As it goes, many recent years have been “great years for gaming,” and it causes me to wonder if that well is ever going to dry up a little. After all, what’s to make a year greater in gaming than another if nothing but greatness abounds? Okay, so maybe I’m getting a little rhetorical, because really, the leaps and bounds that are made in the industry each and every year never cease to amaze. Perhaps the key now is that we have so much choice among so many great games. From games big and small, photorealistic to pixelated, complex to simple, anyone who wants to play video games is going to find their perfect game. And the best thing is, that perfect game may change year over year, or it might stay that same forever. My own 2022 in gaming turned out both as expected (I made the most out of my now-dead Fallout 76 sub; enjoyed the heck out of Stray) and totally wild (never thought I’d dip into Sea of Thieves, for one!). So, what do I think my 2023 in gaming will look like? Well, my crystal ball is perennially fuzzy, but it might go something like this!
Games with Release Dates
Street Fighter 6 (June 2)
Of course, I’m ready for the next entry in the Street Fighter series, and what any entry it appears to be. Great graphics! Custom fighters! Dragon punches galore!! Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s hard to not be at least a little bit excited for this next Street Fighter iteration. I’ve been a fan of this series for decades, and there’s no reason to give up on it now. Even better that Street Fighter 6 finally brings the series to the current console generation, too. Even if my fighting game skills forever remain in the “rusty” category, that’s okay. I’m okay. I can’t wait to see what this game brings, nonetheless.
Final Fantasy XVI (June 22)
Until I started played FFXIV, I had no idea how much I had been missing Final Fantasy itself. The last game I completed in full was FFX. I spent a little time in the FFVII Remake but never became wholly hooked; and I’ve had FFXV downloaded onto my PlayStation for some time but have yet to bite. All I can say is that if if Final Fantasy XVI doesn’t draw me back into the world of FF as much as if not more than FFXIV, then, well…maybe it’ll finally be time to let go. But I’m not giving up yet! FFXVI looks stunning and promises a whole lot. Guess we’ll see next summer if it lives up to the hype. (I hope so!)
Games without Release Dates
As the saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” This is the second time I’ve listed Starfield as a most anticipated game, only now, it no longer has a release date. If we don’t see this game in 2023, I don’t know that I’ll have the will to hope for it any more than I possibly can in 2024. For Bethesda fans, there’s likely no more anticipated title than this one, from which we’ve been received mere droplets of information about over the past year. I get that great games take time, and I’ve no issue with Starfield entering the ether as an “it’ll release when it’s ready” title, but the game is not the attention-grabber it once was. Fingers crossed that changes this year.
The Plucky Squire
If I dust off my Nintendo Switch in 2023, it will be to play this marvelously promising 2D/3D adventure. Highlighted at last year’s Devolver Digital showcase, The Plucky Squire is described everywhere as a storybook come to life. Though we’ve not see much from it so far, it promises lovely, lush graphics, plenty of humor, and action-adventure-platforming-puzzling like we’ve never seen before. It presents a game world that switches seamlessly between Pixar-like forms and classic cel animation, and who doesn’t appreciate the occasional change of scenery in a game? I hope beyond hope that this plays as well and turns out to be as enjoyable as the trailer makes it out to be.
Lede image taken from IGDB.com presskit for Street Fighter 6 (© Capcom).