One of the best PS4 games you never played is free on PlayStation Plus — play it right now

A screenshot from Dreams on PS4
(Image credit: Media Molecule/Sony)

The PlayStation Plus monthly games for August 2023 have been confirmed via the PlayStation Blog, and while PGA Tour 2K23 has been given the headline slot, the real must-play title in this trio of games is Dreams.  

The latest lineup is rounded out by the acclaimed indie action game Death’s Door, but I'd argue that Dreams is the game that subscribers should download first now that the titles are available to all PlayStation Plus accounts at any tier level. 

This criminally overlooked PS4 game never quite found the audience it deserved, and earlier this year it was confirmed that developer Media Molecule will be ending ongoing support for the title in September. Which came as a real blow to its very small, but seriously passionate community. 

However, its inclusion in the PlayStation Plus monthly lineup, a perk available to subscribers on the Essential, Extra and Premium membership tiers, is a chance for Dreams to have one last hurrah, and maybe it’ll finally receive the recognition it so richly deserves. This is definitely a PlayStation Plus freebie you’ll want to check out, especially as it's fully playable on PS5 as well as last-gen hardware. 

Why you should play Dreams on PlayStation Plus

A screenshot taken from Dreams on PS4

(Image credit: Media Molecule/Sony)

Released in February 2020, Dreams is essentially an ultra-powerful suite of creation tools at its core. Creative types can let their imagination run wild creating everything from entire games to short films or sculptures. If you can dream it up, you can probably make it in Dreams. 

Yes, the tools at your disposal are pretty overwhelming out of the box but there are loads of tutorials to help get you up to speed, and you can also download models and assets created by other players to use as a starting point to build upon.     

I’ll be honest, I’ve been playing Dreams since launch, and in all that time, I’ve created pretty much nothing (I've never even uploaded anything to the Dreamverse). That’s because Dreams also caters to players who prefer to experience other people’s creations rather than build their own. Visit the DreamSurfing portion of the game and you can browse thousands of user creations that range from remarkably impressive to downright broken, sometimes the latter are the most fun! 

There are now more than three years of creations to discover within Dreams, and you’ll find everything from platformers that tip their hat to a certain Italian plumber to emotionally stirring audiovisual experiences. You can also find games that span pretty much every genre from racers to shooters. You’ll be shocked at what budding creators have built with the tools provided. And there's also a multi-part adventure created by the Media Molecule team called Art's Dream that is well worth playing. 

To coincide with Dreams hitting PlayStation Plus, the developers at Media Molecule have released a new experience described as a "high-score chasing, nostalgic trip down memory lane." Called Tren, it's essentially a racing game where you control a model train zooming across a playset. And, because this is Dreams, you can even create your own levels after enjoying the 95-tracks already crafted by the MM team. 

I should stress that Dreams isn’t a traditional game that offers a structured campaign or set of multiplayer modes, it’s really more of a platform for creatives to display their talents to the world. But this makes it ideal for enjoying whenever you have a little bit of time to fill. You can DreamSurf for even just 15 minutes and experience a small handful of creations in that time. Or you can sit down for a longer session and really dedicate yourself to learning the intricacies of its creation tools. How you experience Dreams is entirely up to you, and both playing Dreams and building your own are rewarding in very different ways. 

There’s no denying that Dreams won’t be for everybody, but at the very least, it’s worth giving a shot, especially now that it’s included for free with PlayStation Plus. Even if you don’t have the desire to create anything yourself, you might just be pleasantly surprised at all the ingenious things that the Dreams community has constructed over the past few years.  

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.