PlayStation Plus vs. Games With Gold – Which Is Better? May 2017 Edition

May 2017 is almost here and now that both Microsoft and Sony have announced what games you’ll be getting for free via Games With Gold and PlayStation Plus it’s time to look at which is offering the better value for gamers. As always we’ll look at several different areas and compare such as the price value, how well the games were received by press, and how old the games are. Keep in mind this is just our opinion on which is better for the month as every person has different tastes and may like certain games better than others. Our previous three months of this year have seen PlayStation Plus with the 2-1-1 lead right now. Can Games With Gold tie it up in May? Let’s compare.

Games With Gold Price Values

Games With Gold in May 2017 is offering 4 games as always. Two Xbox One games and two Xbox 360 games which are also playable on Xbox One. On Xbox One you’re getting Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. For the first time in awhile there is no AAA retail game on Xbox One for free. On Xbox 360 you’re getting Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 and Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga. Now in terms of value let’s take a look at what each game is worth.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – $14.99

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris – $19.99

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2– $19.99

Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga – $19.99

Total Value: $75

So for the fifth month of 2017 you are getting right at $75 in value in free games with Games With Gold. Now I do want to mention a few things. As always that is only the value of the games digitally as some of these can be obtained cheaper at retail and digital prices are sometimes higher than what you would normally find the games for. Now if you don’t like indie games then this isn’t a great month at least on the Xbox One side. The two 360 games are playable on Xbox One though so there is that. Now let’s look at PlayStation Plus.

PlayStation Plus Price Values

As usual you get six free games this month with two on PS4, two on PS3, and two on PS Vita. Now May is returning to that Cross Buy trend that Sony likes to do sometimes with both of the Vita titles being Cross Buy on PS4 so you get four total free games on PS4 this month. On PS4 you get Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands and Abzu at least in the US. See this month both the US and EU are getting a different PS4 game so we are going to compare both of them in this. In EU instead of Abzu you will get Alienation. On PS3 both Blood Knights and Port Royale 3 are free and on Vita both Laser Disco Defenders and Type: Rider are free and Cross-Buy on PS4. Now let’s look at the values.

Tales from the Borderlands – $14.99

Abzu (US) Alienation (EU) – $19.99

Blood Knights – $9.99

Port Royale 3 – $9.99

Laser Disco Defenders – $9.99

Type: Rider – $7.99

Total Value: $73

So PlayStation Plus in May is giving you $73 worth of free games. This is a good month but a little less than we got last month in value terms. The most valuable game here is Abzu or Alienation as each is $20. Once again the PS3 and Vita offerings aren’t worth very much.

So when looking at the value of both services in May Games with Gold just barely edges out PlayStation Plus $75-$73 and that is with two less games. Once again both are still giving you more than what you pay a year for the services so there is that.

Price Value Winner: Games with Gold

Now we have looked at what each service is giving you in terms of money value but are the games any good? In this area we are going to look at how each game was received critically and see which lineup comes out on top. I’ll be using Metacritic to pull the scores from and for multiplatform games I will use the platform that had the most review scores. However for games that only have scores of a PC version I will not use them as PC versions can differ greatly from console versions.

Games With Gold Scores:

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – 80

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris – 74

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 – 61

Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga – 80

Review Average – 74

So looking at the Games with Gold lineup you are getting some pretty good games once again this month but a bit lower then some other months this year due to one game. Both of the Xbox One games scored well with Giana Sisters having an 8 and Lara Croft having a low 7. Lego Star Wars also has an 8 but it’s The Force Unleashed 2 that really brings the average down much like Ryse: Son of Rome did last month. Still a 74 average is still really good for four games. Now let’s look at PlayStation Plus.

PlayStation Plus Scores

Tales from the Borderlands – 86

Abzu (US) Alienation (EU) – 78/79

Blood Knights– 43

Port Royale 3 – 56

Laser Disco Defenders – 80

Type: Rider – 73

Review Average – 69/70

PlayStation Plus in May comes in with yet another low month with a 69 or a 70 depending on if you have the US or EU lineup. Now this isn’t quite as bad as last month which had a low 60 average but both months share something in common and that is the fact that the free PS3 games dragged the average way down. Both Blood Knights and Port Royale 3 were not given good review scores with one having a low 40 score and the other with a mid 50 score. In fact if you took them out and only counted the PS4 and Vita games the average would shoot up to a 79/80 which is a huge difference. Both of the PS4 offerings are great with a high 80 and right at an 80 for the other two. The Vita games came out well too with an 80 and a low 70. So far this year PS+ has had a 74, 72, 76, and 63 so May improves on last month with a 69/70 but is still one of the worst months of 2017 thanks to the poor PS3 games again.

When comparing both, Games With Gold walks away with a four point win in this area this month. It always is a little bit unfair in this area for PS+ as there are more games in their lineup which usually ends up with a better chance of hurting the average. The same can be said about Games With Gold in the value area though as PS+ has more games so the value has a better chance of being higher. Last month Games with Gold won with a 75-63 where this month the poor PS3 games once again allows Games With Gold to narrowly have the edge. As always it is up to the gamer to decide how much they like each game.

Review Score Winner – Games With Gold

Third Round: Game Newness

Once again we will be looking at and comparing how new are the games that each service is offering. Some gamers prefer to get newer games versus older games so we like to look at when each of these games came out and see which is better in this area.

Games With Gold Release Dates:

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – December 12, 2015

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris – December 9, 2014

Star Wars The Force Unleashed 2 – October 26, 2010

Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga – November 6, 2007

Looking at the Games With Gold lineup you are getting one game that released a year and a half ago, one game that is a little over two years old, one game that is almost seven years old and one game that is almost ten years old.

Tales from the Borderlands – October 20, 2015

Abzu (US) Alienation (EU) – August 2, 2016/April 26, 2016

Blood Knights– November 19, 2013

Port Royale 3 – October 9, 2012

Laser Disco Defenders – August 2, 2016

Type: Rider – July 12, 2016

Looking at the PS+ lineup you are getting three games that are less than a year old or four if you count the EU Alienation. One game is almost two years old, one game is almost four years old and one game is almost five years old.

So when comparing both lineups Sony continues to win this area month after month with another victory in May. They just seem to give newer games when compared to Games with Gold which I appreciate because there is a greater chance that you haven’t played them. Again this area might not mean anything to you but some gamers like getting newer games for free and PlayStation Plus continues to be the leader in this area having won all five months of this year.

Game Newness Winner – PlayStation Plus

So in May 2017 Games with Gold just barely edges out PS+ 2-1 due to the slight couple dollar advantage in the price area. All of this doesn’t really mean anything though and as always it’s up to each gamer to decide which lineup is better to them. You may not like certain genres or you may have already played some of the games thus making a lineup less appealing to you. Be sure to let us know in the comments which lineup you like better in May.

Overall Winner: Games with Gold

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