PlayStation Plus is Sony’s subscription service for its PlayStation consoles. For a monthly fee, you can download and play as many games as you’ve got time for from the available catalogue.
It’s a lot like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass system, though there’s no overlap with the PC from Sony.
To take advantage, you’ll need a PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4 and a fast internet connection. Some of the games can be rather large, and take a long time to download. You also might need to install a second SSD drive in your console, or some USB storage so you can offload games you’re not currently playing but don’t want to delete. PS5s can also play PS4 games directly from USB storage.
PlayStation Plus tiers and cost
PlayStation Plus is split into tiers. If you want to play games online against other people, you’ll need at least the Essential tier, which unlocks online multiplayer. You also get a couple of free games every month, which you can download and play for as long as you keep the subscription going, and discounts on titles from the game catalogue. It costs $10/£7 monthly, $25/£20 quarterly or $60/£50 yearly.
Extra is the next tier and is slightly more expensive at $15/£11 monthly, $40/£32 quarterly and $100/£84 yearly. For the extra cash, you get everything from Essentials, and gain access to a selection of games to download and play for free. You also get UbiSoft’s Classics collection, which includes Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry titles.
At the top of the PS Plus tree is the Premium tier, which costs $18/£13.50 monthly, $50/£40 quarterly or $120/£100 yearly. You get everything in the previous two tiers, older PlayStation games to play, and access to Sony’s cloud streaming service, through which you can play games without downloading them first. In countries where cloud streaming isn’t available, this tier is called Deluxe.
Sony doesn’t always put its latest releases straight onto PS Plus, so at the moment games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Forspoken aren’t on this list. There are still plenty of big names and hidden gems to discover on the service though, so dive in.
God of War (PS4)
Recently joined by PS5-exclusive sequel Ragnarok, 2018’s reboot of the long-running PlayStation series sees former Greek Kratos up sticks and move to Scandinavia, where he carries on much as he did in his previous life, by punching mythological beings into pulp.
It’s a third-person action game, and Kratos, now sporting a luxurious beard to go with his Spartan warpaint, wields a suitably Viking axe (though the game is set before those notably angry warriors ever set out to conquer). He also has a son, Atreus, who can be used to help out in fights and to solve puzzles.
God of War was hugely popular on its release, becoming the second most highly rated PlayStation 4 game of 2018 just behind Red Dead Redemption 2.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS4/PS5)
A more interesting take on the friendly neighbourhood superhero comes in the form of Miles Morales, who becomes Spider-man by mistake but develops greater powers than Peter Parker, who appears in this game as a mentor figure.
A whole bustling, snow-covered neighbourhood of New York is available to be explored while swinging from a web. There’s plenty of petty crime for the teenager to fight, though the overarching storyline sees him take on a mercenary group trying to steal a new power source. Classic Spider-Man fodder.
Disco Elysium (PS4/PS5)
You’re a washed up loser with poor personal hygiene and a dated dress sense. Nothing personal…it really isn’t, as that’s the kind of character you play in the incredible Disco Elysium.
The dialogue-heavy, DnD nature of ZA/UM’s landmark RPG is now available to play on PlayStation Plus. And if you haven’t delved into this interactive mystery, then strap yourself in for a unique experience.
You’re a detective charged with solving a murder, but whether you want to do it with honour and dignity or as a drunken mess is up to you. Navigating the disgraced city of Revachol is admittedly best done on PC with a mouse and keyboard, but if that isn’t an option for you, the alternative is still a must-play.
Outer Wilds (PS4/PS5)
The first of two time-loop games on this list, Outer Wilds asks you to explore an entire solar system in 22 minutes.
There’s slightly more to it than that, of course. But the fact that one loop takes about the same amount of time as an agreeable light lunch means that exploring doomed planets on the edge of going supernova is neatly packaged. A loop can be cut short if you die, but the memories of your discoveries stick with you through the resets. This means you build up a general idea of what’s going on. The relics left behind by an extinct civilisation are important to making discoveries about the nature of the loop, as is simply being in the right place at the right time.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (PS5)
The first instalment in a sprawling remake of the well-loved PlayStation original from 1997, Intergrade is the slightly strange name for the PS5 version of Final Fantasy VII, released in 2021.
It gets upgraded visuals and shorter load times, but otherwise this is the same as the PS4 version of the game released in 2020, only with an extra DLC episode tacked on. It’s a tale of eco-terrorism, ghostly entities, weird planetary energy and an infamous murder that’s played out in real-time exploration and strategic combat. The second part is slated to be released in late-2023.
Do you ever have one of those days when you just want to break everything in sight? Now you can, without having to clean everything up afterwards. Teardown is a sandbox-puzzler where everything – literally, everything – can be destroyed. It’s endlessly satisfying, and strangely fulfilling in a Bond villain-esque ‘I want to destroy the world’ way.
There’s a secret skill to Teardown that goes beyond mindless destruction, though. Completing different heist-based objectives requires ingenuity and a sharp mind, while a healthy modding community keep the game ticking over with fresh content. It’s also a pretty great stress reliever…
Alien: Isolation (PS4/PS5)
Much like the film universe it’s set in, Alien: Isolation is a tense affair and not for the faint hearted. In this survival horror, every single bang and bump will make you wriggle in your seat. It’s a game of increasing tension, and pits the player against a stalking xenomorph that wants to rip you to shreds. It’s not to be played in the dark, but Alien: Isolation is an experience akin to Dead Space.
From 2016, but no less lovely for its age, Abzû is a gentle, non-violent, game about exploring the ocean. You’re a diver who begins the game floating on the surface, but who soon dips below to explore.
There’s a lot of life down there. The ocean is teeming with plants and animals, and the game provides pedestals for you to sit on and just watch the underwater world go by. There’s no stress, no falling oxygen levels or nasty sharks to avoid. Just a few puzzles to solve and a lot of exploring. There’s a narrative to pull you on, with murals throughout the game unveiling a story. You’re also perfectly at liberty to just swim around and enjoy the fishes, though.
A gothic masterpiece by FromSoftware, makers of the Dark Souls games and Elden Ring, Bloodborne stands out as not only a PlayStation exclusive, but one that has a distinctive horror-inspired look separate from the more traditional fantasy tropes of the other games.
In essence, Bloodborne is a third-person action RPG with a customisable protagonist, and it’s quite hard. Bloodborne is never unfair, however, and once you can learn the attacks of a particular enemy and how to counter them, you can fight your way through. It just may take a couple of tries.
Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4)
MachineGames takes the famous Wolfenstein franchise that kick-started the first-person shooter back in 1992, and does wonderful things with it. Set in an alternative-history 1960s where the Nazis won WWII and have a base on the Moon, the game tasks you with shooting your way through them with an array of ever more imaginative weapons.
What stands out about Wolfenstein: The New Order from a slew of military shooters is that it doesn’t take itself at all seriously. There’s robot soldiers, furniture-chewing bad guys and the ability to upgrade your wire cutters into a laser gun. There’s a sequel and prequel, plus co-op and VR spin-offs to play too.
Ghostwire: Tokyo (PS5)
Think of Ghostwire: Tokyo as a magic arts meets Ghostbusters kind of game that trades New York for Tokyo (duh). A version of Tokyo that’s been taken over by the spirit world and its ghoulish inhabitants, that is. Not ideal. But you, the player, do have superpowers and abilities to help even the odds.
Ghostwire: Tokyo offers something unique to the first-person shooter(esque) genre. A beautifully recreated Tokyo features neon streets, convenience stores, and even public toilets that feel like the real thing (albeit with less electronic bidets). Controlling wind, water and fire elements makes for an incredibly enjoyable combat experience, while sneak attacks allow for some truly horrifying yet satisfying kills. The free to download update, Spider’s Thread, adds some new enemies, combat skills, areas to explore and much more.
Our second time-loop game takes place on an island in another alternative 1960s, putting you in the fashionable shoes of Colt, an assassin trying to take out eight people. The island has four districts, and four time periods which advance only when he moves between areas. Get killed, or run out of time, and you’ll end up back on the beach you started on.
To end the loop you need to neutralise all eight targets in a single day. This means figuring out the right sequence of moves between districts and the best way to eliminate targets. It’s complicated by Julianna, a character who’s constantly hunting Colt, and who can be played by an AI or by another human player over the internet.
