Sony and Microsoft recently unveiled the first batch of new games joining their respective subscription services, and December is shaping up to be an excellent month of gaming for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass members alike. It also looks like both companies are getting ready to cycle several beloved titles out of their free game catalogs.
To help you plan out your holiday gaming, here’s a roundup of everything joining (and leaving) PS Plus and Game Pass in December 2022.
Every game joining PlayStation Plus in December 2022 (so far)
We might only know part of PlayStation Plus’ December lineup, but Sony’s service is already stacked with some meaty new additions.
Starting with the PS Plus Essentials, PS5 and PS4 players can download Mass Effect Legendary Edition this month, which includes remastered versions of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 in a single package. Developed by BioWare, the Mass Effect trilogy is one of the best RPG series in recent memory, featuring memorable characters, engaging action combat, and multiple possible endings based on the many decisions you make during your galaxy-spanning adventure as Commander Shepard.
As if the entire Mass Effect trilogy wasn’t enough already, the open-world action RPG Biomutant and multiplayer brawler Divine Knockout: Founder’s Edition round out the PS Plus Essentials lineup for December 2022. You can download the PS4 or PS5 versions of either game.
PS Plus Essentials Monthly Games Lineup
- Mass Effect Legendary Edition
- Divine Knockout Founder’s Edition
All PS Plus subscribers can add these three games to their digital library for free throughout the month. The PS Plus Essentials freebies cycle out each month, but they remain playable even after the month is over as long as your membership is active.
PS Plus Premium and Classics
PS Plus Extra and Premium members also get monthly additions to the PS Plus Game Catalog and Classics libraries, but December 2022’s update will be announced later in the month. Rumors and leaks indicate limited game trials for Ghost Wire: Tokyo, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and Sniper Elite 5 are incoming for PS Plus Premium members, and that Star Wars Battlefront II (PSP) will join the Classics library for premium members—but we’ll have to wait for Sony’s update on the official PlayStation Blog.
In the meantime, you have some time to check out the 15 games that joined PS Plus Premium catalog last month, including The Division 2, Skyrim Special Edition, Oddworld: Soulstorm, and four Kingdom Hearts PS4 titles, as well as the five PS3 Ratchet & Clank games that joined the PS Classics library in November.
Every game leaving PS Plus in December 2022 (so far)
To make room for all these new PS Plus games, several previously available titles are leaving, starting with Nioh 2 and the rest of the November PS Plus Essentials games on Dec. 5, followed by Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition leaving the PS Plus Game Catalog on Dec. 20.
Leaving PS Plus Dec. 5
- Nioh 2 Remastered (PS Plus Essentials)
- Lego Harry Potter Collection (PS Plus Essentials)
- Heavenly Bodies (PS Plus Essentials)
Leaving PS Plus Dec. 20
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (PS Plus Extra/Premium)
- Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition (PS Plus Extra/Premium)
Be sure to play these games before they’re removed. Note that it’s possible Sony will announce more departures later in the month.
Every game joining Xbox Game Pass in December 2022 (so far)
Moving onto Xbox, Game Pass and Games with Gold subscribers can download the stylish pixel art action game Colt Canyon starting Dec. 1, and the 2D sidescroller Bladed Fury starting Dec. 15, both for free. These free games remain playable even after they’re no longer available as long as they’re saved to your library.
Games with Gold
- Colt Canyon – Dec. 1
- Bladed Fury – Dec. 15
As for the new Game Pass titles, Microsoft has announced 9 new games joining the library during the first half of December, starting with the quirky top-down RPG Eastward, wacky physics-based action game Totally Reliable Delivery Service, and the narrative adventure games The Walking Dead: The Final Season on Dec. 1, followed by several more games throughout the rest of the month.
- Totally Reliable Delivery Service
- The Walking Dead: The Final Season
- Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- Chained Echoes
- Hello Neighbor 2
- Metal Hellsinger
- Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan
Microsoft tends to update the Game Pass roster throughout the month, so we expect the company will announce even more additions in the coming weeks via its official Xbox Wire blog.
Every game leaving Xbox Game Pass in December 2022 (so far)
While plenty of new games are joining Game Pass this month, several high-profile titles are leaving the service, too, including the beloved JRPG Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, acclaimed indie adventure game Firewatch, and the co-op shooter Aliens: Fireteam Elite, plus seven other Game Pass games, all on Dec. 15.
Dec. 15 is also the last day to download Dead End Job, which was part of November’s Games with Gold lineup.
Leaving Game Pass Dec. 15
- Dead End Job (via Games with Gold)
- Aliens: Fireteam Elite
- Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4
- Race With Ryan
- Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
- Transformers: Battlegrounds
Be sure to download these games if you want to play them before they’re gone. And keep an eye out for additional departures Microsoft may announce later in December.