With the new year comes excitement for all of the games set to release during the calendar year. While the slate will undoubtedly evolve and change over the course of the year, there are plenty of games that are already hot on our radar. Let’s take a look at all of the games the Shacknews staff is most looking forward to in 2023.
Shacknews Most Anticipated Games of 2023
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Long have we waited to see how Nintendo would follow up the wildly successful The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will finally provide that answer this May. While Nintendo has been very hush on details, we anticipate that this sequel will expand upon the remarkable open-world design that made Breath of the Wild an instant classic. If it's as half as good as we think it'll be, we could very well be talking about this game at the end of the year when it's time to give out awards.
There is no doubt that Starfield is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2023. We’re talking about the folks who made Fallout 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Fallout 4, among others. Bethesda Game Studios has a knack for making incredible RPGs and Starfield has been on our radar for several years. After the gameplay reveal we were given in 2022, most of us can’t wait to dig into Starfield in hopes that it’s the next great RPG from Bethesda.
A follow-up to 2012’s Diablo 3 has been long overdue so it makes sense to see a wealth of growing excitement surrounding the upcoming release of Diablo 4. As revealed by Blizzard during the 2022 Game Awards, fans will finally be able to dive into the game on June 6, 2023. As previously shared by Blizzard, Diablo 4 will feature a number of character classes such as the Druid, Barbarian, and Sorceress along with classes like Necromancer and Rogue.
Furthermore, Diablo 4 will offer three new stats (Angelic Power, Demonic Power, Ancestral Power) in addition to features like full crossplay, a new skill tree, and expanded character customization options. If that’s not enough, Diablo 4 will keep fans busy with new open-world traversal elements. With so much goodness seemingly packed into Diablo 4, we can’t help but keep an eager eye out for the game later this year.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Final Fantasy 7 Remake dazzled players with its reimagining of the classic story. A new modernized look, gorgeous landscapes, and a cutting edge combat system made it the ideal way to experience this PlayStation classic. However, Remake's ending resulted in a lot of question marks for both newcomers and diehard FF7 fans alike.
Coming off the events of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the Intergrade expansion story, and the remastered Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion, there is a lot of anticipation for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the second part of the Remake trilogy. Those who remember the original story can look forward to revisiting classic locations with a new set of modern paint while Square Enix continues to refine the action RPG formula that made Remake such a pleasure to play.
However, there's going to be just as many people walking into this game curious about where the story is going. As Aerith herself says in the opening of Rebirth's first trailer, "The Future, even if it has been written, can be changed." Just how much is going to change? We look forward to finding out later this year.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Marvel's Spider-Man took home the Shacknews Game of the Year award in 2018, so it's a given that its sequel cracks our most anticipated games of 2023. We know that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will introduce Venom, one of the web-slinger's most infamous foes, with the iconic Tony Todd lending his voice to the role. Marketing has also made it clear that both Miles Morales and Peter Parker will take center stage in the sequel, opening the door for some excellent gameplay and narrative opportunities. Insomniac is one of the best in the business, and we're counting down the days until we can play Marvel's Spider-Man 2 in the fall.
Street Fighter 6
What began as a nervous peek at what Capcom had for us in Street Fighter 6 has become a roaring fire of excitement. Over the course of a few closed betas, our fears were put to bed and now only anticipation of what Street Fighter 6 has in store for its full package remains. The character's we've had chance to play feel great and the new systems like Drive Impact, Modern Controls, and more make it feel fun and approachable whether you're a newbie or old hand. With some compelling new characters and revamped returning world warriors, we're actually excited to see if Street Fighter 6 can stick the landing and set a new standard for the franchise.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Let's get one thing straight: Resident Evil 4 was already perfect. It was the savior of the franchise bringing an all-new kind of terror to the survival horror genre. We loved wandering the woods, scattered villages and castles of the original. That said, given how well Capcom has been handling the remakes so far, we can't help but be excited for what the Resident Evil 4 remake has in store. Everything has looked tremendously beautiful and intense so far with Leon looking like he handles sleeker than ever before. Moreover, it looks like the threats have also been boosted. The villagers look menacing, the creatures look nightmarish, and whatever is going on under the chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador's hood looks creepier than ever. It would be hard for Resident Evil 4 remake to have the shocking impact of the original, but it still looks like it's going to be a great time nonetheless.
