October was a huge month for video games and November is going to be no different. Now that the holidays are here, we’re seeing lots of publishers put out their heavy hitters. This is when games like Call of Duty release, but we also have some other major titles and a major DLC update to get excited about.
With so much to talk about, let’s not waste any more time and dive into why these are the games everyone should be playing in November.
PlayStation Plus Games – PlayStation 4/PlayStation 5
The PlayStation Plus games for this month are interesting. Among them is a must-play, a curiosity, and a multiplayer game called First Class Trouble. First Class is a survival game similar to Among Us where a team of players is trying to survive performing tasks while there are imposters among them. As always, a good group of friends is going to really decide how good that game is. The other two games in this collection are more interesting by far.
Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning is the infamous game that Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Cent, published shortly before it went bankrupt. The game was seen as a moderate success at the time and likely would have gotten a sequel had they had a more reliable publisher behind them. It’s a piece of video game history so it should get some interest as a free downloadable for PS Plus members.
The big winner in this trio of games though is Knockout City. A team-based dodgeball game, Knockout City is a really fun time and with a good group of friends can become intensely competitive. It didn’t really blow up though and that’s a shame because it’s a gem of a game that deserves more attention. Hopefully being part of this PS Plus package will get it some more attention.
Games With Gold – Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
The Games With Gold and GamePass Ultimate Package this month is great for anyone that has siblings or a significant other that they want to play something casual with. Moving Out is an incredibly silly game where you work for as a Furniture Arrangement and Relocation Technician (yes, FART) but for anyone that wants a classic co-op experience then we strongly suggest Lego Batman 2 DC Super Heroes. The Lego games are frequently very solid and fun without too much barrier to entry. Anyone can sit down and have a good time with them.
Also among this package is Rocket Knight, a 2.5D platformer/side-scrolling shooter. Rocket Knight reminds us of the days when every character had to have mascot potential. The game got favorable reviews at the time and might be a good point of nostalgia for anyone that played it back on the Xbox 360.
Kingdom Two Crowns has a pixel art style that likens back to the days of the NES and is just fun to look at. The story involves a Monarch trying to protect their kingdom and features side-scrolling gameplay, but it’s been described as a strategy game. It has an interesting premise and for free it can’t hurt to give it a try.
Call of Duty: Vanguard – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
It’s the latest Call of Duty game and this one is going all the way back to World War II. We pretty much know what’s in the box with this one considering a lot of the base engine is the same as Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Black Ops Cold War. All of that said, the opportunity to get some new maps and settings is always an intriguing one even if it does feel a lot like the previous games.
We got a chance to play through the beta and for the most part enjoyed ourselves. The thing about the Call of Duty games is that, on a technical level, they are some of the most consistent games out there on a year-to-year basis. This is great for those that like to buy every entry, but it also means each game needs to do a lot to stand out from the sea of games. We’ll be interested to see how the developers plan to make this one special and unique.
Forza Horizon 5 – Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
A cynical way to look at car games is that they’re really just glorified tech demos. We all know what a car is supposed to look like so when a company wants to show off how powerful their box is they release a new car game to show how nice and realistic it looks. While Forza Horizon 5 does fall into this category, it at least has the added benefit of giving players some cool locales to look at. The environments that players will be racing through are cool and yes they do look really pretty.
Of course, with a long-running series like this, it needs to show off something unique and special about the game itself. Forza Horizon 5, based on some of the trailers we saw beforehand, seems very committed to its multiplayer mode. There are a plethora of options from typical racing to sillier games like target practice. They can only push a box so far to make cars prettier, but they can do a lot to make these games fun and we’re seeing a lot of that with this iteration.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC
The return of what many consider to be the Grand Theft Auto golden years. Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas were iconic for a variety of reasons. They helped revolutionize video games but also created a whole lot of controversy along the way. Now they’re back in remastered form with a new coat of paint and updated controls.
