Sony has unveiled its new three-tier subscription service, the revamped PlayStation Plus. The tiers, ranging from Essential to Extra to Premium, each include a selection of games that players can access at no extra charge. If you’re a PlayStation fan eager to sink your teeth into the new service, this article is for you.
Today, we’re breaking down the best games you can play on PlayStation Plus Extra right now. This service functions as Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Game Pass service, giving players the chance to play a wide selection of games without spending full price on them. However, if you’re unfamiliar with some of the services’ games, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the massive array of available options.
Sure, the games don’t cost you any extra once you have the subscription, but your memory space and time are both limited. No one wants to waste their time floundering with a game that isn’t worth playing! Let’s break down the best options you can sink your teeth into starting now with your PlayStation Plus Extra subscription.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Eidos Montreal’s excellent 2021 game Guardians of the Galaxy carries much of the same punk-rock ethos seen in the 2014 film of the same name. Notably, the game takes place in a setting with more similarities to the Marvel Comics and isn’t an adaptation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the titular team. Star-Lord doesn’t look like Chris Pratt, and Bradley Cooper isn’t lending his voice to the wise-cracking Rocket Raccoon, for instance.
Players take control of Peter Quill, the fun-loving and goofy hero Star-Lord. He is the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, a band of misfit heroes who travel in a ramshackle spaceship named the Milano. The crew takes on odd jobs to make ends meet and often find themselves running afoul of some of the biggest baddies in the Marvel universe.
The gameplay is a fast-paced combination of third-person shooting and team-based combat. Players can call on their Guardians allies for support in battle and can even pull the team together for a quick huddle in the middle of combat. The game perfectly captures the essence of the storied team from the comics, and it’s one of the best single-player, narrative-driven games on the PlayStation Plus service.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
If you gave up on the Assassin’s Creed franchise around the third or fourth numbered game, you might not realize how robust the series has become. New titles like Origins and Valhalla are much more involved than some prior entries, featuring RPG-like elements and lengthy side-quests. You can equip upgraded armor, find better weapons, and progress through skill trees and similar RPG-style mechanics. This makes the game a bit more engrossing than the straightforward action gameplay of the earlier outings.
Valhalla succeeds where some entries in the franchise stumble by telling an engrossing story from start to finish. The game doesn’t over-rely on bizarre sci-fi tropes or slow the story down with the present-day narrative wrinkles of some earlier entries. Players are also able to make meaningful choices that can impact the outcome of the narrative, giving the protagonist more control over shaping their own story.
It also helps that the game is downright gorgeous, presenting a stunning vision of Europe in the Middle Ages. If you’ve ever wanted to live out your dreams of becoming a Viking warrior and rampaging across the countryside, this is one game you should check out.
Returnal is bizarre, haunting, and addictive to play. It’s a third-person shooter with an engrossing gameplay loop. Players control Selene, a space explorer who crash-lands on a mysterious planet called Atropos. She quickly learns that the planet was home to an advanced civilization that somehow destroyed itself. However, these aliens possessed advanced technology that allowed them to reverse death.
That technology is able to keep Selene alive even after she falls in battle on the dangerous planet. While the intelligent inhabitants are long-gone, Selene constantly faces off against the killer local fauna. As she battles to understand what Atropos really is, she’s haunted by visions from her past. Will she ever be able to return home, or is she doomed to wander across Atropos forever?
The game is notoriously difficult, featuring a roguelike loop that sees the player return to the start whenever they fall in battle. Any upgrades or weapons you’ve unlocked are lost when you fall, but some upgrades and shortcuts persist, making each loop get you that much closer to escaping the haunted planet Atropos. This spooky game is a must-play for fans of sci-fi horror like Aliens and Event Horizon.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Spider-Man was one of the best PlayStation releases of the PS4 era, allowing players to take to the city of New York with all the web-slinging superpowers of Spider-Man. The game allowed players to fight crime as the Wall-Crawler, whether against street-level thugs or dangerous supervillains like Kingpin or Vulture. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the game was the way it made Spider-Man feel like a fleshed-out, robust character who lives in a real, thriving place.
The follow-up game, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, throws players back into the Marvel universe with a focus on a new hero. Miles is a younger hero, giving him a unique profile compared to his more athletic counterpart, Peter Parker. He’s also from a very different background–Miles is both African American and Peurto Rican, and he’s a champion for his home neighborhood of Harlem.
The game is also one of the most breathtaking graphical showcases on the PlayStation 5. Watching snow fall over New York City as Miles web-lines between buildings is a treat. If you’re a fan of comic books and action games, you should download Miles Morales today and take the fight to the bad guys!
Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut
If you’ve ever watched a classic samurai movie and wished you could live the life of a battle-hardened warrior, you’re in luck. Ghost of Tsushima allows you to play the role of a deadly swordsman who also loves writing haiku poetry. That’s right, this game rewards you for slowing down and writing a poem about your surroundings. Naturally, it earns these quiet moments by presenting the player with breathtaking vistas on the titular island of Tsushima.
The game functions as a riff on the tried-and-true Assassin’s Creed open-world formula. There are plenty of glowing icons to hunt down on the map, but the game is driven as much by its excellent storyline as it is by the compulsive desire to complete every task on an open-world map.
Ghost of Tsushima was essentially the swan song for the PS4 system, and it’s a fitting way to close that chapter of Sony’s history. It’s sweeping, beautiful, and bursting with lush production values. It’s a super-premium experience that players will be pleased to access for no extra charge in their PlayStation Plus Extra subscriptions.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a slow-paced game. It takes place in the late 1800s, so this should come as no surprise. There are no cars, no planes, and no cell phones–all the hallmarks of its sibling series, Grand Theft Auto. Instead of the mile-a-minute storytelling and constant buzzing phone of modern GTA titles, Red Dead has long stretches of silence interspersed with profound musings on the nature of morality.
Players control Arthur Morgan, a stoic outlaw and a senior member of the Dutch van der Lynde Gang, as he and his allies try to survive a changing American West. Society is rapidly encroaching on the wild places the outlaws call home, and Arthur wants to secure a place for that gang before the federal government catches up to them.
While Red Dead starts slow, it’s a truly great game that players can immerse themselves in for hours at a time. If you’ve ever wanted to live out your favorite Western movie in video game form, this is the game for you.
Death Stranding is a bizarre video game. Players control a quiet delivery man named Sam Porter Bridges. Sam travels across the wasteland that used to be the United States, delivering packages to distant outposts and braving the hostile wilderness. Some have called Death Stranding a walking simulator, which is harsh but somewhat accurate. The main gameplay loop involves loading Sam up with cargo and then trekking overland.
However, this is far from boring–it’s downright Zen, meditative, and almost soothing. The player is left to chew on the game’s themes regarding community and togetherness while wandering, alone, across miles of desolate terrain. It’s the video game version of a long hike, where you can be alone with your thoughts and reflect on the world around you.
Death Stranding is an idiosyncratic game from the auteur director Hideo Kojima. If you’re a fan of his earlier titles, like Metal Gear Solid, you’ll surely adore Death Stranding. If you’ve been on the fence about the game, check it out on PlayStation Plus Extra.