A great value, in concept
PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium are kinda like Xbox Game Pass. You can play a variety of games available in the service’s library you wouldn’t otherwise check out. Games are expensive, and a subscription service can help alleviate that pain. But is PlayStation Plus Extra worth it, and should you upgrade to Premium?
Let’s find out!
What the heck is PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium?
I don’t blame anyone for being confused! There are multiple tiers to PlayStation Plus’ subscription service.
- Essential ($9.99/month) gives you online multiplayer access, discounts, cloud storage, Share Play, and of course monthly games. For example, you’ll be getting Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Meet Your Maker, and Tails of Iron in April of 2023.
- Extra ($14.99/month) is the next step up from that. You’ll gain access to a wide selection of games in a catalog, in addition to all the prior benefits. This includes big exclusive titles like Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, Demon’s Souls, and Spider-Man: Miles Morales and third-party titles, such as Ghostwire: Tokyo and Immortals: Fenyx Rising.
- Premium ($17.99/month) offers everything from the previous tiers but also adds classic titles from the PS1 and PSP (like Tekken 2, Super Stardust Portable, and Syphon Filter), trials, and cloud streaming into the mix.
PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium
So is PlayStation Plus Extra worth it? Well, the games library has a wide range of game genres and experiences to choose from. There’s the whole Life is Strange series, NEO: The World Ends with You, the comprehensive Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, the open-world Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, and of course PlayStation’s first-party offerings like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon: Forbidden West. You’ll also be able to play major indie darlings like Haven, Untitled Goose Game, and the recently released Tchia. PlayStation touts there are hundreds of games available on the service. If you want to save money and don’t mind missing out on playing games on day one, PlayStation Plus Extra is a good option.
PlayStation Plus Premium is slightly more expensive but it does widen the library even further with streamed PS3 games and downloadable PS1/PSP games that are up-rendered to 4K. With Premium, most PS4 and PS5 games can be streamed to your console, PC, or phone too. You can play forgotten PlayStation franchises like Killzone and Resistance on the service, in addition to the beloved PS2 Ratchet & Clank games through streaming. The selection of PS1 games is admittedly brief but it does have some favorites like the original Ape Escape and Tekken 2. Some of the PS1 games even have trophies you can unlock.
The trials from PlayStation Plus Premium also give some value. If you’ve ever considered trying out Marvel’s Midnight Suns, you can play a two-hour trial of the strategy game with PlayStation Plus Premium. Once you purchase the game, you can then begin where you left off. But really, that’s about it if you don’t want to play the retro titles.
Are PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium worth the price?
PlayStation Plus Premium is arguably not worth the price. The selection of PS1 games is lackluster and lacks big titles like Metal Gear Solid, the original Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon trilogies, and the best entry of the PS1 Tekken games: Tekken 3! It is getting better with inclusions like The Legend of Dragoon and Worms: Armageddon, but they come few and far between, similar to the drip-feed formula of Switch Online.
The quality of streamed games can vary as well, depending on your connection. It does get spotty from time to time even with the best internet, and with key precision genres like fighting games, that is certainly a no-go.
PlayStation Plus Extra has a good selection overall, but it does pale in comparison to Xbox Game Pass. While Microsoft offers all its first-party titles on day one, you’ll have to wait a long time for PlayStation to offer their games to their subscription service, if that even happens at all. Horizon Forbidden West was a nice surprise in February, but it took nearly a year to make it to PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium. It’s inconsistent, however, as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is still not available on the service, a year and a half later.
Meanwhile, Hi-Fi Rush was announced and immediately released on Game Pass to great acclaim. There are a few select games that have launched day-and-date with PlayStation Plus like Tchia and Stray, but they come far between and aren’t as high-budget as Halo Infinite or Gears 5.
For dedicated PlayStation fans though who love to check out the cool third-party titles on the service or go back to old franchises like Ratchet & Clank, PlayStation Plus Extra is certainly worth it. You may want to skip Premium unless the PS1 and PSP classics library expands greatly.
[Note: The writer gained 1 year of access to the service from PlayStation Canada when it first launched]