Welcome to RPGFan’s 35 Most Anticipated Games of 2023!
You might notice that we added about..oh I don’t know, five more games than normal this year. But the reality is that 2023 is absolutely packed with games we want to play, both the AAA and indie variety alike. Frankly, it’s amazing time to be an RPG fan (I refuse to apologize for the joke).
So, join us as we take a look at the 35 games we’re hoping to get our hands on in 2023!
What are you most excited to get your hands on this year? Are there any big titles that we missed? If so, be sure to let us know on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, or however you most enjoy interacting with us!
Intro by Zach Wilkerson
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
Platform: Nintendo Switch
An avid reader of RPGFan would be correct to say that Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp was on last year’s list. What’s happening here? We promise you Nintendo and WayForward haven’t forgotten about this title, waiting for less sensitive times to drop their passion project.
Combining two games in the series that have not seen the light of day since 2001 and 2003, respectively, on the Game Boy Advance, Re-Boot Camp modernizes the graphics while retaining the original art style and gameplay. Between bouts of the dual campaigns, you can bring together fellow strategists online or in person to see who knows how to army best in Versus Mode. Hearing no updates on when Andy and his fellow Orange Star Army members can once again roll out into the action may be upsetting, as I have been eager to play a game in the series. But the tactical adventures both new and old players will be able to experience will be worth the wait. The Black Hole Army won’t stand a chance when the time comes.
Writeup by Anthony Krolikowski
Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4, Sony PlayStation 5 – Release: February 24th
The first entry in the Atelier Ryza series was released in 2019, which by many series standards is far too recent to be anticipating a part three, yet here we are. Personally, I enjoyed Atelier Ryza more than its follow-up, Atelier Ryza 2, so I’m hoping a return to Kurken Island might see the trilogy finishing on a nostalgic high. I much preferred the close-knit island vibe to the grander scale of Ryza 2. Developer Gust did a wonderful job translating Ryza’s progression in life through to a storyline with more complex relationships and scope, so it will be interesting to see how they handle an even later chronological stage in her life.
I have few doubts that Atelier Ryza 3 will be a delightful experience, especially for fans who played the first two entries. Gust have upped their game in the last few years, and they obviously have a lot of love for the Ryza series. I have but one request, nay, demand! Make Bos a party member, please.
Writeup by Sam-James Gordon
Baldur’s Gate III
Platforms: Microsoft Windows – Release: August
It’s been 21 years since players could cast their metaphorical d20s to determine the fate of the Sword Coast! Sure, we’ve seen remasters of one of the greatest CRPGs, but honestly, we’ve been ready to learn more about the God of Murder, Bhaal, and his children. Moreover, Dungeons & Dragons has come a long way since they used 2nd edition mechanics in Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn and its expansion, Throne of Bhaal, so it will be exciting to see the latest generation use the well-refined 5e system. Plus, with Larian Studios at the helm, we’re bound to see flexible and creative use of those robust mechanics after what they gave us with Divinity: Original Sin and its successor.
To be clear, Baldur’s Gate III has been in Early Access since October 2020, with ongoing content drops, tweaks, and updates for players along the way, and what they’ve been playing, they seem to be loving. But for those awaiting a final product in 2023, their patience appears likely to be rewarded. Hopefully, we’ll have a thrilling continuation of a storied epic in the Forgotten Realms setting some 120 years later. And since there are warlocks now, it should be pretty easy to push one button to Eldritch Blast your way through the game!
Writeup by Greg Delmage
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4, Sony PlayStation 5, Microsoft Xbox One, Microsoft Xbox Series X|S
The first Coffee Talk game was a refreshing visual novel ostensibly about making coffee-based beverages, but drink making was just the setting and backdrop to a colorful cast of humans, orcs, vampires, and more that inhabit — where else? — an alternative version of modern-day Seattle. Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly looks to continue this tradition, welcoming back familiar faces with new ones, such as our satyr and banshee friends from the trailers. I look forward to revisiting beloved characters and making new acquaintances that will no doubt be just as endearing. Plus, new drink styles and gameplay additions will expand the scope of what you can do and serve your patrons. Sipping a salted caramel latte and spending more time in this café with Andrew Jeremy‘s beautiful music is something I can’t wait to do in 2023.
Writeup by Mike Salbato
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Microsoft Xbox One, Microsoft Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4, Sony PlayStation 5
Ever since Demonschool was revealed last June, it’s one game I’ve kept an eye on. The moment I glanced at the game’s grungy, pixel-meets-low-poly art style and its MegaTen-inspired (but by no means a copycat) art style, I knew Necrosoft Games had something special on their hands. Seeing the game in motion and hearing the music just further pulled me in. The dynamic battle system looks like a blast and promises to have a decent amount of complexity, the characters seem interesting, and again, every single aspect we’ve seen of Demonschool oozes style, even down to its camera angles, fonts, and UI design. I can’t wait to learn more about it and enroll in Demonschool sometime next year.
Writeup by Mike Salbato
Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake
Dragon Quest III is one of the most cherished entries in the classic franchise, both for its place in the lore of the series and for its early iteration of a beloved job system. So a new way to play it with some gorgeous graphics will be an easy sell to old and new fans alike. Everyone keeps asking for HD-2D remakes, and in the case of the Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake, it may be the right call. Square Enix is busting out a more vibrant color palette than the style usually features (think LIVE A LIVE’s visuals more than Octopath Traveler’s), a perfect fit for Dragon Quest’s bright and playful aesthetic.
