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How much are you really saving with this month’s free games?

Another month of free games are available for both PlayStation and Xbox owners, but just how much are you saving by downloading these free games — and how good are they?

PS Plus’s free games for subscribers in January includes Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Batman: The Telltale Series, while Xbox’s Games With Gold for the month includes Zombi and Tomb Raider Underworld. Read on for a breakdown of how much each lineup will save subscribers and how critically well regarded each set of games is.

(And while there’s no exact science to critical reception, here it’s been determined by Metacritic scores, with IGN’s review score provided as a supplemental opinion when available.)

Critical Reception

PlayStation Plus

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4) — Metacritic Score: 84 (IGN’s Mankind Divided review score: 9.2)
  • Batman: The Telltale Series (PS4) — Metacritic Score: 68 (All five of IGN’s Batman: The Telltale Series Season 1 reviews)
  • Sacred 3 (PS3) — Metacritic Score: 56 (IGN’s Sacred 3 review score: 6.5)
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (PS3) — Metacritic Score: 63
  • Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness (PS Vita, PS4) — Metacritic Score: 64
  • Uncanny Valley (PS Vita, PS4) — Metacritic Score: 54
  • StarBlood Arena (PS VR) — Metacritic Score: 68

Average Metacritic Score: 65.3 with StarBlood Arena, 76.2 average score without

Games With Gold

Average Metacritic Score: 71

Considering both platform’s entire offerings for the month, Xbox’s Games With Gold lineup comes up ahead of PS Plus by about six points. PS Plus’ lineup does include the only game reviewed by IGN in either lineup to receive above a 9.0 — Deus Ex: Mankind Divided — but IGN has reviewed more of this month’s GWG titles. All three of those games — Zombi, Tomb Raider, and Army of Two — scored a 7.5 or higher.

We’ve included an alternate PS Plus average score to not include StarBlood Arena, as the game is only available for free to PS VR owners who have PS Plus, and is also available as a free game through March 6. (When removing StarBlood, PS Plus’ average score comes in a bit higher than the GWG lineup’s average.)

Winner: Games With Gold

Financial Savings

PlayStation Plus

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4) — $59.99
  • Batman: The Telltale Series (PS4) — $24.99
  • Sacred 3 (PS3) — $14.99
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (PS3) — $19.99
  • Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness (PS Vita, PS4) — $29.99
  • Uncanny Valley (PS Vita, PS4) — $12.99
  • StarBlood Arena (PS VR) — $19.99

Total savings: $182.93, $162.94 without StarBlood Arena

Games With Gold

  • The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III (Xbox One) — $14.99
  • Zombi (Xbox One) — $19.99
  • Tomb Raider Underworld (Xbox One, Xbox 360) — $19.99
  • Army of Two (Xbox One, Xbox 360) — $14.99

Total savings: $69.96

Note: Prices are based on MSRP as listed on the digital marketplaces of each console.

PS Plus’ lineup offers over $100 more in savings this month, and still nearly that much when StarBlood Arena is factored out of the total price. The comparison still factors in more games on the PlayStation side of things either way, but Mankind Divided’s $59.99 listed price on the PSN Store certainly boosts the overall monetary value of that lineup. Alternatively, the most expensive game on the Games With Gold list is Zombi or Underworld at $19.99.

Winner: PlayStation Plus

The first month of 2018 brings plenty of savings for both PlayStation and Xbox players, and for the month there’s not necessarily a better wholesale deal. The PS Plus lineup does offer much more in savings, though those figures tend to be more comparable by year’s end (each of the last two years of free games for each service has seen about a $200 gap between the total amounts of money saved). And you can always keep up with each month’s savings, including a look back at the cumulative money saved from previous years, in our PS Plus and Games With Gold comparison wiki.

The Games With Gold lineup does provide a list of more critically well-received games. Only one of PS Plus’ games has a Metacritic score above a 70 for the month, whereas three of the four Games With Gold titles pass that mark.

January’s Best Deal: TIE

Jonathon Dornbush is an Associate Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter @jmdornbush.






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