The big video games launching in December 2023 – Release Dates

Here's all the biggest video games launching in December 2023.
avatar frontiers of pandora december 2023 game releases

After months of toiling, it’s officially the holiday season. Whether you’re able to take a break or not, it’s a good period to sit back, rest your feet for a while, and consider just how far you’ve come. It’s also a good time to check out the latest and greatest video games – and to that end, December 2023 certainly has you covered.

Despite October and November being the most staggering months for video games yet, the wheel is still turning – and there’s plenty of intriguing, enticing games to come in December. From Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora to a new horizon for Disney Dreamlight Valley, here’s every major video game set to release in December 2023.

SteamWorld Build

steamworld build december 2023 video games
Image: The Station

Release Date: 1 December 2023
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Enter the world of cosy video games this December with SteamWorld Build, a management building game where you’re tasked with running your very own steam-powered Western town. To keep your lands running well, you’ll need to plan for efficiency, bartering for better goods, mining for rare treasures and resources, and ensuring everyone in town is maximising their productivity.

When you’re not town planning, you’ll need to head underground to gather resources and also fend off “varmints” who threaten your peace. You will also need to contend with disaster, as mines can collapse at any moment, and your townsfolk need constant protection. Plan well, mind your stocks, and you’ll eventually work towards creating a modern economic behemoth with vast wealth, and plenty of happy townsfolk.

Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince

video games releasing in december 2023
Image: Square Enix

Release Date: 1 December 2023
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince, the latest spin-off in the long-running Dragon Quest series from Square Enix, tasks you with wrangling an army of monsters in a quest to become the most powerful warrior in your land. In this Pokemon-like tale, you are Psaro, a hero who is cursed to be unable to harm monsters. To get around this minor issue, Psaro recruits monsters to form an army that fights for him, with the kindly elf Rose helping along this quest.

Beyond simple monster catching and rearing, The Dark Prince will also let you breed monsters so you can play around with making powerful monster combinations, and growing your prowess as a monster trainer. Eventually, Psaro will be able to claim the title of “Master of Monsterkind” – but it’ll be up to you to guide him on this path.

Batman Arkham Trilogy

batman arkham trilogy nintendo switch
Image: Rocksteady Studios

Release Date: 1 December 2023
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

The Batman Arkham Trilogy collection – containing Asylum, City, and Knight – is finally launching for Nintendo Switch in December 2023. These three games represent the pinnacle of superhero storytelling in video games, and they arguably paved the way for the blockbuster success of games like Marvel’s Spider-Man. Each game is standout in its own right, and with all of them set to be available on Nintendo Switch shortly, it’s the perfect time for a revisit.

Whether you’re solving puzzles in Arkham Asylum, meeting a cavalcade of terrifying villains, or you’re attempting to grab every Riddler Trophy in Arkham City – or even if you’re rolling through those Batmobile courses in Arkham Knight – there’s plenty to love about this trilogy. It’s great to see them landing on a new platform so long after their initial release.

Sonic Dream Team

sonic dream team december 2023 game releases
Image: SEGA

Release Date: 5 December 2023
Platform(s): iOS via Apple Arcade

If you haven’t had enough Sonic in your life lately, then Sonic Dream Team is the game for you. This psychedelic runner is all about “non-stop action” and “thrilling adventures” as it pushes the Sonic formula in bold and colourful new ways. The core hook of this spin-off is that Sonic and his pals have entered the world of dreams – which proves to be ample creative ground to explore.

In early screenshots, Sega has shown off an eye-catching wonderland of obstacles to overcome, with each of the game’s fast-paced levels featuring bizarre sights – a giant crab, towering rollercoasters, strange machines – and plenty of strange challenges. While you will need an active Apple Arcade subscription to check out this game, it looks like it’ll be worth the AU $9.99/month price of entry.

Disney Dreamlight Valley + A Rift In Time

disney dreamlight valley rift in time new update expansion
Image: Gameloft

Release Date: 5 December 2023
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Disney Dreamlight Valley is officially exiting early access in December 2023. At the same time, developer Gameloft will also launch A Rift In Time, the first paid DLC expansion for the game. Per early details, A Rift In Time will be ambitious in scope, introducing a range of new characters, an entire multi-part plot centred on Jafar from Aladdin, new tools, and more.

Read: Disney Dreamlight Valley gets Jafar, Jack Skellington, new multiplayer mode, and more

The base game will also be getting new content to celebrate, with Jack Skellington being added as a friend-able villager with his own quests, alongside a new multiplayer mode that allows players to visit each other and take part in activities. If you’ve fallen off the Dreamlight Valley train lately, this will be the perfect excuse to hop back on. Disney Dreamlight Valley will also be released on Apple Arcade the same day.

A Highland Song

Release Date: 5 December 2023
Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch

A Highland Song is all about a girl named Moira McKinnon who decides to run away through the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by beautiful music. This adventure from Inkle (Overboard!) is all about the magic of song, and about traversing a picturesque landscape full of danger and wonder. To get Moira to her destination, you’ll need to uncover the secrets of caves, scale mountains, bound over hills, and even make friends with the local wildlife.

