The Best Video Games Released in 2023 (So Far)

The Best Video Games Released in 2023 (So Far)

The winter months are historically a slow period for new video game releases, but 2023 is a different beast. We’re barely into February, and 2023 has already seen big new RPGs and action games, surprising indies, and even revivals of beloved franchises. There are so many, in fact, that we decided to round up a list of the most notable video games of 2023 so far, so you know which new releases are worth checking out. (Sorry if you thought you’d have some time to catch up on those 2022 games you missed out on.)

Fire Emblem: Engage

Available on: Nintendo Switch.

This entry in Nintendo’s long-running strategy RPG series takes cues from earlier games in the franchise, focusing primarily on combat and building up your troops instead of the social and dating sim elements of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. While this streamlined focus may disappoint some Three Houses fans, many reviewers praise Engage’s combat as some of the best in the series — a good sign for a game where you spend most of your time in battle. Engage also retains the customisable difficulty settings of modern-era Fire Emblem, so you can tune the experience to suit your tastes.

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4.

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is a side-scrolling action platformer with gameplay inspired by retro classics like Strider, Mega Man, and Shinobi, and a story that pays homage to Japanese Tokusatsu media like Kamen Rider and Hakaider.

Players control Moonrider, a powerful cyborg samurai that rides a motorcycle and wields a laser sword. The game’s stages challenge you with difficult combat and platforming sections, then end with a battle against brutal bosses that grant you new abilities when destroyed. It’s a gameplay loop gamers of any era are likely familiar with, but Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider’s slick gameplay and lush pixel art visuals make for one of the best neo-retro platformers out there.


Available on: PC (Steam, GOG, Microsoft Store), Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass.

Inkulinati is a humorous strategy game where players control squads of anthropomorphic animal warriors in tactical 2D battles. The art and presentation are based on medieval art like you’d find scrawled in the margins of sacred texts and manuscripts from the dark ages.

The game is technically in early access, so it’s not officially complete yet, but core systems are finished and entirely playable. The development team plans to add new multiplayer modes and balance the many characters and missions already in the game.

Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden

Persona 3 Portable is available on: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam, Microsoft Store), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass.

Persona 4 Golden is available on: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam, Microsoft Store), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass.

January saw two cult-classic JRPGs finally ported to modern consoles: Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden.

Persona 3 is notable as the first game in the series to feature the now-iconic social and dating sim elements alongside the traditional RPG dungeon crawling. As such, Persona 3 is a much more challenging, old-school experience. It’s not quite as difficult or obtuse as the core Shin Megami Tensei series’ early games, but it’s also not as streamlined as later Persona titles, and it features a much darker storyline.

Persona 4 Golden, on the other hand, is closer to the gameplay and tone of Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal. It’s still based on a PlayStation Vita remake of a PlayStation 2 game, so expect some outdated gameplay systems, but newer fans will probably find Persona 4 Golden more approachable than Persona 3 Portable. That said, both are excellent JRPGs, and the perfect way for Persona 5 fans or curious newcomers to check out earlier entries in the series.

Hi-Fi Rush

Available on: PC (Steam, Microsoft Store), Xbox Series X/S, Game Pass.

Microsoft’s Tango Gameworks surprise-dropped this action-rhythm game out of nowhere in the latter part of January. Players control Chai, a musician fighting for freedom from a tyrannical megacorporation that’s experimenting on humans. Gameplay melds the flashy, combo-focused combat of games like Devil May Cry with rhythm game elements. Everything you do — from attacks to jumps — and every object in the game is synced to the beat of the music. However, unlike the strict timing of, say, Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution, Hi-Fi Rush’s tempo serves more as a guideline and gives players the freedom to experiment with Chai’s many moves and abilities.

One Piece: Odyssey

Available on: PC (Steam), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S.

One Piece Odyssey adapts one of the longest-running and most successful manga and anime series into a massive RPG. The game was developed by ILCA, the same studio behind the beloved JRPG Dragon Quest XI, and both games feature similar art styles and turn-based combat. While existing One Piece fans will likely get the most out of Odyssey’s many callbacks and references to the manga and anime, the game features an all-new storyline that new fans can enjoy as well.

