Top PS Plus Extra games of 2023 — PS5’s biggest winners and losers

The top PS Plus Extra games of 2023 are those PS5 games that made a big splash with subscribers. Here's what you played and what you largely ignored.

Top PS Plus Extra games of 2023 — PS5’s biggest winners and losers
Lee Brady

Lee Brady

Published

2023 was the first full year PS Plus Extra had to impress us with its offerings, and by and large, it did just that. After all, we did see some of the best PS5 games, like Horizon Forbidden West, join the Game Catalog in 2023. That said, according to our exclusive data, there were also a ton of PS Plus games that went largely ignored over the course of the year. So, let's look at the top PS Plus Extra games of 2023 — and the bottom games, as well.

PS Plus Extra winners for 2023 include GTA V and Horizon Forbidden West

  • PS Plus Extra and Premium added a combined 200+ games to the service in 2023
  • The biggest PS Plus Extra game of 2023 was latecomer Grand Theft Auto V
  • The biggest PS Plus Premium game of 2023 was The Legend of Dragoon
Using our exclusive gameplay data from 3.2 million active PSN accounts (courtesy of our partnership with GameInsights), we've been keeping track of which PS Plus Extra and Premium games see the most attention after joining the service. After some adjustments to account for any fluctuation in sample size, we were left with active player data for over 130 PS Plus games in 2023.
At the very top of the pile, with a PS Plus player count 41.77% above the next best PS Plus Extra game, was Grand Theft Auto V — one of the late PS Plus December 2023 additions. No matter how old or how popular it gets, it seems people just can't get enough of GTA.

Just to be clear, we're only counting the new players each PS Plus Extra game saw after coming to the service — that's just how big the influx of PS Plus players was for GTA V. In a single week near the end of the year, GTA unseated the second-most popular game: Horizon Forbidden West. Since joining the service back in February 2023, Horizon has managed to hold tight to the top spot all year. Just goes to show there really is no beating Grand Theft Auto.

The top 10 biggest PS Plus Extra games of 2023

#1Grand Theft Auto V (December 2023)
#2Horizon Forbidden West (February 2023)
#3Sea of Stars (August 2023)
#4Back 4 Blood (January 2023)
#5Devil May Cry 5 (January 2023)
#6Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart (May 2023)
#7Teardown (November 2023)
#8Tchia (March 2023)
#9Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (June 2023)
#10Far Cry 6 (June 2023)

Looking over this list, it's important to note that not a single PS Plus Premium game made the top 10 PS Plus games of 2023. The best-performing PS Plus Premium game of 2023, The Legend of Dragoon, came in 16th overall when ranked next to this year's selection of PS Plus Extra titles. That shouldn't be too much of a shock — PS Plus Premium costs more and has fewer big titles hitting the service. We'll rank the top PS Plus Premium games of 2023 a little further down.
Glancing over the list, it's worth noting that Tchia, Sea of Stars, and Teardown were all day-one PS Plus Extra launches in 2023, and so each title got a sizeable boost in attention from their availability on the service. Sea of Stars and Teardownalso had staggered launches which may have helped boost numbers — check out our article on why PS Plus Extra should copy the Game Pass method of staggering launches for why this keeps proving effective.

Looking at the wider top 30, we can also see a few more day-one PS Plus Extra launches: Rogue Legacy 2 (#24) and Moving Out 2 (#29). These games didn't quite reach the same levels of success as Tchia and Sea of Stars, but they did see more attention than big titles like Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection (#35), Tekken 7 (#30), Borderlands 3 (#34), and another day-one PS Plus Extra exclusive: Humanity (#41).

Top 5 PS Plus Premium games of 2023

#1The Legend of Dragoon (February 2023)
#2Twisted Metal (July 2023)
#3Twisted Metal 2 (July 2023)
#4MediEvil Resurrection (August 2023)
#5Jet Moto (November 2023)

As for 2023's selection of PS Plus Premium games, the list remains fairly unaltered since we reported on Jet Moto's PS Plus debut player count back in November 2023. As we noted in that article, only seven PS Plus Premium games saw enough subscriber attention to be picked up by our data trackers* — the above five games, Destroy All Humans, and Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series.

