The PlayStation Plus free titles and Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced for June 2018. It’s time to pit the collections against each other to see which console comes out on top with June’s offerings. Welcome to PS Plus vs Games with Gold!
Let’s take a look at the contestants. First up, the PS Plus Instant Game Collection.
- XCOM 2 (PS4)
- Trials Fusion (PS4)
- Zombie Driver HD (PS3)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PS3)
- Atomic Ninjas (PS Vita)
- Squares (PS Vita)
Next, here are the Xbox Games with Gold that you can grab on Microsoft’s platform next month.
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia (Xbox One)
- SMITE: Gold Bundle (Xbox One)
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Xbox 360, Xbox One w/ backwards compatibility)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2 (Xbox 360, Xbox One w/ backwards compatibility)
PS Plus Free Games June 2018
Sony heads up the PlayStation Plus lineup for June with one of the best and most difficult strategy games of all time. XCOM 2 is a notoriously punishing game, but is the kind of tactical experience other studios only wish they could replicate. The only thing holding XCOM 2 back when we reviewed it was a messy technical presentation, but the game is so good, it managed to shine right through any the occasional frame stutters and long loading times. There have been some massive expansions released to XCOM 2 that make it almost an entirely new game, so if you like what you play, you can extend your experience.
Trials Fusion is a fun game that’s easy to pick up and play in short bursts, but has a pretty sharp learning curve to nail some of the mot difficult courses. It’s a side-scrolling, platformer, stunt-racing game, again with few games that can truly compete with its particular style. The ability to quickly start and restart a level means that those short bursts can turn into hours and hours of trying to perfect a single track. Trials also has a number of expansions, so you can challenge yourself with near countless (alright, they can be counted, whatever) courses.
On the PS3 side, we’ve got two games this month. We really enjoyed Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier when we reviewed it back in 2012, but it will be interesting to see how well the game has aged over the last six years. A lot of other shooters have come out in that time and it may not hold up like it used to. Zombie Driver HD is another 2012 game with middling scores at best, so it really feels like yet another consolation prize, rather than any real reason to subscribe to PS Plus.
For the Vita, Sony is offering Atomic Ninjas and Squares. Neither have amazing reviews, but if you’ve still got a Vita that you play regularly and are looking for a couple of games to add to your collection, these are both definitely games that can be played on a Vita. Once again, with titles like these, it makes complete sense as to why Sony would be discontinuing Vita and PS3 support for the Plus Instant Game Collection next March. Sony’s basically dropped support for these platforms from Plus already.
None of the games are cross-platform this month, so that means you get your two PS4 games, two PS3 games, and two Vita games. If you’re only after what’s available on the PS4, XCOM 2 and Trials Fusion are your games for the month.
Xbox Live Games with Gold June 2018
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia is the headliner for June’s Games with Gold, and with how much Microsoft has been releasing Assassin’s Creed games on this platform, I’d be willing to bet they have a pretty strong deal with Ubisoft to put them all out there. Unfortunately the Chronicles side games for the series were never all that great, so this isn’t a massive inclusion for the month. I’m sure players will have fun playing it, but it’s not the same as adding one of the better received mainline games.
The next major entry is an odd one, considering it is a free-to-play MOBA. Smite: Gold Bundle allegedly has a $99 value, and as far as we can tell will simply be a bunch of premium items in the game to help kickstart and get people playing the free-to-play title. PlayStation Plus had a similar promotion back in December, but it was an extra bonus rather than one of the free games up for grabs. For this month’s Games with Gold, the Smite bundle takes the place of one of the Xbox One games.
Perhaps pairing with the announcement of the upcoming Team Sonic Racing, one of the Xbox 360 backwards compatible games this month is Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. it was a well received arcade kart-racer that was full of nostalgia and classic Sega characters. I’m actually more excited to see this old Xbox 360 game on the list than either of the main Xbox One entries.
The final Xbox 360 backwards compatible game for June is LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues. While it might have marked a low point in LEGO games overall, it should still be a fun little adventure to go back to now that Xbox One owners have the opportunity to play it for free.
All four Games with Gold June games are playable on the Xbox One.
Which Lineup is Better?
June is a tough month. Sony arguably has the best single game on the list with XCOM 2, and Trials Fusion isn’t a shabby addition. Where they falter is in the PS3 and Vita selection, none of which are cross-compatible with the PS4. For PS4 owners, that means only two games this month, though the two games in question are great additions to anyone’s collection. PS3 and Vita owners get left with a few consolation prizes once again, a trend that will probably continue until March 2019 ends support for them.
Microsoft has more range with their four total games playable on Xbox One, but the addition of a premium pack fro a free-to-play MOBA is an odd choice to take up one of those coveted slots. The Xbox games certainly aren’t bad by any means, but of all the games I would choose to play, XCOM 2 and Trials Fusion would beat out any of the four games on Microsoft’s list.
The PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection is regularly dragged down by the “mandatory” and low-effort entries to the PS3 and Vita sections, which takes away from the highlights of the obviously better PS4 offerings. Microsoft also shot themselves in the foot by using a full game slot to offer a free-to-play game bonus pack, rather than shuffling it off as a side bonus like Sony has done in the past. Despite this, Sony just managed to eke out a victory this month with two great and unique PS4 titles that are better than anything Microsoft is offering.
Wondering how July’s lineups will fare next to one another? Come back next month when we pit the newly announced free games lineups against one another in PS Plus vs Games with Gold. Do you agree with our verdict? Which lineup do you think is better?
PS Plus vs Games with Gold June 2018: Which Free Games are Better?