What started all the way back in 2009 has now become a staple at all of our house parties. But now, Just Dance 2023 sets its sights on the future as it serves as the last title of the series—technically. Here’s our review of Just Dance 2023.
It’s long been a favourite party game and presents opportunities to capture your friends doing embarrassing moves for blackmail content. It’s also been a fun way to break a sweat in your living room whenever you don’t feel like doing a run or any other form of cardio. Now, the latest entry into the Just Dance franchise brings the title to next-gen consoles—and it’s going to be the last.
Our review: Just Dance 2023 sets itself up as the Netflix of dancing
Just Dance has faithfully released a title every year since 2009 on the good ol’ Wii. But 2023 is the start of something new for the franchise (High School Musical pun definitely intended) as it’s set to be the last of the yearly titles to be released. The clock has stopped in the Danceverse and it will forever be stuck in 2023.
But fret not, Dancefans, because that doesn’t mean new content is coming out. The plan is that updates will simply be downloadable from now on. But this also means that you’re definitely going to have to get your hands on Just Dance 2023 if you want to stay updated.
Just Dance 2023 in and of itself doesn’t stray too far from the tried and true formula of the franchise: pick a song, follow the virtual trainer, and dance your heart out. But there are also some changes. The user interface is now reminiscent of streaming sites, making it feel as if it’s Netflix but for dancing.
Also, much like Netflix, the Switch version of the game actually allows you to stream songs from the main playlist. A new online multiplayer mode is also now available, which allows you to dance with six friends in a private lobby. On top of that, 2023 is the first title released for next-gen consoles exclusively.
For those who buy the game on a Nintendo Switch, Just Dance 2023 gives you the option to actually download songs so you can play them offline, a useful feature whenever you want to just pull out your Switch and dance in the middle of a Starbucks. Seriously though, it’s pretty cool to know you don’t always have to be connected to play, and with the Switch being so compact, it’s the perfect combo.
The game has pre-made playlists ready for you to jump into, whether you want a K-Pop dance sesh or you’re looking for a real workout to get the blood pumping. But it also has a story-based playlist—yes, this Just Dance has a story mode that involves having to save the Danceverse. At least now you know your dancing isn’t just for your embarrassment and the entertainment of your friends; it’s also meant to save an alternate universe. You go, dancing Doctor Strange.
Additional subscriptions and passes have always been annoying to me, and I think that betrays just how long I’ve been gaming. 2023 introduces Just Dance+, which replaces the Just Dance Unlimited subscription in past games. With the subscription, you get access to 150 songs, though they’re set to add onto that in the future as well as exclusive tracks. While I would have been irked if it was a previous Just Dance title, paying for a subscription now would make sense since 2023 is the last yearly release and all other updates will just be downloadable. Think of it like Apex Legends: same game but updated every season.
Just Dance 2023 continues bringing fun and humiliation among family and friends as its predecessors have. But it also brings the franchise into the future not just by being next-gen exclusive, but by also being a game that will be updated regularly instead of being a yearly release. There are lots of dances to do, lots of videos to take, and lots of sweat to sweat in Just Dance 2023, so limber up.
Just Dance 2023 is available on the PS5, Xbox One Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. More details here. This review was written by playing the Switch version.
(All images: Ubisoft)