So the all-new PlayStation Plus has finally launched worldwide, with the UK and Europe getting it yesterday. We’ve got hundreds of games now, including PS1, 2, 3, 4, PS5 and PSP.
Well today we’ll take a look at the 3 new tiers, see what the main differences are, what games we actually get and ultimately which is the best option to go for right now.
So if you’re not sure whether you need the essential, extra or premium plan hopefully this will help you decide.
New PS Plus Options
Now previously PS Plus was a one tier system, you subscribed to that to play online multiplayer, get discounts and download monthly games. Then, if you wanted to, you could subscribe to PS Now separately. Well they’ve now kind of combined these two services into one, but split them out into these 3 tiers.
We’ve got Premium, Extra and Essential and each comes with different pricing and different options. Which one you think is best depends entirely if you see value in the benefits. Remember that everything you see in Essential is included in the higher tiers, and everything in Extra is in Premium too.
PS Plus Pricing
I’m in the UK so the pricing is in pounds, but these are the different costs. If you want to pay monthly it comes in at £13.49 for premium, £10.99 for Extra and £6.99 for essential. If you want to pay every 3 months instead it comes in slightly cheaper, you’re saving around 20-30p per month doing it this way
And finally the yearly subscription where you actually save the most. So the Premium works out at £8.34 a month instead of £13.49, Extra works out at £7 instead of £10.99 and Essential is £4.17 instead of £6.99. But you pay these annually.
Now I already had some PS Now and PS Plus subscriptions stacked from before, so they’ve automatically converted that for me into the Premium option. And jumping into the subscriptions area in settings I can see I’ve got Premium until August 1st 2025.
Taking a quick look around the new PS Plus menu we’ve got buttons off to the game catalogue, classic games, game trials and a few others too. All of the benefits are shown under that which we’ll go over in a minute. Classic games are listed, some of the new trials are on it which is a cool new feature but with some limitations.
The ‘Must play’ games include Red Dead Redemption, God of War and Bloodbourne. Recommended games based on my gameplay. The monthly games. Oh yes we’ve now got Ubisoft+ classics included too, I’ve still never played South Park.
And a highlight of some of the discounts we get from other games and add-ons.
Then across the top there’s a tap showing the benefits of PlayStation Plus. All of these I’ll cover next. And next in the collections, all of the games are split out into different genres and platforms. This is the best way to navigate through and view all of the games.
There is a ‘view all games’ area, but it’s a huge list of games to scroll through. This is far easier to pick a platform or category you want to then go from there.
Essential – Included in Every Plan
The Essential plan is basically a replacement of PS Plus as we had before. We get the monthly games, online multiplayer, the PlayStation Plus collection, Discounts and cloud storage. So if you were a PS Plus subscriber before, this is what you’re used to already.
The PlayStation Plus collection includes some of the best PS4 games there are. Games like Crash Bandicoot, God of War, Final Fantasy, The Last of Us, and loads more. These are the 19 games you get included in this plan. If you’ve not played God of War yet, definitely give this one a go. The Essential plan also comes with Cloud Storage with 100GB of PS4 storage and 100GB for PS5. This lets you backup your game data to the cloud in case you need it again.
We also get monthly games. Whether the games are worth downloading varies from month to month, but it’s always worth adding them to your library.
There are exclusive discounts on certain games and add-ons too, so if you were going to buy some of these games anyway you’ll save something at least.
Extra – Game Catalogue
Then there’s the Extra plan. This gets you everything we saw in the Essential plan but it unlocks the Games Catalogue. This is where we see hundreds of PS4 and PS5 games added.
How it works is as long as you have an active subscription, you can download and play any of these games while on the Extra or Premium plan.
Some of these games are well worth the money of the sub. Games like Spider Man Miles Morales, Assassin’s Creed, Demon’s Souls and Ghost of Tsushima. I mean there’s loads of choice. Some of these are actually part of the PlayStation Plus collection you get in the Essential Tier though, games like Days Gone and God of War, you’d get those anyway. But otherwise all loads are included.
There are some games in the Extra plan I’ve never played before so having access to them means I’ll likely download and play games I wouldn’t normally. Ok, so in total there are 367 games included in the Game Catalogue. A few duplicates in there and a few PS collection games, but that gives you an idea at least.
Then when you’re ready to download a game, just head over to the game page and you’ll see a Download button with the PS symbol next to it. That’s it, we’ve now got this game at no extra cost.
So the game catalogue is pretty much the one and only feature that sets it apart from the essential plan. But for the extra you’re paying you are getting hundreds of PS4 and PS5 games. Download and play 2 or 3 of these and it’s paid for itself anyway.
Premium – Classic Games
Next up, the premium plan. This is the top tier option which includes everything we’ve discussed so far plus these added benefits. We get the classics catalogue, game trials and cloud streaming.
Whether these 3 features are worth it to you I guess comes down to the value of the games.
But the number one feature is going to be the classic games for most. This unlocks hundreds of PS1, PS2 and PSP games for you to download and play.
