The PSN is already back up in partial capacity, but when the PSN Store is back in full swing, Sony will be kicking off a special Welcome Back program for all the Playstation fans that have stuck with Sony through thick and thin. Among the many perks, the most notable is easily the free games on offer for both PS3 and PSP, of which you can pick two of for each console. A cynic might think that what Sony might offer would be low end games no one would want, but list is full of great titles that, frankly, you should own already anyway. For those of us that have missed out on these titles, this is a wonderful opportunity to play some great games for free. Now, join Jrow, Steev and myself as we review what’s being offered, give our recommendations, and tell you what we’ll be downloading our selves.

PS3 Games

Amuro: What a fantastic game to offer up to the Playstation faithful. Yes it has been out for a while, and yes the sequel is right around the corner, but that only means you have very little time to wait for the sequel if you end up liking it. And I can almost certainly guarantee that you will. I own this game already, and I loved it both times I played through (once for hero, and one for antihero). I’m eager for the sequel to say the least. While I won’t be downloading this game out of the ones on offer, to anyone that doesn’t already own it, this is the definitive must download of the program. Now NO PS3 owner has an excuse for not playing this fantastic game.

Jrow: As I mentioned on Ep. 86, what a perfect way to promote inFamous 2 with a free download of the first inFamous game. What if Nico Bellic (of GTA IV fame) had lightning powers? That’s what making your way around inFamous’ world would be like. Cole’s powers are just so damn awesome to put to use as you’ll be using electricity to float, grind power lines, shield yourself and bring down the thunder on your enemies. The story is mostly not very important (that is, until the surprise ending), and the karma system is too black-and-white for me, but the fun of shooting bursts of lightning at baddies is just so much fun. I actually bought and then traded in inFamous since I didn’t expect to get any more mileage out of the game, but now that it’s gonna be free and also that my interest in inFamous 2 had piqued a month or two ago, I’ll be making this one of the two freebies.

steev: If there was one game that I would recommend out of this list, it would be inFamous, well that is if you don’t already own inFamous. I rented inFamous last year and was completely taken into the game. When it came out I was interested in getting it, but due to other titles I put this one on the back burner. After renting it, I really wanted to buy it. However, I ended up putting it on my backlog hoping to find in a bargain bin, so imagine my surprise when I will be able to get it for free.  While I enjoyed the game, it doesn’t do anything revolutionary in my opinion. It is a typical open world game with missions that are fairly repetitive. There is a karma system, but it amounts to very little in effecting the outcome of the game or how you play it. Of course, none of that really detracts from how good the game is. inFamous 2 comes out on June 7th so if you haven’t experienced inFamous before, right now is the perfect opportunity.

Amuro: I own LittleBigPlanet, and while I can attest to fact that it is a great game, I also attest that LBP2 is a better game. In fact, the major draw of LBP, the user generated content, all carried over to the sequel. That leaves the story levels of LBP1 the only draw to the game. LBP1 and inFamous share the distinction of being the only full retail PS3 games available, but you’d still be better off picking from the other three games if you don’t already own them. Do yourself a favor and pick up the utterly superior LBP2 if you don’t have it. The only way I can recommend making LBP  one of your two picks is if you already own 3 of the other games.

Jrow: LBP is best if you’re going to put the design suite to use. As a platformer game, you’ll like some of the main story levels and check out the occasional user-made level, but interest will be lost rather quickly; the game is fantastic, but speaking for myself, lacks a true replayability component. The one issue with LBP as a freebie is that LBP2 is now available and that game is everything LBP was and quite a lot more. LBP1 is a good game, but if you use up a freebie coupon on it, you’re very likely going to end up wanting LBP2, which is why I ultimately suggest passing on LBP1. inFamous is story-based, so seeing that first game is important, whereas with LBP, it is not.

steev: I played LBP not long after it came out and while it definitely is a good game that does things that you don’t find anywhere else, LBP is now not worth owning anymore. The reason being that through various DLC’s and LBP2 coming out earlier this year, you will not be able to play some of the best aspects of LBP1. Things like the paint-ball guns and the new editing modes makes LBP an obsolete game. If you don’t have it and are interested in playing it, then I recommend looking into getting LBP2 and forgo trying out this game. I will say that if it also includes the expansions, which I doubt, then it might be worth getting, but the likely hood of that is slim to none.

Amuro: I have to say that my options were limited for the PS3 titles on offer since I already own 3 out of the five, so Dead Nation is an instant pick for me. That said, what I know about the game is very little, but I’ve heard good buzz. I’m just pleased to be getting something new for free.

Jrow: I’ve heard some good buzz about Dead Nation in the past, so when I saw this was a freebie title, I quickly considered this one. It’s a top-down shooter that visually looks quite appealing, sounds intense and has seemingly a bunch of weapons and options; almost like a 3rd-person Left4Dead game. If you like Black Ops’ Dead Ops mode, but want something more fully-featured, I think Dead Nation is a great bet; it along with inFamous are going to be my choices when the store comes back up and I can grab me some games.

steev: Dead Nation is the newest out of the games available for free. It was released last year and has an interesting way of tracking stats. It takes the total number of zombies killed for each country and ranks them accordingly. That is a brillant way to get people to play more because it gets players who want to make their nation the biggest zombie killing nation to play a lot more. That might be a bit gimmicky, but Dead Nation has more to offer. It is a top down shooter that was developed for PSN and unlike other top down shooters, this isn’t just a survival game. It is broken down into chapters and has a character leveling up system. There is also a co-op system in Dead Nation. You can play online or offline with a friend which should add to the excitement. This is a strong contender for the second game I will choose.

