If anyone thought 2022 was a “down” year for video games, they’ll have no such complaints this year.
2023 is already stuffed with major new game releases, including the long-awaited arrival of the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild from Nintendo, Bethesda’s Starfield, Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2, two major Final Fantasy games from Square Enix, and Blizzard’s Diablo 4. It’s enough to make any video game website guides editor wake up in a cold sweat.
Part of why this year is jam-packed with blockbuster AAA game releases is due to a large number of delays. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Forspoken, Hogwarts Legacy, Redfall, STALKER 2, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and others were originally planned for 2022, and they’ll face stiffer competition in 2023. But some games planned for this year will also inevitably slip, meaning some of the more vague release dates on our list of 2023’s most anticipated games will join next year’s class. (We’re looking directly at you, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.)
Readers of last year’s list of Polygon’s most anticipated games will notice that some titles delayed beyond 2022 haven’t carried over. Frankly, we’re not confident that this year will include the release of games like Nintendo’s Advance Wars remakes (delayed indefinitely) or ARC Raiders (the studio behind that game is now focusing on a different game, The Finals).
There are many games coming in 2023 that have yet to be announced, or that have not been given a release window. But as of now, here are the 50 games (listed alphabetically) shooting for 2023 that point to a very big, very busy year.
Alan Wake 2
Having already released Alan Wake Remastered in 2021, Remedy Entertainment has set the stage for its sequel to the moody novelist simulator, en route in 2023 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC — via the Epic Games Store, since Epic is the game’s publisher. According to studio head Sam Lake, writing for PlayStation Blog, “Alan Wake 2 is Remedy’s first survival horror game. Our take on the genre. Our opportunity to truly connect the gameplay and the story. It is a deep, layered mystery.”
Ark 2 (early access)
More dinos! More Vin Diesel! Studio Wildcard’s sequel to Ark: Survival Evolved will rethink and redesign every aspect of its survival gameplay, the developer says. The third-person action-survival game will feature advanced traversal mechanics, Dark Souls-inspired combat, cross-platform modding, animals that track and hunt by sight, sound, and smell, dynamic open-world events, “full utilization” of Unreal Engine 5, and, of course, 100% more Vin Diesel compared to the previous game. Ark 2 will launch in an early access state on Windows PC and in Game Preview (on Game Pass) on Xbox Series X.
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
The first Armored Core game in more than a decade will bring back FromSoftware’s mech action series, and it will be informed by the developer’s experience making Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and Elden Ring, its creators say. Though it won’t be exactly like the studio’s recent output, expect a challenge, as well as a robust progression system and deep gameplay based on assembling mechs part by part and taking them into combat against massive bosses. Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is heading to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
For a series that’s regularly denounced as stale and repetitive, Assassin’s Creed has shown a clear willingness to reinvent itself — or, in the case of Mirage, de-reinvent itself. Three consecutive giga-sized open-world games smashed sales records. Developer Ubisoft could’ve stuck with that format and printed money. But 2023’s Assassin’s Creed Mirage will purportedly revert the series back to its once-upon-a-time stealthy roots. Set in a single location (Baghdad in the 9th century), Mirage focuses on Basim Ibn Ishaq, a key character from 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and it’ll bring back sneaking, parkouring, and actually assassinating targets. It’s out sometime this year for PlayStation, Xbox, Windows PC, and Amazon Luna.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
It finally happened. Avatar 2 came out! In its wake, Ubisoft will capitalize on the cultural impact of James Cameron’s Avatar universe with a brand-new game set in the never-before-seen Western frontier of Pandora. Developed by The Division studio Massive Entertainment, Frontiers of Pandora will tell a stand-alone tale of Na’vi fighting against humanity’s Resources Development Administration — the guys who love to steal unobtanium and space whale brain juice. The first-person action-adventure game is coming to Amazon Luna, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X sometime after April.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Hot on the heels of the acclaimed role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin 2, developer Larian Studios took a sharp left turn when it announced it would be working on Baldur’s Gate 3, a sequel in a series originally started by BioWare in 1998. What’s more, Larian has released the game’s early chapters in batches throughout an early access period on PC that will end with the game’s 1.0 release in 2023. And the more time we’ve spent with it, the more the pairing feels like a dream for fans of the “computer RPGs” of the ’90s, with compelling characters, vibrant worlds, and an intricate web of role-playing possibilities. And there’s still more to come.
