Following two years of false starts, 2023 looks to be the proper beginning of the PS5-Xbox Series generation, as Unreal Engine 5 support builds and an increasing number of developers drop support for Sony and Microsoft’s last-gen consoles. Starfield, Spider-Man 2, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and Final Fantasy 16 are only a handful of games built exclusively for new hardware, though PS4, Xbox One, and especially Switch owners have plenty to look forward to as well.
With dozens of games delayed to 2023, a greater emphasis on new-gen hardware, and at least one major exclusive from each platform holder, next year easily houses the most exciting games lineup since the changing of the console guard in 2020. As we enter the new year, we’ve channeled that excitement into this list of 2023’s 45 biggest games, listed chronologically by release date.
Only games with officially announced 2023 release dates/windows were considered for this list. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (2023-2024) and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth (“next winter”), for example, have release windows that expand into 2024 and therefore aren’t included. Games expected to move out of Early Access in 2023, such as Baldur’s Gate 3 and Disney Dreamlight Valley, are also excluded.
Seasonal (e.g., Spring, Fall) release windows are based on the Northern Hemisphere.
Biggest Games of 2023
Fire Emblem Engage
Nintendo kicks off a busy start to the year with Fire Emblem Engage on January 20. The Switch exclusive introduces an all-new protagonist to the series in the red-and-blue-haired Alear. This latest mainline Fire Emblem allows players to summon, or “engage,” heroes from the series’ past, including original protagonist and Smash Bros. staple Marth. When a past hero is engaged, Alear inherits their weapons and skills.
Engage follows 2019’s excellent Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which earned a 9.5 from IGN.
Following two delays in 2022, Forspoken is finally set to hit PS5 and PC on January 24. The new action RPG from Square Enix is worth keeping an eye on for several reasons, chief among them being its all-star writing team of Rogue One’s Gary Whitta, Uncharted’s Amy Hennig and Todd Stashwick (Uncharted), and Shadowhunters’ Allison Rymer.
Forspoken’s isekai narrative concept sees protagonist Frey transported from modern-day New York City into Athia, a fantastical world of magic and deep mythology. As Frey journeys to return home, she’ll learn other-worldly abilities that aid in both combat and traversal.
2023’s Dead Space is a ground-up remake of the 2008 survival horror classic. It’s fully rebuilt in EA’s Frostbite engine with “all new assets, new character models, [and] new environments” based on the original designs.
It’s still Dead Space at its core, though the team at EA Motive is keeping things fresh by introducing new systems such as Peeling, which allows players to shoot additional flesh, tendons, and bones off of Necromorphs. It’s both a visual treat for gorehounds and a clever health bar for Dead Space’s mutated baddies.
One of the most anticipated games of 2021 (and then 2022) is now one of 2023’s biggest third-party releases. Following two years of delays, Hogwarts Legacy is set to launch on February 10, fulfilling Harry Potter fans’ long-held wishes to live out their own Wizarding World fantasy.
Players create a custom character and choose their desired house before beginning the game as fifth-year students at Hogwarts. The open-world RPG sets you behind your classmates, meaning you’ll have to complete quests to catch up. While there are a ton of areas to explore, secrets to discover, and activities to partake in, developer Avalanche Software was unable to incorporate playable versions of certain Hogwarts pastimes, such as Quidditch, Gobstones, and Wizard’s Chess.
Wild Hearts is EA’s answer to Monster Hunter, an all-new game in which players hunt and craft across a fantastical semi-open world inspired by Feudal Japan. For Wild Hearts, EA partnered with Japanese development studio Omega Force, best known for its action series Dynasty Warriors.
IGN went hands-on with Wild Hearts in October and, thanks to its challenging hunting, beautiful environments, and snappy building mechanics, we came away thinking it’s a legitimate Monster Hunter contender.
Excitement for Atomic Heart has grown considerably since it was announced four years ago, thanks to a steady stream of increasingly bizarre, sci-fi-heavy trailers showcasing a Soviet-set, BioShock-like first-person shooter.
Atomic Heart has the potential to be one of 2023’s biggest sleeper hits. Whether that potential is fulfilled is another question entirely, though early impressions are promising: our first hands-on Atomic Heart preview called it “an engrossing world to get lost in, with dynamic combat, and inspired art and enemy design.”
Longtime Doom composer Mick Gordon created original music for Atomic Heart, which will be mixed with compositions from the ’50s-’80s. The result, according to developer Mundfish, is “Soviet-style pop meets juicy Doom-style remixes.”
