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The Ultimate Guide to Free PS5 Games for January 2023

As an avid gamer and streaming enthusiast, I‘m always on the lookout for ways to access new games for free or at a discount. With the new year kicking off, PlayStation has an exciting lineup of free PS5 games available in January 2023 through PlayStation Plus (PS Plus).

PlayStation Plus Essential Free Games

The essential tier of PS Plus provides members with online multiplayer gaming, exclusive discounts, cloud storage, and 2-3 free monthly games to download. The free PS5 games you can grab right now with an active PS Plus Essential subscription are:

  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Axiom Verge 2
  • Fallout 76

I‘m particularly excited about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – this action-adventure game received overwhelmingly positive reviews when it launched in 2019, with praise for its compelling story, satisfying combat, and Metroid-inspired exploration. Set between Episodes III and IV, you play as Cal Kestis, a former Jedi padawan hiding from the Empire after Order 66. As Cal, you‘ll travel to various planets, master lightsaber combat and Force abilities, and uncover the mysteries of the fallen Jedi Order.

According to review aggregator Metacritic, Fallen Order has a Metascore of 79 based on 109 critic reviews, making it the best-reviewed Star Wars game in years. Gamers seem to agree – on Playstation.com, Fallen Order has a 9/10 user score based on over 11,500 ratings.

Axiom Verge 2 is another strong title – it‘s a metroidvania-style action-adventure praised for its creative world design and abilities. And Fallout 76 brings the epic open world of the Fallout series online. Even if you‘ve played it before, the Wastelanders expansion added NPCs and quests, enhancing the experience.

These three games are free to download and play for all PS Plus Essential subscribers through January 2023. Once claimed, they‘re yours to keep as long as you remain a member.

PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium Free Games

For gamers wanting more, upgrading to PlayStation Plus Extra or Premium gives you access to an on-demand library of 400+ games to download and play. This "Netflix-style" gaming library spans PlayStation 4 and 5 titles – you can download anything in the catalog at no additional cost.

Sony adds new games to the PS Plus Extra/Premium library each month. Exciting additions for January 2023 include:

  • Dead Space Remake – A beautifully remade version of the classic 2008 survival horror game, now with stunning next-gen visuals and audio. It currently has an 86 Metacritic score based on 103 reviews.
  • The Quarry – This campy teen horror adventure game from the makers of Until Dawn has an enjoyable multiplayer mode. It has a Metascore of 71 based on 145 critics.
  • Resident Evil 7 – The acclaimed 2017 survival horror entry that reinvigorated the franchise. Metascore of 86 based on 105 reviews.
  • Resident Evil Village – The 2021 Game of the Year winner and sequel to RE7, featuring epic boss battles against vampire lady Dimitrescu. 89 Metascore from 106 critics.
  • Mortal Kombat 11 – The latest installment in the legendary fighting game series, with gory Fatalities and a fun story mode. Metascore of 82 based on 134 reviews.

Premium members also get access to limited-time game trials allowing you to play new big-budget games for a few hours – great for sampling titles before buying them. January additions include Horizon Forbidden West, Cyberpunk 2077, and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.

With so many choices across various genres like horror, action, adventure, RPGs, and fighting games, the PS Plus Extra and Premium game catalog is an incredible value – like Netflix for gaming.

Current Stats on Monthly PS Plus Users

As of November 2022, PlayStation has reported having 45.4 million monthly active PS Plus subscribers across PlayStation 4 and 5.

This makes PS Plus one of the largest gaming subscription services, behind Xbox Game Pass (over 25 million subscribers as of January 2022) and ahead of Nintendo Switch Online (over 32 million subscribers).

With PS Plus Essential required for online multiplayer on PS4 and PS5, PlayStation has done an excellent job incentivizing subscriptions through its monthly free games and on-demand catalogs. These free game offerings give all PS Plus members, from Essential to Premium, extra value each month.

Ongoing Free-to-Play PS5 Games

In addition to the monthly PS Plus free games, there are a number of free-to-play titles that you can download and play on PS5 at no cost – no PS Plus required!

Here are some of the most popular F2P games right now:

  • Fortnite – The world-conquering battle royale shooter needs no introduction. Constant updates and crossover events keep Fortnite feeling fresh.
  • Apex Legends – This well-polished battle royale from Respawn Entertainmentadds unique hero characters with abilities.
  • Destiny 2 – The base Destiny 2 experience is now F2P including story missions, strikes, and PvP. There is paid DLC for newer expansions.
  • Warframe – An excellent third-person action RPG where you control spacefaring ninjas called Warframes. Deep customization and progression.
  • Rocket League – The hugely fun soccer game with rocket-powered vehicles. Easy to pick up and play, difficult to master.

Multiplayer games like these offer hundreds of hours of enjoyment without having to spend a dime. Between the free monthly PS Plus games and F2P titles, you‘ll have plenty of gaming options on your PS5 this January and beyond without impacting your wallet.

How to Claim Your Free PS5 Games

To recap, here are the steps for claiming your free games with an active PlayStation Plus membership:

  1. On your PS5‘s home screen or game library, go to the PlayStation Plus hub icon.
  2. Select "Free Games" – this tab shows the current month‘s available titles.
  3. Click "Add to Library" individually on each free game you want. This "purchases" the game and adds it to your library.
  4. Once in your library, select "Download" to install each title on your PS5 and start playing!

Be sure to come back to the Free Games section monthly to claim the newest PS Plus game offerings. Have fun gaming in 2023! Let me know if you want any recommendations on must-play PS5 titles. Happy new year!