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Is Madden 23 Free with Game Pass? Let‘s Break It Down

If you‘re an NFL fan pondering this common question, you‘ve come to the right place. With game prices increasing, the idea of accessing new titles like Madden 23 through a monthly Game Pass subscription certainly sounds appealing.

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about playing Madden NFL 23 through Xbox Game Pass and EA Play. You’ll get insight on:

  • What editions of Madden 23 are actually included
  • A breakdown of the Xbox Game Pass subscription options
  • An analysis of value – is Game Pass worth it for Madden?
  • Availability of other sports games on Game Pass
  • How long Madden 23 will remain in the catalog
  • Requirements and tips for getting the best deal

Let‘s dig in and determine once and for all whether Madden 23 is free with Gamepass!

Is Madden 23 Completely Free with Game Pass?

The short answer is – no, Madden NFL 23 is not completely free for all Xbox Game Pass subscribers.

While Madden 23 is included with certain Game Pass options, it does require specific memberships as we’ll explain below. The standard Xbox Game Pass for Console or PC plans do NOT include access to EA titles like Madden.

To summarize, here are the Game Pass memberships that allow you to play Madden 23:

  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
  • EA Play subscription

Without one of those, you can’t play Madden 23 with a basic Game Pass account. But there are some affordable options that make the latest Madden more accessible.

What Editions of Madden 23 Are Included?

If you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or EA Play, what version of Madden NFL 23 can you actually play?

The standard edition of Madden 23 is available on both Xbox and PC through those subscriptions. This provides the core Madden 23 experience, but without some of the extra perks of the more advanced editions.

Here‘s what‘s included and NOT included:

Editions Included:

  • Madden NFL 23 standard edition – Available on Xbox consoles, PC and cloud gaming

Editions NOT Included:

  • Dynasty Edition – Typically costs $99.99
  • All Madden Edition – Typically costs $99.99

The premium Dynasty and All Madden editions come with additional content like:

  • More Madden Ultimate Team Points and Tokens
  • Extra legendary player items
  • Early access to the full game (4 days early with All Madden pre-order)
  • Dual entitlement for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions

This bonus content is only available if you purchase those specific editions separately. But the standard version of Madden 23 still provides substantial gameplay value for the cost of a Game Pass membership.

Breaking Down the Xbox Game Pass Subscription Options

Microsoft offers various Xbox Game Pass plans, so it‘s important to understand which ones include access to Madden 23.

Here is an overview of the major Game Pass tiers:

Xbox Game Pass for Console

  • $9.99 per month
  • Library of over 100 games for Xbox consoles
  • Does NOT include EA Play or any access to Madden 23

PC Game Pass

  • $9.99 per month
  • 100+ games available for Windows PC
  • Also does not include EA titles like Madden 23

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

  • $14.99 per month
  • Combines benefits of Xbox Live Gold, console, PC and cloud gaming
  • Includes EA Play membership – provides access to Madden NFL 23 standard edition
  • Best option for playing Madden 23 on Xbox or PC with a subscription

EA Play

  • $4.99 per month
  • Standalone subscription with access to EA games
  • Play the Madden 23 standard edition on Xbox consoles or PC
  • 10-hour time-limited trial of new releases like Madden 23
  • Also included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

As you can see, Game Pass Ultimate or EA Play membership is required if you want to play Madden through a subscription. Buying just a console or PC Game Pass would not be sufficient.

