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Nerdvana’s most anticipated video games of 2023

The Nerdvana crew share their picks for the hypest video games of 2023!

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo)
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Maybe it’s a futile quest to try recapturing the open-world adventure of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but Nintendo is making the attempt anyway. Sure to be one of the biggest video games of 2023, the long-awaited Tears of the Kingdom arrives at last on May 12. While it’s hard to imagine it not failing in some way to live up to BotW’s epic legacy this late in the Switch’s life cycle, Nintendo has been so stingy with game details that literally anything is possible at this point. Will this just be an extension of the wide world we know and love, or will it be something more? When it comes to surprises, you should never count Nintendo out. Jayson Peters

I didn’t enjoy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild much the first time I played. That experience — on the Wii U at the time — seemed long and drawn out. Fast forward several years and I’m now a massive fan of the game. Inspired by recent events in my life, I sat down with several Zelda games and grew to appreciate everything BoTW has to offer. With so many unanswered questions, a fulfilling quest, and one heck of a gaming experience left behind by BoTW, there’s plenty to anticipate regarding its upcoming sequel. I’m looking forward to Tears of the Kingdom in May. It’ll be interesting to see how they continue the story and what’s in store for our intrepid heroes. I’m also curious to see what sticks around from BoTW and how they’ll tie everything into the overall Legend of Zelda mythology. Until then, I’ll probably tackle some of my backlog and start streaming old school retro games when I have the free time. — David Buck

Mina the Hollower video games of 2023
Mina the Hollower (Yacht Club Games)

Mina the Hollower

For their next trick, Yacht Club Games is leaving the shovel and armor behind and trading it for a burrowing rodent hero — with a whip. The Shovel Knight developers’ new game, Mina the Hollower, hearkens back to the 8-bit Game Boy Color era for its aesthetics, but this top-down adventure will also take cues from elements of Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Bloodborne. I can dig it! Look for this one to launch on Windows PC, Linux and Mac later in the year. (Cross your fingers for a console release.) — Jayson Peters

Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster (Square Enix)
Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster (Square Enix)

Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters

Let’s be honest, It’s really FFVI (originally released in the U.S. as FFIII) that I want here — nostalgia’s a hell of a drug! This collection has already been available on PC via Steam and on mobile devices. These games all belong on a Nintendo system, however, where FF began all those years ago, and Square Enix’s epic re-release of the 8- and 16-bit NES and Super NES Final Fantasy games finally fulfills that destiny on the Nintendo Switch along with Sony’s PlayStation 4 this spring, making this one of my most anticipated video games of 2023. Kupo! — Jayson Peters

Sea of Stars video games of 2023
Sea of Stars (Sabotage Studio)

Sea of Stars

Sabotage Studio is following up its retro-inspired action platformer The Messenger with something more akin to beloved 16-bit, top-down JRPGs like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. The game is set in the same world as The Messenger, but in its distant past. After some delays, look for Sea of Stars to arrive at last mid-year on Switch, PS4, PS5, Windows and Mac. — Jayson Peters

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

If the trailer during The Game Awards was any indicator, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden will be a special kind of lost romance story. Two lovers working together from both sides of the veil to keep humanity safe from violent spirits. Helmed by studio DON’T NOD (Life is Strange, Vampyr), Banishers looks to combine their great storytelling range with interesting combat mechanics. Make all the “Ghost” jokes you want, I’m excited for Banishers when it drops later in 2023.Christen Bejar

Like a Dragon Ishin video games of 2023
Like a Dragon Ishin
(Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio/Sega)

Like a Dragon Ishin

Before the Yakuza series stole the hearts of many with its ridiculous heat actions and karaoke bangers, it struggled with Western releases. Ishin was originally released in 2014 in Japan only, much to the dismay of fans everywhere else (myself included). Since then, the series has grown and shifted with the additions of Like a Dragon and Judgement spinoffs. While not an outright remake of the original, Like a Dragon Ishin is making up for lost time with an entire rebuild of the game suited to reflect the series’ more recent changes. Featuring an 1800s Japan setting, many new and favored characters, and a samurai-infused story, Like a Dragon Ishin will be one to get when it drops in February 2023. — Christen Bejar

