As an avid PlayStation gamer myself, I know how thrilling it is to score free games each month with a PlayStation Plus membership. There‘s nothing better than the rush of expanding your library without spending a dime!
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through exactly how to find and redeem all the free games you‘re entitled to across the PlayStation Plus tiers. With bonus tips from industry experts, you‘ll learn how to maximize the value of your membership for free entertainment. Let‘s dive in!
PlayStation Plus – A service evolved to offer more free games
First, a quick history lesson. PlayStation Plus started in 2010 as an optional subscription mainly for multiplayer access and a few free games. Over the years, Sony continued sweetening the pot by adding more free monthly titles across both PS4 and PS5, compiling a library of classic games, and expanding to a multi-tier service.
According to gaming industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis, "Sony has gradually increased the perceived value of PlayStation Plus through content additions and integration with the PS5 platform."
PlayStation Plus has evolved into an unmatched value, especially for free games. Today‘s membership tiers offer:
PlayStation Plus Essential – $9.99/month
PlayStation Plus Extra – $14.99/month
PlayStation Plus Premium – $17.99/month
While Extra and Premium offer additional game catalogs, even the Essential tier nets you 24 free games per year, worth over $400!
Finding each month‘s free PlayStation Plus games
As a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you gain access to monthly free games across PS4 and PS5. PlayStation collaborates with popular game studios to curate a diverse selection each month.
Finding and redeeming the latest free games is easy:
On the last Wednesday of the month, Sony announces the upcoming free games on PlayStation Blog. Mark your calendar and look out for the big reveal!
The first Tuesday of the following month, visit the PlayStation Store on your PS5.
Go to the PlayStation Plus tab and scroll down to the ‘Monthly Games‘ section.
Select ‘Add to Library‘ to redeem each free game that interests you.
The games are yours to play as long as you remain a PlayStation Plus member!
Gaming deals expert Liam Hall of Impulse Gamer recommends redeeming each monthly game, even if you don‘t plan to play right away. "You never know when you‘ll want to give one of the free games a try later on. So go ahead and grab them while they’re available!"
I always add both PS4 and PS5 free games to my library rather than assume I won‘t play the PS4 ones. The variety is outstanding – recent hits have included action adventures like Horizon Forbidden West, retro classics like Sonic Mania, and family-friendly options like Paw Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay.
Getting the most from the PlayStation Plus Collection on PS5
The PlayStation Plus Collection is a free game bonus exclusively for PS5 owners that shouldn‘t be missed. This curated library lets you download and play iconic PS4 titles remastered for PS5‘s capabilities.
Accessing it is a breeze:
On your PS5 home screen, select the PlayStation Plus tile.
Choose ‘View Collection‘ below the PlayStation Plus Collection icon.
Select ‘Add to Library‘ for each game you want to download.
With universally acclaimed hits like God of War (2018), Monster Hunter: World, Mortal Kombat X, Fallout 4, and many more, you’ll be set for months of free entertainment!
Gaming journalist Michael Higham of GameSpot advises, "Download the PlayStation Plus Collection soon after getting a PS5. Not only will it fill up your library, but it‘s a cheap way to experience some of PS4‘s best games upgraded for PS5."
Based on gamer engagement, the most popular PlayStation Plus Collection titles have been Bloodborne, Days Gone, God of War, and Mortal Kombat X.
Redeeming PlayStation Store codes – the dos and don‘ts
PlayStation Store vouchers or wallet credit codes can be redeemed for PlayStation Store purchases. Here are some pro tips when redeeming codes:
Carefully enter codes from official sources only. Sony warns that sites reselling codes often sell used or fraudulent codes.
Triple check that long voucher codes are correctly entered before selecting redeem. A single wrong digit will invalidate your code!
Avoid sharing or posting codes publicly where others can steal them. Treat codes like you would cash.
Use codes promptly before they have a chance to expire. Some have time limits.
You can stack and redeem multiple PlayStation Store codes to combine their values.
Redeemed credit gets added to your PlayStation Store wallet automatically.
Using wallet credit is a great way to buy DLC, seasons passes, in-game currency, and other PlayStation Store goodies.
Making the most of game codes on your PS5
When you buy a brand new PS5 or PS4 game, whether in stores or online, it will likely come with a game code printed inside the case. Redeeming these 12-character codes gives you access to download your game.
You can easily redeem codes right on your PS5 console:
From your PS5 home screen, go to the PlayStation Store.
Select the profile icon next to the search bar.
Choose ‘Redeem Codes‘ from the dropdown menu.
Carefully enter your 12-digit code and select ‘Redeem‘.
Your game will begin downloading so you can start playing!
Gaming deals expert Chris Le of Video Game Deals Canada recommends redeeming codes right away rather than saving them indefinitely. "Game codes don‘t have an expiration date, but redeeming them immediately means you won‘t misplace them or forget about unused codes later on."
An advantage of PS4 game codes is that they also redeem and play on your PS5, thanks to backward compatibility. So building a code redemption habit ensures you‘ll never miss out.
