The Biggest Games Of January 2023 – Forspoken, Dead Space, And More


Darryn Bonthuys

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
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January used to be a slow month for new releases, but over the last couple of years, publishers and developers have taken advantage of this quiet gap in the gaming calendar to drop some pretty big games. This year is no different, and while the month ahead isn’t crammed with new releases, it does have a fair number of high-profile games being dropped onto PC and console.

The biggest releases of the month are a triple-threat of genres and ideas that are coming for your spare time. Square Enix’s Forspoken looks like a cool action-RPG where you utilize fast-paced magical powers; the Dead Space remake is a reminder to always cut off the limbs of Necromorphs; and Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Engage is shaping up to be a leaner and meaner chapter in the long-running tactical-RPG franchise.

Anime fans also have plenty to look forward to, as a brand-new One Piece adventure and the release of two Persona ports will keep them occupied for dozens of hours. The Persona games being released, Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden, feature some great enhancements to bring it up to modern standards, while One Piece Odyssey looks like a vibrant RPG in which you can unleash rubbery blows, sword strikes, and flaming kicks.

For anyone looking for something silly to play or even share with their family, THQ Nordic’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake could be just what you’re after. It’s goofy and colorful SpongeBob fun, plus with the original voice cast involved, it’ll be an authentic trip back to Bikini Bottom. For the rest of the month, you can check out the list and highlights below to see what January has in store for you.

One Piece Odyssey (January 13)

Set in the world of the mega-popular anime and manga series, One Piece Odyssey follows the Straw Hat Pirates on a new adventure. Shipwrecked on a strange island, pirate captain Monkey D. Luffy embarks on a quest to find his crew, repair his ship and escape a land that’s teeming with danger. This One Piece game will play as a classic RPG, and you’ll be able to wield the strange devil fruit powers of Luffy. lethal swordsmanship of Roronoa Zoro, and Usopp’s gadgets when this game docks on PC and console.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (January 13)

Its been a while since Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot first arrived on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and after a season of DLC rolled out, Bandai Namco is giving this action-RPG a current-gen glow-up. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game will sport smoother framerates and higher resolutions, and you can also expect a second season of DLC, with the first episode being focused on Goku’s dad, Bardock.

Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden (January 19)

If the recent release of Persona 5 Royal wasn’t enough Atlus-developed content for you in 2022, then get ready to sink even more time into the cult-classic series with the release of two older games on new platforms. Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden will be available PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch consoles this month, with each entry sporting updates from their previous releases, a toggle option to switch between English and Japanese voice acting, quick-save features, and improved graphics.

Fire Emblem Engage (January 20)

The next chapter in the Fire Emblem series is shaping up to be a highlight reel of past games, as the traditional turn-based combat features an intriguing twist. In this installment, players will wield the power of heroes from past Fire Emblem games, combining their skills with the new cast to create fascinating combinations. More focused on tactical-JRPG action than ever before, Fire Emblem Engage feels more streamlined and refined than other recent entries in the series.

Monster Hunter Rise (January 20)

Monster Hunter Rise is officially coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and PS5 this month, and it’ll be available on both Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass. Originally available on Nintendo Switch and then PC, the Capcom game features all the usual monster hunting associated with the title but with even more action, deadly beasts, and fun gadgets to use on your expeditions.

Forspoken (January 24)

Forspoken has admittedly not made the best first impression since it was announced, but Square Enix’s action-RPG could be its next big IP if you can look past some annoying running commentary and cumbersome early combat sequences. Once you’re past those hurdles, Forspoken opens up with fun traversal options, exhilarating spell-slinging, and a visual presentation that looks superb. With a fascinating fantasy world to explore, Forspoken is shaping up to be a big blockbuster to start the year off with.

Dead Space (January 27)

Terror has a familiar flavor in 2023, as EA Motive is unleashing Dead Space for a whole new audience. A complete remake of the original sci-fi horror game, Motive has added a few interesting tweaks to the game while retaining its suspenseful atmosphere. In addition to the visual upgrade that takes advantage of PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5 hardware, zero gravity sections of Dead Space have been reworked to feel less clunky, protagonist Isaac Clarke is slightly chattier, and Motive is teasing a few other surprises for fans who think they know the layout of the USS Ishimura inside-out.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake (January 31)

THQ Nordic is clearly a big fan of that little sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea, as the publisher is releasing an original adventure set in Bikini Bottom this month. After SpongeBob and Patrick unleash cosmic chaos, the duo set off on a road trip to save their beloved town from the calamity that they’re responsible for. The Cosmic Shake will include platforming and seven distinct worlds for players to explore, and features the cartoon’s cast of actors reprising their signature roles.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (January 31)

Classic Age of Empires on an Xbox console? Oh it’s true, it’s true! As part of the 25th-anniversary celebrations for the Age of Empires series , Age of Empire II: Definitive Edition is headed to Xbox consoles and Xbox Game Pass this month. While strategy games are notoriously difficult to port to consoles due to them being awkward to play with a controller as opposed to a mouse and keyboard, developer World’s Edge says that it has come up with new controller inputs that will help retain the strategic flavor of the series. On top of that, traditional mouse and keyboard setups will be made available on consoles. Fans can also expect Age of Empires IV to arrive on Xbox later this year.

January 2023 video game release schedule

  • Scrap Riders (PC, Switch) – January 9
  • Path of the Midnight Sun (PC) – January 10
  • Children of Silentown (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch) – January 11
  • Lone Ruin (PC, Switch) – January 12
  • Chasing Static (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch) – January 12
  • Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider (PC, PS4, Switch, Luna) – January 12
  • One Piece Odyssey (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One) – January 13
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS5, Xbox Series X|S) – January 13
  • UnderDungeon (PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch) – January 13
  • Surviving the Abyss – Early Access (PC) – January 17
  • Farlanders (PC) – January 17
  • Re:Call (PC, Xbox Series X|S, Switch) – January 17
  • Colossal Cave (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Switch) – January 19
  • Persona 3 Portable (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch) – January 19
  • Persona 4 Golden (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch) – January 19
  • Fire Emblem Engage (Switch) – January 20
  • Candle Knight (PC) – January 20
  • Monster Hunter Rise (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch) – January 20
  • Forspoken (PC, PS5) – January 24
  • Mahokenshi (PC) – January 24
  • Risen (PS4, Xbox One, Switch) – January 24
  • OddBallers (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Luna) – January 26
  • Dead Space (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S) – January 27
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch) – January 31
  • We Were Here Forever (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) – January 31
  • Season: A Letter to the Future (PC, PS5, PS4) – January 31
  • Superfuse – Steam Early Access (PC) – January 31
  • Tumble Time (Android, iOS) – January TBC

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