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PlayStation Plus gave out more than $1,500 in free games. Were they worth it?

Looking back on the quantity, and the quality, of a key benefit to PlayStation Plus subscribers

PlayStation Plus Sony Interactive Entertainment
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Sony delivered 76 video games for all of its platforms to PlayStation Plus subscribers in 2018 — PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Were they any good? What would they cost otherwise? What do the numbers say about the value of this PlayStation Plus benefit?

We’ll try to answer that question this year as we have the past four years. To that, however, we’ve added a few more questions: How old is the game? Did Sony publish it? What publisher did PlayStation Plus use the most?

These questions may shed light on where these free games programs are headed, especially as Sony will no longer offer free PlayStation Plus games for the PS3 or the PS Vita in March 2019.

Getting Started

In all, there were 76 games in PlayStation Plus’ instant game collection for 2018, with an average critical score of 69.5 and a combined retail price (as of yesterday) of $1,508.74. The review average of this year’s free games is 1.8 points lower than 2017 but the monetary value is $221.49 more.

Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 5 screenshot Telltale Games


  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4)
  • Batman: The Telltale Series (PS4)
  • Sacred 3 (PS3)
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (PS3)
  • Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness (PS4, PS Vita)
  • Uncanny Valley (PS4, PS Vita)
  • Starblood Arena (PSVR)

Average score: 66

Average age: 1.74 years

Total value: $157.93

Knack 2 Sony Interactive Entertainment


  • Knack (PS4)
  • Rime (PS4)
  • Spelunker HD (PS3)
  • Mugen Souls Z (PS3)
  • Exile’s End (PS Vita)
  • Grand Kingdom (PS4, PS Vita)

Average score: 65.8

Average age: 3.75 years

Total value: $96.94

Bloodborne From Software/Sony Interactive Entertainment


  • Bloodborne (PS4)
  • Ratchet & Clank (PS4)
  • Mighty No. 9 (PS4, PS3)
  • Legend of Kay (PS3)
  • Claire: Extended Cut (PS4, PS Vita)
  • Bombing Busters (PS4, PS Vita)

Average score: 69.7

Average age: 2.24 years

Total value: $106.94

A man points a gun to the right in a desert landscape in Mad Max Image: Avalanche Studios


  • Mad Max (PS4)
  • TrackMania Turbo (PS4)
  • In Space We Brawl (PS4, PS3)
  • Toy Home (PS3)
  • 99Vidas (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)
  • Q*Bert Rebooted (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)

Average score: 60.5

Average age: 3.93 years

Total value: $98.94

Beyond Two Souls Quantic Dream/Sony


  • Beyond: Two Souls (PS4)
  • Rayman Legends (PS4)
  • Risen 3: Titan Lords (PS3)
  • Eat Them! (PS3)
  • King Oddball (PS3, PS Vita)
  • Furmins (PS4, PS Vita)

Average score: 69 (nice)

Average age: 4.75 years

Total value: $106.44


XCOM 2 - flamethrower Image: Firaxis Games/2K Games
  • XCOM 2 (PS4)
  • Trials Fusion (PS4)
  • Zombie Driver HD (PS3)
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PS3)
  • Atomic Ninjas (PS3, PS Vita)
  • Squares (PS Vita)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (PS4)

Average score: 72.1

Average age: 3.98 years

Total value: $123.94

Heavy Rain - Madison at nightclub Quantic Dream/Sony Computer Entertainment


  • Heavy Rain (PS4)
  • Absolver (PS4)
  • Rayman 3 HD (PS3)
  • Extreme Exorcism (PS4, PS3)
  • Space Overlords (PS4, PS Vita)
  • Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (PS Vita)

Average score: 69.2

Average age: 3.97 years

Total value: $179.93

Mafia 3 artwork shows the main character holding a gun Image: 2K Games


  • Mafia 3 (PS4)
  • Dead by Daylight (PS4)
  • Bound by Flame (PS3)
  • Serious Sam 3: BFE (PS3)
  • Draw Slasher (PS Vita)
  • Space Hulk (PS Vita)
  • Here They Lie (PSVR)
  • Knowledge is Power
  • Destiny 2 (PS4)

Average score: 67.6

Average age: 2.7 years

Total value: $205.91

foul play hero Meditonic


  • God of War 3 Remastered (PS4)
  • Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition (PS4)
  • QUBE Director’s Cut (PS4, PS3)
  • Sparkle 2 (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)
  • Foul Play (PS4, PS Vita)

Average score: 68.4

Average age: 3.72 years

Total value: $55.95

Roll7/505 Games


  • Friday the 13th: The Game (PS4)
  • Laser League (PS4)
  • Master Reboot (PS3)
  • The Bridge (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)
  • Rocketbirds 2: Evolution (PS4, PS Vita)
  • 2064: Read Only Memories (PS4, PS Vita)

Average score: 68.8

Average age: 2.47 years

Total value: $81.94

In this screenshot from Yakuza Kiwami, main character Kazuma Kiryu is shirtless, with his large back tattoo of a dragon partially visible as he faces away from the camera. He has his fist up, preparing to fight, and appears to be in a cage with one other Sega


  • Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (PS4)
  • Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)
  • Jackbox Party Pack 2 (PS3)
  • Arkedo Series (PS3)
  • Burly Men at Sea (PS4, PS Vita)
  • Roundabout (PS4, PS Vita)

Average score: 75.3

Average age: 2.47 years

Total value: $140.94

Codemasters/Deep Silver


  • SOMA (PS4)
  • Onrush Standard Digital Edition (PS4)
  • Steredenn: Classic (PS3)
  • SteinsGate (PS3)
  • Iconoclasts (PS4, PS Vita)
  • Papers, Please (PS Vita)

Average score: 82.8

Average age: 3.2 years

Total value: $152.94

By the Numbers

Average score: 69.6

Average price: $19.85

Average age: 3.2 years

Highest scoring month: December.

Highest dollar value month: August ($205.91)

Month with newest games on average: January (1.74 years)

Lowest scoring month: April (60.5)

Lowest dollar value month: September $55.95

Month with oldest games on average: May (4.75 years old)

Published by Sony: 10

Publisher with the most titles: Sony, 10.

Platform score averages

PlayStation 3: 70.7

PlayStation 4: 64.98

PlayStation Vita: 79.6

Review score ranges

90 and up: 3

80 to 89: 16

70 to 79: 17

60 to 69: 26

59 and below: 14

Price ranges

$40 and up: 4

$30 to $39.99: 6

$25 to $29.99: 9

$20 to $24.99: 2

$15 to $19.99: 19

$10 to $14.99: 7

$5 to $9.99: 27

$4.99 and under: 2

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