9 Of The Most Exciting Video Game Launches Of 2023

Including the sequel to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild & Idris Elba’s role in Phantom Liberty.

by Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 

Whatever your thoughts are on 2023 thus far, one thing’s for sure: it’s set to be a bright one for gamers. With a number of remakes and new releases on the horizon, we have a whole lot to look forward to.

Right now, all eyes are on one game: the long-awaited sequel to 2017's The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Titled Tears of the Kingdom, the game was initially set for release in 2022 before being pushed back to this May. Then there's the sequel to 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man, which will see Peter Parker team up with Miles Morales to defeat familiar villains like Venom at some point this Autumn.

In light of the success of HBO's adaptation of The Last Of Us, PC players will finally be able to play The Last Of Us Part I in March, which has been remade and optimised on the same engine as its sequel, The Last Of Us Part II. Then there's the as-yet-dated releases of Bethesda's much-anticipated space exploration epic Starfield, the 16th instalment of the Final Fantasy franchise, and the first expansion to Cyberpunk 2077's story featuring Idris Elba.

There are many more for gamers to look forward to in 2023, including DLC for Horizon Forbidden West and a special installment of Assassin's Creed. Below are 9 of the most highly-anticipated games of 2023 and when you can expect to play them.

The Last Of Us Part I Remake (March 3)

As a new audience falls in love with HBO's critically acclaimed adaptation of The Last Of Us, the first game in the series was remade in September 2022 to take advantage of the PlayStation 5's capabilities. Despite being a PlayStation exclusive, The Last Of Us Part 1 will be available to play for PC players this March.

Initially released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3, The Last Of Us was remastered for the PlayStation 4 a year later. Following the release of The Last Of Us Part II in 2020, a remake of the original game was made on the same engine.

The Last Of Us Part 1 releases on March 3 on Windows.

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores (April 19)

Released in February 2022, Horizon Forbidden West picks up six months after the events of 2017's Horizon Zero Dawn. Players continue the story as Aloy, a clone of a scientist from the Old World who helped save the Earth's future by creating a sentient AI called GAIA. In Zero Dawn, GAIA sacrificed itself to save the planet following the threat of a second apocalypse. In Forbidden West, Aloy ventures into (you guessed it) the Forbidden West, consisting of Utah, Nevada, and California, to restore GAIA and save the world from further destruction, all the while coming across hostile machines that were once docile and built to terraform the environment.

Like Zero Dawn, Forbidden West is about to receive DLC (downloadable content), extending the game's story further. Titled Burning Shores, the DLC will see Aloy travel to Los Angeles which has been ravaged by volcanic activity and a massive machine known as a Metal Devil/Horus.

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores releases on April 19 exclusively on PlayStation 5.

Star Wars: Jedi Survivor (April 28)

Originally slated for release on March 17, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has been delayed until April 28 to undertake "bug fixes to enhance performance, stability, polish, and most importantly, the player experience," per an EA statement.

Fans continue to eagerly await the sequel to 2019's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which picks up the story of Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis. Set five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Cal becomes a target of the Galactic Empire after the Jedi have all but ceased to exist following the actions of Darth Vader. The sequel will take place five years after the first game, falling in line with the timeline of the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor releases on April 28 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (May 12)

Fans of The Legend Of Zelda have been waiting years for a sequel to 2017's Breath of the Wild. That game completely reinvented the franchise, allowing players to explore a breathtakingly lush version of the Kingdom of Hyrule that hadn't been seen before. This is set to continue with The Legend of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom, which takes the setting and story of Breath of the Wild and turns it skyward.

Tears of the Kingdom was initially planned for release in 2022 but was inevitably pushed back to 2023. Described by Nintendo as an "epic adventure across the land and skies of Hyrule," players will "harness the power of Link's new abilities to fight against the malevolent forces that threaten the kingdom." Now adorned with a mysterious green arm that grants Link new abilities and power, the darker tone of Tears Of The Kingdom will enthral fans once the game finally comes out.

