If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

What to Play This October

Our recurring series curating the month ahead.

Lords of the Fallen promotional image showing a bedraggled main character looking out over a burnt orange and brown landscape witha giant five-fingered hand in the far distance jutting out from the horizon
Image credit: CI Games.

Hello! October is here, which means it's spooky/cosy season at last (delete as appropriate). It also means it's time for our new(ish) recurring series, What to Play This Month, to return again with a roundup of the best games from the month gone by, and the things we're most excited to play from the month ahead - plus, any other suggestions for what might complement it.

As a reminder, the goal for us with this series is simple enough: there are more games releasing than ever, so we're aiming to narrow things down and help you cut through the noise. Here's What To Play This October.

The best games from last month

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Availability: Out now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch.

Racing through the city in Bomb Rush Cyberpunk, with a blue jet behind us as we're boosting.
Image credit: Team Reptile

Here's what we said in our 4-star Bomb Rush Cyberfunk review:

It has the thrill of the earlier Jet Set games, but now I've finished the whole thing I can see it's more than that - and only because, paradoxically, this game is always careful to be less than its influences too. It has to be less - that's the point, the glory of it. Selflessly, it points the way back towards a gaming experience that was unprecedented. It's a picture frame, the perfect bit of hanging and staging in a gallery. Its rich, energetic imagination is mainly spent on recreation and refinement.

To put it another way, it's an act of love, and when that comes to art, the thing that is actually loved in the first place has to retain all the glory.

Goodbye Volcano High

Availability: Out now on PC, PS4, PS5.

Goodbye Volcano High screenshot showing three teen dinosaurs meeting for band practice at school
Image credit: KO_OP/Eurogamer.

Here's what we said in our 5-star Goodbye Volcano High review:

Part visual novel, part rhythm game, part interactive animated movie, Goodbye Volcano High taps into the sacred relationship between music and coming-of-age in ways that would be impossible in any other media format.

Mediterranea Inferno

Availability: Out now on PC.

A bleached, dream-like illustration from Mediterranea Inferno showing a blond young man, Andrea, standing facing the camera at the entrance to a beautiful beach; he wears a sailor's collar and a chastity belt in the shape on a heart. A games arcade is visible to his left, a manned information kiosk lies to his right, and the sky, ocean, and a scattering of red and white parasols are visible behind him.
Image credit: Lorenzo Redaelli/Eyeguys/Santa Ragione/Eurogamer

Here's what we said in our 5-star Mediterranea Inferno review:

Lorenzo Redaelli follows up 2020's uncompromising The Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star with a pulverising, shape-shifting visual novel of friendship, post-COVID trauma, and horror in the blistering Italian sun that's as artistically dazzling as it is emotionally raw.

Chants of Sennaar

Availability: Out now on PC, PS4, Ps5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch.

Chants of Sennaar tower vista showing walkways and columns at night
Image credit: Focus Entertainment/Rundisc

Here's what we said in our 4-star Chants of Sennaar review:

This is a game with a lot to say, and interesting ways to say it all... And it all builds, as a game about a tower should, and the sheer thrill of getting your head around all these individual scripts, reaching again and again the tipping point between being mostly confused and mostly in control, leads to one of the more euphoric endings in recent games. What a fascinating, thoughtful game this is. How challenging. How illuminating. Like any good language, it's a tool, and also a means of reflecting on the things that happen in the wordless mazes of the mind.

Neurocracy 2.049

Availability: Out now on PC (free browser, optional paid app on itch.io).

Screenshot of Neurocracy 2.049, showing an obvious edit war happening about mushroom sentience
Image credit: Playthroughline/Eurogamer.

Here's what we said in our 4-star Neurocracy 2.049 review:

I missed Neurocracy's first run in 2021, and I'm glad I didn't miss its second run this time round. I'm left with burning questions, however, as I have to imagine its world keeps turning. If there were ever a sequel, I'd pick up the notepad again in an instant - but I'd also turn up for a third run of the same mystery again. Knowing exactly what can hinge on a single word, a future game - and a future me - could only add another layer of context, and point me towards entirely new details. Neurocracy isn't the perfect game, but in its exploration of truth in technology, it is the perfect version of what it's meant to be.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Availability: Out now on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

Here's an overview of new ways to play in Cyberpunk 2077's Phantom Liberty expansion.Watch on YouTube

Here's what we said in our Phantom Liberty impressions:

I have restarted Cyberpunk multiple times hoping that it might one day become the game I was hoping for. As a whole it's a lavish imagining of Mike Pondsmith's pen and paper RPG that depicts a cruel world full of exciting characters. Though Night City is a place of ruthless, deadly competition, the game is somehow less cynical about human nature than GTA, Saints Row, Yakuza and most other big city games. Night City's kingpins, ripperdocs and shady dealers are ambitious, flawed, funny, but never a joke. The main reason to play the game is to become tangled up in their lives... The expansion is an instant recommendation if you enjoy the universe, and a strong invitation to replay Cyberpunk 2077 from scratch. It has taken years of major patches to finally get here, but in its final form, CD Projekt RED's Night City is really quite special.


