2022 saw the release of many unique games, both in terms of story and gameplay. Some excellent recent titles include God of War Ragnarök and Marvel’s Midnight Suns which, even though they were released later in the year, offered something fresh and exciting for gamers. In fact, they even set the next year up with a tough act to follow.
Even though 2022 was a big year, 2023 looks to be even bigger, as many next-gen titles were previously delayed to offer a great product upon release. Now is the time for studios to ante up, and 2023 is the magic year for many highly anticipated games. There’s a healthy mix of titles that span everything from licensed properties to new IPs to classic franchises. The best part is that the games coming also offer something new for players that may be itching for a change to the status quo. Here are some of the most highly anticipated games players should expect to hit shelves this year.
Hogwarts Legacy Brings Magic to the Players
The Harry Potter franchise introduced fans to a world of magic that was as entertaining as it was welcoming to all. However, there’s yet to be a way for fans to immerse themselves in the world and feel the power of its magic in their hands. That said, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment finally cracked the conundrum and has offered up the game Hogwarts Legacy. Therein, players can create an avatar of themselves that will be a student at Hogwarts, where they can learn spells, train creatures, and duel as they uncover a larger mystery. Coming to next-gen consoles on Feb. 10, Hogwarts Legacy could be the next great Wizarding World experience.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage Brings the Franchise to Its Roots
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla introduced the complicated character of Basim. By the end of the game, he may seem more villainous, but he didn’t start that way. Now, Assassin’s Creed Mirage will explore his early years, training as a student before he became an Assassin Master. Being that the character is Middle Eastern, Mirage will also offer players a chance to return to the older Assassin’s Creed tropes, like an eagle feather being used to confirm a kill. There’s still much to be uncovered, and a release date hasn’t been set, but gamers will undoubtedly enjoy Assassin’s Creed Mirage bringing them back to the franchise’s old days.
Final Fantasy XVI Continues the Franchise’s Rich Legacy
The Final Fantasy franchise has always been known for the unique stories that come with each entry. Whether set in a version of the future or a distant past, each story has shown that heroes come from unlikely places and power can corrupt as much as it can save. Now Final Fantasy XVI will show yet another example of this as a new story is woven for players. Set in a world filled with knights and sorcery, multiple characters interact in a dying world where magic, fate, and luck converge in a battle of icons. So far, the story between the characters is still mostly unknown, but players will be able to uncover the mystery on the PlayStation 5 in the summer of 2023.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Promises a More Dangerous Adventure
Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order brought narrative focus back to Star Wars games and introduced a new character in Cal Kestis. When his first adventure ended, he was officially a Jedi and ready to travel the galaxy, helping where he could against the Empire. Now, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor follows up on what he’s been up to since, and a new mystery must be uncovered. There are many questions that have yet to be answered in terms of story, but the fact that the rest of the Mantis crew can’t be found makes it clear that Cal may be in over his head in terms of danger. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor hits next-gen consoles on Mar. 15.
Tekken 8 Will Pull No Punches
Tekken 7 showed the limits of fighting games in current-gen consoles were meant to be pushed to the limit. Now, Tekken 8 will do the same as it breaks its way to next-gen consoles. Not much is known about what mechanics have been added or taken away, but the detail in the character models and environments show that this could be the most visceral Tekken yet. Tekken 7‘s story left off with Kazuya officially the franchise’s main antagonist and a band of relatives forming alliances to face him. Now, the feud between father and son may come to an end as Jin and Kazuya face off for what may be the last time. Tekken 8 will hit consoles on Aug. 8.
Street Fighter 6 Evolves the Franchise for New Players
The Street Fighter franchise has become one of the most experimental fighting game franchises ever. While the previous installment had a rocky start with a limited roster of characters, Street Fighter 6 has seemingly learned from the series’ mistakes and offered something that is both traditional and groundbreaking for new players. For starters, players can now make inputs much easier so that they can better compete against opponents. There’s also a third-person story component that makes Street Fighter 6 more of a community for fellow fighters to meet up and battle. With so much that’s new, fans will be clamoring to see what Capcom has to offer in 2023.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Is the Next Chapter in an Epic Saga
The latest era of the Zelda franchise has revolutionized the character and made the series a staple for how RPGs could and should be played. While its cel-shaded design allows for maximum detail, the gameplay utilizes clever physics to create something awe-inspiring. That said, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild introduced an epic story that was only just the beginning. Now, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will bring something even more epic while pushing the limits of its gameplay to give players the most immersive experience yet. Not much is known of the story, but the stakes seem higher than ever and will definitely blow the minds of Switch players when it drops on May 12.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Expands on What Worked Before
Marvel’s Spider-Man offered a definitive next-gen look at how superhero games should be made and also redefined what a Spider-Man game should be like. When it was time for Miles Morales to don the mask, his story continued to expand on the gameplay and narrative without compromising quality. While both games still had certain aspects that needed improvement, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 looks to be the chance to further refine combat, traversal, and even story. With Miles, Peter, and even Venom entering the fray, anything could happen, but as Insomniac Games has proven, each entry is a step up the ladder. Fans will have to wait for the new entry’s release in 2023 to see what unfolds.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Sees Rocksteady Back in Action
Rocksteady Studios helped to introduce a new type of superhero game with the Arkham franchise. Since then, however, the studio hasn’t been very active on the superhero game front. Interestingly enough, its next foray will actually put supervillains into the spotlight in the game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. The title says it all, and players will be able to play as Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and King Shark. Each character has their own style and proves that Rocksteady hasn’t missed a beat since the last DC game they crafted. It’s unclear exactly when the game will come out, but when it does at some point in 2023, fans will finally know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a superhero attack.
Starfield Will Push the Limits of Simulated Space Exploration
Even before titles like Mass Effect, space has always been a topic of discussion in video games. However, there have been many successes and many failures when it came to charting the stars in a way that lets players make their own choices. Now, Bethesda Softworks is ready to try its hand at the genre with Starfield. Even though it’s been in development for years, there’s still much that’s unknown about what can be expected from the game. Nevertheless, it promises deep levels of exploration, crafting, and interaction with many characters and aliens that are encountered on each world. While there’s no release date set, fans can expect Starfield to hit the Xbox Series X|S in 2023.