2023's Most Anticipated Games - Sarah's Picks
2023 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years in video games of all time. No matter whether you play on PC, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X|S, or the Nintendo Switch, you’re going to have a lot to play in 2023. Given that, we couldn’t simply pool the team’s thoughts into one top 10 countdown of the most anticipated games, so we solicited 10 from each person to discuss. Today, hear what Sarah has to say about her 10 most anticipated games of 2023.
10. Like a Dragon: Ishin
A bit of a cheat as this is an Unreal Engine 4 remake of the original Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin, but to explore my favourite Yakuza characters in the context of the late Edo period is a great way to pass the time while we wait for the next Like a Dragon game to release. It returns to the original action combat instead of the turn-based battle from Like a Dragon, and adds Soldier Cards that charge to provide incredible attack or auxilary skills to Ryoma as he traverses Kyo. The usual sidequests and sub stories build out Ryoma and his relationship with others. The screenshots look amazing and the gameplay sounds fantastic too.
9. For The King 2
Time for some stupid – I enjoyed For the King for the unlocks that I achieved through its very minimal roguelite design. I laughed at some of the physics in the battles, and lashed out in frustration when chaos builds. This is one of the few multiplayer games that I have played in the last 12 months. I love the tabletop design and picking different interesting classes for my group of three characters, and playing with others has moments of hilarity and sometimes annoyance. But most of all it is a great “pick-up-where-you-left-off” multiplayer game, which suits my lifestyle quite well.
I am hopeful that the sequel is just going to build on more of the same with a new storyline and some new interesting unlockable items.
8. Diablo IV
Spending years and years playing through the campaign and seasons for Diablo 3 (and yes I still have my Horadric Hamburger from the Auction House), I am keen for the darker tone of Diablo IV and to jump on board at the beginning. Current feedback on the beta is that this is a graphically and mechanically better version of Diablo 2 and encourages more open-world play and random dungeon traversal, so I am curious and keen to head back to Sanctuary anew. This time, there is the promise of cross-platform play which increases my options to play with friends on many platforms (also it increases my FOMO as to whether I’ll want to play on PS5 or PC!).
I have been feeling a little bit lost without a good roguelike deckbuilder, and Wildfrost peaked my interest for being a narratively interesting and visually cute roguelike. It scratches the Slay the Spire itch with daily runs and challenges, but it also adds interesting elemental play and ends each run with a return to your home town Snodwell to rebuild facilities and recruit even better cards. I am hoping that this will be released in early 2023.
6. The Legend Of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
I know hardly anything about the new Zelda game and it is still on this list.
5. Hades 2
I know hardly anything about the new Hades game and it is still on this list.
I don’t need to fight you on this – you’re already in line ahead of me.
4. Final Fantasy XVI
The caucasianisation of this game saddens me, because I am really interested in the story premise of how characters with access to magic are treated so differently in the six kingdoms of Valisthea, and how other characters create relationships with these Dominants. I really do not feel like it is necessary to restrict skin tone in order to highlight a magical duality. The gameplay keeps building on the real-time combat from Final Fantasy XV, which is pretty exciting to me, although I am surprised there are none of the new game mechanics from VII Remake. While it looks like it will be following a solo protagonist for the first time in the series’ history, I still think we have only scratched the surface so this may just be an early assumption.
This game is designed to meet my “cozy Action Roguelike spirit animal” vibes for 2023. I did not know I had these vibes, but Gentle Giant have convinced me that Spiritfall is necessary for me to acquire in March 2023. This is a game that looks and plays a bit like a floaty version of Dead Cells, encourages blessings from the divine and ethereal like Hades, craft and improve weapons like recent Fire Emblem or Zelda, and room progressions like Slay the Spire. It’s bright and welcoming and I am mightily enthusiastic for all of these aesthetics.
2. Fire Emblem Engage
I put this third on my list because it is on my mind right now with less than two weeks until release. I loved Fates and Three Houses, but Fire Emblem Engage is a promise to retain some base-building activities but return to political strategy with the aid of emblems from previous games. The previews look stunning and early feedback is positive. Besides, returning to a well-known mechanic is quite comforting at the moment, but I am curious whether I am going to feel a bit too invincible if Marth accompanies me on every single battle.
(I am also the only person who really hates the female protagonist’s hair physics so will probably be playing as the male protagonist. Sorry!)
This is a game that I have already preordered, with a little bit left to pay on release.
1. Theatrhythm Final Bar Line
The Theatrhythm games have a special place in my heart, with vivid memories of arcades in Hiroshima and Shibuya where I would rush up escalators and stairs and hope that there would be a Theatrhythm machine available so that I could play my favourite Final Fantasy XV songs. Now I will have that awesome soundtrack at my fingertips with Theatrhythm Final Bar Line.
This rhythm game is going to be so much more than its arcade version or even its 3DS transition, and rates high in my hype list simply because it was something unexpected yet perfect for the current console generation. They are predicting over 500 songs in the deluxe edition (and I am so hoping that they put in some from Bravely Default) and the ability to challenge yourself solo or play in multiplayer mode. I know I am going to spend far too many hours playing and listening to my favourite tracks from the franchise.
So that concludes Sarah’s list of her most anticipated games of 2023. What are some of yours? Hit us up via social media to let us know what games you are keen on in 2023!