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Up Next: The 13 best Xbox and Game Pass releases for June 2023

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The story of 2023 has reversed a little. We started the year with surprise releases like Hi-Fi Rush and Goldeneye 007, before the survival horror brigade landed, with Dead Space, The Callisto Protocol and Resident Evil 4. Ah, they were good times. Now, however, the story has changed. It’s all about the high profile flops, as we’re meant to forget all of the good of the year, and instead focus instead on Redfall and Lord of the Rings: Gollum. 

So let’s run with it. Which of the games in June 2023 are the next to flop? Will it be Diablo IV? That would certainly make the headlines, but we doubt it. Perhaps Crash Team Rumble is a fumble? Place your bets now, on ‘Which Game’s Going to Shit the Bed?’.

Whatever you think of them, here are 13 of the best Xbox and Game Pass releases due to launch in June 2023 – we think you should be playing them on your Xbox. 

Street Fighter 6

Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter 6 keyart

June barely gets started before we get pummelled by M Bison and squeezed by Cammie’s thighs. It feels like an age since a mainline Street Fighter graced the Xbox, and we can already feel the dragon punch muscle memory kicking in. 

I’ll admit to being a bit of a fairweather Street Fighter fan, but two inclusions have pushed this over the pre-order line for me personally. The first is a single-player adventure mode that lets me construct my own fighter, wander around a city, and start fights with anyone I fancy. Frankly, this is where I was hoping gaming would go when I was a kid: punching randos next to the local One-Stop. 

The other inclusion is a simplified ‘modern’ combat system that lets losers like me perform the moves I’ve always struggled with. Finally, I might pull off a Spinning Piledriver.

We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie

we love katamari
We love Katamari

Howdy chickadees, it’s another Katamari re-release!

This time round it’s a modern day re-sprucing of a Katamari game that actually made it onto an Xbox console back in the day: We Love Katamari (or We Love Katamari Damacy, if you’d like the Japanese title). It comes rolled up into a ball with Royal Reverie, a set of five all-new challenges, as well as the all-important selfie mode. 

This was the first Katamari game I played, so I can heartily recommend it as a jumping on point. With promises to improve the UI, sharpen up the graphics, and improve some of the slightly awkward rolly-ball physics, it could make you feel like the King of the Cosmos. 

Amnesia: The Bunker

amnesia the bunker keyart
amnesia the bunker keyart

Ah, hell no. Props to you if you manage to pluck up the courage and play Amnesia: The Bunker. I’m staying well away. 

Amnesia: The Bunker represents the horror series’ first real period shift. It takes the action back to World War I, as you play Henri Clément, a French soldier who wakes up in a bunker with no one else around. Well, we say no one else around, but there are still mindless beasties wandering about with a taste for French cuisine.

Luckily, you’re a resourceful chap, so you use the tools and weapons at your disposal to either creep out of harm’s way, or throw yourself into it. Us? We’re going to stealth past Amnesia: The Bunker and play the next game instead. 

Diablo IV

diablo 4
Diablo IV is on Xbox

Do you all not have Xboxes?

A proper Diablo is finally, finally arriving onto console, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We’re prepping our necromancer build and heading into Sanctuary to rack up some demon kills. By the sounds of it, most of the gaming community will be joining us. 

Blizzard can’t mess Diablo IV up, can they? They’re certainly not at their peak, having unleashed the news that Overwatch 2 is soon to become Overwatch 1. But the betas and early press builds have been nothing short of stellar. Some intrusive MTX stuff aside, Diablo IV is looking like an early GOTY contender. It’s time to start booking some tactical days off.

Layers of Fear

layers of fear keyart
layers of fear keyart

Now that’s a lot of layers. Layers of Fear serves up not only Layers of Fear and Layers of Fear 2, but all DLC and a new chapter, The Writer. That’s a whole heap of jump-scares. 

Layers of Fear doesn’t only bring together the two games that got Bloober Team on their way. It slathers on some ray tracing, HDR and 4K resolution, as well as housing it all in Unreal 5. The intention is that the three stories will flow seamlessly into one another, as the arc of three crafters – the painter, the actor and the writer – come together to form a kind of opus, one that Bloober Team intended all along.

F1 23

EA SPORTS F1 23 Champions Edition keyart
EA SPORTS F1 23 Champions Edition keyart

If you’re already sick of the Red Bull dominance of Formula One, then you change things to be your way with F1 23. Time to stick Alpha Tauri and Nyck De Vries on the podium.

The sixteenth entry in the Codemasters (and now EA) series, F1 23 raids its past for some inclusions. That includes Braking Point 2, the sequel to the single-player campaign that was introduced in F1 21. It brings Devon Butler and Aiden Jackson back, as well as a new team, Konnersport Butler Racing Team, that has recently joined the grid. 


Also a blast from the past is Red Flags, last seen in F1 2014, so you better keep an eye out for changing racing conditions if you want to move up the championship.

Park Beyond

park beyond keyart
park beyond keyart

Bandai Namco have noted a complete lack of Theme Park games on the Xbox and confidently strode in with Park Beyond. It really is a spiritual successor, with all the over-salted pretzels and contagious vomiting that you could hope for. 

In free form modes or a campaign, you play the role of ‘Visioneer’ – a combination of creator, manager, and designer. That basically means you have the freedom to design the rollercoasters, manage the price of ice cream, and count the pennies that come in. 