Final Fantasy 16
Final Fantasy is one of, if not the, biggest JRPG franchise of all time, and Final Fantasy 16 is looking like it could be another solid installment in the series. While FF15 had sort of a modern buddy road trip vibe to it with it’s all-black outfits and fancy cars, 16 looks like it may be more in step visually with the medieval aesthetic of the character designs. And those summons are looking very badass. We can’t wait to see what Final Fantasy 16 has in store for us this year!
Redfall is Arkane Studios' first game since Deathloop, which won our Game of the Year award here at Shacknews in 2021. This co-op shooter finds players working to slay vampires in the town of Redfall, Massachusetts. It has shades of Left 4 Dead, but with vampires alongside Arkane Studios' stylish flair. In what should be a bit of a rebound year for Xbox, Redfall is one of the biggest titles on the slate.
We probably should have expected a new Pikmin adventure after Nintendo brought Pikmin 3 to the Nintendo Switch. With the Wii U adventure having now been experienced by a larger player base, it's now time to continue the story of... well, we're not sure. It could continue Olimar's story, follow the crew that players met in Pikmin 3, or introduce an entirely new hero.
Regardless, we're excited to meet the Pikmin again and maybe even see some new Pikmin types that will lead to some exciting new puzzles.
Fire Emblem Engage
Fire Emblem fans are in for a treat in early 2023 with the upcoming release of Fire Emblem Engage on January 20 for Nintendo Switch. In its eShop listing, Engage’s story is described as one that follows the reawakening of the Fell Dragon after being sealed away for a thousand years. The player, taking on the role of Divine Dragon, will need to use a variety of tactical strategies to help bring “peace back to the Continent of Elyos” including the collection of 12 Emblem Rings.
Adding to this, players will be able to team up with heroes from past Fire Emblem games like Marth, Celica, Sigurd, Leif, Roy, Lyn, Eirika, Ike, Micaiah, Lucina, Corrin, and even Byleth from Three Houses. Not only will fans encounter new faces as well, but the game’s turn-based tactical battling using the new Engage system will help expand things even further by letting players strategically “use weapons, skills, and more from these legends during battle.”
Remnant: From the Ashes was an incredible surprise. The game managed to mix together third-person shooting with a Souls-like formula, and it succeeded with honors. We were beginning to think we’d never get to have a new experience in the game but Gunfire Games surprised us all at the Game Awards in 2022 with the announcement of Remnant 2. We’re hoping that the sequel ratchets it up a notch, adds in all sorts of new weapons and abilities, and tests our skills with outlandish bosses. Here’s hoping that Remnant 2 includes the original’s Survival Mode – a roguelike activity that thoroughly challenges even the most experienced players.
Square Enix practically lives in a fantasy realm given how much the publisher likes to visit franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Forspoken appears to be a similar type of magical experience, but one that's focused more on a runaway from modern-day New York named Frey Holland.
Forspoken looks to be a fascinating tale of an everyday woman who is transported to a mysterious, magical realm called Athia alongside a strange living cuff. Together, they must determine exactly what is plaguing this world while growing together as a magical force. They'll need all the strength they can muster to face not only the powerful creatures ahead, but also the fallen magic wielders driven mad by the Break who see Frey as a demonic creature who must be exterminated.
While the story looks to be firmly in that Square Enix wheelhouse, the combat system that mixes together quick attacks and magic spells derived from runic fingernail patterns looks fresh and interesting. It's a story we can't wait to dive into later in January.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Ever since the credits rolled on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the wait for its inevitable sequel was crushing. The wait will end in 2023 with the release of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which continues Cal Kestis' story through the height of the Empire's power. While Fallen Order began with Cal trying to live under the radar of Vader's Inquisitors, he has since embraced his calling as a Jedi and is now squarely on the fallen Anakin Skywalker's radar.
Fallen Order's narrative had the kind of gravity that one would expect from Respawn Entertainment, which was fresh off the captivating story it told in Titanfall 2. However, the studio also showed its versatility in crafting a different kind of combat experience, one that has more in common with FromSoftware's Souls games than it does with a game like Apex Legends. These games aren't just about mastering Force abilities. They're about precision timing and knowing when to use them.
We're excited to see how much of this formula is refined with the upcoming sequel and also somewhat intrigued to see how difficult this game can be on the highest setting.
