At the start of 2022, we looked at the upcoming release calendar and thought "woah, that's a lot of great games". From Starfield to Company of Heroes 3, there were enough big PC releases to keep us busy for hundreds—nay, thousands—of hours.
And then the delays came. It's a mistake to think that 2022 was a bad year for PC gaming—our Game of the Year list (opens in new tab) is packed full of highlights—but delays were common, and many of what would be the year's biggest releases were pushed back into 2023. Luckily for us, it now is 2023, and those releases are once again primed to capture our attention—along with many more recently announced games that are teasing a 2023 date.
Will all of them make the cut this year? Of course not. But if even the majority do hit their launch date, this should be a killer year for PC gaming. As for what we're personally looking forward to, ahead of our official list of the year's most anticipated games, I asked the PCG team to pick out some personal favourites that they can't wait to play.
Alan Wake 2
Release date: 2023
Robin Valentine, Senior Editor: Honestly a new Remedy game would probably be my pick here no matter what, but it being an Alan Wake sequel is all the more exciting. I love that goofy, flashlight-wielding nerd, and frankly I'd given up hope that there were enough people out there who felt the same to justify a sequel.
I'm really intrigued to see where it takes things. The original Alan Wake is confined to a small town and its local weirdness; American Nightmare set the stage for something wider, but was too small a project to take that step itself. This sequel comes in the wake of Control, which tied Alan Wake's world into its own universe of bizarre yet codified supernatural phenomena. The potential is there to do something really big with Remedy's humble horror novelist.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2
Release date: 2023
Tim Clark, Brand Director: Lightfall aside, which I 'anticipate' much in the same way as one does a regularly scheduled dose of methadone, it has to be Space Marine 2. I feel like I've been waiting my whole, at this point fairly long, life for a truly big budget 40K game. And while Darktide obviously does a good job of scratching that itch, let's not pretend we didn't want to play as a power-armored, catechism-chanting, xenos-eradicating Primaris marine. Hard to say yet whether SM2 is going to be the 40K game I've always fantasized about (I kinda still want a trad AAA shooter rather than a melee-focused action game), but I don't doubt it'll be the best looking Games Workshop spinoff so far. I am a shallow man so that's reason enough to make it my most wanted.
Like a Dragon: Ishin
Release date: February 21, 2023
Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: Never did I imagine I'd get to experience either of Ryu Ga Gotoku's historical Yakuza spinoff games any way other than digging up fan translations online. If RGG had handed off Ishin or Kenzan to a porting studio and localized them I'd have counted myself fortunate. But they're remaking Ishin? And they're yanking out a handful of series characters they'd originally dressed up for the historical romp and replacing them with fan favorites from Yakuza 0 and Yakuza: Like A Dragon? Sorry to the old guard fans but I am absolutely jazzed to see the Yakuza 7 crew get their faces shoved in this remake. That, and I'm getting back some of the classic action combat that the main series has since ditched. I'm going to be all in on Ishin.
Release date: June 6, 2023
Tyler Colp, Associate Editor: It's a little hard to be excited about Blizzard games at the moment, but I'm still curious about how Diablo 4 will turn out. The preview (opens in new tab) I played last year had a lot of promise. It felt grim and subdued in a way that Diablo 3 didn't, and I was immediately sucked into its satisfying hack and slash loop. But Diablo 4 promises to have a massive world with complex skills and builds. And it gestures at telling an adult story in a world that could easily look immature and edgy for today's standards. It's the biggest question I have going into 2023 and I'm eagerly waiting for June to get some answers.
Baldur's Gate 3
Release date: August 2023 (out now in early access)
Tyler Wilde, Executive Editor: My most anticipated game might truly be Diablo 4, but both Tylers can't pick Diablo 4; that's just silly. So, how about another new game in a long-running RPG series? Although, to be honest, I'm mostly interested in Baldur's Gate 3 because I had so much fun with Divinity: Original Sin 2, not because I'm into the Baldur's Gate series. I imagine others are drawn to it for the Larian factor, too. Don't tell PC Gamer news hound Andy Chalk, but I never even played Baldur's Gate or Baldur's Gate 2. Well, I definitely have launched both games one or two times over the past 25 years. I just didn't get very far in them, or get them, in general. I didn't know anything about D&D until relatively recently, though, so maybe I'm just a late bloomer when it comes to tabletop roleplaying games and their CRPG adaptations.
Release date: Early 2023 (into early access)
Andy Chalk, US News Lead: There's not much to go on with Witchfire, except that it's a "dark fantasy shooter" being developed by the guys who did the original Painkiller. But that's enough for me. I loved Painkiller (also a dark fantasy shooter) and would very much like more; unfortunately, every expansion and sequel since the original has sucked, and I basically gave up on the idea of someone getting it right again years ago. But now the People Can Fly founders are coming back to the style, and while I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm hopeful... well, okay, I'm hopeful. It's a long shot, yes, but man, I want that Painkiller thrill back so bad.
