount of content and features it packs in.
With an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you get (deep breath) access to over 100 games in the Xbox Game Pass library on both PC and console, access to first-party Xbox games which land in the library on day one, access to Xbox cloud gaming, exclusive member discounts and deals and Xbox Live Gold included, which grants access to online multiplayer and offers a handful of free games to download and keep each month.
Let’s break down each of these elements. For a start, the Xbox Game Pass library is heaving with games to play, from Xbox 360 games to the latest Xbox exclusives, and new games are constantly being added to it. What’s more, it grants access to EA Play titles like FIFA 21 and Knockout City. However, the biggest draw of the Xbox Game Pass library is that new Xbox first-party titles land on it on day one. That means when Halo Infinite arrives in December, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will immediately be able to play it as part of their subscription.
It’s fantastic value, given that an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate yearly subscription is around £139.99 / $194.59 (though three month and monthly subscriptions are available, more on that below), and a new Xbox first-party release on its own, including Halo, costs around $60/£50. At least with the subscription, you get plenty of games for your money – as well as the ability to play them on mobile devices thanks to Ultimate’s cloud gaming feature (though this is currently in beta).
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate typically costs $14.99 / £10.99 per month, $44.99 / £32.99 for three months, £69.99 / $97.29 or (as we said above) £139.99 / $194.59 annually. But a sweet entry deal means you can pick up your first month for just a $1 / £1 trial price. While that seems mighty tempting, we suggest holding out for Black Friday because, if Microsoft decides to repeat a previous offer, we expect to see this extended to three months as part of their Black Friday deals.
That means you might be able to get three months for just $1/£1, allowing you to trial the service for a lengthy period before committing to a longer subscription. If you don’t like it, you can easily cancel the recurring monthly billing that is set to occur after that period. If you do like it, then you can commit to full membership. If you already have a membership and want to renew or simply want to jump in with both feet into annual or monthly membership, then it’s worth keeping an eye out for discounts on annual or three-month subscriptions at retailers like Amazon and Walmart this Black Friday.
What makes Xbox Game Pass Ultimate better than Xbox Game Pass?
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, or you want a more affordable subscription, then it’s worth considering the normal Xbox Game Pass subscription. A regular Xbox Game Pass subscription is still great value at $9.99 / £7.99 a month and packs in Xbox Live Gold, access to first-party Xbox releases on day one, discounts and deals on the Microsoft store plus access to the every-growing Xbox Game Pass library. However, you do need to pick either console or PC and you don’t get access to Cloud Gaming.
Both Xbox Game Pass subscriptions offer great value and benefit from that $1/£1 trial. It’s just worth weighing up whether you want to play across multiple platforms and whether you’ll make use of cloud gaming.
Want more video game deals? Then keep an eye on our Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals and PS5 Black Friday deals pages.