2023's been such a ridiculous year for PC gaming that the major releases don't fit on a 1TB SSD

 An SSD overlaid over the Top 100 best selling games on Steam.
An SSD overlaid over the Top 100 best selling games on Steam.

There was a time when I thought a 1TB SSD would see me right for storage for years. Oh, how naïve I was. Our desire for high resolution games that have mega-detailed textures, and mind-bogglingly intricate models out of the wazoo, ensures we're always looking for another spare byte on our PC to store them in. Combine these growing storage needs with a stellar year of releases so far in 2023, with not one but four major RPGs, and suddenly a 1TB SSD looks positively paltry.

You needn't have every major blockbuster game installed on your machine all at once but, I'll be honest, I do. These games take hundreds of hours to complete, and I'm nowhere near done with one as I install the next. I wish I could say it will get easier, but it won't. There are multiple game releases headed my way during the remainder of the year I'd be a fool to miss.

I've tallied up the top releases in just the previous 10 months to see how much space they'd gobble up and, yeah, it's no surprise why I'm running low on storage space.

You could hand over 125GB to Starfield just to stare at the stars. Or 150GB to talk dirty to your companions in Baldur's Gate 3. And that's without any mods for either of those games, which can demand a small storage fortune if left unchecked. If you've been tempted by a return to Night City in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, you can cross off another 77GB. Though, to my surprise, it's Jedi: Survivor that gobbles up the most storage space at 155GB.

Then there are the games coming later this year, which I dare say may ask even more of your storage. Forza Motorsport has come right out and admitted it'll eat up 130GB, though I expected nothing less for its gorgeous vehicle models.

What we don't yet know is how much Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will gobble up. Going off past releases, I'd bet on it being a lot.

Total storage space required: 1.42TB

Upcoming games:

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - TBC - Steam

  • Counter Strike 2 - ~50GB - Valve

  • Forza Motorsport - 130GB (SSD required) - Steam

  • Assassin's Creed Mirage - 40GB (SSD recommended) - Ubisoft

  • Total War: Pharaoh - 50GB - Steam

  • Lords of the Fallen - 45GB (SSD recommended) - Steam

  • Cities Skylines 2 - TBC - Steam

  • Persona 5 Tactica - 20GB - Steam

  • Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora - TBC - Ubisoft

If you add to that total those games that linger around year after year—in my case, Hunt: Showdown, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Forza Horizon 5—it seems the only option for a proper hoarder is to put more storage in your PC.

Hold on. Before you go out and buy a 4TB HDD and call it a day for at least another year (or two). There's a growing trend that any PC gamer should be wary of, and that's the increasing number of games that recommend, or even require, solid state storage in order to run on your PC.

Peak Storage

SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background
SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background

Best SSD for gaming: The best speedy storage today.
Best NVMe SSD: Compact M.2 drives.
Best external hard drives: Huge capacities for less.
Best external SSDs: Plug-in storage upgrades.

SSDs have been the better option for a boot drive for a long time now. What makes them an easier recommendation than ever today is that SSDs are actually rather cheap—at least compared to how much of a premium we once had to pay for speedy storage options. Though when you'd once get away with a speedy solid-state boot drive paired with a large spinning platter drive, or hard drive, for the remainder of your game library, that's becoming less of a viable option.

While still the minority of games in 2023, we're closing in on half of today's major releases recommending installing the game on an SSD. Otherwise you may risk performance and pop-in issues. Of those eight games that urge you to use an SSD, three actually require one. That even includes Cyberpunk 2077, which since its latest update now demands speedier storage in order to run.