TOP LIST – Whether you’re thinking of subscribing to any version of PlayStation Plus for yourself or buying it for Christmas alongside someone’s existing PS4/PS5 console or as a gift, we’ve collected the best games from the PlayStation Plus range for you, including the various broken down into tiers.
PlayStation Plus has undergone several versions and changes since its introduction. Originally, the service was not required for online play and rewarded subscribers with extra discounts and free monthly games. With the advent of the PlayStation 4 generation, it became a must-have for online gaming, but it still offered the same benefits. Finally, Sony introduced PlayStation Now, a streaming and download service for a separate subscription fee for PS4, PS3, and some PS2 games. While this service was rocky at launch, it eventually became significant, although it clearly needed some kind of rethinking to keep people interested.
PlayStation Plus and PS Now have been combined into three different subscription tiers to keep everything under one PlayStation Plus brand name. The basic level, PlayStation Plus Essential, will continue to receive three games per month, while the Extra and Premium levels will receive different games in their catalog. With hundreds of games already and more coming all the time, even the most determined players won’t be able to play everything. To make sure you get the most bang for your buck and don’t miss any hidden gems, here are the best games you can play right now on PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra and Premium tiers.
Best PS Plus Essential Games
As usual, those with the lowest PS Plus tier will get three games this month: two with the PS5 version and one with the PS4 version. Here’s what you can play this month:
Divine Knockout: Founder’s Edition (PS4, PS5)
Third-person platformer Divine Knockout is the only brand new title launching on PlayStation Plus this month. Like most games in the genre, you can choose a character from 10 gods like Hercules and Thor and smash opponents off the stage to knock them out. You can play in 3v3 arcade mode and solo and duo fights. Even better, this game has full cross-play and cross-progression, so you can always find yourself an opponent.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition (PS4)
The RPG series of the biggest sci-fi trilogy (we are not talking about Andromeda) has received a complete facelift, all of the games have been merged into the Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Experience the entire journey as your very own Shepard commander from start to finish, taking charge of all your decisions and choices in this vast universe, including all DLC.
Biomutant (PS4, PS5)
For a fun, unique action-adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic open world, nothing beats Biomutant. Build your own mutant creature, equip them with a wide variety of weapons and melee weapons, and embark on a mission to save the Tree of Life and unite the various tribes across the land. There are tons of RPG skills and abilities to learn, and the PS5 version offers three different graphics modes, making it a quirky adventure you won’t find anywhere else.
The best PS Plus Extra games
You can download and play a huge library of PS4 and PS5 titles with the PlayStation Plus Extra level. These games come and go monthly although you never know how many will be added or removed at any given time. Here are some of the best ones currently available:
Demon’s Souls (PS5)
Souls games have never been more popular, and this game is a remake of the game that started it all. This remake is not only stunningly beautiful to look at, but also mechanically as faithful as possible to the original. The only change is in the quality of life features, so it’s up to you to beat the levels and bosses. It’s a bit clunky in some ways, but it holds up remarkably well for a game over a decade old, thanks to the new paint job.
Staying on the Souls train, here’s the other PlayStation exclusive from developer FromSoftware, a fan favorite that refuses to be updated in any way: Bloodborne. This title focuses more on aggression than the rest of the series, and boasts a unique and detailed world that just oozes with mystery and intrigue. You usually never know where the story of a Souls game is going to lead anyway, but this game goes to places you wouldn’t even guess.
Death Stranding: Director’s Cut (PS5)
Hideo Kojima’s first game after parting ways with Konami took off about as well as anyone expected. Although some may dismiss it as a walking simulator, walking, climbing, grappling and tumbling through treacherous but stunning landscapes is actually much more engaging than meets the eye. In many ways, it’s quite a therapeutic experience, so don’t expect an action-packed thriller (although there are moments of that here and there). The story is uneven, but the high points are very high, so it’s worth the journey.
Deathloop is the last PlayStation exclusive from the very talented team at Arkane, receiving huge praise and many perfect scores upon release. This time-loop adventure game will keep you in a loop of death until you learn all the details about the island of Blackreef and the eight targets you must eliminate to break the loop. However, another assassin, Julianna, is hunting you and can show up when you least expect it.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition (PS4)
There are a decent number of Dragon Quest games in the PlayStation Plus Extra category, but we choose Dragon Quest XI for JRPG fans. This is your answer if you want a classic JRPG from start to finish. The story is a classic, straight-forward tale of a group of unlikely heroes saving the world from evil, with traditional turn-based combat, leveling, and side quests. Cozy entertainment for fans of the genre.
