A list of the best PSN games for less than $10 can be a real lifesaver. After all, it’s been a long, hot summer and, if you’re doing it right, you’ll have frittered away your money on ice creams, portable fans, and super soakers, because how else do you stay cool in this infernal heat wave? You may have noticed that doesn’t leave you with much money to spend on video games, but luckily enough, the customary dry spell that hits the release schedule at this time of year, is the perfect opportunity to revisit some some classic games.
We’ve rounded up a collection of low cost PSN games coming in at under $10 that have the added bonus of not being too much of a time sink, letting you keep yourself free for bouts of impromptu summer fun. Or for buying that that PS Plus code, which’ll add another 12 months to your subscription. However you want to spend the cash. And if you want more, here are the all the free PS Plus games for this month!
Quiplash is a minigame from The Jackbox Party Pack that got its own release because it's one of the most fun in the bunch. That’s my working theory at least. As party games go, Quiplash provides the perfect arena for you and your friends to pit your humour and wit against one another; the game supports up to eight players, with two competing at a time to fill in the blank tail end of a quip. Everyone votes on the answers, and the most crowd-pleasing answer wins.
As you might expect, things can get a bit raucous with an anything-goes set up that relies solely on tickling the funny bone of your - let’s be honest - wine soaked gathering of friends, and an audience of thousands who can watch the festivities and vote for their favourite answers on jackbox.tv.
A PS2 game that launched in 2003, Japanese survival horror title Siren had some interesting mechanics to bring to the genre at the time. During the course of a story spanning three days, players step into the shoes of a total of 10 characters, and plays through their window of time during a Lovecraftian ritual taking place in a secluded village.
The residents have been turned into the minions of an ancient and newly awakened god, and are making preparations for its arrival while mopping up the last of the survivors who’ve escaped a brainwashing. With the use of the sight-jacking mechanic to get a view of the surrounding NPCs line of sight, players are encouraged to use stealth to slip past to safety. The goings on in one character’s story can affect the others in a butterfly effect, but they’re played out of chronological sequence to make things interesting. It’s somewhat dated, but with 1080p up-rendering and the addition of trophies, it’s a must for fans of Japanese horror.
8. Heroes of the Monkey Tavern
A scaled back Legend of Grimrock that’s easy to pick up and play, the Heroes of Monkey Tavern offers up an extra lite version of the 3D dungeon crawler that nevertheless provides a fun romp for your plucky party of four.
After drinking all of their money in a local tavern - Monkey Tavern, more specifically - the band heads out to fill their pockets with riches to finance yet more rounds at the bar. Battling your way through the eight floors is satisfyingly tough at times, and there enough hidden rooms and treasure tucked away in the stone passages to keep you on your toes on your way up to the boss fight, which is a bit of a damp squib in the confrontation department. But at a snip at under $10, poking around this monster-filled dungeon with a squad of drunkards masquerading as heroes is an opportunity not to be missed.
7. Hatoful Boyfriend
A dating simulator set in a school is par for the course when it comes to visual novels, but PigeoNation Inc. ramped things up a notch with the player character being the only human in a school full of birds, looking for love in the feathery embrace of her fellow students.
The path to wooing your avian amore isn’t easy, and neither is choosing your beau from the menagerie of love interests available. Replaying the title to live out your romance with multiple mates unlocks the Bad Boys Love ending which sheds some light on why a human girl is at an academy housing sapient pigeons, quails, and doves who are maintaining the infrastructure of society. It gets darker than you’d expect for a light, fluffy sim about finding love, and at this price, you can’t afford not to find out.
Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure game that first launched in 2009 on PC that follows the journey of an adorable robot down on his luck after being unceremoniously dumped in a scrapyard. Armed with nothing but your wits, it’s up to you to guide the lonely figure through the metallic city of Machinarium, foiling plots and attempting to avoid capture.
The puzzles are set against the backdrop of a gorgeous hand-drawn world that’s accompanied by a charming soundtrack. Your scrappy tin man isn’t entirely alone during his travels,encountering the denizens of the city that make up a the cast of quirky characters. A charismatic title with head-scratching puzzles, Machinarium holds up well almost a decade after its initial launch, and is worth dropping ten bucks on.
5. Thomas Was Alone
Another oldie-but-goodie, Thomas Was Alone is an indie puzzle platformer from developer Mike Bithell. The player takes control of a series of shapes that represent a number of AI, and navigate them through increasingly complex 2D environments that make up a computer mainframe.
British comedian, Danny Wallace, serves as the voice of the narrator who keeps the player abreast of what Thomas - an unassuming red rectangle - and the rest of the AI are thinking and feeling. Thomas is joined by more and more AI throughout the game, represented by other shapes in different sizes, that have unique abilities that are, of course, perfectly suited to carrying out specific tasks. If it’s not already part of your library, now’s the perfect time to make it so.
4. Pix the Cat
If you’re after something fun and a little bit mindless, Pix the Cat will be right up your street. Borrowing its gameplay from Snake, the title features a cat that finds itself being stalked by a growing number of eggs that hatch into ducklings. The fluffy critters can be banked intermittently, but the longer you persevere with a train of chirping chicks in your wake, the higher your combo score will be.
There are a handful of modes to wade through, including the comparatively pared down Nostalgia mode, which evokes the art style of early Mickey Mouse and 1930s cartoons, and has an effervescent musical track to boot. Nostalgia mode is worth unlocking, even though it’s a bit of a slog to get there at a requirement of 1 million points, but the art style alone is worth it.
3. Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1
Life is Strange: Before the Storm is the prequel to Life is Strange, and is split over three episodes. You can pick up the first for just $6, and the final two can be bought together for $11.99. Set before Max Caulfield arrived at Arcadia Bay, Before the Storm gives us a peek at Rachel Amber and Chloe Price’s friendship, and is less puzzle-centric than Life is Strange. It fleshes out the narrative and builds on the relationships of the characters, but the supernatural ability to rewind time should you start second-guessing your choices isn’t present with the absence of Max.
Ultimately knowing the fates of the characters - if you’ve played the first game - may cast a shadow over your enjoyment of the prequel, but you should at least give the first chapter a try for such a low price.
2. Goat Simulator
From the minds of Coffee Stain Studios came this oddball title back in 2014. A physics-based world of nonsense awaits, with players taking control of a goat that meanders through a town causing havoc, running amok, and generally causing mischief.
You can rack up points by trashing the place, or performing tricks using the various environmental set-ups designed to give you a hand, like a trail of trampolines that will bounce your goat across a large portion of the level. There’s no story to motivate you on your travels, but if a floppy goat, exaggerated physics, and a stretchy sticky tongue that can latch onto passing planes and anything else in your general vicinity isn’t enough to tempt you, nothing will.
Playdead’s debut title showcased on the Xbox back in 2010, and the puzzle-platformer released to critical acclaim, so if you’ve spent the last eight years under a shrubbery and somehow missed out on playing it, it would be criminal to miss out on snapping it up now.
With a moody charcoal palette sketching out a desolate, barren world, Limbo sets up a bare bones narrative of a nameless boy waking up in forest. On a mission to find his sister he encounters hostile, feral humans, deviously fatal traps, and nightmarish creatures determined to tear him apart for the sheer fun of it. The disquieting levels are home to some positively devilish puzzles, so you can give your brain a workout and catch up on a title that was mired in praise at launch at the same time.
Looking for more? Here are the best PS4 games currently available to play!