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Best cloud gaming services 2023: Xbox, PS5 and PC

We've picked out our choices for the best cloud gaming services, from Game Pass to GeForce Now, to provide a handy entry point to the cloud gaming world.

Best cloud gaming services lined up with their logos shown.

What are the best cloud gaming services? Over the last few years, they’ve really cemented themselves as mainstays of the gaming landscape. They offer a fantastic new way for you to experience games that you otherwise might never have played, and allow you to save your data with an extra layer of security (no more lost or broken memory cards).

You’ve got really comprehensive services like Microsoft’s Game Pass, and we’re sure that in the near future, all Game Pass games will be playable via the cloud. Meanwhile, even Nintendo (though notoriously late to this kind of party) offers opportunities to save your files in the best Nintendo Switch games to the cloud. All of these cloud gaming services have their own charms, and we’ve ranked them all in this list, highlighting the benefits of all of them.

The best cloud gaming services in 2023:

Best gaming cloud services: Xbox Game Pass. Image shows various characters from games included on Game Pass.

1. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

The best cloud gaming service overall.

Game Pass Ultimate specs:

Compatible devices Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Android, tablets, smart TVs
Games library  over 400
Storage capacity No limit, but only backs up game files


  • Enormous library of games to play
  • Can stream on most devices


  • On the pricey side
  • Streaming could be smoother

It’s pretty fair to say that Microsoft is unrivaled in the cloud gaming service sphere. Not only does it allow you to back up your games, but it also gives you a huge library of games on Xbox, PC, and even mobile devices. If you’re somebody who recently purchased an Xbox Series S and doesn’t have many (or any) games yet, this is the perfect way for you to become acquainted with everything that the console has to offer.

Meanwhile, if you’re somebody who still uses an Xbox One, Game Pass actually gives you a way to play Xbox Series X exclusives (or some of them, anyway). While the Xbox One may not be able to play these games itself, it can still stream them through Game Pass, meaning that it’s actually running through an Xbox Series X, but you’re seeing and controlling it through your Xbox One. Admittedly, it isn’t as smooth as running the games natively, but it’s still a great way to experience them.

What makes this one especially cool is the fact that if you go for Game Pass Ultimate, you’ll find yourself with a library of games to play for both PC and Xbox, as each platform has an exclusive library of games. It’s a really comprehensive service and we recommend looking at our list of the best Xbox Game Pass games for an idea of what it has to offer.

Read our Game Pass Ultimate review.

Best cloud gaming services: Nintendo Switch Online. Image shows Mario characters standing near the Nintendo Switch Online logo.

2. Nintendo Switch Online

The best budget cloud gaming service.

Nintendo Switch Online specs:

Compatible devices Nintendo Switch, Switch OLED, Switch Lite
Games library over 90 (though not accessed via Cloud)
Storage capacity No limit, but only backs up game files


  • Decent price
  • Offers classic Nintendo games


  • Cloud features fairly minimal
  • Game offerings quite small

Nintendo Switch Online is one of the cheaper cloud gaming services and is a good option for anyone who doesn’t want something too fancy. This service will back up your games to the cloud, giving you the peace of mind that your files are safe (which will be comforting to anyone who’s ever lost an Animal Crossing village before). Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with every game, and you can only use it on Switch consoles, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing to Nintendo fans.

The standard version of Nintendo Switch Online also gives you a library of NES, SNES, and Game Boy games to play whenever you want (with new additions added on a semi-regular basis). There are some absolutely fantastic games in this collection (like Donkey Kong Country 2, EarthBound, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX) but it is a noticeably smaller offering than you’d get with something like Game Pass (though, of course, it’s cheaper too).

You can upgrade and get the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass subscription instead, which is about double the price, though it does come with a library of Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) games, plus free access to the DLC of various Switch games. It doesn’t add any extra cloud-based features to the service though.

Best cloud gaming services: PlayStation Plus. Image shows a d-pad on a grey surface beside the PS Plus logo.

3. PlayStation Plus

The best service for PlayStation users.

PlayStation Plus specs:

Compatible devices PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, iOS, Android
Games library  over 400
Storage capacity up to 100GB for PS5 save files, up to 100GB for PS4 files


  • Stream on PS4, PS5, and PC
  • Library covers many eras


  • Some notable games missing
  • Can’t stream on mobile

When Sony first unveiled their answer to Microsoft’s Game Pass, they ran crying from the stage after the entire audience (even their parents) started laughing and booing. Of course, that never literally happened, but either way, PlayStation Plus has come a long way since then.

If you go for the premium plan, not only will you get a service that allows you to save your games to the cloud for added privacy, but it also lets you stream games onto your PS4, PS5, or even PC. This selection includes the likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gravity Rush. While there are some notable absences (and it covers less than Game Pass) there’s still a pretty decent library. You can find out more about its offerings in our PS Plus Extra and Premium games list.

In addition to the cloud library, PlayStation Plus has a number of other appealing features. For example, you’ll gain access to trails of new games as a chance to dip your digital toe into their waters, you’ll be given access to a library of classic games drawn from various platforms from throughout the history of gaming. It’s a pretty impressive service and one that is growing all the time.

Best cloud gaming services: Amazon Luna. Image shows the company logo, along with an image of a Sonic game running on multiple devices.

4. Amazon Luna

The best streaming service for PC and mobile devices.

