2023's most exciting upcoming Xbox games

By Luke Albigés,

2023 is shaping up to a big year for Xbox, with loads of exciting first-party releases on the slate from Microsoft and Bethesda, as well as big third-party launches from other publishers. Here are some of our highlights...

Xbox is set for a bright year, with some massive Xbox Game Studios releases from Microsoft and Bethesda, plenty more games coming to Game Pass, and a packed schedule of new releases from other publishers as well. Here, we'll take a look at some of the 2023 releases that the TA news team is most looking forward to playing, but there's loads more on the way, starting with Hogwarts Legacy next week and with the likes of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, Capcom's Resident Evil 4 remake, Sifu, Minecraft Legends, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Forza Motorsport, and many more due in the coming months.


Dead Island 2

Zombies! Oh, I’m supposed to say something more about it? Okay, then. Dead Island 2 takes us to Los Angeles, now known as Hell-A, during the early years of the zombie outbreak to embody a number of Slayers as they spend their days rummaging for supplies, enjoying the Californian sunshine, and slaughtering the almost-endless waves of flesh-hungry undead. Weapon customisation and durability return with this installment, but we also have the addition of being infected ourselves, leading to powerful new abilities that we can control. Dambuster's proprietary FLESH (Fully Localised Evisceration Simulator for Humanoids) engine really ramps up the gore when you’re slashing and clubbing your way through the rotting corpses, and the addition of a card system that offers your characters perks seems like a pretty cool step up from the previous games in regards to character customisation. I’m so ready to see it working in full when Dead Island 2 launches on April 28th — my flame-spewing axe is duct-taped together and ready to go!


Diablo IV

In keeping with the undead vibes, although this one is more hellish monstrosities, my next pick has to go to Diablo IV. Everything about this game seems like a step up from Diablo 3, which is in no way a bad game, but I found the visuals and general atmosphere to be far too soft compared to the likes of Diablo and Diablo 2. With Diablo IV, it feels like they’ve kept the fast-paced, skill-based gameplay that was practically perfected in the last instalment but taken the series back to the dark and gritty Sanctuary that I fell in love with when I first started playing video games. It feels like a return to greatness, and with the addition of Strongholds, PvP, a shared world, cross-play, and more, we could be in for an absolute treat with this one. While we will undoubtedly see the implementation of a Battle Pass system, Blizzard has said that it will be purely for cosmetics only, which leads me to believe that lessons have been learnt… yes, I’m looking at you, Diablo Immortal. Honestly, I’m ready to pick up my bow and begin my journey now — yes, the Rogue life is for me! Although the Druid, with his ability to turn into the likes of a bear or werewolf is pretty tantalising… oh no, I’m torn!


EA Sports PGA Tour

I love a good golf game, and EA Sports PGA Tour is, from what I’ve seen, shaping up to be something special. After attending a hands-off preview of EA Sports PGA Tour, I was left thoroughly impressed by how much effort and love EA has put into its return to golf. Sure, we do already have PGA Tour 2K23, which is decent but feels vapid — there’s no atmosphere to the courses, and it all falls a bit flat after a while. EA Sports PGA Tour seems a more energetic and exciting game, with licenses for all four Major Championships, a new shot system that includes over 20 different shot types, and returning arcade-like gameplay elements such as power boost, spin control, and big hit and heartbeat moments. I’m picturing it now: I’m a shot behind the leader at Augusta National. After landing in the fairway on the 18th hole, I hit my approach shot towards the green, and the screen narrows with that heartbeat sound playing out while I’m furiously button-mashing to add spin. The ball lands and slowly trickles its way into the hole for the win. If you’ve played previous EA golf games with these mechanics, you’ll know how exciting, fun, and how much tension they can add — you just don’t get that with PGA Tour 2K23. Combine all of this with some beautiful visuals, a new ball physics system that looks very impressive, and (hopefully) some decent commentators, EA will surely be on to a winner here.


