Is Apple Arcade Worth It in 2024? The Good and the Bad

  • The good: Over two-hundred titles to choose from. Perfect for kids, families and casual gamers. Great price.
  • The bad: Hardcore gamers may not be satisfied. Games leave Apple Arcade. Cross-platform has limits.
  • The gaming: Impressive collection, but may leave a lot to be desired. Offers third-party controller support.

There is a lot to like about Apple’s ever-growing gaming subscription service, although some users may want to know if Apple Arcade is worth their time and money. Considering that the service provides a wealth of premium games all easily accessible across Apple devices (including some on Apple TV), I think there is plenty here for a wide-scale audience. However, it’s worth knowing the facts, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Apple Arcade.

Why Apple Arcade?

Before we dive into why I think Apple Arcade is worth it in 2024, let’s take a brief look at what you get with a subscription to the service. For starters, you’ll get access to over 200 games, with Apple constantly updating the list to include more.

In fact, Apple recently announced five new games arriving on its roster, including Rabbids: Legends of the Multiverse and Return to Monkey Island+. Of course, there are familiar classics already available as well, including Angry Birds Reloaded, Cut the Rope Remastered, and Fruit Ninja Classic+. Users can also discover what’s coming to the platform. Simply navigate to the Coming Soon section within the Arcade tab in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.

Fruit Ninja on Apple Arcade

Along with a rather impressive library of games, Apple also allows you to access most of them across the entire ecosystem. Gamers can enjoy the Apple Arcade library across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. The company is even ensuring that games are steadily arriving for the Vision Pro as well.

Note icon NOTE
An important thing to note is that only Apple Arcade Originals extend to all Apple devices, whereas App Store Greats will only work on iPad, iPhone and Vision Pro.

Other benefits of Apple Arcade include ad-free gaming, subscription sharing with registered family members, and offline gaming. Several games also work with wireless controllers, which is perfect for those who like the feel of traditional hands-on gaming.

Pros: Why You Should Get Apple Arcade

1. Great for Kids and Families

Personally, I think Apple Arcade is perfect for families. Virtually every game on the service is likely to have a youngster glued to the screen for hours on end (a great time to remember that Screen Time exists) which can be perfect if you need to hold a child’s attention for an extended period of time.

Of course, classics such as Solitaire by MobilityWare+, Football Manager 2024 Touch, and Cooking Mama: Cuisine! are sure to keep the older crowd pacified. The vast majority of the games available in Apple’s library are perfect for a larger audience, and the ever-expanding library ensures that there are plenty of games within different genres available.

Apple Arcade Disney Melee Magic

2. Cross-Platform and Apple’s Seal of Approval

Additionally, the cross-compatibility with Apple’s ecosystem also makes Apple Arcade a great choice for those who love everything Apple. It’s also important to remember that the service provides an ad-free experience, and offers the same intuitive UI as one would expect from an Apple product. If you like your experience with other Apple UI’s, it’s pretty likely that you’ll enjoy your experience interacting with Apple Arcade as well.

3. A Fair Price

I’ll dive into this more in the final section, but Apple offering this service for $6.99 a month means it can be pretty cheap to sample. Of course, if you buy a new iPad, iPhone, Mac, or Apple TV, you can receive three months of the service for free, giving you the ability to explore everything the platform has to offer.

Cons: Why You May Want to Avoid It

1. Not for the Hardcore

Right off the bat, I don’t think hardcore gamers are going to like Apple Arcade. Comparing the service to other dedicated gaming platforms, it can pale in comparison to larger hitters like Steam or something equivalent. If you’re looking for Dark Souls, you may want to keep looking.

That’s not to say Apple Arcade is entirely useless to hardcore gamers, as there is plenty on the platform for everyone to enjoy. However, I suspect most of the truly dedicated are likely to sneer at Apple’s offerings, as many of them can seem like “phone games.”

2. So Long to the Games I Love

Outside of the truly dedicated, there may be some other reasons users may want to think twice about an Apple Arcade subscription. For starters, not all games have a forever home on the platform. While it doesn’t happen all the time, a game leaving Apple Arcade isn’t unheard of, and this can be discouraging for those who fall in love with a particular title.

You can usually get a notice of what’s leaving through the App Store preview, but those on Reddit are pretty good about keeping this list up-to-date as well.

3. How Cross-Platform Is It?

I think that Arcade Originals and App Store Greats working on different devices may be a major drawback for some. Those expecting to play a title on their Apple TV may be discouraged to learn that it won’t work since it’s not an Original. Users may also find it annoying that the games are solely for Apple devices, but considering the company, this should be obvious.

Is Apple Arcade Worth It?

With all that said, I think Apple Arcade is fantastic for families and casual gamers. While hardcore gamers may not find what they’re looking for, it’s worth remembering that the service is only $6.99 a month or $49.99 per year, making it rather affordable. Apple Arcade is also available as part of an Apple One plan. Here are the monthly rates:

  • Individual: $19.95
  • Family: $25.95
  • Premier: $37.95

Personally, I think going with the Apple One plan would be the wisest move if you’re interested in Apple Arcade. It’s pretty likely that you’re already using an iCloud plan, so bundling them together only gives you access to more great stuff, including Apple Music and Apple TV+. Remember that you’ll need a family plan to share when bundling with Apple One, though a traditional Apple Arcade subscription provides access for a family of up to six members to enjoy unlimited access.

In the end, I don’t think Apple Arcade is a gaming mecca, but I do think that there is a lot to offer for those who have a casual interest in gaming or need to entertain children constantly. I would say Apple Arcade is worth it. The service has a lot to offer, and while some content may disappear, more is arriving constantly. You may also want to know how to get 3 months of Apple Arcade for free in 2024.

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