Horizon Call of the Mountain
Horizon Call of the Mountain is a standalone PSVR 2 spinoff set during the events of Horizon Zero Dawn. It focuses on two main gameplay systems: traversal, bolstered by a satisfying climbing mechanic, and bow-and-arrow combat. Climbing requires you to physically reach from ledge to ledge, while bow-shooting requires you to pantomime the real action: reach back for an arrow, nock it, aim, then pull back and release.
Call of the Mountain launches alongside PSVR2 on February 22.
Company of Heroes 3
Company of Heroes returns in 2023 with its first mainline entry in a decade and two distinct campaigns set during World War II, one in North Africa and another in Italy.
With Company of Heroes 3, Relic is looking to retain what longtime fans have come to love about the acclaimed RTS while integrating fresh gameplay mechanics such as Tactical Pause and a fully dynamic campaign map.
Our final Company of Heroes 3 preview said, “It feels like good ol’ CoH tactical action, with a wider roster of units than ever before and a good variety of unorthodox objectives to break up the more traditional maps.” It’s coming to PC as well as PS5 and Xbox Series X|S with “intuitive controller support and custom console UI.”
Sons of the Forest
Sons of the Forest is the sequel to one of PC’s best survival-horror games. Like its predecessor, Sons of the Forest drops you onto an eerie island with nothing but your wits to survive. Players have to forage materials to craft weapons and shelters necessary to avoid becoming a victim of the island’s cannibal population.
Kerbal Space Program 2 (Early Access)
Kerbal Space 2 launches into Early Access on February 24. The space-flight simulation sequel introduces new environments, enhanced visuals, a fully revamped UI, over 350 new rocket parts, and the ability to customize and paint your ships.
The Early Access version of KSP 2 is set solely in a reimagined version of the Kerbolar system from the original game, complete with new terrain and atmosphere systems. Post-launch, developer Intercept Games plans to build on this with additional systems to explore, custom bases, and support for both multiplayer and mods.
Octopath Traveler 2
Octopath Traveler 2 is the sequel to Square Enix’s excellent 2018 HD-2D JRPG. The sequel features eight protagonists with separate but converging stories. The latest Octopath Traveler 2 trailer introduced us to two of those characters — the scholar Osvald and the merchant Partitio — as well as the new Latent Powers system, which activates unique abilities after a character takes enough damage or breaks enough enemy shields.
While the original launched exclusively on Switch, Octopath Traveler 2 will be released on PS5, PS4, and PC in addition to Nintendo’s hybrid console.
The Day Before
The Day Before is quietly one of the most anticipated games of 2023; the open-world survival MMO is the second-most-wishlisted game on Steam trailing only Hogwarts Legacy. The Day Before was originally due out in 2022, but a shift to Unreal Engine 5 led developer Fntastic to push that date into the new year.
Set in a zombie-filled, post-pandemic America, The Day Before mixes survival gameplay with in-depth combat and Animal Crossing-inspired base-building.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is the next action game from genre experts Team Ninja, the studio behind Nioh and Ninja Gaiden. Wo Long is described as a soulslike set in a dark fantasy version of China’s Three Kingdoms period.
In true soulslike fashion, Team Ninja promises Wo Long will be “an extremely challenging and demanding game.” Where Wo Long differs from many soulslikes is in the breakneck speed of its combat, which we called “fantastic” in our Wo Long preview.
Skull and Bones
After five years of delays, Ubisoft’s pirate adventure is expected to complete its journey through the rough waters of game development on March 9. Skull & Bones began life as a multiplayer expansion for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag back in 2013 and has gone through various iterations since. What Ubisoft ultimately landed on is an open-sea adventure without a structured campaign. Instead, players captain customizable pirate ships, on which they can take on contracts, gather resources, and do battle with merchants or other players.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Following the release of Bayonetta 3 in 2022, Nintendo and PlatinumGames are once again teaming up for a storybook-inspired prequel called Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon. You’ll control both Cereza before she became known as Bayonetta and the titular Lost Demon Cheshire on a fully narrated quest to save Cereza’s mother.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the sequel to Respawn Entertainment’s Jedi: Fallen Order set five years later. The game continues the story of a more mature and more rugged Cal Kestis, who remains on the run as the Empire’s most-wanted fugitive. Expectations are high for Survivor, as its predecessor is the second best-selling Star Wars game of all time in the U.S. and number two on IGN’s list of the best soulslike games.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Spooky season comes early next year as, following Dead Space in January and Sons of the Forest in February, Capcom will release its ground-up remake of Resident Evil 4 in March.
