It’s official: the next generation of consoles is just around the corner. With only a few days left until the Xbox Series X (and its less powerful cousin the Series S) and PlayStation 5 finally land on excited gamers’ doorsteps, we thought it was about time to take a look at the 10 most exciting next-gen exclusives both consoles have to offer. After all, any new hardware generation has to prove itself through games before either console can worm its way into gamers’ hearts. Without further ado, here are the top 10 next-gen exclusive titles we’re most looking forward to. Quick note: we’re counting games also available on PC as exclusives, but we’re not counting anything that can also be played on current-gen hardware. Onward!
1. Demon’s Souls (PS5)
Since Sony announced the Demon’s Souls remake this past June, we’ve been incredibly excited to get our hands on it. What we’ve seen of the game has shown us something every inch as dripping with atmosphere as the original PS3 game, but sporting some much-needed next-gen graphical and gameplay polish. Demon’s Souls is something of an odd duck for the much-venerated Souls series, so we’re looking forward to seeing what Bluepoint makes of this curate’s egg. Spoiler: it’s going to be excellent.
2. The Medium (Xbox Series X, PC)
Bloober Team has proven itself a master of creating unsettling, unnerving horror experiences. Whether it’s Layers of Fear’s tragic trip through a spooky ever-shifting house or Blair Witch’s abject woods-based terror, we look forward to everything Bloober Team brings us. That’s why The Medium, which promises world-shifting horror gameplay and a characteristically obscure narrative, has us shivering in our boots. The art alone makes this one a game to watch.
3. Destruction AllStars (PS5)
If you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you’ll be getting Destruction AllStars when it launches in February next year. It’s no longer a launch title for the console, but its zany mixture of battle royale gameplay and classic PlayStation-era visuals and aesthetics mean it’s a shoo-in for multiplayer stalwart when everyone is allowed to mix with one another again. If you’re after an uncompromising action-packed multiplayer extravaganza, this one looks like it will deliver.
4. Ghostwire: Tokyo (PS5)
Shinji Mikami’s is an utterly unique mind. Ghostwire: Tokyo is the latest PS5 exclusive from the veteran developer’s idiosyncratic idea reservoir, and it sees a paranormal apocalyptic event decimating Tokyo. You play as one of the survivors, granted superpowers by some unknown force and determined to use them to save your city. Ghostwire: Tokyo promises more of the off-kilter madcap action and horror hybrid we’ve come to rely on Shinji Mikami to provide.
5. Avowed (Xbox Series X, PC)
Avowed takes place in the same setting as the acclaimed Pillars of Eternity, but you don’t need to have played that game in order to get the full experience here. It’s a first-person sword-and-sorcery RPG coming from long-standing writing kings Obsidian Entertainment, and it looks like it shares more than a little DNA with the Elder Scrolls series (fitting, considering Microsoft’s recent Bethesda acquisition). If you like your Oblivion and your Skyrim, this may be the next-gen game to clinch it for you.
6. Bright Memory: Infinite (Xbox Series X, PC)
The fact that Bright Memory: Infinite is a one-man development effort is utterly staggering. The visuals are stunning and the gameplay is so sleek and fluid that it’s almost impossible to believe it’s the work of a single individual, but that’s the truth. If you love Titanfall, Doom Eternal, and other arcadey “boomer shooters” of that nature, then Bright Memory: Infinite will more than scratch that itch. The Xbox Series X’s ray tracing functionality will render its already dazzling visuals even more breathtaking.
7. Gran Turismo 7 (PS5)
Unlike many of the other games on this list, Gran Turismo 7 is a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool PS5 exclusive. You’ll almost certainly never see this game on any other platform, and that’s how it should be; high-fidelity racing sim franchise Gran Turismo has always been used as a sort of litmus test to determine how powerful the corresponding PlayStation hardware truly is. It’s likely Gran Turismo will show us all that console visuals can be even better than reality.
8. Project Athia (PS5, PC)
Project Athia may not even turn out to be this game’s final name, but it has us intrigued nonetheless. It’s a Square Enix-led project, so of course it’s full of the kind of massive-scale monsters, magic, and fantasy landscapes you’ve come to expect. Beyond that, we don’t know a huge amount about this one. Here’s hoping for the massive open-world fantasy adventure that Final Fantasy XV very nearly delivered and then didn’t, quite.
9. Final Fantasy XVI (PS5)
Final Fantasy XVI may or may not be coming to the PC as well, but in the meantime, we should assume it’s going to be a Sony exclusive. The game looks to continue Final Fantasy XV’s large-scale reinvention of the formula, but things are decidedly darker and more bleak this time around, with many classic series monsters given grim makeovers to match the tone of the world. We’re looking forward to seeing what Square Enix does with this newly-revitalised franchise after FFXV.
10. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (PS5)
Unfortunately, the Xbox Series X misses out on a lot of items on this list simply because many of its games are also available on Xbox One. The same is true of the PS5; games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Bugsnax will also be available on PS4, so we’re not counting them. Ratchet and Clank’s latest adventure, however, is all PS5, and won’t be available on other hardware. It’s sure to bring more of the weapon-switching platforming and third-person shooting action we’ve come to love from the dynamic duo.