The big winner of this game coming out is going to be Nintendo Switch owners because this is the first time these games will all be coming to a Nintendo console. It’s also just going to be fun to have the option to go back to our old haunts and experience what those games were like again. The updates as far as we can tell have all been very minor which is going to be a plus for some and a minus for others. They really are just a nostalgia trip, but they also have the GTA name on them so they’re going to be immensely popular.
Shin Megami Tensei V – Switch
Surpassed by the Persona series in mainstream popularity, Shin Megami Tensei V is the fifth mainline installment in the franchise. Many games and series have spun off SMT and for good reason. They’re really fun, fairly challenging, and full of classic JRPG nonsense with all of its good and bad.
The real fun in these games comes in the addicting combat system. Most enemies have a weakness and when that weakness is exploited it allows players to get a second chance at an attack. To get new powers, players typically have to collect an army of monsters which in turn makes them stronger. This may sound like Pokemon, and there are certainly a lot of similarities, but the scale of SMT is far larger and will guarantee that most players put 60 to 80 hours into the main story alone. Any fan of JRPG’s is going to be excited for this one.
Battlefield 2042 – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
While Call of Duty has a fairly continuous release schedule, its main competitor Battlefield is a little more selective with its releases. There hasn’t been a new game in the series since Battlefield V in 2018 so fans are eagerly anticipating Battlefield 2042. This was originally supposed to come out in October, but a late delay pushed it into November right into the same window as Call of Duty. The two military shooters will be going head to head this year and that means fans will get to pick which one they like more.
Battlefield has always been more about having gigantic battles that span across huge maps instead of the more close-quarters combat Call of Duty has perfected. What Battlefield does has over Call of Duty however are wacky highlights. With vehicles and huge maps, the chaos that takes place can not be understated and players really like to get creative with trick shots. Some of this can be seen on display in the reveal trailer when it recreated the famous RendeZook where a player in Battlefield 3 jumped out of their plane, shot another plane down with a rocket launcher, and then got back into their plane. More of this in 2042, please.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Fans of Final Fantasy XIV really love that game and for good reason. It’s one of the best MMOs made in over a decade and the amount players can playthrough before they have to actually start paying for it is really incredible. So much so that players of the game have begun memeing a specific copypasta about it.
Have you heard of the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV? With an expanded free trial which you can play through the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free with no restrictions on playtime.
While it’s a meme, all of that statement is true. If you’re not careful you can put a disgusting amount of time into Final Fantasy XIV and it’s about to take away even more time. The next expansion, Endwalker, is releasing this month and it’s set to be a one of the most exciting MMO experiences in recent memory.
Pokémon Shining Pearl/Brilliant Diamond – Switch
Few series are as popular as the Pokémon series. It might not ever reach the same level of mania that was the 90s, but it has a very loyal following that plays every new game. The upcoming Pokémon Shining Pearl/Brilliant Diamond is a remake of the fourth generation and fans are excited to see what it can do to improve on the series.
What’s different about this game is they’re going with a completely different art style. While the recently released Pokémon Sword/Shield went to a completely 3D world, Gamefreak has decided to give this remake a chibi cutesy look and shift back to an overhead view. It’s a completely new style and one that is really divisive among fans so far. We’re excited to see it in action once we’re able to get our hands on it later this month.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC – Switch
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a great game that got a lot of people through the tougher parts of 2020. That said, for longtime Animal Crossing players, it felt very shallow in terms of content. Longtime features were missing, characters weren’t there, and aspects of the game felt tedious.
Thankfully we’re getting a huge DLC update on November 5, along with some paid DLC called Happy Home Paradise, to alleviate some of these issues. The free DLC update is going to add back some desperately missing features like Brewster’s coffee shop and a central shopping location. Happy Home Paradise meanwhile is basically a sequel to Happy Home Designer on the Wii U, but it directly connects to our current islands so we all get new content in the current base game as well. This is a huge and much-desired update and one that is going to send a lot of people back to their islands.