PlayStation Plus gets a bad rap for some reason. Rossko decided to list 20 games he’s downloaded from the service he absolutely loved. All hail the indie!
It happens every time. Without fail, the bemoaners. The entitlement. The pissing contest of a group of ‘gamers’ that, no matter what, will throw their toys out of their little prams when they’re offered something for free that they didn’t want. On queue, whenever PlayStation announce their monthly Instant Game Collection line-up, this happens;
See? Grateful gamers appreciating the diversity Sony’s PS Plus choices. It’s a wonderful thing to see. Pure joy.
(Heads up, stuff like this really pisses me off. This may come across in the following).
There’s always been entitlement in gaming, but none more so than since PS+ and Games with Gold became a thing. If you break them each down to their bare essentials, they are services on which we pay a certain amount of money a year in order to play our games online with our friends and people around the world. It’s also a way for these companies to keep their online servers readily live (well, sometimes) and pays for maintenance along with offering discounts to games in their respective digital stores.
But also! These services offer you free games every month. Free games that perhaps you normally wouldn’t have picked up, which is a nice gesture eh? Sometimes you’ll get brand new games available for free immediately such as that Rocket League game you may have heard of and the more recent Drawn To Death.
Well dang, that’s pretty cool.
Wait…you’re not happy about that? You want different free games? Pre tel, why? Surely the mere fact games are simply offered to you on a monthly basis is a cause for celebration? Did you ever think about that? Did you ever take into consideration that some games and developers may relish the opportunity of launching with such a fanfare? Do you think Psyonix would have had half the success they’ve achieved without launching on PS Plus (the answer is no, by the way)?
Perhaps, as the consumer, you’re getting a pretty solid deal here? I mean, why, we seem to be the ones benefiting. It’s a shame you’ve found something chronically wrong with a service you’re quite evidently already paying for.
Yep, I have.
Who d’ya think it is, jackass.
Why? It’s that fictional guy I created to have in my articles when I need to have a discussion with someone and nobody else is here!
Oh not much. Just been living in the closet you locked me in since our last conversation about the Xbox One reveal at E3 in 2013.
Wha…no. It hasn’t been that long, has it?
YES YOU PRICK IT’S BEEN THAT SODDING LONG.
IT’S BEEN SO LONG THE WEBSITE YOU WROTE IT FOR DOESN’T EVEN EXIST ANYMORE.
So there’s no witnesses to prove I locked you in a metaphorical cupboard?
Ah, well that’s alright then.
You are such an asshole.
N’aww, shucks. So what are you moaning about this time?
PlayStation Plus is lame.
No it isn’t.
Yeah, but it is though.
Why is it?
All the games on it are indie shit.
Tha….that’s your argument? That’s it? Really? Your only complaint about PS Plus is that it doesn’t have the games you want? What games are you playing right now?
What, whilst being locked in a cupboard?
AAA games then?
Yeah. Why aren’t they on PS Plus.
Well, you’ve already bought them. Why would you want them on a service for free again.
……well why would I want a bunch of indie games.
Well that’s kinda the point of the service, at least in my eyes. PS Plus offers you games you wouldn’t normally have paid attention too. It provides a different variety, something to get your teeth into in-between the big releases.
They’re all shit though. That’s what forums say.
And comment sections.
What….if you call me a prick again I’m gonna bone your dog.
SADDLE UP FLUFFY YA LITTLE BITCH. DADDY’S TAKIN’ YOU TO POUND TOWN.
Remember, you don’t exist. Only I do. And I don’t have a dog.
Ugh. FFS. One day I’ll be self aware and I can escape the walls of your long ass articles.
Um, no you won’t. I control you.
I barely hear anything about the games that are on PS Plus, so why should I bother downloading them?
Well, let’s be real. That’s kinda the point. A ridiculous amount of games get released on PSN every year. One would argue too many, and so through PS Plus you’re able to see which ones are actually worth your time and which ones you can avoid. I’m not saying all games on PS Plus are worth a download but whenever a new batch gets announced it’s certainly worth doing some research before you download to see if it’s for you. Even if you don’t, give it a download. You may be pleasantly surprised and it happens more often that you’d think.
Wow, you were talking for so long I passed out.
You want a list of great games I’ve picked up off PS Plus over the years? Games that are genuinely excellent that were just available to download at no extra cost.
How much is PS Plus?
£40 a year.
Right. So the games aren’t free then.
Well, I mean. They are if you look at what you’re paying for in a certain way. Like I said up top, I consider that £40 to be going towards playing online, having stable servers and covering the discounts they offer subscribers.
That’s because you’re a liberal elitist with immoral and unrealistic expectations of a failing democracy designed to serve the rich and ignore the poor.
