2022 was plagued with video game delays, but it all bears fruit in 2023, one of the biggest years we’ve seen for new releases. Committed developers have promised a plethora of excellent RPGs that are larger in scope than ever before, mainly due to their understanding of the nuances of developing games for Next-Gen systems.
While video game delays are unfortunate, as Miyamoto once said: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
It doesn’t matter which console you’re on or what RPG genre you prefer, 2023 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for RPG fans all over.
10. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
Renowned as the spiritual successor to the cult classic Suikoden series, this JRPG caught our eye because of its fantastic campaign on Kickstarter. They maintained high transparency throughout the development process while focusing on what die-hard fans of JRPGs want the most.
This title boasts a stunning full-motion 2.5D art style and compelling backstories with over 100 unique characters that you can recruit into your ranks. Prepare to face challenging enemies and explore a world brimming with immersive world-building elements.
The game is based on a traditional turn-based combat system with a beautiful visual design, orchestral sound, and not to mention, cats! Eiyuden Chronicle is said to release sometime in 2023 on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PlayStation 4 and 5, promising to port it over to Nintendo’s next generation console (if ever produced).
9. Gothic Remake
Fans have been eager to discover and explore the world of Gothic, a cult classic that managed to shift the dynamic of RPGs when it was first released in 2001. The game’s dark and atmospheric design sets the tone for the player, involving them in a horrifying and marvelous world. The well-featured designs have been revamped to capture the true essence of this world, ensuring that players can fully experience its unique atmosphere.
The remake aims to build on the immersive world and storyline, all while introducing a new combat system built from scratch, and featuring multiple weapon classes and combat styles.
Despite our limited knowledge of the gameplay, we have glimpsed bits and pieces of the game’s visual and design elements: the development team is working tirelessly to create an extraordinary gaming experience for both new and hardcore players.
By looking at its Amazon listings, the game is set to release during Q3 of 2023 for PC and Next Generation consoles.
8. GreedFall 2: The Dying World
While GreedFall wasn’t a perfect game by any means, it demonstrated Spiders’ passion for game development and world-building. The success of GreedFall proved that they were on the right track, and anticipation for GreedFall 2 is high as fans eagerly await the next chapter in the series, confident that Spiders have what it takes to deliver an even more impressive game.
The first game lacked elements ranging from enemy types, repetition, and a lackluster story (even though it had its moments). However, with a larger budget and experience under their belt, the team behind GreedFall 2 has crafted a richer story, a more complex world, and exciting third-person combat. This could be their Uncharted 2 or Arkham City, and we are very excited to dive into the world of GreedFall again.
7. Baldur’s Gate 3
Larian Studios created a behemoth in the RPG space with Divinity: Original Sin 2, which impressed fans and critics, making it to many top 10 best RPG lists. For their next project, they were handed the reins to the cult classic series Baldur’s Gate. Larian studio has big shoes to fill, and their track record shows that they’re the perfect people for the job. Baldur’s Gate 3 has been in Early Access for a few years now, and it is slated for a full release in 2023.
The Divinity series heavily influences the game, which is awesome. The game is inspired by Tabletop games like Dungeon and Dragons, which means you can make decisions that impact the story and the companions you meet. The game has a serious tone compared to Divinity, and every battle will be affected by your party and even the environment, making it a great experience to dive into.
6. Dragon Age: Dreadwolf
Gamers have witnessed BioWare, one of the most influential video game studios to exist, experience one of the most painful falls from grace. The studio shone with games like the Mass Effect Trilogy and Dragon Age Inquisition. But after suffering from two consecutive failures with Mass Effect Andromeda and Anthem, the studio has decided to return to its roots.
Dragon Age fans were both excited and anxious upon hearing the announcement of Dreadwolf, the sequel to Inquisition. This highly anticipated game promises to reveal answers to long-standing questions and may even unveil Solus’s grand plan. Many fans are hoping for the series revival, as it signals that BioWare is back to doing what they do best: crafting unforgettable gaming experiences.
5. Diablo 4
Diablo is one of the best RPG franchises made to this day. It has a vast fanbase waiting to take them on a dark, mysterious adventure. While some devotees are worried about recent events at Activision Blizzard, including the heavy push towards pay-to-win mechanics, we still hope the developers won’t harm this amazing series with anti-consumer practices.
