All the games delayed in 2021 and 2022 are hitting in 2023. Between The Legend of Zelda, Starfield and Final Fantasy 16 alone, it’s going to be a big one.
Starfield, Bethesda’s upcoming space epic, is one of 2023’s most anticipated games.
The last few years have been rough on the games industry. Development teams disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic had to delay big games — Starfield and the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom chief among them. But the losses of 2021 and 2022 are the gains of 2023. Free up some weekends, because there are a lot of games that look worth playing this year.
This list of release dates for notable 2023 titles is already packed, but for now we’ve added only games set for launch in the first half of the year. More will be added as the year progresses and we get more concrete dates.
2022 was a sparse-but-good year for games. We got an open-world Pokemon, the long-awaited sequel to God of War and, of course, the tour de force that was Elden Ring. Only time will determine if the games of 2023 reach those same heights, but the numbers are certainly in our favor.
Nearly two months into 2022 and we’ve already had two big releases in Fire Emblem Engage and the long-delayed Hogwarts Legacy. Let’s just hope Zelda doesn’t get delayed again. Here are all the big PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch games to keep track of in 2023.
Release date: Feb. 22.
Sony hopes Horizon Call of the Mountain will be a killer app for PlayStation VR 2
One of Sony’s goals for 2023 is to make VR happen. To help do that, it’s enlisted Guerilla Games to make Horizon Call of the Mountain, a virtual reality spinoff to Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West. You won’t be playing as Aloy, but will rather take up the hunter bow of Ryas, a member of the Shadow Carja tribe that featured prominently in Zero Dawn. Being a VR game, Call of the Mountain looks to feature less open-world roaming, but more exhilerating climbing, exploration and bow-based combat. It launches alongside the PlayStation VR2 headset on Feb. 22.
Release date: March 3.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a new IP with a pedigree: It’s developed by Team Ninja, the gang behind the acclaimed Ninja Gaiden and the even more acclaimed Nioh franchise. Wo Long is set during the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history — roughly 220 AD — but features plenty of fantastical (and grotesque) beasts to slay. Like Nioh, this looks to be inspired by Dark Souls, meaning you should be prepared to die. A lot.
Release date: March 24.
Resident Evil 4 was originally launched in 2005 on the GameCube.
After the roaring success of the Resident Evil 2 Remake, Capcom is at it again. Originally released in 2005 as a GameCube exclusive (imagine that) Resident Evil 4 is the most acclaimed title in the illustrious franchise. Because of its fanfare, Capcom has ported and remastered Resident Evil 4 over and over again. Hopefully you don’t have RE4 fatigue, because it’s now getting proper remake treatment.
If you’ve never played Resident Evil 4, and if Capcom can do for it what it did for Resident Evil 2, this is sure to be a must-play.
Release date: March 28.
We know Rockstar is developing Grand Theft Auto 6, but it’s still yonks away. Crime Boss: Rockay City, by 505 Games, is clearly inspired by GTA, and may help fill the GTA-shaped hole in your heart while you wait for the next big open-world crime bonanza.
Crime Boss: Rockay City is a first-person game about 90’s Florida turf wars, and it’s designed to be played alone or with friends. The most attention-grabbing feature of the game is its celeb-heavy cast. Kill Bill’s Michael Madson stars as the protagonist, Travis Barker, and the supporting cast features Kim Basinger, Danny Trejo, Chuck Norris and Vanilla Ice.
Release date: April 21.
If you weren’t a big Game Boy Advance player, you likely have no love for Advance Wars. But don’t sleep on Advance Wars. It’s some fine turn-based strategy — damn fine, even. Its developers — Intelligent Systems — helped make some of Nintendo’s biggest-ever games. That includes Fire Emblem, Metroid and a little number called Super Mario Bros. Re-Boot Camp features Advance Wars 1 and 2, brings their graphics forward by about 20 years, adds voice acting and online play.
Release date: May 2.
Redfall looks like a mix of Deathloop and The Last of Us. It takes place in Redfall, a fictional Massachusetts town that was flowing along swimmingly until a swarm of vampires took it over and cut it off from the outside world. Like in The Last of Us, you’ll explore a town brimming with remnants of the before times, but the game looks to have a less serious, more quirky attitude about it, similar to Deathloop. That makes sense, as Redfall is developed by Arkane Austin, a sister studio to Deathloop creators Arkane Lyon.
Release date: May 12.
Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a sequel to one of the greatest games of all time.
Not much needs to be said here. The Legend of Zelda is one of gaming’s most renowned franchises, and 2017’s Breath of the Wild is incontestably one of the greatest games ever. Nintendo has a habit of delaying Zelda games — Tears of the Kingdom has already been delayed once — so hopefully the May 12 date sticks.
Release date: May 26.
Suicide Squad is brought to you by the same people who made the Batman Arkham trilogy.
Last year’s Gotham Knights was unable to step out of Batman’s Arkham City-sized shadow, so now the Suicide Squad has a perfect opportunity to upstage the good guys… and then kill them.
