New Video Game Releases Planned for 2023

From Sonic Superstars to Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown there are over a dozen games to look foward to and this follows some mega releases already this year including The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Diablo IV, and Final Fantasy XVI, who has time to play anything else? But the biggest launches are still in store, with Spider-Man 2, Starfield, and many, many more titles competing for your attention this fall—and before that, plenty more to play this summer.

Here are more than a dozen of the games we can’t wait to play, including several we had the chance to try at this year’s Summer Game Fest in Los Angeles.

Oxenfree II
Rated T; PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, mobile via Netflix (out now)

Oxenfree II’s charming illustration style, which evokes 2D adventure games from the ’80s and ’90s, belies a story that exists somewhere between Stranger Things and a thoughtful John Hughes coming-of-age story. Lead character Riley returns to her island hometown to take a job investigating strange phenomena, and what she finds is a mystery that could be the plot of a David Lynch movie, complete with an abandoned island, mysterious radio signals, and a protagonist with a melancholic past. Oxenfree II is on PlayStation, Switch, and PC, but it’s also the first original game from Netflix, so you’ll be able to play it on the Netflix app for iOS or Android for free with your subscription.

Rated M; PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S (July 14)

With a rampant AI, robotic power armor, and … dinosaur vortexes (vortices?), Exoprimal might be the most unabashedly video game–y video game of 2023, as it sends you on a mission with other players to defend future cities from literal storms of genetically engineered and modified dinosaurs and immerses you in a plot involving time travel and unlimited clean energy.

If the prospect of guiltlessly mowing down hundreds or even thousands of fake dinosaurs in giant robot suits sounds like a good time, keep your eyes out for it—and it’s on Xbox Game Pass, which is great for a multiplayer-oriented game like this.

Remnant 2
Rated M; PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S (July 25)

Remnant: From the Ashes was a minor hit in 2019, but if you didn’t play it, don’t let that discourage you from taking a closer look at the upcoming Remnant 2. The sequel is a bigger and more refined exploration of the loot-driven, action role-playing gameplay of the original, with a little more emphasis on the action. Whereas the original game was set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Remnant 2 takes players through a tour of bizarre, terrifying, and often wondrous other worlds. Each of Remnant 2’s three character types has unique abilities and a different approach to combat, but based on my hour or so with the same earlier this year, they all feel effective and powerful.

Immortals of Aveum
Rated M; PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 (August 22)

Immortals of Aveum is the first game from developer Ascendant Studios, which consists of veterans responsible for Call of Duty, Dead Space, and other popular games. The result is a visually impressive “magic shooter” where instead of guns you’re “shooting” with spells and magic tools in ways that, honestly, are not dissimilar from weapons in games like Halo and Call of Duty. The difference here is in the setting: Immortals of Aveum takes place in a war-torn world of magic built atop a mysterious past civilization. After spending an hour playing Immortals of Aveum, I was most intrigued by the role-playing game systems underlying the combat, including progression and loot. We’ll see if the game lives up to its potential when it launches in August.

Baldur’s Gate 3
Rated M; PC (August 3), PlayStation 5 (September 6), Xbox Series X|S (date TBA)

If you’ve been craving an epic fantasy adventure where you can save the realms, find legendary treasures and villains, romance your companions, and, well, roll around as a big block of cheese for a while, your hopes and dreams are about to be answered. Baldur’s Gate 3 continues the legendary PC RPG series based on the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting and has already generated years of buzz after an extended period of early access. The buzz is well earned—Baldur’s Gate 3 is a huge game with an enormous amount of freedom and possibilities, along with an epic story and plenty of interesting characters to meet (and romance). Plus, you can play with up to three friends, and there’s split-screen cooperative play. And for PlayStation players smarting over missing out on Starfield, Baldur’s Gate 3 launches on the PS5 on the same day, so it might scratch a similar itch.

Rated M; PC, Xbox Series X|S (September 6)

The developer behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 is about to release its first game in eight years, and it looks like it’s worth the wait. Plenty of questions about Starfield have arisen over the past several years—namely, what’s taken so long—but after a jaw-dropping deep dive in June, I’m counting the days until September 6 (or September 1, if you pay for the Deluxe Edition that grants five days of early access). Starfield takes the foundation established by developer Bethesda in Skyrim and Fallout and expands it in every direction, with customizable spaceships, a rotating cast of characters, a mystery involving alien technology, and a thousand planets to explore. Oh, and you can build platypus-shaped spaceships. Starfield will be available on Xbox Game Pass at launch.

The Crew Motorfest
Rated E; Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC (September 14)

The Crew Motorfest is an open, island-spanning car festival full of spontaneous challenges and organized races alike. If that premise sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve played titles in the hit Forza Horizon series, and to be honest, I’d be hard-pressed to describe any meaningful differences. That’s not a bad thing—the next Forza Horizon game is years away. The Crew Motorfest sets you loose to explore and advance as you see fit in a beautiful Hawaiian setting, with a wide variety of car types—from old-school vans and roadsters with no GPS or navigation all the way up to futuristic supercars—to enjoy. It’s pretty, the racing is fun, and you have a lot to dig into here. If my hour or so with the game in June is any indication, fans of arcade-style driving should add this title to their list when it arrives in September.

