2023's Most Anticipated Games - Tim'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 Tim has to say about his 10 most anticipated games of 2023.
10. Heart Forth, Alicia
I’d probably be looking forward to this even more were I expecting a Switch key. The Wii U(!) option back when I was early to the Kickstarter on this one. At the time, a Metroidvania with gorgeous, colourful pixel art seemed quite novel. Even now there’s still space for it, I think, although the genre at large has exploded in the decade or so since we got our first look at this game that I hope very much isn’t vaporware. At the very least, maybe I could finally get around to downloading the backer’s demo…
9. Street Fighter 6
I don’t think that I’m excited for Street Fighter 6 so much as I am excited for the people who are excited for Street Fighter 6. After the launch disaster that was Street Fighter 5, and then the unveiling disaster that was Street Fighter 6’s logo, I am delighted to see this beginning to look absolutely awesome. Is all that hip-hop influence really my style? Not really, but I have to admit that the aesthetic has really started to congeal, and the fighting not only looks great, but apparently is great, according to some of the fans who’ve gotten their hands on early builds.
8. System Shock
Somehow, I’ve never actually finished a System Shock game. I was loaned the original by a friend who swore that it would turn more more positive towards first-person shooters (probably because, despite what we thought then, it really wasn’t a shooter at all) a few years after it released, but that title is one that was quick to age and I while respected it a lot, I didn’t hugely enjoy it. System Shock 2, however, I recalled being one of only a handful of games that would ever score 97% in Hyper, and I fell in deep. Totally got lost, which is something that Bioshock was too linear to allow. Very excited to try a more-accessible take on the original.
Forspoken has one of the most disappointing demos that I think I’ve ever played; in fact, it was actively a bad demo. And yet, despite all of this, a part of me believes that this could be great – probably not a game of the year contender or reinventor of open worlds – but still great.
The problem with the demo is that it gives no real intro, no meaningful context. It just says ‘here are some powers, and here are some points on a map to use them at’. I liked the traversal, though; the completed game just needs to deliver on the why. If you’re more excited for Zelda, then you’ve probably bet on the better open-world game, but I’m personally still very keen to play this.
6. Season: A Letter to The Future
While the free demo for Forspoken was off loudly disappointing almost everybody, the trial for Season slipped quietly in and low-key enchanted me. It is an absolutely gorgeous game already, with perhaps some very minor visual bugs that will hopefully be squished into beautiful painterly ink by the time the not-too-far final release date rolls around. Colour me keen to explore a painterly world that couldn’t feel much farther removed from overused settings like New York.
5. Atomic Heart
Head and shoulders, this is the title that stuck with me most from last year’s Gamescom. My taste in FPS games is certainly not in line with most people’s, but I struggle to imagine how anybody could have watched some of that absolutely wonderfully batshit footage that was going around and not think that it at least looks awesome. There’s not only a distinctly European eccentricity on display here, but also a palpable lack of the overt drab coat of dudebro soldier man that can still drag so many shooty things down. This looks like pure pew-pew bliss.
4. Like a Dragon: Ishin
The early dearth of PAL PSN content for PS3 led me down a rabbit hole of registering a Japanese PSN account, from which I was quick to download a demo of that new Yakuza title set in a time when people still wore swords on their belts. I absolutely adored running around town in it, but it turned out that my Japanese wasn’t nearly enough to carry me through the demo, much less the full game. I figured it’d get translated eventually, and decided to sit back and wait. It’s… uh… taken a while.
3. Pikmin 4
The Gamecube was my first Nintendo home console, and Pikmin my first game for it. Even being followed by Metroid Prime later the very same day wasn’t enough to stop Pikmin from going on to become probably my favourite Nintendo property. Pikmin 3 was actually really good on Wii U, and still pretty good on Switch. But, man, it has been a minute between drinks.
While the rest of you are off adventuring with Link over massive lands, please make sure not to step on my little flowery critters as they mindlessly move things around for me. The local bugs and birds are threat enough.
2. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
Look, I really, really liked Jet Set Radio back when it came out. More than this, I still really liked it when the HD version was released back in… *checks notes*… a year that is more distant than I would like to admit. Despite some of the control niggles getting in the way for some players, I still found such things easy to look past as the game still felt so damn fresh. It’s pretty clear at this point that Sega isn’t going to make a new Jet Set game, which is why I am (and you should be) excited about Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, because it is in no way pretending to be anything other than Jet Set Radio 2023.
1. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Yes, that last showing of Final Fantasy 16 at The Game Awards was pretty damn impressive, but as much as I would love to be the guy who is excited by the wholly original thing, the fact remains that Final Fantasy 7 Remake was a pretty easy pull for me when deciding on a favourite game for 2020.
It wasn’t perfect, of course, and some people may have been rightly turned off by the somewhat lacklustre way the A.I. always targeted the player character almost exclusively, or by how some sections really did feature more padding than they needed. But damn, the foundation was solid and the atmosphere was absolutely spot on, and with the story set to go off on more divergent paths now, I am very excited (if a little nervous considering the potential for Kingdom Hearts bullshit) to experience it all for myself.
So that concludes Tim’s list of his 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!