The next-generation console launch is getting closer by the day, and it’s becoming more and more obvious that they won’t have as many new games as we’d all like. This is thanks in large part to the global pandemic, and maybe also part to poor planning on everyone else’s part. This means that the games getting a next-gen upgrade might actually be some of the first we play on the new consoles.
CD Projekt Red today announced The Witcher 3 would be given a free next-generation upgrade to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, making it the latest game from the current-gen consoles that’ll be making that leap. Which means now’s as good a time as any to see which games will be playable all over again after the new consoles hit store shelves.
The Witcher 3 is coming to the next generation!
— The Witcher (@witchergame) September 4, 2020
Note that, assuming the current word on backwards compatibility is true, most games will technically be playable on the consoles when they release. I’m talking here about the games getting upgraded versions on the PS5 and XSX. Note that the rumors of Skyrim being remastered again for the new consoles have thus far proven to be untrue, to my relief. I’ll also not include the games, like Marvel’s Avengers and Cyberpunk 2077 that are coming out for current-gen only shortly before their release on next-gen, since I don’t think they really count. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll talk about the games that are coming to both consoles.
Grand Theft Auto V
If any game could take Skyrim‘s place in my “Really? You’re releasing that again?” slot, it’d probably be this one, as this will be the third generation of consoles for this game. I’m not sure if any game has been released on that many different systems. It was absurd that this, of all games, should be the first thing they showed at the PS5 reveal event. I’m aware that this is mostly due to the popularity of GTA Online, which will also be coming to the console. But still… was there a point in releasing the adventure of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor again? GTA Online will be a standalone, and from what we can tell GTA V won’t even be free to current owners. Both are due to launch sometime next year.
Rainbow Six Siege & Destiny 2
I’m putting both of these games together, because I think they’re important for the same reason: they’ll give us some multiplayer games to play when the consoles release. I’m not the biggest multiplayer gamer, but it’s a very important part of the culture, and the console would miss something if there were only single-player games on either one. We already know Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be on next-gen consoles, but both Siege and Destiny have frankly massive player bases that will appreciate being able to play their old favorites on the new consoles. Siege will support cross-gen matchmaking and will allegedly be backwards compatible and available from the consoles’ launch. Destiny 2 will offer a free upgrade to next-gen consoles, and is also aiming for a holiday 2020 release window.
Control & Doom Eternal
Another two I’m putting together because they’re both recent — and awesome — games that I think it’s likely that some people might have missed when they came out. And if you can play these games, you should. I played both at max settings on PC, and they looked incredible, so I have to assume both will look just as good if not better on the new consoles. While I have mentioned here that both consoles need the boost of multiplayer games that ports will give them, I frankly feel they could also use the infusion of single-player blood too. I do worry the new consoles are going to be lean on games in general, since several games still have a nebulous release date. Like I said, these games are so good I don’t mind so much that they’re getting another bite at the apple, and at least they’ll offer some excitement to the new consoles.
Elder Scrolls Online, Overcooked and Dead by Daylight
These three games also fill another niche that might otherwise be missing on this console: something you can play with friends. Co-op games are often underrated, in my opinion, and frankly given how important social distancing is and likely still will be by the time the consoles launch, we need more games in which we can just talk to people and hang out. In the case of Overcooked: All You Can Eat, you can even play with gamers on PS4. All three of these games are available as free next-gen upgrades, though only Dead by Daylight has a set release window, that being the holiday season when the new consoles launch. Also, every console needs an MMO. Frankly, I’m just glad that (at the time of this writing) this is the only Elder Scrolls game being re-released on the new consoles. Don’t break my heart, Todd Howard.
Ah, now here’s a curious case. I actually liked this cyberpunk horror game when it first launched in 2017 — it’s set in a location (Krakow, Poland) rarely seen in games, it’s got interesting mechanics, and I mean, who can say no to Rutger Hauer as a brain-hacking police cyborg? However, I don’t remember it getting huge amounts of attention, as is the case for some games. Now the game is being re-released as Observer: Redux, and what was a good world on the current consoles looks incredible on the new ones. While I’m not keen on some companies re-releasing their best-selling games on these consoles — it smacks of stagnation and a hint of rapacity — I think it’ll be great to see whether a game can do better on a new console. It’ll be released on PS5 and Xbox One during the holiday season.
The Witcher 3
Given that The Witcher‘s next Netflix season will probably be coming out sometime next year, I guess it’s no surprise that the digital version of Geralt of Rivia will be reappearing on next-gen consoles too. Unlike GTA V, I get why this one is coming out again, and I suppose I can’t fault it if the upgrade for people who own the console already is free — which it is. I’m trying not to be a complete curmudgeon here. And sure, I guess a little dose of fantasy wouldn’t be such a bad thing while we wait another dog’s age for the next Dragon Age game to come out.
Y’all knew this one was coming. Again, at least it’ll be free.
Those are all of today’s games you can expect to play again on the new console, whichever one you end up getting.