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
Armored Core has been away for a very long time. FromSoftware had time to fully establish itself as the Soulsborne studio in the time since we've had a good Armored Core game (which would be Armored Core 4, not 5. We don't speak of Armored Core 5 here). FromSoftware is coming off of all of the amazing success of Elden Ring and it kind of makes Armored Core 6 all the more important. Not only is it a chance to introduce a new audience to the amazing customizable mechs and combat of this series, but it's also a chance for this series to rise like a phoenix. It had better, too. We hope it does well, because if FromSoftware can't find success with this one, we don't see any reason why they'd deviate from Soulsborne again anytime soon.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
It has been many years since Rocksteady last released any kind of game. Ever since the studio wrapped up the Arkham trilogy, speculation ran rampant as to which hero would get the Rocksteady treatment. Would it be Superman? Would it be the Green Lantern? Would it be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? As it turned out, the answer was the Suicide Squad, but even after that announcement was made, a new game was still years away.
Finally, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set to release in May and will introduce a playable version of Amanda Waller's Task Force X. Whether you're playing as Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, or King Shark, this promises to be a Rocksteady experience unlike any other to this point, especially with the addition of co-op play. There are still some questions about gameplay systems and even the story, but it's fun to walk into this blockbuster with a little bit of mystery.
It's also going to be a bittersweet moment when this game releases, because it's going to be the final gaming performance for the late Kevin Conroy. Geoff Keighley confirmed at The Game Awards that Suicide Squad will mark Conroy's last time donning Batman's cowl and that alone will make us want to try this one out.
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden
While Don't Nod (the former Dontnod Entertainment) is mainly recognized for its work on the Life is Strange games, the studio has been looking to branch out into some new genres and tell fresh stories in different settings. The developer's next project has us intrigued, as Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden tells the tale of ghosts hunters dealing with the living and the dead.
Banishers appears to offer a mix of action RPG gameplay with a lot of the narrative-based storytelling that put Don't Nod on the map. There isn't too much to go by based on the trailer revealed at The Game Awards, other than meeting ghost hunters Red Mac Raith and Antea Duarte. However, it was hard not to feel impact at the visceral banishing of the ethereal spirits juxtaposed with the realization that Red's beloved Antea is also walking among the ghosts.
Focus Entertainment is certain that Don't Nod is bringing something truly ambitious to the table by combining melee and magical combat with Don't Nod's gut-wrenching and difficult moral choices. We look forward to seeing just how deep this experience will get later this year.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Ever since Friday The 13th had to cease development as a result of copyright issues, there has been a massive hole in the hearts of asymmetrical horror game fans. The Texas Chain Saw will deliver a new multiplayer experience, based on one of the greatest horror movies ever made. What's really intrigued us about this one is the level of detail and homage being paid to the 1974 film, with characters and locations appearing to be authentic recreations of what we saw on the screen.
With longtime Jason actor Kane Hodder doing the motion capture for Leatherface in Gun and Sumo Digital's Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the spirit of Friday The 13th lives on in this new game.
Alan Wake 2
The announcement of an Alan Wake sequel at the The Game Awards in December of 2021 was not only a huge surprise in general, but also an immensely exciting one for Alan Wake fans who’d already been treated to a remastered version of Alan Wake back in October of that same year.
While there’s still a lot that remains unknown about the contents of Alan Wake 2, there’s no doubt about the sort of hype that surrounds it and its targeted 2023 release. Especially seeing as how it’s been over a decade in the making with Alan Wake first releasing all the way back in 2010.
In terms of what fans can expect, the initial announcement post from Remedy notes that Alan Wake 2 marks the team’s first dive into the survival horror genre, with those survival elements to be paired with the familiar psychological horror as featured in the first game.
Silent Hill 2 Remake
A reboot of the Silent Hill series was one of the worst-kept secrets in gaming for years, but it's finally happening: a Silent Hill 2 remake is on the way from Bloober Team and many signs point to it coming out this year. There's a lot of pressure for Bloober to get this one right. It's one of the most beloved horror games of all time, but they seem to understand the assignment as well. Bloober are fans of the original and have promised that nothing will be ruined or left by the wayside as it upgrades the gameplay and visuals of this remake. It doesn't look bad in the screenshots either. If all goes well, it could finally be a good year for the dormant horror series.
Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur's Gate 3 is more than just a return to the popular Dungeons & Dragons CRPG universe... It's a return crafted by one of the masters of the style, Larian Studios. Responsible for the impeccable Divinity series, Larian has already knocked it out of the park several times over, and succeeded particularly well with Divinity: Original Sin 2. Fast forward a few years, Larian has the full trappings of the D&D franchise at its disposal and it looks like it is handling that power with both respect and authority. The game has looked delightful in early access. That said, we're finally coming into the home stretch and it looks like deleted saves from game updates will be a thing of the past soon. Now, if we could just figure out how to keep the Mind Flayers from devouring our thoughts and dreams.
