Is EA Access on Xbox One Worth Buying?

If you could rent Madden 17, Dragon Age: Inquisition and dozens of other games, would you? Your answer is key to Electronic Arts’ EA Access subscription service. With EA Access, gamers can download dozens of digital games without paying full price.

Since its launch, EA Access has grown in major ways. It started with a hand full of games. Now it spans dozens. It includes a discount on purchases from the Xbox Store and free trials that get die-hard fans time with new games from the publisher days before everyone else can play.

A new wave of video game services designed to get you more games for less cash is on the way. PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass and EA Access all make it easier to experience games on a budget without having to wait for a sale. Whether EA Access is a good deal for you depends on your gaming habits and just how much you love the titles that EA publishes.

What is EA Access?

EA Access costs subscribers $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Subscribers can download as many games from EA Access as they want, at any time, EA doesn’t require you to remove a game from your console before downloading another. Besides hit Xbox One games, EA Access includes titles from the Xbox 360.

Every game in EA Access has the perks that you’d expect. Achievements work in these titles. You can share them with other friends on their Xbox Ones, provided you sign in on their console. Saves from these games sync to Xbox Live for safe keeping.

Thinking of it as a rental service is key. If you stop paying for EA Access, the games you’ve downloaded through the service stop working. When you activate your subscription again, those games work again. Netflix and Hulu work the same way.

EA Access Trials

Though the digital video game downloads are its most important feature, EA Access is also an Electronic Arts fan club. Users get access to new video games five days before they arrive on store shelves for everyone else to play. Madden NFL 15’s official release date wasn’t until August 26th. However, EA Access users got a trial of the game on August 21st.

EA does place limits on these trials. Gamers could only spend 10 hours with Mass Effect Andromeda before release. They couldn’t continue the game’s story after a certain point, even if they still had time with the game left. If you forget to close a free trial, the countdown continues while that app is running in the background.

EA Access Discounts

EA Access members also get 10% discounts on the digital video games and downloadable content that they purchase from the publisher through the Xbox Store. The discounts stacks on whatever the base price of a game is. For example, if a game only costs $30 because of price reductions, you get a 10% discount on top of that.

EA Access Games

The EA Access Hub app for Xbox One and Xbox One S.
  • The Vault, the area that gamers go to download titles at no extra charge, has some must-play games. It’s heavy on sports games since those have yearly releases. Right now, that digital download line-up consists of:
    Battlefield 3
  • Battlefield 4
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • Battlefield Hardline
  • Catalyst
  • Dead Space
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
  • EA Sports UFC
  • FIFA 14
  • FIFA 15
  • FIFA 16
  • Madden 15
  • Madden 16
  • Madden 17
  • Madden 25
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Metal of Honor Airborne
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
  • NBA Live 15
  • NBA Live 16
  • Need for Speed
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • NHL 15
  • NHL 16
  • NHL 17
  • Peggle 2
  • Plants vs Zombies
  • Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
  • Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
  • Skate 3
  • SSX
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • Titanfall
  • UFC 2
  • Unravel

The service’s catalog is hard to predict. Every game that EA publishes is not available for download through EA Access. The time it takes for a game to appear in the services varies too. EA added Madden NFL 17 to EA Access less than a year after it debuted. Some games took a year or more to come to the service.

Is EA Access Worth Buying?

So, is EA Access a good deal? Should Xbox One owners rush to their console to pick up a subscription to play Electronic Arts’ games for $4.99?

The service’s extras will appeal to loyalty program lovers. Getting 10% off new digital games from EA can add up. If you purchased three of the publishers game’s a year, you’d recoup the money you paid for EA Access. The trials are nice too, especially if you’re someone that must have the latest sports games as soon as possible.

As for the games in the Vault, the selection speaks for itself. There are plenty of games there, some of which are big hits. Certainly, the Vault is a sports gaming fan’s dream. Pick up a subscription and you’ve added every recent sports game to your digital Xbox One games collection for a ridiculously low price.

EA Access is worth buying. For $4.99, you can immediately expand your game collection and try new titles. The discounts and early access trials are great, but its easy access to Madden 17 and other sports games are what make EA Access so great. This is one of the best deals in gaming.