God of War (PS4)
There are a handful of games that anyone with a PlayStation Plus Premium or Extra account should absolutely play, and it’s arguable that 2018’s God of War should be at the top of the list. In this “reboot” of the series, Kratos lives in another part of the world, far from the Greek roots the players are used to.
Kratos’ move to Midgard gave the developers an opportunity to focus on other gods and tap into the deep Norse folklore surrounding the Norse gods and their mythology. With RPG elements, an incredible story, breathtaking visuals and some fantastic combat mechanics, God of War is a must-have PS Plus Premium game.
Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4 )
Perhaps the biggest new IP of the PS4 generation, and since the sequel recently me, it’s the perfect way to top off this robot dinosaur hunting adventure. Despite being from 2017, this game still looks amazing. You get a nice, big, open world to explore, although there are some frustrating limitations on how far you can cut your own path, and hours of missions and tasks to complete. If you’re excited for the sequel or the upcoming VR spinoff, you should definitely start here.
The Complete Kingdom Hearts Series (PS4)
As a huge Kingdom Hearts fan, it was once difficult to recommend the series when so many important parts were scattered across different platforms. Now, not only are they all conveniently bundled, remastered and include Final Mix content for each game, but they’re all included in PlayStation Plus Extra. This makes it easier than ever to play this epic crossover series from start to finish (at least until Kingdom Hearts 4 comes out).
What can we say about Inside? You play as a lonely boy in a dark, dangerous world that is better explored than described. There will be some light platforming and puzzle-solving, but the real draw is the narrative, which you piece together through bits and pieces and collapses at the end. Short, but not a game to be missed.
Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)
One of the most exciting launch titles for PlayStation Plus Premium (and Extra), Marvel’s Spider-Man is competing for the title of the best superhero game of all time. Insomniac has created a beautiful and realistic open world, tailored to allow players to rock to their heart’s content as the iconic wall climber. The combat system is fast-paced, reasonably challenging, fluid and stylish; a fun twist on the Arkham formula.
While the side content is a bit lacking, the main story of Marvel’s Spider-Man is pretty good on its own, producing several epic scenes along with some quieter, character-focused moments. Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales is also included in PlayStation Plus Premium and Extra for both PS4 and PS5.
Marvel’s Spider -Man: Miles Morales (PS4/PS5)
As it turns out, this slightly smaller scale Spider-Man story is the perfect size for such a game. Acting as an introduction to playing Miles as Spider-Man, the game rearranges the entire map of the base game in a winter setting, adds new side missions and events, and an engaging and personal story that could only be fit for Miles. Everything you loved about the first game is back, from swinging, combat and progression to unlockable collectibles and outfits. It’s a full Spider-Man experience in a tight package that doesn’t overdo the game.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4)
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it was like to live in the Old West, Red Dead Redemption 2 is probably the closest you’ll get to that experience. Set before the previous game’s events, you play as Arthur Morgan, a member of Dutch’s old gang. Being a Rockstar title, we can expect a fantastic, albeit very controlled, main story spanning dozens of hours, locations, and mission variants. On the other hand, you can explore the entire open world on horseback and soak up the beauty of the Wild West.
The first game to launch on the new PlayStation service today is the adorable indie cyberpunk adventure starring a fluffy cat. Stray was an indie that Sony paid a lot of attention to, showing it several times since its unveiling in 2020. The bright orange protagonist immediately won the hearts of fans based on the trailers, seeing the tendencies of the perfectly animated cat in the game. This adventure game title is a love letter to cats and those who love them, and being available at home is almost as good as having a real cat snuggled up in your lap for a nap.
Skyrim – Special Edition (PS5/PS5)
Whether you’ve played it or not, there’s always something more to do in Skyrim. This massive open-world RPG has been re-released countless times since its original release in 2011, and somehow the game is still just as addictive. Create your own hero and forge your own adventures, only now with better art, effects, lighting and more improvements that come with the special edition. It may be over a decade old but remains the pinnacle of Western RPG design and scope.
