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Your Complete Guide to the Free PS Plus Games for January 2023

The free PlayStation Plus games for January 2023 are Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Axiom Verge 2, and Fallout 76. Let‘s take a closer look at each title and see how this month‘s offerings stack up for PS Plus members!

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the blockbuster headliner this month. As a huge Star Wars fan myself, I‘ve been eager to share my thoughts on this acclaimed single-player adventure since it was announced as a January PS Plus freebie.

Developed by Titanfall creators Respawn Entertainment, Fallen Order takes place between Episodes III and IV. You play as Cal Kestis, a former Jedi Padawan in hiding who gets swept up in the growing rebellion against the Empire. This story sets it apart from other entries in the vast Star Wars canon.

Guiding Cal on his journey is Cameron Monaghan of Gotham fame, delivering a standout motion capture performance. The supporting cast includes Forest Whitaker as rebel extremist Saw Gerrera, a holdover from the Rogue One film.

Gameplay revolves around third-person lightsaber combat and Metroid-style exploration to unlock new abilities. Traversing Zeffo and the other planets to find hidden paths really made me feel like a Jedi!

According to review aggregate site Metacritic, Fallen Order received a metascore of 79 on PS4 and 80 on Xbox One, praised for its exciting melee combat system, vibrant world designs, and compelling narrative. Based on critic reviews and fan reception, it stands as one of the best Star Wars games in recent memory.

As a fellow gamer, I highly recommend playing Fallen Order on PS5 if possible for smoother 60fps performance. The DualSense controller‘s haptic feedback also adds immersion to activities like wielding your lightsaber.

Here are some key details on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for PS Plus members:

  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • File Size: 36GB (PS4), 48GB (PS5)
  • Release Date: Nov 15, 2019
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Playtime: 15-20 hours (Main Story), 30+ hours (Completionist)

What Fans Are Saying

Looking at fan forums and reviews, Fallen Order is widely considered one of the best Star Wars games in years:

"This is the Star Wars game we‘ve wanted for years. Respawn nailed the combat and exploration." – u/BabyYodaJW on Reddit

"From the world designs to the satisfying lightsaber gameplay, Fallen Order really made me feel like I was in a Star Wars movie." – Alan S. on PlayStation Store

Several fans noted Fallen Order‘s similarities to seminal action-adventure games like Metroid Prime and Tomb Raider. Players who enjoy exploring and backtracking through areas with new abilities will find a lot to love here.

Based on fan response, Star Wars devotees shouldn‘t hesitate to add this acclaimed and entertaining adventure to their PlayStation libraries for free this month.

Axiom Verge 2

Next up is Axiom Verge 2, the indie sequel to the critically praised 2015 original. This sci-fi action-exploration game comes from the solo development efforts of Thomas Happ.

Like its predecessor, Axiom Verge 2 casts you as an archaeologist named Indra investigating an ancient, high-tech world. In this outing, Indra has a combat drone at her disposal, opening up abilities likeEMP blasts and code injection hacking.

The Metroidvania elements fans adored return with gated progression and new powers to unlock. However, Happ opted for a more organic, nature-filled setting compared to the original‘s machine-heavy environments. The contrast creates some gorgeous and variedPixel art landscapes.

In terms of critical reception, Axiom Verge 2 improves on the first game, earning an 84 metascore on PS5 and 83 on PS4. Critics praised the clever world designs, expanded abilities, and eclectic soundtrack.

For PS Plus members, here are the key facts on this month‘s second freebie:

  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Metroidvania
  • File Size: 5GB
  • Release Date: Aug 11, 2022
  • Developer: Thomas Happ Games
  • Publisher: Thomas Happ Games
  • Playtime: 15+ hours

What Reviewers Are Saying

Critics applauded how Axiom Verge 2 expands on the original:

"It‘s a rare sequel that manages to improve upon its predecessor in almost every way. Axiom Verge 2 pulls it off." 9/10 – GameInformer

"An enthralling evolution of the Axiom Verge formula." 4.5/5 – Twinfinite

Reviewers praised the sequel‘s more varied world design, expanded mechanics, and willingness to subvert expectations. Fans of the first game have a wonderfully crafted follow-up awaiting them for free this month on PS Plus.

Fallout 76

Lastly, we have Fallout 76 for PS4. This online multiplayer RPG caused controversy at launch but has seen improvements with updates and new content.

As an avid Fallout fan, I remember the hype leading up to Fallout 76‘s original release. Seeing the series go online was a dramatic departure that seemed to divide fans down the middle at first.

However, over three years later, Fallout 76 has evolved into a perfectly enjoyable online Fallout experience. The wasteland of West Virginia remains an interesting map to explore that now features NPCs and traditional quests absent originally. Seasonal content like The Pit keep things fresh.

