PlayStation Plus 10 free games you absolutely need to play
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The PlayStation Plus collection of games features a huge wealth of great games and if you’re a recent subscriber you might be wondering where to start. Well, you could do a lot worse than starting out with some of Sony’s greatest hits.
PlayStation Plus is a powerhouse of amazing games and features
The exclusives contained in the collection are some of the finest videogames of the past decade and beyond, taking in everything from pandemic zombie drama to cartoony platformers.
At one point Nathan Drake was an untouchable character. Born from the inspirations of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones, Drake became a treasure hunter known for athleticism, puzzle-solving, and shooting big guns. The Uncharted series was a visually beautiful action adventure crammed with wonderful set pieces that ticked off cinematic tropes with success.
As a collection, there are a lot of hours here - more than you can shake an ancient rod at. If you want big blockbuster entertainment then look no further. Some would argue that the third installment lacked the originality of the first two, but a middling Uncharted game is still a very good game.
One of the biggest crimes is that Dreams isn’t played by more people and that it was recently closed down. If you haven’t heard of this amazing game, then that is part of the problem. Sony never seemed to want to push Dreams despite it being home to some of the best games, mini-games, and creative experiences.
Dreams is both a creation platform and a gaming platform; it was a place to create works of art, new games, or silly little movies just using the platform's toolset. There were some truly remarkable creations under the Dreams umbrella, some that looked a bit cartoony, others that leaned into photorealism and it was overflowing with imagination that is rarely seen outside of the indie market.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Aside from the latest Spider-Man game, there is no better title to showcase the PlayStation 5 console than Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. It’s not only visually stunning, it plays with dimension-hopping mechanics that just wouldn’t be possible without the PS5’s SSD. Jumping in and out of portals hasn’t been this much fun since… well, Portal 2.
The story is a cute ball of fun, the characters are lovingly realised, and the arsenal of weaponry on offer is both bonkers and inspired. It’s not an overly difficult or lengthy game either, so it’s great for younger players or a fun and colourful weekend.
Sly Cooper Collection
It’s probably quite controversial to say, but I think the Sly Cooper trilogy is far superior to the Crash Bandicoot trilogy. Sly is such a better character, he’s charismatic, his stories are more fun, and the platforming was better. Also, what’s not to love about a master thief who is also a raccoon?
Crash tends to hold the crown because he’s an OG, appearing on the original PlayStation. Sly didn’t appear until the PlayStation 2, but it also had a much more muted release in Europe despite being a big success in America. Returning to this now, the game has aged very well. Graphically it’s touch and go, but it feels much more fluid and enjoyable compared to other 3D platformers that haven’t had a remastered experience.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII is one of the most popular games of all time. It’s a seminal work, not just in the JRPG sphere, but in games generally. It did so much to push a niche genre into the mainstream and set up systems and mechanics that we still see to this day. PlayStation was the exclusive home to Final Fantasy and that’s why the remake is on this list. The remake does a lot to match the classic from the late 90s, but it also sets itself apart with new additions.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is just the first part of the remake project and it only touches on a small portion of the story from the original game. There’s everything you would need from a JRPG; pretty boys, gorgeous girls, melodrama by the bucketload, over-the-top enemies, and a complex story.
Ghost of Tsushima
An open-world samurai adventure set in feudal Japan, Ghost of Tsushima earns a place on this list for being both gorgeous and utterly absorbing. A story of loyalty, betrayal, and family sprouts from this world as you explore different regions that all have their individuality. While the story is wonderful, it’s the land of Japan that truly wows. No matter where you are, whether it’s in a bamboo forest, or scrambling up a loose path to find a shrine, the colours pop, and Japan feels painterly.
If you’re here for the combat, it satisfies every time. It’s not as difficult as a SoulsBorne, but it requires learning different stances and practicing the art of blocking, dodging, and parrying.
The Last of Us Remastered
Whether you watched the HBO show first or not, The Last of Us is widely agreed as a ‘must-play’. It’s a game that features world-class storytelling and a cast of unforgettable characters. It goes without saying that the combat, whether that’s stealth-based or all-out action, is superb, but what the game is remembered for is delivering a story with heart.
The two central characters of Joel and Ellie are so well realised that they’ve become legendary; Ellie for being a badass, but still struggling with the everyday life of a teenage girl; and Joel, who is a parent full of loss and grief trying to move on in a world of death. As with any good zombie property, it’s the human stories that carry the most weight and The Last of Us does that to perfection.
The Last Guardian
Coming from the team that made ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, this adventure may not reach the heady heights of its cousins, but it establishes itself as a warm story of love and loyalty. I could have recommended the previous two games, but there’s something wonderful about The Last Guardian. It captures the love we have for animals and how we make them a part of the family.
Trico, the half-bird-half-mammal creature, steals the show. Their playful attitude perfectly captures the Golden Retriever energy but it’s often balanced with a beautiful empathy for its human handler. It’s not a difficult platformer - more of a puzzle adventure bursting with emotion.
While Concrete Genie is best played in VR, it’s only a tad better with a headset and is both utterly gorgeous and brilliantly playable without virtual reality. The goal is to bring life back to the abandoned town of Denska and this is achieved via painting murals throughout the town. It's no ordinary paint though. This living paint brings actual life to the darkest areas, eliminating smog and rubbish.
You’re equipped with different genies who each bring something to the paint you wield. They may help vanquish bullies or solve a puzzle. What they achieve is a sense of awe in the player as the colours, many of which glow and pulse like neon, pop from the screen in stunning shades.
Possibly the most widely acclaimed exclusive game in the PlayStation catalogue, Bloodborne was the definitive SoulsBorne game before Elden Ring finally landed. Its mixture of Gothic environments and slobbering beasts was a match made in hell. The combat was better than ever, the story was intriguing and each boss brought new challenges.
BloodBorne became the ‘must-own’ game for many players. It kept the sense of danger and difficulty from the Souls games while still feeling accessible enough to pull in the average gamer. Plus, it still looks ravenously gorgeous now. Action games, particularly ones that lean so hard on their combat, can age quickly, but Bloodborne feels as fresh as ever.