Greatest Year Ever?
Most anticipated lists of “things” coming in the near future are something everyone does, but why, though? Well, it’s an easy way for people who might be unaware of someone’s likes and dislikes to quickly decide if they like a particular “content creator.” For instance, if I said my list contained Call of Duty and Madden, you might click off because those types of games aren’t your thing, but if I told you my list featured games like Panty Party and Pantsu Hunter, you might stay because you’re a dirty freak. Don’t feel bad. There’s nothing wrong with being a freak. My friend Jimmy’s a freak. He has a tail.
Speaking of tails, do you know what else has tails? That’s right, animals. Where else do you see animals? Nailed it! Video games. But these aren’t just any video games. That’s right, it’s somehow 2023, which means there’s a whole gaggle of videos coming out that are way different from the previous games you’ve played. Now some of them have numbers after the titles or even subtitles. How exciting!
5.) Resident Evil 4 (March 24)
Resident Evil is easily one of my favorite franchises of all time, and Resident Evil 4 is considered by many to be one of the greatest games ever made, so why is the upcoming remake only at number 5? Because of all the remakes Capcom has put out so far, RE4 will be the first one where I’ve previously beaten the original game. While something like RE2 Remake would have been great either way, the fact that I never finished that game as a kid made the experience feel practically new. And while I’m still excited to play what I believe will be a great game, my excitement is lessened just a little bit. For players who’ve never experienced this classic, this could be many’s game of the year.
4.) Baldur’s Gate 3 (August)
Whether you like D&D, Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2, or you’re a senior citizen like myself who played Baldur’s Gate back in the day, there are a million reasons to be excited about Larian Studio’s next game. Baldur’s Gate 3 has been in early access for some time now, and with all of the positive feedback the game has gotten, it has only gotten more difficult to wait for the game’s inevitable release. Trying to avoid any and all news about the game is even more difficult since everything I have heard sounds fantastic. The magic of games like this is going in knowing nothing and experiencing the wonder the game has to offer. I’ll never forget discovering a genie’s lamp in Divinity, choosing the wrong answer, and being permanently blind. It was a complete disaster for my character, but an incredible moment my friends and I still bring up.
3.) Street Fighter 6 (June 2)
Last year I wrote about everything I wanted to see from Street Fighter 6, and with every new SF6 trailer, I have only gotten more excited to see that everything I could have possibly wanted for this game is happening. Whether it’s the new cast of characters, a fun new art style, or an interesting single-player campaign that looks like it’ll be fun to play, Street Fighter 6 is batting a thousand.
2.) Spider-Man 2 (Holiday Season)
There’s still a lot to learn about Spider-Man 2, but what we do know is honestly all we need. Peter Paker and Miles Morales team up to fight Venom. Where do I sign up?! The previous two installments in Insomniac’s Spider-Man franchise have been two of my favorite games of all time. To say I’m looking forward to this game would be an understatement. With that said, how could anything else be my number one? Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you.
Honorable mention is my favorite part of any list because it always asks, why didn’t you turn it into a top 10 list? I think the answer to that seems obvious. It sounds like more work… even though it really isn’t.
- Starfield (Allegedly in the next six months)
- Final Fantasy 16 (June 22)
- Pixelshire (TBA)
- Sacrifire (TBA)
- Sea of Stars (Summer)
The fun thing about this year’s honorable mentions is that I can sum up why all 5 of these games are on this list in just one paragraph. Starfield and Final Fantasy 16 are two games that I want to be excited about, but even with both of their releases so close, I still feel like neither game has spent the time to deliver an exciting deep dive into what the games have to offer. Honestly, just let me know I can fish, and I promise I’ll add both of these games to the list. As for Pixelshire, Sacrifire, and Sea of Stars, these indie titles look incredible, and I wouldn’t be shocked if all three make my games of the year list. So why are they in the honorable mentions section? Easy. I weirdly decided I should only have five games on my most anticipated list. So shout out to my laziness and an even bigger shoutout to those three incredible-looking games.
1.) Hogwarts Legacy (February 10) & Witchbrook (TBA)
And immediately after saying I only have five games on my list, I reveal that my number one most anticipated game is actually two games. Everything that’s been shown off for Hogwarts Legacy looks incredible. Whether its the diverse combat that looks to offer players unique ways to build their character, a vast and exciting world to freely explore, or even the ability to raise wild animals you find out in the world, Hogwarts Legacy looks to deliver one of the most aspirational games to come out since… Well, Elden Ring, but still, Hogwarts Legacy is claiming a lot. And I want to be clear: I’m not saying Hogwarts Legacy will be this year’s Elden Ring, but I am saying that the team over at Avalanche Studios is taking on a lot. If they can nail what they’re trying to achieve, we’re in for something special.
Hogwarts Legacy doesn’t come without controversy, though. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it turns out the woman who wrote the books is a real scumbag, and because of that, not everyone wants to support something her name is attached to. So what are the people who plan on sitting out Hogwarts Legacy supposed to play? Well, it wouldn’t be a most anticipated game of the year list without mention of a little game called WitchBrook.
First revealed all the way back in 2016 as something called Spellbound, WitchBrook is the game that constantly shows up, amazes everyone who sees it, and then disappears without a word. This Stardew Valley-inspired game looks to be everything that fans of the genre want, but unfortunately, the real question we have to ask is, will it ever come out. Well, last year, publisher Chucklefish seemed to pull this rabbit out of their hat as the game finally launched a Steam page where fans can wishlist the game. Does this mean the game is actually coming out this year? While there is no release date and the game’s official Twitter page hasn’t seen action in over 6 months, I still believe this game, my white whale, is coming out this year. And if I am correct, I promise you, the entire world will lose their minds because this game will be huge. It’s Harry Potter mixed with Stardew Valley, and you don’t have to wonder if it’s okay that you’re playing the game. What more could you ask for?
And with that, these have been my most anticipated games of 2023. And for those interested, throughout the rest of January, I will be covering upcoming movies and deep diving into my most anticipated indie games that will be coming out later this year. Thanks for reading, and I will see you soon!