The Last Case of Benedict Fox

Looking to claim its place among the best Metroidvania games on Xbox when it launches this spring, The Last Case of Benedict Fox channels a wonderful Lovecraftian energy with its titular self-proclaimed detective and his otherworldly demonic ally. The demon allows Benedict to explore the memories of the deceased in limbo, where eldritch horrors and long-lost mysteries await. There's an air of The Darkness about having this ethereal entity tagging along and chattering away, although Ben's demon isn't quite as intense as Mike Patton's version, preferring ominous rasping to maniacal screeching. Your spooky friend also comes into play in both exploration and combat, with flailing tentacles to help you grapple your way around or fling enemies to their doom... it'll be really interesting to see how far developer Plot Twist pushes this supernatural aspect as we grow more and more powerful over the course of the game. Either way, this is shaping up to be something special, and as a bonus, it'll be launching straight into Game Pass.


Lollipop Chainsaw

Now I’m not going to say that Dragami Games is working on a Lollipop Chainsaw remake because of me, but I did have it down as my ‘dream’ E3/Summer Game Fest announcement for the last two years — that’s got to count for something, right? I would have been content with playing it on my Xbox Series X via backwards compatibility, but after Microsoft stopped adding titles to the program without the appearance of James Gunn and Suda51’s zombie slasher, a remake was all I could hope for.

The game was one of my highlights from the 360 era; it wasn’t a masterpiece by a long shot, but the killer soundtrack, colourful and highly energetic gameplay, over-the-top character designs, and its unapologetic wackiness was a great example of everything I enjoy about video games. Due to various reasons, Dragami isn’t able to do a full remaster of the game, so has had to create a remake that’s as close to the original game as it can get. We don’t currently have a release date for Lollipop Chainsaw but a recent post from the developer, which also gave us our first look at the refreshed Juliet Starling, confirms that we’ll be playing it this year. I’m extremely excited for this one, and if you like the trailer (from the original) above, you could be too!


The Plucky Squire

The Plucky Squire looks absolutely beautiful. That’s what first caught my eye; the level of detail, where you actually can see the granular texture of the pages of the book where you first meet the plucky squire himself. But it’s the sheer inventiveness of The Plucky Squire which jumps out at you next — that twist near the end of the trailer when he jumps out of the book and the world switches to 3D is brilliantly done, opening up the game to a whole new perspective. Coming from the pages of a storybook, Jot isn’t too big in the real world, and will be kept busy clambering over and around everyday objects like mugs and wooden blocks. And here The Plucky Squire messes with your expectations again: rather than just going around the mug and thinking, ‘oh, that’s a cool desert scene on that mug,’ Jot goes into that scene, running across the surface of the mug as though he’s part of the picture. This looks like it’ll open up a ton of cool gameplay opportunities, too, as we also see Jot heading into the sci-fi picture on the side of a tin, where he seems to be armed with appropriately futuristic weapons to fight off waves of spacecraft. That inventiveness promises to make The Plucky Squire a delight, and a number of titles published by Devolver Digital — like Cult of the Lamb — have been absolutely excellent, so I can’t wait to see what The Plucky Squire will be like.



I've really done a 180 on Redfall. When it was first announced, something about it just didn't click with me... maybe the characters, possibly the fact that we didn't really know what it was, or even that fact that it felt like we did sort of know what it was going to be and I was burned out on similar games at the time. But the more we've seen of Arkane's next game, the more I've warmed to it, and now, after trawling through all available info to pull together everything we know about Redfall, it's one of my most anticipated games of this year. It feels like a somewhat less aggressively-trying-to-be-funny Borderlands, or a first-person Division with vampires and a degree of personality... given my history with Destiny, I'm clearly a sucker for 'numbers go up' games so this is certainly on my radar, especially after news that Arkane wants to ensure solo players can enjoy it as much as those who play with friends in co-op. Redfall launches for Xbox Series X|S on May 2nd, and I am full ready to go treat some vampires to a stake dinner.



Everything about this game sounds promising. It’s a rural-life RPG with life sim and management elements, a gorgeous pixel art style, and a charming story about soothing the spirit world by running a bathhouse for a town’s troubled spirits while trying to finish our novel. All of that already sounds fantastic. Spirittea also counts Stardew Valley among its inspirations... another big plus. And the cherry on top? Spirittea is coming to Game Pass on day one.

In Spirittea, we head to the countryside to write our book. One accidental sip of a strange drink that lets us see the spirit world leads to our becoming entangled in the day-to-day lives of the town’s inhabitants and the doings of its spirits. Running the bathhouse includes everything from chopping wood, keeping the towels clean, and making sure the spirits get to sit next to their friends, to solving their problems and upgrading the bathhouse itself. We’ll also have all the hobbies associated with the town’s locals such as fishing, bug catching, heading to the hot springs, and more. It sounds like exactly the sort of life sim I could get unreasonably attached to — there’s no release date yet, but there is that day-one Game Pass promise!


Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

We haven’t seen much on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, but it’s firmly my most anticipated game release of 2023. I am a big Star Wars fan, and I thoroughly enjoyed Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, despite some minor backtracking and traversal niggles. Complete with a decent Star Wars story that introduced us to Cal Kestis, Fallen Order let you live out the power fantasy of a young Jedi — maybe not to the same extent as the Force Unleashed, but I don’t think we’ll ever see anything Star Wars that is that over the top or non-cannon as our outings with Starkiller. I can’t wait to see how EA and Respawn expand on Fallen Order’s already tight and accomplished lightsaber-swinging and force-wielding combat. We know that there’ll be some new lightsaber fighting styles and tameable mounts in Survivor, including a style that allows Cal to use both a lightsaber and a blaster simultaneously, which I’m looking forward to getting to grips with. It will also be interesting to see where Cal’s story will take him, which new characters we’ll meet, and what conflicts he’ll be forced to reckon with (as is the way with all Jedi in every Star Wars story). We should hear more on Star Wars Jedi: Survivor in the run-up to its slightly-delayed April release date, but whatever EA and Respawn have to say or show on the game, I’ll admit that I’m already sold.



Okay, this one might seem a bit of a contrast to the other two of my most-anticipated games for 2023, but I am so ready for a sweeping epic; a huge open world to explore and an in-depth RPG to lose hundreds of hours to. Sure, the fact that we haven’t seen too much of the game might mean that my expectations are running unchecked, but since Bethesda promises this will be its “biggest and most ambitious game,” I am definitely looking forward to it. All we know so far is that Starfield will be set in 2330, and that while we’ll apparently start off as a space miner, we’ll end up working for an organisation called Constellation and exploring the Settled Systems. This looks like the kind of game that’ll keep us going for months, and hopefully one that we’ll still be discovering secrets about years down the line. So yeah, big hopes for what promises to be a big game. Bring us ridiculously in-depth lore! Bring us gruelling choices and haunting repercussions! And please, before all else, bring us a release date! In the meantime, you can check out everything we know about Starfield so far to help prepare you for lift-off later this year.


Street Fighter 6

I always love messing around with a new fighting game, so a fresh release from one of the biggest franchises on the scene has me very excited indeed. It’s good to see Street Fighter return to Xbox after skipping an entry with the PS-exclusive SFV — we’ll be hoping for a stronger launch than last time, mind, with V releasing as a bare-bones game that would take months, if not years, to reach the point where it felt like a properly fleshed-out experience. SF6 brings in a bunch of new systems, characters, and more to freshen up the experience, also featuring a new mode where we create a custom character and can learn special moves from the World Warriors and friends to build our own unique move set... plenty of potential for shenanigans there. Reports from the closed beta have suggested that Street Fighter 6's training mode is fantastic for new or returning players looking to get their fundamentals in shape, so while the leading fighter franchise has been away from Xbox for some time (outside of retro re-releases and such), this could be the perfect time to jump back in when it lands in June.


Wild Hearts

EA and Omega Force's answer to Monster Hunter is only a few weeks out at the time of writing, and if you're wrapping up with Rise and want another hunting fix, all signs point to this being a fine next port of call. Although primarily known for the Musou/Warriors games, Omega Force is actually no stranger to this genre — its Toukiden series on PlayStation platforms and PC has given us arguably the best alternatives to Capcom's franchise, and it's this that gives us hope that Wild Hearts is the spiritual successor to those games, only with EA money behind it for a (hopefully) more polished experience. The game's cast of big bad beasties to slay, carve, and turn into new gear is heavily influenced by Japanese folklore and mythology and we've already seen some cool monsters, as well as Wild Hearts' unique gimmick. To help you in hunts, you're able to deploy structures known as Karakuri, effectively building things like barriers, traps, launch pads, and all kinds of other useful stuff. How much this feature will add to the action in practice remains to be seen, but we won't have to wait long to find out — Wild Hearts launches on February 17th, with a ten-hour free trial for EA Play members.

That's all we've got for you for now... what 2023 releases are you most looking forward to? Let us know down in the comments!
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.
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