You are fake news.
That’s an alternative fact.
Ugh. Look, PS Plus games are not free. Not really.
OK….no, they’re not. But when we break it down, how much you’re paying a year compared to how many games you actually get, every game is pretty bloody cheap and that’s something we can all get on board with.
MAKE PSPLUS GREAT AGAIN
PS Plus is great. In fact, I can show you a whole goddamn list of games I consider genuinely brilliant right now that I downloaded from the PS Plus and straight into my games library.
Oh great. A list article. Like there isn’t enough of those.
Just think. This one is just for you!
I’m so excited. Please break out the cake. It is very clearly my birthday.
That’s the spirit.
That was sarcasm.
Oh wait, one more thing…
SAVE ME FROM THIS HELL..
I’m going to be focusing on PS4 releases only, just cus I’m lazy.
You’re a disgrace to your kind.
Shut up. You don’t even have a kind. Shall we? In order of release, here’s my Top 20 PS Plus games.
CONTRAST / RESOGUN – November 2013
The two games the were available from PS Plus at the launch of the PlayStation 4 were two absolute crackers.
Contrast was an atmospheric puzzler where you used your shadow and light/darkness to navigate areas, with a style and quality that I would have happily paid for to play. The music in and of itself was glorious and set the tone perfectly. I was delighted that I could get it without paying a penny extra and is one of the games from the launch that I still play to this day. A great introduction to PS Plus for converted PlayStation owners at the launch of the PS4.
RESOGUN though, is even better. Spectacular, in fact. A twin stick shooter that was a massive surprise on launch day for PS4. There’s no real story ‘save the last human’ is all you get as you blast your way around a circular area and tear it up and down destroying everything in your path whilst saving stranded humans dotted around the level. Resogun is still talked up to this day as one of the very best games available on PS4 and it’s even better now thanks to a truly beautiful 4K/HDR upgrade. It’s still amazing and at launch, didn’t cost us a damn thing.
HOTLINE MIAMI – April 2014
You should probably know all there is to know about Hotline Miami by now. A brilliant top down shooter released on PS Plus in April 2014, Hotline Miami tasks you to tear it around buildings killing the ever living shit out of everyone and everything you see. As the game progresses you have to get far more technical with your murdering, including having to wear masks which will give you certain strenghs. It’s a masterpiece of design and has a wonderful balance of difficulty. Almost as good as it gets.
FEZ – August 2014
Polytron’s Fez first came to my attention on Xbox 360 and it rocked my world for a few months. A few years later and it appears on PS Plus and I enjoyed it all over again. It’s unique gameplay aesthetic (spinning around a 2D world to find paths and hidden items) may not have had the same ‘jawdrop’ effect on me it had when I played it the first time, but I was delighted to explore the game all over again. It’s tough as balls in places and does not hold your hand. Oh, it’s all just lovely and came to PS Plus in August 6th 2014.
VELOCITY 2X – September 2014
You wanna know something important about Velocity 2X? Velocity 2X is one of the greatest games I’ve ever played.
There. I said it. If you’re a long time follower of our work here (myself, Paul and Sean – oh yeah, we’ve been around the block a few times), you’ll know of our love for this game. It’s about as perfect an experience as you can get and even 3 years since its release, still props up our ‘Best PS4 games’ lists. I’ve never been a huge fan of speed/time based shooters, but there was something so unequivocally addictive about the game you couldn’t help but fall in love with it. From the wonderful ‘OH YES, I’VE NAILED IT’ moments to the terrific platform sections and its sumptuous visuals, Velocity 2X isn’t just one of the best PS Plus games, it’s one of PS4’s best games. Period.
Oh, and it launched for free. Amazing. Get it.
ESCAPE PLAN – November 2014
Escape Plan can be summed up by damn near showing you the above screenshot. The black and white 2D puzzler is completely off the wall, adding to the charm of Fun Bit’s dastardly plans for you.
You play as Lil and Laarg (I’ll let you figure out which one is which) and you have to avoid being squished, battered, chopped in half etc to escape the gloop factory. Logic and quick thinking is the order of the day here and it couldn’t be more tense the further you get into the game. This sleeper was a huge hit with me and my friends and we still break it out to this day when wanting to show off our superior gaming skills to those less fortunate*
WOAH DAVE! – January 2015
In complete contrast to Escape Plan, the bright and breezy Woah Dave! from MiniVisions (BIT.TRIP) was an arcade treat that hit PlayStation Plus in January 2015.
As you can see from the above screenshot, Woah Dave! was perhaps visually simplistic, but made up for it in abundance with a game that was a delight to jump into and was not easy to pick up by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I still fail at it pretty regularly here at FG Towers. With alien eggs and skull bombs at your disposal amongst other things, the frantic joy of Woah Dave! ensured it has a place on this list. There’s not much else like it and for that reason, it deserves your attention. You’ll thank me later.