RE 4 Remake follows Capcom’s recent reimaginings of Resident Evil 2 and 3, retaining the original game’s foundational elements while adding updated gameplay and a visual update. The story also has been “reconstructed” to account for the series’ narrative progression over the last 17 years.
The original 2005 Resident Evil 4 is widely considered one of the best survival horror games ever made. It topped our recently published list of the best Resident Evil games.
Crime Boss: Rockay City
Crime Boss: Rockay City was one of the wildest announcements from The Game Awards 2022. It’s an action-FPS starring an eclectic bunch of prominent actors: Reservoir Dogs actor Michael Madsen, Lethal Weapon’s Danny Glover, Machete himself Danny Trejo, Vanilla Ice, and Chuck Norris.
Crime Boss is set in a fictional version of ’90s Florida with an aesthetic to match. You and up to three other players complete heists and compete for turf on your way to the top of Rockay City’s criminal underworld.
System Shock Remake
Another genre-defining game being remade for 2023 is System Shock, the 1994 first-person action-adventure game that inspired the likes of BioShock and Deus Ex. System Shock puts you in orbit around Saturn aboard the Citadel Station. You play as a nameless hacker attempting to shut down a rogue, maniacal AI named SHODAN who’s overtaken the station.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016, we finally got hands-on with the remake in 2022 and came away impressed by its “haunting sci-fi atmosphere and breathtaking environments.”
Dead Island 2
Following an eight-year development journey across three different studios, Dead Island 2 will finally see the light of day in 2023. It may be hard to believe but given the amount of gameplay shown toward the end of 2022, it appears Dead Island 2 will actually be released on April 28. Based on those videos, Dead Island 2 will give you countless gruesome, gory ways to slice, dice, mash, and smash the undead.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Among the dozens of big games due out in 2023, none is bigger than The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo’s follow-up to what IGN crowned the best game of all time.
Nintendo has been careful not to show too much of Tears of the Kingdom, perhaps in an effort to preserve that same sense of awe and wonder that made Breath of the Wild so special. What Nintendo has shown is an expanded traversal system that sees Link exploring the lands of Hyrule and the vast skies above it. We can’t wait to uncover what secrets Tears of the Kingdom holds when it hits Switch on May 12.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Rocksteady earned its reputation as one of the industry’s leading action-game developers with its excellent Batman Arkham trilogy. Now, eight years later, the team is back with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
Kill the Justice League is set in the same universe as Rocksteady’s Arkham games, though this time around players will step into the shoes of one of four DC supervillains: Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, or Harley Quinn. Playing alone or with up to three other players, you’ll venture through Metropolis to take out corrupted versions of DC heroes including Batman, voiced one last time by the late, great Kevin Conroy.
Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter 6, the series’ first new entry since 2016, introduces a robust character creator for its World Tour mode, allowing your custom fighter to take on Street Fighter legends and master their moves. Among the 18 fighters at launch are series staples Ken, Ryu, and Chun-Li, as well as newcomers Jamie and Kimberly.
Those skeptical about Street Fighter 6 following the many troubles of its predecessor have good reason to be optimistic: IGN’s fighting-game expert Mitchell Saltzman called Street Fighter 6’s beta the best he’s ever played.
Blizzard’s legendary action-RPG series returns in 2023 with Diablo 4, the series’ first-ever crack at an open world. Diablo 4 taps back into the franchise’s darker roots with a story centered around the big bad Lilith. Former game director Luis Barriga described it as gothic, medieval, and “a bleak and shattered hellscape bereft of hope and beset by demons.”
After 12 hours with Diablo 4, we said it’s “absolutely crammed with story, content, beauty, character customization, and so much more.” It launches on June 6, after which Blizzard will continue adding support “for years to come, anchored around optional cosmetic items and full story-driven expansions,” according to Diablo boss Rod Fergusson.
Final Fantasy 16
Final Fantasy 16 is one of the year’s biggest third-party games and takes the series to Valisthea, a fantastical land set against the backdrop of medieval Europe. FF16 trades in the open world of its predecessor for area-based design akin to semi-open-world games like Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Producer Naoki Yoshida says this decision was made to give “players a better feel of [the game’s] truly global scale.” Players control protagonist Clive Rosfield through real-time, fast-paced combat, while companion characters are controlled by AI.
