Our outlook for Xbox in the second half of 2023

Robert Collins

Xbox Display Custom

Let’s not mince words here—the first half of 2023 has been one to remember in terms of groundbreaking AAA video game releases. This is true across all platforms, including Xbox. Just look at what the first six months of 2023 has given us: Dead Space Remake, Hi-Fi Rush, Hogwarts Legacy, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Minecraft Legends, Street Fighter 6, Diablo IV.

While 2022 was admittedly a lackluster year for Xbox, 2023 is without question going to make up for it and then some, and will go down as one of the best years in video games in recent memory. With that said, let’s have a glimpse into what the second half of 2023 will bring.

Notable upcoming games

Alan Wake Remastered Screen Shot

 

  • Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (Aug. 25)
  • Sea of Stars (Aug. 29)
  • Lies of P (Sept. 19)
  • Mortal Kombat 1 (Sept. 19)
  • Payday 3 (Sept. 21)
  • Lords of the Fallen (Oct. 13)
  • Alan Wake (Oct. 17)
  • Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name (Nov. 9)
  • Skull and Bones (TBA)
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl (TBA)
  • The Talos Principle (TBA)

The heavy hitters

While that was an exciting sneak peek at some of the more notable Xbox releases coming down the pipeline, below are the titles that will most likely define Xbox in the second half of what has been an exceptional year in video games so far across all platforms.

Stray (August 10)

Stray Game Custom
One of the biggest PlayStation exclusives of 2022 comes to Xbox soon.

This charming indie title and former PlayStation exclusive may seem like an unlikely addition to this list. But Stray was one of the most popular games of 2022 on PlayStation with reportedly more than 4.4 million players and over $50 million in sales. Not to mention the game was a darling of the critics and won various accolades including PlayStation Game of the Year at the 40th Golden Joystick Awards.

And there’s no reason to think Stray won’t have just as big an impact when it comes to Xbox on August 10.

Starfield (September 6)

Starfield will finally land on Xbox on September 6.

What else can really be said about one of the most anticipated video games ever that hasn’t already been said? Bethesda’s epic open world sci-fi action-RPG will have a lot of hype to live up to when it releases on September 6, and the Xbox platform itself has a lot riding on Starfield’s success. It’s fair to say Starfield could in large part make or break the second half of 2023 (and really this entire console generation going forward) for Xbox.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (September 26)

cyberpunk 2077 phantom liberty 2 (Custom)

This long-awaited first (and only) expansion for Cyberpunk 2077 will finally land in players hands as part of what is shaping up to be an absolutely stacked September with the likes of The Crew Motorfest, Lies of P, Mortal Kombat 1, Payday 3 and of course Starfield all launching that month.

We got a closer look at Phantom Liberty during last month’s Xbox Games Showcase, and from what’s been revealed so far it looks like this will be anything but a by-the-numbers expansion. Check out the official Phantom Liberty trailer right here.

Forza Motorsport (October 10)

Forza Motorsport Screen Shot 1 Custom
Forza Motorsport will be one of the biggest Xbox exclusives of the year.

The (almost) undisputed king of racing sims makes what will hopefully be a triumphant return in October with the release of the long-in-the-making Forza Motorsport reboot. Most Xbox fans will more-or-less know what to expect from the series…or will they? Following the Xbox Games Showcase in June we were treated to a demo of the game which showed off the newly-revamped career mode among other things.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage (October 12)

The storied Assassin’s Creed franchise returns to its roots with the next installment. This after a more open-world, role-playing oriented departure for the previous three mainline entries that has been largely well-received from fans.

A new Assassin’s Creed release is always big news, and it will be interesting to see how this return to stealth-action form for Mirage will go down with players.

The fate of the ABK deal

Uk Cma Custom

It is very possible that the Activision Blizzard deal will be a done thing one way or the other very soon (can we get a big Hurray! on that?). In the wake of Microsoft’s triumph against the U.S. FTC in the latter’s preliminary injunction to stop the deal from proceeding ahead of the August trial, the CMA in the U.K. has agreed to pause litigation to negotiate a compromise that will address its concerns over how the acquisition could affect the emergent cloud gaming market.

How this will all shake out is anyone’s guess, but as it stands Microsoft is closer to sealing the deal than it has ever been. If and when it does finally happen it can only mean good things for the Xbox platform and its users. How does Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard games coming to Game Pass day one sound?

Looking beyond into 2024

Avowed Screen Shot Combat
Upcoming Xbox RPG Avowed.

It looks like 2024 will be no slouch either, going by what’s been announced so far during and since the Xbox Games Showcase.

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024
  • Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
  • Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth
  • Towerborne
  • Flintlock: Siege of Dawn
  • Avowed
  • Fable?
  • South of Midnight?

As we all know, it’s possible—if not likely, even—that some of these might not make it to release in 2024. Nonetheless, it’s good to know there are some exciting titles in the pipeline. Regardless, there is no question that the second half of 2023 will be an interesting time for Xbox gamers.

Featured image via Egames.news.