The release dates for many of your favourite games are still unclear, but many are already known. Here are the best games for the start of 2023.
Fire Emblem Engage
Nintendo kicked off the start to the year with Fire Emblem Engage on 20 January. The Switch exclusive brings an all-new protagonist to the series, the red and white Alear. This newest Fire Emblem protagonist will allow players to summon or engage heroes from the series’ past, including the original protagonist and staple of the Smash Bros. games, Marth. When a hero from the past is recruited, Alear inherits his weapon and skills.
Parhaat konsolipelit, a Finnish game site has included this game to their lists as well. If you happen to be one of our Finnish readers, do check!
After two delays in 2022, Forspoken was finally released for PS5 and PC on 24 January. Square Enix’s new action role-playing game is worth keeping an eye on for several reasons, the most important of which is its stellar writing team, including Rogue One’s Gary Whitta, Uncharted’s Amy Hennig and Todd Stashwick and Shadowhunters’ Allison Rymer.
Forspoken’s concept of isekai storytelling sees protagonist Frey transported from modern-day New York to Athens, a fantastical world of magic and deep mythology. As Frey travels back home, he learns otherworldly abilities that aid in both combat and travel.
Wild Hearts is EA’s answer to Monster Hunter, an all-new game where players hunt and craft in a fantastic, half-open world inspired by feudal Japan. For Wild Hearts, EA partnered with Japanese development studio Omega Force, best known for the Dynasty Warriors action series.
IGN reviewed Wild Hearts in October, and with its challenging hunting, beautiful environments and clever building mechanics, we thought the game was a legitimate Monster Hunter contender.
Dead Space 2023 is an in-depth remake of the 2008 survival horror classic. It’s been completely rebuilt with EA’s Frostbite engine, and features “all new resources, new character models [and] new environments” based on the original designs.
It’s still essentially Dead Space, though the EA Motive team is keeping things fresh by introducing new systems like Peeling, which allows players to shoot more flesh, sinew and bone off Necromorphs. It’s both a visual treat for the bloodthirsty and a clever health bar for Dead Space’s mutated baddies.
After two years of delays, Hogwarts Legaci was released on 10 February, fulfilling Harry Potter fans’ long-awaited wish to live out their own wizarding fantasy.
As a player you will create your own character and choose the house of your choice before starting the game as fifth year Hogwarts students. The open-world role-playing game puts players behind your classmates, which means they must complete quests to catch them.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
Horizon Call of the Mountain is a PSVR 2 spinoff set in the events of Horizon Zero Dawn. The game succesfully focuses on two main gameplay systems: traversal, supported by satisfying climbing mechanics, and bow and arrow combat.
Climbing requires you to physically reach from edge to edge, while archery requires you to simulate real action: reach for an arrow, peck it, aim, pull back and release.
Sons of the Forest
Sons of the Forest is the sequel to one of the best survival horror games on PC. Like its predecessor, Sons of the Forest drops you into a ghostly island where all you have to survive is your wits. Players must gather materials to craft the weapons and shelter needed to avoid falling prey to the island’s cannibalistic population.
Company of Heroes 3
Company of Heroes returns in 2023 for the first time in a decade, offering two separate campaigns set during World War II, one in North Africa and the other in Italy.
In Company of Heroes 3, Relic aims to retain what longtime fans have come to love about the acclaimed RTS game, while incorporating new gameplay mechanics such as a tactical pause and a fully dynamic campaign map.
The Day Before
The Day Before is one of the most anticipated games of 2023; the open world survival MMO is the second most anticipated game on Steam after Hogwarts Legacy. The Day Before was originally scheduled to be released in 2022, but a switch to Unreal Engine 5 prompted developer Fntastic to push the date back to the new year.
Set in a zombie-infested, post-pandemic America, The Day Before mixes survival gameplay with immersive combat and Animal Crossing-inspired base building.
Enthusiasm for Atomic Heart has grown considerably since it was announced four years ago, thanks to increasingly bizarre and sci-fi inspired trailers showcasing a Soviet-style, BioShock-like first-person shooter.
Atomic Heart has the potential to be one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2023. Whether that potential will be realised is another question entirely, although first impressions are promising.
Octopath Traveler 2
Octopath Traveler 2 is the sequel to Square Enix’s excellent 2018 HD-2D JRPG. The sequel features eight main characters with separate but converging stories. The latest trailer for Octopath Traveler 2 introduced us to two of these characters. the scholar Osvald and the merchant Partition – as well as a new Latent Powers system that activates unique abilities after a character has taken enough damage or broken enough enemy shields.