8 Best Free Xbox Games

Warframe

 1 / 8
Warframe

Many free-to-play games revolve around strategy or civilization building. Warframe is one of the free Xbox games that you can download now that doesn’t. It’s a third-person shooter.

The Tenno have just awoken after centuries of sleeping in stasis. Warframe takes its name from the suits that the Tenno use to do battle with the game’s other races. There’s the Greiner, who are clones of humans. The Corpus are a technology company with lots of robotic innovation at their disposal. Sentients consist of an alien race that’s back to do battle.

Warframe features both player-vs-player combat and a single player experience.

[ Download Warframe from the Xbox Store ]

 1 / 8

18 Comments

  1. alvaro808

    08/17/2014 at 4:57 pm

    To be honest, I’m a little bit nervous about video game subscription services like EA Access. True, for a relatively low price, you will get access to a library of videogames that you can download and delete at anytime, but the key here is “library,” and four games do not make a library. The nice thing about Amazon’s Instant Video service (as opposed to Netflix) is that you pay for whatever you want to rent or keep rather than subscribing to a rotating catalog of movies/shows that you may or may not be interested in.

    Perhaps it’s inevitable, given the changes in the video game industry, that subscription services and other forms of “micro-transaction” will become commonplace in the future world of gaming. That being said, and especially if you are playing the AAA titles, video-gaming can be an expensive hobby, and I don’t blame gamers for feeling upset about having to pay additional fees on top of the 60-80 dollars they spent purchasing a videogame.

    If the video game industry finds a way to successfully balance the growing costs of video game development without adversely impacting its consumer base, then the industry will be economically sustainable. If not, then gamers will probably find cheaper ways (or cheaper games) to pass their time…..

    Reply

  2. oSMOKEe

    08/18/2014 at 11:07 pm

    I don’t think its necessary to go in to all the conspiracies that some people like to being up. It’s quite simple. If you own any of the bigger games in the vault right now (Battlefield 4, Fifa 14, or Madden 25 to be specific), you would be dumb not to buy this EA access. GameStop currently is buying these games used for around 20-25 dollars. A year of EA access is 30 bucks. So all you skeptics out there, why not sell your hard disk to GameStop and buy EA access for $5 for a year!! You will still get to play your game and get a year access with all the discounts and early access capabilities. Complaints now are dumb and just come from people who want to be heard. Your welcome for this obvious fact.

    Reply

    • John

      02/17/2016 at 1:30 pm

      Word bro.

      Reply

    • [email protected]

      08/20/2016 at 9:24 am

      Right…NOT. EA and digital down loads are trying to take away the re-sell value out of the hands of consumers and into their own ‘proprietary’ price fixing. Further to play madden 17 in 2017 it will have cost you the same as if you had bought it…60.00″ The average user plays 3-4 games consistently a year. And if you in the long run your not losing value…its cuz youre not old enough to understand economics or smart enough to care about the money you earn and spend. Digital is ripping off users…period.

      SMOKEe is a shill paid to promo…not think.

      Reply

      • Michael

        12/15/2016 at 6:22 am

        First off, some people don’t care about the resell value of games becaue they don’t sell them. I am one of those gamers. I still own all of my PS2, PS3, XBox, XBox360, XBox One and PS4 games. I dont sell games that I buy so resale value is completely irrelvant to me. 2nd, some people prefer the convenience of digital games and many gamers are far more likely to replay a game if its already on thier console ready to play at the push of a button. 3rd, purchasing digital is purely OPTIONAL just like subscribing to EA Access and more options are ALWAYS a good thing regardless of how you personally feel about those options.

        EA Access is easily one of the best deals in all of gaming right now. You just can’t see that because your judgement is clouded by your hatred for digital games as opposed to owning physical copies. I was actually just like you a couple years back, swearing I would never buy digital as I like owning physical copies, but I now love digital games as I love the convenience of being able to start up any game I want in a matter of seconds and resell value in meaningless to me. I have gotten to play at least 7 games thus far that I never would have purchased and I really enjoyed most of them. If you can’t afford $2.50 per month to have access to most of EA’s games then you have no business even owning a console.