We’d be cynical and say that Park Beyond doesn’t really offer much different from its forebears, but when those forebears aren’t around, and Park Beyond looks as good as it does, then we tend to drop the complaints.

Aliens: Dark Descent

aliens dark descent keyart
aliens dark descent keyart

We’ve seen the Alien universe through a multitude of visors, from first-person shooters to turn-based tactical games, all the way to survival horrors. Now you can add isometric action games to the list, as Aliens: Dark Descent does much of what Halo: Spartan Assault did for the Halo universe. 

You’ve been hired to command a squad of hardened Colonial Marines to stop a terrifying Xenomorph outbreak on Planet Lethe. Weyland-Yutani Corp are there too, because they can’t keep their greedy mitts off. What ensues is all-out action, as you level up your squad and kill the aliens as they come out of the goddamn walls. 

Crash Team Rumble

crash team rumble
crash team rumble

Crash Team Rumble is kind of, sort of, a MOBA. It’s like Smash Bros. if it was made by Riot Games. Two teams, four players on each, face off against each other in an arena. The objective?: to capture more Wumpa Fruit than the other team to claim victory. That Wumpa fruit can be taken from the arena itself, or it can be half-inched from the opposing team’s base. 

Each character has their own unique skills and abilities, falling roughly into classes of ‘Blocker’, ‘Booster’, and ‘Scorer’. It looks like it will need far more team coordination and ‘sticking to the plan’ than we’re capable of. Cue losing at Crash Team Rumble. 

It may not be the Crash Bandicoot that we hoped for, but Crash Team Racing was a blast, so maybe there’s gold in these MOBA hills.

Harmony: The Fall of Reverie

harmony the fall of reverie keyart
harmony the fall of reverie keyart

Life is Strange makers DON’T NOD haven’t truly found their footing since leaving the series. Vampyr, Twin Mirror and Tell Me Why haven’t set the world alight (although Vampyr did have its charms), leaving us wondering if DON’T NOD have another defining narrative adventure in them. 

In comes Harmony: The Fall of Reverie. Stripped back to a dreamy 2D presentation, it looks like a meeting point between OPUS: Echo of Starsong and Heaven’s Vault, two of our favourite games of the generation. It’s pitching itself well, then, and we’re eager to see if DON’T NOD have regained their mojo. 

The story? We can barely make sense of it on the page – it’s something about a clairvoyant who can travel into an alternate dimension where she’s a goddess – but we’ve got faith that the Life is Strange makers can make it sing.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

ghost trick phantom detective
ghost trick phantom detective

Possibly the longest we’ve had to wait for a game port, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective finally arrives on the Xbox after releasing on the Nintendo DS in 2010. 

Created by Shu Takumi, the brain behind Ace Attorney, it’s a Capcom cult classic. It cast the player as Sissel, a ghost determined to save the lives of the living. He’s able to move between the Land of the Living, where he can possess corpses and pull off the titular ‘ghost trick’ to travel into their past, and the Land of the Dead, where time completely stops. By moving between these two states, Sissel can prevent tragedy and solve the mysteries of people’s deaths.

Originally designed for the DS touchscreen, it’s going to be fascinating to see how Ghost Trick Phantom Detective translates to the sticks.

Super Mega Baseball 4

super mega baseball
super mega baseball 4

The overly superlative baseball game arrives in its fourth iteration this month with Super Mega Baseball 4. Clearly pitched at baseball fans who like things arcadey and bobbleheady, it’s also been arguably the best video game version of the sport for the past few years now. 

This time around, we get 200 new legends joining the roster, including Vladimir Guerrero, Johnny Damon, Ozzie Smith, and Jason Giambi (we hope they mean more to you than they do us). You can also delight in the news that there is an expanded trait system with Team Chemistry, Shuffle Draft, and six all-new stadiums. 

Hey batter batter, Super Mega Baseball is swinging better.

Dordogne

dordogne
dordogne

Taking the ‘best-looking indie game of the month’ crown is Dordogne. Imagine the watercolour sketchbook of a Studio Ghibli artist, and you’ve got it. This is one of the most refreshingly gorgeous narrative games that we can recall, and we can’t wait to play it. 

Dordogne is a prolonged memory recalled by an adult Mimi, as young Mimi innocently plays around in the company of her grandma. Reminiscing on the decisions that would shape her as she got older, Mimi is a tale of innocence and what causes it to become lost. Expect to get teary eyed, as Dordogne manages to reflect your own childhood back at you.

But there’s more

Back in May, in this very spot, I predicted that Redfall would be the best game of May. If that’s not a reason to ignore everything that tumbles out of my mouth, I don’t know what is. 

What you can trust is that next month, July. is looking a tad sparse. That’s to be expected for the summer months, when people just want to be burning themselves on sun loungers, rather than squirrelling themselves away to play games.

But there’s still the odd game of merit, with The Expanse: A Telltale Series, Exoprimal and Immortals of Aveum all commendably bringing new IP, rather than sequels, to the big black box. We’ll see you in July’s Up Next, when we’ll shine a light on each and every one of them. 

In the meantime, let us know what games you’ll be playing from June 2023 on your Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and through Game Pass. The comments are below.

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