One of the great benefits of being a PlayStation Plus member is that you get free games every month. The service costs around $50 per year, but the games you’ll get are worth far more than that, even if you’re only interested playing a fraction of them.
Each month, Sony gives out two games each for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita. Oftentimes these games support “Cross-Buy,” which means you might get three or four games for any given console.
Better yet, you can redeem the free games on your account even if you don’t own one of the systems yet. Then if you buy the system in the future, those games will be in your account, ready for you to download and play. Read on for info on the free games PlayStation Plus members will be able to download starting January 5, 2016.
1. Grim Fandango Remastered
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PS Vita
Metacritic score: 80
A remastered classic point-and-click adventure game, Grim Fandango takes place in the afterlife and draws heavily on film noir for inspiration. You play as Manny Calavera, a travel agent who helps newly departed souls make their way through the Land of the Dead. But just like in movies like The Maltese Falcon and On the Waterfront, things go sideways quickly, and you find yourself wrapped up in a conspiracy you’ll have to untangle before the credits roll.
2. Hardware: Rivals
Platform: PlayStation 4
With the enormous success of Rocket League last summer and Hardware: Rivals coming soon, it’s a great time to be a fan of online vehicular action games. While Rocket League is a essentially soccer with cars, Hardware: Rivals centers around combat arenas filled with tanks and other attack vehicles. Think Twisted Metal, with all the modes and power-ups you’d expect from an online shooter. And since it’s launching for free to PS Plus members, it shouldn’t be hard to find other people to play with.
3. Dragon Age: Origins
Platform: PlayStation 3
Metacritic score: 83
This massive fantasy RPG epic may have come out seven years ago, but there are still plenty of reasons to play it in 2016. The primary reason is the simplest one: It’s fantastic. Whether you’re torching hordes of goblins or navigating tricky political waters, Dragon Age: Origins is a role-playing game for the ages. No matter which of the heroes you pick, you’ll end up saving the world from a terrible dark force. The writing is top notch, the characters are memorable, and the upgrade systems are satisfying. Dragon Age: Origins is developer Bioware at its best.
4. Medal of Honor: Warfighter
Platform: PlayStation 3
Metacritic score: 55
If there’s one game in the PS Plus lineup to skip this month, this one is it. While there’s nothing outright broken about Medal of Honor: Warfighter, you can probably throw a rock in the air and hit a better shooter. This middle-of-the-road effort puts you in the boots of a modern soldier with access to an array of weapons and vehicles you’ve used in countless other games. The campaign is linear, with occasional set pieces scattered throughout. It’s an OK game, but in a gaming landscape that gets great new Halo and Call of Duty games regularly, there’s no good reason to play it over the many other better shooters out there. At least it’s free.
5. Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign
Platform: PS Vita
Metacritic score: 79
This is actually a PSP game from 2011, but it plays just fine on PS Vita. Basically, it’s a solid strategy game that has you command U.S. forces in the European theater during World War II. You’ll start on the beaches of Normandy and fight your way to Berlin. Even if you don’t normally play strategy games, this is a good one to try. It’s welcoming to newcomers, while offering enough meat on its bones to please fans of the genre.
Platform: PS Vita
Metacritic score: 73
Fans of puzzle platformers should check out Nihilumbra. It’s a fairly standard side-scroller in that you can move left, right, and jump. But each level gives you a new ability that lets you affect the environment or avoid the many enemies that want to thwart your progress. The game tries a little too hard to get philosophical, but you can mostly ignore those chunks of text as you take on the clever puzzles that make up each leve. Give this one a shot if you have a Vita.