If previous games are anything to go by, we can expect this game to feature terrifying dungeons, dark and gruesome enemies, and a fantastic world to explore. Players will fight against Lilith and her cult, following to bring back peace to this gloomy and treacherous world.
Bethesda is a studio famous for its RPGs; still, there were mixed reactions when everyone was introduced to Starfield. Fans that had been waiting patiently for the next game in the Elder Scrolls series started calling it “Skyrim in space.” As new information started surfacing, they might have something up their sleeve, and fans started getting excited with the promises Bethesda made. It appears to have elements similar to games like No Man’s Sky, with multiple worlds and habitats to explore. This might be the perfect way for fans to live out the perfect Star Trek fantasy.
Players can go on a Sci-Fi adventure filled with fantastic stories, unique regions, and memorable characters. The game seems to be influenced by Fallout and Skyrim, reintroducing many fun mechanics that have become staples of those games, like joining factions, pickpocketing, and recruitable NPCs. From what we have seen, the combat and shooting mechanics seem intuitive, with various builds and weapon choices. Bethesda is going all in with Starfield, with Todd Howard saying “[Starfield is] Channeling older hardcore RPGs”. The hype has been building, with fans expecting something that will surpass the immersive and fun world of Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Starfield’s release date is confirmed for September 6th, 2023, on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, and PC.
3. Hogwarts Legacy
A game that has taken the world by storm, Hogwarts Legacy was created by Avalanche Software (not to be confused with Avalanche Studio Games, the people who gave us Just Cause). Hogwarts Legacy is their first major release since Disney infinity, and they scored a home run, with over 12 million copies sold. This game has become the best way to explore the wizarding world and enjoy the famous castle from the Harry Potter franchise.
Hogwarts Legacy features casting spells, fun throwbacks, and a cast of loveable characters, but what makes it truly shine is the love the developers put into the game. The world is carefully built and offers many areas to explore, and puzzles to solve. The game is a perfect symbiosis of nostalgia and new, making it a great experience for all HP fans as well as newbies.
Hogwarts Legacy, already captivating fans and critics alike, is available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, and PC. The game will be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on April 4th, followed by the Nintendo Switch on July 25th.
2. Final Fantasy XVI
Arguably the best RPG series ever created, Final Fantasy has always created big lands and captivating storylines. Each game introduces a new world to explore, but what truly engrosses the players and captures their hearts are the fun, lighthearted moments and the stride of these games that make you fall in love with the characters involved. After the success of Final Fantasy XV, fans were waiting for the next one, and their prayers were finally answered.
Final Fantasy XVI is set in a Dark, fantastical world with tighter pacing than its counterparts; the war-torn land of Valisthea seems exciting and mysterious. Final Fantasy XVI aims to shift the formula of combat while taking it one step further from FFXV and going to a more action-heavy real-time combat system like Devil May Cry. If that’s not a match made in heaven, we don’t know what is.
As story-heavy Final Fantasy games are, we can’t wait to see what this new land offers. PS5 players will be able to dive into this mysterious world on the 22nd of June. The game will probably be released for PC, as we’ve seen with previous FF titles. Still, it might take a few months for that to happen.
1. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Most of you might’ve guessed it, and you are correct; the first on this list and our most anticipated release is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Breath of the Wild changed how RPGs were created and considerably influenced the gaming world. We saw multiple clones and many games inspired by it, and now we finally get what everyone’s been waiting for. I and many I know spent multiple hours aimlessly wandering and exploring Hyrule. From the musical scores and beautiful design to the fantastic enemies and intriguing puzzles, these spectacular moments forced many to call it the best game of all time.
Now, Nintendo is taking it even further and aiming higher than Breath of the Wild by creating an even more enriched and dense world. Tears of the Kingdom seems to serve as a sequel to Breath of the Wild. The game has been kept under a veil of secrecy, but what we can see from the trailers, there are new mechanisms and tools that will give players more freedom than ever. The highlight of the game for me personally are the floating islands, and I can’t wait to see what new additions are made to Hyrule.
There isn’t much to say about Tears of the Kingdom that isn’t speculation, but one thing is for certain: it will be one of the biggest releases of all time, hitting the Nintendo Switch on May 12th, 2023.
Haissam knows his way around a laundry list of expansive open worlds. He has conquered Hyrule, mastered the art of the warrior in Sekiro, and he even delves into the occasional retro RTS RPG now and again. Outside of RPG gaming, Haissam is an anime nut, and keeps up with the manga to stay ahead of the pack.