The Ten Best Upcoming Games in 2023 You’ve Never Heard of

2023 is poised to be one of the most jam-packed years Triple-A gaming has had in a very, very long time. Between soaring amongst the painted skies of the melodic Breath of the Wild 2, to frantically blasting away at hoards of the undead with all your friends in Redfall, there’s something for everyone in the year when video games bounce back to their old selves following the seemingly endless effects of the pandemic.

Well, everyone willing to give up a fraction of their rent.

With the recent industry shift towards $70 games, incoming price increases for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and video game publishers’ ever expanding arsenal of tools designed to alchemically convert your real-world money to in-game gold, gems, crystals, and (God-forbid) crypto-currency, video games are at their most inaccessible when thinking of the games that have implanted themselves into our brains through commercials, YouTube ads, and billboards.

This leaves, once again, the Indie and double-A scene in the position of being the unsung heroes who will leave us with our best experiences at a fraction of the cost. Hot off the heels of the most recent Steam Next festival (which you should absolutely be participating in), here are the underdogs to keep an eye out for in 2023.

Meet Your Maker

When you were playing Doom: Eternal, did you think to yourself, “Wow, this could really use a Mario Maker style level creator?” No. God no. That’s a terrible idea. But Behavior Interactives Meet Your Maker still somehow seems like a damn good time anyways.

A first-person dungeon raider where every level is designed by another player, Meet Your Maker boasts impressive visuals, palm-sweating shootouts, and a never ending playlist of tricks to surprise you. Its recent open-beta has been met with nothing less than emphatic praise, and has cleverly worked to help build in a passionate player base before the game has even launched, allowing some level of assurance you won’t be left staring at a dismal single page of levels on launch day. This, in addition the multiple game modes at launch as well Solo and Co-op play makes this one of the most exciting and stacked packages of the year.

Meet Your Maker will release on April 4th, 2023 for Steam, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X and Series S.

The Plucky Squire

The first (and not the last) Devolver Digital game on our list, Plucky Squire is the first (also, not the last) celebration and refinement of retro video games that’ll incite both nostalgia for the past and excitement for the future we have. You are Jot, the titular Plucky Squire and lead character of a children’s story book, kicked by the malevolent Humgrump out of the comforting confines of cute storybook pages and into the real world.

Jumping back and forth between the realms of 2D and 3D, you’ll venture through every manner of retro inspired adventure set-ups, whether this means dungeon crawling top-down and side-to-side a-la Zelda I & II, fist-fighting a full bear in the style of Punch-Out!, or run and gunning a Mario level with Contra inspired machine guns. And although it wears its inspirations proudly on its sleeves, it comes with its own distinctively cute art style and narrated story to give it a unique flair of its own.

The Plucky Squire is out in 2023 on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S

Pacific Drive

Have you ever watched a post-apocalyptic TV show like the Walking Dead or the Last of Us and thought; How the hell do their cars still work so well? And then you look out at your car, knowing it only has a small percent chance of passing emissions today, and think; God, when AI takes over the world, I hope I’m not still driving that piece of shit.

A punk rock ode to the cars you hope can just make it to work and back, Ironwood Studios makes you confront this fear through a forest populated with alien-robot-things somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with nothing but a beat-up station wagon and a dream to unravel the mysteries of the ARDA corporation. You’ll scavenge, upgrade, and tensely venture out of your vehicle through the Olympic Exclusion Zone with promises of loot and sci-fi spooks around every corner.

Pacific Drive will release in 2023 for Steam, the Epic Games store, and Playstation 5

Skate Story

Do you remember that trailer you saw about the glass guy with the bangin’ soundtrack who was shredding through some lo-fi version of hell on his skateboard? No, that wasn’t a fever dream, that was Skate Story.

Developed by the self-prophecized Sam Eng, published once again by Devolver Digital, and brought to life with a psychedelic soundtrack from Blood Cultures, Skate Story has you kick-flipping, deck-grabbing, and rail-grinding through the nine layers of hell on a journey to save tortured souls from an eternity without manual linking trick combos. If Skate has left a deck-shaped hole in your heart, Skate Story might be the one to fill it. It just might also ask for your soul in exchange.

Skate Story releases in 2023 for Steam


The absolute favorite of the October 2022 Steam Next Fest, Gunbrella is one of the most sound upcoming games I’ve played in both style and substance. A bloody, shadowy, noir inspired platformer where you play as a gruff Woodsman, venturing through a world of scarce resources compounded by the dark, potentially even demonic, fallout of corporate greed. Also, you have a shotgun with an umbrella on it, and this lets you fly.

It’s not a stretch to say the Woodsman of Gunbrella truly does have the potential to become one of the next great indie icons, a grizzly sad clown that stands along Knights of both Hollow and Shovel is easy to see. This is owed not just to the iconic design of the character, but the airtight product attached to him. From developer Doinksoft’s (by the way, best developer name on this list by far) demo we know we can expect bloody, laser-precise action platforming, a razor-sharp wit, and a completely arresting pixel-art style, and the only question remaining is; how deep does this rabbit hole go?

Gunbrella will release in 2023 on Steam and the Nintendo Switch

Tiny Bookshop

Taking a break from the blood-stained shadows of our previous entry, allow me to take you away to somewhere a bit cozier. A small town by the sea, where people drift in and out with the waves, and a life of art, connection and books. Developer Neoludic Games (by the way, second best developer name on this list) allows you to leave it all behind and run a second-hand bookstore that lives on wheels, but isn’t pressuring you to go anywhere fast.