Dead Island 2
It’s been just about nine years since Dead Island 2 was first revealed, but after a number of delays, it looks like the game will finally be launching in 2023. This time, players will have to piece together weapons and survive the zombie-ravaged streets of Los Angeles. Nine years is a long time to wait for a sequel but here’s to hoping it will be worth it.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl
First announced all the way back in the middle of 2020, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 immediately stole the hearts and minds of those that fell in love with the first game. While it has suffered from a few delays (including the war in Ukraine), 2023 might just be the year we get to dive into the post-apocalyptic world. Everything we’ve seen so far has filled us with giddy glee, including the intense section of creeping through marshland avoiding anomalies. Sign us up!
Dead Space Remake
To say that we’re fans of Dead Space would be a bit of an understatement. In order to prepare for the remake, Sam’s been reading through the Dead Space novels to brush up on the background and lore. We’ve also dived into the Callisto Protocol at the end of last year, which has set us up and prepared us for the horrors that await on the USG Ishimura. The original game is such an icon in the horror genre and getting to see it remade with improved visuals and gameplay is thrilling. Remember: cut off their limbs!
Assassin's Creed Mirage
Over the last several years we’ve become used to huge Assassin’s Creed games that focus on open worlds and RPG elements. Assassin’s Creed Mirage appears to be a return to the roots of the franchise, though, featuring parkour, stealth, and close-quarter combat. Players will find the experience shorter and more linear, but that’s just the change of pace the Assassin’s Creed franchise could use. Earlier installments of the franchise gave us some intense moments and triumphant level clears, and we’re excited to chase those assassin highs again in 2023.
Metal Slug Tactics
Metal Slug Tactics has been an elusive and much desired title ever since it was first revealed in 2021. The latest of Dotemu's retro-style revivals of classic franchises, this one takes the beloved Metal Slug side-scrolling shooter and applies a Final Fantasy Tactics-like formula to it. The game has looked incredible when we've gotten to see it previously, featuring our favorite heroes, their super-powered vehicles, and cartoonish degrees of battle and destruction. The last we heard, Metal Slug Tactics was being delayed to somewhere in 2023. We hope it stays that way because it stands a big chance of being our favorite strategy game of the year when it arrives.
It isn't entirely likely that Insomniac will take on two Herculean Marvel properties in one year, but we're still hopeful that we'll get to see the best there is at what he does in 2023. Marvel's Wolverine will mark Logan's first solo game since the highly underappreciated adaptation to his X-Men Origins movie. Given what Insomniac has been able to do with two Spider-Men, we can only imagine what they'll be able to accomplish with the mighty Canucklehead.
Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals
The original Oxenfree was both an interesting slice-of-life tale between teenage friends and an unnerving supernatural mystery all in one. Night School Studio has been through quite some changes since it was acquired by Netflix for the latter's new gaming department, but Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals is still on the menu in 2023 and looking like a more harrowing adventure than ever. Point-and-click adventures have taken on a lot of new life, especially in the indie scene, and Oxenfree is among the titles that can be thanked for that. With that in mind, we have high hopes for the stories Night School will tell when it comes to the sequel.
System Shock Remake
System Shock is one of those foundational games that laid the way for many games to come. For a lot of players, BioShock would have been their first foray into the ‘Shock style of games and 2023 looks like the year they’ll get to experience where it all started. Though the original still manages to send shivers down our spine, we’re excited to be able to see the terrible world, the twisted mind of SHODAN, and the game fully realized with modern visuals and various other improvements. If you enjoyed BioShock but never got a chance to play System Shock, you’re in for a treat.
The Wolf Among Us 2
We're as excited as anybody to see if Telltale can get back to its old ways when the resurrected studio releases The Expanse later this year. Let's face it, though. There's only one Telltale game that we're truly excited about and that's the one featuring the return of Bigby Wolf.
It's been far too long since Telltale first announced The Wolf Among Us 2. While the studio has been refreshingly honest about development setbacks and the game's lengthy development cycle, we're hopeful for a breakthrough in 2023. After all, it's been a full decade since players got to experience Telltale's first story based on DC Vertigo's Fables property. Fans of those books know how ripe that world is for potential stories and we hope we can experience one of them later this year.
Those are the video games we're most looking forward to. It'll be fun to look back on this list a year from now and see which ones ended up one of our favorites from the year, and which ones end up getting delayed or falling short of those expectations. As always, we'd love to hear from you. What games are you most looking forward to in 2023?
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