Though Gotham Knights was a sequel of sorts to Batman’s Arkham series, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is its true spiritual successor. It’s developed by Rocksteady, the same studio that developed the Arkham trilogy. The game lets you play as four members of the Suicide Squad — Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang and King Shark — and includes Kevin Conroy’s last recorded performance as Batman.
Release date: June 2.
Street Fighter 6 is the franchise’s fifirst new mainline game since 2016.
Street Fighter 6 is the first major new game in the franchise since 2016. As you can imagine, it’s expected to have dramatically improved visuals. There will also be five new characters, with more to potentially be announced. Other new additions include a single-player adventure mode and in-game commentary, a welcome feature for esports fans. But as nice as those extras are, the Street Fighter series is all about its rock-solid fighting system, which is simple enough for beginners to have fun but deep enough that dedicated fighters will spend years to mastering it. As long as that still works, this should be a banger.
Release date: June 6.
Diablo 4 was first announced in 2019.
Last year we got an updated version of Overwatch, now it’s Diablo’s turn to get supercharged. Diablo 4, the latest major installation in Activision Blizzard’s long-running action RPG franchise, couldn’t come sooner. Fans have been awaiting Diablo 4’s arrival since its announcement in 2019, a whole pandemic ago.
Release date: June 22.
Final Fantasy 16 is a timed PS5 exclusive until the end of the year.
I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve watched various Final Fantasy 16 trailers several times and I still have no clue what this game is about. There’s a fight going on between six different countries, and somehow giant summons like Ifrit are involved. I’m not super sure, but the fact that Final Fantasy is coming to a new console generation is reason enough for this game to turn into a massive cultural event. (It’ll be a PS5 exclusive until the end of the year.) It may also be the first of two big Final Fantasy releases this year, with Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s sequel potentially — but probably not — hitting during the holiday season.
Release date: July 21.
Pikmin 3 was one of the many great games that didn’t get the spotlight it deserved thanks to being on the woefully unsuccessful WiiU console. Though that was partially rectified by the Pikmin 3 Deluxe port to the Switch, Pikmin 4 gives the little critters a better shot at greatness. The first mainline Pikmin game in a decade, it launches on July 21.
Release date: First half of 2023.
Hollow Knight was a beloved Metroidvania game.
Hollow Knight, launched in 2017, was praised for being one of the best Metroidvania games without the words “Metroid” or “Vania” in its title. In 2023, indie developer Team Cherry wants to do it all again. You’ll play as a different character — a boss you fought in the original game — but the core gameplay here is the same. Explore, fight a bunch of dudes, get lost, explore some more, repeat a few times and ultimately succeed. I, for one, am ready.
Hollow Knight: Silksong was announced on June 12, 2022, and Microsoft said it would launch within a year of that date.
Release date: Second half of 2023.
Move over Gran Turismo, it’s Forza time.
Forza Horizon brought the driving franchise’s open-world exploration to the Xbox Series X|S, but in 2023 we go back to Forza’s driving-sim roots. This game will be more similar to Gran Turismo 7, which hit the PS5 last year, trading open roads for closed tracks. A little more finesse, a little more professional. No matter their flavor, Forza games can be relied on to provide some delicious drives — and 2023’s Forza Motorsport should be the prettiest one yet.
Release date: First half of 2023.
If it weren’t for Tears of the Kingdom, Starfield would be 2023’s most anticipated game.
Like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Starfield was one of 2022’s great delays. Originally slated for a Nov. 11 release, it was pushed back to the “first half of 2023.” It’s for the best: Starfield is a game from the same Bethesda studio that made Skyrim and Fallout 4.
If done right, Starfield could be a game that people will be playing for years to come. There are apparently 1,000 planets to explore, so an extra few layers of polish will go a long way. If Tears of the Kingdom is most predicted to be 2023’s best game, Starfield may be its most ambitious.
Release date: 2023.
Ubisoft is making a more focused Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
Ubisoft is taking an unusual approach with Assassin’s Creed Mirage. After years of “bigger is better,” Ubisoft is now scaling down and trying the “less is more” approach. In announcing Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the company boasted it to be a “shorter, more narrative-driven game than recent entries in the series.” Sounds good to me. Mirage is set in 9th century Baghdad, a couple decades before Valhalla, and stars Basim, who played a supporting role in that game.
Release date: 2023.
Lies of P sounds gnarly as hell: It’s the story of Pinocchio reimagined as a 2023 Dark Souls. Your goal is to find Mr. Geppetto, and a synopsis for the game talks about needing to lie your way through a rough city to do that. That’s all well and good, but from Lies of P’s trailer it looks like combat will be the real star of the show here.
Release date: Fall 2023.
Spider-Man 2 features both Peter Parker and Miles Morales.
I didn’t like 2018’s Spider-Man as much as I’d hoped to: It was good, but no Batman: Arkham City. Almost everyone else loved it, though: Spider-Man has an 8.7 rating on Metacritic, and beat out Arkham City to become the best-selling superhero game ever. Spider-Man 2 will launch in late 2023 exclusively for the PS5, and will feature both Peter Parker and Miles Morales, who starred in his own 2020 spin-off. The Spider-Men will need to combine their powers in this game, because there’s a wild Venom on the loose.
Virtual Reality Gaming