The updated PlayStation Plus brings a massive stack of games to pile onto your backlog, from recent AAA hits to indie gems to titles from bygone generations and consoles. Amidst so many choices, the sheer breadth of options can be tough to push through. You could easily lose a few hours of potential playing time just scrolling through all of the options and trying to choose what to play.
While there are certainly more than twenty classic titles that have received heaps of critical and fan praise within the collections, we’ve gone through the list and parsed twenty absolute top drawer titles to make sure you add to your library. This represents less than one percent of the available options in the PS Plus Premium tier – rarified air for any game to reach. But the best of the best don’t get to call themselves such by playing it safe. These are the twenty best PlayStation Plus games available right now across PS4 and PS5, with their necessary membership tier levels included.
The Best PS Plus Games
20. The Last of Us Remastered – PS Plus Premium
Developer: Naughty Dog Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Naughty Dog’s smash hit story of survival and found family in a ruined world, The Last of Us has cast an extremely long shadow over games since its initial release in 2013, with a remaster for the PS4 the next year, and a divisive but impossible-to-ignore sequel in 2020.
While the title’s heartstring tugging narrative about grieving father Joel’s growing bond with precocious child Ellie in a world overrun by mushroom zombies made serious waves, but the stealth-focused gameplay and attention to detail in its environments, letting you approach combat encounters in creative ways, aare what really make The Last of Us Remastered a title worth checking off your video game bucket list.
While a full remake, changing the title to The Last of Us Part I, is in development, the original still deserves your time and attention. Though the new version will surely make great strides in scraggly dad beard-rendering technology, the original has a semi-cel shaded, almost comic book-adjacent tinge to the character and world design in the original, which help sell the heightened world the characters are trapped in. While the future title might look shinier, the original will always have an edge in charm.
19. XCOM 2 – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Firaxis Games Publisher: 2K Games
XCOM 2, released in 2016, is the follow-up to 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which itself was a reboot of the XCOM game series of the 90s.
Like the original series, the modern XCOMs are strategy games that force players to control human supersoldiers as they fight off a relentless enemy invasion. XCOM 2 represents a high watermark for the series, bringing complex troop customization to a new high and bringing an accessible balance of gameplay that’s easy to comprehend and pick up, but difficult to master.
XCOM 2 missions always feel fresh, even after untold hours of play, and the meaty campaign is always worth diving back into even if players have already cleared it a dozen times. The constant variability of player units and enemy strategies means you always have to stay on your toes, and also means XCOM 2 is a standard bearer for tactical gaming.
18. Dark Cloud – PS Plus Premium
Developer: Level-5 Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Dark Cloud is a cult hit RPG with a wildly passionate fanbase who’ve been singing its praises uninterrupted since it was released in 2000.
The title combines dungeon crawling with survival mechanics (your character has to periodically drink water) and, most memorably, city building elements which allow you to rebuild a destroyed fantasy world. Dark Cloud exemplified the kind of bold, mechanic-mixing titles that made the PS2 such an exciting console in its heyday.
Dark Cloud’s follow-up, Dark Cloud 2 (or Dark Chronicle), is also available through the retro collection in the PS Plus Premium tier, but we’re giving the edge to the original Dark Cloud for its originality and the sheer imagination and superb implementation of all its fresh ideas.
Prey from Arkane, the developers behind the Dishonored series and 2021’s Deathloop, is a supreme example of the mechanically rich, open-ended immersive sims that made Arkane a name to look out for.
Prey sees players stuck in a futuristic high-tech lab, battling shapeshifting aliens that could be anywhere, or anything. This underlying paranoia makes Prey a tense experience, and also encourages players to think outside their usual modes to be as careful as possible.
Arkane’s immersive sim bona fides still shine in Prey, allowing players to find their own style and adopt idiosyncratic paths and strategies. The setting, the mysterious and ominous research station Talos I, is full of character itself, like a far-future haunted house. Prey is a nail-biter of a game, whether you choose to focus on stealth or all-out combat, and no matter how you approach it, Prey will meet you on your terms and still give you a heck of a time.
16. Death Stranding – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Kojima Productions Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Hideo Kojima’s maximalist spin on the walking simulator/documented excuse to let him hang out with celebrities is, if nothing, a distinct and memorable title that shows us something new and unique among the landscape of other open world games.
Divisive upon its release in 2019, Death Stranding sees players controlling Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) a delivery man tasked with running packages across a ruined future version of the United States where rain rapidly ages everything it touches and also ghosts can try and pull you down into the tar because if they touch a living thing then a nuclear blast will go off. Don’t worry about all of that, though – despite its heady premise and mountains of hype, Death Stranding at its core is not that complicated of a game.