Amuro: One of the very first PSN titles worth owning, Super Stardust HD is still one of the definitive PSN titles. It is an addictive top down, dual analog shooter with funky beats and amazing graphics.It has had a plethora of expansions since its debut, and now even features a 3D mode for those fortunate (and wealthy) enough to own a 3D TV. This is a game I would recommend that anyone purchase as soon as they buy a PS3 and now the select FOOLS (yeah I said it) that owned a PS3 and didn’t already own this gem have no excuse. Where as inFamous gets my top recommendation out of the five on offer, Super Stardust HD gets a close second only because it’s a PSN title that was already pretty cheap to begin with. However the amount of fun to be had with this game for the price of free? It’s almost criminal.

Jrow: SS HD is, in my opine, the safest bet when it comes to choosing a freebie game. If you don’t have SS HD already, do make it a point to strongly consider this as one of the two freebies you get. I already own it, and I will say that it is an excellent dual-stick shooter with different weapons and is very challenging at times and offers up a lot of replayability. PS3 doesn’t have Geometry Wars, but SS HD is an awesome, if not better alternative to Geo Wars.

steev: This is one of the first arcade titles I bought for my PS3. It is a really fun arcade shooter that was made by the same guys who made Dead Nation. As an asteroid type arcade shooter it really is one of the best on the market. As fun as the game is, there really isn’t much too it. Like typical arcade shooters you pick up power ups and can cycle through various weapons depending on the enemies. It is a solid choice however if you are looking for that type of game because it does it exceedingly well.

Amuro: And we finally get to my second pick. Again, this is one of my picks due to owning three out of the five already, but I’m not disappointed in the least. For the price of free you get a great looking, fast paced racing game. While there are other games I would recommend over this one, it’s certainly not a bad pick, especially if you’re a fan of the futuristic racer.

Jrow: I respect Wipeout as a series that can provide a good sense of speed, has very good level design and has a good dose of techno music, but there’s something about the past couple of PSP games I’ve purchased that my interest dwains quickly on them. I think it may be something in the gameplay modes, but I personally can’t keep up playing a Wipeout game without getting disinterested in booting it up, with the disc collecting dust later on.

steev: If it wasn’t for this game, Dead Nation would be an easy choice for download. I have only played the demo and it was a long time ago, but from what I remember it was a game that had excellent gameplay and visuals to match. There is a ton of content to unlock as well. I don’t own any racing games and this is one of the best arcade racers out there. It might be easy to dismiss, but it really is a game worth checking out. At the very least I hope their is a demo I can try again to make sure I don’t pass by a game that might be a lot more fun than most might expect from it.

PSP Games

Amuro: This will be my first pick. Liberation is a bridge of sorts between the first Killzone and the second, and it deviates from the standard 1st person fare to a 3rd person viewpoint. I recommend it to fans of action and Killzone.

Jrow: Killzone is a franchise that I really really like when I first play it, and two weeks afterwards, I’m done with it. This iteration of Killzone came after the first game and generally did well with reviewers and is a 3rd-person shooter (thankfully not 1st). Considering that I already have LBP and that Pursuit Force doesn’t interest me, Killzone: Liberation will be one of my PSP pickups.

Amuro: Already having a copy of the PS3 version, I don’t see myself needing a portable version of this game, even for free. However, if you’re a big fan of kart racing and the Play Create Share philosophy, you could do worse.

Jrow: I’ve played this on the PS3, and it very much is LBP meets Mario Kart. Customize your character, your kart, make Rainbow Road; you can try your best to make Mario Kart out of this game with Nathan Drake or Kratos riding around in them. This is one of my choices of freebie PSP games to download.

Amuro: Pursuit Force is a bit of an outlier in the line up for the PSP games on offer. With big names like LittleBigPlanet and Killzone up for offer, the only way I’d recommend Pursuit Force is if you already had the other three games.

Jrow: I wouldn’t have known of Pursuit Force if not for this offer. Gameplay I’ve seen on it looks like it could be some alright action, but the presentation value just isn’t good enough for me to consider it over Killzone: Liberation.

Amuro: As a game that I would have recommended even if it wasn’t free, LBP PSP is a top tier choice for this promotion. There’s plenty of DLC content for it out now, and it keeps the feel and fun of the original. This will be my second choice on PSP for sure.

Jrow: I already own this game, and would maybe put it in my Top 2 choices to recommend for the freebie deal. “Play Create Share” still applies to the PSP version, it’s as fun as it is on the PS3, and there’s plenty of additional content aside from user-created levels. There is no LBP2 on the PSP at the moment, so recommending this for the PSP is much easier for me to do.