Best free trials for games: PS Now, Apple Arcade, PS Plus and more

Best free gaming trials
Control is currently available to play on PS Now (Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)

You can't ever get something for nothing, right? Subscription games services seem to fly in the face of that with free trials that offer you the opportunity to play top video games without paying a penny.

Below we’re going to talk you through some of the best free gaming trials you can find right now, and you may even decide to keep your subscriptions after you’ve tried them out as some of the services below are particularly impressive.

This list focuses primarily on console and mobile gaming, but there are other options you’ll find if you’re a PC gamer. You should also note that a lot of the trials below will automatically renew, so if you're looking to save money you must remember to cancel the service ahead of it.

PS Now

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider that is available on PS Now (Image credit: Square Enix)

If you own a PlayStation 4, you may already know about PS Now. This is Sony’s game streaming service that gives you access to a library of over 100 titles that you can play over the internet without having to download the game first.

You can also download the games if you don’t have a strong internet connection, but PS Now is a great option as it comes with some top titles such as Control, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Doom (2016), Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and many more.

If you’re looking for bang for your buck, PS Now is a great option. You'll get a seven day free trial when you sign up, and then it'll cost $9.99 / £8.99 a month after that. It's sadly not available to those in Australia.

Sony regularly adds new titles to the service, so you’ll be able to stream top games each month for just one solid price.

Apple Arcade

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Sayonara Wild Hearts that you'll find on Apple Arcade (Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Apple Arcade aims to rid your phone of games that spam you with adverts and in-game payments to offer a more high-quality experience for one subscription cost a month.

Everything on Apple Arcade is free to you when you subscribe, and you’ll be able to play games like Sayonara Wild Hearts, Rayman Mini and Assemble With Care without having to buy the titles specifically.

If you own a compatible product, Apple offers a free month to start your trial. It's then $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 after that. 

A month long subscription should allow you to fit in a lot of mobile gaming, plus you can share it with six family members as well so lots of people can play from one subscription.

PlayStation Plus

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus has been a free game on PS Plus (Image credit: Sony)

If you want to play online games on your PlayStation 4, you'll need to be a subscriber to PS Plus. Did you know the service actually offers you free games too?

At the time of writing you're able to download Shadow of the Colossus and Sonic Forces for free. You'll need to continue to be a subscriber to be able to play the games though, and Sony only offer a free 14 day long trial of this service.

This is one we'd recommend subscribing to if you already own a PlayStation 4 and you want to be able to make the most of the console. Below we've put some of the best deals you'll find for PlayStation Plus today:

Xbox Game Pass 

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves is available on Xbox Game Pass (Image credit: Rare)

This is perhaps the best service on this list, but we're sort of cheating by including it as it doesn't have a free trial. Instead, you'll be able to get a free month of Xbox Game Pass for $1 / £1 / AU$1.

While Microsoft offers a standard Xbox Game Pass subscription for PC and console respectively, we think that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the best package available. 

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate grants you access to Xbox Game Pass on both PC and console, and also includes Xbox Live Gold (that's what allows you to play games online). Be warned though, this is set to cost $14.99 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 a month if you don't cancel it after the free trial.

Xbox Games Pass comes with access to over 100 games, which at the time of writing includes Sea of Thieves, Ori and the Will of Wisps, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Two Point Hospital.

Google Play Pass

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

If you've got an Android phone, tablet or computer you can make the most of Google Play Pass, a subscription service giving you free access to hundreds of paid Android games with no ads and in-app purchases unlocked.

There are plenty of huge titles available including Stardew Valley, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Limbo, Terraria, This is the Police, Monument Valley 2 and Reigns: Game of Thrones, as well as plenty of smaller games. In fact, it's basically like Apple Arcade but with a wider selection of better-known games.

Google Play Pass initially had a 14-day free trial, but that was bumped up to 30 free days for people who didn't take advantage of the initial offering. If you're an Android user then, there's no reason to wait.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.