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden follows ghost-hunters known as Banishers who take a vow to protect the living from evil specters. The creepy action-RPG is being made by Life is Strange developers Don’t Nod, and it’ll be published by Focus Entertainment. The game is scheduled to be released in 2023 for PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X.
Company of Heroes 3
It comes as a surprise that one of the most lauded real-time strategy series took until its third installment to heavily borrow from across the strategy genre, but such is the case with Relic Entertainment’s third World War II-based epic. Taking cues from series such as Total War and Civilization, Company of Heroes 3 features a turn-based map layer on which players can maneuver separate armies, coordinate war plans, and generally rewrite history as one of a handful of factions in the Mediterranean theater. When armies clash, the game jumps into the series’ iconic squad-focused tactical gameplay. With a function that allows players to pause combat in order to plan out attacks, it could also make the series more approachable than ever. Company of Heroes 3 comes to Windows PCs on February 23, 2023. It’ll also come to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X sometime in 2023.
Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania
If Konami won’t make a new Castlevania game, the developer of Dead Cells is doing the next-best thing. Studio Motion Twin says that “one of the biggest inspirations” for Dead Cells will get reimagined in a new expansion called Return to Castlevania. The Castlevania-inspired DLC will pair fast, frenetic Dead Cells gameplay with iconic Castlevania enemies, weapons (the Vampire Killer whip, throwing ax, holy water), and locations (Dracula’s Castle, of course). Richter Belmont and Alucard will be there, too, helping the player out and providing them with weapons. Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania will be released in the first quarter of 2023.
Dead Space (remake)
Electronic Arts is reviving Visceral Games’ sci-fi survival horror favorite with a modern remake that aims to chart a new future for Dead Space. Developer Motive calls its take on 2008’s Dead Space a “top-to-bottom” remake that will update the game’s visuals, sound, and gameplay. The new Dead Space will also include an “Intensity Director” that will alter lighting, environmental effects, and enemy spawns dynamically. After the disappointing spiritual successor The Callisto Protocol, from Striking Distance Studios, EA’s return to space terror might just give Dead Space fans what they’ve been missing. It’s planned to be released on January 27, 2023, for Windows PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X.
Blizzard’s darker, open-world style Diablo arrives on June 6, 2023, three and half years after the action-RPG was first unveiled at BlizzCon 2019. Diablo 4 will bring back the hack-and-loot action for which the series is beloved, blending the accessibility and action from Diablo 3 with the bleak tone of Diablo 2. Across five classes (Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, Rogue, and Necromancer), hundreds of skills, and a vast world (called Sanctuary), players will battle the forces of evil on a quest to destroy Lilith, daughter of Mephisto. For the first time in the franchise, Diablo 4 will launch on consoles and PC, with day-one releases for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
EA Sports PGA Tour
The most famous golf course in the world returns to video games this spring. When EA Sports and Tiger Woods broke up, most golf video game fans thought they’d never again see Augusta National Golf Course, the home of The Masters Tournament that Woods has won five times. But it’s coming back to consoles, along with professional golf’s three other major tournaments — the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship — all played at their real-life locations. EA Sports PGA Tour was first announced in 2021, but it got delayed to 2023. Launching on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X, it will be the first time that video game golfers have been able to play Augusta’s fabled Amen Corner in a decade.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
The second chapter (of three) in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 7 remake is slated to arrive “this winter,” so a delay to 2024 is not out of the question — especially for a remake this drawn-out and overdue. But for fans looking forward to the continuing adventures of Cloud and crew beyond the borders of Midgard, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth to arrive this year. The only platform Square Enix has announced so far is PlayStation 5, but Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade did eventually come out on PC, so Rebirth probably will, too (eventually).
