The Biggest Game Releases Of December 2023
GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.
Congratulations! After 11 months of far too many good games, you're almost ready to cross the 2023 gaming calendar finish line. Between well-received sequels and remakes, surprise launches of colorful original games, and some of the best indies of the year, 2023 has been a heck of a great year when it comes to game releases, and December is shaping up to be a pretty nice epilogue. As usual, December's releaser calendar is relatively subdued compared to recent months, which'll give you time to catch up on your backlog and try out a few other games you might have missed during the year.
That's not to say that there aren't some big releases to look forward to, with Ubisoft's Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora standing out as the biggest name. It's a return to Pandora where you can flex your Na'video game skills against human aggression while exploring an alien landscape and reconnecting with nature. We've also got a few remasters to look forward to, including the return of Kingpin and Plumbers Don't Wear Ties.
For Switch fans of luxuriously hand-crafted time-travel adventures, the upcoming port of Outer Wilds should be on your radar. Pokemon fans will also be able to dive into the second expansion for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. There's even a new Dragon Quest game coming exclusively to Switch. You can see all of the highlights below and the full release schedule of upcoming games to keep an eye out for.
Batman: Arkham Trilogy (Switch) - December 1
Originally meant to launch in October, Batman Arkham Trilogy is finally headed to Switch this month. All of Rocksteady's open-world Batman games in a single package, this collection includes Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Knight alongside a ton of DLC. You'll even be able to don Robert Pattinson's suit from The Batman.
Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince (Switch) - December 1
Sure, there's a new Pokemon expansion out this month, but for something different in the monster-catching genre you'll want to check out Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince. You'll be able to scout, capture, and train various monsters in your quest to be the best--like no one ever was--a necessary skill for protagonist Psaro as his curse leaves him incapable of harming monsters. Psaro does have an ace up his sleeve, as his Synthesis ability allows him to fuse two monsters into a single and more powerful form, bringing him one step closer to his goal of becoming the Master of Monsterkind. And yes, this is the same Psaro who appeared as the main villain in Dragon Quest IV.
SteamWorld Build (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - December 1
For the next entry in Thunderful's charming SteamWorld series of steampunk robot adventures, the franchise is shifting to city-building fun. With the local denizens looking to build a rocket and blast off to a better world, SteamWorld Build will task you with setting up a bustling town and accumulate the necessary resources to chart the final frontier. You won't just be building a town up top, you'll also be going underground to mine for resources, find spaceship parts, and tangle with deadly monsters that are out to turn your workers into scrap metal.
Born of Bread (Switch, PC) - December 5
You don't need a rye sense of humor to enjoy Born of Bread, an RPG adventure in the same vein as Paper Mario that doesn't go against the grain. You can baguette this enchanting game on December 5 when it lands on of enjoyPC and console, and it looks like a fun game to play when it's breadtime for the kids. In case you forget to check it out, write yourself a few toast-it notes just in case you want to play a game that looks like fun on a bun. It's a no-grainer and it looks like it's scone to be a lot of fun.
Disney Dreamlight Valley (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - December 5
After more than a year in early access, Disney Dreamlight Valley is finally ready to launch in a complete state. This game is taking an unusual approach--in today's video game business environment that is--as instead of being a free-to-play title, this will be a paid-for game. Developer Gameloft is promising a flow of regular content once the game launches, and the elevator pitch of a Disney-flavored Animal Crossing meets The Sims has proven to be a recipe for success for the game so far. If you're interested in Dreamlight Valley, check out the Cozy edition, which comes with bonus in-game content.
Kingpin Reloaded (PC) - December 5
An unhinged display of violent power and foul language with a grimy art direction, the original Kingpin was an ambitious game for its time. How does that game stand up decades later? That'll be interesting to see, as developer Slipgate Ironworks has created what it calls an "enhanced re-release" of the classic tale of revenge. Like the original game, you'll be taking over the streets, forming a gang, and using your ill-gotten gains to keep your outfit a few steps ahead of the competition. There are some nice features in this version, like 4K resolution, ultrawide support, and improved graphics that'll show off every filthy corner of the metropolitan nightmare that you call home.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC) - December 7
Ubisoft and open-world games go together like lungs and oxygen, as that genre has formed the backbone of many a game from the French publisher and developer. Massive Entertainment's dive into the world of Avatar doesn't stray far from that formula, but at the same time, the studio is making an effort to expand on that approach with some interesting new ideas. The PS5 version is also shaping up nicely, as players can expect hundreds of haptic feedback effects that'll make an alien world feel that little bit more exotic.
Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S) - December 7
In the grim (and dark!) future of mankind, there is only commerce. Forget about dark gods existing in a psychic plane powered by naughty thoughts, armies of nigh-unkillable murderbots, and Orks stretching the definition of the placebo effect to its breaking point, as Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader tasks you with the finances involved in running the Imperium of Man and using them to enrich yourself while entire planets are put to the torch by overzealous Space Marines. Aboard your personal voidship, you'll travel across uncharted sections of the galaxy, gather allies, and ask them to help you slaughter the enemies of the God-Emperor in a game of isometric turn-based tactical combat.
Plumbers Don't Wear Ties: Definitive Edition (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - December 8
It's widely regarded as one of the worst video games of all time, but the story behind Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is fascinating. A passion project done for the sheer sake of why the heck not, Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is getting a modern remaster from the team at Limited Run Games. This version of the CD-ROM classic has 4K remastered photos and a ton of documentary and interview content, including a look behind the scenes with PDWT's leading lady Jeanne "Jane" Basone.
Pokemon Scarlet And Violet: The Hidden Treasure Of Area Zero – The Indigo Disk (Switch) - December 14
It's been an interesting generation for Pokemon, with the most recent game in the series, Scarlet and Violet, being a showcase of fun and radical changes to the catch-'em-all formula. While its technical performance leaves much to be desired, the recent Teal Mask expansion showed off a cozier side of Pokemon that went over well with fans. For the second part of The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero saga, Pokemon is going high-tech in The Teal Mask. Blueberry Academy is the place to be, there's a new wild area to explore full of returning Pokemon to catch, and the emphasis on 2v2 battles adds a new layer of challenge that you typically don't see in single-player Pokemon games.
Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising (PS5, PS4, PC) - December 14
Between Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat 1, it has been a great year for some of the biggest fighting game franchises around. While Tekken 8 will launch in January 2024, you can still close out the year by throwing down in Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, an anime-influenced brawler with plenty of style and hard-hitting action. This looks set to be the most accessible entry in this franchise, as a beginner-friendly control scheme will allow newcomers to pull off flashy combos with simple button presses. Beyond that, expect a dedicated storyline to follow, an online lobby filled with extra activities, and even the opportunity to build custom dioramas. The best part for fighting game fans? It'll be free-to-play.
Cookie Cutter (PC, Xbox Seriues X|S, PS5) - December 14
What happens when you combine Japanese manga influences, HP Lovecraft, and Quentin Tarantino films? You get Cookie Cutter, a killer combo of rage and chainsaws set in a unique hand-drawn 2D metroidvania world. You'll step into the anger-fueled boots of Cheery, a violent android hellbent on saving her creator by using the bloodiest methods possible. Climb the massive Megastructure of the dark future, rip through scores of enemies, and prepare for Mortal Kombat levels of blood in this stylish side-scroller.
Resident Evil 4 (iPhone 15, Macs and iPads with M1 or better) - December 20
We've already seen one modern Resident Evil game work surprisingly well on the new iPhone 15 Pro, and now it's time for one of the best games in the series--and of the year--to make its debut on Apple's latest smartphone. The idea of another full Resident Evil adventure running natively on the new iPhone is a fascinating prospect. The Resident Evil 4 remake will also be available on Macs and iPads with M1 chipsets or better on the same day.
December 2023 video game release schedule
- Batman: Arkham Trilogy (Switch) - December 1
- Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince (Switch) - December 1
- SteamWorld Build (PS5,PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - December 1
- A Highland Song (Switch, PC) - December 5
- Born of Bread (Switch, PC) - December 5
- Disney Dreamlight Valley (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - December 5
- Skater XL (Switch) - December 5
- Sonic Dream Team (iOS) - December 5
- The Anacrusis (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC) - December 5
- The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria (PS5) - December 5
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong (Switch) - December 5
- Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One) - December 7
- Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC) - December 7
- Lego Bricktales (Quest) - December 7
- Outer Wilds (Switch) - December 7
- Terminator: Dark Fate - Defiance (PC) - December 7
- The Day Before (PC) - December 7
- Plumbers Don't Wear Ties: Definitive Edition (PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) - December 8
- Bear and Breakfast (PS5, PS4) - December 12
- Hammerwatch II (PS5, Switch) - December 12
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake (iOS, Android) - December 12
- Cookie Cutter (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S) - December 14
- Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising (PS5, PS4, PC) - December 14
- House Flipper 2 (PC) - December 14
- Pokemon Scarlet And Violet: The Hidden Treasure Of Area Zero - The Indigo Disk (Switch) - December 14
- Resident Evil 4 (remake) (Mac, iOS) - December 20