Dead Space

Available on: PC (Steam, Microsoft Store, EA Origin), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S.

Dead Space is a faithful remake of one of the best action-horror games of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation. While it sticks very close to the original game’s structure and gameplay, this is much more than an eye-catching remaster. The entire game has been recreated and revised with a modern graphics engine, retooled gameplay, and all-new voice acting, and the iconic USS Ishimura is now a single contiguous environment you explore in one shot, rather than segmented into separate levels. The Dead Space remake is by far the best way to experience one of the best survival horror games.

Season: A Letter to the Future

Available on: PC (Steam), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4.

Season: A Letter to the Future is a third-person exploration game where you collect memories before a world-ending event washes everything away. Players bike through idyllic landscapes, snap photos with their camera, and document their adventure in an in-game notebook that slowly fills in as they explore. The things you collect may offer clues into the mysterious, cataclysmic cycles controlling the fate of this dream-like world.

Spongebob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake

Available on: PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

Spongebob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake is a spiritual successor to the fan-favourite Battle For Bikini Bottom on PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. As such, The Cosmic Shake is a throwback 3D platformer featuring seven unique worlds to explore, each filled with items to collect and hidden power-ups that expand Spongebob’s moveset. The show’s original voice cast all return to reprise their roles in the game, making this a great way to revisit the beloved series for long-time fans or to introduce younger players to Spongebob’s antics.

Colossal Cave

Available on: PC (Steam, Epic Games Store, Humble,, Amazon), Meta Quest 2, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S.

Colossal Cave is the latest game from legendary designer Roberta Williams, creator of the King’s Quest series and one of the progenitors of point-and-click adventures. The game is a modernised remake of the 1976 text adventure Colossal Cave Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods, where players explored a massive underground world filled with traps, secrets, and fantastical creatures in hopes of finding a rumoured cache of treasure. Williams started the game as a personal project in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it quickly expanded into a ground-up remake that brings the classic adventure into a fully-realised 3D world to explore and interact with.

A Space for the Unbound

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

This story-focused 2D adventure game follows a teenage couple dealing with all the usual trials young lovers faced in the 1990s: high school, social life, and supernatural forces trying to end the world. OK, maybe that last one is unique to these characters. Nevertheless, A Space for the Unbound’s touching story is perfect if you need a palate cleanser after 2022’s big adventures like Elden Ring or God of War Ragnarok.

Monster Hunter Rise (PlayStation and Xbox versions)

Available on: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam, Microsoft Store).

Monster Hunter Rise has been available on Switch since 2021 and on Steam since 2022, but January saw the game finally launch for PlayStation and Xbox. Monster Hunter Rise continues the series’ compelling gameplay loop of hunting monsters, turning their loot into new weapons and armour, and using your new gear to hunt even bigger monsters and turn those into even better equipment. Repeat for dozens of hours.

While PlayStation and Xbox players have to wait a bit longer for the massive Sunbreak expansion that launched on Steam and Switch last year, these new console ports feature the sharper hi-res visuals of the PC version and retain all the content of the original Monster Hunter Rise release.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

Available on: PC (Steam, Microsoft Store), Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Game Pass.

Xbox players can now experience one of the all-time great strategy games with Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. This enhanced remastering of the classic real-time strategy game features upgraded 4K graphics, Xbox Live achievements, and a retooled interface and control scheme for playing on a controller. All of the original game’s content, including its numerous factions, single-player campaigns, expansion packs, and online multiplayer modes are included. Age of Empires II Definitive Edition is also available on PC.

Fashion Police Squad

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam, Epic Games Store), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One.

Fashion Police Squad is a fast-paced first-person shooter where you blast poorly-dressed goobers with fit-enhancing firearms. Players hop and grapple around town preventing heinous “fashion crimes” like baggy suits or drab colour choices with an arsenal of unique weapons, each one specially designed to fix a specific faux pas. The first-person shooting is just as tense and chaotic as Quake or DOOM, but its fashion-focused theme, humorous tone, and puzzle-minded level design make for a novel, non-violent spin on old-school shooting gameplay.


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