Mortal Kombat 1
Rated M; PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC (September 19)

The Mortal Kombat games have set the modern standard for fun, full-featured single-player experiences in addition to the one-on-one fighting that the genre is known for—assuming that you’re cool with a lot of wildly over-the-top graphic violence. Mortal Kombat 1 (named because it involves a complete reset of the series’s timeline and characters) is bringing 30 years of history to bear with reimaginings of the cast as well as so-called Kameo fighters, tag-team assistants that include hilariously faithful re-creations of old friends and foes. I spent some time with the game at this June’s Summer Game Fest and had to laugh at the graphical detail in the old Lycra-styled costumes and early ’90s fitness trainers, even as I winced at the higher-than-ever detail in all the blood and gore. It’s silly, for sure, and a fun contrast to the accessible, technical fighting behind Mortal Kombat 1. Players with the stomach for it are likely to find something pretty special here.

Lies of P
Rated M; Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 (September 19)

Lies of P is one of 2023’s dark horses, a game that seemingly came out of nowhere to get people excited (a lengthy demo that released in June probably helped). Lies of P takes the methodical, punishing action role-playing style of games like Dark Souls and Elden Ring and places it within a dark, magical, steampunk reimagining of the Pinocchio fairy tale, complete with a blue fairy and many, many diabolical puppets. In the couple of hours I spent with Lies of P, I found it very fun, very rewarding, and honestly kind of hard. It won’t be for everyone, but I’m excited, and you can try the game for yourself now before its release in September. Conveniently, this is another Xbox Game Pass release.

Sonic Superstars
Rated E; PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC (fall 2023)

Sonic the Hedgehog is having a moment—which you’ve probably realized if you have kids who’ve forced you to watch either of the two recent Sonic movies and put the upcoming series on your list—and Sonic Superstars is taking advantage of it. Superstars features a cast of characters familiar to longtime fans in 2D side-scrolling levels that evoke Sonic’s 16-bit era, albeit with the addition of local cooperative play for up to four players. Each character has their own abilities, from Tails’s helicopter-like flight to Knuckles’s climbing and gliding to Amy’s hammer and double jump, which should lead to some fairly goofy co-op possibilities. In my time with the game, it felt about how I expect a Sonic game to feel, which in my case was mostly a good thing—and every level hides enough secrets to warrant repeated playthroughs when Sonic Superstars launches this fall.

Cyberpunk: Phantom Liberty
Rated M; Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC (September 26)

Cyberpunk 2077 was the most anticipated game of 2020, but after multiple delays, its arrival was accompanied by a pile of technical problems and a game that wasn’t what everyone expected from the team behind The Witcher 3 and its expansions. But in the following years, developer CDProjekt has worked to fix and improve the game, introducing refinements to its neon-future dystopia and keeping it on the cutting edge of graphics technology. Now the game is set to receive its only expansion, and after spending an hour playing it, I’m ready to believe again. A political conspiracy involving the president and a secret agent played by Idris Elba, Phantom Liberty will also completely overhaul Cyberpunk’s systems and skills to provide a fresh-feeling experience across the entire game, along with additional improvements for the Xbox Series X and S and the PlayStation 5. But bad news for Xbox One and PS4 players: Phantom Liberty is skipping older consoles.

Alan Wake 2
Rated M; Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC (October 17)

Imagine a supernatural murder mystery drawing equally from Stephen King’s ’80s-era horror, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, and network procedurals like Criminal Minds, and then throw them into a third-person action-horror framework reminiscent of Resident Evil. What you get is Alan Wake 2, one of this fall’s most anticipated games. Alan Wake 2 is set 13 years after its predecessor, but you don’t need to have played the original to understand what’s happening here. Co-protagonist and FBI agent Saga Anderson seeks to unravel the supernatural murder mystery in front of her while determining just what role the long-missing horror novelist Alan Wake has to do with it. We haven’t had a chance to play Alan Wake 2 yet, but in a hands-off presentation, we clearly saw how ambitious this action-horror game is, with another world often bleeding into the world your character is navigating. Meanwhile, even the menu becomes a navigable environment, a sort of mind palace holding the details of your investigation plus leads to follow and connect. Developer Remedy has an impressive pedigree as the creator of the Max Payne series, 2015’s Quantum Break, and 2019’s Control, so I’m excited to play Alan Wake 2 when it launches this fall.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Rated T; PlayStation 5 (October 20)

One of the biggest games on the PlayStation 4, and one of the best superhero games of all time, is finally getting a proper sequel this October. We don’t know much about Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 from developer Insomniac Games, other than that it’s exclusive to the PlayStation 5 and that it stars both Peter Parker and Miles Morales as Spider-Man, swinging around an expanded New York City. Also, the deadly Venom symbiote is set to make things very, very complicated.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown
Rated T; Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC (January 18, 2024)

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is worth looking forward to, even if it’s not out until January. Prince of Persia has been a beloved video game series since the ’90s, when its revolutionary rotoscoped animation style inspired a host of other titles. It has been years since the last game in the franchise, but at June’s Summer Game Fest, publisher Ubisoft announced Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, a 2D action adventure poised to take the series back to its roots in as stylish a manner as possible. I had the chance to play an early section of the game and found it to be extremely promising. The Lost Crown’s mysterious, time-bending castle holds a variety of sand-mummified monstrosities, mythical creatures, and traps that main character Sargon will have to navigate via some death-defying acrobatics and time powers of his own. The Lost Crown owes plenty to more-recent 2D action games like Dead Cells and Ori and the Blind Forest, but its personality and style have me excited for the series to make a comeback early next year.


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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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