Even though 2022 had its fair share of undiluted bangers including Elden Ring, God of War: Ragnarok, Marvel’s Midnight Suns and Need for Speed Unbound to name just a few, 2023 is somehow shaping up to be even better. So to help you pull the wheat from the chaff, or something, here are our ten most anticipated games of 2023.
10) Street Fighter 6
Seemingly on course to be the apex of Capcom’s legendary fighting franchise, Street Fighter 6 has been a long time coming. Boasting a diverse roster of 18 different fighters made up of series veterans such as Ryu, Ken, Chun Li and also promising new arrivals like Jamie and Kimberly, Street Fighter 6 is certainly looking to change things up a bit. Beyond its refreshed roster and improved visuals, this commitment to change extends even further still, as Street Fighter 6 boasts an all-new single-player, open-world narrative campaign, real-time match commentary and a new Drive gauge which allows patient players to seize victory from the jaws of defeat. Put simply, Street Fighter is back in 2023 and that fact alone is worthy of celebration.
9) Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Ever since the Assassin’s Creed series pivoted into a full-blown, open-world RPG with Assassin’s Creed Origins back in 2017, it’s certainly fair to say that a sizable chunk of the series’ massive fanbase has missed the tighter, more stealth focused design of the earlier Assassin’s Creed games. Marking a return to the series halcyon days, Assassin’s Creed Mirage not only brings back improved parkour, stealth and assassinations, but it also shifts the action into ninth century Baghdad during the Islamic Golden Age, as players take on the role of rogue thief Basim and chart his journey into legend. If you’ve been waiting for Assassin’s Creed to make an overdue return to its roots, then 2023 is going to be your year as Assassin’s Creed Mirage is shaping up beautifully to say the least.
8) Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Though developer Respawn rarely puts a foot wrong, the stakes were monumentally high when Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order released back in late 2019. Thankfully, the Titanfall developer absolutely rose to the occasion, crafting a hugely polished and entertaining third-person action adventure which combined compelling combat, Metroidvania style exploration and an engrossing narrative to create one of the best Star Wars games ever made. Much like its main protagonist, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor looks to have matured further still, doubling down on the superbly judged combat and exploration of the previous game, while bringing back Cal Kestis (now as a full fledged Jedi Knight), to fight for his survival as one of the last living Jedi Knights in the galaxy. Loved Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order? Then Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is shaping up to be a more than worthy successor.
7) Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
The fact remains that in 2023 there is still no game that makes the player feel like your neighbourhood Spider-Man quite like Marvel’s Spider-Man from Insomniac Games, so the anticipation for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is palpable to say the least. While a much welcomed return to Insomniac Games’ evocative take on the Big Apple is on the cards, together with expected evolutions in combat and exploration, perhaps more interesting is the fact Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 seems to bring resident Spider-Men Peter Parker and Miles Morales together, suggesting a cooperative slant to proceedings. Horror legend Tony Todd meanwhile steps into the VA booth to lend his not-so dulcet tones to the seeming big bad of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Venom.
6) Dead Island 2
Announced all the way back in 2014 and going through enough development hells that Dante could create nine more infernal circles, it’s fair to say that Dead Island 2 has been waiting in the wings for a long, long while now. Thankfully, 2023 finally looks to be the year that Dead Island 2 finally gets a release and even better still, it’s actually shaping up rather nicely to boot. Unfurling its visceral violence in a post-apocalyptic California that has been predictably overrun by face-munching zombies, Dead Island 2 places a bespoke focus on different melee combat styles, crafting, open world exploration and more over the top violence than you can shake a detached spinal cord at.
5) Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
With Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, Batman Arkham developers Rocksteady will be providing gamers with an opportunity to see how the other side lives in its latest DC Comics adaptation. An open-world action adventure that casts players as the titular villainous Suicide Squad made up of Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang and Deadshot, Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League has the group fighting corrupted versions of DC’s most popular heroes, such as Batman, Superman and The Flash, as they attempt to restore order to a world under siege by nefarious bad lad Brianiac. Departing greatly from the design of the Batman Arkham games, Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League instead presents itself as a multiplayer focused, co-operative squad based action adventure, allowing solo players to switch at will between each of the squad, while AI controls the other members of the group not in use. With cutting edge visuals, a whole heaping of black humour and an inversion of the usual superhero narrative, Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is absolutely one to keep an eye on when it releases later this year.
4) Final Fantasy XVI
Taking a decidedly more adult approach to the Final Fantasy series than any game before it, Final Fantasy XVI couldn’t be more different from the ‘bro-trip’ that was Final Fantasy XV if it tried. Unfolding in the world of Valisthea where each of the six main nations have ‘Dominants’, which are essentially super powerful beings that can inhabit the form of elemental titans known as Eikons. Blending together thunderous real-time combat and exploration, Final Fantasy XVI separates itself further still from its predecessors by actually allowing players to take control of these towering Eikons as they adventure across the continent in a sweeping tale of vengeance. Boasting some absolutely incredible visuals and a surprising narrative that muses on the very contemporary notion of nations owning massively destructive weapons being leveraged as deterrents, Final Fantasy XVI is positioning itself as the shot in the arm that the series has long craved.
3) Resident Evil 4
Like Final Fantasy VII Remake before it, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake carries with it a weight of expectation that would tilt the earth off its axis. That said, early reports would seem to banish any such spectres of trepidation as Capcom would seem to be hewing extremely close to the source material all the while bringing the near twenty year old Resident Evil 4 up to date for an all-new audience. Though the obvious audiovisual improvements that bring Resident Evil 4 kicking and screaming into 2023 are welcome, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake rigidly maintains the essence of the beloved 2005 original. Resident Evil 4 keeps the same over the shoulder third-person combat and exploration, the same story and of course, the very same hugely satisfying survival horror beats that made the original such an engrossing prospect in the first instance. A hugely compelling case for the old maxim of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, if there ever was one.
2) Diablo IV
Perhaps unfairly overshadowed somewhat by the relatively botched launch of Overwatch 2 and the various regulatory shenanigans surrounding Microsoft’s proposed buyout of Activision Blizzard, Diablo IV has been quietly simmering in the background. Now with its release due in just a matter of months, rather than years, Diablo IV is coming into clear focus at last. Though Diablo IV expectedly continues to proudly wear the mantle of its dungeon crawler heraldry, with five different classes to choose from, hundreds of different monster types to mash and a mountain of loot to scoop up, it also brings some new innovations to the table to ensure that it’s much more than just Diablo 3.5. Boasting one massive world with no loading times helps to keep the whole thing moving along seamlessly, while the shift to a more medieval setting and grounded premise away from the more fantastical locales of the previous games also helps to make Diablo IV a decidedly more refreshing entry in the series than many might have thought. It’s hard to imagine a bigger game in 2023 then, except for maybe…
Perhaps the biggest question of all is just what is Starfield supposed to be? The Elder Scrolls in space, No Man’s Sky with a narrative RPG slant, or something in-between? Whatever the final result, Bethesda’s Starfield certainly won’t lack ambition and neither does it lack anticipation, being the first major new IP from the developer in an age. Casting players as a card carrying member of Constellation, a sprawling empire of space explorers, Starfield seemingly allows players to let their space fantasies run wild as they pilot ships across the galaxy, aligning with factions, double-crossing enemies and generally living out their lives as a spacebound adventurer. With the enticing promise of a massive ‘open-galaxy’ RPG filled with stories, adventures and secrets to be found, together with Bethesda’s penchant for in-depth storytelling and satisfying combat, it’s easy to see why Starfield is our most anticipated game of 2023.