There are a few old ones I remember playing back on the PS1 and PS2, here’s Toy Story 2, I completely forgot this game even existed. It looks like it’s available for either PS4 or PS5 too.
These games can then be downloaded as you’d expect and you’ll be able to play these as long as you’ve got an active sub,
I was expecting more games to be included, but I guess this is early days. I make the total count 37. Hopefully over the coming months we’ll see more and more added. I want to see games like the original Driver on PS1, maybe even The Getaway from the PS2. Are there any PS1 or PS2 games you’d like to see added, games you’d definitely play if they did include them?
Then we have some remasters, games like The Last of Us, but that’s included in the other collection anyway. Borderlands is in here, Mafia, Heavy Rain and a few more. I make it 49 games.
Then we have the PS3 games, this is by far the largest catalogue in the classic library of games. There are hundreds. I can see Batman, Cars, God of War, a few Lego games too.
In total I make the PS3 catalogue of games 135. That’s quite a lot of games there, but it depends if there are games you’d actually want to play.
So in total, if we look at the entire classic library, I make it 221 games included in this classic collection. Again this is only included in the Premium plan, you won’t get this in the others.
I think there are some great games included, but I’d like to see loads more added.
Premium – Cloud Streaming Games
Another feature included in the premium plan is Cloud Streaming. This let’s you stream hundreds of games without the need to download them first. Most of these games are PS3 games, as you don’t actually download those anyway, you can only stream them. There are some PS4 games too.
All you need to do is browse through the library, choose a game and press stream. Depending on the game it’ll take a minute or two to get ready. Then that’s it we’re in and playing the game without having to wait for the download.
Quality looks OK, although I’ve noticed a few glitches, but I’m not sure if that’s the game or the streaming service. But it actually looks really good considering it’s not needed to download the entire game first.
Streaming Cars 2, my kids will love this one. Obviously I’ve never played it before so we’re starting from the beginning. For a classic PS2 game this plays really well, and again this is being streamed.
So first impressions on the cloud streaming of these games, this works well. I think the flexibility of being able to play some of the old classic games without needing to download first is useful. Not everyone wants to wait hours to play. The quality won’t be as good as downloading first I’d imagine, but for some games, does that really matter?
Another huge advantage of Cloud Streaming is the fact it won’t take up your storage on the console. It’s not a huge problem for me right now as I’m using a 4TB SSD, but for most once you’ve downloaded 10 games you’re maxed out.
Oh and if you wondered what happens to the games you’ve streamed, they do show up on your dashboard. You can then choose to remove from home which will delete it from there. They also show up in your game library collection. So if you wanted to hide them here, just hit the menu and hide option.
Premium – Trials and Demos
Another feature included with the Premium plan are the trials or game demos. It’s a bit strange this is a benefit of a paid for plan, but let’s stick with it.
So if you wanted to try a game out before you buy it, you can download and play a time limited trial. Let’s take Farming Simulator 22, this game will give us a 3 hour trial. Each game comes with it’s own time limit, so Cyberpunk is set to 5 hours. That’s probably long enough to know if it’s right for you. Horizon has a 5 hour trial too. And Biomutant, which is probably the only game I’d actually want to try out comes with just 2 hours. Maybe it’s a short game anyway.
At the moment there aren’t that many trials to download, there are actually only 15. We’ll see more and more added as new games come out, but today it’s very limited.
I think these trials are a great idea, but locking them behind the premium tier is just odd. This should definitely be a feature that’s included in the essential tier. No one will buy this tier just to play demos.
Ok, so we’ve looked at all three tiers and here are my final thoughts and which I think is the best buy right now.
So first up, if you’ve only ever used PS Plus without the PS Now subscription, you’ll automatically be moved onto the Essential plan and you’ll see no difference in the service. It’s a great entry level plan with those PS Plus collection games and monthly games.
But if you want more from it, and you want to play some awesome PS4 and PS5 games like Spider-Man, Demon’s Souls and other relatively new games, the Extra plan is hard to pass on. It’s not a lot more than the Essential plan and you are getting hundreds of PS4 and PS5 games. Download just 2 or 3 and it’s paid for itself easily.
On paper the Premium plan does have 3 extra benefits, but I’m going to ignore the game trials as I don’t really see that as a selling point yet. That leaves us with the Classic Game catalogue and the Cloud Streaming.
The two hundred or so PS1, PS2 and PS3 games are awesome, and if there are a few classics in there that you definitely want to play, this is the only way to do it. But if you’ve scrolled through the list and there’s not really 10 or so games you want, I’d give it a miss.
Then there’s ‘Cloud Streaming’, which is an awesome feature that could save you time if you don’t want to download the games which are available this way. For me and my slow internet speed, this could be a huge advantage for some games I want to jump on today.
Ultimately it comes down to one thing, are there enough games in the plans that can justify the price? I’d look through the full list again and see what you want to play, but for me, if I wasn’t automatically migrated onto the Premium tier, I’d probably have opted for the Extra plan. I think that’s the sweet spot right now until we see more classic games and more trials added.
I hope that makes it clearer when deciding which is the best option for you.