The Autumn deluge, a time when many of the biggest titles are released, is nearly upon us. From long-awaited sequels to triple-A blockbusters, there’s something for everyone. It all kicks off in September, so take a look at 10 of the biggest titles launching this month.
The Last of Us Part I
Naughty Dog’s 2013 classic, which mixes cinematic story-telling with action-adventure and survival elements, remains an unforgettable experience. On September 2nd, fans can relive that experience on PS5 (for a $70 price tag, of course) with The Last of Us Part 1. Built from the ground up for the console, it offers more detailed environments, improved animations, shorter loading times, DualSense support, and a wide range of accessibility options.
AI improvements, a revamped crafting bench, and much more also await. Though multiplayer isn’t included, it’s still worth looking into for the sheer visual splendor.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero
Twelve years after its original release on PlayStation Portable, Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero is finally being localized to English and released worldwide. Set months after the end of Trails in the Sky the 3rd, the story moves to Crossbell, a city-state of advanced technology and economic wealth. Crime and conspiracies run rampant, which results in the formation of the Special Support Section led by Lloyd Bannings.
Releasing on September 27th for PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch, the English version includes High-Speed and Skip Modes along with improvements to texture quality, bug fixes, and much more.
Dread it, run from it – NBA 2K arrives all the same. The year’s release features the usual ensemble of MyCareer (with The City and The Cruise returning for current and previous gen platforms), MyTeam, MyGM and MyLeague modes featuring both NBA and WNBA teams. However, significant revamps have been made to the gameplay, from new Pro Stick combos and Adrenaline Boosts to new Shot Meters and Shooting Attributes.
Even the Badge System and Player Builder have been improved, providing more freedom in customization. If that weren’t enough, The Jordan Challenges from NBA 2K11 return with the original 10 rebuilt and five new challenges added. NBA 2K23 is out on September 9th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Hopefully, it amounts to more than another yearly microtransaction fest.
Splatoon 3 will feel very familiar to fans of the previous two games, which is a good thing, but there are plenty of new features. Splatsville is the new hub with shops like Naut Coutour and Crush Station to purchase different gear, Ammo Knights for weapons, and a new digital CCG called Table Turf Battles. There are 12 stages for multiplayer in total, some new and several returning, along with new weapons like Stingers and Splatanas.
Even the core gameplay has received some new moves like the Squid Roll and Squid Surge maneuvers. Of course, those keen on PvE can experience a brand new campaign, “Return of the Mammalians,” and co-op with Salmon Run Next Wave. Splatoon 3 is out on September 9th for Nintendo Switch, with additional weapons, stages, gear catalogues, and more coming free after launch.
Reply Game Studios’ Soulstice may seem like your average hack and slash action game with launchers, Stingers, combos and so on. But there’s a lot more to this tale of two sisters, Briar and Lute, as they venture to the city of Ilden and battle forces from beyond the Veil. The dark fantasy art direction and story-telling, combined with the solid combat variety and intriguing story, should make for an interesting experience.
Soulstice is out on September 20th for Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC, with a free demo available to try on Steam.
Slime Rancher 2
Monomi Park’s Slime Rancher 2 going into early access on September 22nd for PC and Xbox Series X/S. While Beatrix LeBeau returns as the protagonist, players will venture to the new Rainbow Island to gather its slimes. Though it offers improved visuals and new slimes, you’ll still be collecting and raising them to earn Newbucks and expand the farm.
Though the full extent of content for the early access launch has yet to be revealed, the developer promises “a big world to explore, many different slimes to collect and combine, and an introduction to the game story and the mystery behind Rainbow Island.”
Unlike its contemporaries, FIFA 23 signals the end of an era as Electronic Arts’ agreement with FIFA comes to an end. As such, it offers much of what fans expect – over 19,000 players, more than 100 licensed stadiums, 30 licensed leagues, over 700 clubs and so on. In addition to HyperMotion2, which uses machine learning for more than 6,000 animations, and Technical Dribbling for more responsive turning and dribbling, this year features the FA Women’s Super League and French Division 1 Féminine (with more coming post-launch).
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be playable alongside the 2022 FIFA World Cup. And of course, it wouldn’t be FIFA without the return of Ultimate Team, for better or worse. Unfortunately, many of the new gameplay features are exclusive to PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC and Google Stadia. Furthermore, the Nintendo Switch is getting the same Legacy Edition as the past few years with very few gameplay changes. With FIFA 23 releasing on September 27th, it remains to be seen if it ends the series on a high note.
As the follow-up to Draw Distance’s 2017 breakout hit, Serial Cleaners leans more into the “fantasy” of portraying a cleaner for the mob. This time, there are four cleaners to choose from, each with their unique skills. However, you’re still working through different environments to dispose of dead bodies, clean up the evidence and avoid any police that happens by.
With a fast degree of stealth, open-ended maps with dynamic scenarios, and a non-linear story with different choices to make, Serial Cleaners promises a gritty experience inspired by Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. It’s out on September 22nd for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch.
Return to Monkey Island
It’s been almost 31 years since the mysterious ending of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. Director Ron Gilbert thus returns to provide the thrilling conclusion to the saga with Return to Monkey Island, releasing on September 19th for Nintendo Switch and PC. It sees Guybrush Threepwood (reprised by Dominic Armato) getting his mojo back, encountering new and familiar faces, and ultimately, maybe, finally discovering the Secret of Monkey Island.
New locations like Brr Muda and Terror Island await along with reactive dialogue trees, an integrated hint system and even a new Casual Mode for the less hardcore players to enjoy the story.
Session: Skate Sim
Session: Skate Sim has been in early access since September 2019 for PC and Xbox One. Along with dual stick controls, it offers realistic physics, four difficulty levels and various locations to skate in like New York City, Philadelphia and the recently revealed San Francisco. In addition to challenges, which net cash for spending on t-shirts, caps, shoes, and more, players can customize their skateboard with over 250 parts.
There’s also a full-fledged video editor for creating clips, complete with different viewpoints, filters, and so on. Can Session fill the void before the new Skate launches? We’ll find out when version 1.0 arrives on September 22nd on PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, and PS5.