PlayStation Plus launched on June 29, 2010. Up to that point, playing games online was a free service for PS3 and PSP players, but compared to Xbox Live, the online support was touchy. By instituting a paid service, Sony promised better support. On top of that, they planned to give away free games every month that could be played as long as players were enrolled in the program.
Some months were obviously better than others. The goal of this list is to highlight the best free games that were more obscure or not quite worth full prices at launch. After all, a PS3 game that everybody owns is not a particularly great addition to PS Plus. While perhaps not quite as well-known as other titles, these ten games were fine additions to the service.
10 Binary Domain
Yakuza is a pretty niche series and even more obscure than that is Binary Domain, which was developed by the same team. Think of it like the perfect Terminator experience complete with robot flesh being torn off to reveal metallic exoskeletons.
And yes, shooting their legs will have them crawl toward players. It has over-the-top action with some really cheesy dialogue. It loses itself about halfway through, but the concept alone is worthy of a playthrough.
9 Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut
There couldn’t be a more perfect entry on this list. Deadly Premonition is a once in a lifetime experience, even though playing it absolutely sucks. The graphics look like they were pulled from the PS2 with slapped on HD textures.
Driving feels like one is drunk and the shooting segments are not fun at all. So why is it so beloved? Three words: Francis York Morgan. This FBI agent is impeccably charm. He is a character straight out of Twin Peaks in a world with similar obscurities. It is a brilliant piece of art.
8 Dragon’s Crown
Dragon’s Crown was an attempt to bring back 2D brawler RPGs from '90s arcades, akin to Sega’s Golden Axe series and Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons games. It is also stunning visually, with hand-painted art straight out of fantasy novels.
What was great about this addition to PS Plus was that it worked for the PS3 and PS Vita versions of the game. Progress also carried over via cloud saves. It was a nice double bonus for this awesome co-op brawler.
7 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Blood Dragon might actually be better than Far Cry 3. Instead of a standard DLC pack, this was a full-on original game set in one of the smaller areas of the main game, but now with a neon tint. Oh yeah, and there are dinosaurs.
It is a terrific tribute to the '80s while still managing to be its own thing on top of being an excellent shooter. We hope the Far Cry series will try more crazy stuff like this again.
6 Just Cause 2
Just Cause was a series no one cared about until this sequel. It is the quintessential middle of the road type of experience on par with the Dynasty Warriors games.
The story is bland, there are glitches abound, and the controls can be a bit finicky. However, messing around the open world by blowing up buildings, lassoing cars with grappling hooks, and flying through the air is just pure chaotic fun. The series piqued with this entry.
5 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning had a lot of great ideas. Fantasy RPGs at the time were lacking in visceral combat. As great as Skyrim is, we can all be honest here and admit whacking stuff with a sword never felt satisfying.
That is the key thing Kingdoms of Amalur got right and, on top of that, it had a vast array of weapons to choose from. Unfortunately, it was padded down with a story that went nowhere exciting and big open areas filled with nothing. Not quite worth $60, but it was great for free.
4 Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Persona 4 captured the hearts of gamers once it left the PS2 and became a PS Vita sensation. Because of its popularity, Atlus went on to create a few spinoffs. The first of which was Persona 4 Arena.
It was a fighting game in collaboration with Arc System Works, the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue developers for those unaware. Like those games, the fighting mechanics and the hand-drawn sprites are a work of art. Ultimax was like the special edition, just as an added FYI.
It honestly breaks our hearts knowing that a lot of people missed out on Puppeteer. It launched in September 2013 at the end of the PS3’s life cycle with the PS4 just two months away. On top of that, the console release of Diablo III also launched around this time.
Whatever the case may be, this PS Plus addition came too late even as a second chance as, by that time, the PS4 was in full force. It is an excellent, innovative platformer that rivals the best of Mario’s escapades. Please remaster this Sony.
2 Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
Another good, but not great platformer is Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. This was Insomniac’s attempt at creating a 4-player co-op experience that was fun but incredibly unpolished.
This was so unlike the team to release something this messy. It is another example of a game perhaps not worth the full price of admission but was a nice bonus for PS Plus later down the line. It also gave them time to fix bugs.
1 Tokyo Jungle
Last but not least, we have an amazingly obscure download-only gem called Tokyo Jungle. The world has gone through an apocalyptic event, killing off all humans. All that is left are animals, ranging wildly from dogs to guerrillas.
Players can choose from a wide array of animals in order to explore the ruins of Tokyo to fight off other creatures for food. On top of that, the main goal is to breed and yes, there are loving animations to accompany that act. The game is certainly strange and yet compelling.