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Beardduder's 2023 GOTY list.

Howdy all!

It's been one hell of a year huh? Not only in the world but in everyone's personal life. In a quick Beard update this year I did 100% kick my Destiny habit, and holy hell did I pick a good time to get out. I've mostly put on the blinders for all things Bungie (Mostly as a safety measure) but even still....oooph.

On the positive side of life, my family is doing great! The baby just turned 13 and is kicking ass playing her horn in the Honors band at school. The boy is just about to turn 18 and is *fingers crossed* starting to be more adult. He and the school marching band went back to state for a 3rd time! LadyBeard is doing great and is loving our new pup. He is a big ol' empty-headed dumb bumb, but so ungodly sweet.

GB meet Tuba, Tuba meet GB!

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For me back in March I joined a band and have been having a BLAST! We play Blues/Americana called Rî Wolf and The Prarie Hawks and even have a record coming out in Jan '24. Here are a few cheeky links in case you are interested. Band IG account and my music IG account.

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Now onto the games!

I never quite got around to playing Half-Life 2 but I did play a handful of older games. I plan to make a "games I played in 2023" list like I did last year, but not quite done. The two most recent and impactful were The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX PC port and Control+ the DLC's. That Link's Awakening just instantly transported me back to being a kid and playing on my first Gameboy. It took me years of off/on play to beat and it still holds a special place in my heart.

Once I finished off Alan Wake II and started listening to MinnMax's deepest dive it reminded me of the Control DLC that I never go to. So in typical fashion, I just replayed all of Control and then the DLC. I loved seeing all the small winks and nods to Alan Wake II and yeah...those were some good DLC's and now I'm primed to head back into Alan Wake NG+.

My deep dark shame is Pikmin 4. I played the demo and loved it, just...... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ never pulled the trigger. I hear people love it and I know I would. I do plan to pick it up soon. I also never got around to Baldur's Gate 3 because I think it scares me. It's one of those I think if I hop in it will suck me all the way in. So maybe 2024 will have Pikmin 4, BG3, and half-life 2 on it.

So without any further ado, goodbye *kiss* and goodnight, bang! I wish you all a happy (insert your preferred holiday here) and present the list of the best games I played this year.


PS: I would be in big trouble if I forgot to say if you are not a part of the GB discord then what are you doing? We have a pretty great community over there and would love for you to join! Here is a handy link to the Discord invite!! Full disclosure I am a mod over there, but am just a duder like you.

List items

  • JFC, this game. I had zero hype or expectations going into this as I was never a Alan Wake person. Similar to RE:4 I just decided to try it after hearing the crew hype it up and I fell in love. I was enthralled with the story and it's one of the few games where I want to listen to people talk about it and theory craft. The best so far has been the MinnMax folks doing the deepest dive. I just finished the AWE DLC for control and plan to dive into NG+ soon. Looking forward to seeing what comes next and think I am Sam Lake pilled for sure.

  • Just whoa. Like most media I enjoy nowadays I try hard to go blind. I knew nothing outside of it was made by people who made games I liked. I jumped in and played it in one sitting and holy hell was this a treat. I enjoy it when a game just goes and you have to figure out what to do. This was a real treat and worth the few hours it will take you to play.

  • I mean come on, It's TotK. It was just an all-around great time and I loved every second. I don't have much I can add to the Zelda talk but it wowed me. I know I played it way differently than anyone else I talked to about it and that is wonderful!

  • So this was my first time playing RE:4 and yea 15+ years later it's a great game. I know I watched Abby play this on the site years ago but I couldn't tell you what was changed. My memory is so bad it all felt fresh and new to me. I picked up the Ada Wong DLC over thanksgiving and it brought me right back into loving RE4. I plan to NG+ this after I finish with Alan Wake.

  • I know this will get left off a lot of lists but January me made a note that I had to stick it on my GOTY list. This was a fun ride and I think I just devoured this over that first weekend it was out. I love the blending of rhythm game and beat'em up. I hope we see more down the line.

  • This whole game was a delight and I had a big dumb smile across my face the whole time. However Nintendo handled this team they need to keep doing it. The whole game was fresh and fun. I did spend WAY too many hours/lives on that final level but boy howdy did I get a run hitting the top of that last flagpole. Never did the online bit of the game (I am a dirty cheapo who doesn't play for Nintendo Online) but I have enjoyed the co-op with the baby.

  • Man, I don't even know how to talk about this. Just go play Venba.

  • *middle fingers up* This is on you PropagandaPanda. I was all fine and dandy until you posted a link to this in the discord. I played it for 4 hours straight at work that day and then went home and got the switch game. You have gotten not only myself but my whole family hooked on these stupid fruits.

  • I think I ecco most of the staff when I say the first hour and the last climb/ending are the best parts of this game. The back 1/2 of this just gets a bit monotonous but those space whales make it all better.

  • Had to include this, the "world of assassination" update made me go back on many occasions and honestly will keep going back. It was a killer update and a perfect way to keep that game going.