Amazon Luna specs:

Compatible devices Amazon Fire Stick, Samsing Smart TVs, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android
Games library  over 200
Storage capacity No limit, but only backs up game files


  • Works with many devices
  • Free access with Prime


  • Games library is a bit small
  • Have to pay more for full games selection

Amazon has been wading further and further into the world of videogames, and Luna is one of their most recent endeavors in this field. Essentially, this service lets you stream a library of games onto various mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop devices. It’s a fantastic solution for anyone who wants to find a cloud gaming service, but who doesn’t currently own any of the home consoles.

However, that’s not to say that it isn’t a good choice for console gamers. Luna is actually compatible with certain Samsung TVs, the Amazon Fire Stick, and Xbox and PlayStation controllers. The games that you can play via Luna might actually complement your console setup perfectly. Certain games not on your favorite platform? Well, why not play it on Luna instead then?

Luna’s weakest area is probably its library. There are some good games on it, for sure, like Saints Row: The Third Remastered, Fortnite, Castlevania: The Anniversary Collection, Residency Evil 2, and Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, but it is notably lacking in certain modern hits, which PlayStation Plus, and Game Pass both manage to cover.

If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber and you would like to try it, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can try a rotating selection of Luna games for free if you have Prime. Considering that Prime has a 30-day free trial, that essentially means you can take Luna for a spin without paying anything.

Best cloud gaming services: GeForce Now. Image shows the GeForce Now logo and various devices playing a number of different games.

5. GeForce Now

The best cloud streaming service for TVs.

GeForce Now specs:

Compatible devices Smart TVs, PC, Mac, iOS, Android
Games library over 1,500
Storage capacity No limit, but you can only back up save files

These days, if you buy a new TV, especially a new Samsung TV, there’s a pretty good chance that the GeForce Now app will already be installed on it. Of all of the cloud gaming services, this is probably the one that works with the most televisions, which is great if you just want to sign up and start playing.

It offers a fairly impressive games library of over 1,500 games, including Genshin Impact, Far Cry 6, New World, Cyberpunk 2077, Life is Strange: True Colors, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Extraction. Funnily enough, while other platforms have the problem of including lots of historic classics and not a lot of modern hits, GeForce Now is practically the exact opposite in that it doesn’t really have any retro games in the collection. Some gamers won’t care about this at all, but if you have an interest in older games, it might be disappointing.

Another reason to love GeForce Now is the fact that it can be used for free indefinitely. Of course, those who don’t pay will gain access to a smaller library of games, and a lot of them are free games already, but if you’re looking for a way to play free games on TV, you likely won’t find anything better than this.

Best cloud gaming services: Shadow. Image shows the logo on a blackground.

6. Shadow

The best all-round cloud service.

Shadow specs:

Compatible devices Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Games library None
Storage capacity up to 2TB (for whatever you want)


  • 2TB of storage to use as you please
  • Features beyond gaming


  • No library of games
  • Storage may be small for next-gen games

Shadow is a cloud-based service that wasn’t specifically used for gaming, but it still has a fantastic gaming application. Essentially, it gives you cloud-based access to a powerful PC. You can use it to store anything (movies, music, photos, files, etc.), but most notably, you can use it to store and play your games.

Of course, unlike the other services, it’s the case that you will have to upload the games yourself, rather than having a pre-existing library for you to choose from. Although this means you won’t gain access to loads of games when you sign up, it does mean you’ll be playing your own library of games and won’t have to worry about them suddenly disappearing or becoming unavailable.

Meanwhile, if you want cloud-based solutions for other media in your life and not just games, this is the only one on the list which you can use for anything you want. The standard plan gets you 2TB of storage space, which you can fill with a number of modern games or countless retro titles. Meanwhile, if there are just a few games you want in it, then you could build a really comprehensive movie library or song catalog with it.

How we chose the best cloud gaming services

There were several criteria we used when narrowing down the options for the list. When choosing a cloud gaming service for yourself, we recommend considering the following points:

  • Cloud back-ups: Do you want a service that will back up your files? This is a standard feature of all of them, but you should look carefully at the limit on storage space (if any) and its compatibility with different games and media types.
  • Cloud libraries: Are you primarily concerned with a service that will give you access to a large library of games from the get-go? Not all of them have this. Look at the games being offered (if any) by each service, and see how many of them align with your interests.
  • Compatible devices: While some things are obvious (e.g. Nintendo Switch Online working with Switch, or Game Pass working with Xbox), it’s always worth checking that your various devices are compatible with your service of choice, as sometimes even recent pieces of technology aren’t compatible with certain services for whatever reason.
  • Pricing: Thinking of playing through cloud streaming services rather than buying new games? While a lot of these services are priced quite similarly, what you’ll want to compare is the amount that you spend (roughly) on new games, and see what the difference is when paying for a new subscription.

Read our how we test page for more about how we put lists like this together. If you have any other questions, read our FAQs below:

Is there any cloud gaming for free?

Yes. GeForce Now has a free plan, and Amazon Luna can be used for free (with fewer features) if you’re a Prime subscriber (which has a 30-day free trial itself). Many of the services cannot be used for free, however.

Which is the best cloud gaming service?

While we picked Game Pass to go at the top of this list, and believe it to be the best cloud service, they all do slightly different things, so other services will be better than it in certain ways.

Is cloud gaming worth it?

Thinking purely of the cost here, if you are someone who buys, say, four big new games a year, you’ll find that for the same price, you could fund a subscription service that will most likely include those games, while also giving you access to countless others. Obviously, there are loads of variables, but it can definitely be a very cost-effective way to play.

If you’re looking into the best ways for you to experience games, read our best gaming console guide. You also might like to take a look at our list of the best games of all time and use that as a point of reference to compare against the libraries on these services.