This console generation marks a return to the era of $100 games. There’s a good reason behind the change: games have become progressively more complex to develop and produce, warranting a higher price tag. A consequence of this is you’ll need to be more picky when it comes to choosing your next adventure. It’s likely next gen games will eventually come down in price as the the consoles mature but until then, you should look for the best deals for you and make the most out of the upgrades currently being offered.
If getting a cheap deal is your priority, there’s a sneaky path to getting cheaper PS5 and Xbox Series X games: purchasing the PS4 and Xbox One versions of games and taking advantage of free next gen upgrades. While not all crossgen games offer this support, there are several major upcoming titles that allow a single purchase across both generations.
Here’s every major upcoming game offering a free next gen upgrade:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Borderlands 3
- Call of the Sea (Xbox only)
- Chivalry 2 (Xbox only)
- Chorus (Xbox only)
- Control: Ultimate Edition
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Dead By Daylight
- Destiny 2
- DIRT 5
- DOOM Eternal
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Fable 4 (Xbox only)
- Far Cry 6
- FIFA 21 (limited time offer)
- Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox only)
- Gears 5 (Xbox only)
- Halo Infinite (Xbox only)
- Hitman 3 (digital only)
- Immortals Fenyx Rising
- Madden NFL 21 (for copies purchased before the end of 2020)
- Marvel’s Avengers
- Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
- NBA 2K21 (Mamba Forever Edition only)
- Outriders (Xbox only)
- Riders Republic
- Scarlet Nexus (Xbox only)
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 (Xbox only)
- Sea of Thieves (Xbox only)
- The Ascent (Xbox only)
- The Medium (Xbox only, currently RC in Australia)
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 (Xbox only)
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Other games, like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War are a bit more complicated, with next gen upgrades locked behind a paywall.
If you’re looking to get the best value out of the next gen games you purchase, you should always head online to check whether your purchase includes an upgrade or if you’ll fork out for the better graphics, performance and loading times offered by the Xbox Series X and PS5. For every game offering a free next gen upgrade, you should be able to save $10-30 by purchasing the PS4 or Xbox One version and simply popping your disk in for a free upgrade.
Take Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, for instance. JB Hi-Fi has the game for $69 on PS4, but $79 for PS5. While you will get a fancy new PS5 case for the $10 difference, the free next gen upgrade means you don’t really need to fork out the extra money. (Places like Amazon are also selling the PS5 version of Valhalla for $68, so keep an eye out for any retailers that might start aggressively price matching this week.)
You should also consider game length in your purchasing decisions. It’s an obvious point to make but if finances are tight and you’re looking for a game that’ll carry you for the next few months, prioritise longer games like Watch Dogs: Legion or Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla over a shorter game like Spider-Man: Miles Morales or Sackboy: A Big Adventure. If you spend long enough with one game, you might just complete it in time for a Christmas (or new year) price drop. You may even be able to pick up preowned copies of those games by Christmas.
Make sure to double check you’re getting the best value before you leap to purchase your next big adventure.