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PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which next-gen games we're going to buy and why

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are just weeks away from launch. Here are the games CNET will be playing.


By now, with preorders being as tough to come by as they are, you probably know what consoles you're picking up in November. But choosing between a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X is one thing. What about the games you buy with your shiny new console? 

It's a complicated situation, especially for prospective Xbox Series S/X owners. Sony is focusing heavily on exclusives, like Demon's Souls and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, while right now the next-gen Xbox is more about the Game Pass service than any one game. Still, for some at CNET, seeing last gen's games with next-generation improvements has a powerful allure. 

Daniel Van Boom, PS5

I have an embarrassing gamer confession: I have never touched Demon's Souls. Or Dark Souls. Or any of the games that are described as "Dark Souls but X." So the Demon's Souls remake is exciting for me, since I can plug a cultural gap while also enjoying the spectacle of a AAA next-gen console game. 

Next, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is something of a dark horse, since we don't actually know when it's coming out. It's listed as a "launch window" game, which presumably means before 2021. I watched around two minutes of the gameplay demo Sony released a few months ago before closing the tab, because I'm sold. It looks dope.

I'll pass on Spider-Man: Miles Morales, though. I don't care what anyone on this page says. Spider-Man is one of the PlayStation 4's most overrated games. 

Mark Serrels, PS5 and Xbox Series X

Back in the olden days (2009) when I was working on games magazines, I remember everyone losing their minds about Demon's Souls. We had a copy in the office, so I grabbed the disc, chucked it in the PS3, played it for about an hour confused as all hell and thought, "bugger this." I switched the console off and never returned. 

Years later, Dark Souls, its spiritual sequel, came out and I fell head over heels. I've played through Dark Souls more times than I'm willing to count and bought it on four different platforms because I am a madman. It might be my favorite game ever.

I've been a huge fan of From Software, the developer, ever since, but I never had a decent reason to go back and play Demon's Souls, the game that started it all. Now seems as good a time as any.

I'm cautiously optimistic. Demon's Souls on the PS5 is a ground-up remake by the masters of the ground-up remake. Bluepoint Games was responsible for a fantastic remake of Shadow of the Colossus, another classic, so I have to believe this game is in safe hands.

I'm hoping it preserves what makes From Software games so special and avoids the mistakes you might expect from a western developer -- or any developer not named From Software. But considering that team was so respectful of Fumito Ueda's vision with Shadow of the Colossus, I reckon we'll be alright. 

From Software

Nicole Archer, PS5

I'm very excited about Deathloop and I will buy Deathloop and I will play Deathloop and hopefully, fingers crossed, I will really like Deathloop. 

I do not know what Demon Souls is and I do not care to learn about it. 

Sean Keane, PS5

I don't care what anyone on this page says. Spider-Man is one of the PlayStation 4's best games. The joy of traversal, excellent writing and my 25-year obsession with Spidey make it stand out from the endless parade of open world adventures we've had in recent years.

That game's ending made it clear we'd play as Miles Morales eventually, but I was overjoyed to see it'd be at the dawn of a new console generation. I will play Spider-Man: Miles Morales to death and decided I needed a PS5 at launch to maximize the experience -- it'll run a whole lot better than it would on my launch PS4. I'll even play the remastered version of the original game, if only to get used to Peter Parker's new face.

I'll dive into the Demon's Souls remake too. Like Mark, I tried the PS3 original and didn't click with it. But I became obsessed with Dark Souls a few years later, and I'm hoping the love I've developed for From Software and Bluepoint's tweaks are enough to draw me into the original Souls at last.

Oscar Gonzalez, PS5 and Xbox Series X

I'm going to jump on Miles Morales and the Demon's Souls remake for my PS5. A sequel to the Spider-Man PS4 game is an absolute no-brainer considering how phenomenal that game was, although I do hope Insomniac Games made sure to get rid of the stealth sequences. 

As for Demon's Souls remake, I became addicted to the From Software games since I decided to sit down and beat Bloodborne on the PS4. After so many years of declaring these games were not my thing, it took me sitting down and learning the intricacies of the Soulsborne games -- from the vast variety of character builds to the sparse narrative that need to be pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle to fully understand -- in order to see how amazing they are. I'm excited to see if they will add the previously cut content from the original. This remake will also be a bit bittersweet, as Souls games are done with and the only option is to start remaking them. 

I also have Cyberpunk 2077 coming when it releases. It's technically the PS4 version, but I purposely ordered it since it would upgrade to the PS5 version. 

Regarding the Xbox Series X, this will be the first time I don't purchase a launch game for a new console, and I'm OK with that. I've said over and over again that my Xbox will be my Games Pass machine. The bigger hard drive will let me download more games from the service while also leaving space available for bigger multiplayer games such as Call of Duty: Warzone. Maybe something will impress before the console's launch but, if not, I'm fine working through the Games Pass catalog. 

Eric Franklin, Xbox Series X + S

I just preordered Assassin's Creed Valhalla, The Falconeer and Dirt 5. Who knows when I'll actually play those, since what I'm most excited about at launch are playing Series X|S enhanced games like Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Grounded and Sea of Thieves. Also, Xbox One games I've either never played or have only scratched the surface on and now get to play with faster load times, higher framerates and resolution improvements, like Jedi Fallen Order, The Outer Worlds, Doom Eternal and Titanfall 2. 

In December I'll get my first native non-crossgen title, The Medium, which is looking spectacular, as well as the first Gears 5 story DLC in Hivebusters. As a fan of the Escape mode in Gears, a three to four hour story campaign centered on those characters has me incredibly excited.

Oh yeah, in between all that I'll likely get Cyberpunk 2077 and Call of Duty: Cold War, if I can find the time to actually play them. 

Jackson Ryan, misc. 

Is Dead Cells on any of em?

Steph Panecasio, PS5 (eventually) 

I'm not getting a PS5 at launch, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'll have one by the time God Of War: Ragnarok rolls around. In the meantime? I'll probably be tempted by Spider-Man and Assassin's Creed Valhalla -- maybe even Deathloop, I like the premise -- but my bank account and I are trying to hold out.

I'm also cautiously wondering if I might enjoy Demon's Souls. I've never played any Dark Souls or similar From Software games, so chances are I will be absolutely awful at it. But in the back of my mind, my brain tells me that I could somehow be very, very good at it. Is it unlikely? Yes. Will I still try? Probably. Is it enough to convince me to buy a next gen console before God Of War eventually rolls around? Absolutely not.