It’s been a long and strange November for the hobby of gaming, as both Sony and Microsoft launched big, fancy, expensive new consoles directly into the middle of both a global pandemic and a (somehow still ongoing) U.S. national election. The dust is still settling on the arrival of the Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5, but regardless of which one ends up “winning” this latest bout of the console wars, early November 2020 will likely go down as a landmark fortnight (and also Fortnite) in the timeline of gaming. We’ve previously talked our way through the bizarre nature of this recent slate of games as a launch lineup, with the absence of almost any true exclusive system-seller title for either console being a notable feature, or lack thereof. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t also engage with these games as games, whether you’re playing them on a new console, or—as many of them still perfectly function—as major releases for the latter days of the existing Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
We’ll be the first to admit that this runthrough of launch titles isn’t 100-percent complete; specifically, we’ve left off a number of older games like Borderlands 3, Sea Of Thieves, and other titles that merely had a graphical update to go on the new devices. (We’ve also skipped a few games that didn’t technically launch on the PS5 or Series X, period, like Harmonix’s fascinating new music toy FUSER.) But as a run-down of the new (or, in some cases, new-ish) slate of titles that came out in the last 14 days, this list will hopefully help you get a grasp on what to play on your new hardware—or how to abate your FOMO by still playing many of the hottest new games on your perfectly serviceable PS4 or Xbox One.