One of the benefits of being a PlayStation Plus member is you get free games every month. The service costs $60 per year, but the games you receive are worth far more than that, even if you’re only interested in playing a fraction of them.
Each month, Sony gives out two games each for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita. These games often support Cross-Buy, which means you might get three or four games for any given console. You can redeem the free games even if you don’t own one of the systems yet. Then, if you buy the system in the future, the games will be in your account, ready for you to download and play.
Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about the games PlayStation Plus members can download for free after January 3, 2016.
1. Day of the Tentacle Remastered
Platform: PlayStation 4 and PS Vita
Original price: $15
Metacritic score: 84
One of the classic LucasArts adventure games from the ‘90s is Day of the Tentacle, a funny cartoon game about time travel, puzzle solving, and a giant tentacle that wants to take over the world. This remastered version has shiny new graphics and audio to bring it into the high-def world, but you can switch to the original presentation anytime if you want to do some time travel yourself. If you enjoyed Double Fine’s recent games by Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer like Broken Age, check it out.
2. This War of Mine: The Little Ones
Platform: PlayStation 4
Original price: $30
Metacritic score: 78
If you’re looking for a game about people having a good time, move right along, because there’s nothing for you to see here. This War of Mine was well-received when it came out in 2014 thanks to its nuanced depiction of civilians trying to live in a city under siege.
Unless you want to get killed by snipers, you must stay inside while the sun is out, crafting, trading, and building shelters. By moonlight you can venture out to forage for supplies. It’s a gritty, unhappy existence, but managing to survive another day is satisfying. It’s not your standard video game fare, but sometimes that’s exactly what we’re looking for.
Platform: PlayStation 3
Original price: $10
Metacritic score: 70
One genre that has fallen out of fashion, for whatever reason, is car combat. The makers of BlazeRush saw the open market and delivered a colorful, tense game about racing and blowing your opponents to smithereens. According to most reports, the campaign serves mostly to get players acquainted with the gameplay, while the real action takes place during multiplayer matches, either online or on the couch. If you can find some friends who are up for a few explosive races, check this one out.
4. The Swindle
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita
Original price: $15
Metacritic score: 73
Billed as a “steampunk cybercrime caper,” The Swindle puts you in the sneaky shoes of a thief who breaks into well-guarded places, hacks into computers, and makes off with cash. The gameplay is stealthy and the art style is unique. The only problem is that it becomes really difficult by the end. So if you’re up for a challenge, this could be one to try.
5. Azkend 2: The World Beneath
Platform: PS Vita
Original price: $8
Metacritic score: 67
Don’t come to this game expecting big-budget graphics or flashy set pieces. Azkend 2 is a puzzle game made on a shoestring budget that has you matching hexagonal tiles in groups of three or more. The gameplay has a few neat wrinkles in it, like special tiles that trigger cascading effects when you match three of them. Still, this is a pretty run-of-the-mill matching game, so don’t get your hopes up too high.
6. Titan Souls
Platform: PS Vita and PlayStation 4
Original price: $15
Metacritic score: 74
Although it’s a very different game in practice, Titan Souls is built on the same principle as the PlayStation 2 classic Shadow of the Colossus in that every battle is a boss battle. You play as a small hero with a single arrow you have to shoot and then retrieve.
Twenty bosses wait in lairs for you to enter and take them on. The bosses are usually huge, and they each require a different approach to defeat them. But here’s the bad news: Your character dies in a single hit. That makes for some tense battles as you learn the bosses’ patterns and figure out what to do to kill them. Titan Souls is a puzzle-solving action game that will appeal mostly to serious gamers (and masochists).