Final Fantasy 16
The next installment of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy 16, has a medieval fantasy setting as the backdrop for its story of warring nations and palace intrigue. Square Enix’s Creative Business Unit III is developing the game, and the team includes veteran Final Fantasy developers like Naoki Yoshida, who served as producer on the popular MMORPG Final Fantasy 14. The game is coming out as a PlayStation 5 exclusive first on June 22, 2023, and will likely come to Windows PC later.
Fire Emblem Engage
The highly anticipated follow-up to Fire Emblem: Three Houses is right around the corner. This one promises to mix tactics and battalion building, as its beloved predecessors did. But this time, players will spend interstitial time in a floating fortress called Somniel — with downtime activities like working out with allies, and of course, grabbing meals together. Fire Emblem Engage also introduces a new mechanic in the form of magical rings, which will allow players to further customize builds, and summon the power of past Fire Emblem heroes. Fire Emblem Engage comes to Nintendo Switch on Jan. 20.
Developed by former Final Fantasy 15 developers and written by a quartet of Western creators, Forspoken stars a young woman from New York City who has been transported to a desolate fantasy world where magical spells and a sentient bracelet help her battle an evil force known as the Break. Forspoken is a classic fish-out-of-water story: Heroine Frey Holland is mysteriously whisked away to the strange world of Athia, where she’s not only capable, she’s incredibly powerful. Frey will battle Break-mutated creatures and traverse a deadly open world using “magic parkour.” Forspoken comes to PlayStation 5 and Windows PC on Jan. 24, after a series of delays.
New consoles typically launch with an auto-racing simulation to showcase the new hardware’s graphical and processing muscle. Forza Motorsport, however, comes two years after the Xbox Series X’s debut, marking six years since its predecessor, Forza Motorsport 7, zoomed onto Xbox One. Car enthusiasts have gotten two of the open-world, action-racing Forza Horizon entries from Playground Games since then; Turn 10 Studios’ rebooted Forza Motorsport must reassert itself as not only a system-selling tentpole, but also the top dog of the multi-pronged franchise. Forza Motorsport launches in 2023’s April-to-June window on Windows PC and Xbox Series X, and will be available day one to Game Pass subscribers.
Gord is a new dark fantasy adventure game with elements of survival, city-building, and strategy, all wrapped in spooky Slavic folklore. For fans of The Witcher or Frostpunk, there’s a good reason to be excited: Gord is the debut title from Covenant, a new Polish game studio founded by former CD Projekt Red and 11 Bit Studios producer Stan Just. Players are tasked with growing their settlement, protecting their citizens from enemy tribes and monsters, and undertaking quests for adventure. They’ll also have to manage the sanity and mental burden of their fellow adventurers and citizens. And they’ll have something supernatural at their disposal: spells and incantations. Gord is slated to be released on PC sometime in 2023.
Hades 2 (early access)
Supergiant Games’ critically acclaimed roguelike Hades has a sequel on the way — and like its predecessor, Hades 2 will debut in early access, allowing its developers to fine-tune an experience that’s sure to include fast-paced action combat and fun flirtatious interludes with members of the Greek pantheon. Instead of playing as Zagreus, players will step into the shoes of his sister Melinoë, described by Supergiant as “an immortal witch and sorceress with powerful magical abilities.” The early access version of the game, which does not yet have a release date in 2023, will be available on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.
For many years, fans of Harry Potter have longed for an open-world adventure game set in J.K. Rowling’s magical-fueled universe. Warner Bros. plans to deliver that in 2023, with Avalanche Software’s upcoming role-playing game in which a player-designed character learns magic at Hogwarts during the 1800s. Many fans who once longed to play a game like this one are no longer looking forward to it, though, as franchise creator Rowling has become a prominent figure in the movement pushing back on transgender rights, and she’s lost many fans (and potential Hogwarts Legacy players) as a result of her bigoted views. Harry Potter enthusiasts who can still stomach the wizarding world will get Hogwarts Legacy on PS5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X on Feb. 10; PS4 and Xbox One on April 4; and Nintendo Switch on July 25.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
Team Cherry’s much-anticipated sequel to its 2017 metroidvania Hollow Knight, starring Hornet — one of the many tough foes players faced in the first game — began as a DLC concept. The developers soon realized that Hornet’s adventure was too involved and should be a standalone game. Ever since Team Cherry announced Silksong in February 2019, fans have been waiting for a solid release date. Failing that, we do know the game is on the books for 2023 via Game Pass for Xbox and PC.
