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Next-gen Games to Pick Up on (Your) Day One

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At this point in time, I am still pretty damn confused as to what next generation console, and its games, will take my money. It’s still too early in the game to speculate business movements down the line, but in the short term, many of the exclusives I’m excited about will find a home on the Playstation 5.

It would be a safe assumption to say that the Digital Edition of the PlayStation 5 (or the Xbox Series X, if there is one) will be cheaper, which incentivizes digital users such as myself to pick one up at launch. As for space, I am a frugal user who usually just downloads a couple of games that I will play. Once I’ve had my fill, I usually delete it and not play it for years, so space isn’t an issue.

The big question remains to be if the launch lineup will be good enough to make people go day one. Early adopters usually get the short end of the stick as we’re stuck most of the time with lackluster titles that we paid full price on to justify the day one purchase.

When the PS4 dropped six years ago, I kept putting off buying the console because games were still available on the PS3 as late as 2017, with Persona 5 dropping on the PS3 in April 2017. I put up with all the glitches of Dragon Age Inquisition on the PS3 and was rewarded with a platinum trophy for half of my efforts. My only regret in delaying gratification as late as 2016 was missing out on the P.T. demo but otherwise, I was happy getting my PS4 when I got it and it hasn’t failed me since, as it is relatively new and was able to pick up most of the console defining games at its peak (God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Spiderman).

Meanwhile, the Xbox Game Pass really is a game changer when it’s saying that many of its exclusives will drop on their launches on the service. If I do choose to purchase an Xbox Series X, all the games that I’m interested in trying will be available upon release if Phil Spencer’s promises hold true. Remember all the games during the showcase? All free, day one, on Game Pass. With a $15 subscription fee, you even get to take a portable Xbox along with you because of Project xCloud. Sounds like a hell of a deal.

Luckily for this FOMO generation, we have quite a number of titles available at launch due to backwards compatibility. Yet in the effort to become more inclusive and accessible with acquiring your shiny new next-gen console, the real next-gen launch will be when YOU acquire the PS5 or the Xbox Series X. It could be in November, it could be at Christmas, and it could be when Horizon Forbidden West or Halo Infinite drops. For some people, it could be when FF7 Remake 2 finally makes it out of the gates. Whenever it may be, here are a few games that should make your day one list.

Horizon Forbidden West

As one of the generation defining IP’s for the PS4, Horizon Zero Dawn was an engaging game with a vibrant world and a rich lore both present in the main quest line and hidden deep in the holologs of ruins peppered through the game. Unlike the all-encompassing Skyrim-like games that offer content that oozes in every corner, Horizon Zero Dawn provided enough to keep you engaged but not too much to overwhelm like in other open world games. I’m expecting Horizon Forbidden West will deliver what’s expected plus a couple more surprises up their sleeve.

Why it will be worth it at (your) PS5 launch: Besides the launch of another awaited generation defining IP (God of War), its just hard to go wrong with Horizon Forbidden West. It will probably launch close enough to the PS5 release to give more people time to save up money for the console, and maybe even new enough to still call it a launch title. And unlike most launch titles (many of them historically haven’t been groundbreaking), this one would be good enough to give us everything that made it a classic in the last game while hoping to be surprised with new mechanics and possibly a showdown between the established villains and the heroine, Aloy.

Every First Generation Xbox Game with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

If there’s anything we can all agree on, it is the underwhelming offerings of the first party exclusives for Xbox Series X. While there will be some curious titles down the road, the best thing about it is that they will be available on the service at launch. Going by Phil Spencer’s promise, we will get Halo Infinite, Fable, State of Decay 3, The Medium, Everwild, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, As Dusk Falls, Hellblade 2: Eurovision Song Contest, Grounded, Forza Motorsport, Avowed, Warhammer Darktide, The Gunk, Tetris Effect Connected, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, CrossFire X Campaign, Tell Me Why Episode One: Ain’t Nothing But A Heartache, Tell Me Why Episode Two: Ain’t Nothing But A Mistake, and Tell Me Why Episode Three: I Never Wanna Hear You Say, I Want It That Way on the Game Pass when they launch.