THE SWAPPER – January 2015
Rounding off a pretty stellar start to 2015 was The Swapper, a game about as Marmite as well…..Marmite.
Fortunately for this article, I loved it. It’s confusing as all heck when you pick it up but when it clicks, there’s nothing quite like it. The Swapper allows you to clone yourself in order to solve some meticulously difficult puzzles to allow you to escape an abandoned spacestation. It’s completely unique and original and perhaps one of my favourite games on PS4. It’s available on PC and Xbox One also where it received similar praise. If you’re looking for something that can challenge you, you could do worse than picking up Curve Studios’ The Swapper. Play it in the dark for the full effect.
OLLI OLLI 2: WELCOME TO OLLIWOOD – March 2015
I’ll be honest. I suck at Olli Olli 2. Like, you have no idea. When it comes down to doing sick tricks and flipping on rails. Despite this, I couldn’t stop playing it. I always wanted to get better and better and though it seemed to quite literally never happen I always enjoyed my time with the game.
It’s presented in such a way that it’s one of those ‘easy to pick up, difficult to master’ kind of things, but it isn’t. It’s difficult to pick up and, at least for me, near impossible to master. Still, it was a big deal when it dropped on PS Plus and a bunch of my friends – who are actually good at the game – went crazy when it was available to download. So bravo, Olli Olli 2! Have a place on my list which isn’t really a list.
NEVER ALONE – April 2015
Oh Never Alone. I love you so much. The story of a girl and her fox captured my heart and didn’t let go when the game dropped on PS Plus. This atmospheric puzzler set in the harsh Alaska snow, was the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people and tasks you to find the reason of this neverending blizzard. It’s bloody hard work but so damn pretty you don’t want to take your eyes off it for one second. You can also battle through the story co-operatively, and is a blast to power through. If you haven’t got it yet, seek it out. It really is a wonderful experience.
THE UNFINISHED SWAN – MAY 2015
The Unfinished Swan is one of those games that you don’t think you’re gonna get anything out of until you actually play it. It’s a game that has to be played to be understood, plain white until you bring everything to life with your black paint that you’re chucking in every single direction looking for a direction to move in, a flight of stairs to walk up, a door to walk through all wrapped up in a story of a young boy chasing after a swan. Revealing the world is an experience quite unlike any other, and comes highly recommended to anyone who fancies something very, very different.
HOHOKUM – May 2015
You probably should have already played Hohokum. If not, let me give you an idea as to what on earth it’s all about. You play as a kite-like being exploring the world around him, collecting items, working out puzzles, activities and more whilst being part of this rather wonderful world which looks fantastic on any TV screen. The game encourages you to explore its vast colourful expanse. Don’t miss it.
ROCKET LEAGUE – July 2015
You heard of this? Well yes, course you have. It would have been sacrilegious not to include it. The phenomenon that was born on PS Plus, Rocket League continues to take over the world. The relatively simple mechanic of car football is turned into an experience so addictive, fun and exciting you can’t quite believe Pysonix let it go for free for a whole month at release. Still, it didn’t do them any harm at all, and made Rocket League one of the worlds foremost multiplayer experiences with tons of DLC, constant gameplay updates and now a prominent e-Sport, let’s just call it now and say Rocket League is probably the biggest success story of PS Plus and with good reason, eh? It’s utterly fantastic.
Good ol’ Rocket League, never change and thank you for existing.
BROKEN AGE – October 2015
This point and click puzzle adventure was captivating for all the right reasons and featured the voiceover work of one Elijah Wood, along with Jack Black and many others. The game followed teenagers Shay and Vella, exploring their worlds and looking for a way to break free from their existences. It’s a beautiful game to look at as well as play exploring rural environments along with a spaceship, Broken Age is pretty much essential. Don’t miss out on this one.
HELLDIVERS – February 2016
Another game that launched on PS Plus was Helldivers, a frantic multiplayer shooter where you’re calling in all sorts of air strikes whilst battling alien races circling all around you. I’ll be honest with you, I bloody love Helldivers. As this game was coming up to release I was learning more and more about it and it had ‘hey, you’ll like this game’ written all over it and I tell ya, they weren’t wrong. It’s hectic and exciting and as you’re relying on your mates to be as good as you are it can get seriously tense. I highly recommend Helldivers, go and grab it on PSN immediately if you’re looking for another game to add to your multiplayer collection. This shouldn’t be passing anybody by.
