January’s PlayStation Plus lineup was a strong one for anyone that needed games to sink extreme hours of their time into. Thankfully, all these games are free for every PlayStation Plus member to add to their library so we can all access them at any point. However, with games of this size, it can be a little difficult to decide which game to start with first. It would be easy to tell someone to just play the “best” game first, but we all have different tastes, interests, and priorities in what games we seek out.
So instead what we wanted to do was rank this month’s PlayStation Plus choices in the proper order to tackle each game. How we decided the placement for each game will be explained in each section, but one of our primary considerations was long-term viability. How long is this game going to last, will it still be relevant in a few months, and how easy is it to pick up and play? All of these games are great, but having some kind of order of what to play it in can help people decide what game to tackle first.
3. Persona 5 Strikers
It is at this time that we want to remind everyone that all the games we are discussing today are in fact great, because fans of the Persona series are likely dumbfounded as to how it’s ranked last on this list — especially one that is as good as Persona 5 Strikers is. It gives us everything we could ever want from a spin-off game with the return of some great characters, a story that picks up nicely where the last game left off, and a new combat system that blends in perfectly with the previous one. What’s not to enjoy?
The problem is that almost everything about what makes Persona 5 Strikers its best is predicated on playing the previous game, Persona 5. The player won’t understand why they should care about these characters, why they’re the way they are, or what a “shadow” is. The game doesn’t take much time to introduce to the player backstory either leaving anyone that is entering the series for the first time completely in the dark. This doesn’t mean that the game can’t be enjoyed without that backstory, as the plot is self-contained, but it just won’t hit the same without the context of previous events.
Play Persona 5 first. The recent expansion, Persona 5 Royal, is the definitive version of the original turn-based JRPG and is worth the 100+ hour journey. If you fall in love with it the way many did before it then Strikers will be right there waiting.
2. Dirt 5
This game looks so good visually. Anyone with a PlayStation 5 needs to download Dirt 5, put it on the best graphics settings possible, and look at how gorgeous everything is. From the way the mud splatters as cars drift around corners, to the damage that appears as cars bump into each other, to the varying backdrops that each course is placed on, this is an incredible looking game — and an extremely fun racing game at that. Everything about it oozes style from the menus to the customizable cars themselves.
So why not put it at No. 1? Because as fun as Dirt 5 is to play, the fun highly depends on how much you enjoy racing games. If you’re a huge fan of the genre then Dirt 5 is going to takeaway many hours as you try to unlock every car, win every race, and maybe even rank on some of the leaderboards. For the average player, though, this is a game to randomly pick up when you’re in the mood for a racing game. Great to play for a few hours, scratch that itch, and then pick it up again when the urge to play strikes again however long that takes.
Dirt 5 is in that way perfect for PlayStation Plus. Most fans of that franchise have likely already bought the game so now anyone that just has a curiosity can give it a go. It’s definitely worth playing just to see the visuals alone!
1. Deep Rock Galactic
What if you took a first-person shooter, made it co-op, added some horror elements to it, and then created procedurally generated levels? That combination gets you the incredibly charming and enjoyable Deep Rock Galactic. Everything about this game from the cell shaded colors, to the way the dwarves interact with one another, to the creepy bugs that infest these caves gives off an appeal that feels very distinct to this game. The guns are fun, the worlds are fun to explore, and it’s an absolute blast with the right group of friends.
Even better? This game just launched for the PlayStation. That means everyone playing on that console is going to be playing it for the first time. Have a running PlayStation party with a group of friends? Get everyone to download Deep Rock Galactic and watch as the hours sink away deep into the night. It’s a delight and one of the only gripes we can give with it is that, without that group of friends, it can feel like it’s missing something. It is so dependent on the co-op that the single-player experience can suffer for it. That said, it’s doable and solo players get a helpful little droid to join them and zap bugs. So that’s fun.
Find a group of friends and play Deep Rock Galactic. You’ll be glad you did.