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FIFA 15 joins EA Access, making all of EA Sports' main 2014 lineup free for subscribers

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

FIFA 15 is now available free through EA Access in the service's Vault, publisher Electronic Arts announced today.

EA originally released the soccer/football game last September on Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

EA Access, which launched last August and is available only on Xbox One, costs $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year. For that price, subscribers can play some EA games up to five days before release; get 10 percent off digital purchases of EA games and add-ons in the Xbox Games Store; and download a selection of full games for free.

That selection, known as the Vault, is an ever-expanding collection that — with today's addition of FIFA 15 — now includes EA Sports' entire 2014 lineup, sans the spinoff game EA Sports 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. A little more than seven months following the release of FIFA 15, it's available free to EA Access subscribers, along with EA Sports UFC (added to the Vault six months after it launched), Madden NFL 15 (six-plus months), NHL 15 (seven months) and NBA Live 15 (just under four months).

What's more, all those games are still worthwhile at this point. EA Sports UFC isn't an annualized product, and there's no word on when EA might launch a follow-up. Plus, mixed martial arts isn't a seasonal sport; it runs year-round. The NFL Draft was held last week. Hockey and basketball playoffs are in full swing right now. The Premier League's 2014-15 season is concluding later this month.

Even aside from what's happening with the real-life sports, the importance of the Ultimate Team modes can't be overstated. The work that EA Tiburon (Madden NFL, NBA Live) and EA Canada (NHL, FIFA) put in to maintain those modes really extends the life of those titles beyond their respective sports' seasons — at least for Ultimate Team players, many of whom are die-hards.

As I've noted before, part of Microsoft's intent in partnering with EA on EA Access was to make the Xbox One more attractive to sports fans. EA making its sports games free in a timely manner presents a solid argument for sports gamers to play on Xbox One.

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