Open-world games are one of the most popular genres in video games. They present players with vast maps and allow them to go anywhere at any point in time. This aspect of choice is what drives many people towards games like these. Open-world maps are often known for having different sections in them, with each section being divided on the basis of enemy type and difficulty, terrain type, or even weather.
2022 was an absolute behemoth as far as open-world game releases were concerned, with the likes of Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and more hitting store shelves. While it may seem unlikely that anything better could come along, players will notice that 2023 has quite an exciting set of games that are set to launch during the course of the year.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the writer.
Spider-Man 2, Hogwarts Legacy, and three other interesting open-world games coming out in 2023
Forspoken was one of the most exciting reveals of the PlayStation Showcase event held in 2021. The upcoming action RPG is being developed by Japanese studio Luminous Productions and features a female protagonist named Frey Holland.
The trailers and gameplay footage showed Frey utilizing superhuman powers that allow her to move in different ways and engage in combat. With over 100 spells in Frey’s magical arsenal, players are sure to be entertained as they travel through a vast open world designed specifically to use every bit of power the PlayStation 5's hardware is capable of.
Forspoken comes out on January 24 for the PlayStation 5 and Windows.
4) The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda is one of the most highly decorated series of games ever produced, with many of its games taking home multiple awards each year. The games follow the story of Link, an elf-like human who embarks on a quest to save a Princess named Zelda.
The world of The Legend of Zelda has long been praised for the number of things players can do within it, and the next game, titled The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, aims to continue the traditional open-world design.
Tears of the Kingdom is the highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild, which is often considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. The former was initially supposed to come out as a DLC but ended up being adapted into an entire game. Although information on the game is scarce, players can expect to travel around the kingdom of Hyrule, as was the case in the previous game.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom comes out on May 12 for the Nintendo Switch.
3) Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the upcoming sequel to 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Just like in the previous game, players take control of Cal Kestis, a former Jedi Padawan who survives the Jedi Purge and is fresh from a lengthy war against the Dark Side. Five years later, however, he faces the might of the Galactic Empire and must travel throughout the galaxy while looking for allies and methods to defeat his latest foe.
Players will be happy to know that many of Cal’s abilities and other gameplay features from Fallen Order will be returning with the sequel, along with a large open-world map, tons of new elements like a crossguard lightsaber, and five new stances for Cal.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor comes out on March 17 for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.
2) Hogwarts Legacy
The Wizarding World is finally back in the form of video games with one of the biggest projects Potterheads could have ever wanted. Hogwarts Legacy is an action RPG with a vast open-world map containing tons of iconic locations from the franchise that players can visit.
From the Hogwarts castle itself to Hogsmeade village and even the Shrieking Shack, nothing is restricted as far as this magical world is concerned. Players have the ability to fly through the air using brooms, and they'll learn various aspects of magical education at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Hogwarts Legacy comes out on February 10 for the PS5, Windows, and Xbox X/S, on April 4 for the PS4 and Xbox One, and on July 25 for the Nintendo Switch.
1) Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Probably one of the biggest games of 2023, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has been making waves since its reveal during the 2021 PlayStation Showcase. Venom's appearance in the trailer, along with the prospect of continuing the stories of Peter Parker and Miles Morales has sent many fans into a frenzy as they wait for Insomniac’s latest gem to drop.
While 2018’s Spider-Man revolutionized Spidey’s web-slinging mechanics forever, 2020’s Miles Morales pushed the limits of the PlayStation 4 and churned out beautiful, Christmas-y open-world New York experiences on the PlayStation 5. All this is sure to make players wonder how Insomniac can possibly improve the series with Spider-Man 2.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 comes out in the fall of 2023 on the PlayStation 5.
While other gaming genres like First Person Shooters (FPS) and Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA) might give players the rush to compete against other players or progress as fast as they can, open-world titles often help players relax and enjoy the quality of narrative design and cinematic mastery of the game.