There are plenty of RPGs set to be released next year. While there are dozens to be excited about, I went over an exhaustive list and decided which are the absolute best among them. I cover a wide gamut of RPG sub-genres, and while these are the games I personally am most excited for, your mileage may vary.
There are quite a few that almost made this list but didn’t for one reason or another. I was torn between Like a Dragon: Ishin! and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, but the new game won out, in my opinion. Eiyuden Chronicle, Sea of Stars, and a few other games also almost made the list. If this were a top 10 list, they would have easily made the cut for me.
I also didn’t put Final Fantasy VII Rebirth on the list because I wanted to cover new games instead of remakes or re-releases. Having said that, I am also quite excited about it.
No matter what kind of RPGs you love, there will definitely be something for you in 2023. Which are my personal favorites that I think you might love too?
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinions of the writer
Octopath Traveler II, One Piece Odyssey, and other RPGs that will be huge hits in 2023
1) WrestleQuest (Nintendo Switch)
Release Date: May 2023
That’s right, WrestleQuest! While I have not gotten hands-on with this yet, I have interviewed one of the developers of this charming indie RPG. It’s clear by talking to them that they truly are fans of professional wrestling, and they created something that fans of RPGs have never played before.
WrestleQuest will feature some of the greatest names in professional wrestling, like the Road Warriors, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Macho Man Randy Savage. Players will go through a career as pro wrestlers in a turn-based RPG, starting from the bottom and clawing their way to the top.
The game has a gorgeous pixel look and a story that proves the developers put a significant amount of research into the wrestling portion of the game.
WrestleQuest is going to be one of the best RPGs of 2023.
2) Octopath Traveler II (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC)
Release Date: February 24, 2023
While I adored the concept of Octopath Traveler, it ended up being one of the most frustrating RPGs I’ve ever played. This is because the best way of level grinding is based on the Dancer’s RNG abilities. I have high hopes that this won’t be the case in Octopath Traveler II.
Players will have eight new travelers in that same 2D-HD format, and like the previous title, this one will be focused heavily on the stories of these characters. The game concepts have expanded, granting each character two Path Abilities instead of just one (one during the day and one at night).
What made Octopath Traveler such a joy to experience was the deep, tragic storytelling. It was one of the best RPGs on the Nintendo Switch when it launched, and I’m excited to see what comes of the sequel in 2023.
3) Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
Release Date: 2023
It was impossibly difficult to pick between the two Like a Dragon games that are coming in 2023, but ultimately, I picked this story.
Revealed earlier this year, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will tell fans a story they have been aching to learn since Kiryu’s shock appearance in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
What happened between Yakuza 6 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon? Kiryu seemed to wander off into the sunset, never to be seen again. However, he makes a cameo not just as a boss character but also as a summon that Ichiban can utilize in battle.
Very little is known about Like a Dragon Gaiden, but I count the franchise, in general, as an action RPG.
Fans know that Kiryu has become some kind of monk, and it’s also been confirmed that he has a new fighting style. On the more comedic and fun portion of the game, the Caberet mini-game, one of the best mini-games in the franchise, is returning.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will, without a doubt, be one of the hottest RPGs of the coming year.
4) One Piece Odyssey (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X|S)
Release Date: January 12, 2023
If you had told me in January 2022 that I’d be in love with the idea of a One Piece RPG, I’d have called you a fool. However, my mind has certainly changed!
I loved the One Piece Musou games, but more than that, I love fun RPGs. I wasn’t sure about a turn-based RPG set in the One Piece universe, but now that I’ve played it for myself, I’m sold.
What makes One Piece Odyssey one of the best RPGs coming in 2023 is that it’s accessible and beautiful. You don’t have to be caught up on the entire manga to play the game!
One Piece Odyssey is very much its own story, despite being set after the events of Wano Island. The gameplay is sharp, and the characters interact with one another just like they do in the anime.
It’s a charming, fun game, and while I’ve only played a few hours of it, I’m desperate for more. Fans of One Piece won’t have long until they can set sail! The delay was worth it.
5) Final Fantasy XVI (PlayStation 5)
Release Date: June 22, 2023
We’re slowly being drip-fed more and more information about Final Fantasy XVI, and it’s kept the hype alive. It will easily be one of the most intense and exciting RPGs of 2023. While I would like to see the games return to the ATB system of combat, I understand that probably won’t happen.
Final Fantasy XVI is set in a Western fantasy world that is torn by war. Each of the major six factions remains in power, thanks to their Crystals and mighty Dominants. Dominants are the host for their Eikons - Summons (or Aeons in other Final Fantasy games). A blight is slowly starting to spread across the world.
The main protagonist, Clive Rosfield, had to watch as his home kingdom was devastated. Wielding the power of Ifrit, he goes on a journey that, instead of simply trying to save the world, is based on revenge. It sounds like it will be a dark, tragic story, and that’s one of my favorite narrative archetypes.
With Naoki Yoshida as producer and Masayoshi Soken as composer working together with an all-star team, Final Fantasy XVI is going to be a smash hit.
There have been hints that Clive could also wield other Eikon powers, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it all shapes up. While many games are coming next year, it will be hard to top this one.
2023 will be chock-full of RPGs, and this is just a small sample of what I’m excited about. No matter what, pick the games that look most interesting to you and have fun with them.