PlayStation Plus Premium, a service that just so happens to include access to its Classics library, may not be as fleshed out as its primary catalog, though it does boast a slew of undisputed era-defining favorites. And what's more, it receives fairly recent updates and additional games, meaning you can make the most of that two-for-one package on a daily basis, no questions asked.
So, which games are actually worth picking up the Premium tier for this month? Well, here's how we'd slate the best of the best—classics that hold so much sentimental value, that it'd be a crying shame to give them the cold shoulder while they're still around. And yes, even in 2023.
5. Jak (Series)
What started out as a cutesy platformer series somehow transformed into a gloomy third-person shooter with a much darker aesthetic. However, in spite of its unforseen transition from being a tropical platformer to a cyberpunk action-adventure, Jak II still wound up becoming equally, if not twice as popular as its forefather. And, truth be told, the series, as a whole, is still one of the best of its kind on the market to date.
Jak (formerly known as Jak and Daxter) follows the titular protagonist and his trusty companion through a series of worlds that, in the aftermath of The Precursor Legacy, yield to a substance known as Dark Eco. With Haven City engulfed in an ongoing war with Eco-infused creatures known as Metal Heads, Jak must become the saviour it wants and needs. Little to his knowledge, though, that Haven City fosters a few more secrets that go beyond war crimes and propaganda.
Jak is a four-piece anthology, and comprises The Precursor Legacy, Renegade, Jak 3, and its racing spin-off, Jak X. You can grab the entire bundle over on PlayStation Plus Premium, in its Classics section.
4. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Of all the star-studded looter shooters there are in the world, Borderlands is arguably one of the only ones that has the formula dialed. And not just the first game, but the entire series—The Handsome Collection—that's also on PlayStation Plus Premium, as luck would have it. Although without its third main instalment, the three-piece set still hosts the first two entries plus The Pre-Sequel, effectively serving you the whole story of Handsome Jack and the feud with the Vault Hunters.
Borderlands, for those who don't know, centers its premise around Pandora, a world that supposedly holds a series of Vaults—chambers with treasures beyond belief. As a self-proclaimed Vault Hunter, you will take up a loadout, and venture out in search of the ever-elusive doorway. With that, expect countless quests, characters, and bullet-riddled looter shooter pandemonium.
3. LEGO Harry Potter Collection
LEGO retains its position as one of the best family-friendly IPs in not only in media, but in gaming, too. And what helps to keep its position elevated is its lineage of brick-based video game adaptations of universally celebrated movies. An example here would be Harry Potter—a series that ported itself over to two huge LEGO-themed games made up of seven lengthy episodes.
LEGO Harry Potter can be played either alone, or with a friend in its couch co-op mode. Similar to the books and movies, you take on the roles of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, as they navigate their seven school years at the iconic Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And not just the beloved trio of friends, but hundreds of playable characters, all torn directly from the pages of J.K. Rowling's internationally renowned anthology.
2. BioShock (Series)
Granted, PlayStation Plus does share a litter with countless horror IPs, though quite frankly not as many with as high a caliber as BioShock. It makes sense, then, that the trio of games would keep a place on the Classics catalog as a year-round item. And if you haven't taken the opportunity to delve into the nautical realm of Rapture just yet, then perhaps now's the time to punch your ticket. Failing that, then to the sky-high world of New Columbia, a heavenly metropolis with a sinister secret.
BioShock is many things—a first-person shooter at heart, sure, but with a variety of RPG elements and a semi-open world setting to boot. Collectively, the series boasts a mixed bag of horror, puzzles, and a full-fledged narrative that's anything other than rushed and lightweight. Does that mean it's deserving of a place on the shelves in 2023? Absolutely.
1. Yakuza (Series)
Yakuza has garnered one of the best, most loyal fan bases of all time during its tenure as Ryu Ga Gotoku's flagship IP. In fact, it's so popular, that the franchise itself has coerced new spin-offs to blossom, and not to mention an entire subdivision of love letters, all of which pay tribute to its quirky nature and questionably indecisive themes. And that's partly the reason why it's so respected: it has no theme, and instead chooses to dabble in a little of everything just enough to keep you on your toes.
At heart, Yakuza is a beat 'em up saga that depicts the tale of Kazuma Kiryu, a yakuza soldier, as he navigates modern life under the wing of some of Japan's most notorious criminals. Outside of its beat 'em up scenarios, the series also features countless mini-games that range from singing karaoke to impersonating a movie producer. And that's barely scratching the surface, truth be told. Needless to say that it's one of those games, and one that you sort of need to see for yourself to believe.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any games you'd recommend picking up on PlayStation Plus Classics? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.