The first free PlayStation Plus games and the first free Xbox Live Gold games of 2023 have been revealed. This week, both Sony revealed the free games coming to PS Plus next month and Microsoft revealed the free games coming to Xbox Live Gold next month. Both announcements were made around the same time, and one has been received very warmly while the other has been heavily criticized. If you’ve been paying attention to the two services, you’ll know the former is in reference to PS Plus while the latter is in reference to Xbox Live Gold or, more specifically, Games With Gold.
In case you missed it, PS Plus subscribers are getting the following three games for January 2023: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Axiom Verge 2, and Fallout 76. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is one of the most popular games of the last generation, one of 2019’s best games, and a game getting a sequel in March. Its inclusion has obviously proven popular among subscribers. Meanwhile, Axiom Verge 2 was just released last year and is a sequel to one of 2015’s most popular games, Axiom Verge. And then there is Fallout 76, which was divisive when it was released, but is played by many and is obviously a Fallout game that carries weight.
Then there are the pair of games coming to Xbox Live Gold next month. Next month, via Games With Gold, Xbox Live Gold subscribers are getting Iris Fall, an indie game that flew under the radar in 2018, and Autonauts which more or less fits the same bill beyond the fact it released a year later in 2019.
As you can see, the two offers just don’t compare. PS Plus subscribers are getting two popular AAA games and a popular indie game while Xbox Live Gold subscribers are getting zero AAA games and two indie games, both of which are less notable than the indie game PS Plus subscribers are getting. Making matter worse, PS Plus includes a PS5 game while Games With Gold is just two Xbox one games. As you would expect, the announcement of the Xbox Live Gold lineup has been catching some slack on Twitter.