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Snow sports enthusiasts snowboard, wingsuit and paraglide down a mountain in this screenshot from "Steep."

SALT LAKE CITY — Each month, Xbox Live Gold, PlayStation Plus and Twitch Prime members receive a selection of free games alongside online multiplayer access. Each platform usually offers its users a completely different crop of games for $59.99 a year, per program.

Xbox owners can expect to receive up to four games for Xbox One and Xbox 360 through the Games With Gold Program, and PlayStation fans are offered up to six titles for PlayStation 3, 4, Vita and VR. Amazon and the popular streaming platform Twitch also offer up to five free PC games for Prime subscribers.

Here’s a quick look at January's offerings, including the description, critical score, and ESRB rating of each title, as well as important information for parents regarding mature titles.

PlayStation Plus

PS Plus games are made available on the first Tuesday of every month and can be downloaded for free until the first Tuesday of the following month. Anything obtained through PS Plus will become inaccessible if your membership expires, but your free games will be waiting for you if you subscribe again.


Snow sports enthusiasts snowboard, wingsuit and paraglide down a mountain in this screenshot from "Steep."

Platform: PS4

Metacritic Score: 71

Description: “Steep” is an extreme snow sports game set in the Swiss Alps that allows players to seamlessly race and explore with one another. The game offers either a first or third-person perspective while skiing, snowboarding, paragliding and gliding in a wingsuit. Players can also take advantage of rewards offered by exploration, trick precision and crashes.

ESRB Rating: T for language

'Portal Knights'

Keen Games
A player-controlled wizard prepares a spell against a monster in "Portal Knights."

Platform: PS4

Metacritic Score: 71

Description: “Portal Knights” is a co-op sandbox RPG featuring building mechanics for up to four players. Each player can fill a classic fantasy role — including warriors, archers, wizards and knights — and gather resources from around their randomly-generated world to improve their odds fighting against the Hollow King and his minions.

ESRB Rating: E10+ for fantasy violence


Harmonix Music Systems
Four players guide their ships down their respective highways in "Amplitude."

Platform: PS3, PS4

Metacritic Score: 74

Description: “Amplitude” is a rhythm action game developed by Harmonix, the creators of "Guitar Hero," "Rock Band" and "Dance Central." Players must fly a space shuttle down tracks while tapping buttons in time to the music to build a high score. The game features a single-player mode set to a 15-track sci-fi concept album, multiplayer, leaderboards and standalone music tracks from other video game composers.

ESRB Rating: E

'Zone of the Enders HD Collection'

Two mechanical combat robots, or orbital frames, engage in combat in "Zone of the Enders HD Collection."

Platform: PS3

Metacritic Score: 73

Description: “Zone of the Enders HD Collection” is a remastered version of the Zone of the Enders series, two sci-fi mech action games originally released for the PlayStation 2. Produced by Metal Gear Solid and “Death Stranding” creator Hideo Kojima, “Zone of the Enders” places players in the cockpit of an orbital frame unit, a powerful mech suit designed to protect Mars’ colonizers from Earth’s abusive rulers.

ESRB Rating: T for violence, blood, partial nudity and mild language

'Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion'

Player-controlled combatants launch attacks against their foes in "Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion."

Platform: PS Vita, PS4

Metacritic Score: N/A

Description: “Fallen Legion” is a side-scrolling action RPG featuring hand-drawn graphics and an in-depth choice system that affects the outcome of the game. As the exiled general of a crumbling empire, players must travel across the continent to gather support for a bid at revenge against the empire.

ESRB Rating: E10+ for fantasy violence, mild blood, mild suggestive themes and language

'Super Mutant Alien Assault'

Cybernate, Fellow Traveller
Player-controlled security robots face off against aliens in "Super Mutant Alien Assault."

Platform: PS Vita

Metacritic Score: 67

Description: “Super Mutant Alien Assault” challenges players with defending humanity against a randomized assortment of alien invaders. As a security robot, players can unlock more devastating weapons and abilities to help improve their chances at victory across three galaxies.

ESRB Rating: T for violence and blood

Xbox Games With Gold

Microsoft’s free games are usually divided across both Xbox consoles, with two titles featured for Xbox One, and an additional two for Xbox 360. It’s important to note Xbox One owners can also download the Xbox 360 titles, thanks to backward compatibility. Any Xbox 360 games downloaded as an Xbox Live Gold subscriber will stay in your digital library, even if your subscription lapses.

Note: “Race the Sun” for Xbox One will continue to be available for free until Dec. 15.


Matt Makes Games Inc.
Madeleine stands beneath a golden feather powerup in "Celeste," an action platformer.