The core loop of gameplay involves navigating the treacherous landscape, choosing what supplies and tools (ladders, ropes, etc.) to bring on each excursion, and working with other players to build larger structures to make the world more inhabitable. It’s perhaps not for everyone, but being included in the PS Plus collection means more players can dip their toes into Death Stranding and see if the journey appeals to them.
15. Tekken 2 – PS Plus Premium
Developer: Namco Publisher: Namco, SCEE
Tekken 2, initially released in arcades in 1995, before being ported to the PlayStation in 1996, represented a key moment in the history of console fighting games.
In replicating the arcade fighter on a home console, Tekken 2 showed that the future of 3D fighting games could very well be on home consoles, opening the game up to more competition and more players, making fighting games in general, and the Tekken franchise specifically, broadly more available to more players.
It also helps that Tekken 2 is a darn good fighting game on its own merits. The martial arts-focused combat presented a uniquely accessible style of play, and the memorably goofy characters like Roger the boxing kangaroo or Alex the fighting dinosaur. This mix of disparate elements made Tekken 2 stand out in players’ minds, and Tekken 2 still remains a high point of the franchise – easily qualifying it for the twenty best PlayStation Plus games available right now.
14. Dead Cells – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Motion Twin Publisher: Motion Twin
2018’s Dead Cells is a real chocolate-and-peanut butter situation. It combines Dark Souls’ steep but fair difficulty and focus on players making their own idealized character build, along with the exploration and ability-based upgrades of the Metroidvania genre, with the run-based, failure-as-progress model of roguelikes. Mixed all together and served with a generous portion of bright, vibrant visuals, Dead Cells was an absolute juggernaut upon its release, adored by critics, including us.
Dead Cells’ massive potential for replayability and player customization means that you’ll never be bored or run out of things to try. Different weapons have their own unique mechanics, so a large portion of the game comes from players discovering their ideal version of themselves and making the most overpowered build possible. Throughout this process, Dead Cells keeps things fresh and keeps players on their toes with random level layouts, making sure that every run is fresh, tight, and thrilling.
13. God of War – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Santa Monica Studio Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Perhaps the daddest dad game of them all, the 2018 sequel to the long-running hyperviolent/hyper raunchy God of War series finds murder machine Kratos trying to settle down and live a quiet life after his wife passes, leaving him with his troubled son Atreus. The two embark on a worlds-spanning journey that takes us from the Greek pantheon of the original games into the world of Norse mythology, complete with trolls, dragons, and more than a few deities that will be familiar for fans of the Thor comics (or, y’know, historical Norse mythology).
God of War remains one of the most visually stunning games of the last console generation, with each area, enemy, and weapon rippling with gorgeous detail. Swinging Kratos’ axe around is an all-time great video game weapon, giving you the feeling of real heft and weight every time you throw into a monster’s skull. The narrative deserves major points for actively trying to grow up and reckon with the adolescent power fantasy of the old games. Across every vector, God of War deserves a play, especially with the sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, scheduled to come out this year.
12. Control – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Remedy Entertainment Publisher: 505 Games
Remedy Entertainment, the company behind the cult hits Alan Wake and Max Payne, put together arguably their finest title in 2019’s Control.
Players follow Jesse Faden as she infiltrates, then shortly takes over, the mysterious Federal Bureau of Control, a government agency tasked with containing all manner of strange, unknown forces. A little bit of X-Files, a little bit of Twin Peaks, and a whole lot of style, Control delivers a rollicking sci-fi intrigue plot grounded in relatable human faces and elevated by some truly jaw-plummeting set pieces.
It helps that Control also plays like a dream. Jesse’s psychic powers allow her to literally pull every in-game environment apart, and the path of destruction you carve through Control’s brutalist architecture feels truly fantastic. While the sheer visceral quality of Control’s action can make it a bit choppy at rare moments on older hardware, it remains a trippy, mind-bending and exhilarating experience.
Killing Nazis has always been good and fun, and the Wolfenstein: New Order, revitalizer of the Wolfenstein series (which was a forefather of the FPS genre), turns the good and righteous art of Nazi killing up to previously-unseen levels.
The cartoonish ultraviolence on display in The New Order may mean it’s not for the faint of heart, but underneath the crust of dried blood there’s a game with razor-sharp combat design and a rich story, the kind of meaningful and well-thought-out narrative that balances action movie-worthy set pieces with compelling characters and ideas.
