Microsoft has a lot to prove this year and Xbox in 2023 is absolutely stacked with big first party games from Xbox and Bethesda, major third party exclusives, and a wealth of cross-platform games to look forward to. Xbox Series X should really hit its stride this year, with games like Forza Motorsport, Redfall and Starfield, but there’s also a lot coming to Xbox One as well.
Note: Look out for the Xbox Developer_Direct stream on 25th January for juicy details on Xbox first party games, and (hopefully) some more release dates!
Monster Hunter Rise
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 20th January 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
The already wildly successful Monster Hunter Rise is being ported to more platforms this January, including PS5. Aiming to build on the success and popularity of Monster Hunter World on home consoles, this game brings in new ideas such as the Wirebug to perform mid-air grapple moves, Wyvern Riding, and new canine hunting buddies called Palamutes.
Following on from the release of the main game, you’ll have a few months to take in all of the challenging monster battling that it offers before the massive expansion Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak arrives in Spring 2023.
XSX|S, PS5, PC | 27th January 2023
Remakes are all the rage right now and a ground up remake of the 2008 action horror classic Dead Space will be the first one to land in 2023. Rebuilt within the modern Frostbite engine, exclusively for the latest generation of console, there’s plenty of ways that EA Motive are able to modernise and even take the game in new directions. After The Callisto Protocol divided opinion, there’s sure to be lots of crossed fingers for this.
Dead Space remake will now feature a single cut camera style, the USG Ishimura having been expanded and changed so you won’t hop onto a ship’s tram system anymore. There’s new gameplay to enable this, so Isaac is now able to fly through a zero-G area, and there’s new ideas like needing to power different subsystems, perhaps sacrificing lighting or a breathable atmosphere to transform areas as you explore.
XSX|S, PS5, PC | 10th February 2023 – PS4, XBO | 4th April 2023 – NSW | 25th July 2023
For the many millions of people that grew up with the Harry Potter books and films, dreaming of hopping on a train at Platform 9 3/4 and going to wizard school (instead of putting up with boring geography lessons), Hogwarts Legacy will be a dream come true.
The game is set in the 1800s, casting you as a newly enrolled student at Hogwarts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you are able to tap into an ancient form of magic that is being awoken in a way that could alter the future of the Wizarding World.
XSX|S, PS5, PC | 17th February 2023
Teaming up with EA, Koei Tecmo are looking to grab a chunk of the monster battling co-op action RPG genre made popular by Monster Hunter… and Wild Hearts looks great!
While the core monster battling might be immediately familiar to MonHun Fans, there’s more flexibility in how to battle them, thanks to being able to craft karakuri boxes and barricades to give you height or cover. It’s been a while since anyone’s seriously challenged Capcom’s crown (remember Dauntless?), but with this particular twist alongside a whole host of player-friendly quality of life differences, this could be one of the strongest attempts yet.
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 21st February 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
Atomic Heart’s style is wild and distinctive, dropping you into a twisted Soviet-themed facility where machinery has rebelled against the humans. You, Major P-3, are tasked with shutting down the systems failure that led to this, battling machines, mutants and bloodthirsty creatures along the way. There’s some real Soviet BioShock vibes with this one, which will be music to the ears of fans of immersive sims.
Like a Dragon: Ishin!
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 21st February 2023
It speaks volumes for the growth of the Like a Dragon series (formerly known as Yakuza) that Like a Dragon: Ishin! could be one of the biggest games of the year. A remake of a PS3 spin-off that steps back from modern day Japan to 1860s Kyo (a fictionalised Kyoto), dropping the familiar faces of Kiryu and Goro into the shoes of historical characters, this will have real appeal to Western fans of the series, as the original release was never localised.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 3rd March 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
Fans of the Nioh series should be paying close attention to Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. This is Team Ninja’s latest Soulslike, but it leaps from Japanese mythology to a Chinese that’s common to other Koei Tecmo series like Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
It’s not a historical period piece, though. This is filled with just as many supernatural monsters to battle. You’ll play as a nameless militia soldier this time, fighting to survive through a dark fantasy version of the Later Han Dynasty, employing swordplay based on Chinese martial arts and tapping into an innate power within them.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
XSX|S, PS5, PC | 17th March 2023
A sequel to Respawn’s blend of Soulslike elements with a Star Wars story was a no-brainer. Picking up five years on from Fallen Order, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor continues the journey of Cal Kestis as he’s struggling to stay one step ahead of the Empire’s constant pursuit of the last remaining Jedi. Along with his trusty (and still very cute) droid companion BD-1, he will find himself a new ally and meet up with new and interesting characters.
