As subscription-based, on-demand gaming services have gained popularity in recent years, both PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass have established their positions at the top of the market by offering a variety of content and great value for subscribers. There’s just one burning question demands to be answered: Which one is better?
It’s a tough one. Each has advantages over the other – PS Now has more attractive pricing plus its library of 700+ titles makes Game Pass’ library of around 200 look paltry in comparison, whereas Xbox Game Pass tends to offer more recent games as well as including first party titles on the day of release.
It’s hard to say which one is better overall, but taken one month at a time, we may get our answer. So join us as we look at what’s been added and what was removed from each service and declare which one came out on top in November 2020.
Sidebar: If you’d like to find out more about before venturing on a subscription to either PS Now or Xbox Game Pass, check out our feature examining the pros and cons of PS Now where we investigate how it stands up against its biggest competitors.
Super-powered brawler Injustice 2 sits at the head of the table for PlayStation Now’s November line-up, an excellent choice given that the widespread recognisability of the biggest names in the D.C. Universe holds the power to draw in a huge variety of players, and given the quality of the game, keep them entertained for hours on end.
One seat down the table and ripping the turkey apart with its bare hands before shooting a hole in the wall and running off screaming, we have 2019’s Rage 2 – an open-world first person shooter with a map brimming with blood-pumping, neon-coated thrills.
Elsewhere PS Now rounds out the month with the additions of My Time at Portia, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, F1 2020, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 and Monster Jam Steel Titans
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege comes to the end of its limited time stint on the service so has had to walk out the door all alone this month.
Xbox Game Pass
A nice selection of releases champion the cause for Team Game Pass in November with the most notable being the day of release (on console) addition of Gears Tactics – a console exclusive and the most recent entry in one of that platform’s top two biggest franchises – not a bad choice to carry the banner.
Two more particularly notable additions make November’s line-up one to be reckoned with. Celeste, one of the most well-reviewed and warmly discussed games of the entire generation, joined the service toward the start of the month. A few weeks later it was joined by Final Fantasy VIII Remastered – arguably the most underappreciated entry in the entire franchise and one that is often glossed over by franchise fans who discovered the series years after release and are more often steered toward entries seven and nine from that era.
The rest of the line-up is comprised of indies, classics and expansions in the form of Deep Rock Galactic, Eastshade, Knights and Bikes, Destiny 2’s Beyond Light expansion, Planet Coaster: Console Edition, Tetris Effect: Connected, Ark Survival Evolved’s ‘Explorer’s Edition’ upgrade, River City Girls and Star Renegades.
We need to address the question: Why haven’t we factored in the inclusion of EA Play? The answer is that EA Play isn’t included with Xbox Game Pass, it’s only included if you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – a distinction that Microsoft has stated clearly in their press releases, but seems to get overlooked by many third parties reporting this news.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a combined subscription to both Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold and as we are concerned with Game Pass alone, we cannot factor in the addition of EA Play. Oddly, doing so would actually be a detriment to Xbox.
After all, if we did that, then we’d also have to take account of PlayStation Plus and seeing as PS Plus Subscribers were gifted the PS Plus Collection along with the usual monthly games, meaning they received 22 of the best and biggest PS4 games ever AND the day of release Bugsnax on PS5, if we did factor in Game Pass Ultimate and PS Plus, it would just end up a landslide victory for PlayStation.
Of the gang leaving in November, the biggest loss is that of Darksiders 3, a testing but thoroughly enjoyable action title that we have heaped mountains of praise upon in the past. The award for second biggest blow would have to go to inventive XCOM-inspired shooter Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden.
Also taking their leave in November are Tracks – The Train Set Game, The Talos Principle, Munchkin: Quaked Quest, The Escapists 2, Wandersong, Demon’s Tilt, Absolver and Dead Island Definitive Edition.
Winner – Xbox Game Pass
This was as close as they come, especially with Game Pass bidding adieu to a variety of unique games and thus taking a convincing loss in the ‘farewells’ category, but when it came to the new additions, there was just enough meat to eke out an overall win. After all, a new console exclusive under the ‘Gears of War’ banner is pretty tough to beat.
Add in bringing a fantastic JRPG like Final Fantasy VIII to a new generation when it could easily lie dormant in the shadows of the giants that surround it, not to mention offering a new way to experience Celeste for a host of potential fans who may not have been convinced enough to make the purchase outright and that’s a formidable attacking force.
PlayStation Now’s new offerings are nothing to be sniffed at of course, there are some great experiences on offer and every one of those new additions has its audience, but there’s just nothing resounding enough to compensate for the greater number of new additions to its rival’s ranks.