Although they were introduced many years apart, Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus have become two of the most popular premium subscription services available. Aside from the fact you need to be a subscriber to take part in online multiplayer on PS4 and Xbox, the free games that become available to download each month, along with cloud based saving services and automatic update facilities offered by both Plus and Gold give you a great experience no matter which one you choose.

In order to test which service is better value for money, I will choose one game from each service for each month of this year. This only includes games that have been available in Europe. To spice things up, I will not discriminate between mainstream and indie releases. This judgement is based partially on the general media consensus of the game’s reception, and partly on personal opinion of the title in question.

As the Xbox does not currently have a portable equivalent, I will not include games for the PS Vita, although Cross Buy games don’t count.

January – Sleeping Dogs (GwG) vs. Borderlands 2 (PS Plus)


The True Crime successor Sleeping Dogs has proved very popular with fans of sandbox action games, and received a remastered port to the PS4, PC and Xbox One in October. 2K Games took us back to the world of the vault hunters, and gave us a challenging continuation to get our teeth into.

Winner – Borderlands 2 (PS Plus) – The return to Pandora was a glorious one, building on the foundations set in the first adventure, and adding new mechanics to keep things fresh.

February – Dead Island (GwG) vs. Bioshock Infinite (PS Plus)


Techland’s Dead Island proved to completely different to the trailer that preceded it’s release, which led many fans to be slightly disappointed. Whilst 2K Games utopian adventure game Bioshock Infinite has a wonderfully perplexing storyline, combined with beautiful locations and well written characters.

Winner – Bioshock Infinite (PS Plus) – The originality of the third entry in the Bioshock series proved just enough to push it ahead of it’s competitor.

March – Dungeon Defenders (GwG) vs. Tomb Raider (PS Plus)


Indie hit Dungeon Defenders has proved that tower defense is a popular genre, and with over forty pieces of DLC, you will be busy for a long time to come. The Tomb Raider reboot was gritty, with beautiful graphics and a crafting system that relies on your adventuring skills to proceed.

Winner – Tomb Raider (PS Plus) – The relaunch of gaming’s first heroine proved to be an amazing success, with a sequel coming out next year as a timed exclusive on Xbox One.

April – Deadlight (GwG) vs. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS Plus)


Scrolling 2D platfomer Deadlight is a chilling journey through an apocalyptic world to find your family. Whereas anthropomorphic cel shaded 3D platformer Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time sends the thieves back through history to prevent the Clooper Clan from being wiped from history.

Winner – Tie – Both games offer a unique experience, so it is impossible to recommend one over the other.

May – Dust: An Elysian Tail (GwG) vs. Payday 2 (PS Plus)


The beautfiully drawn Dust: An Elysian Tail is reminiscent of the mascot platformers from the 90’s, while at the same time adding a mature plot and interesting combat. Payday 2 expanded on the original’s crime spree antics, while changing the way that you approach heists by changing it’s customisation tools.

Winner – Dust: An Elysian Tail (GwG) – The art alone would be worth the Turner prize, but Dust’s charm and addictive gameplay make it stand out from the competition.

June – Dark Souls (GwG) vs. Lone Survivor (PS Plus)


Hard as nails action adventure Dark Souls has you reaching into unknown worlds to retrieve your life force, whereas indie adventure Lone Survivor has you venturing into the unknown with a limited set of supplies to make your fortune.

Winner – Tie – Both games offer a unique experience, so it is impossible to recommend one over the other.

July – Battleblock Theater (GwG) vs. Dead Space 3 (PS Plus)


After being marooned and taken prisoner by your hypnotised best friend, you must navigate the halls of a mysterious island collecting crystals and balls of yarn to escape. Dead Space 3 finished off the storyline of the series, whilst adding a new weapon construction system and a co-operative campaign mode.

Winner – Battleblock Theater (GwG) – This puzzle platformer is heaps of fun, and with the level editor, you will entertaining the feline prison guards as well as yourself.

August – Dishonored (GwG) vs. Fez (PS Plus)


Offering a different kind of assassin, Dishonored has you taking revenge on the order that used to be your family in an industrial city, whereas Fez has you questioning the nature of your existence in a dimension shifting puzzle platformer.

Winner – Fez (PS Plus) – While some may challenge Phil Fish’s mentality as a game designer, it cannot be denied that he has created a masterpiece

September – Halo Reach (GwG) vs. PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale (PS Plus)


Deciding to distance themselves from the previous Halo trilogy, Bungie made a prequel adventure named Halo Reach. Although the gameplay is similar to the other entries, Reach also includes a map editor, so you can create your own battlefields.  Sony’s answer to Super Smash Bros. may not have been the success Sony hoped for, but it is still an enjoyable fighting game, and has a nostalgic touch with characters such as Parappa, Spike from Ape Escape and Daniel Fortesque in the mix.

Winner – Halo Reach (GwG) – The Halo series shows no signs of slowing down, and with this entry, Bungie prove that they still have the magic.

October – Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (GwG) vs. Batman Arkham Asylum (PS Plus)


Taking place in a modern setting, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is widely regarded as one of the best first person shooters, both in the multiplayer component, and the single player campaign. In Batman Arkham Asylum, the dark knight is tricked into letting The Joker take control of one of the most dangerous places in Gotham City, so he must fight to escape, and bring down the comedic antagonist.

Winner – Batman Arkham Asylum (PS Plus) – Arkham Asylum redefined the superhero videogame, as well as action adventure titles across the board.

November – Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise (GwG) vs. Frozen Synapse Prime (PS Plus)


Raising paper mache animals is a fun but tiring task in the Viva Pinata series, and ones filled with treats are no exception. Frozen Synapse Prime is a remastered version of a space shooter, and offers hours of fun in the final frontier.

Winner – Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise (GwG) – The shindig may be over for Viva Pinata, but the memory of it’s candy filled animals is definitely a party starter.

December – SSX (GwG) vs. Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut (PS Plus)


The snowboarding franchise SSX has had it’s peaks and troughs, but this reboot keeps things fresh and has great gameplay. Deadly Premonition is an action adventure enigma, wrapped in a mystery, and clouded with cult status.

Winner – SSX (GwG) – Although the charm of the cult classic is a tempting one, you cannot beat gliding across the ice at this time of year.

Do you agree with the choices that have been made here, and which games would you choose from the service if you do? Let us know what you think in the comments below.