Fun With Numbers: Games With Gold vs PS Plus

Not too long ago, I read a few tweets on Twitter discussing which free service had the better offerings every month. I personally felt like it was the PS4, but I decided to actually do the research and see what was up. This is by no means a definitive answer to the question. It’s more like a cheat sheet to help you create your defense if you find yourself in this debate. So let’s dig in.

I want to first list the games each service has offered for PS4 and XB1. I will then list their respective metacritic ratings to get an idea of how these games were received. I’ll also make note of the amount of AAA releases each service offered for free.

PS Plus (Nov 2013 – Current)

  • 1 Contrast (59)
    2 Resogun (84)
    3 Don’t Starve (78)
    4 Outlast (78)
    5 Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition (74)
    6 Mercenary Kings (70) 
    7 Stick It to the Man! (75) 
    8 PixelJunk Shooter: Ultimate (82)
    9 Trine 2: Complete Story (84)
    10 Doki-Doki Universe (71)
    11 Strider (77)
    12 TowerFall: Ascension (87)
    13 Fez (90)
    14 Road Not Taken (70)
    15 Sportsfriends (82)
    16 Velocity 2X (86)
    17 Dust: An Elysian Tail (79)
    18 Pix the Cat (80)
    19 Spelunky (N/A)
    20 Escape Plan (73)
    21 SteamWorld Dig (82)
    22 The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (88)
    23 Injustice: Gods Among Us: Ultimate Edition (80)
    24 Secret Ponchos (64)
    25 Titan Attacks (74)
    26 InFamous: First Light (73) 
    27 The Swapper (83)
    28 Apotheon (76)
    29 Rogue Legacy (85) 
    30 Transistor (83)
    31 CounterSpy (67) 
    32 Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! (84)
    33 OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood (85)
    34 Valiant Hearts: The Great War (77)
    35 Aaru’s Awakening (59)
    36 Never Alone (73)
    37 Tower of Guns (69)
    38 Ether One (75)
    39 Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (87)
    40 Hohokum (75)
    41 The Unfinished Swan (83)
    42 Race the Sun (75)
    43 Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (75)
    44 Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition (N/A)
    45 Super Exploding Zoo (N/A)
    46 Futuridium EP Deluxe (73)
    47 Rocket League (N/A)
    48 Styx: Master of Shadows (70)
    49 MouseCraft (72)
    50 Entwined (59)

50 games to breakdown here. Ratings first.

  • 1 game rated 90-100. (2%)
  • 17 games rated 80-89. (34%)
  • 22 games rated 70-79. (44%)
  • 3 games rated 60-69. (6%)
  • 3 games rated 59 or lower. (6%)
  • 4 games not rated. (8%)

I dont see many games one would consider AAA on the list. Injustice might qualify, and possibly MGS: Ground Zeroes despite being a downloadable title. So, a whopping 2! I won’t argue if you include First Light, but I won’t include it. The vast majority of these titles weren’t available at retail, and many gamers have complained about Sony constantly giving away “indie titles” in place of more known commodities. We’ll see if this changes in the future. Despite that fact, Most of these games are rated positively according to Metacritic. 29 of these titles rate 75 or higher (58%), which is considered positive. So despite how some may feel about what they choose to offer, most of them are pretty good games according to reviewers. Whatever that is worth to you. Now let’s check out Games With Gold.

Games With Gold (July 2014 – Current)

  • 1 Halo: Spartan Assault (53)
    2 Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (72)
    3 Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (88)
    4 Crimson Dragon (55)
    5 Strike Suit Zero (67)
    6 Super Time Force (80)
    7 Chariot (73)
    8 Völgarr the Viking (77)
    9 Worms Battlegrounds (70)
    10 D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die (76)
    11 #IDARB (It Draws a Red Box) (77)
    12 Rayman Legends (91)
    13 Pool Nation: FX (N/A)
    14 Child of Light (82)
    15 CastleStorm: Definitive Edition (69)
    16 Massive Chalice (73)
    17 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (83)
    18 So Many Me (N/A)

Only 18 games here to sift through. Let’s get to it.

  • 1 game rated 90-100. (6%)
  • 4 games rated 80-89. (22%)
  • 7 games rated 70-79. (39%)
  • 2 games rated 60-69. (11%)
  • 2 games rated 59 or lower. (11%)
  • 2 games not rated. (11%)

Once again you’ll notice a lack of AAA titles. AC: Black Flag is notable, and some may consider Rayman Legends applicable. So here we once again have 2 AAA titles. Anyone arguing that either side gives away more big budget titles for current gen consoles is full of shit. 8 of these titles are rated positive (75 or higher) by Metacritic (44%) so they fare slightly worse on a percentage basis. Now let’s compare percentages and totals.

Both sides can lay claim to 1 title rated 90 or higher, but the percentages favor Games With Gold. PS Plus enjoys an advantage total and percentage wise when it comes to games rated from 70-89. When it comes to games rated 69 or lower, Microsoft has less of them. However, percentage wise they are still behind (22 to 12.) It’s pretty easy to see that Sony’s offerings grade out better when it comes to mainstream reviewers. Again, what that means to you readers will vary. I’m just presenting info.

So to summarize, the numbers give Sony a slight edge. Both sides are presenting a variety of indie titles. Some of them are old, and some are free on release day. In either case, if you are a fan of these type of games, there are more than enough to choose from. I’ll even tell you which ones to play if you haven’t already. I’m for the people. Here are my personal faves for each system.

PS Plus – Infamous: First Light, Resogun, Mercenary Kings, Strider, Velocity 2X, Fez, Transistor

Games With Gold – Child of Light, Super Time Force, #IDARB, Rayman Legends

And I’ll add Guacamelee STCE on both. Because it’s freaking awesome.

Ok, so there are some basic numbers to help illustrate what each side has brought to the table. Do with them what you will. I just wanted to bring a little clarity to the debate. Your personal opinion of some of these games will undoubtedly differ from the reviewers. That’s is perfectly fine. Shit, mine does too! Mercenary Kings is a 95 in my world. Anyway, have fun with the data. I’ll see you later.

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