In this article, we highlight some of the year’s most exciting triumphs and discuss some projects that you may want to add to your “to-be-played,” list. Fair warning: it will probably be a long list. Don’t blame us for what it does to your budget.
A good year for remakes
In 2023, there have been a number of new game titles appearing over the last couple of months in the iGaming secne. There has been a surge in interest in poker, as people flock to casino platforms to master texas holdem rules after the ease of gambling restrictions across the US. After all, nostalgia is a huge part of the gaming industry, which has also resulted in the rise of remakes this year, such as Dead Island 2, Resident Evil 4, and Redfall remakes.
These days, people who grew up playing games in the early 2000s never need to look very far for a stroll down memory lane. Remakes and remasters are a constant feature of modern game development. Most notably, Dead Space dropped back in January.
The game delighted reviewers and casual gamers alike, all of whom celebrated its ability to deliver a nostalgia trip while firmly bringing this long-celebrated series into the present.
Dead Space is far from the only franchise to get the remaster treatment. Fans are eagerly waiting for new updates on the Knights of the Old Republic remake. The title reimagines a fan-favorite game of the same name, first released in 2003 to enormous acclaim.
While this game and its sequel, Knights of the Old Republic 2: Legacy of the Sith have been brought to the Switch in their original state, the upcoming remake gives players the chance to experience the title in stunning 4K.
Unfortunately, the KOTOR remake is currently in developmental limbo, and optimistic estimates assume that it won’t be released for at least a few more years.
It would be hard to talk about the “latest video games,” without bringing up Hogwarts Legacy. And yet, it’s also hard to discuss this sprawling blockbuster in the few sentences allowed here. As one of the most controversial A-list game releases in recent memory, some people have decided to give it a pass entirely.
For those considering the game through an ethical lens, these are the key factors to keep in mind:
- J.K. Rowling was not involved in the game’s development. However, she is compensated for sales.
- Hogwarts Legacy features the wizarding world’s first trans character in the form of Sirona Ryan, who tells players that she discovered she was a “witch, not a wizard,” during a select dialogue scene.
- The game also allows players to create a playable trans character.
Ultimately, every player will need to decide for themselves how comfortable they feel supporting the game, which is, as of writing, currently closing in at almost $1 billion in sales.
If you do decide to make another trip to Hogwarts, be prepared to get pleasantly lost in the enormity of the game. Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world fantasy RPG that allows players to explore the famed school of witchcraft and wizardry on broom, by foot, and on a variety of fantastical mounts.
Players report an average playtime of around 40 hours but, like most games of this scope, it’s up to you how in-depth you want to get.
Stepping away from the last generation?
Sony and Microsoft have been unusually generous to owners of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Though both companies released next-generation consoles all the way back in 2020, they have made many of their blockbuster titles of the last three years available to last-gen owners.
This decision likely owes in part to the scarcity of new-gen consoles that plagued their early release. Supply chain shortages made it hard for many fans to pick up the new consoles.
Things have calmed down now, and while that’s good news for people who don’t want to spend $1000 on a PS5, it may be a problem for previous-generation owners looking to pick up this year’s biggest games.
While some major titles (including Hogwarts Legacy) have been made available to last-generation owners, developers are largely trending away from this move. Spiderman 2, Starfield, Jedi Survivor, and several other major titles will only be available to people who own the newest consoles.
A good year for Zelda fans
Breath of the Wild fans have been waiting for quite some time for a follow-up to what many people call the best game in an already enormously celebrated series. Breath of the Wild 2: Tears of the Kingdom is poised for a May release.
While the Zelda series is known for its multiple continuities, Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel that promises to expand Breath of the Wild’s much-loved story, while replicating its vibrant open world.
It’s a good time to be a gamer. Whether your interests are in sprawling RPGs, or simpler, smaller games like poker, there are more ways than ever to play.
What games will you be adding to your library this year?