This is going to be one awesome year for gaming, We’ve got remakes, rebirths, remasters, and even a kingdom that cries. There are a lot of thrilling games to look forward to in 2023, but let’s take a look at a few of the most significant releases I’m looking forward to and when we might be able to get our hands on them.
FIRE EMBLEM ENGAGE – January 20th
The latest in Nintendo’s long-running strategy series is right around the corner with Fire Emblem Engage. This new game plays into the franchise’s nostalgia by bringing back characters from numerous earlier games in the form of Emblems: and special rings that the new cast of heroes can provide. But your enemies have Emblems of their own, and they can even take yours, turning former allies into opponents.
OCTOPATH TRAVELER II – February 24th
Octopath Traveler was a surprising delight for RPG fans, and now it’s getting a sequel! Octopath Traveler II follows a new band of adventurers on their different quests of self-discovery, revenge, and profit. But this time around the party members will have more to do with one another as their journeys cross. Not only that, but Square Enix and Acquire have drastically enhanced the engine for their HD-2D graphics, making an already gorgeous aesthetic even more attractive.
STAR WARS JEDI: SURVIVOR – March 17th
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor picks up five years after the events of Respawn’s earlier game, and Cal Kestis looks like he’s been having a pretty rough time. The former padawan is older, scruffier, and sporting a few new scars, but we’ll hopefully have the chance to turn his scrappy life around when the game comes out in just a few months.
HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST: BURNING SHORES – April 19th
As if Horizon Forbidden West wasn’t sprawling enough, Guerrilla Games has decided to develop it with Burning Shores. This add-on will take Aloy to the far-flung isles of Los Angeles, a once-thriving metropolis now shattered by volcanic activity. New dangers await our red-haired heroine, but after saving the world three times I think Aloy has it covered.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TEARS OF THE KINGDOM – May 12th
Nintendo’s long-awaited follow-up to Breath of the Wild is almost here. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is planned to launch in May of 2023, marking just over 6 years since the last mainline Zelda game. It’s the longest stretch of time between flagship releases, but the wait will definitely be worth it. A darker tone, a bigger world, and more diverse powers could make Tears of the Kingdom even better than earlier games.
FINAL FANTASY XVI – June 22nd
Final Fantasy XVI has been a long-time coming, and it is ultimately about to make its release. This new entry in the vaunted RPG series once again aims to shake up the formula by eschewing anything resembling its turn-based roots. Larger-than-life Summon fights and an action-heavy focus make FFXVI look more like a FromSoft game than anything Square Enix has delivered before.
Arkane’s next game, Redfall, does not have an official release date or even a release window. However, if Xbox and Bethesda were aiming to give both Redfall and Starfield about a year of extra development time, then July 2023 makes for pretty good anticipation. This vampire-hunting, co-op shooter has also only had a few showings during 2022, so having the front half of 2023 to build hype would do marvels for its marketing.
SEA OF STARS
This indie game has quietly been making a name for itself as a striking spiritual successor to the classic RPG Chrono Trigger. Sea of Stars’ stunning animations, vivid environments, and snappy fighting mechanics look like everything a role-playing fan could want in a game. It’s got a few delays over the years, but 2023 looks to be a lock, and August is a good time for indies to really make a name for itself.
HADES 2 (EARLY ACCESS)
Supergiant Games has become synonymous over the years with incredible storytelling, unique style, and incredible game mechanics. Their last game, Hades, was an undeniable hit, spurring them to announce a sequel, Hades 2, at the 2022 Game Awards. Hades 2 looks to be every bit as excellent as its predecessor, only this time it follows a new main character as she seeks to save Hades (her father) from imprisonment. September 17th marks the 3-year anniversary of Hades’ 1.0 launch, so what better way to celebrate than by launching the early access period for its sequel?
MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN 2
PlayStation hit the big time when they locked down exclusive rights to a Spider-Man game, and handing the reins to Insomniac was a stroke of genius. They’ve recently confirmed that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is on track for a Fall 2023 release, making October the perfect time to drop their hottest exclusive of the year. It’s just over five years since the first game’s launch, and with both Venom and Kraven as headliner villains, the spooky season seems like a solid fit.
Xbox and Bethesda’s partnership since the acquisition hasn’t really borne fruit yet, but that’s all about to change. Starfield is definitely coming in 2023, and November is probably the best time to expect it. The game was originally announced for November 11th, 2022 way back in the summer of 2021. A ballsy call by Todd Howard that didn’t quite pan out, but after an extra year in development it should be safe to bet that Starfield will be ready to hit shelves and take gamers beyond the stars.
FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH
Square Enix has turned Final Fantasy VII into its own franchise within a franchise, spawning spinoffs, remasters, and now a trilogy of remakes. That said, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth might be the best game to challenge Tears of the Kingdom for the top spot in 2023. That is if it makes it out in time.
It’s approved for a “next winter” release window, which could mean any time from December of 2023 through late March of 2024. Regardless, this second installment in the FFVII Remake Project will follow up on the timeline-shattering events of the first game. Not even longtime fans know what’s going to happen next, and that’s exciting.
This year is going to be jam-packed with great releases for gamers of all types. These are just a few of the compelling titles we can, hopefully, look forward to over the next twelve months, but there are plenty if not hundreds coming out every single week.