Comparing the costs side-by-side:

MembershipMonthly PriceMadden 23 Access?
Xbox Game Pass for Console$9.99No
PC Game Pass$9.99No
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate$14.99Yes (via EA Play)
EA Play$4.99Yes (10-hour trial)

Is Game Pass Worth It for Madden 23? Pros vs Cons

Given the membership options, is accessing Madden 23 through Xbox Game Pass or EA Play actually worth it compared to purchasing the game outright? Let‘s analyze some pros and cons:

Potential Benefits:

  • Play the new Madden for a much lower monthly fee ($4.99 – $14.99) instead of paying $59.99 or more upfront

  • Try out the game for 10 hours with EA Play to see if you like it

  • Game Pass Ultimate also provides Xbox Live Gold and other game access

  • Discounts and exclusive perks offered to members

  • Flexibility to cancel after a month if you don‘t play often

Potential Drawbacks:

  • No access to the Dynasty or All Madden editions of Madden 23

  • Limited to 10 hour playtime trials for EA Play

  • Madden 23 may eventually get removed from Game Pass catalog

  • Doesn‘t allow permanent ownership of Madden 23

  • Recurring monthly fees add up over time

Expert Opinions: Many gaming sites recommend Game Pass for more casual Madden players. Hardcore fans who play daily are better off purchasing the All Madden edition for the full experience and bonuses. But for occasional players, Game Pass provides a cheaper way to enjoy Madden 23 this year.

In summary, Game Pass and EA Play offer more budget friendly options to access Madden 23. But purchasing a premium edition outright is better if you want complete access with no restrictions.

Availability of Other Sports Games on Game Pass

In addition to Madden NFL 23, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play subscribers can access other popular sports titles like:

  • FIFA 23 – Latest installment in the soccer/football simulation series. Standard edition available.

  • NBA 2K23 – New release in the acclaimed basketball sim franchise. Standard version included.

  • NHL 23 – Ice hockey sim from EA Sports. Base game available on Game Pass.

The standard editions of these sports games can be played with an active Ultimate or EA Play membership. But similar to Madden 23, the special premium editions would need to be purchased separately.

Having all the major sports titles consolidated under one Game Pass subscription provides even more potential savings for fans of multiple sport sim series.

How Long Will Madden 23 Stay on Game Pass?

Based on precedent from previous years, Madden NFL 23 will likely remain available via Xbox Game Pass and EA Play for 6-12 months post-launch. But an exact removal date is never guaranteed.

The availability windows for new sports releases on Game Pass seem to be:

  • Madden – ~6-8 months typically before removal

  • FIFA – ~8-10 months after launch

  • NBA 2K – ~8-12 months historically

Of course, these are just estimated ranges and the publishers can remove the games at any time. But you can generally expect around half a year of availability for new sports titles, giving you time to enjoy Madden 23. Just don‘t expect it to stay permanently in the catalog year-round.

Requirements for Playing Madden 23 Online

One other important note – to play Madden 23 online against other players, you need an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Xbox Live Gold is included with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but not with standalone EA Play or the standard console/PC Game Pass tiers. So if you wish to access online multiplayer modes, Game Pass Ultimate would be the ideal option.

Tips for Getting the Best Deal on Madden 23

Here are some suggestions if you‘re trying to minimize costs and maximize savings on the newest Madden release:

  • Try out the 10-hour EA Play trial first to see if the game interests you before spending more.

  • Consider Game Pass Ultimate for a month-to-month subscription if you won‘t play consistently. Avoid overspending.

  • Purchase the standard edition at retail when it goes on sale after launch. Provides permanent access.

  • Take advantage of any Game Pass or EA Play discounted promos or free trial offers.

  • Compute your total spend based on how many months you might play. Compare to full game costs.

  • Weigh the benefits vs potential limitations of Game Pass described above.

The Bottom Line – Is Madden 23 Free with Game Pass?

While Madden NFL 23 is not completely free on all Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, there are affordable ways to access the latest Madden release without paying full price.

Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play both provide the standard edition of Madden 23 for a reasonable monthly fee. This allows you to play the new game for far less than traditional purchase methods.

Just be sure to factor in any limitations around trial lengths, editions included, and how long it will remain available. For the most devoted football gamers, buying a premium edition outright may still be preferable for unlimited access.

But for more casual players on a budget, Xbox Game Pass and EA Play present a compelling value proposition for enjoying Madden NFL 23 at a discounted rate.

Hopefully this detailed guide has provided everything you need to decide if Game Pass is right for your Madden gaming needs this year. Let the virtual gridiron action commence!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.