Jet Moto PS Plus Premium

*Note: Only games with trophies were "eligible" for data tracking, and we were only able to gather active player data for games that made the top 200 most-played PS5 or PS4 games in any given week. So, that means only seven out of 20 eligible PS Plus Premium games were able to make the chart in 2023. Meanwhile, 125 of the 169 games we tracked for PS Plus Extra similarly made the top 200. We'll explore the games that failed to chart in more detail when discussing the "losers" of 2023 below.
Across the combined list of 133 PS Plus games we have active player data for, these seven PS Plus Premium games show a very scattered performance. Some titles, like The Legend of Dragoon (#16) and Twisted Metal (#44), ranked fairly well when ranked alongside the PS Plus Extra games of the year. Others, like Jet Moto (#76) and Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series (#118) performed considerably less well. Here's hoping Sony brings us some bigger PS Plus Premium winners as we go into 2024.

Lee

PS Plus Extra and Premium losers of 2023: PSP games and Star Ocean

  • Out of 10 eligible PSP games, only MediEvil Resurrection saw much PS Plus attention
  • Three out of four Star Ocean games were largely ignored by PS Plus subscribers
  • Tomb Raider, Wolfenstein, Deus Ex, and Dishonored all received a lukewarm reception
When we look at the worst-performing PS Plus Extra and Premium games of 2023, one trend sticks out clearer than the rest: players just don't seem all that fussed about playing PSP games on a PS5 or PS4. There were 16 PSP games added to PS Plus Premium in 2023, and of the 10 that were eligible for tracking, only MediEvil Resurrection (#62) gave us any active player data to work with.

PSP trophy lists

You might argue that this has more to do with the selection of PSP games being offered than the notion that people just aren't interested in PSP games. After all, two Ape Escape party game spin-offs and some inferior PSP ports of the Thrillville series are hardly headline-making additions for PS Plus Premium. That said, even a recognizable brand like Killzone Liberation failed to chart, suggesting subscribers just aren't that bothered one way or another.

Sticking with PS Plus Premium, it's also a shame to see Star Ocean's PS Plus takeover landing so poorly. Only one of the four games that arrived on PS Plus, Star Ocean The Divine Force (#71), charted at all. One might be tempted to presume the Star Ocean franchise just has no pull with the average PS5 or PS4 player, but that might not be exactly the case.

While it didn't make the top 50 biggest PS5 games of 2023, our data suggests that Star Ocean The Second Story R did have a fairly solid debut on PS5 and PS4 this year — as far as 2D JRPGs go at least. It didn't help that the three Star Ocean games that failed to chart were all locked behind PS Plus Premium, with only Star Ocean The Divine Force easily accessible via PS Plus Extra. Chances are that the series might have performed better had it not been so divided by Sony's tiering system.
Finally, it's interesting to note some of the bigger franchise names that did not make a big splash on PS Plus this year. Perhaps the most notable among these games were the three Tomb Raider reboot titles. The best performing game in the series, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, ranked #103 overall. Shadow of the Tomb Raider slipped further than that (#125), and Rise of the Tomb Raider failed to chart entirely.

A number of Bethesda franchises didn't do too great on PS Plus in 2023 either. While Doom Eternal (#32) and The Evil Within (#90) made something of an impression, Wolfenstein The New Order (unranked), Wolfenstein II The New Colossus (#110), and Wolfenstein Youngblood (#113) fared considerably worse.

Dishonored 2 (#122), Dishonored Definitive Edition (unranked), and Dishonored Death of the Outsider (unranked) did worse still. I'm not suggesting PS Plus subscribers are definitely apathetic to Bethesda now that Microsoft owns them, but it is certainly a strange correlation! The four retro Doom games that arrived on PS Plus Premium also failed to rank, so think of that what you will.
Lastly, let's pour one out for some of the big PS Plus Extra games that failed the rank among active PS Plus subscribers in 2023. Games like Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Thief, Oninaki, Lost Sphear, The Forgotten City, Final Fantasy Type 0 HD, Jett The Far Shore, The Talos Principle, and Vampire the Masquerade: Shadows of New York. I know I certainly played a bunch of these games in 2023, but unfortunately it seems I was in the minority a few times this year.

That's it for PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium in 2023! Were you surprised that so many of the best PS Plus Premium games failed to score a high spot on the chart? Are you baffled by the continuing supremacy of GTA V even after so many years? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below!
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Astro Bot), one eye on the past (PS1, PS2, and PS3 games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Sonic). A PlayStation fan for over 25 years, he loves replaying classic games via PS Plus.
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