Wolfenstein: The New Order’s inclusion in the PS Plus Extra tier also hopefully foreshadows the inclusion of its sequel games which, while perhaps not as impactful as this title, still contain some immaculate fascist-blasting moments. Still, Sony made the right call choosing The New Order as the franchise representative on PS Plus.
10. Final Fantasy VII – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Square Publisher: Square Enix
Final Fantasy VII, also known as the game that made JRPGs a mainstream hit in the west, is a game that likely needs no introduction.
But in case you’ve missed the news, Final Fantasy VII has a hefty reputation as one of the best JRPGS, and best video games period, ever. Its battle system, which centers on using equippable ‘Materia’ items to tinker with your characters’ abilities and actions in turn-based battles, lends a staggering level of player customization, and its cast of characters are all memorable and distinct in their own right.
When FFVII first came out in 1997, it looked and played like nothing else. Even today, the visuals have a certain charm, mixing adorable and expressive miniatures of player characters and gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds. 2020’s reinterpretation, Final Fantasy VII Remake, is also available on PS Plus, but to understand the full impact of this meteoric title, it’s best to start at the original.
9. Celeste – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Extremely OK Games Publisher: Extremely OK Games
Celeste has a reputation of being a gut-churningly difficult platformer, the kind of gaming crucible that can reduce even the hardest Dark Souls ‘git gud’ acolyte to tearful wailing.
While it’s certainly not the easiest game you’ve ever played, don’t let the lofty size of this mountain fool you – Celeste is a journey worth taking. While the platforming can be ridiculously convoluted and seem impenetrable at first glance, Celeste does fundamentally want you to succeed – checkpoints are plentiful, reloading is nigh-instantaneous, and a host of accessibility options are available if you find yourself truly stuck.
Beyond the challenge, Celeste is just a dreamy game to behold, with lavish pixel art visuals and a chill, restrained soundtrack that keeps the pace light and encourages you to mellow out and give each screen as many tries as it takes to get through. The main character, Madeline, is an all-time great video game protagonist, sharing your own trepidation about the challenge ahead of her and also sharing in your triumph with every hurdle cleared.
8. ICO – PS Plus Premium
Developer: Japan Studio, Team Ico Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer Fumito Ueda may be most famous for 2006’s somber monster slayer game Shadow of the Colossus, but the previous game he directed, Ico, deserves just as much praise and contains many of the elements that made Shadow of the Colossus so appealing. The sense of quiet, dignified longing still remains in Ico’s winding areas, the story told with minimal dialogue, and the long stretches of quiet meant to focus you and draw you into the world, all remain.
Ico, the titular character, and his companion Yordha are a fantastic pair of characters, and the way that puzzles force you to interact with both and think through using two bodies to navigate is a treat of level design. Ico is a short, sweet, delight whose influences can be felt in games to this day.
Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4 Publisher: Capcom
The Resident Evil series has a number of titles available on PS Plus, but the title with the brightest luster is still likely Resident Evil 4. It revitalized the series when it first came out in 2005 and while it may have foreshadowed the more schlocky action movie-esque path of Resident Evil 5 and 6, Resident Evil 4 strikes a perfect balance between horror and action.
Leon Kennedy, having survived his crash course in zombie dogs and giant dudes in Resident Evil 2, must journey to a remote village in Spain to rescue the President’s daughter from terrorists. As Leon, players will run and gun through hordes of enemies, from random villagers to madmen with chainsaws to mile-high giant monsters.
The gunplay is tight, the level design is razor sharp, and the over-the-shoulder camera has basically become the industry standard for third-person shooters. Resident Evil 4 is as significant and formative as calculus, but a lot more fun.
6. Hotline Miami – PS Plus Premium
Developer: Dennaton Games Publisher: Devolver Digital
In many ways, Hotline Miami is the equal and opposite number of Celeste – both games are indie hits that bring a metric ton of challenge for the willing player. Hotline Miami ups the ante by turning every emotive knob up to 11 – sickening pixel gore, pulse-jangling synthwave soundtrack, and a brutally unforgiving set of challenges to bust through. Released over a decade ago (let’s not dwell on that for too long), Hotline Miami has remained an influential indie masterpiece.
Returning to it after so many years, Hotline Miami still plays like a dream – every encounter is a tightwire-walk of tension as you try to remember the layout of each building and skulk from room to room, guns blazing or knives out. Its follow-up, the supersized Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, is also available in the PS Plus Extra Tier, if one game’s worth of stylized animal masked vigilantism isn’t enough for you – and how much could ever really be enough?