That’s a LOT of games and a whole lot of value for 15$ a month.

Why it will be worth it at (your) Xbox Series X launch: Should I go over those games again? If you are considering a Xbox Series X and you’re not sure what game to buy, you have all those first party exclusives ready for you with Game Pass Ultimate. Now it really sounds too good to be true, and executives can always pull a fast one and deny it, but if you are getting a Xbox Series X anyway and you will be subscribing to the equivalent of Xbox Live anyway, you will be getting this service anyway.

Cyberpunk 2077

With it being delayed once again to November, I don’t mind waiting for it for a couple more months and then finally playing it on a next gen console. In fact, the new launch date of November 19 could actually be within days or weeks of the next generation console launch, so you can technically consider this a launch title. Sure it’s going to be released on current platforms as well, but wouldn’t you want to soak in all the greatness that CD Projekt Red has to offer on your newest next gen console?

Why it will be worth it at (your) next-gen console launch: If given a choice between Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, hands down, I’m batting for team CD Projekt Red. Cyberpunk 2077 is what I’ve been waiting for since I’ve scoured through Witcher 3 and all its expansions. I felt bad dropping Witcher 3 to play Final Fantasy XV three years ago and I would probably feel bad dropping Cyberpunk 2077 to play Horizon Forbidden West. Cyberpunk 2077, with Witcher 3 as a barometer will be over 100 hours and even if you don’t get any of the other games on this list, you will have enough content to last you until, well… The Playstation 6. Or the Xbox Series Y and Z.

Deathloop

There’s just something so cool about Deathloop when it was revealed during the Playstation 5 showcase. While I was waiting for Horizon Forbidden West and some other surprise, Deathloop became that other game I became interested in. It had that feel of a grindhouse film and just oozes style. Games like Persona 5 and even Dishonored really caught my attention because there’s something about the game that draws you in just from its presentation alone.

Why it will be worth it at (your) PS5 launch: It is a next-gen title and I feel that if you’re getting a next gen console, don’t you owe it to yourself to buy a next gen title? Sure, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077 feel like they’re next gen titles, but it’s always a nice motivation to get a game that’s made for the console you’re getting versus a game that’s been marketed to fill different platforms.

Spiderman: Miles Morales

We started the Playstation 5 reveal with that Grand Theft Auto 5 pop-up advertisement. I call it that because it felt out of place, it’s like that uncle who just won’t go away. If I’m too broke to actually afford such games, I could always pick up Grand Theft Auto V. With my PS Plus membership, that entitles me to $1M a month to watch me get my ass killed on GTA Online. While they had to make that announcement, it felt like that’s the safest place to put it in because it’s too early in the reveal to just switch off your TV.

I digress, but you gotta agree they opened strong with Spiderman: Miles Morales. While I enjoyed Peter Parker’s journey in the PS4 Spiderman, Miles’ story was really awesome and watching Peter school Miles in being a hero was one of my favorite parts of the story. So when it’s revealed that he’s getting his own game, that totally goes on my Day 1 must-buys.

Why it will be worth it at (your) PS5 launch: This is probably an expensive buy for a shorter game compared to the Spider-Man game released a while back, but we’ve spent money on games like The Order: 1886 and even Heavenly Sword. They were short games and we’ve regretted those purchases, but if we’re gonna regret a purchase, at least have them on a game that has enough enjoyable content with a likeable character and possibly have some good superhero battles, all on 4K 60fps.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Dude, it’s like a Yakuza game in an RPG format, on PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Why It will be Worth It at (your) next-gen console Launch: Dude, it’s like a Yakuza game in an RPG format, on PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Author

Vincent Ternida moved Vancouver, Canada in 2006 and called it home ever since. He spends the lockdown catching up with his Japanese RPGs, writing his new manuscripts, and figuring out why he suddenly became the main character of the latest Haruki Murakami novel.

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