Final Fantasy 16 will launch on PS5 with a six-month window of exclusivity.
Turn 10 returns to the release circuit in 2023 with Forza Motorsport, a new-gen-only reboot of its acclaimed racing sim. Forza has long been a technical showcase for Microsoft’s Xbox consoles, and as the franchise’s first Xbox Series X|S-dedicated game, fans should expect just that.
Following the success of Minecraft Dungeons in 2020, Microsoft and Mojang will release another Minecraft spinoff in 2023. Called Minecraft Legends, this latest spinoff is an action-strategy game that seeks to combine reasonably deep RTS mechanics with the brand’s family-friendly approachability.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
Hollow Knight: Silksong is the follow-up to IGN’s pick for the best Metroidvania game of all time and takes players to Pharloom, a mysterious world far from the kingdom of the original game. In Silksong you play as the enemy-turned-ally Hornet, whose agile moveset enables faster, more vertical gameplay.
20 years after Homeworld 2 was released for Windows XP PCs, Gearbox will release the long-awaited space RTS Homeworld 3. It’s set generations after the series’ second game and introduces terrain to its battlefields in the form of asteroids, broken-down space freighters, and mega-structures. These floating objects placed across maps pave the way for new tactical opportunities in Homeworld 3, as the terrain brings with it new, game-changing cover mechanics.
Redfall is the first of two highly anticipated Bethesda games due out in 2023. It’s an open-world vampire shooter from Prey developer Arkane Austin that sets you and up to three friends loose in the quaint island town of Redfall, Massachusetts, where vampires, human cultists, and ‘twisted’ vampire gods run loose.
Arkane says Redfall shares the same creative values as its past games, including narrative-rich spaces and immersive movement, though on a bigger scale: the developer said just one section of Redfall’s map is larger than the entirety of Prey’s Talos I space station.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl
Along its long road to release, STALKER 2 has been canceled, re-revealed, delayed twice, and now, 13 years later, the finish line is in sight. Some developers at Ukraine-based GSC World were forced to work in cramped spaces due to the threat of bombings from Russian invaders, while others stepped away from the development to join the Ukrainian defense forces. It’s an extraordinary behind-the-scenes story and we’re hopeful the end result will be fruitful for the development team and gamers alike.
STALKER 2’s “unique blend of FPS, immersive sim, and horror” comes to Xbox Series X|S and PC sometime in the first half of 2023.
Xbox’s flagship first-party release of 2023 is Starfield, the next single-player epic from Todd Howard and Bethesda Game Studios. It’s Howard and the team’s first original game in 25 years and while it boasts plenty of originality and game systems, Howard himself likens it to “Skyrim in space.”
Like past BGS games, Starfield presents you with a deep character creator before sending you out into its many worlds, where there are factions to join, companion characters to recruit, and quests to complete. Starfield is set to be Bethesda’s biggest game yet, according to Howard, with over 1,000 planets to explore and a main questline that runs roughly 20% longer than any previous BGS game.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series
The Telltale Games 2023 Comeback Tour kicks off in the summer with The Expanse, a choice-based narrative adventure set in the world of the acclaimed TV series of the same name. In The Expanse you play as XO Camina Drummer amidst a mutiny aboard the Artemis spaceship.
The revived Telltale team is developing the project in collaboration with Deck Nine Games, the studio behind Life Is Strange: True Colors. It’s the first of two games the studio plans to release in 2023 — the second being The Wolf Among Us 2 later in the year.
Alan Wake 2
Remedy is expanding its connected universe with Alan Wake 2, a sequel to the cult story-driven Xbox 360 game. It’s being billed as the studio’s first survival horror game, though in true Remedy fashion, the horror will be in service to the story rather than shock value. Creative director and lead writer Sam Lake said to expect a “psychological, layered, deep mystery to dive into.”
Ark 2 builds on the survival gameplay of its hit sandbox survival predecessor with soulslike third-person melee combat and an expanded story led by Fast & Furious star Vin Diesel, who also serves as Studio Wildcard’s President of Creative Convergence on the project. Ark 2 makes improvements to getting around with the ability to mantle, free-climb, slide, swing, and yes, ride dinosaurs through its primeval world.