Darkest Dungeon II

Yes, technically this title has been in early access since late 2021. However, Darkest Dungeon II is slated to see its full 1.0 release in Q2 of this year. With its mantra of “making the best of a bad situation,” Darkest Dungeon became a hit with gamers addicted to its RNG nature recruiting warriors to go up against the most twisted of creatures populating its gothic dungeons. DDII has undergone many changes and updates following its year of feedback, so it will be interesting to see what refinements and helpful changes will be incorporated in its final release. — Christen Bejar

Destiny 2: Lightfall

After eight years, Destiny feels like it’s entering its final story arc. Following the bombastic plot of The Witch Queen, Lightfall is the next major expansion for the first-person shooter MMO. Not only will Guardians get a slew of new weapons (like a sweet whip) but the game will give players a new urban location to run through. After years of beautiful planetary landscapes full of enemies, it will be interesting to finally see more of civilization outside of the Last City. Destiny 2: Lightfall will release on Feb. 28. — Christen Bejar

Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix)

Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy has been having a bit of a rocky reception with the release of their standalone titles lately, but FFXIV has always been a shining light for the series (if you don’t believe it, just ask a player and they’ll gleefully tell you). For those that haven’t dived into the vast MMO however, FFXVI may be the chance for players to experience the direction, development and music composition that drove XIV’s success (as they are one and the same this time around). FFXVI gives players the reins of a character within warring nations with an aesthetic that hearkens back to the earlier, more whimsical feel of Final Fantasy. It is slated to release as a timed PlayStation 5 exclusive on June 22. — Christen Bejar

Sons of the Forest

Good lord, the original is terrifying enough! Do we need a sequel? The community has spoken, with a resounding YES. The highly anticipated sequel to The Forest is releasing this February from Endnight Games. While the survivor horror Sons of the Forest can be played solo, I highly recommend collecting some friends and trying to survive the island together. Spend your day with some cozy resource gathering and base crafting, and spend your nights trying not to die by mutant cannibals… or worse!  Anabel Amis

Puppet Master: The Game (October Games)

Puppet Master: The Game

Do you love asymmetrical horror games like Dead by Daylight or Evil Dead: The Game? Well, I hope you’re not afraid of puppets. Indie studio October Games, in partnership with Full Moon Features, will be releasing Puppet Master: The Game in March. The 3v1 game is currently available to try on their website, and you can also join the October Games Discord to find players to join before the official release! I met the studio founders at Crypticon Seattle a few years ago, and they are incredibly passionate about the franchise and following through with their dream to bring the Puppet Master franchise to horror fans and gaming fans alike. — Anabel Amis

Horror Tales: The Beggar

I played Carlos Coronado’s Mediterranean horror game HORROR TALES: The Wine last year, and was pleasantly surprised at how tense the experience was. Set in a misleadingly idyllic port, you’re forced to evade a masked killer clearing out the surviving victims of a pandemic as you search for the titular bottle of miracle wine. The Beggar seems to follow the same formula as The Wine, where you wander a mysterious place and evade someone pursuing you. But this time, you’ve escape captivity after 92 (!) years, and the hunter wants to send you back into your desolate cell. I cant wait for 2023 to get rolling, because the game is scheduled to release in October. — Anabel Amis

What are your most anticipated video games of 2023? Let us know below!

More Gaming:

Video game release dates:

TitleRelease dateSystem(s)Genre
Outer WildsSummer 2021 ???NSAction-adventure
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (sequel to Breath of the Wild)May 12, 2023NSRPG/Action-adventure
Final Fantasy XVIJune 22, 2023PS5RPG
Jedi: Survivor2023PS5 XBSX PCAction-adventure
Sea of Stars2023NS, PC, PS5, PS4RPG

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