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After a Year's Worth of Free Games... Was PS Plus Worth It?

Did you pay for the service, but are uncertain if you should feel buyer's remorse? We look back at 2016 to see if your money was well spent.

PlayStation Plus allows its users to receive automatic game updates, uploads/downloads of saved games from the cloud and discounts of up to 75% off on the PlayStation store. The most important aspect of the membership; however, is that it comes with free games.

Players receive six free titles each month with no charge, but these games vary in regards to genre and quality. With this said, as 2016 ends, we look back at the productions Sony gave away to those who paid $59.99 for the 12 month subscription and answer a question.

Was PS Plus worth it?

A carefully designed service:

Above we see the average score on Metacritic of the six games given away each month.

The first conclusion we can trace by analyzing the data provided above is that Sony puts a lot of thought into choosing the games it distributes for free. We can make this statement by looking at the average metascore of each month.

The highest month was June, with a score of 79.8/100, with the lowest period being May with 70.3. This displays an oscillation of only 9.5 points in the average metascore from the lowest month, to the highest.

This shows that the service Sony offers, through its PlayStation Plus membership, is consistent, as the quality of the games offered does not vary significantly as a whole throughout the year.

This consistency allows subscribers to know what the future holds and this certainty is one the most important factors in any long-term subscription and Sony got this covered.

 

Keeping an eye on other systems:

In order to judge whether PlayStation Plus was worth it in 2016, we cannot ignore the fact that each month, two games were distributed for the PlayStation 3 console and a pair of others for the Vita handheld device, meaning that in order to use PlayStation Plus to its fullest, you must own these three systems.

If you sold your PlayStation 3, in order to buy the fourth generation of the console and do not own a Vita, purchasing a subscription of PlayStation Plus may sound as a bad deal, but that may not be the case.

It is all about cost/benefit:

The biggest mistake people make when signing up for PlayStation Plus is believing they will get to play the best AAA titles for free. This is not the case most of the times, but this is not something negative.

During 2016, PS Plus offered a myriad of indie games across the three systems, which you probably would not even play if Sony had not given them away.

It is normal to be concerned about the quality of a product given for "free", but some of these hidden jewels even had similar metascores to AAA titles, around the 70-80 range. They can provide you with quality entertainment, if you give them a chance.

That is not to say, however, that you must enjoy every production from PlayStation Plus, but considering that the yearly subscription costs $59 and you get 72 games for free throughout the year, even if you only play 6 of these games, that would mean you paid approximately 10 dollars per game.

Given the numbers, it makes financial sense to subscribe to PlayStation Plus, as it gives a positive cost/benefit ratio, as long as the player is willing to explore the unknown titles that come with the subscription.

Expecting to only play the top AAA games for free via PS Plus is not a realistic scenario and it is one that will lead to the frustration of the user, but if you keep your expectation in check and know what you are signing up for, this service will be worth it down the road. 

Conclusion:

In 2016, PlayStation Plus offered to players a stable service, giving away games of similar quality each month, thus ensuring players could trust the service.

Despite offering more indie games than AAA titles, many independent productions received similar acclaim from critics, as seen in their metascores.

Moreover, getting 72 games for $59.99 is one of the best cost/benefit ratios this industry has to offer, even if you only play 6 of the 72 productions available at the end of the year.

The only drawback is that if you only own a single system from Sony, you will only be able to play 1/3 of the content you paid for, but even in this scenario, the numbers are encouraging, as you would be able to play 24 games for 59.99 dollars.

With this said, if you have your expectations in check and are not hoping to get only AAA titles and you own more than one gaming system from Sony, then PlayStation Plus was definitely worth it for you in 2016 and probably will continue to be in the years to come.

In case you are curious to know the lineup of free games of 2016, check the list below, as well as their metascores in brackets.