Developer Creative Assembly (the Total War series, Alien Isolation) is swerving with Hyenas. The studio’s new first-person shooter is set in zero-G environments where players battle against the security forces of billionaire expats who have settled on Mars — and have taken Earth’s precious pop culture tchotchkes with them. The whole thing sounds silly, snarky, and potentially quite fun. Hyenas has been playable in a series of alpha tests, so hopefully publisher Sega and CA have a polished product on their hands when the game launches in 2023 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
Lies of P
It’s almost a meme at this point: “X but make it Dark Souls.” Case in point, even tiny baby foxes aren’t immune from the trend. You wouldn’t be wrong to think Lies of P — “Pinocchio but make it Dark Souls” — is little more than a riff on an ongoing industry bit, but pre-release footage indicates that developer Neowiz’s third-person action game is way more than an elevator pitch. A moody visual palette underscores haunting Belle Epoque imagery, while combat sequences against automatons play out with the muscular ferocity of… well, you know the meme. Lies of P is due out in 2023 for PlayStation, Windows PC, and Xbox.
Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Thanks to the growing popularity of Sega’s Yakuza series — heretofore known as the Like A Dragon series — fans in the West are finally getting a chance to play the historical spinoff set in Japan’s Bakumatsu period of the late 19th century. Like A Dragon: Ishin! focuses on samurai Sakamoto Ryoma — who, yes, looks a lot like Kiryu Kazuma — who seeks revenge and sparks a great revolution. The remake of 2014’s Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin! is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on Feb. 21.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
The sequel to Insomniac Games’ 2018 blockbuster about the Marvel Comics web-slinger will be released on PlayStation 5 in the fall of 2023. Unlike its predecessor — and the 2020 spin-off Spider-Man: Miles Morales — Insomniac has not cited the PS4 as a planned launch title for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The power of the current-gen console will apparently be necessary to animate two famed wall-crawlers. (Yes, this game will feature both Peter Parker and Miles Morales.)
Nightingale is the first title from Inflexion Games, a studio founded in 2018 by alumni who worked on some of BioWare’s biggest and most beloved RPGs. In Nightingale, players take on the role of a “Realmwalker,” a Victorian-era adventurer deposited in a fantasy land by accident, forced to survive among its strange creatures and magical beings. Though Nightingale does have cooperative multiplayer elements, its developers have been very clear that this is not an MMO; think Fallout 76 more than New World. In other words, it’s designed to be a solo experience. Nightingale launches in early access for Windows PC sometime in the first half of 2023. After an early-access period of about a year, Inflexion will consider whether to bring it to consoles.
Octopath Traveler 2
Coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, and Windows PC on Feb. 24, Octopath Traveler 2 is a sequel to the delightful 2018 RPG that introduced the world to the gorgeous, retro HD-2D visual style. Despite the jump to a more modern, steampunky setting, Octopath Traveler 2 looks like a pretty straightforward follow-up, once again following the stories of eight disparate heroes (from the same eight character classes) as fate brings them together to face a greater threat. But that’s no bad thing, because Octopath Traveler, with its endearing characters and razor-sharp, turn-based battle mechanics, is perhaps the very best of the wave of retro RPGs to be inspired by the Japanese classics of the 1990s.
Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals
Oxenfree put a group of friends on an island for a party — only for them to get stuck in a supernatural cycle of eldritch horrors. Players used a radio to isolate the right frequency that would throw them into a terrifying time loop, with hauntings and exorcisms. The walking simulator-style game also had a complex web of dialogue choices that ultimately would change the outcome of the game. Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals takes a new character called Riley back to her hometown to figure out where those mysterious radio signals are coming from; she then stumbles upon more supernatural thrills. Oxenfree 2 will arrive sometime in 2023 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC, under Night School Studio’s new owner Netflix.