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
FromSoftware will follow up on Elden Ring with Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon. The reveal trailer, which debuted at The Game Awards, showcased expected (albeit welcome) giant robots locked in explosive combat.
In a follow-up interview with FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki, we learned Fires of Rubicon will be set in a destroyed world and retain the challenging boss battles the studio’s become known for without turning Armored Core into a Soulsbourne game.
FromSoft has been working on a new Armored Core since at least 2016. Fires of Rubicon will be the series’ first new entry since 2012.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Assassin’s Creed Mirage brings Ubisoft’s blockbuster franchise back to its more linear, stealth-focused roots. Mirage removes the RPG elements introduced in the modern Assassin’s Creed games, returning gameplay to the series’ three original design pillars: stealth, parkour, and assassinations. The story is set in ninth-century Baghdad, 20 years before the events of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Hades 2 (Early Access)
Hades 2, the sequel to IGN’s 2020 Game of the Year, hits Early Access sometime in 2023. In Hades you play as Zagreus, Prince of the Underworld; in the sequel you’ll play as his sister, Melinoë, Princess of the Underworld.
Like its predecessor, Hades 2 is an action-heavy roguelike with an emphasis on replayability. It further explores the Greek mythology developed in the original while weaving in “its deep connections to the dawn of witchcraft,” according to developer Supergiant Games. It’s a direct sequel to Hades, though Supergiant assures newcomers playing the original isn’t necessary to understand or enjoy Hades 2.
Lies of P
It sounds (and looks) like a well-polished Dark Souls mod, but Lies of P – a soulslike in which you play as Pinocchio – is not only real, it looks pretty damn good. Based on the classic 19th-century tale, the action RPG features analogs to Pinocchio, Geppetto, and even Jimminy Cricket. True to the source material, Lies of P has a unique lying mechanic where the main character’s decision to lie or not can impact gameplay.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Sony’s biggest first-party game of the year is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The PS5-exclusive sequel continues the stories of both Peter Parker and Miles Morales while introducing Venom into the mix, voiced by Candyman actor Tony Todd. Marvel’s Bill Rosemann said the sequel is “darker” than the original, calling Spider-Man 2 the Empire Strikes Back to the first game’s A New Hope.
2023 has become the year many long-in-development games finally make it out the door. Payday 3 is another example, scheduled for a 2023 release after entering production back in 2017.
Payday 3 brings the cops-vs-robbers series into a “living, enormous representation” of New York City, according to game director Erik Wonnevi. It’s due to come out a decade after its predecessor and Payday 3’s story will reflect that time jump in its narrative.
Pikmin 4 will be the first home-console Pikmin game in a decade, following 2013’s Pikmin 3. All we’ve seen of Pikmin 4 so far is a 30-second trailer that moves peacefully through a garden setting before settling on a sleeping Grub-dog. We’re sure to see more throughout the year as Nintendo gears up to release Pikmin 4 sometime in 2023.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the latest asymmetrical multiplayer game based on an iconic horror license. This one comes from Gun Interactive and the creative talent behind the Friday the 13th game.
In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre game, four Victims attempt to escape from the three members of the Family: Leatherface, the Hitchhiker, and the Cook. We’ve only spent a little time with Texas Chainsaw Massacre so far, but the gameplay loop and movie license are shaping up to be “an excellent pairing.”
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2
Another seemingly dormant franchise making its return in 2023 is Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Space Marine 2 is a sequel to the 2011 third-person shooter and continues the journey of Titus, the Ultramarines captain who served as the original game’s protagonist. The debut gameplay trailer showed Titus laying waste to hordes of Tyranids and other monsters as he vows to defend mankind through gruff narration.
The Wolf Among Us 2
Rounding out our list is The Wolf Among Us 2, a game once thought to be dead following its cancellation alongside Telltale Games’ closure in 2018. But Telltale is back and so are Bigby Wolf and the other residents of Fabletown for another neon-soaked episodic mystery. Set six months after the first, Wolf Among Us 2 sees Bigby undergoing anger management treatment while suspended from his role as sheriff. However, as Bigby dives back into the dangerous underbelly of Fabletown, there’s no amount of deep breathing that can keep the Big Bad Wolf repressed for long.
Which game due out in 2023 are you most excited for? Vote in the poll above or let us know in the comments below! And be sure to stay tuned to IGN throughout 2023 for the latest on all these games and more.
Jordan covers games, shows, and movies as a freelance writer for IGN.