Something went wrong. Try again later


Thanks for everything duders! <>

436 32 103 56
Forum Posts Wiki Points Following Followers

Best Games of 2023

2023 was perhaps one of the best years in a long time with both major and minor releases dotting the calendar. From quality remakes to sequels to existing franchises the results of post pandemic expanded development finally show through. There were so many quality games released this year that it was impossible to make time to play them all. Baldur's Gate 3, Spider Man 2, Hogwarts Legacy, Jedi Survivor, Street Fighter 6, Hi-Fi Rush and so many more released this year that I didn't get a chance to touch. All good games in their own right highlighting the results of the developer's efforts.

Speaking of development results, Microsoft and Activision would finally merge this year hopefully stabilizing Microsoft's development and release calendar for their games division. Microsoft's own releases continue to have issues with Redfall failing to revive Microsoft's fortunes. Game Pass continues to be the bright spot in their strategy between Bethesda, Activision and Microsoft Game Studios hopefully they can get their development on track to provide some consistent hits. PlayStation delivered some big sequels like Spider Man 2 and a varied slate of exclusives (even if some just temporary). Sony's own strategy also hit a few snags as the live service push has caused issues but their anchor strategy of developing large single player games can also backfire spectacularly. Nintendo perhaps fired on all cylinders to top off the Switch's incredible lineup with Tears of the Kingdom. Time will tell if the Switch successor finally appears in 2024.

Perhaps the biggest damper to the year was the worsening layoff situation at developers across the industry. Embracer's strategy finally imploded causing a ripple effect that will be seen for years to come with game cancellations, multiple layoffs and studio closures. But across the industry both big and small developers were hit with the worst being some studios closing forever. We can only hope that new studios rise up to help fill the void instead of losing the talent forever.

As what happened during the last major industry contraction we'll see how this affects game releases 2-3 years from now. Still 2023 was a great year for video game releases and should be recognized as such.

List items

  • Tears of the Kingdom does everything a sequel should do and then amps it up even more. While Nintendo spent a lot of time showing the sky areas, it hid the existence of a whole underworld section on top of the existing (but revised) map of Breath of the Wild. While I'm not the best at being creative with the new building tools, seeing the physics interact and the inventive solutions to the various game scenarios is a great reward. Topping off an expanded story sequence merging the mysteries of the past and present which culminates in a much more rewarding ending that its predecessor this game instantly shot to the top of my favorite games of the year list and nothing else this year came close.

  • If it was any other company making a remake Resident Evil 4 may have been lower on the list but Capcom has perfected the handling of their Resident Evil remakes by updating existing sequences or changing things just enough for fans of the original. Everything is mostly intact and even the later sequences nicely refreshed. My only disappointment was the removal of several sequences (laser hallway) that were all added back in the Separate Ways dlc. Capcom had a difficult task remaking one of the greatest Resident Evil games in its original form but they managed to nail it.

  • Mario Wonder sets out to return a sense of amazement to the 2D Super Mario Bros. series. When obtaining the titular wonder flowers the stages change entirely in unexpected ways. After the New Super Mario Bros series wore out it's welcome I'm glad Nintendo found a way to mix up the series once more.

  • Starfield is a strange one. I definitely enjoyed it more than Fallout 4 yet at the same time there were things holding back the game from being higher on the list. Some bizarre decisions regarding navigation between planets and a story that ultimately contradicts some of the game's core systems. A good attempt at something different for Bethesda hopefully the future updates can help Starfield realize its full potential.

  • The core loop of Diablo IV is still the same as ever but still satisfying when you click and the monsters die dropping nice loot for your characters.

  • Final Fantasy XVI is a big departure from the existing mainline Final Fantasy series. Ramping up action at the expense of the party and a story that contains a great plot thread involving political scheming between various family members but at the same time can't help but include the usual save the world plot that takes over the second half of the game. The first half to three quarters of the game is excellent but once some major events start concluding various storylines the game loses a lot of steam.

  • EA Motive had a difficult task ahead in remaking Dead Space but when compared to the Callisto Protocol (which I played around the same time) it really helped show that EA Motive had a better understanding on why Dead Space was so well regarded. The upgrades to lighting really amped up the creepy atmosphere while updates to the dismemberment system helped to keep the game challenging. I can only hope EA greenlit a Dead Space 2 remake to help continue what EA Motive started with this one.

  • Modern Warfare 3 probably wouldn't have made the list if it wasn't for the inclusion of all the original Modern Warfare 2 maps from the 2009 release. There's some great fun in running around the original maps where some of the original strategies still work. Alas, the rushed nature of the game's development really hurt the campaign. While it really acts more of a continuation to the first game's story none of the moments really land and can even be confusing for people not following the ongoing live story.

  • Cities Skylines 2 is a strange one. Obviously the previous game with the dlcs is greater than the initial package of Cities Skylines 2 but the improvements made to the core systems definitely make it a superior launch package. It's biggest problem area right now are some of the system interactions are still glitchy and optimization as the city grows. Updates to the game systems also expansion in different areas allowing for some creative building with multiple smaller cities instead of the one growing mega city.

  • The remake of Super Mario RPG plays it safe but looks and plays great. The addition of both remixed and original tracks is also a nice bonus.