You might not know Palworld by its actual name — colloquially, eager observers have been calling it “Pokémon with guns.” It’s an open-world survival game from Japanese developer PocketPair, with creatures clearly inspired by, yes, Pokémon. But the game’s magical world looks much darker, not only because Pals — the Pokémon in Palworld — fight each other in high-stakes battles: They also eat each other, perform factory labor, and undergo medical testing. And in one grim facet, your Pals can fight alongside you with guns of their own, hopefully liberating themselves from society’s dark exploitation. Palworld is scheduled to be released on Windows PC in 2023. (Something tells us this won’t come to Nintendo Switch.)
Payday 3 is a cooperative first-person shooter that is, naturally, the sequel to the popular Payday 2. Starbreeze Studios is the developer, having bought the rights to the Payday franchise in 2016; Plaion is the publisher. This game, which has been in development since 2017, will once again feature tense, heist-based gameplay, with action primarily taking place in New York City. It’ll be released on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X in 2023.
Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto told eager Pikmin fans that the fourth installment of the action-strategy series was almost done in 2015, but that window has obviously come and gone. Years later, Pikmin 4 has a new estimated release window: 2023. The Nintendo Switch has made “controlling the game simpler, meaning you can concentrate on the core essence of Pikmin gameplay,” Miyamoto said, although he offered little else in the way of detail on how Pikmin 4 will differentiate itself from its predecessors.
Planet of Lana
Among a slew of excellent-looking Limbo-likes planned for 2023, few seem more fit to wear the crown than Planet of Lana, slated for PC and Xbox next spring. Eye-wateringly gorgeous environments serve as the backdrop for some floaty puzzle-platforming. But there’s a sense of mystery permeating Planet of Lana’s painterly vibes (You’re a human child? On an exoplanet rife with killer robots? Sure!). Also, your primary travel companion is an adorable extraterrestrial cat.
Capcom’s sci-fi action adventure Pragmata is something of a mystery. First unveiled in 2020 alongside the reveal of Sony’s PlayStation 5, the game promises an adventure on a near-future dystopian world — Earth’s moon, apparently — and a “deeply profound story and setting” that Capcom hopes will become one of the publisher’s “core brands.” Pragmata is one of a few current-gen-only projects on this list, and Capcom has said it wants to take “full advantage” of new console hardware to realize the game’s potential. Pragmata is coming to PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X. Despite already seeing a full-year delay, it feels like one of the games on the list that could slip to next year, given how little we’ve heard about it.
Developed by Arkane Austin, Redfall is Bethesda Softworks’ open-world shooter about a city overrun with vampires. Though it’s billed as co-op, the game sits somewhere between multiplayer and single-player — likely more entertaining with friends, but something you can totally play solo. Arkane Austin has previously developed games like 2018’s Prey reboot, as well as games in the Dishonored franchise. The studio’s new project is led by creative director Harvey Smith and co-creative director Ricardo Bare, and is coming to Xbox Series X and Windows PC sometime in 2023.
The original Remnant’s elevator pitch is all you should need to be excited for the sequel: It’s a fully co-op “Dark Souls with guns,” that’s actually good. And with the first game turning into a surprise hit, developer Gunfire Games already looks like it’s going big with the sequel. While we don’t know many details about Remnant 2 just yet, the game’s reveal trailer shows off more enemies, more weapons, and bigger bosses, all mixed together with the extremely challenging and unique fights that made the first game great. Remnant 2 is set for release on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X sometime in 2023.
Replaced is an obvious creature of the ’80s. Get this: You play as an AI unit stuck inside the brain of a man. You run, jump, climb, punch, kick, and train-fight your way across a cyberpunk city. The whole game is done up in delicious pixel art and framed, in 2.5D, with heavy cinematic flair. (Octopath fans, eat up.) Initially planned for 2022 (Belarus-based developer Sad Cat Studios delayed it in May 2022, citing the ongoing war in Ukraine), Replaced is set to come out for Windows PC and Xbox platforms in 2023. It’ll launch on Game Pass.
