The first month of 2019 is upon us and Sony and Microsoft have announced their first lineup’s of free titles for their paid gaming subscribers. As always we’re going to compare and contrast these two lineups here. We’ll look at several different areas and compare them such as the price value, how well the games were received by critics, 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. Which is better in January? Let’s find out.
Games With Gold Price Values
Games with Gold is offering four titles as always with two on Xbox One and two on Xbox 360.bAs always you can play the Xbox 360 games and Xbox games on your Xbox One thanks to backward compatibility. On the Xbox One you get both Celeste and WRC 6 for free. On the Xbox 360 you get both Far Cry 2 and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Now there is something interesting here worth pointing out. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was already on Games with Gold several years ago. This makes the first time that either Sony or Microsoft has put a duplicate game up for free. I understand that some people missed it back then but you also have paying customers who already got it and thus are being short changed a free title this month. Anyway, let’s look at what the games are worth.
Celeste – $19.99
WRC 6 – $49.99
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – $14.99
Far Cry 2 – $19.99
Total Value: $105
So looking at the lineup you get $105 worth of free games in January which is up from the $60 in December. Going back to last year this is the first $100+ month for Games with Gold in awhile. WRC 6 is the biggest value here being a $50 game. Celeste is also worth pointing out not just because it’s a $20 title but because it’s one of the best games of 2018. Overall, you’re getting a pretty good month of value here on Games with Gold. Now let’s look at the PlayStation Plus lineup.
PlayStation Plus Price Values
In January, PlayStation Plus members are getting six games for free. On the PlayStation 4, you are getting both Steep and Portal Knights for free. On the PlayStation 3, both Amplitude and Zone of the Enders HD Collection are free. Super Mutant Alien Assault and Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion are the free Vita games and round out the lineup. Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion is also Cross-Buy on the PS4 giving you an extra game on that platform. Now let’s look at the price values.
Steep – $29.99
Portal Knights – $19.99
Amplitude – $19.99
Zone of the Enders HD Collection – $34.99
Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion – $19.99
Super Mutant Alien Assault – $9.99
Total Value: $135
So for the first month of 2019 you are getting a total of $135 in value which is down from the $153 you got in December. At $135 though it’s still a very good month and continues the long streak that PlayStation Plus has had going for awhile now of offering big values. Zone of the Enders HD Collection on the PS3 is the biggest value here at $35 but the whole lineup is pretty consistent.
So when comparing both lineups, PlayStation Plus wins with a $135-$105 difference. It’s a smaller gap then we’ve seen between the two services lately but PlayStation Plus continues to lead this area. Regardless, you’re getting more value this month on both services than what a year of membership costs so it’s a win for both services.
Price Value Winner:
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
Celeste – 92
WRC 6 – 66
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – 85
Far Cry 2 – 85
Review Average – 82
So looking at the Games with Gold lineup you end up with an 82 average score between the titles which is four points higher than the average last month. The entire lineup is actually really good when it comes to scores except for one title that really brings the score down. WRC 6 is the outlier here with a 66 average while every other title has at least an 85 or higher. Of course Celeste has a fantastic score which is why it is up for so many Game of the Year awards this year. Now let’s look at the PlayStation Plus lineup.
PlayStation Plus Scores:
Steep – 71
Portal Knights – 71
Zone of the Enders HD Collection – 73
Amplitude – 74
Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion – 62
Super Mutant Alien Assault – 67
Review Average – 70
So looking at the PlayStation Plus lineup you end up with a 70 average which is down a lot from the 82 average the lineup had in December. It’s a little disappointing to see a drop that big but that’s not to say there are no good games this month. Four out of the six titles this month all have scores in the low to mid 70’s meaning they are pretty much good games. The two Vita titles both scored in the low to high 60’s which hurts the average this month.
So when comparing both lineups in January, Games with Gold comes out far better with a 82-70 win. In this area Games with Gold usually has an advantage regardless due to there being more games on PlayStation Plus which usually results in a lower average. Still, when the gap is this big the number of games has nothing to do with it. Either way both lineups offer some good games this month and it’s up to the gamer to decide which games look more interesting to them.
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.
Celeste – January 26, 2018
WRC 6 – October 7, 2016
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – August 18, 2010
Far Cry 2 – October 21, 2008
So looking at the Games with Gold lineup, we have one game that is almost a year old, one game that is over two years old, one game that is over eight years old, and one game that is over ten years old. Now let’s look at the PlayStation Plus lineup.
Steep – December 2, 2016
Portal Knights – May 23, 2017
Zone of the Enders HD Collection – October 30, 2012
Amplitude – April 5, 2016
Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion – July 18, 2017
Super Mutant Alien Assault – September 11, 2018
Looking at the PlayStation Plus lineup, you have one title that is only three months old, two titles that are about a year and a half old, one title that is two years old, one title that is almost three years old, and one title that is over six years old.
So when comparing both lineups, PlayStation Plus comes out as the winner. While Games with Gold has Celeste which is only a year old, PlayStation Plus has a title that is only a few months old. The oldest title in the Plus lineup is six years old while Games with Gold has an eight and a ten year old title. Again this area might not mean anything to you but some gamers like getting newer games for free as there is a lesser chance that they have played them.
Game Newness Winner – PlayStation Plus
So for the first month of 2019, PlayStation Plus comes out as the overall winner with a 2-1 win over Games with Gold in the compared areas. PlayStation Plus won the value category as well as the newer game category while Games with Gold won the Critical Reception Category. All of this doesn’t really mean anything though and as always it’s up to each gamer to decide which lineup is better for their individual tastes. Be sure to let us know in the comments which lineup you like better in January.
Overall Winner: PlayStation Plus