BROFORCE – March 2016
BRO! BROFORCE! SHOOT THE SHIT OUTTA GODDAMN EVERYTHING AND SHOOT THINGS SOME MORE WHEN THEY SHOOT THINGS AT YOU SO SHOOT THEM BACK AND BLOW THEM UP FOR AMERICA BRONESS BRO.
Broforce is such a stupid name, but it’s a stupid game so it gets brownie points for me for that. Broforce is a 2D run and gun which puts you in the middle of what seems to an American war movie where every goddamn thing is exploding around you and you can’t help but smile as you fall deeper into its ridiculousness. If you can imagine the film series Hot Shots (the ones with Charlie Sheen. We need a third, actually, now that I think about it), it’s more or less that with an organisation full of Army bros tasked with saving the whole damn world with their Bro-ness. You can also play this game in co-op or play deathmatch multiplayer modes which are brilliantly fun. It’s absurd and ridiculous and a cracking good time. GRAB YOUR NUTS AND DOWNLOAD, BRO.
GONE HOME – April 2016
Gone Home is a first person exploration adventure game where you learn about the events of a house on Portland, Oregon. As you traverse the house you uncover more and more secrets which all add up to quite the pay off. Goodness, what a pay off. Gone Home is one of those ‘games’ that more of an interactive experience but is all the better for it. It’s rare you find a game this involving and this addictive to know what’s going to happen next. It’s emotional, stressful and atmospheric and should be an essential on your lists. Good old Gone Home. Talking of ‘exploration adventure games’….
EVERYBODY’S GONE TO THE RAPTURE – November 2016
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is my favourite PS4 game. There. I said it. I remember picking this up way before it hit PS Plus, pre-ordering it and playing it the second it hit midnight on my PS4. Seven hours later, I was done and I wrote the longest review I’ve ever put together. I couldn’t stop gushing about it – sadly I can’t link to it as the site I wrote it for has ceased to exist.
Basically, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture hit me like no other game has ever done. From exploring the empty, silent sleepy village town of Yaughton and slowly, gradually learning more about what on earth happened to the inhabitants, Rapture deals with loss, humanity and forgiveness in a beautiful, tender way that I’ve not seen before in gaming. Tears were running down my face as I re-enacted all the individual stories played out before me in orbs of light as children played, couples embraced and the world around me populated with light. It was a very British apocalypse, with little fuss – a glorious exploration of what’s so very important in this world.
Perhaps one of games all time greatest soundtracks from Jessica Curry finished it off nicely. Everbody’s Gone to the Rapture is my favourite PS4 game and no Horizon’s or Thief’s Ends will change that.
NOT A HERO – February 2017
Not A Hero is another 2D run and gun banger that’s been available on PS Plus and I bloody love it. UK developer Roll 7 finally brought this to PS4 in February of this year and since then I’ve been shooting up any number of mofo’s in the name of Mayor Bunnylord. Upgrading weapons and hiding behind doors brought some 3D shooter mechanics to the 2D pixel space and made the game all the better for it. It’s a super fun ride that’s well worth your time. HAIL MAYOR BUNNYLORD.
TALES FROM THE BORDERLANDS – May 2017
OKAY. I hear you. This may not be strictly an ‘indie’, though currently we can’t decide whether or not we still class TellTale games as AAA or some other title that gamers like to use, we’re gonna go with the idea that we can still technically class TellTale indie, even though they’re probably not anymore but what the hell, this game is far too good to be left off any list so here goes.
Currently available – as in, you can download this right now – is my 2015 Game of the Year Tales from the Borderlands. TellTale pretty much always knock it out of the park but it was with Tales that they exceeded themselves and took their storytelling capabilities to the next level. With a hilarious script in tow along with career best vocal performances from Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, Dameon Clarke, even Nerdist himself Chris Hardwick and the incredible Ashley Johnson as Gortys, the happiest robot of them all, Tales from the Borderlands was a game that came together perfectly and was the only the third game in history to ever get a 10/10 from me (Rapture and Arkham City being the other two). Pure narrative perfection.
Tales is the greatest game TellTale have ever made, and now you can download the whole thing for free. What are you waiting for?
Well, that was quite the list, bet you want to go bed.
You’re damn right I do. I hope you now realise that PS Plus is home to some utterly brilliant games. The twenty at the top isn’t even the tip of the iceberg, I’ve left out some absolute gems but that’s for another list
PLEASE DON’T DO ANOTHER LIST FOR THE LOVE OF GORTYS
I won’t don’t worry. PSPlus is well worth your money, I hope you realise that now.
Meh, we’ll see. But you’ve given me plenty of games to be getting on with.
You’re welcome you beautiful fictional being you. Get gaming.
I’ll get back in my cupboard. See you in another four years.
Yeah, I’ll see you then.
That’s a long time.
Stop moaning and let’s just enjoy some games, eh?