Resident Evil 4 (remake)
The Resident Evil remake machine rolls on in 2023 with a modernized version of Resident Evil 4, Capcom’s action-focused reinvention of its survival horror series. Zombie-slaying specialist Leon S. Kennedy travels to a rural village in Spain on a mission to rescue the daughter of the President of the United States, encountering all-new horrors on his journey. For the remake of the 2004 GameCube original, Capcom say it’s “reimagining the storyline of the game while keeping the essence of its direction, modernizing the graphics and updating the controls to a modern standard.” The new Resident Evil 4 is headed to PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X on March 24, and Capcom promises PlayStation VR2 support for the game.
RoboCop: Rogue City
RoboCop is back, and so is actor Peter Weller, who will reprise his role as the cyborg policeman in a new first-person shooter coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X in June 2023. RoboCop: Rogue City appears to be set after the events of the original 1987 film, and retains the gory action flick’s overall vibe. RoboCop will take on Detroit street scum, ED-209 enforcement droids, and Omni Consumer Products’ corporate nonsense in the shooter, finer details of which are still mostly under wraps. Developer Teyon, responsible for ’80s action hero-inspired games Terminator: Resistance (pretty good!) and Rambo: The Video Game (pretty bad!), is behind RoboCop: Rogue City.
Sons of the Forest
Studio Endnight is making a first-person survival horror sim sequel to 2018’s cult hit The Forest, promising a bigger, more refined, and more realistic open world with even more cannibalistic island-dwellers to contend with. But Sons of the Forest appears to give you an edge. After all, your mission is to recover a missing billionaire, and you wouldn’t go to a remote island empty-handed, right? Players will have access to tools like a 3D printer to craft items with, plus full co-op support. However, they’ll also have to adapt to challenges like seasonal changes — hunting in warmer months and storing food during cold winters. Sons of the Forest hits PC in February.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl
STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl has been in the works in one way or another since 2010, and it’s been killed and revived more than a few times since then. But after its most recent delays, it seems that the game may finally be ready to be released in 2023. The sequel will once again take players into The Zone, an irradiated area around Chornobyl that’s now inhabited by strange plants and animals after a series of post-meltdown experiments caused a second catastrophe in the area. The original STALKER, which was released in 2007, predates most of today’s survival-game genre but still shares (or inspired) their fundamental DNA, letting players explore The Zone while managing mechanics like radiation exposure and hunger, forcing intense resource management inside a very hostile environment. But with 16 years since the original game and countless survival games released since, hopefully STALKER 2 will find new ways to push the genre forward. STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl will come out on PC and Xbox Series X sometime in 2023.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Unlike many games on this list, Respawn Entertainment’s sequel to its mega-successful 2019 game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has a firm release date of March 17. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will be out on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X, and once again it’ll star Cal Kestis — no longer a Padawan, now a full-fledged Jedi. You can tell he’s all grown up because he’s got a beard now.
The Elder Scrolls and Fallout developer Bethesda Game Studios is headed to deep space for Starfield, the studio’s next grand role-playing game. Think of it like Skyrim in space, says game director Todd Howard, where you’ll get in a ship, explore the galaxy, and “do fun stuff.” Starfield “is about hope, our shared humanity, and searching for the answers to life’s greatest mystery,” Howard says. Expect more than 1,000 explorable planets, numerous factions to interact with, and the most “handcrafted” content of any Bethesda Game Studios game to date. Starfield is due sometime in the first half of 2023 for Windows PC and Xbox Series X, where it will be available on Game Pass.