Availability: Out now on PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X/S.

Key artwork from the game Cocoon, showing a small insect-like character, with wings, looking into a large transparent dome that has a world within. And a dome with another world within. Which has a dome with another world in.
Cocoon | Image credit: Geometric Interactive / Annapurna Interactive

Here's what we said in our 5-star Cocoon review:

A little story here: while I was playing Cocoon one afternoon, a fly, that had been buzzing around the house for a few restless hours, settled on the screen and - I promise you - started to watch. That's what it felt like anyway, and what it really felt like was that the fly had about as much insight into how something like this comes to be as I did. No matter. We were both happy to bask in the wordless astonishment of it all. (Okay, maybe the fly was just resting.)

El Paso, Elsewhere

Availability: Out now on PC, Xbox One and Xbox X/S.

The hero is slumped by a motel window with slatted blinds casting shadows in El Paso, Elsewhere
El Paso, Elsewhere. | Image credit: Strange Scaffold

Here's what we said in our 4-star El Paso, Elsewhere review:

El Paso's wonderfully direct, but it's also just a lot. It's stylish and clever and striking in a way that few games are, and it feels both very old and utterly of the moment. At times it's so hectic that it's best to just switch to invincible and blast your way through, enjoying the wonderfully horrible scenery with its bulky props and vintage music video mists. At others, there's a thrill to juggling ammo, bullet-time, stake count and the advancing horde, and this thrill is so sharp it's worth the restarts. And yes, at times, the whole thing flung so much at the screen that my PC actually couldn't take it.

En Garde!

Availability: Out now on PC.

An explosion sends sword fighters reeling in En Garde!
En Garde! | Image credit: Fireplace Games

Here's what we said in our 4-star En Garde! review:

Painted in Bougainvillea pinks and honeyed golds, with horizons dithering into impressionist brush strokes, this is one of the prettiest and most colourful action games I've encountered in an age, and its cheery spirit never seems to dip. The odd boss fight aside I've loved my time dashing through this world, seeing its sights and finishing off its foes with elegance and poise - or at least enjoying the pratfalls when it all goes wrong. Well played, En Garde! Well played.


Availability: Out now on PC and Switch.

The Snake-like game Qrth-Phyl, which is of course based on the game Blockade. We see a blueish 3D room filled by a gigantic, luminous yellow 'snake', which is wrapping around itself as it tries not to bump into itself.
Qrth-Phyl | Image credit: Matt Verran / Hermitgames

We didn't review this, but Hermitgames' brilliant exploration of the history of Blockade, also known as Snake, is still a fantastic example of how to keep the memory of old games alive, and it feels as cutting-edge on Switch as it did back on XBLIG over a decade ago.

The games we're looking forward to in October

The Lamplighter's League

Availability: Out 3rd October on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

A Lamplighter's League promotional screen showing several people stood around a large table in a late 19th century room with lovely rays of moonlight through a window on one side.
Image credit: Paradox Interactive.

Another lovely-looking period stealth-tactics game, in case Shadow Gambit wasn't enough for you - this is from Harebrained Schemes, the studio behind the Shadowrun and Battletech games. Looks rad.

Assassin's Creed Mirage

Availability: Out 5th October on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Video team here with 11 things you need to know about Assassin's Creed Mirage.

One of the biggest games of the month, and our first AC game in a little while - albeit a more focused one than the likes of Odyssey and Valhalla - Mirage takes us back to where the series began.

Detective Pikachu Returns

Availability: Out 6th October on Nintendo Switch.

Detective Pikachu Returns screenshot showing Pikachu in a Sherlock Holmes hat holding a mug of coffee by a window.
Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company

He's back! Everyone's favourite strangely gruff electric rat returns to solve more crimes with his slightly gormless companions. The original was actually kind of great, so we're keen to see how this one shakes out.

Forza Motorsport

Availability: Out 10th October on PC and Xbox Series X/S.

