Trying to keep up with the latest releases can really take its toll on your wallet. Luckily, there are lots of tools and services designed to help you play the best games around without emptying your bank account.
Here’s a list, broken down by platform, with a few cross-platform options to boot.
The ultimate tool for saving money on PC games. Think of it as a hub for the best deals, it catalogues every discount worth knowing about on the web in one place. Which is handy given the hundreds of PC sales that are going on at any one time.
Create a ‘waitlist’ by importing your Steam, GOG or Gamersgate wishlist. Or populate the list manually on the website by selecting the games you’re interested in buying. From there you can sort by price or percentage discount. It will tell you the historic low price across several buying platforms so you make sure you get the best deal. You can set up notifications for individual games if you want a nudge when a title falls below a certain price.
Its email updates are a godsend. Letting you know new deals for games that are currently on your waitlist. And best of all, it costs absolutely nothing.
PlayStation Plus (PS4)
PS Plus is almost a must-have for PS4 players because it’s the only way to play games online, and as part of the service you get a handful of free games every month.
They can be hit and miss but it is at least always good value, with more than USD$50 worth of free games every month. If you’re paying for PS Plus already, you may as well try out some of the games you might’ve missed at no extra cost.
Unfortunately, although your free games are available for the length of your subscription, regardless of what month they become available, if you cancel then you’ll lose access to them.
PS Plus costs USD$9.99/RM 21/SGD $6.90 a month or USD$59.99/RM 129/SGD $43.90 for a year.
PlayStation Now (PS4, PC)
Some of the best games on the PS3 can now be played on your PS4 or PC. Sony’s streaming service PlayStation Now has some great old school favourites. With over 500 titles that include Shadow of the Colossus, Red Dead Redemption, Ico and more.
There are a couple of catches to this service. First is its price: at USD$19.99 a month it’s one of the steepest on this list (Not available in Malaysia yet). We’d like to see that come down by at least 25% before giving it our unreserved recommendation. But if you don’t mind spending that money, you’ll be getting some of the best games ever made at the touch of a button.
Secondly is the fact that this is a game streaming service, rather than a download and play service. This means that the quality of your gaming experience can be dramatically impacted by how good your internet connection is.
This option is great if you don’t own a PS4, and Sony is beginning to add PS4 games to further expand the catalogue. There’s a seven-day free trial in case you’re on the fence.
Xbox Games Pass (Xbox)
Games Pass is Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s PlayStation Now. It gives you an online catalogue of Xbox 360 and Xbox One games to play at your leisure. One of its best features is that you download games rather than streaming them, which is good if you have a slow internet connection. It also means that internet blackouts won’t interrupt your time on the sofa.
The price is reasonable: USD $9.99/SGD $14.90 a month after a two-week free trial. Plus, you get a 20% discount on Xbox One titles if you sign up.
The main downside is the size of the library. At just over 100 games it’s far less than the 400+ games that Sony is offering on their own subscription service. More games are incoming, though, so keep your eyes peeled for new releases.
If you’re keen to play through the best of Microsoft’s backlog, this is a lot cheaper than buying individual titles.
GameFly (Smart TV)
The closest you can get to Netflix for games. You can play PS4 and Xbox One games without buying a console. All you need to do is download the GameFly app on you Smart TV or Amazon Fire Stick. Provided your internet is fast enough (5Mbps or more should do it) you then stream games direct to your TV.
You pay for a package of games, either ‘gamer’ or ‘family’, and you get unlimited access to the titles in that range for just under USD$10 a month. The library isn’t massive, mind, with just over 100 titles available, but it is growing all the time.
Unfortunately, this is not available in Asia yet.