Release date: TBA
Jody Macgregor, Weekend/AU Editor: We don't have a release date for Hades 2 yet, but Tim took Space Marine 2 so this is my pick. I fell for Hades super hard in 2021, eventually racking up over 130 hours in its frantic Greek mythology mixing-bowl arenas. Hades 2 promises to add magic(k) to the mix, casting you as a witch princess rather than everyone's favorite bisexual beefcake Zagreus. As well as spells to power up your weapons there are familiars to tame, including one adorable-looking frog.
What I'm really looking forward to is getting to meet Supergiant's takes on gods who were absent from the first game like Apollo and Nemesis, fighting through another underworld, and listening to another kickass Darren Korb soundtrack while I do it.
Release date: December 2023
Robert Jones, Magazine Editor: I'm looking forward to a lot of games this year, including Hogwarts Legacy, Baldur's Gate 3 and Space Marine 2 among others, but what I'm most hyped for right now is John Romero's Sigil 2. Romero has confirmed that the megawad sequel to 2019's Sigil drops on DOOM's 30th anniversary, which is December 10, 2023, and as an old-school FPS fan I can't wait to plunge back into the daemonic hordes.
Release date: First half of 2023
Lauren Aitken, Guides Editor: It's got to be Starfield for me. There is a big, space-themed, open-world RPG hole in my life and Starfield is the only title that will fill that gap unless Mass Effect 5 soft-launches out of nowhere. There is also a very good chance I will hate it because it's a Bethesda game and there will be hilarious, life-ruining bugs from the get-go. I hotly anticipate that my character will float off into space mid-conversation or that there will be some kind of space vehicle crash behind me while I talk to a friendly robot about space snacks or some nonsense.
As the Guides Editor, I am committed to finding easter eggs, and therefore promise to find a space copy of The Lusty Argonian Maid. At least Starfield promises to be engaging enough to distract me while I wait the next 18 years for Elder Scrolls 6 or Fallout 5.
Mask of the Rose
Release date: April 2023
Joshua Wolens, News Writer: Mask of the Rose (opens in new tab) is Failbetter's murderous visual novel/dating sim/horror from beyond mortal knowing. The studio's writing has always been effortlessly funny and intriguing, but its games—at least Sunless Sea and Fallen London, the ones I've played—have tended to hang it off gameplay that gets repetitive quickly. A visual novel seems a much better fit to show off the devs' talents. One of these days I'll get around to Sunless Skies (opens in new tab), which everyone tells me is better, but for now I've got eyes fixed on the horizon and the exciting prospect of courting some many-tendrilled beast whose knowledge is terrible and whose age is beyond counting. I hope he's nice.
Darkest Dungeon 2
Release date: February 2023 (out of early access)
Sean Martin, Guides Writer: Though the second Darkest Dungeon has been in early access since late 2021, I'm excited to see its final form when it releases fully this year. I'm a big fan of the first, so was a little perturbed when Red Hook upended the original's formula in favor of the new relationship system and roguelike roadtrip structure. But despite doubts, I think the game is shaping up to be something special—a no-punches-pulled carriage ride through hell where fortune can favor or fail you.
While the relationship system could still use some work, its far more balanced now than it was when the game launched. As ever, Red Hook's class design is fantastic, and the Shrine's of Reflection add a lovely little element of backstory to unlocking abilities. Though I think Darkest Dungeon 2 will ultimately prove divisive among a lot of first game fans, I, for one, am very much looking forward to playing the full game.
Company of Heroes 3
Release date: February 23, 2023
Fraser Brown, Online Editor: Things are looking pretty good in the RTS sphere these days, certainly when compared to a few years ago. 2023 in particular is promising to be an exciting year for the genre, with both Homeworld 3 and Sins of a Solar Empire 2 trying to seduce us with spectacular space battles. Since I've yet to have an opportunity to take these sequels for a spin, however, they still feel a bit abstract. This isn't the case with Company of Heroes 3, though, which I've played quite a bit during its development. There have been some changes since it was first announced, but Relic's World War 2 strategy romp remains an extremely appealing prospect—especially for someone like myself, who is constantly torn between real-time and turn-based strategy. COH3 is giving me both. Two campaigns, beefy multiplayer, and some of the most spectacular, devastating battles we've seen in a strategy game—yeah, I can't wait.
Release date: 2023
Phil Savage, UK Editor-in-Chief: I said it last year, after a Gamescom filled with nostalgic delights: the '90s are back (opens in new tab). There are plenty of old names coming back to our PCs: Homeworld, System Shock and even Jagged Alliance. But while it doesn't have the name attached, Tempest Rising is the nostalgia act that has me most intrigued. "Inspired by RTS greats of the '90s and 2000s," claims the Steam page, which is a nice way of saying it looks a lot like Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Asymmetrical factions, multiple campaigns, a focus on base building, and even a mysterious (and profitable) new resource that now spreads unchecked through a war torn world. If we're really lucky, Tempest Rising will have enough of its own ideas to make this style of throwback strategy feel at home in 2023. But even if it is mostly just a tribute act, I'm squarely in the target market for exactly this kind of pandering.