Great free-to-play games available right now
Beyond PlayStation Plus, there is a treasure trove of free-to-play games available to all on the PlayStation Store. These let you download and enjoy full games without spending a dime. PlayStation Plus is not needed unless you want to play online multiplayer.
Some stellar free PlayStation games span popular battle royale shooters like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone to party games like Rocket League and Fall Guys.
Here are 10 top-rated free-to-play games on PS5 ranked by user reviews:
- Genshin Impact
- Apex Legends
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Rocket League
- Destiny 2
- Fall Guys
- Path of Exile
Just look for the ‘Free to Play‘ category on the PlayStation Store to find 100+ options. Free does not mean low quality with these titles!
Gaming deals writer Dave Meikleham of GamesRadar suggests, "Always check the PlayStation Store Free-to-Play section for any new additions before spending money on a game. You may find a hidden gem you can enjoy indefinitely without spending a penny."
Have you played it? PlayStation game trials deliver that risk-free first hit
Beyond permanent free games, PlayStation often offers extended free trials of new releases. These usually last 2-10 hours, long enough to get a great taste of the gameplay and experience.
Recent examples have included generous 4-hour trials of Horizon Forbidden West, FIFA 23, Gotham Knights, and Sonic Frontiers.
John Linneman, video producer for Digital Foundry, says, "The best way to evaluate if a game is for you is playing it yourself rather than reading reviews. PlayStation’s lengthy game trials are extremely consumer friendly."
The ideal strategy is adding any game trial that intrigues you to your PlayStation library, even if you end up just sampling them briefly. Of course if you love a trial, you can then purchase the full game.
Special PlayStation promotions – unexpected freebies that made gamers happy
Sony occasionally surprises PlayStation fans by unlocking certain games for free for a limited time. These special promotions create buzz and let gamers sample titles they otherwise may never try.
For example, through the Play At Home initiative during pandemic lockdowns, Sony gave away Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey completely free to download and keep. More recently, Ratchet & Clank (2016) and Horizon Zero Dawn were temporarily free.
Gaming journalist Jeff Grubb of VentureBeat commented on the strategy behind Play At Home: “Sony is building goodwill with its fans while also giving them a reason to check in with the PlayStation Store during this period where they‘re stuck inside.”
By following PlayStation Blog and social media, you can pounce on these enticing limited-time freebies when Sony announces the next one.
Faceoff: PlayStation Plus Essential vs. Extra vs. Premium free games
While PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium offer additional game catalogs, don‘t underestimate the free games value of even the Essential base tier. Let‘s compare:
|Membership Tier||Free Games Includes||Estimated Retail Value|
|PlayStation Plus Essential||24 PS4 + PS5 games per year||$400+|
|PlayStation Plus Extra||Monthly games + 400+ catalog titles||$840+|
|PlayStation Plus Premium||All Extra benefits + 340 more catalog games||$1,140+|
As you can see, a PlayStation Plus membership rapidly pays for itself just in free games alone. And that‘s not even accounting for member discounts and other perks!
Your PlayStation Plus free games questions, answered
Let‘s wrap up with answers to some common free game questions:
How often do the PlayStation Plus monthly free games change?
The free monthly game lineup refreshes on the first Tuesday of each new month.
If my PlayStation Plus membership lapses, can I still play the monthly games I redeemed?
Unfortunately no. You lose access to previous monthly free games if you cancel your membership. This makes staying active worthwhile!
Can I play the PlayStation Plus Collection on PS5 forever if I cancel?
Yes! PlayStation Plus Collection games are yours to keep permanently once redeemed, even if you later cancel your membership.
What if I already own some of the free monthly PlayStation Plus games offered?
If you already own one of the free monthly games, you can still "redeem" it to gain the PlayStation Plus license. This locks in your access even if your membership lapses in the future.
Is it risky to buy prepaid PlayStation Plus membership codes from reseller sites?
Sony advises avoiding unofficial code reseller sites, as they often sell fraudulent codes or codes that have already been used and won‘t work. For guaranteed legitimate codes, purchase directly from trusted retailers.
Can I stack multiple PlayStation Plus prepaid codes to extend my membership duration?
Yes, redeeming additional 12-month codes will simply extend your membership expiration date further into the future. There‘s no limit, so stock up during sales if you want to lock in PlayStation Plus at the current pricing!
Hopefully this guide gave you the tools and knowledge needed to unlock the full free game benefits of your PlayStation Plus membership and make the most of your PS5.
The key takeaways are:
PlayStation Plus has evolved into an amazing value, with up to 24 free games each year
Finding and redeeming each month‘s free PlayStation Plus games is quick and easy
Don‘t skip downloading the PlayStation Plus Collection games exclusive to PS5
Learn the nuances of redeeming PlayStation Store codes and game download codes
Check the PlayStation Store for special deals on game trials and entirely free-to-play releases
Limited-time PlayStation promotions can unlock free games unexpectedly
Here‘s to keeping your PS5 loaded with amazing free entertainment! Game on.