PS Plus Underwhelms With November Lineup After Price Hike

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PS Plus free games lineup for November

This month Sony unveiled the November lineup of free games for the PS Plus Extra and Premium. At the beginning of November, the monthly games for PS Plus Essential were also announced for the PS4 and PS5. The general online consensus has been that PS Plus has delivered an underwhelming month of games, especially considering the price hike announced by Sony.

Earlier this year, Sony announced a price increase for all tiers of PlayStation Plus starting September 6th. The price was increased for 12 months of PS Plus Essential to $79.99 from $59.99, PS Plus Extra to $134.99 from $99.99, and PS Plus Premium to $159.99 from $119.99. The price increase would take effect from the next renewal date which occurs on or after November 6. It was for this reason that the expectation from PlayStation users for the free November games was high. The price hike would not be an issue if Sony delivered quality games that would justify it.

PS Plus November Free Monthly Games

November ‘Free’ Games

The free monthly games for November available across all tiers of PS Plus were Mafia II: Definitive Edition, Dragon Ball: The Breakers, and Aliens: Fireteam Elite. The online response towards the announcement of these games has been unfavourable. This is particularly the case as the price of the PS Plus tiers has gone up. PlayStation fans had expected Sony to deliver a much more prominent lineup of games to, in some way, justify the price increase.  All three games have relatively low scores on Metacritic with Aliens: Fireteam Elite having the highest score of the trio, a critic score of 67 and a 5.8 user score. Of course, review scores are entirely subjective and don’t mean everything. But often the decision to spend your time and data to download these games is based on these scores for a lot of people.

The same sentiment at the reveal of the PS Plus monthly games was carried over when the games were announced for the games catalogue for November. The Game Catalog lineup announced for around the middle of every month was exclusively available to subscribers of PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium. The featured game for the month was Teardown for PS5, a game featuring a fully destructible and interactive environment.

Players tear down walls with explosives or vehicles to create shortcuts as they plan the perfect heist. The game launched directly on the PS Plus Game Catalog on November 15, a week before the other games in the Catalog became available. Currently, the Metacritic rating for Teardown stands favourably at 77 for critic reviews but at 3.1 for the user reviews. This is predominantly due to the game receiving a 0 rating from some users for not having the option to invert y-axis controls. It is obvious that Teardown is in no way a bad game, but it certainly did not have the impact Sony expected it to have on its PS Plus subscribers.

The other titles announced for the Game Catalog included Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (PS4), Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme vs. Maxi Boost On (PS4), Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition (PS4), Superliminal (PS4, PS5), Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (PS4, PS5), Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi (PS4), Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus The Awakening of Golden Jazz (PS4), and River City Melee Mach!! (PS4).

Upon going through the list of these games, you may have noticed two things: most of these are obscure games that you have never heard of and most of these games are PS4 versions of those supposedly obscure games. As I have said before, these games are not inherently bad or inferior. Several of the games have favourable scores on Metacritic, although the number of reviews is few for some of them. PS Plus Extra is the most popular tier after PS Plus Essential but it does not come cheap. To announce a price hike while promising higher quality games in the future and then releasing a Game Catalog such as this raises concerns about the future lineup of games.

PS Plus November Game Catalog

The PlayStation Classics lineup was also updated with November’s games available exclusively for PS Plus Premium subscribers. The games included Grandia (PS4, PS5), Jet Moto (PS4, PS5), Up (PS4, PS5), Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series (PS4, PS5), and PaRappa the Rapper 2 (PS4). The entire purpose of the Premium tier of PS Plus was to bring the old PS2 and PS1 classic games to the PS5 new and improved. However, just like this month’s Game Catalog, the game list is underwhelming and missing a lot of the popular classic titles that many players are waiting for. Many of the games in this list seem to be essentially ‘filler’ content just to populate the Premium library and to simply get something out there.

All the titles, other than the Day 1 release Teardown which came out on the 15th, have been available to play since November 21. Yet none of the games on the Catalog, other than Teardown, even remotely make me want to delete a game from my library and download them. The November lineup on its own is not a big deal. What is a big deal is the message that this lineup brings me two months after the price hike.

The message says, “We will continue to release the similar style of games we have been releasing for PS Plus and the price increase is not going to bring any significant change to the lineups.” November is the month from which point every PS Plus subscriber’s membership will renew at the new higher price. If even after several months following the price change, Sony does not deliver AAA-quality titles to the lineup, then it’s difficult to expect it to get much better.

Is PS Plus Extra and Premium Worth It?

There has been a notable pushback from users across social media for raising the price. Every social media post by PlayStation related to PS Plus has a plethora of comments complaining about the price hike and the lack of better games in the free games catalogue. It has been over a year since the release of God of War Ragnarök, and the game does not look likely to come to the PS Plus Games Catalog anytime soon.

The biggest issue with the current state of the Game Catalog is the lack of first-party PlayStation exclusives. PS Plus, as it stands today, was created to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. While Xbox has almost all its first-party exclusives available on Game Pass alongside several critically acclaimed third-party titles, the PS Plus library pales in comparison. Not only do PlayStation players not receive their first-party titles at launch, but they do not receive them even after a year.

As of this moment, the PS Plus Extra and the PS Plus Premium tiers are not worth it. Unless the PS5 is your first-ever PlayStation console, anything other than the PS Plus Essential makes little sense. I hope that Sony eventually delivers the higher quality of games it ‘promised’, otherwise I see no reason not to let your current subscription run its course and not renew.

Author

  • Sheharyar Ahmad

    An energy engineer by trade but an enthusiastic gamer by passion. Starting his gaming adventure with a GameCube, Sheharyar's love for narrative and action-based storytelling made him a PlayStation fan since the PS2 era. He has a love for a wide range of gaming genres ranging from Pokémon to inFamous to God of War.

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