Top seven cloud gaming services

'Why moving to the cloud doesn’t need to be costly for small business' - by Grant Tate, Executive Head of Cloud Services at Vodacom Business.

Cloud gaming is a method used to play video games using remote hardware, normally in the form of servers that are owned by a particular company. It relies on internet streaming to get all games right on your device rather than installing a specific game through physical media or downloading it directly into your device and locally play it.

Here’s how it works:

A paid subscription on either a monthly or yearly basis is required in most cases so that you can access the content. But then, there are still other games that can be purchased with an added fee of the subscription rates with certain services. Players are required to open a service app on their PCs and make a selection of the best game to play. Players can immediately start playing rather than downloading any additional content or driver updaters for the same since it will be running on remote servers.

Let’s take a look at the top seven cloud gaming services

1. GeForce Now

This is one of the best cloud gaming services around with over 400 supported games. Players can either play these games right from their device stored personal gaming library or make to purchase new ones whenever they need whenever you access digital stores like Uplay and Steam.

Most people like this cloud gaming service, as it requires no maintenance. So, you have no time to wait for game patches or driverpack solution to get started. Instead, all supported games can be installed into the cloud rig instantly and keep on playing.

The cloud gaming service has an ultra-streaming mode that is in place to increase the player’s streaming speed to around 120FPS or even something higher than that. All your favourite games can be accessed from any device, either the Shield TV, Mac, or PC.


  • Comes with an ultra-streaming mode to reduce player’s latency
  • Supports over 400 games
  • Has an option for players to choose games from their libraries
  • GeForce Now enables gaming on several devices like on Shield TV, Mac, or PC


  • This cloud gaming service is in beta mode currently
  • Its pricing hasn’t yet been announced

2. PlayStation Now

This cloud gaming service comes along with over 700 games to play. It has gone the extra mile to upload new game selections every month for its players. Additionally, the library includes indie gems, PlayStation exclusives, and check on acclaimed masterpieces.

It provides players access to a range of unlimited downloads for several PS4 games in the order they can be played on PlayStation 4 directly.

Among the best PlayStation, exclusive games are like, for instance, God of War, The Last of US, and not forgetting Bloodborne and many others. All downloads made also support the DLC, and all user purchased add-ons and the PS4 Pro enhancements.


  • It also reduces latency by its ultra-streaming mode
  • Allows players unlimited download of over 250 PS4 games to play
  • All downloads support PS4 pro enhancements, the DLC, and all add-ons.
  • The cloud gaming service has such a large selection of games to make a selection from


  • To start using this service, you have to purchase your PS4
  • Allows the unlimited download to PS4 games only

3. Vortex

This cloud gaming service allows players to enjoy their favourite games on their devices right from the Vortex library. Players are only required to sign in and get through the library. After this, access to play any game directly from any given device without waiting for downloads or any installations.

Currently, Vortex has over 100 titles players can choose. Among the titles, you will come across games like Fortnite, Far Cry 5, and many other favourites. The best part of this gaming service is its several options to newbies.


  • Has a simple sign up process
  • Allows the application of several devices, mobile included
  • It’s among the affordable market choices
  • It comes with over 100 titles to select from.


  • Has no free trial for its users
  • It only allows 3GB GTX usage that isn’t that powerful to use

4. Parsec

Parsec functions in a slightly different manner to other cloud gaming services in the market. Gamers will need to acquire a new server to operate even if it uses a similar streaming client like that of GeForce Now. Many may view this as somewhat tiresome, but then it’s simple. Servers can be purchased in-app since the cloud gaming service has partnered with Paperspace and AWS.

The best part of this gaming service is that a player is capable of running OBS right in the background as you are busy streaming your favourite game. Players can come up with their YouTube videos and share anything they wish with friends. Players also have the opportunity to add players to their games. So, a player can stream any gameplay back to other users as they are busy playing on their devices.


  • Players pay only by the hour
  • Allows players to run OBS at the background
  • Comes along with several player options


  • The pricing plan isn’t favourable to avid players
  • Players set up the games themselves

5. Google Stadia

This cloud gaming service because it gives gamers the feeling of logging onto YouTube and watching the best creator stream a particular video game. You then start up the game from your side with just a few clicks.

You won’t lack 4K gaming of up to 60fps. For instance, internet connection running at 10Mbps is enough to game up to 720p at 60fps.


  • The gaming service is supported by many devices
  • This is among the promising future options around
  • Allows full connection with YouTube


  • It is not yet available

6. Shadow

This is a premium cloud gaming service that is currently available in a few parts of the world. It has made efforts to grow its data centres, hoping to go worldwide in the soonest time possible. Shadow is set to be a substantial gaming solution that’s more than the run-of-the-mill.

With this gaming service, players have found it more comfortable in raising claims these days at large. Requests can now be made right on the shadow app instead of doing everything from your high-end PC. Additionally, the service has dedicated its users to an application that can be used for all devices to help you play your favourite games from wherever you are.


  • Reduces latency through its ultra-streaming mode
  • All devices support it
  • This service is optimized in several connections
  • Players are capable of playing games on any screen of up to 4K 60Hz


  • This is among the expensive options around without a free trial
  • It is available only in some parts of the US

7. LiquidSky

We couldn’t complete the selection of the top seven cloud gaming services without naming LiquidSky. It is liked due to its 25-hour option that offers a whole week of storage persistence, and a player is assured of acquiring this at a rate of just $10. Players can take monthly subscriptions, and this comes along with a game time of 80 hours.

With this cloud gaming services, you have the opportunity to play any game of choice from your game library. To startup, there are two power levels from which you choose for you to play.


  • Comes with 80 hours gaming time after a monthly subscription
  • Liked by its 25-hour limit gaming option


  • The gaming service deters users with its hourly limits

Is there a free user cloud gaming service?

A lot of the existing cloud gaming services come along with free trials. However, none are completely free. There is always a fee that will be involved whether you join up a monthly subscription or rent your server.

In the current market place, different brands are competing for space at large. While you can find other game streaming technologies that offer their users free trials, others need a credit to access and thus making them less desirable. There is a need for a prior check at the pricing plans of every provider in case you’re on a budget.

Can games be played on the cloud?

The answer to this question is yes. Gaming on demand, as it’s also referred to, allows players on demand to stream into a particular PC directly. But then the actual game remains stored in the producer company’s server as the cloud has undergone evolution to allow this.

All computers that access particular servers of the specific game through the client allow the streaming of the game directly. There are several companies out there that are now making efforts to convert their cloud-based services into those platforms that can be used as a service. Players can get an edge by coming up with decentralized computing systems.

Predicting the future of cloud gaming services is not possible as such. Different changes are taking place day in day out, and things are getting more accessible and more comfortable. Cloud gaming services have emerged to provide people with alternatives in various situations that arise. We will soon be enjoying every game with just simple clicks from our devices.

Staff writer