Naturally Respawn will be building on the foundations of the first game, but as it’s now coming exclusively on the current gen consoles, Respawn can push on in certain ways, improving the visuals, the animations, and combat variety. The reveal trailer featured animal riding, combat team ups, grappling hooks and more.
Resident Evil 4
XSX|S, PS5, PC | 24th March 2023
The original Resident Evil 4 set out the stall for modern action horror gaming, its third person over-the-shoulder camera becoming standard for the genre over the following decade, but this remake can still do a lot to bring this classic title bang up to date. Tank controls have been thrown out the window, you can move (slowly) while aiming down sights, you can crouch and be more stealthy, block and parry melee attacks, and more. Despite that, the game feels thoroughly faithful to play, and the opening village encounter is an excellent sandbox that demonstrates this very well.
XSX|S, PC, Cloud | After 25th March 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
Get ready for a totally spooky adventure from Tango Gameworks, as you step into the lifeless streets of a Tokyo district and hope to save Akito Izuki’s sister, Mari, from the clutches of the evil Hannya. it’s a good thing that Akito’s been possessed by the mysterious KK, granting him some pretty nifty powers with which to fight back against the spirits that now roam the fog-filled streets of Tokyo in place of its living citizens.
The one year PS5 exclusivity for Ghostwire: Tokyo will come to an end on 25th March 2023, and we expect the game to join Xbox Game Pass as soon as possible after that date, just as Deathloop did last September, with some small bonus content. See our Ghostwire: Tokyo review here.
Dead Island 2
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 28th April 2023
Dead Island 2 is actually coming out this year? What a time to be alive! After bouncing between game studios and several indefinite delays, Dead Island 2 is back from video game dead.
Set in what Dambuster Studios have dubbed as HELL-A – it’s like regular LA, but there’s less traffic and more zombies – you’re one of the few survivors, but you’re not only immune to whatever disease has turned the populace into the living dead, you can leverage it to your advantage, unlocking superhuman abilities in the process.
We got to go hands on with the game at Gamescom 2022, and came away pleasantly surprised. Here’s our Dead Island 2 preview.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
XSX|S, PS5, PC | 26th May 2023
It feels like we’ve waited an eternity for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, but given Rocksteady’s track record with the Batman: Arkham games, it should be well worth the wait. We’ve had several cinematic trailers since the game was formally announced in 2020, but only one gameplay trailer, and it was the sort of fast cuts of action that show off special abilities and finishing moves, but little of the moment-to-moment.
We’re looking forward to seeing Warner Bros. and Rocksteady really kick into gear with a big media push in the next couple months.
Street Fighter 6
XSX|S, PS5, PS4, PC | 2nd June 2023
We’re about to step into the next generation of fighting games in 2023, and Capcom has big and bold plans for Street Fighter 6. There’s a lovely new art style, there’s an exciting roster of characters, there’s a whole character builder, a broad online multiplayer lobby arena, and so much more that looks to define the fighting game scene for the next decade.
The best thing, compared to Street Fighter 5’s launch, is that Capcom feels ready to deliver. There’s already been two beta tests that have drawn plenty of positive responses from the fighting game community, and it really seems like Capcom has a fully fleshed out game that they want to release in the summer. With such solid foundations for SF6, and with exciting competition from other contenders for the genre crown, 2023’s going to be a good year for fighting fans.
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 6th June 2023
Blizzard’s reputation as a company might have been dragged through the mud for good reason, but their abilities as game developers hasn’t really been in doubt, and Diablo 4 looks sublime.
The fourth coming of the defining action RPG series, this chapter in the long-running battle between heaven and hell will see players once more step into the boots of the Nephalem, picking from Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, Rogue, and Necromancer classes, striding into battle on a quest to find eternally better gear and loot. It’s almost certain to be another excellently refined example of the genre.
We’re waiting to see what happens with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but there’s a good shot that Diablo IV could end up in Game Pass around launch.
XSX|S, PC | First half 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
There’s no two ways about it: Starfield is sure to be the biggest Xbox Game Pass game of 2023. Bethesda’s space-ward RPG promises to blend all of the best elements of their storytelling and world-building to a far-flung sci-fi setting that’s far more optimistic for humanity’s future than Fallout!
Once you join Constellation, an organisation that counts themselves as the last group of space explorers, you’re given the goal of hunting down some of the many artefacts that have been scattered across the galaxy, revealing an underlying secret that looks set to change humanity forever. Through this, you’ll journey in your space ship, flying yourself to visit over 100 systems, visiting core cities as well as alien wildernesses, and engaging in the talking head dialogue so common to Bethesda’s games. What’s been most intriguing from the trailers is this game’s approach to combat, which looks like it will have some more refined first and third-person shooting combat than we’ve seen before.
