It’s time to consider the most anticipated games of 2023. We had plenty of great gaming experiences this past year, from blockbuster fare like Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarök, to more unusual titles like Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and High On Life. The good news is that 2023 should offer a similar mix of creativity and comfort food. The better news is that the big releases will kick off right in January, so we won't have to wait long.
We've put together a list of the games we're most excited about, from Forspoken to Starfield and beyond. This list isn't exhaustive, however, so feel free to let us know which other games you're excited about in the comments. We'll review most of these games as they come out, so stay tuned to Tom's Guide in 2023 to find out which of them ultimately live up to the hype.
Forspoken (January 24)
Platforms: PC, PS5
Publisher Square Enix has already delayed Forspoken a few times, but supposedly, it will be ready to go for real on January 24, 2023. In this fantastical action/RPG, you play as Frey Holland: a young New Yorker who gets whisked away to the fantasy world of Athia. There, she'll sneak or fight her way past a variety of monsters, including some gargantuan bosses. Forspoken is intriguing, only because the "ordinary person in a fantasy world" setup is much rarer in gaming than you might think, and it's usually a good pitch. We'll see whether the gameplay and story can make good on the premise soon enough.
Dead Space remake (January 27)
Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Dead Space was one of the scariest and most creative horror games of the Xbox 360/PS3 generation, aptly combining elements from both sci-fi horror and body horror. The remake looks like a faithful shot-for-shot recreation, which sounds ideal for newcomers, as well as veterans who want to see how the game would run on modern hardware, with the latest graphical improvements. You play as spacefaring engineer Isaac Clarke, who must fight his way past a ship full of bloodthirsty aliens, one spindly limb at a time. There's an intriguing sci-fi setting underneath the scary bits, too.
Hogwarts Legacy (February 10)
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
Say what you will about how J.K. Rowling has been acting on Twitter lately, but Harry Potter is still one of the most popular franchises in the history of pop culture. Hogwarts Legacy will tell an original story set in the Wizarding World, winding the clock back to the 19th century and letting you create your own customizable avatar. The game is an open-world RPG, which is admittedly well-worn territory after the past few years. But if you've always wanted to interact with the Harry Potter mythos without simply retreading plot points from the books, this seems like a substantial way to do so.
Octopath Traveler II (February 24)
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch
We here at Tom's Guide really like Octopath Traveler. It's a nearly perfect blend of old-school style (Pixelated graphics! Turn-based battles! Beloved JRPG character tropes!) and modern sensibilities (Voice acting! 3D-style backgrounds! Nonlinear design!). Octopath Traveler II follows eight discrete characters in the world of Solistia, whose stories will intersect in unexpected ways as players pursue plot objectives. There will also be a day/night cycle, which will affect how you complete certain story tasks. Otherwise, Octopath Traveler II sounds like more of what gamers loved about the first. If you haven't played the first, you should have just enough time to catch up.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (March 17)
Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was not just the best Star Wars game in years; it's possibly the best thing to come out of the Disney Star Wars canon, period. In Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, you'll continue where the first game left off, taking control of Jedi Knight Cal Kestis during Darth Vader's infamous Jedi Purge. Like the first game, Survivor should offer an appealing mix of lightsaber combat, platforming and puzzle-solving, complete with a variety of different worlds to explore and a contingent of interesting supporting characters to befriend. This one is worth watching for both Star Wars and action game fans alike.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (May 12)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has a tremendous pedigree to live up to. We declared that its predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld, was the best game of the last decade, and we still stand by that. We fully expect that Nintendo will deliver another open-world hit, replete with well-hidden secrets to find and interesting side stories to explore. What we're not sure about is whether the aging Switch hardware will be able to keep up with the Big N's ambition. In any case, we've been waiting a long time for Tears of the Kingdom, and one way or another, we're sure fans will have strong opinions about the final result.
Street Fighter 6 (June 2)
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Can you count on Street Fighter 6 to be a good time? SHORYUKEN! Based on our time with the game so far, Street Fighter 6 combines classic characters, intuitive combos and sleek graphics, making it an inviting fighting game for newcomers and veterans alike. Starring fan-favorite characters such as Ryu and Chun-Li, Street Fighter 6 aims to continue the series tradition of tight, technical fighting with plenty of visual flair. Players will also be able to roam around an open world between matches, giving the setting a level of depth that it's never really had before.
Diablo IV (June 6)
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
This year, we got Diablo Immortal, which we didn't love. Next year, however, Blizzard will bring out Diablo IV, which we hope will bring the classic series back to its hacking/slashing/looting roots. This time around, players will create an adventurer and explore an open world, rather than a series of large-but-distinct levels. There will also be plenty of endgame content, including PvP and cooperative monster-slaying, for players who want to make Diablo IV into their next long-term obsession. The first three proper Diablo games were all excellent, so let's hope that this one continues the trend.
Final Fantasy XVI (June 22)
We get Final Fantasy spinoffs all the time, but a new mainline Final Fantasy game is a rare thing. Final Fantasy XVI will debut on June 22, 2023, and it's safe to say it will have a lot of elements that made the previous 15 games work. There's a complex political story, a bunch of scary-looking summon spirits, a strategic battle system, a rich fantasy world and more. In spite of a number of different trailers, however, we still don't have a great sense of the game's plot or general gameplay structure. As such, we'll have to wait a few more months and evaluate the experience for ourselves.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (2022)
The original Marvel's Spider-Man on PS4 was one of the best Spider-Man adaptations we've ever seen, channeling the heart and humor of Stan Lee's original comic books. Marvel's Spider-Man 2 looks to pick up where the first game left off, following the friendly neighborhood web-slinger and his protégé, the eager young Miles Morales. We don't know that much about the game yet, but we hope it will incorporate the open-world design from the first, as well as a whole new villain lineup. We do know that Venom will make an appearance, and that alone is pretty exciting.
Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S
Starfield is Bethesda's first major open-world RPG in quite a few years. Unlike the fantasy-themed Elder Scrolls series, though, Starfield will explore a sci-fi setting. In theory, Starfield will occupy a niche somewhere between "hard" and "soft" science-fiction, bypassing some tedious elements of space travel, but still presenting a more grounded galaxy than something like Mass Effect. We anticipate that the game will be big, beautiful and bold - and we also predict it will be quite buggy at launch. Still, if it has solid gameplay and a good story, Starfield could potentially keep players busy for years to come.