As we approach Christmas and the beginning of 2024, it’s time to look back at The Best Games of 2023 and pick our favorites. Things have ramped up as of late, with studios from all over the world putting outthat we’ll be playing time and again. Moreover, some games that maybe had a rough launch were able to win back players’ trust with and major reworks.
On the negative side of things, however, 2023 has been a year plagued by major layoffs across all industries related to video games. Both major media/tech websites and game studios have bled employees up until the end of the year, and we shouldn’t forget about all the hard work that goes into making great games and reporting on them. Those people deserved better.
The following list has been spiced up to go above and beyond PC games, as it simply felt wrong to move forward with a list that ignored some of the biggest. There’s been remarkable stuff dropping all year long, and we highly suggest looking carefully at 2023’s finest games, regardless of your platform(s) of choice. Past the first pick (our Game of the Year), the games have been listed in no specific order. Plus, we’ve got five Honorable Mentions at the end too.
The Best Games of 2023
- Baldur’s Gate 3 (GOTY)
- Diablo 4
- Street Fighter 6
- Resident Evil 4 Remake
- Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
- Alan Wake 2
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
- Super Mario Bros. Wonder
- Sea of Stars
Baldur’s Gate 3 (GOTY)
AfterCRPG games with sizable budgets, Larian Studios became a studio to watch out for this year with the full release of after a long but fruitful early access period. It won the GOTY statuette at and has been praised by countless game critics and gamers since it launched. Honestly? We have to agree. It’s just gaming at its finest.
Unless you’re allergic to turn-based combat and/or fantasy settings, Baldur’s Gate 3 has it all, from engrossing storylines to expansive worldbuilding to deep and flexible game systems that marry the best of traditional CRPGs with Dungeons & Dragon’s tabletop DNA. Expectations surrounding this one were extremely high, and Larian managed to somehow crush them and set a new bar for this type of role-playing game moving forward. The best part? It’s also available on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Theteam at Blizzard, as expected with any modern live service game’s first steps, has to work out some kinks before the fourquel truly becomes a major staple of the action-RPG genre, but even at launch, we thought it was a over its predecessor. Moreover, its dark gothic fantasy world is beautifully presented.
At the end of the day, Diablo 4 is a game we’d recommend to those looking for a blood-soaked romp through blighted environments and scary dungeons, but it turns out many players are looking for that while they wait forto become a reality. Despite some major flaws (which are already being examined), we believe Blizzard’s latest is the company’s best work in more than a decade.
Street Fighter 6
Capcom has been killing it as of late with stunning AAA releases across a variety of genres, and that includes making some of their longest-running video game series rise back to the top.is a perfect example of the care the company has been putting into its major releases for a few years now. This is an excellent fighting game that nails both the most competitive side of the genre and the newbie-friendly elements.
On top of the online and offline modes we’ve come to expect from modern fighting games, Street Fighter 6 packs an impressive single-player campaign of sorts that combines a wacky open-world and deep player customisation with activities and combats which are often surprising. Furthermore, the alternative control systems perfectly implemented in this entry make sure that no one is left behind.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Likewise, Resident Evil received another awesome entry this year in the shape of a faithful yet refreshing. Of course, the over-the-shoulder gameplay style was already a thing in the original, but Capcom made sure to make it feel new and exciting in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways.
The Resident Evil 4 remake reminded us once again that the series isn’t dying anytime soon and still has plenty to teach developers who have recently entered the horror space. We can’t wait to see which game is getting remade next, though Resident Evil 9 might arrive before that.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Much likeback in the day, the massive (and only) DLC expansion for turned out excellent and way better than many full-price releases. Phantom Liberty feels like everything that was already great about the vanilla game cranked up to eleven, and all the improvements and upgrades accumulated since the troubled 2020 launch has fleshed out the overall experience to finally deliver all that was promised originally.
Back to Phantom Liberty: It’s more of a spy thriller set in the world of the base game, and the perfect companion piece to the main story, to the point of unlocking a brand-new ending. While many DLCs feel tacked-on or expendable, CD Projekt Red ensured their one-and-only Cyberpunk expansion was a highlight no one should skip.
Alan Wake 2
is the game that pushed the medium forward the most this year, and that’s not up for debate. Remedy’s latest dares to twist the survival horror genre and subvert the players’ expectations very often. It’s a dark rollercoaster ride that grabs you and doesn’t let go, and it might be the best-looking video game currently on the market.
In many ways, Alan Wake 2 feels like a culmination of everything Remedy has ever tried to do, and those who’ve been following Sam Lake and the company’s creative output over the years will find even more things to love hidden between bushes and under the dark waters of Cauldron Lake.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
We promised you a few console-exclusive surprises in this year’s list, andsimply had to be present. It wasn’t illogical to maybe expect a beefed-up expansion pack of 2017’s excellent Breath of the Wild, as Link’s newest odyssey was initially marketed as a rather continuist one, but TotK delivered way more than that.
Tears of the Kingdom is full of mind-bending mechanics that simply shouldn’t work on a technical level inside such a reactive sandbox (and running on the Switch hardware, no less), and the narrative is much more concise and meatier. Combine all that with everything that worked and shone in its predecessor, and you’ve got another modern masterpiece of action-adventure games.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Over at the PlayStation camp, Insomniac Games’is nothing short of excellent. It’s easily the best Marvel video game of all time, and you wouldn’t get shouted at too much if you said it’s even better than the trilogy.
Much like its two predecessors (don’t forget about thespinoff), Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is the ultimate web-slinging power fantasy, but also a great exploration of what it means to be Spider-Man with and without the mask. Somehow, the even larger cast of characters doesn’t the make the whole thing sink, instead elevating it to new heights, and the presentation is the most stunning of a PS5 exclusive so far. Is a PC release coming at a later date? We’d like to think so.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder
It’s not just Link and Zelda who have blown our minds this year on Nintendo Switch. Mario and his friends’ latest adventure is easily the best 2D Mario title in a very very long time, and it all comes down to the all-new, vibrant art style and the playfulness of the overall game design.
Each level is delightful and jam-packed with neat ideas, and the implementation of an online multiplayer mode is the most original we’ve seen in a bit. It’s also a game which respects your time and doesn’t overstay its welcome despite having plenty of secrets to discover and challenges to beat. Easy to get into and hard to master, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is an all-timer of the platformer genre.
Sea of Stars
If Baldur’s Gate 3 made the CRPG relevant once again in the mainstream, then Sea of Stars did the same for old-fashioned RPGs like, Super Mario RPG, and Golden Sun. Even if you weren’t a fan of (or never played) the turn-based RPGs of old, this indie darling deserves your attention.
Its charm extends beyond the colorful art style, too. Its story is easy to follow but quite heartfelt, and things don’t get nearly as convoluted as in some of its biggest influences. This, combined with the traditional but surprising combat system and fluid mechanics, makes it a perfect first JPRG-like title for those who are curious. And you can play it on any modern platform!
- – The RPG mix of deep-sea exploration, fishing, and restaurant management you didn’t know you needed.
- – The survival horror classic returned with a great remake that also went deeper and introduced new, surprising bits of content.
- – This surprise drop is a rhythm-based action-adventure game full of charm and simply one of the most original AA games of 2023.
- – The latest Amnesia title is well worth your time despite the bold changes to the well-known horror formula.
- – The most overlooked “couch game” of the year. Simply joyful and full of laughter for the whole family.
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