But how do I sell you if you’ve never played Dragon Quest III? Well, it’s easy. It’s Dragon Quest III. It’s the classic RPG to end all classic RPGs. Just stare at some screenshots for a bit. Trust me. You’re gonna love it.
Writeup by Wes Iliff
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Xbox Series X|S, Sony PlayStation 5
Dustborn first caught my attention due to its vibrant presentation and interesting premise, both of which successfully capture the feel of a graphic novel. The game is in development at Red Thread Games (known for Dreamfall Chapters, and comprised of devs from The Longest Journey and Dreamfall), with Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human) set to publish. The third-person, single-player action-adventure game places you in the shoes of four-month-pregnant Pax, taking a courier trip across the remains of America following an event called the Broadcast.
Pax literally wields the power of words as you use wordcraft both in and outside of battle to help others. Your conversation choices impact relationships as you take plenty of pit stops to see the sights of dystopian America, and you even participate in a Battle of the Bands because of your cover as a member of a folk-punk-rock band. Pax is joined by a crew of outcasts and misfits, all with unique abilities and differing personalities. Dustborn promises to be a memorable video game road trip unlike any other.
Writeup by Audra Bowling
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Xbox One, Microsoft Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4, Sony PlayStation 5
Everyone is excited for the upcoming Suikoden I & II remasters. They look fantastic. But what’s the real reason those remasters exist in the first place? We all know the answer: Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes.
Why shouldn’t we be? Hundred Heroes looks absolutely fantastic in trailers, with exciting combat and beautiful graphics. The conflict between the two main characters seems straight out of Suikoden II. But maybe, most importantly, Yoshitaka Murayama—the creator of Suikoden—is back. We all hope he can recapture the magic we experienced early in that series, and those early trailers certainly make it look like he will. And while the prequel, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising, might have been a little controversial, most can agree that it sets up a fascinating world we want to know more about.
So sure, I’m excited because Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes takes inspiration from the Suikoden series, but every time I’ve seen the game, it continues to build upon that excitement. We’ll see if it can live up to Murayama’s previous greatness.
Writeup by Zach Wilkerson
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Platform: Sony PlayStation 5
What is there to say about Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the second act of what we now know to be a three-part retelling of Final Fantasy VII? There isn’t too much to go on yet other than the trailer we got in June and the tiny morsels of information we got a month later.
Methinks an interesting way to start the game would be through Cloud’s Nibelheim flashback, Skyrim style, while the ideal way to end the game would probably be a certain scene, but it’s difficult to predict just what Square Enix has planned. All I really know for sure is that I’ll be there day freakin’ one.
The clock’s ticking, folks. If you still need to finish Final Fantasy VII Remake (and, optionally, Episode INTERmission), you have about 365 days to do so. I’m not entirely convinced this will release within the next calendar year, but here’s my attempt to manifest it into existence nevertheless. If the game does actually come out by next December—you’re welcome.
Writeup by Gio Castillo
Final Fantasy XVI
Platform: Sony PlayStation 5 – June 22nd
This year, Square Enix has been generous in sharing more details about Final Fantasy XVI with the “Dominance,” “Ambition,” and “Revenge” trailers, featuring lore details, an extensive look at the battle of the six realms, Eikons, and, most recently, a June 22nd release date. Flashback to the day the title was unveiled in 2020: Reactions were mixed on the rough gameplay and dark medieval setting. However, the development has come a long way thanks to Yoshi-P and the staff listening to players’ feedback. From fighting against fate, being the chosen Warrior of Light, a prince and his friends reclaiming a kingdom, and becoming the best episode of Game of Thrones—I just love the direction this franchise is heading.
To top it all off, Masayoshi Soken is composing the soundtrack, which is the icing on the cake. Simply listening to the grandiose violin music in the background gave me chills from beginning to end. My PS5 awaits nothing but its arrival.
Writeup by Tin Manuel
Fire Emblem Engage
Platform: Nintendo Switch – January 20th
Fire Emblem has been around since the 90s, but it feels like a series that is having its renaissance. After Fire Emblem Awakening breathed life into the franchise and Fire Emblem: Three Houses made it a Switch mega hit, fans have been dying to see what’s next for the series. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long.
Fire Emblem Engage will be one of 2023’s earlier titles, releasing on January 20th. The game combines a brand-new art style with new mechanics and a healthy dose of nostalgia. Players will be able to merge their units with popular characters from Fire Emblem’s history. I’m psyched to see some of my favorite Fire Emblem characters in Engage, but I’m more excited about the gameplay. The weapon triangle is back, skills look stronger than ever, and the animations look better than they have in a decade. Whether you’re a new fan or a series veteran, there’s a lot to be excited about come January.
Writeup by Brian Mackenzie
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Sony PlayStation 5 – January 24th
Much like its protagonist Frey and the mysterious circumstances that take her from New York to the fantasy world of Athia, the development of Forspoken has undergone its own journey. However, if the developers needed more time to fine-tune and polish the experience Forspoken promises to deliver, I am okay with the wait. Truthfully, each subsequent bit of information and Deep Dive video we’ve seen about Forspoken since its initial announcement has only intrigued me more. The game looks gorgeous in motion with impressively fast and fluid combat, and its concept of travel by “magic parkour” appears engaging and fun. Athia itself looks to be an intriguing game world, with plenty to entice players to explore the beaten path. Plus, there’s a talking bracelet and so many cats! I’m curious to see how Frey’s journey will play out when Forspoken finally releases in January.
Writeup by Audra Bowling