        Reply

  3. Cristian Enescu

    02/06/2016 at 2:31 am

    Complaints are dumb?? I can’t really agree with you there, buddy. You can’t generalise things like that. You can actually say that people are better off showing action rather then complaining on forums. As for EA Access, I am personally not interested in having games behind a subscription fee, even if it is 30$ a year. The only two things that bother me about EA are the existence of Origin and their pricing methods (season passes and micro transactions).

    Reply

  4. Cristian Enescu

    02/06/2016 at 2:36 am

    2. How much does EA Access cost?
    An EA Access membership is just $39 a month – that’s about the cost of an oh-so-delicious frozen pizza. Or, you can save even more when you sign up for a full year for $239. No joke, it’s the real deal.

    30$ a year you say?

    Reply

  5. Philip Keaveney

    02/18/2016 at 4:39 pm

    @Cristian. Nonsense! EA access costs $39 per year! I have downloaded loads of great games and play them all for half the price of Dragon Age.
    Anyone who knocks this service is mentally unstable…..

    Reply

  6. Jeff Williams

    04/05/2016 at 12:39 pm

    Not worth it…no full access to new games (NBA Live 16, etc) only trials that DON’T allow online multi-player. Why pay $5/mo to play old games. I can buy NBA LIVE ’16 for $40 on Craigslist and sell it when the 2017 comes out for $20 months later.

    Reply

    • Tim O'Neil

      09/06/2016 at 1:31 pm

      Jeff –

      Yes, you can buy a used copy of a new game for cheaper than a new copy. Say that used game is $40. You play it for a year, and turn around to sell it for $20. You have essentially just paid $20 a year for playing that game, granted it was on your own terms. You are also right in saying that this is cheaper than the $30 a year you would be spending to have access to that same game. That being said, depending on the game, you may not get $20 for it after it has been out for over a year.

      Where EA access is worth it, is if you play more than one game. In the above example with only one game, you theoretically save yourself $10. However, if you did this with two games, it would COST you $10 more. the vault has access to more than just a few games. These games are also EA’s top selling franchises, so you can expect the franchise to continue. A new game int he franchise will come out every year. Most gamers play only a few games until they’ve “exhausted” them. Then it’s in with the new, and out with the old. this is especially true with sports games.

      Now perhaps if all you play is Titanfall, EA access might not be worth it. You may not buy the new Titanfall game when it’s available, so it wouldn’t be worth paying $30 a year. You’d break even after two years, and it would cost you significantly to keep playing that game for a third year. You’d probably just want a copy of the game. The question that comes up though is, in today’s world of gaming, who plays a game for three years? A new console will be out, and those games that you now use as coasters will be obsolete anyway.

      As everyone has pointed out, you need to ask yourself what type of gamer are you, and what is important to you. If reselling games is, then don’t get this subscription. If you only play one game, then don’t get this subscription.

      Where EA makes money on this the fact they have no overhead besides the game development, no physical product they need to spend money producing alongside their digital expenses. This also does act as a “gateway drug” as someone else pointed out. Before, I had to choose what sports game I wanted to play, or spend a lot of money getting them all. Now I have access to franchises that I never played before, because the cost wasn’t worth it to me. Now that I have access to it, I’ll play it and get “hooked”. EA will then make money on my in game purchases and continued support.

      Where this is beneficial to the gamer is that for new (or relatively new in this case) games, they will get access to the one game they would normally buy, for cheaper. However, they will also get access to other games that they may normally buy as well. I play FIFA and NHL, instead of spending $80 ($60 new times 2, then $20 resell value times 2) for access to both games for the year I have them, I can spend $30 and still have access to them for the same amount of time. I will also have access to them after the year if I renew my subscription, whereas I wouldn’t if I resold my copies (with the rise in digital copies anyway, you can’t resell them to begin with). EA had said they will not remove games from the vault and judging by the last three years. they will continue to put their biggest franchises into the vault. Even if I have the newest year, but my friend who doesn’t have EA access doesn’t, I still have access to the older years so we can still play. Without it, I may have to choose between keeping the old or getting the new.