PS Plus Releases for December: 
  • Invisible, Inc.: PS4 (82)
  • Stories: Path of Destinies: PS4 (73)
  • Hyper Void: PS3 (70)
  • Tiny Troopers Joint Ops: PS3 (Cross buy on PS4 and Vita) (60)
  • Color Guardians: PS Vita (Cross buy on PS4) (62)
  • VVVVVV: PS Vita (81)

Average metascore of the month: 71.3

PS Plus Releases for November:
  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture: PS4 (78)
  • The Deadly Tower of Monsters: PS4 (72)
  • Dirt 3: PS3 (86)
  • Costume Quest 2: PS3 (74)
  • Letter Quest Remastered: PS Vita (Cross buy with PS4) (73)
  • Pumped BMX+: PS Vita (Cross buy with PS4 and PS3) (56)

Average metascore of the month: 73.1

PS Plus Releases for October:
  • Resident Evil: PS4 (83)
  • Transformers: Devastation: PS4 (77)
  • Mad Riders: PS3 (71)
  • From Dust: PS3 (81)
  • Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~: PS Vita (86)
  • Actual Sunlight: PS Vita (75)

Average metascore of the month: 78.8

PS Plus Releases for September:
  • Lords of the Fallen: PS4 (68)
  • Journey: PS4, PS3 (92)
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands: PS3 (75)
  • Datura: PS3 (57)
  • Badland: PS Vita, PS4, PS3 (76)
  • Amnesia: Memories: PS Vita (72)

Average metascore of the month: 73.3

PS Plus Releases for August:
  • Tricky Towers: PS4 (72)
  • Rebel Galaxy: PS4  (64)
  • Yakuza 5: PS3 (83)
  • Retro/Grade: PS3 (78)
  • Patapon 3: PS Vita (74)
  • Ultratron: PS Vita, PS3, PS4 (74)

Average metascore of the month: 74.1

PS Plus Releases for July:
  • Furi: PS4 (77)
  • Saints Row: Gat out of Hell: PS4  (64)
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood: PS3 (78)
  • Fat Princess: PS3 (79)
  • Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines: PS Vita (78)
  • Prince of Persia: Revelation: PS Vita (65)

Average metascore of the month: 73.5

PS Plus Releases for June: 
  • NBA 2K16: PS4 (87)
  • Gone Home: Console Edition: PS4 (85)
  • Echochrome: PS3 (81)
  • Siren: Blood Curse Episodes 1-12: PS3 (78)
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus: PS Vita (91)
  • Little Deviants: PS Vita (57)

Average metascore of the month: 79.8

PS Plus Releases for May: 
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed 2: PS3 (63)
  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta: PS Vita (86)
  • LocoRoco Cocoreccho!: PS3 (72)
  • Switch Galaxy Ultra: PS4, PS Vita (70)
  • Table Top Racing: World Tour: PS4 (55)
  • Tropico 5: PS4 (76)

Average metascore of the month: 70.3

PS Plus Releases for April:
  • A Virus Named Tom: PS Vita  (65)
  • Dead Star: PS4 (70)
  • I Am Alive: PS3 (75)
  • Savage Moon: PS3 (73)
  • Shutshimi: PS Vita (82)
  • Zombi: PS4 (71)

Average metascore of the month: 72.6

PS Plus Releases for March:
  • Broforce: PS4 (68)
  • Flame Over: PS Vita (69)
  • Galak-Z: PS4 (82)
  • The Last Guy: PS3 (77)
  • Reality Fighters: PS Vita (54)
  • Super Stardust HD: PS3 (85)

Average metascore of the month: 72.5

PS Plus Releases for February:
  • Grid Autosport: PS3 (78)
  • Helldivers: Democracy Strikes Back: PS4, PS3, PS Vita (81)
  • Lemmings Touch: PS Vita (63)
  • Nom Nom Galaxy: PS4 (70)
  • Nova-111: PS Vita (73)
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: PS3 (84)

Average metascore of the month: 74.8

PS Plus Releases for January:
  • Dragon Age: Origins: PS3 (87)
  • Grim Fandango Remastered: PS4, PS Vita (80)
  • Hardware: Rivals: PS4 (56)
  • Legends of War Patton: PS Vita (79)
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter: PS3 (55)
  • Nihilumbra: PS Vita (73)

Average metascore of the month: 71.6 

Published Dec. 20th 2016

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