Yakuza 0, Kiwami and Kiwami 2 (PS4)
The first three games in the Yakuza timeline will be released simultaneously, with the rest coming in 2022. Thus, players can start the story of Kiryu and Majima in 0, and then experience the original first two games on PS4 through the Kiwami remakes. All three games are fighting games set in the Japanese criminal underworld. The level of mystery, drama, and politics in it is on par with the best prestige TV writing, but with a unique Yakuza flavor you don’t get anywhere else.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade + Episode Intermission (PS5)
Besides the fact that Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is absolutely jaw-dropping out loud, it’s the best way to play one of the best games of 2020 on your PS5. This already graphically stunning PS4 title has been updated to take advantage of your PS5, doubling the frame rate to 60, improving lighting and textures, and reducing load times. Additionally, this version includes the Intermission DLC starring Yuffie, which takes place during the main game’s events. With Rebirth on the horizon, this is the perfect way to catch up on how the story is changing.
Ghost of Tsushima (PS5)
To put it bluntly, but if you want an Assassin’s Creed-style game set in Japan, you should check out Ghost of Tsushima. However, the game is much more than that, thanks to a strong narrative with strong characters and an open world that doesn’t waste your time with hundreds of collectibles and repetitive side content. The main point of contention this game raised was that it uses a rudder to control players instead of waypoints and minimaps. By simply following the direction of the wind, you can fully concentrate on your samurai quest on the stunning island of Tsushima.
Trials of Mana (PS4)
A remake of the 1995 SNES classic, Trials of Mana is a JRPG in which you can choose from six protagonists who each have their own unique quest to find the Mana Sword in order to save the world. . Unlike many other JRPGs of the time, the gameplay here is completely real-time. It’s not a very long game, but the number of characters and classes makes it fun to play again and experience all the differences. The remake will also include new post-game content and an additional class.
Assassin’s Creed Origins (PS4)
Although we criticized the Assassin’s Creed games before, this does not mean that there is no time and place for them. Assassin’s Creed Origins was the first to break with the established formula of the series and essentially become a full-fledged Western RPG. Set in ancient Egypt, which is as faithfully recreated as any location in the series, we learn about the origins of the legendary Assassin order, as well as follow the personal story of the new protagonist, Bayek.
If you’ve ever spent an entire night reading fascinating SCP documents or other creepy paste on the internet, you’ll love Control. Set in the Federal Control Office building, the game explores a non-Euclidean space filled with people corrupted by something called Hiss. Along the way, you pick up dozens of documents detailing psychic objects and phenomena, all of which are profoundly interesting. Oh, and the Metroidvania-style third-person shooter is also very satisfying. With the Ultimate Edition you also get all DLCs, including one related to Alan Wake before the soon-to-be-released sequel.
Hollow Knight (PS4)
The competition for best indie game is essentially impossible to determine, but Hollow Knight would undoubtedly be on the list of candidates. This game mixes a hand-drawn art style with buttery smooth movement, Souls-like combat, narrative and boss fights, and a massive Metroidvania map. This is a game that you can finish in 20 hours or twice that time exploring every inch of it and every challenge it has to offer. Although it’s an insect world, it plays and looks so good you won’t want to leave it.
Based on developer Housemarque’s arcade shooter roots, Returnal transposes the gameplay of a bullet-hell game into a third-person shooter with rogue-lite elements. It might sound a bit convoluted, but it all adds up to a smooth, satisfying but testing game. Running through randomly generated rooms, you blast the designs of the most bizarre creatures ever animated in smooth 60 FPS action, picking up new gear, slowly completing each zone, and learning a bit of the story. The runs aren’t as short as a traditional rogue-lite, and there aren’t a ton of synergies to discover, but the basic movement and shooting is so good that you’ll be pulling Selene’s way to the finish line.
Best PS Plus Premium Games
Premium tier exclusives include all PS1, PS2, PSP and PS3 games that you can download and stream. The range of PS1, PS2 and PSP games was quite limited at launch, but will be expanded with new games arriving every month. Here are the best games from past generations to try for a retro hit.
Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits (Download)
Arc the Lad is a long-running but criminally neglected JRPG series. The PS2 entry, Twilight of the Spirits , is a great game with an amazing concept: You play as two brothers who are both human-deimo hybrids and grew up in different parts of the world. The deimos are the world’s monster society, using magic while humans use technology, but both racially condemn the other. The journey alternates between these two points of view, both overcoming their own machinations, until they finally cross paths and must put aside their prejudices to face the true evil. Great JRPG storytelling with an awesome combat system.
The Sly Collection (stream)
Sly Cooper was one of the biggest PS2 franchises and mascots for the system at the time, along with Ratchet and Jak. This trilogy brings together the entire comic-themed, noir-style, and charmingly witty series. Start with the humble beginnings of the Cooper gang in part one, see it become less linear in part two, and experience the climax of it all with even more members in the final chapter (made by SuckerPunch, by the way) in the thrilling conclusion. This series is worth reliving from beginning to end.
LocoRoco Midnight Carnival
If you enjoyed the LocoRoco games but didn’t have a PSP to play what was essentially the third game in the series, now is the time to remedy that with LocoRoco Midnight Carnival . It has all the vibrant shapes and colors of the main series, and retains that unique style of musical gameplay, although it may be a bit more challenging than previous games. While the art style is a perfect conversion from the small screen to the big screen, the game is still remarkably short, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your taste.
From the same team that made Inside, Limbocould be described exactly like that game, only the art style is much more contrasting and obscure. Limbo is also a bit more puzzle-oriented and the world is a different kind of unsettling, but again it’s a short but sweet experience.
Bioshock Remastered (Download)
If you haven’t played Bioshock yet, now you have no excuse. The underwater dystopia of Rapture is still a magical, if not terrifying, place to explore. Although Bioshock is a spiritual successor to the System Shock games, Bioshock is still a largely linear experience, with experimentation limited to combat rather than other aspects. Even so, aside from a slightly annoying hacker minigame, the game holds up extremely well, and the remastered version only adds to the experience.
Ape Escape (Download)
Ape Escape is one of the first games to require two analog controls on the original DualShock controller, a charming action and puzzle game that helped put the PlayStation on the map in its early days. In the game, you run after escaped monkeys and try to get them back with different means. Of course, this is still a PS1 game, so don’t expect the visuals to hold up, and the controls to be a bit clunky, but it’s totally usable. It’s not sure if it will hook you so much that you’ll play it all the way through, but it’s definitely worth downloading for nostalgia’s sake.
Tekken 2 (Download)
Okay, it might not be Tekken 3, but it’s basically the next best thing. When fighters started going in a 3D direction, the Tekken games paved the way and showed everyone else how to do it. The roster of characters has remained not only iconic, but extremely diverse and entertaining. This fighter is deep, but very approachable for non-fighting game veterans as you don’t need to memorize tons of moves or commands to have fun.
Wild Arms (download)
JRPGs set in an Old West setting are virtually non-existent, but Wild Arms paved the way for this strange mix of cultures in a fantastic JRPG that old-school fans will love. You play as three characters, all of whom you get to know well, each with their own abilities that you can use outside of battle to get around and solve puzzles. The game features a classic turn-based combat system, but with a dynamic camera thanks to the 3D look and plenty of strategy and depth. It’s not the longest game either, so it’s an easy entry into JRPGs as a whole.
ICO is the first game from the eponymous developer who is cited more often than almost any other game as the primary inspiration for today’s biggest games. This game predates Shadow of the Colossus from the same developer and is often overlooked for that reason, but it’s just as emotionally powerful and will leave you feeling the same loneliness, wonder, and curiosity. You play as a deer boy, who is locked in a castle as a kind of sacrifice, and then you try to escape with a young girl you find there. Neither of you speak the same language, so you travel hand in hand, fighting shadowy monsters and trying to find your way to freedom with little more than a stick.
This game is for FPS fans. FEAR is a weird horror concept FPS where the shooting is some of the best to date. This is all thanks to the implementation of slo-mo, which isn’t as rare as it was when this game came out, but even now, some shooters get this feeling wrong. In FEAR, every bullet, impact, animation, dust particle, and the crack of your gun looks and feels simply amazing. The environments are a bit boring by today’s standards, but that’s only because they’re so responsive to everything you do in them. If you want to shove a rifle into an enemy soldier’s stomach, watch it turn into a cloud of red mist in slow motion, FEAR is still the best way to do it.
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