      If I were to just buy the year of FIFA and/or NHL then this wouldn’t necessarily be ideal, but since I will continue to buy them each year to get the new game play, players, and teams, it is an absolute no brainer. The only thing that is dumb, is getting a monthly subscription to EA access…

      Reply

  7. Don

    04/17/2016 at 7:47 am

    Where are you guys getting $39 a year? It says $29.99 here: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/entertainment/xbox-one/live-apps/ea-access
    On the fence myself

    Reply

    • Michael

      12/15/2016 at 6:06 am

      It is $29.99 a year, which is $2.50 a month. Its pocket change and easily one of the best deals in all of gaming. Anyone suggesting otherwise is either a Sony fanboy and is pissed that it isn’t offered on Playstation or someone that just hates EA in general. Even at thier lowest retail prices, I have played over $300 in games in the first year alone and the additional money I saved in DLC basically payed for the subscription itself. People are crazy if they say no to this service.

      Reply

  8. Matthew Webster

    05/14/2016 at 9:17 pm

    the trials do allow online multiplayer. i tried it for a month, but origin access doesnt have many games for pc compared to ea access for xbox one which is very good.

    Reply

  9. DT

    09/10/2016 at 7:47 pm

    I think its good deal provided that the subscription price doesn’t increase. I love sports games, but don’t want to buy the same one every year just to accommodate roster changes and a couple of minor tweaks to the game. Its not like the games they are offering in the Vault are ancient.

    Reply

  10. so Angry

    10/11/2016 at 8:24 pm

    Complete garbage. What a rip-off!!! It took me an hour how to find out how to unsubscribe (a min to subscribe). I just finished and I feel like I am OJ’s cell mate. Effff ea.. efff microsoft!

    Reply

  11. so Angry

    10/11/2016 at 8:39 pm

    Good luck trying to cancel (xboxOne)… What a rip off. So completely upset. I am the kind of guy that NEVER complains. It takes a special kind of buggery to get me to complain. Complete garbage!!

    Reply

    • Michael

      12/15/2016 at 5:55 am

      Its so easy to cancel that I can’t believe you even made this post. It takes all of 20 seconds and can be done directly from the subscriptions section on your Xbox One. Its not even possible to make it any easier. If you honestly find this difficult than you would find every aspect of gaming consoles difficult including turing the console on, inserting a disc, pressing the start button for games, etc. I don’t know how you are even able to play modern games if you find turning on your Xbox One, going to settings, and then selecting subscriptions from that menu a difficult process, lol.

      Reply

  12. Michael

    12/15/2016 at 5:46 am

    EA Access is EASILY one of the best deals in all of gaming right now, at least on the console side. I would be really pissed if I was just a Playstation user since Sony declined to allow the service on PS. At just 3 dollars per month with the yearly plan, its basically pocket change and the money I saved on DLC in the first 6 months paid for my first year by itself. I was tempted to buy both Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge 2 this Black Friday but decided not to due to this service as both are now available in the Vault. And I honestly couldn’t care less about owning the curent years sports games so the sports games are one of the best deals of the service for me as I always hated buying EA sports games only to have a new version released the very next year. This service basically makes it so I never have to buy another EA sports game again.

    So not only do you get the vault games, and the selection of games has become extremely impressive just in the first year, but you also get an additional 10% off all purchases and you get 8 hours of free demo time for all new games and you get to play them a full week before they come out and if you do like it and decide to buy it, your progress in the game transfers over. Again, this is EASILY one of the best overall deals in the entire console market. For just $29.99 a year, I will be renewing every single year. My only wish at this point is that other developers would follow suit. I would love to see some of the other big game companies make services like this available. For $30 bucks I have basically been able to play Dragon Age Inquisition, UFC, UFC 2, Need for Speed, Need For Speed Rivals, Unravel, Plants vs Zombies GW 1 & 2, NHL 16, Madden 16, Battlefield Hardline, Titanfall, Battlefield 4, and am now able to play all 3 Mass Effect games again as well, which I definitey will be playing before Andromeda comes out. All that for $30 bucks and again I wound up saving that much in additional discounts on DLC content. There is no question about it, its the best deal I have had on Xbox One to date. Its just a steal and gamers are crazy in my opinion for not opting to join.

    Reply

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