At every step of the way, A Highland Song will give you a chance for meditative reflection, with the story likely to leave a lasting impression. It looks like the sort of game that’ll bring you to tears in all the best ways – so keep your tissues on hand, and prepare for a warm and lovely little journey.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Image: Ubisoft

Release Date: 7 December 2023
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, a video game adaptation that expands James Cameron’s sci-fi-fantasy world of Pandora, is set to launch in December 2023 after a number of delays. This sweeping epic aims to recapture the magic of the film series by placing you in the shoes of a Na’vi warrior working to re-embrace their heritage after a period under human guidance.

Read: Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Preview

In our early preview of the game, we were impressed by its vast scope, its gorgeous, colourful world, and its approach to movement and traversal. Should the final game live up to this taster, there’s hope this adventure will be a beautiful, impactful experience.

The Sims 4: For Rent

the sims 4 for rent expansion
Image: EA / Maxis

Release Date: 7 December 2023
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

If you’re looking to spice up the lives of your Sims this December, the Sims 4: For Rent expansion pack is coming in clutch. This pack allows you to become a landlord or renter on a multi-family lot for the first time, with these lots being hotbeds for gossip, interpersonal relationships, and plenty of drama. While it’s easy to balk at For Rent being a “landlord simulator” the features included in this pack seem very useful, particularly if you’ve ever wanted to mix and match your families, and build a closer-knit Sims community.

Besides landlord abilities and multi-home lots, this pack will also introduce new gossip and spying mechanics, new shared activities, and a new world, as well as the usual features for expansion packs – new clothes, hair, personality types, objects, and more.

The Day Before

the day before fntastic
Image: Fntastic

Release Date: 7 December 2023
Platform(s): PC

The Day Before, the upcoming game from Fnastic which has variously been accused of being a scam and/or a simple walking simulator, is reportedly set to launch in December 2023. While there has been a fair amount of scrutiny around this game, with many alleging the developer will not actually release it, there’s now just a few weeks left before we know for certain what this project is really about.

As far as Fntastic is concerned, The Day Before is an epic open-world MMO set in a post-pandemic America, where zombies and other enemies roam dangerous and deadly streets, fought off only by bands of rogue warriors. We’ll likely see how this vision has been realised in the coming weeks, should The Day Before stick to its planned December 2023 launch date.

Pioneers of Pagonia

pioneers of pagonia video game releases december 2023
Image: Envision Entertainment

Release Date: 13 December 2023
Platform(s): PC

Pioneers of Pagonia is a riff on The Settlers developed by the original creator of The Settlers, Volker Wertich. Like its spiritual predecessor, this game allows you to control a village while building up its resources, including its army – a force which eventually becomes necessary as rival armies wander from their borders, and start to initiate combat skirmishes.

As detailed on the game’s website, Pioneers of Pagonia will explore similar ideas to The Settlers, with a focus on “exploration, discovery, and reuniting the fantastical islands of Pagonia.” You’ll be able to build 40 different buildings, gather 70 types of goods, manage long production chains, and eventually develop a thriving village prepared for anything.

In December, this game will enter early access with a base array of features, with plenty of additional objectives and activities planned to launch across early and mid-2024.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising

granblue fantasy versus rising december 2023 video games
Image: Cygames / Arc System Works

Release Date: 14 December 2023
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is a 2.5D fighting-adventure game with a gorgeous anime style and sleek action. Notably, it will arrive with a dense story campaign, in the vein of modern RPGs – so while you’ll spend the majority of your time in one-to-one battles, you’ll also be able to take on quests, and get to know the game’s roster of characters.

According to developer Cygames, while this is a sequel in the long-running Granblue Fantasy series, newcomers will also be able to jump in with no trouble, as the game’s combat system has been designed with approachability and simplicity in mind. With a very neat art style and a novel combination of gameplay elements, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is one fighting game to watch in November 2023.

Bahnsen Knights

Image: LCB Game Studio

Release Date: 14 December 2023
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Bahnsen Knights from LCB Game Studio is the next title in the retro-inspired Pixel Pulps series, following on from the action of Mothmen 1966 and Varney Lake. This time around, the story is set in 1986, as an agent named Boulder infiltrates a religious cult known as the Bahnsen Knights. With plenty of pixel panache and a really sleek hook, this is one game to watch in December 2023.

Just check out the game’s description, via Steam:

In a world of religious fanaticism, F5 tornadoes and Ford Sierras you are Boulder, an undercover agent. Your assignment sees you infiltrate the Bahnsen Knights, a deadly, supercharged cult with an enigmatic leader. In this murky and dangerous world you must keep your wits about you and stay alive to unravel the mystery behind an old friend’s disappearance.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: The Indigo Disk

pokemon scarlet pokemon violet indigo disk dlc
Image: The Pokemon Company / Game Freak

Release Date: 14 December 2023
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

The second and final chapter of the Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet DLC, The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero: The Indigo Disk, launches in December 2023. It will conclude the overarching story of the dual games, while also continuing the plot laid out in The Teal Mask DLC. No matter which version of the game you have, you’ll largely get the same story (barring a few exclusive Pokemon or two).

Essentially, your teenage Pokemon trainer will be visiting a rival school called Blueberry Academy, where Pokemon battling is a major feature. They’ll face off against a range of highly-trained students in their adventure, while also working towards uncovering a deep mystery, encountering a new mythical Pokemon, and exploring new terrain.

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Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.