2023 is going to be a big year in general, but it looks like action fans are going to be eating particularly well. The first real wave of next-gen-exclusive action spectacles are on the way, including Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, From Software has something new for us in Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon, and yes, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom actually seems to be on track to release this year. And that’s not all! New Assassin’s Creed, Dead Island 2, and numerous thumb-testing Japanese actioners are on the way as well. This was a difficult list to narrow down, but here are Wccftech’s top 5 anticipated action games you’ll be battling through in 2023…
Note: Only games with confirmed 2023 release dates are eligible for these lists. Stuff that’s only rumored or speculated to be coming out is relegated to the honorable mentions.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PC, Xbox Series X/S & PS5, March 17)
2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a rock-solid old-school action-adventure of the type you don’t see that often from major publishers anymore, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor looks to build on its predecessor in numerous ways without necessarily breaking the mold. Expect a darker storyline, impressive next-gen-only visuals, and updated action that includes a variety of different fighting stances/styles, an ascension cable for getting around, and the ability to train alien mounts. The Force looks strong with this one.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch, May 12)
Yes, after years of including the “Breath of the Wild sequel” in these lists, and then being made a liar by delays, Nintendo’s game finally has a real title -- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom -- and a release date that ought to stick. We still don’t know a whole lot about Tears of the Kingdom, aside from the fact that it’s a direct BOTW sequel, which adds some new tools and the ability to travel to areas in the sky and possibly underground. Beyond that, who’s to say? But hey, I’m fairly sure the sequel to the most acclaimed Zelda of all time that Nintendo’s been diligently crafting and polishing for six years will be pretty good. A bold statement, I know.
Stellar Blade (PC & PS5, 2023)
Stellar Blade is one of the more intriguing games coming in 2023. Originally known as Project Eve, the Korean-developed action game has garnered attention for its impressive visuals and the fact that Sony is investing in the project. Stellar Blade’s revealing (and uh, not terribly supportive) costumes have raised a few eyebrows, but the game’s combination of high-octane PlatinumGames-style stylish action and impressive tech is undeniably alluring.
Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 & PS5, 2023)
At this point, anything developed by From Software is an event, and Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon is their big release for 2023. This is a pure action game, as From is promising a departure from the Soulsborne formula that has defined their recent output. Instead, expect combat broadly in the vein of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, albeit with many mech-specific tweaks, including a focus on balancing close and long-range combat. You’ll also have a lot of freedom to customize your mech, as well as curse your choices when the game inevitably kicks your ass.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (PS5, 2023)
It feels like it shouldn’t be happening already as the game was just announced a bit over a year ago, but Sony is swearing up and down that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is coming in 2023. We don’t know much about the game, other than the fact that Peter and Miles are returning and Venom will be one of the baddies, but much like Zelda, how much do we need to know? Insomniac has this. Spider-Man 2 is also arguably the first true top-tier Sony exclusive built for PS5 from the ground up, so it’s very exciting to see what PlayStation Studios can do when freed from their PS4 shackles.
Honorable Mentions and Possible Surprises
With 2023 being as busy as it is, some pretty major titles didn’t make the main list. Current and former Koei Tecmo devs have a slate of new stuff coming, including Wild Hearts, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, and Wanted: Dead, and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio serves up Like a Dragon: Ishin! Turning our eye to Western developers, we have Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Skull and Bones, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Dead Island 2, Hyenas, and Ark 2 on the way. There are also games like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and Black Myth: Wukong that have promised 2023 releases at some point or another, but are looking more likely for 2024.
Of course, there are also the games that are rumored to be coming in 2023, but haven’t been announced or nailed down a release date yet. Ken Levine recently revealed his new BioShock-esque project Judas, which looked to possibly be ready for a release this year. And hey, the back half of the year remains largely a mystery for both Xbox and Nintendo, so hopefully they have something big for action fans.
Those are the games you’re going to be grappling with in 2023! Any promising action games I missed? Round up your own list and share it in the comments!