Street Fighter 6
Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li… hell, the whole starting Street Fighter 2 roster is back for Street Fighter 6, a new entry in Capcom’s 35-year-old fighting game franchise that appears to be making all the right choices. SF6 aims to please both the casual crowd and the hardcore fighting game community with a new Drive Gauge system that’s designed to bring back familiar mechanics — like parrying and focus attacks — and encourage player creativity. There’s also a single-player component, and you can even play classic Capcom arcade games while waiting for matches. And while the classic SF2 roster is well represented, there are also promising newcomers, like Manon, a French fighter who incorporates ballet into her martial arts; Jamie, a Yun and Yang disciple who weaves hip hop dance moves into his style; and Kimberly, a colorful combatant whose ninjutsu style was learned from Final Fight’s Guy. Street Fighter 6 hits PS4, PS5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X on June 2.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Batman: Arkham series developer Rocksteady’s version of the Suicide Squad stars Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark as Task Force X on a mission to take down Brainiac. Standing in their way are Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman, who have all been brainwashed by the alien-with-intent-to-conquer. The open-world action game will be set in Rocksteady’s “Arkham-verse” version of Metropolis, and Batman may have been the only one to evade Brainiac’s hold on the Justice League. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set to be released for PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X on May 26.
System Shock (remake)
After a mega-successful Kickstarter led to a years-long bumpy development cycle (including an official hiatus), no one could be blamed for feeling skeptical about the release of Nightdive’s remake of ’90s sci-fi classic System Shock. The game really is on its way, though; the developer even released a demo in 2021 and has partnered with Prime Matter to publish the long-awaited immersive sim in March for Windows PC.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series
Though The Expanse wrapped up its TV run in 2022, and Leviathan Falls (the final book) was published in 2021, there’s still another tidbit of story to look forward to. The Expanse is set in a future in which Earth, Mars, and the residents of the Asteroid Belt (called Belters) are on the precipice of war — with the delicate balance poised to topple when the terrifying “protomolecule” is freed. The Expanse: A Telltale Series dives into Camina Drummer’s backstory, set in a time before the TV show. Drummer has always been a fascinating character; the Ceres-born belter served as the right hand woman to Fred Johnson (leader of the Outer Planets Alliance) before helming the OPA herself. Cara Gee, who played Drummer in the TV series, will reprise the role as voice actor for the game. The Expanse: A Telltale Series is set to be released in the summer of 2023 on “leading consoles,” according to publisher Deck Nine.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The sequel to Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch will be a direct follow-up to the previous game — a rarity in Nintendo’s totemic Legend of Zelda series — but it makes sense that one of this decade’s most important, interesting, influential, and innovative games would merit a direct sequel. Tears of the Kingdom will likely build on the open-world systems and secrets-rich environments of the first game, expanding on the history of Hyrule’s former inhabitants and ancient civilizations. Mark your calendars for May 12.
The Outlast Trials
After a longer wait than expected, the Outlast series goes multiplayer in 2023. The next title in the spooky franchise, a prequel titled The Outlast Trials, will explore developer Red Barrels’ survival horror universe with friends, featuring cooperative play for up to four players. There’s also a solo mode. Players will take part in a Cold War-era experiment of brainwashing and mind control, fighting to survive and stay sane. The Outlast Trials is only confirmed for Windows PC so far.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2
The latest video game adaptation of the world’s most popular miniature wargame continues with Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine 2. The hack-and-slash game, which is a sequel to the 2011 cult classic Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, is being developed by Saber Interactive and published by Focus Entertainment. It’s scheduled to be released in 2023 for PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X.
Omega Force may be better known for its Dynasty Warriors games and its many, many spin-offs, but the studio is returning to a familiar genre with Wild Hearts, a take on the Monster Hunter formula. Wild Hearts brings a few twists to the genre, letting players use tower defense-style structures called Karakuri as they battle Kemono, giant beasts that are drastically altered by their natural surroundings. Players will also have a variety of handheld weapons at their disposal, including transforming swords, bows and arrows, muskets, and even umbrellas to take down giant boars, apes, squirrels, porcupines, and more. Wild Hearts hits PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X on Feb. 17.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Team Ninja, the studio behind Nioh and Nioh 2, has another dark fantasy Souls-like set in the Far East. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is set during China’s Three Kingdoms period (roughly 220-280 C.E.). Like Nioh, it will give players a strong challenge against demonic bosses in a lush, historical setting. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty prepped folks for the task with a very well-received demo back in September. The full game launches March 3 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, and it will be available on PC and Xbox Game Pass day one.