Street Fighter 6
Release date: June 1, 2023
Mollie Taylor, News Writer: I've never been much of a 2D fighter player, but Street Fighter 6 is about to change all of that. I managed to play some of the game's second beta back in December and was wowed by it. It's so approachable and full of pizzazz in a way I never expected when they first revealed Ryu's frighteningly detailed toes and a boring grey logo. For people like me who can't quite grasp the control scheme, a simplified version makes getting into the series easier than ever. Couple that with the wickedly detailed custom character creator and a story mode that doubles as a great way to learn the fundamentals of fighting games, and I could see this being an excellent entry into the genre for many who've always wanted to get good but could never quite veer away from the button mash lifestyle.
Tekken 8 would just about knock Street Fighter 6 off my most anticipated game of the year if we knew it was actually releasing in 2023. But with Capcom's fighter actually having a firm release date of June, that's what I'll be most looking forward to for now.
Release date: "Coming soon"
Chris Livingston, Features Producer: City builders, base builders, survival games, and farming games have occupied most of my attention for the past couple years, and Manor Lords looks like it'll check all those boxes for me. Hewing out a little medieval settlement in the Manor Lord demo (opens in new tab) was delightful, especially the finer details of watching the villagers transport things around, including using oxen to drag huge hunks of lumber to each jobsite. The gridless building system meant my little town looked more natural and realistic than if I was able to perfectly line up every corner of every building, and a neat feature let me actually teleport myself into the town and walk around, checking it out on foot. I also liked that each little house could have a garden in back for vegetables and livestock to accompany the larger communal farms.
The demo didn't include the wider world of Manor Lords, in which my village is just a small part. You'll be able to train soldiers, raise levies from the villagers, and do battle with other lords or bandit gangs. And since I'm typically terrible at strategy and tactics, I'm hoping the diplomacy systems will let me talk, beg, or buy my way out of a few wars. There hasn't been official word that Manor Lords is releasing in 2023, but I'm hopeful that's what "coming soon" means. And if not a full release, I hope at least another demo pops up sometime this year.
Release date: "To be announced"
Ted Litchfield, Associate Editor: I'm still checking all my favorite Elden Ring dataminers' feeds for expansion pack news, but I'm equally excited for the upcoming indie FPS, Fortune's Run (opens in new tab), a fast-paced shooter that takes inspiration from the likes of Deus Ex and Jedi Knight. It boasts expansive levels with intricate platforming and exploration, as well as some of the best melee combat I've ever seen in an FPS. Seriously, there's nothing like tearing into a room in Fortune's Run, crouch sliding and wall jumping around some hapless stormtroopers, slashing and kicking at them while parrying their bullets with a cyborg ninja katana.
I'm so hooked on Fortune's Run that I played through the demo four times (opens in new tab) when I first found it, and I keep returning to it periodically just to remind myself that this insane thing still exists, and that there's more on the way. The whole experience is cinched by a grungy throwback sci-fi setting, an homage to rubber puppet alien-era Star Wars or movies like The Fifth Element, and I can't wait to see more of New Zabra when Team Fortune releases the game's first episode.
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
Release date: "Coming soon"
Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: Despite being a mech lover I've never played an Armored Core game, outside of a little multiplayer action on a friend's PlayStation 20 years ago. This long-running series has been dormant since Dark Souls became a phenomenon. How much will it feel like old Armored Core? How much modern FromSoft DNA will be plainly visible in it? Will it feel distinct from both? Much as I loved Elden Ring, I think Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the best-feeling and most focused game From's ever made, and its lead game designer Masaru Yamamura is stepping into the director's chair for Armored Core 6. That is encouraging. I'm ready for this studio to take a bit of a break from RPGs and focus on action games for a few years. Bring back Armored Core, get everyone psyched about mech games again, and then follow it up with a batshit sequel to Metal Wolf Chaos (opens in new tab) where you play as the US president fighting a race of mole people or something.
Assassin's Creed Mirage
Release date: 2023
Morgan Park, Staff Writer: I'm ready for Assassin's Creed to come back. I never got into the loot-lustful RPGs that have besmirched the AC name for the past six years. Give me a true stealth-action game about a killer in a white hood. That's what Ubisoft seems to be going for with Mirage, but I wonder just how faithful it'll be to the first era of Assassin's Creed. I hope to see some modern stealth improvements and the return of fluid attack/counterattack combat. I think the real test of just how "Assassin's Creed" Mirage is will come the first time that I sneak up behind a big brute enemy—if I can kill them with a single stab of the hidden blade, then it's a good game. If not, then we're off to a bad start.