The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom releases May 12 on Nintendo Switch.

Final Fantasy XVI (June 22)

The 16th instalment of Final Fantasy is set for release this summer, and fans couldn't be more excited. The first game in the Japanese science fantasy anthology series came out in 1987. Each game has been a stand-alone adventure with different characters and plots inspired by mythology and real-world history.

Final Fantasy XVI takes place in a world called Valisthea, which is divided into six nations. Each has earned power through magical crystals and Dominants, the latter being humans that are hosts of monsters known as Eikons. You'll explore this world as Clive Rosfield, who is on a path of revenge aimed at an Eikon called Ifrit following the destruction of his kingdom. Final Fantasy XVI's darker turn on the series seeks to change the aesthetic of the previous games in the franchise.

Final Fantasy XVI releases on June 22 on the PlayStation 5 as a timed exclusive and will be available to play on other consoles in due course.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (Autumn 2023)

Expected sometime this Autumn, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is the long-awaited sequel to 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man, its DLC expansion The City That Never Sleeps, and its spin-off Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The first trailer for the game revealed that Peter Parker and Miles Morales will be working in tandem to help keep New York City safe from villains like Venom. Yuri Lowenthal and Nadji Jeter will reprise their roles as the voices of Peter and Miles, while Candyman's Tony Todd will provide the voice of Venom.

The sequel will "deliver a compelling human story, one full of heart and humour that dives deep into the people behind the mask," Ryan Schneider, Head of Franchise Strategy & Studio Relations at Insomniac Games, wrote on the PlayStation Blog.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 releases this Autumn exclusively on PlayStation 5.

Starfield (2023)

For the first time in 25 years, game developer Bethesda (the minds behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4) has created a new universe in the form of Starfield. This highly-anticipated game has been in the works for some time and is scheduled to be released sometime this year.

Set in The Settled Systems, Starfield takes place two decades after a war broke out between two factions in space. You play as a fully customisable character who is a member of the space exploration team Constellation with the mission of discovering what's truly out there. With over 1,000 planets to explore in 100 systems, there's plenty of space exploration to be had in Starfield. You build outposts on these planets to aid in research and resource gathering for gear and weapons. Starfield also provides the opportunity to pilot a customisable spaceship which you can use to traverse the cosmos and engage in space combat.

Starfield releases sometime this year exclusively on Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Assassin's Creed Mirage (2023)

Set decades before 2020's Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Assassin's Creed Mirage takes the franchise back to its roots and focuses heavily on stealth and parkour gameplay in 19th-century Baghdad. Mirage follows Basim Ibn Ishaq, first introduced in Valhalla, as he learns the way of the Creed.

Set in Baghdad, Mirage was developed as a homage to the original games in the franchise to celebrate its 15th anniversary. "That's why we're using our Valhalla engine to build a smaller game that pays tribute to our original game by focusing more on stealth, on close-quarter combat, on parkour, and a denser city that goes back to our roots in the Middle East with Baghdad as the centrepiece," Marc-Alexis Côte, vice president and executive producer of Assassin's Creed, told IGN.

Assassin's Creed Mirage releases sometime in 2023 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (2023)

Despite Cyberpunk 2077's controversial release in December 2020 due to bugs and glitches, a cacophony of updates has restored the game to how it was intended to be played.

The first expansion for the futuristic RPG, Phantom Liberty, is finally set to release this year and will star Idris Elba as FIA agent Solomon Reed, alongside the return of Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand. Described as a "spy-thriller" by game developer CD Projekt Red, Phantom Liberty sees back as the player character, V, tasked with helping Solomon "in an impossible mission of espionage and survival."

Alongside the new story, Phantom Liberty will feature never-before-seen weapons, cybernetic modifications, and outfits alongside a new area of Night City to explore.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty releases sometime this year on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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