Frostpunk: Console Edition (PS4)
A city-building game with a difference. In Frostpunk, the Earth is frozen over and you’re in charge of its last city. You must build shelters for your remaining citizens, while making decisions like whether to send children down coal mines.
Put like that, the premise sounds grim. And it is, but what Frostpunk offers is a glimmer of hope that many city-builders don’t. It’s not enough to have thriving industry, efficient transportation, and an accessible graveyard. The moral character of your city is under your control too, making it a game about leadership and management as much as it is about putting housing in the right place.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition (PS4)
PlayStation’s distinctive RPG with robot dinosaurs is a must-play for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Main character Aloy is a young hunter who discovers her world is built on top of a previous civilisation. This leads to an adventure that sees her taking on human bandits and cybernetic foes to discover the origins of her society. Aloy might even save the world along the way.
Horizon Zero Dawn is the first chapter in a new action-RPG series from the game studio that previously made Killzone, and there’s already a sequel and VR spinoff available in Horizon Call of the Mountain. The robot dinosaurs are the big attractive force here, and scaling the neck of one to unlock new areas of the map is a fabulous moment in gaming. The Complete Edition comes with the Frozen Wilds DLC included, for even more dangerous machines and tribal politics.
A simple-looking puzzle-platformer from indie studio Playdead, Inside casts you as a small boy running through a forest, avoiding the adults who will shoot him down if they catch wind. Once he penetrates far enough into the maze of buildings, however, remarkable things start to happen. This includes mind-controlling zombies, and an ending that really has to be seen to be believed.
It’s a small, short game, but absolutely fantastic. As it’s free to PS Plus subscribers, there’s absolutely no reason not to play it.
Shadow of the Colossus (PS4)
Another remake, but this time of a game that defined the PlayStation 2 era. Shadow of the Colossus was almost too much game for the poor old PS2, so this PS4 version has become the definitive edition of the game. In it, you play as Wander, tasked with tracking down and defeating 16 colossi, massive beings that wander the lands around a central temple.
Your goal is to resurrect a girl named Mono, but the narrative is so minimal that his motivations, and even why she needs to be revived, are vague at best. What’s clear is the price Wander pays for his actions. With Wander’s body deteriorating as he proceeds, those encouraging him may not be all that they appear.
Tetris Effect: Connected (PS4)
Yes, that Tetris, the Game Boy game from 1984. The modern PlayStation game looks a little different, but the same basic rules apply. Blocks fall from the sky, and you have to move and rotate them to build a wall.
Tetris Effect mixes it up a bit with speed changes, graphical differences between levels, and some frantic musical accompaniments. The major change in Connected is the multiplayer, though. You can play cooperatively with up to three players or competitively in Zone Battles that throw garbage pieces into your opponent’s playfield. Great fun, even after almost 40 years.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (PS4)
The game that refuses to die. Skyrim is an epic fantasy RPG with dragons, giants, thieves, assassins, vampires, werewolves, and mages holed up in towers flinging fireballs. It seems strange to say it was released in 2011, because unlike other games from that time period it refuses to fade away.
The special edition upgrades the graphics and includes all the DLC for the original game, plus the ability to add user-created mods to mix up the storyline or the game’s looks.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and The Lost Legacy are the only Uncharted games currently on PS Plus (but the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection will be dropping soon). We think this one just edges out the standalone expansion as the better game, though. It sees Nathan Drake doing his usual Indiana Jones thing, persuaded out of retirement to search for a lost treasure and doing a lot of shooting along the way.
There are all the jungles and hidden temples to explore you could possibly need, as well as urban environments and a seaside villa to sneak around in. It’s a cinematic game from a series that got a movie adaptation in 2022, and surely can’t be the last we’ve seen of Drake.
Untitled Goose Game (PS4)
‘It’s a lovely day in the village, and you are a horrible goose’ goes the tagline for 2019’s Untitled Goose Game, a charming sandbox game for anyone who’s ever been attacked by this winged beast. And trust us when we say that this pesky protagonist is just as villainous as Sephiroth or Albert Wesker. You play as a goose on a rampage in a quintessential English village. Your ‘honk’ is a war cry against those who are simply going about their day. To win, others must suffer.