Having announced an 11th November 2022 release date, Bethesda ended up delaying Starfield to the first half of 2023. There’s no firm release date yet, but we hope to hear one soon.
XSX|S, PC | Spring 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
Forza Motorsport has symbolically ditched the number to its title and looks set to mark a new era for the Xbox’s premier racing series. This game will be a current-gen exclusive for Xbox Series X|S and PC, allowing them to make a more advanced racing sim than ever before. That will apply to deeper simulation of car physics, tyre modelling, fuel management and see Forza Motorsport feature a full day-night racing cycle for the first time. Not only that, but there will be in-depth track evolution that’s affected by racing putting down rubber on the racing line, as well as changing based of track and air temperature, and more dynamic weather effects.
XSX|S, PC | First half 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
The masters of immersive sims are doing something a little bit different with Redfall. This aims to blend Arkane’s style of immersive sim and storytelling with an open world filled with vampires, four contrasting characters and roles to choose between, and online co-op for four players! This could be a perfect game for Game Pass, allowing any fence sitters to hop in as part of their subscription.
Redfall was previously expected to release in 2022, but alongside Starfield, was pushed back to 2023. As fans of co-op shooters, we’re looking forward to seeing more of this one, especially as it has a rather different tone to the regular contenders for Left 4 Dead’s tone.
XSX|S, PC | Spring 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
To the background of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, STALKER 2 developer GSC Game World has persisted while having to relocate to the Czech Republic and some members of the team joining the Armed Forces of Ukraine to defend their home country.
Development of STALKER 2 was able to resume in the middle of last year and it seems that GSC Game Worlds are now getting close on delivering this long-awaited sequel. It promises a deeply dynamic open world set within the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, the lands having been reclaimed following the world-changing nuclear reactor meltdown. The story of the game is non-linear so you can go wherever you wish to in the world, though you may not be fully prepared to meet all of its challenges straight away with both human and non-human enemies to face while exploring.
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, NSW, PC | Spring 2023 – Day One on Game Pass
What’s next for Minecraft? Well, alongside the main game, which remains as popular as ever, and the dungeon-crawling Minecraft Dungeons, 2023 will also see the release of Minecraft Legends. It’s sure to be another family friendly game for Xbox in 2023, especially because it will feature four player co-op.
With all the familiar blocky visuals of the Minecraft setting, Minecraft Legends will be an action strategy game, tasking you with saving the world from the invasive Nether corruption of the piglins. There’s a different perspective and scale to this take on the Minecraft setting, with a player character that’s able to roam around quickly, gathering resources, crafting and leading cute and cuddly allies into battle.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased his Name
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 2023
It’s kind of fitting that the first game in the Like a Dragon series to drop the Yakuza brand in the West will be one about name erasure. Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will tell a story set between the end of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Yakuza: Like a Dragon, showing what Kiryu got up to between those games. Given the series’ success on Game Pass, this is sure to be on many 2023 Xbox game wishlists
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 2023
While they’re now far better known for their Soulsbourne genre, longtime fans of FromSoftware have been calling for a new Armored Core game for years. They’re answering the call with Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon this year.
We don’t really know much outside of the quite stunningly rendered announcement trailer that was released just a few weeks ago, but that teaser has fans salivating at the prospect. What will be interesting to discover is the kind of gameplay that will be found in Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. The last game released in 2012 with a more tactical slant to the mecha combat, compared to the quicker reflex-based combat of older games.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
XSX|S, XBO, PS5, PS4, PC | 2023
If you’ve been missing the old school style of Assassin’s Creed game, then Assassin’s Creed Mirage will look to answer your prayers later this year. This “back-to-basics” game will take us back to a smaller world that’s mostly a dense city, a focus on stealth and parkour, and a more narrative driven game overall.
Alan Wake 2
XSX|S, PS5, PC | 2023
Everyone’s favourite flashlight-toting horror writer is making a long-awaited return this year in Alan Wake 2. from the success of Control, which was eventually revealed to be a part of the same universe as Alan Wake, Remedy Entertainment has teamed up with Epic Games for this sequel.
We’ve seen nothing since the game was announced at The Game Awards 2021, but it is apparently still on track for Xbox in 2023. Expect Remedy to tease and show more of the game sometime in the next few months.
Phew! That’s a whole lot of games that will be coming out this year for Xbox Series X|S, with a lot of them already confirmed for the next few months. Stay tuned to TheSixthAxis for all the news on these big releases and everything else that’s happening in gaming.