Platform: Xbox One

Date Available: Jan. 1-31

Metacritic Score: 94

Description: Climb Celeste Mountain as Madeleine, a young adult struggling with self-doubt and depression. “Celeste” offers a tough but fair challenge as it tasks players with jumping from platform to platform, while a single mistake can set you back to the beginning. “Celeste” also includes comprehensive assist options like slow-motion, extra jumps and invincibility to help players of all skill levels reach the top of the mountain, driving home the main theme that it’s OK to ask for help when you’re not OK.

ESRB Rating: E10+ for fantasy violence, alcohol reference and mild language

'WRC 6 FIA World Rally Championship'

Bigben Interactive
A vehicle races through an offroad checkpoint in "WRC 6."

Platform: Xbox One

Date Available: Jan. 16-Feb. 15

Metacritic Score: 68

Description: “WRC 6” is an off-road racing simulation featuring full-sized tracks and online play. Players will have to contend with track conditions and mechanical issues like engine failure, rain, and mud viscosity to come out on top.

ESRB Rating: E

'Lara Croft: Guardian of Light'

Square Enix
Lara Croft and a co-op partner attack a group of giant spiders in "Lara Croft: Guardian of Light."

Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox One

Date Available: Jan. 1-15

Metacritic Score: 85

Description: Work with a friend to help prevent the Mayan apocalypse as Lara Croft, the legendary Tomb Raider. “Guardian of Light” offers an arcade-oriented cooperative take on the classic Tomb Raider experience. Players will avoid traps, take down ancient undead enemies and raid tombs from a top-down perspective.

ESRB Rating: T for animated blood and violence

'Far Cry 2'

"Far Cry 2" is an open-world shooter set in a war-torn African state.

Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox One

Date Available: Jan. 16-Feb. 3

Metacritic Score: 91

Description: As a gun for hire in a fictional African state, players must balance the real-time threats of malaria with working for and overthrowing warlords in search of The Jackal, an arms dealer profiting off death and destruction. Players have the freedom to tackle objectives using a wide variety of weapons, vehicles and abilities, most of which lead to increasing levels of mayhem.

ESRB Rating: M for blood, drug reference, intense violence, sexual themes and strong language

What Parents Should Know: “Far Cry 2” is an open-world first-person shooter dealing with themes of warfare, betrayal and disease. The game features frequent violence, ranging from shootouts to stealth encounters. The game also includes some uses of the f- and s-words, as well as sexually oriented exclamations and insults.

Twitch Prime

Twitch usually offers five free PC games on the first of the month for Amazon/Twitch Prime subscribers. While the free games aren’t available on Mac, Windows users can access their games through the free Twitch Desktop App. To redeem the free games, log into Twitch, click on the crown in the top right corner, and claim the free game offer. Twitch also allows subscribers to send one friend a copy of each free game every month.

A free holiday bundle from indie publisher Devolver Digital is also available through Jan. 31. The seven-game package includes games like action movie sendup Broforce, the retro-inspired shooter STRAFE, and Crossing Souls, a supernatural adventure game set in the 1980s.

'Hyper Light Drifter'

Heart Machine
The Drifter rests near a fire in a post-apocalyptic landscape in "Hyper Light Drifter."

Metacritic Score: 84

Description: Set in a vibrant, neon post-apocalyptic landscape, “Hyper Light Drifter” is an action RPG inspired by "The Legend of Zelda" and "Diablo." Players step into the role of the Drifter, a warrior suffering from a terminal illness. Using simple melee and ranged combat, players defeat hordes of colorful enemies as they explore the world to discover a cure.

ESRB Rating: T for violence and blood


Osmotic Studios
"Orwell" places players in the role of administrator over a fictional security program tasked with protecting a nation's national security.

Metacritic Score: 77

Description: “Orwell” is a two-season episodic simulation game putting players in the role of a state operative searching for national security threats. Players can investigate communications from people of interest, analyze data and recommend further action to the authorities.

ESRB Rating: M for strong language


"Republique" tasks players with guiding Hope through a hostile facility using security cameras.

Metacritic Score: 72

Description: “République” is another espionage-themed thriller. Players step behind the security cameras of a mysterious government facility to help free Hope, a young woman held captive. Players can use different abilities to distract guards, manipulate footage and release information to freedom fighters interested in Hope’s freedom.

ESRB Rating: M for blood, strong language and violence

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What Parents Should Know: “République” features infrequent instances of violence when Hope, is caught by enemy guards. Gun violence is also depicted, and some corpses can be seen throughout the game world. The f-word is also heard in the game, according to the ESRB.

'Bomber Crew'

Runner Duck, Curve Digital
"Bomber Crew" tasks players with gathering a crew to outfit a bomber plane for dangerous missions.

Metacritic Score: 75

Description: “Bomber Crew” is a World War II strategy simulation starring the titular crew of a bomber plane. Players are tasked with selecting and managing the plane’s crew in order to maintain mission success and survival.

ESRB Rating: E10+ for fantasy violence and mild language