Welcome to 2023 in gaming! After two years of delays, largely due to the world-changing year 2020, we will finally see hundreds of hours of work from developers come to fruition. 2023 is going to be, in a lot of ways, a fresh start for many within the gaming industry. Everyone is a little tired of the phrase “a return to normalcy” but it’s going to feel that way. Whatever normal is in this always-changing landscape is of course.
So, this year is going to be awesome. There is going to be a ridiculous amount of games that come out this year, too many for the average person to play, and that’s great for everyone. The sheer amount of options and genres out there means nobody is going to be left unfulfilled, and we don’t even know what surprise game is going to come out yet and blow our minds away. Here are the exciting titles we do know about, broken out by their (current) anticipated release months with a few epic trailers thrown in for good measure.
Fire Emblem Engage – Nintendo Switch
January is starting off strong with a new Fire Emblem title. This tactical RPG has gained popularity in the West over the last decade and has gone from a niche franchise to a major staple of Nintendo’s release calendar. Its latest title, Engage, appears to be doing something a little different though as it pulls from the long history of the franchise to bring back fan favorites like Marth. There isn’t really a true gateway game into the franchise, but if you’ve never played a Fire Emblem before then maybe this is the one that you can finally try.
Dead Space – PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Horror fans have been asking for a return to the Dead Space franchise for quite some time now. So long that many other games began emulating the mechanics that made Dead Space so unique such as attacking specific limbs, and a few games like Callisto Protocol ended up copying its premise entirely. In 2023, though, we’re finally going to get the chance to experience Dead Space all over again. It’s a remake, so it’s still the same game that we played all those years ago, but now we get to experience it on modern hardware with modern graphics.
There isn’t much to say here about Dead Space that hasn’t been said already, but maybe if this iteration does well enough we will get the chance to experience a new game. Dead Space 3 left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths, and while there may be no recovery from that, who says you can’t continue to make similar games in this same universe? There’s a lot of potential to do something creative with this universe and its mechanics, but how much EA wants to with Dead Space will likely depend on how the remake does.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor – PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Ever since watching the credits of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order there has been an overwhelming desire to see what’s next. It’s not that the Fallen Order wasn’t good, but it was very clearly the first game of a series with room to grow. Finally, with the announcement of Star Wars Jed: Survivor in March we will get to see the next step in the series.
What the first game did really well is find a good mix of souls-like inspired combat with explorative aspects taken from, what felt like, Uncharted. The plot itself was also a fun look at what happens in the space between the prequel trilogy and the original trinity, and at the time that was still pretty novel before many of the Star Wars TV shows started doing the same. Hopefully, this game can take the next step that many fans want it to while continuing to expand on the plot elements laid out in the first.
Resident Evil 4 Remake – PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Another beloved horror remake! When the first few Resident Evil games got remakes it made a lot of sense because all of those games had become dated over time, but the reason they had become dated was because of the revolutionary changes to the franchise that were made in Resident Evil 4. When it was announced that Resident Evil 4 was also receiving a remake the decision felt a little odd. Reports that the remake is supposed to be even scarier and include some originally cut content, however, have caused anticipation to mount.
Resident Evil 4 is among the best horror games ever made. Everything about it at the time was revolutionary for a genre it had already revolutionized once before. While this remake probably isn’t going to change video games forever, it is going to very likely become the definitive version of an all-time classic.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Nintendo Switch
How does Nintendo plan to follow up on one of the best-made and most beloved Zelda games ever? That’s the main question with Tears of the Kingdom. What made Breath of the Wild so great was how revolutionary it was to the Zelda formula. Its openness, freedom, and exploration made it a breath of fresh air in a franchise that for some had grown a little tired of the formula established by Ocarina of Time all those years ago. For others, it was a jarring and unwelcome change from what had always been enjoyable.
The game is being advertised as a direct follow-up to Breath of the Wild so we can expect more of the same, for better or for worse depending on what your preferred Zelda is. But while hopes of a return to the traditional formula don’t seem likely there are definitely ways the game can improve.
Street Fighter 6 – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Summer is no longer the dead period for games. June is packed with titles, including Street Fighter 6. The latest game in Capcom’s fighting game franchise is taking on a new look and direction in a way that shows promise. Players have already gotten their hands on it through an open beta and it sure seems like this is going to capture people in a way that Street Fighter V never seemed able to. At this point, everyone knows they’re going to like it, they’re just waiting for permission to play it.
Diablo IV – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
When Diablo IV comes out it will have been 11 years since Diablo III was released in 2012. That lengthy wait has caused fans to eagerly anticipate a new entry into the franchise that, for many, defines what a dungeon crawler is supposed to be. It will be interesting to see how the developers of Diablo IV have planned to modernize it amidst the flurry of other dungeon crawlers, many of them rogue-likes, that have come out over the years. None of them did it quite the same as Diablo does, but that need to stay relevant in the always-changing gaming landscape is vital to making this game feel fresh and new.
Final Fantasy XVI – PlayStation 5, PC
It has been a long time since Final Fantasy fully embraced the fantasy aspect of its origins. It’s never been a stranger to embracing sci-fi, but over the last couple of titles, it has been more focused than ever before on its sci-fi inspirations. So when trailers started dropping for Final Fantasy XVI showing castles and knights’ armor it started to feel like this was going to be something of a return to form for the long-running franchise. However, while the franchise embraces fantasy it’s still keeping its new action combat in favor of the turn-based RPG combat it became known for. An interesting choice and one we’ll need to keep an eye on as we get closer to the release date.
No Date Set
Assassin’s Creed Mirage PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Speaking of returning to form, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is making the surprising decision to move away from the Action RPG formula that served the franchise so well over the last few games, choosing to reset the series instead. While not going entirely back to its roots, this new game is going to focus on stealth and linear story progression like previous games. Will that surprising bit of familiarity feel like a win, or like the series is regressing? We’ll have to see how this pans out once the game receives a release date.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – PlayStation 5
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has the potential to be amazing. Not only is it following up two of the best-told and most detailed superhero video games ever made, but with the introduction of Miles Morales there is a chance to do some extremely creative storytelling between both Peter Parker and Miles in the game’s main plot. It would be really fun if we could swap between both, or have two different campaigns – the possibilities really are endless.
There are also going to be some plot threads in this game that carry over from the first game. Those of us who really dug into the entirety of Insomniac’s Manhattan found secrets that we want answers to. Hopefully, this story delivers on those.
Pikmin 4 – Nintendo Switch
The people who play Pikmin always come away loving it. Something of a cross between RTS and puzzle games, there’s a good mix of cute and stressful that each game employs masterfully. It’s great to know there’s another one of these coming out this year and that Pikmin is growing into a consistent name for Nintendo.
Starfield – Xbox Series X/S, PC
Easily the biggest name to get delayed in 2023, Starfield is the next game from Bethesda and has been in the works for what feels like an eternity. This is going to be a new direction for the Elder Scrolls and Fallout developers because it’s fresh IP on a new engine.
Starfield on its own feels interesting, but a lot of Bethesda’s reputation as a blockbuster developer is all tied up in the performance of this title. Fans are tired of the glitches, and with how long Starfield has been getting worked on there has been plenty of time to make this near-perfect. Expectations like this can be scary for any developer. We’ll just have to see how it shakes out whenever it finally launches sometime in 2023.