PlayStation Plus’ free games for September 2022 have been announced and, in a change, we’ve got all the freebies for the three tiers — Essential, Extra and Premium — in one go.
Essential is the base tier that lets you play games online, gets you access to extra discounts, and gives you at least three games every month that you can add to your account and continue to access for as long as you’ve got an active subscription, even if you cancel and come back.
Leading the pack is PS4 game Need for Speed Heat, the latest in EA’s glossy racing series. Alongside 120+ cars and a ton of licenced music, there’s cross-play and, perhaps uncommon for the genre, a story mode.
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The second PS4 game is Granblue Fantasy: Versus, another example of developer Arc System Works combing hardcore fighting mechanics with stunning anime visuals. There’s also an RPG mode that you can play with a friend.
Finally, there’s PS5 game TOEM: A Photo Adventure. As the name implies, you might help people out using your camera to solve puzzles while shifting between a top-down perspective and a first-person view. Reviews have praised the striking art style, relaxing vibes and overall charm. Essentially, a game you’d play on a lazy Sunday.
All three of these games will be available to claim from September 6 until October 3.
Then there’s the Extra tier, the one most similar to Xbox Game Pass or a streaming service like Netflix. As well as the Essential perks, this tier gives you access to a hundreds-strong catalogue of PS4 games, with some PS5 and emulated PS2 titles, to download. They may be removed from the library after a few months or years, however, even if you’ve already downloaded it.
The biggie here is PS5 and PC exclusive Deathloop, a game that combines a retro-futurist aesthetic with first-person shooter mechanics with Groundhog Day. You’ve got a list of people you need to kill in one day, and if you don’t, the day begins again. You need to travel between different parts of an island at different times of day to collect the clues and skills needed. But other human players can invade your game and ruin your progress… or you could do the same to them.
As part of the PS Plus deal with Ubisoft+, we’ve got five more titles from the publisher joining the catalogue: Assassin’s Creed Origins, one of the critical high points of the series, Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game, the 2D brawler that was thought lost to history, Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show, for the kids, Watch Dogs 2, the most light-hearted and fun entry in the franchise, and Rayman Legends, often hailed as one of the best platformer games of the last decade.
We’ve also got Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, which is still adding new characters from the anime and manga to the roster to fight alongside everyone’s original characters online; Spiritfarer, which combines heavy themes with Animal Crossing life-sim elements and colourful characters; Chicory: A Colorful Tale, in which you restore colour to a drab world; Monster Energy Supercross 5, which critics say improves the handling and track builder; and Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, a remake of the 1986 SEGA cornerstone that adds new levels.
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Finally, there’s the Premium tier, which takes everything from the other tiers and adds downloadable emulated PS1 and PSP games, boosted to HD with added save states and rewind functions, a handful of remasters, and a library of streaming options comprising games from across the tiers and bonus PS3 titles. At the moment, you can stream games to PS4, PS5 and PC.
After last month’s disappointment, we are getting some brand new emulated releases: PS1 game Syphon Filter 2, PSP Kingdom of Paradise (titled Key to Heaven in Europe) and the PSP version of Toy Story 3. The announcement doesn’t mention these games having trophies, while it’s also interesting to note that these games aren’t the ones previously mentioned then swiftly deleted on the official Italian PlayStation site a few months back.
Rounding off the additions for September is actually the return of the Sly Cooper franchise to PS3 streaming catalogue: the HD trilogy, Sly 4: Thieves in Time and promotional mini-game collection Bentley’s Hackpack. They were taken off the service when PS Now was folded into Plus, despite Sony owning the IP. Hopefully, other Sony-owned games that were removed make their way back sooner rather than later too.
All games on the Extra and Premium tiers will be available for subscribers from September 20. If you live in a territory where streaming isn’t offered, the Deluxe tier offers the downloadable games from Premium tier for a reduced price.
The best way to get Plus at whatever tier you like is to buy PSN store credit at a reduced price, as seen throughout the article.