These are the games you can play for free on PlayStation Plus this month

Steep and Portal Knights lead January's haul

You might not love the idea of paying for a PlayStation Plus subscription, but that £50 a year includes a massive bounty of free games.

Each and every month, Sony trots out a new selection of games you can download for free all month and then keep and play forever, so long as you maintain your Plus subscription. You'll always find at least a couple of PlayStation 4 picks, along with games for PS3 and Vita as well.

Looking for a heads-up on which games you can grab right now and soon ahead? We've got you covered: these are the UK's PlayStation Plus freebies for January 2019, which will be available to download starting 1 January. And if you didn't grab December's free downloads yet, then scroll further down for a quick look at those titles.

Free on PlayStation Plus in December

Steep (PS4)

It's the ideal time of year to hit the slopes, but if you don't have fresh powder nearby or the gusto to set off down a mountain, hop into Steep instead. Ubisoft's open-slopes sandbox lets you drop in on a snowboard or skis, or don a wingsuit or paraglider to get around and find some thrills.

Portal Knights (PS4)

Portal Knights kind of looks like a less-clunky Minecraft at a glance, but while it keeps some of that mining and crafting hook, it's much more of a role-playing experience with co-op action in the mix. Enlist a few pals, suit up, and get to hacking and slashing already.

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion (PS4/Vita)

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion has a clear, albeit very niche visual inspiration: the work of RPG maker Vanillaware (Odin Sphere). This 2D role-player doesn't quite hit the same heights as that studio's output, but Vita fans in particular might appreciate this freebie.

Zone of the Enders HD Collection (PS3)

This PlayStation 3 bundle remasters Hideo Kojima's robot-battling gems from the PS2. The original was best known for housing the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo (but was actually great on its own), while the sequel amped up the style. Both are very cool.

Amplitude (PS3)

Harmonix is best known for its plastic instrument games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but Amplitude hearkens back to the studio's earlier button-tapping cult favourites, albeit with a new coat of polish. Leap from instrument to instrument as you rapidly assemble each song.

Super Mutant Alien Assault (Vita)

Speaking of having something to play on you PlayStation Vita – Super Mutant Alien Assault recently made the leap to Sony's handheld, delivering frantic arcade-style 2D blasting. It's strongly inspired by Super Crate Box, already one of the Vita's top games, but still looks fun all the same.

Still available through 31 December

Onrush (PS4)

Just months after its release, Codemasters' sadly overlooked car combat game is now free to download via PlayStation Plus in December. It's not a racer, despite what it might look like – it's more of an arcade-style, team-centric brawler. In fact, it's a little hard to explain, yet super fun to pick up and play.

SOMA (PS4)

SOMA might have been better suited for Halloween, but this acclaimed, ultra-atmospheric adventure game is also good for a dark winter evening. It's about surviving the odd horrors of an underwater research facility in which the machines start to think they are humans. Yeah, that is pretty creepy.

Iconoclasts (PS4/Vita)

Another 2018 release that's made the PlayStation Plus turnaround rather quickly, Iconoclasts received strong reviews earlier this year for its retro-stylized 2D platform action. Excellent storytelling and slick graphics make this a fun one, and it's also the rare newish Vita game that's well worth playing.

Papers, Please (Vita)

Here's an older Vita game, but no less essential. Papers, Please is an unnerving indie game about working as a border patrol guard for a fictional country. It's more than just rubber-stamping forms; you'll decide the fate of some folks, and have to avoid mistakes all the while to save your own skin.

Steins;Gate (PS3)

Love anime and manga? Steins;Gate is a well-reviewed visual novel about a group of students who discover that their odd invention is actually a time-traveling machine. Set in Tokyo's famed Akihabara neighbourhood, it's said to pack a brilliant narrative and compelling characters.

Steredenn (PS3)

Steredenn is a speedy space shooter, albeit one with roguelike elements to keep you pushing ahead through a tough, but potentially compelling campaign. Brutal boss fights are a key component, if that's your sort of thing.