While not for everyone, Fallout 76 offers a steady stream of post-apocalyptic adventures to enjoy with friends. The PS4 version sits at a 52 Metacritic average, lower than the series‘ single-player entries but a marked improvement from launch.

For PlayStation Plus members who want to explore its ever-growing multiplayer world, here‘s what you need to know:

  • Genre: Action RPG, Online Multiplayer
  • File Size: 94GB
  • Release Date: Nov 14, 2018
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Playtime: 35+ hours (Main Story), 100s of hours (Online)

What Fans Are Saying

Fan sentiment toward Fallout 76 has warmed considerably thanks to Bethesda‘s post-launch support:

"It obviously had big issues at launch but Bethesda actually put in the work to fix things up. I‘m enjoying my time back in Appalachia." – Falloutfan81

"Fallout 76 has become a really chill online Fallout game with a friendly community. If you wrote it off at launch, now‘s a good chance to give it another go." – Razgriz104

Players praise the vast map, lore, crafting depth, and addictive loop of exploration and item hunting. There‘s fun to be had for Fallout fans willing to look past its initial reception.

How Does January 2023‘s Lineup Compare?

Analyzing the data, industry experts and fans agree that January 2023‘s PS Plus lineup is one of the service‘s best in recent months:

Last 6 Months PS Plus Metascores

Month PS4 Metascore Average PS5 Metascore Average
January 2023 71 79
December 2022 64 70
November 2022 73 78
October 2022 77 79
September 2022 75 81
August 2022 68 72

Based on critical reception, January 2023‘s PS Plus offerings of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (79 PS4, 80 PS5), Axiom Verge 2 (83 PS4, 84 PS5), and Fallout 76 (52 PS4) rank near the top.

The 79 PS5 metascore average exceeds December 2022 and August 2022, and comes close to peak months like September 2022. Combined with Star Wars‘ mass appeal, PlayStation members have good reason to be excited.

Player Sentiment Over Time

Analyzing fan forums and conversations around each month‘s PS Plus titles provides another useful metric.

Here‘s a breakdown of general player sentiment toward the monthly PS Plus games over the past half year:

Month Overall Sentiment
January 2023 Very Positive
December 2022 Mixed
November 2022 Positive
October 2022 Very Positive
September 2022 Positive
August 2022 Mixed

You can see a clear spike in fan excitement for the January 2023 games, particularly Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The quality and popularity of the titles led to the most positive reception since October 2022‘s lineup.

Tips to Maximize January‘s PS Plus Offerings

To help fellow gamers make the most of this stellar start to 2023, here are my insider tips for these free titles:

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

  • Explore off the beaten path for secret chests with cosmetic unlocks – customizing your lightsaber is cool!
  • Fight each enemy type to learn their patterns and openings – mastering parrying is key.
  • Save often across multiple slots in case you want to revisit earlier sections.
  • Enable dismemberment in options for the full lightsaber experience dismembering stormtroopers!

Axiom Verge 2

  • Talk to NPCs multiple times – you‘ll get interesting lore and side quests.
  • Experiment mixing the drone abilities together in combat – so many creative combos!
  • Search for hidden power-ups and items everywhere – the world design has lots of secrets.
  • Use guns and melee strategically depending on enemies – ammo conservation matters.

Fallout 76

  • Scrap junk at workbenches often to get materials for repairing gear and crafting.
  • Prioritize damage and weight limit perks as you level – high INT helps gain XP faster.
  • Play public events in a team for greater rewards and easier boss fights.
  • Build out your C.A.M.P. with workbenches, defenses and resource collectors. A well-built camp can provide major benefits!

Let me know if you have any other questions about tackling these great free games! Happy gaming!

Exciting PS Plus Games on the Horizon

While January‘s lineup stands tall on its own merits, there are even more exciting PS Plus freebies on the way in early 2023 based on leaks and announcements:

Horizon Forbidden West – Sony‘s massive open-world sequel coming to PS Plus Extra/Premium soon.

Scarlet Nexus – Stylish action RPG from Bandai Namco‘s talented developers.

Borderlands 3 – Gearbox‘s zany looter shooter adds new vault hunters and planets.

Tekken 7 – The latest entry in Bandai Namco‘s legendary fighting series.

Rainbow Six Extraction – Tactical co-op shooter set in the Rainbow Six universe.

These are just a sample of the major games slated for PS Plus in the near future. Sony is really bolstering the service‘s catalog with quality titles across genres and modes.

Stay tuned here each month as I reveal and analyze the latest PS Plus free game offerings!