Forza Motorsport promotional screenshot showing a clogged up race of dozens of multicoloured cars up against the edge of the track
Image credit: Xbox

Xbox's other big tentpole after Starfield, Forza Motorsport is looking as gorgeous as ever, adding "Car-PG" progression elements to its more simmy race feel.

Total War: Pharaoh

Availability: Out 11th October on PC.

Total War Pharaoh preview - screenshot showing distant enemy units approaching mine in the foreground on a sand dune, with UI tooltip showing the fall back stance option

Total War returns with even total more - we've played a fair chunk and quite enjoyed it, but is there enough here to separate it from the pack of other Total War games, of which there are really quite a few now? Potentially: yes?.

Lords of the Fallen (2023)

Availability: Out 13th October on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

Lords of the Fallen promo artwork showing the player taking a swing at Pieta, a female knight with red angel wings and a magic sword
Image credit: CI Games

Lords of the Fallen's 2023 reboot is hugely ambitious - a massive world, and another world layered over it called the Umbral realm, which you can dive into for more environmental puzzles, a second life, and additional challenge. On the surface it is very Dark Souls-y, so the challenge will be differentiating itself - and making sure that ambitious tech lands come launch.

Sonic Superstars

Availability: Out 17th October on PC.

Emerald power reveals hidden platform in Sonic Superstars
Image credit: Sega

We're still looking forward to it, because it's Sonic and he is just very hard not to love, but there are some question marks over whether this one's going to come together okay, especially with a co-op format that just doesn't seem to work at speed. Here's what Sonic expert Ed thought of Superstars when he played it at Gamescom.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Availability: Out 20th October on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

Miles and Peter in Spider-Man 2
Image credit: Insomniac

2-Spiders 2-Men returns will a full-sized sequel after the PS4 hit, for one of PlayStation's biggest exclusive games of 2023. The first - and the Miles Morales spin-off - was a breezy delight with just the right amount of old-school PS2 charms. Personally hoping this one keeps those intact!

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Availability: Out 20th October on Nintendo Switch.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder's talking flowers in action.
Image credit: Nintendo

New Mario game! Toot! Wonder marks the first main Mario game without Charles Martinet since he started voicing Mario many moons ago - sad to see that genuinely legendary voice change guards, but we remain very excited for this one, a game that looks like pure joy.

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1

Availability: Out 24th October on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch.

Metal Gear Solid Master Collection trailer.

It's a Metal Gear Solid collection, so we're excited, but also it's running reportedly at 720p and 30fps, which is less exciting. Here's what Ian made of it with his brief hands-on with the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1.

Alan Wake 2

Availability: Out 27th October on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

Alan Wake 2 screenshot showing Alan Wake sitting behind his desk facing the camera, writing on his typewriter with just a faint desk lamp on
Image credit: Epic Games

Another biggun for a bumper October, and what a game this'd make for a Halloween playthrough. Having seen one of its behind-closed-doors presentations in person back at Summer Games Fest I can tell you it's utterly gorgeous, and as richly atmospheric as you'd expect from Remedy, a studio that's seriously hit its stride. The many book nerds here are pumped.


Availability: Out 31st October on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

A distant peak in Jusant.

Christian Donlan played this a couple months ago and described it as having the best jump in video games, which is some praise - and enough for me to be sufficiently excited about it. It does look marvellous, and likely the highlight of the month from smaller studios.

What else do we recommend in September?

Diablo 4 Season 2

"Recommend" is a strong word, especially after Alexis Ong's stunning disassembly of the Diablo content machine in her piece on Season 1. Still, there is a place for Diablo 4, at least for some, and a new season will make for meaty busywork with season-appropriate grimness bundled in.

Honkai Star Rail hits PS5

One of history's most wonderfully-named video games lands on PS5 this month on the 11th. It's a treat, from the people behind Genshin Impact (and the many, many other games in that series). Take a look at our Honkai Star Rail review for more detail on why it's such a blast.

Amnesia: The Bunker

Yeah alright I just quickly had a think for good horror games that came out this year and this was one of the first to mind, but, it is really good, and horror often gets kind of bundled into a pile and thought of as a separate thing sometimes. Amnesia: The Bunker is brilliant, thanks to some lovely design twists, and is absolutely worth a try for something different on Halloween 2023.

Other stuff coming out in October 2023

A truly bumper month, there's plenty more coming out that may well turn out to be brilliant, including:

  • Company of Heroes collection on Switch
  • Batman Arkham trilogy on Switch
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Endless Dungeon
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged
  • Gangs of Sherwood
  • Cities: Skylines 2
  • Alone in the Dark
  • Arc: Survival Ascended (release date TBC)
  • XDefiant (release date TBC)