Which PlayStation Plus tier is most worth the cost?

PlayStation Plus is a membership program offered by Sony that allows players to access online gameplay and much more. There are a total of three membership tiers starting from the most basic to the most inclusive. They are PS Plus – Essential, Extra, and Premium. In this article, I am going to showcase each tier’s perks and determine which of these tiers has the most bang for its buck.

What Exactly is PS Plus?

Since its inception in 2010, PlayStation Plus has been required for all online games. Originally, it was just a subscription based solely on that, but over time it has evolved to include many Sony features. When Xbox came up with its Game Pass idea, Sony responded by fusing the PS Plus membership with their PlayStation Now game streaming service, into the three-tier system we use to this day. As a member of any of the three tiers, you receive access to online play, free game downloads every month, cloud storage for game save data, and access to PlayStation Store deals.

PlayStation Plus screen on the PlayStation 5


With that being said, as a PlayStation Plus Essential user, that’s where the perks end for you. The most basic of the three tiers was originally $59.99 annually. In September of 2023 despite an overall negative reaction from fans, Sony decided to up the cost of all subscriptions, and Essential now costs $79.99 for a full year. Although the price is well worth the access to online gameplay, and 2 or 3 free games a month, this tier is by far the lowest of the bunch. In my opinion, if you are going to pay a year’s cost, you might as well go all in and get the most you can out of it.

PlayStation Plus Essential is worth it if you don’t game a lot, or if you are a parent just looking for the cheapest option to get your kids off your back. Any avid gamer would make out much better getting one of the next two tiers, seeing as they come with many more perks. Of course, more perks do come at a greater cost.

November 2023’s free games with Essential tier or higher


Next up on the list is PS Plus Extra. This tier takes the Essential perks and adds an entire library of titles to play via the PlayStation Game Catalog streaming platform. These games, including mega titles like Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted, are all available to stream or download at any time as long as your subscription is active. With over 400 titles, this tier is a better option for modern gamers, but it costs $134.99.

At almost twice the cost of Essential, it’s arguable that Extra is more worthwhile than the lowest tier. You could also argue that it is the worst of the three if you aren’t a very active gamer. While the Game Catalog is worth far more than $135 in individual purchases, if you don’t ever utilize it, it’s not really worth spending an extra $60 a year. This tier seems like a great option for streamers who want to play newer titles for cheap, or for parents to give teenagers a reason to stop bugging for new games. For me though, the next tier includes something too great to pass up at its price.

With over 400 options the Game Catalog is truly remarkable


The final of the three PS Plus tiers is Premium and it lives up to its title. Keeping with the trend, Premium includes the perks of Essential and Extra but adds the Classics Catalog and access to Game Trials. The Game Trials are basically demos that allow you to play brand-new titles without having to pay full price. This is a great tool for avid gamers who don’t like wasting their time or money on new games that could be unfinished or simply bad.

The Classics Catalog is the Holy Grail for diehard PlayStation fans. With over 400 titles, this is the retro equivalent of the Game Catalog. It features iconic titles from the past like Twisted Medal, Fallout: New Vegas, and the Devil May Cry Trilogy, all available to stream (or download if possible) at any time with an active account. At only $159.99 a year, PS Plus Premium adds all these perks at only $15 more than the cost of Extra. This is a steal considering you could potentially pay more than the annual cost on a physical copy of some of the available titles in today’s market.

Some other PS Plus perks

Individual Strong Points:

In their own right, each PlayStation Plus tier has its individual strength, making them all worth something to someone. Lets highlight each tier one more with all available perks to put it into perspective before choosing the best one.

PS Plus Essential ($79.99 annually):

  • Access to online gaming
  • Free monthly games
  • Cloud save data

PS Plus Extra ($134.99 annually):

  • Access to online gaming
  • Free monthly games
  • Cloud save data
  • Access to Game Catalog with over 400+ titles

PS Plus Premium ($159.99 annually):

  • Access to online gaming
  • Free motnhly games
  • Cloud save data
  • Access to Game Catalog with over 400+ titles
  • Access to Classic Catalog with over 400+ retro titles
  • Access to Game Trials

Seeing the perks all laid out makes it seem much more worthwhile, the higher tier you decide to go with. This, of course, is subject to your level of gaming, but overall I think most would agree that paying a little more is the most advantageous route.

Which tier is the best?

As stated earlier, this is all mostly subject to your personal level of gaming. If you just want to play Madden or Call of Duty on the weekends then you have no need to pay more than $79.99 a year for one game. If you actively live stream your games or are a parent of a teen who constantly bugs for new games, then Extra might be the right choice at $134.99. If you are someone who wants the most bang for your buck, or are an extreme PlayStation fan (like myself) then the obvious choice is Premium.

I think it is safe to say the average PS owner wants the most out of their consoles, however, and the clear answer there is without a doubt the Premium tier. With all of its perks, you have access to over 800 games at any time, and you can even give brand-new titles a test run before deciding to buy them. At only $160 a year, you really can’t ask for much more than that.

The best part of PS Plus is the Classics Catalog


All-in-all PlayStation Plus is simply worth it because you need it. Most games lack strong single-player content in today’s age, and online play is the way to go. Since you have to have PS Plus to play online, you’ll inevitably have to make the choice of which tier to go with. Hopefully, this article helps break down the strong points on which to choose, even if you don’t end up going with my suggested best option.

What are your thoughts on PlayStation Plus? Do you think Sony gives enough for its asking prices? Let us know in the comment section below!