We’re just a few weeks away from the launch of Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5. Unlike most generational leaps, this new set of consoles isn’t going to force you to cut ties with your Xbox One or PS4 game library.
Not only can both consoles play games released on the previous generation of hardware, a select batch of titles — like Doom Eternal, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Cyberpunk 2077 — are getting Xbox Series X and PS5 versions separate from their Xbox One and PS4 versions.
We’re a few months away from the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. As is the case with any new console generation, there’s a lot of excitement around the new machines, but their arrival doesn’t mean your current devices will immediately become obsolete. Plenty of games will...Read more
The upgraded versions of these games will feature faster load times and graphical enhancements like support for 4K resolutions, HDR, higher frame rates, and more. (Specific enhancements will vary between each game). And in some cases, those who buy the PS4/Xbox One versions can upgrade to the PS5/Xbox Series X version for free.
This sounds great on paper, but the process has become a confusing mess.
Take Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, for example. Activision will let you buy the game once and upgrade to the new console’s version for free, but Xbox One owners must buy the Xbox Series X version, not the Xbox One version. PS4 players, however, can simply purchase the game on PS4 and play it on PS5 once they buy the new console…unless you plan to buy the digital-only PlayStation 5, which will only accept upgrades for digital versions of the game. The PS5 with the disc drive supports upgrades for both physical and digital versions.
Worse, some publishers are only offering upgrades for digital purchases. Others will only let players who buy special edition copies of their games upgrade to the next-gen version, making the entire process even more confusing.
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Sony and Microsoft are making things a little easier by adding “next-gen upgrade” badges to eligible games’ box art, but we wanted to make things even clearer. Below is an easy-to-read list of games that will let players upgrade from the PS4/Xbox One version to the PS5/Xbox Series X and S versions for free.
We grouped games based on which consoles they support — Xbox, PlayStation, or both. We’ve also made sure to list any additional restrictions where necessary. It’s possible more cross-gen games will let players upgrade for free, but the list is complete for now.
Hopefully, it will make navigating the launch of the upgrade process a little less confusing.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (only available for PS4 version; Xbox One players must buy Xbox Series X version, which is playable on Xbox One)
- Control (only available for the “Ultimate Edition”)
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Destiny 2
- DIRT 5
- DOOM Eternal
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Far Cry 6
- FIFA 21 (only available before FIFA 22 releases)
- Hitman 3 (Digital version only)
- Immortals Fenyx Rising
- Madden NFL 21 (only available for PS4/Xbox One copies purchased before December 31, 2020. Free upgrades only available until March 31, 2021)
- Marvel’s Avengers
- Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
- NBA 2K21 (only available for the “Mamba Forever” edition)
- Riders Republic
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
- Watch Dogs Legion
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
PS4 to PS5 only
- Dead by Daylight
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits
- WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship
Xbox One to Xbox Series X/S only
- The Ascent
- Call of the Sea
- Chivalry 2
- Fable 4
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Halo Infinite
- The Medium
- Scarlet Nexus
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
- Sea of Thieves
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
This article has been updated since its original publication.