5. DOOM – PS Plus Extra
Developer: iD Software Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
The 2016 return of the great-grandfather of FPS franchises, DOOM (2016) was a shotgun to the skull when it first arrived, bringing all of the speed and brutality of the 1993 original, upscaled and reimagined with aplomb for the modern gaming console. Massive sprawling environments, torrents of enemies, and a soundtrack that makes you want to go out and smash something all night combine to make DOOM a can’t miss game and a true standout of the medium.
Players control the typically silent Doomguy (here referred to as “the Doomslayer”) as he rips and tears through more high-tech space mining facilities down into the bowels of Hell itself. The new glory kill system rewards you for staying on the offensive and getting in your opponent’s faces, and the balanced difficulty mixed with the fireworks display of your weapons make every area a satanic carnival ride you won’t want to get off.
4. Tetris Effect: Connected – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Monstars, Resonair, Stage Games Publisher: Enhance Games
Tetris may be a perfect game in itself. You line up the falling blocks to clear them away, twisting and turning them as they fall in steadily increasing speed and try to keep your head while the piles grow higher and higher. How do you improve something as mechanically sound as Tetris? If you’re 2018’s Tetris Effect: Connected, you slather the Tetriminos in some dazzling visuals and hypnotic music to elevate the experience into something nearly spiritual in its execution.
In addition to its entrancing visuals and sounds, Tetris Effect: Connected includes new game modes and both cooperative and competitive multiplayer options. You may think you already know Tetris inside and out, but Tetris Effect: Connected shows that there are still new ways to spin the same old bricks, and gold to be found by doing so.
Even if you already know all you need to know about Tetris, isn’t it still worth going back and playing through a few lines again? Just a few rounds, that’s all. Maybe just one game. Maybe just ten.
3. Red Dead Redemption 2 – PS Plus Extra
Developer: Rockstar Games Publisher: Rockstar Games
In terms of finding a balance between the price of admission and the hours of engagement a player can find, Red Dead Redemption 2 is likely a frontrunner for best video game value. It’s easy to lose dozens, if not hundreds, of hours exploring the majestic and endless open world of RDR2’s American West.
You control conflicted outlaw Arthur Morgan as he and his merry band of criminals struggle to scrape together life on the fringes of society. You’ll have plenty of time to hunt, fish, gamble, get into bar fights, and walk through town saying hello to every person you see so you can raise your reputation after you accidentally shot the sheriff when you tried to eat some beans earlier.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is nothing short of a technical marvel, representing untold hours of human artistry to create beautiful mountains, night skies, and open prairies that are so delightful to get lost in. The novelistic length might seem too much if you’re in a rush to see credits, but for those games willing to take their time and drink in the majesty of this digital world, the journey is certainly worth taking.
2. Fallout: New Vegas – PS Plus Premium
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
After its first two entries by Black Isle Studios, post-apocalyptic RPG series Fallout went into hibernation for ten years before Bethesda resurrected it as an open world action title. With Fallout 3 a massive monster hit, Obsidian Entertainment got the mythic task of making a spinoff to the beloved title, and Fallout: New Vegas was the miraculous result. As a courier in a post-nuclear war America, the player is thrust into a grand conspiracy surrounding control of the Las Vegas area, with multiple factions jockeying for power.
All of the clever world-building and open world action from Fallout 3 remained, along with broader weapon customization options, more complex companions, and a deeper, more nuanced story. New Vegas’ true triumph is in how it prioritizes player agency, as you’re free to disregard main quests and kill major NPCs to your heart’s content, with the story adapting and shifting to accommodate your actions. This open world feels truly alive and active, something the genre still struggles with in today’s releases.
While New Vegas had been tragically entombed on the PS3 and Xbox 360, its inclusion in PS Plus’ Premium tier means that now more players than ever can trek through the wastelands for this excellent adventure.
1. Bloodborne – PS Plus Extra
Developer: FromSoftware Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
While none of the main titles in the Dark Souls series are available with PS Plus yet, players who haven’t yet had the chance to play Bloodborne are in for a real treat. In a Gothic horror version of Victorian London, players enter a world of sinister creatures and maddening horrors, forced to embark on a strange hunt to seek their freedom. The combat is fast and delirious, the world design is ornate and beautiful, and all the monsters are deliciously gruesome to behold.
Whereas Dark Souls, and other Souls-like titles, encourage players to move carefully and wait for the right openings to fight back, Bloodborne champions a more aggressive playstyle, which FromSoftware’s following titles, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Elden Ring have maintained. If you want to find an opening in Bloodborne, you better get in there and make one for yourself.
While the learning curve might seem imposing, players who stick with it will find Bloodborne is a stellar action game and a haunting horror story for the ages, and the top of the mountain in the twenty best PlayStation Plus games available right now.
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