Tiny Bookshop is a cozy management sim where you customize your store, cart around your stories, and connect with locals. With the way this is shaping up, it might be the perfect break inbetween the bloody, drug-addled, God-fearing shooters that we let dominate our typical ADHD monkey brains throughout the rest of the year. Which is not unlike how I would describe our next entry.

Tiny Bookshop will release in 2023 for Steam and Mobile Platforms

Anger Foot

Okay, I might have a problem when it comes to Devolver Digital games. Counterpoint, Anger Foot is fucking awesome. A first-person answer to the echoing calls for Hotline Miami 3, Anger Foot is the current wet dream of noted Quentin Tarantino enthusiasts; Free Lives. Developers you may have remembered from other brain-melting chaos fests such as Broforce, The Expendabros, Genital Jousting, and Gorn.

Anger Foot has you playing as an ass (and door) kicking hitman working his way through the toxic sewers, crooked sky scrapers, and boarded up drug dens of the sense-assaulting Shit City. Yes, that’s the actual name. A brutal, hyper-violent, hyper-active, hyper-hyper shooter about blowing the heads off of Gater-Gangsters and dancing on their corpses with a cool energy drink in one hand and a barrel-smoking pistol in the other. Anger Foot will likely leave us with a headache, bloodshot eyes, ringing ears, and the same desperate withdrawals I’ve been experiencing since credits rolled on the demo.

Anger Foot will release for Steam in 2023

(Anger) Footnote:

If you’re interested in this, check out the other upcoming Free Lives title Stick it to the Stickman as well. With no provided release window, it didn’t make the list, but is yet another satirically hilarious romp into violence from a developer (and publisher) that keeps on giving.

Gravity Circuit

In some ways it’s baffling there haven’t been more attempts at being a spiritual successor to Mega Man, isn’t it? It’s an iconic retro game with a winning formula that seems ripe for endless iteration. And, unlike your Castlevania or Metroid, there doesn’t seem to be many attempts at continuing the legacy. But when you look closer, it’s easy to see why; it is incredibly difficult to do well. Hell, Keiji Inafune who worked on the original Mega Man and created Mega Man X’s Zero didn’t even hit the mark with Mighty No. 9. And if they couldn’t do it, who the hell can? Well, the answer might be Domesticated Ant Games with upcoming Gravity Circuit.

A proud to be Mega Man successor, Gravity Circuit brings the formula into sharp focus with tight platforming and the perfect amount of new ideas and introduced complexity. Unlike Mega Man, you do not use a blaster and smash one button from the left side of the screen until all enemies have been deleted; you are up close and personal. Controlling more like a character from a fighting game then a platformer, your directional, combo-linking attacks can be upgraded and customized through the use of various chips allowing a freedom and skill cap that has not been afforded to the genre before, and it works to an utterly fantastic effect.

Gravity Circuit will release in Q2 of 2023 for Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch

Shadows of Doubt

Any upcoming game is a gamble, this we gamers know. From faked E3 trailers, to manipulated demos, to hands on preview events which fail to mention what devices the game is running on, how monetization will be included, or how there net code has been feeling recently, we know that any upcoming game has the potential to crush our hearts the way we will subsequently crush our keyboards later. Shadows of Doubt is, by my own admission, by far the biggest gamble on this list. But goddamn do I hope this one pays off.

ColePowered Games immersive sim is an overwhelmingly ambitious game where you play as private detective in handcrafted AND procedurally generated steampunk cities, darting between shadows thrown by its voxel street lamps in order to avoid the corrupt governments corporate enforcers. On top of that, each city is fully simulated, meaning a never ending stream of randomized events, dynamic murder investigations, and unique denizens of the city with fully routines and paths that may aid or run interference on your snooping. The amount of ambition on display is dizzying, and a rightful cause for concern when you realize its pretty much being developed by one guy. But if it pans out, if its hard hitting, detail oriented investigations and truly harmonize with the games immersive sim, sci-fi qualities of physics based adventuring and cybernetic augmentation there’s no way this doesn’t become an immediate cult classic that will satisfy the average starving immersive sim enjoyer like me.

Shadows of Doubt will release in 2023 for Steam


If you’re wondering which of these games I would include on a list of Ten Anticipated 2023 games if I removed the “most likely unknown” and “most likely less than $70” conditions, I wouldn’t know for sure. But I would know Dredge would be on there. And I know it would be high. As in, my list would be topped with Breathe of the Wild 2, and then followed with Dredge, high.

Dredge, and its currently released monster of a demo known as Dredge: Chapter One, isn’t like anything you’ve played before. A narratively driven lovecraftian horror fishing simulator, Dredge tasks you with managing a fishing boat on the coasts of an enigmatic and esoteric archipelago cursed with a mysterious and deadly fog that rolls over its murky waters each night.

Everything about Dredge is shaping up astonishingly well. Its gameplay loop on the management and fishing side of things is tight and engaging, and somehow never undercuts the very real horror of this world that develops, terrifies, and delights. This, coupled with an intriguing and eccentric cast of characters who have each achieved some level of madness and mystery from their dreary island life, makes Dredge of one of the most unique and special experiences you can have right now, and there’s no telling what else is lurking below the surface.

Dredge will release on March 30th, 2023 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam