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Why Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Is Worth Getting Now More Than Ever

Xbox Game Pass has been on a tear for the past few years. In fact, The Verge reported in September 2020 that the service had grown by 50 percent "in less than six months," bringing its subscriber count up to 15 million. As The Verge noted in its piece, Microsoft had offered plenty of promotions to get that number up, such as pricing the first month of Game Pass at just $1. While some believe Xbox Game Pass is one of the better gaming subscriptions out there — perhaps even the best — one could argue that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate takes it to a whole new level.


You may have taken a peek at Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the $14.99 per month tier of Game Pass that combines both the PC and console versions of the service. But you may have decided that the $9.99 per month plan suits you just fine, and there's no real reason to upgrade. Lately, though, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has added some extras that are pretty tough to ignore, and some other circumstances have made it a more appealing deal than it was before. Below, you'll learn about why Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is worth getting now more than ever before.

It'll save you money on Xbox Live Gold

At the time of this writing, one month of Xbox Live Gold will run you $9.99 per month. Sure, you can save a little bit of money by purchasing a longer subscription — a year of Gold costs $59.99 — but that isn't always an option for people. If you want to avoid putting down more money upfront, you may feel compelled to keep Xbox Live Gold renewing on a month-to-month basis. If you purchase Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, however, you can get all of the benefits that service includes, plus Xbox Live Gold at a very cheap rate.


Doing some math, an Xbox Game Pass subscription alone costs $9.99. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is $5 more per month and includes Xbox Live Gold, which means you are essentially getting Gold for the same monthly cost ($5) as someone who buys a 12-month subscription card. One could argue that Ultimate provides other features with perceived costs of their own, and that could technically make Xbox Live Gold even cheaper when you take those into account. Regardless, if you want Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate provides you with the best deal.

Xbox Game Pass has Perks

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate isn't only about the games you can play. While there are plenty of titles available, including some real blockbusters, Game Pass Ultimate also includes something called Perks for those who subscribe to the service. Just like the games found in Game Pass, the Perks are only available for a limited time before they're replaced with new ones. You may not subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for the Perks alone, but they're certainly a nice added value.


At the time of this writing, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes a free 30-day trial of Disney+, which means you can sign up and binge the entirety of The Mandalorian at no extra cost. You can also get a free subscription to Discord Nitro, or nab yourself some additional content for games like Forza Horizon 4 or Warframe. Perhaps these Perks aren't all that game-changing for you, and you'll elect to not take advantage of any of them. Regardless, they're included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate along with everything else. They also change often, so you might want to keep an eye on them.

Free access to EA Play

Xbox Game Pass already boasts over 100 games you can play at any given moment. On the console side, though, bumping your subscription up to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers you yet another benefit. If you choose to pay the extra $5 a month for Ultimate, you'll also get access to the EA Play library, which includes dozens of EA-published games. You may think that's just getting you a bunch of old Madden and FIFA games, but once you dig into the catalog, your mind might change.


At press time, EA Play includes critically acclaimed titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Dragon Age: Inquisition. You could check out both Titanfall titles, or play through every single Mass Effect ever made. Yes, there are also countless sports games listed as part of EA Play, too, if you're a fan of those. But you shouldn't sleep on everything else EA Play has to offer. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate was already pretty good, but EA Play arguably made it even better.

It's the only way to use xCloud

Did you know that the Xbox ecosystem includes a cloud gaming platform? Indeed, the Google Stadia-like service — which was codenamed xCloud and is still widely called that by gamers — lets you play Xbox games from your Android smartphone or tablet. At the moment, iPhone and iPad users are left out of the party, as are those who'd like to play Xbox games via the cloud on Windows. Come to think of it, though, a whole lot of other people are left out, too, because xCloud is only available for those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.


That's right — if you want play Halo: The Master Chief Collection on your phone, the only way to do that is by paying for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. There's no way to use cloud gaming outside of Ultimate, and there's no indication that Microsoft plans to separate the two anytime soon. Still, if you're someone who travels a lot, or has to share a console with someone else inside your home, xCloud could come in handy. Not every Game Pass title is playable on it right now, but if you view it as a value add — something extra you get alongside everything else — you may feel better about paying for an Ultimate subscription.