I know you‘re wondering if you can save some cash and get Madden NFL 22 for free through your PlayStation Plus membership. It‘s a fair question, my friend! AAA titles like Madden can get pricey to purchase every year.
The good news is – yes, Madden 22 is now included for PlayStation Plus subscribers. But it took some time to get there. Let me walk you through everything in detail so you can make the most informed decision.
A Quick Intro to PlayStation Plus
First, what exactly is PlayStation Plus? I‘m sure you already know, but a quick refresher can‘t hurt.
PlayStation Plus (aka PS Plus) is a membership program from Sony that gives PlayStation gamers a bunch of useful benefits, including:
- Online multiplayer access for most PS4 and PS5 games
- 2-3 free games to download each month
- Exclusive discounts on digital games, add-ons, and more
- 100GB of cloud storage for backing up your game saves
A PS Plus membership costs $9.99 monthly, $24.99 quarterly, or $59.99 if you pay for a full year upfront. In my opinion, it‘s practically mandatory for any PS4 or PS5 owner who plans to play games online. The free titles alone make it worthwhile!
When Was Madden 22 Released?
Before we talk about Madden 22‘s free debut on PlayStation Plus, let‘s discuss when it first launched.
Madden NFL 22 released worldwide on August 20, 2021. This was a couple of weeks earlier than the usual late August timeframe we typically see for new Madden entries.
It was available on all major platforms – PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One. The Standard Edition retailed at the usual $59.99 on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
For hardcore fans, EA Sports offered two more expensive versions:
- MVP Edition – $99.99
- Dynasty Edition – $119.99
These came with early access benefits, additional premium content, and more in-game bonuses. But the core game experience was identical across all three.
In total, here were the different versions at launch:
|PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
|PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
|PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
This gave fans options across budget levels and platforms. But you didn‘t have to spend big to enjoy Madden 22 right away last August.
When Did Madden 22 Arrive on PlayStation Plus?
Given its August 2021 launch, Madden NFL 22 was unsurprisingly not part of the PlayStation Plus free game lineup for the rest of 2021. Major releases rarely offer free access immediately at launch.
Instead, it took 6 months before Madden 22 became available on PS Plus in February 2022.
Sony featured Madden 22 as one of the monthly PlayStation Plus games from February 1, 2022 through February 28, 2022.
This meant all active PS Plus subscribers during this period could download the full Madden 22 Standard Edition at no additional cost. All you needed was an active PS Plus membership and a PS4 or PS5 to play on.
Once claimed, you could keep enjoying Madden 22 indefinitely as part of your PS Plus subscription benefits. Of course, you‘d lose access if you ever cancelled your membership.
But as long as you remain a subscriber, Madden 22 is a part of the expanding PlayStation Plus free game catalog.
How Does EA Play Factor In?
An alternative way to grab Madden 22 for free is through an EA Play membership.
In case you‘re unfamiliar, EA Play is a separate subscription service from Electronic Arts that grants access to a library of EA-published games. It also includes limited early access trials for new releases.
An EA Play membership runs $4.99 per month or $29.99 for a full year. Here‘s how it compares to PlayStation Plus for scoring Madden 22 at no extra cost:
|Madden 22 Free Access Start Date
|February 1, 2022
|February 17, 2022
|Online multiplayer, monthly free games from Sony, exclusive discounts
|Early trials for new EA games, access to more EA titles
As you can see, PlayStation Plus subscribers got Madden 22 about two weeks earlier than EA Play members.
However, EA Play is cheaper if all you care about is Madden and other EA titles. Either membership works to enjoy Madden 22‘s Standard Edition today with your subscription.
Essentially, PlayStation Plus casts a wider net across publishers, while EA Play focuses solely on EA-produced games. Choose based on what else you want access to!
When Can We Expect Madden 23 for Free?
If you‘re debating which way to go for Madden 23, history tells us it likely won‘t launch free as part of PlayStation Plus. The August 2022 release will almost surely be full-price at first.
Based on past timelines, the soonest we can expect Madden 23 on PlayStation Plus is February or March 2023. That six month gap is the standard wait.
The situation may be similar for EA Play. We could see it arrive there a couple of weeks after PS Plus in Spring 2023.
So if you want to play Madden 23 right away and access the most bonus content, purchasing it now is your best bet. Otherwise, hold off for roughly half a year to grab the Standard Edition as part of your membership.
Is PS Plus Worth It for Madden Players?
This is the million dollar question! Based on my experience, PlayStation Plus easily pays for itself each year for most Madden fans. Let‘s run the math:
- A full year of PS Plus costs $59.99
- Madden 22 Standard Edition is a $59.99 value
- You can potentially download and play the new Madden for free each year
Just considering Madden alone, a PS Plus membership breaks even. And that‘s before factoring in online multiplayer access, free monthly games, and exclusive discounts across PlayStation Network.
The only catch is waiting about six months after each new Madden release to play it for free. But many players stick with the previous year‘s roster update for a while anyway.
Overall, PlayStation Plus is a very solid investment for Madden gamers on a budget. Access to the latest release just requires some patience.
How Does Xbox Game Pass Compare?
On Xbox consoles, Microsoft‘s Game Pass service fills a similar role to PlayStation Plus. It grants subscribers access to a Netflix-style catalog of free games.
However, there is one key difference in how each handles Madden availability. Xbox Game Pass actually includes an EA Play membership at no extra cost as part of Game Pass Ultimate.
This means Xbox owners can download and play Madden via Game Pass on the same EA Play timeline outlined earlier. Typically a couple weeks after it hits PS Plus.
The trade-off is Game Pass Ultimate costs $14.99 per month, compared to the $9.99 PS Plus subscription. You‘re paying more but also getting a broader library of games.
At the end of the day, both PS Plus and Game Pass make enjoying Madden each year very affordable. Going with Xbox provides more overall value, but PlayStation access Madden slightly sooner. Choose based on your console preference!
Tips to Save Big on Madden Every Year
Let me close by offering some tips for maximizing savings when purchasing annual Madden releases:
- Wait to play new Maddens for free via PS Plus or EA Play – patience pays off!
- Only buy Deluxe/MVP editions if you really want the extras – Standard has the full gameplay
- Purchase during discounts and flash sales whenever possible
- Trade in last year‘s Madden at retailers promoting enhanced trade credit
- Watch for occasional free Madden offers through Twitch Prime or similar services
- Stack PS Plus and EA Play during membership sales for combined value
Follow this advice and with a little discipline, you can stick to a Madden yearly budget well under $60. Combine that with discounted subscriptions and accessing each new release for free, and you‘ll be scoring serious savings!
The Bottom Line
While Madden 22 retailed at $59.99 when it launched in August 2021, savvy PlayStation gamers could wait just six months to download the full Standard Edition as part of a PlayStation Plus membership starting in February 2022.
EA Play access began in late February as well. So with a little patience, enjoying each new Madden release can be quite affordable by leveraging these subscriptions‘ free game perks.
We expect this trend to continue, with Madden 23 likely coming to both services in the February to April 2023 timeframe. Stick to this timeline and budget accordingly, and you‘ll maximize value from your membership.
Hopefully this detailed overview gives you the complete picture so you can make the smartest decision around accessing Madden 22 and beyond. Let me know if you have any other questions!