The 21 Best Games of 2023: A Year of Triumphs and Challenges

Best Games of 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, it’s time to reflect on the incredible array of games that have graced our screens this year. The gaming landscape has been rich and diverse, from tiny indie gems to blockbuster sequels. However, let’s remember the developers’ challenges, with many talented individuals losing their jobs due to industry upheavals. In this compilation, we celebrate the outstanding efforts of these creators by highlighting some of the year’s best games.

1. Baldur’s Gate 3 – Game of the Year 2023

Best Games of 2023

Baldur’s Gate 3” by Larian Studios excels in blending roleplaying, tactical combat, and immersive sim design. With a memorable cast and a focus on player agency, it captures the essence of a tabletop game in a digital format.

Played on: PC, PlayStation 5

Rough average playtime: 47.5 hours

2. Star Ocean: The Second Story R

Best Games of 2023

“Second Story R” breathes new life into a cult classic, combining classic pixel art with HD-2D environments. Despite a bloated script, its captivating soundtrack and meaty battle system offer a compelling RPG adventure without overwhelming the player.

Played on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, PC

Rough average playtime: 30 hours

3. Lies of P

Best Games of 2023

“Lies of P” boldly embraces its FromSoftware influences, delivering brutal combat, captivating environmental details, and an engaging narrative. Playing as an animatronic Pinocchio, the game explores themes of deceit and humanity, offering a fresh take on a familiar formula.

Played on: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, PC

Rough average playtime: 25 hours

4. Cocoon

Best Games of 2023

“Cocoon” presents an elegant and rewarding puzzle adventure. Navigating a mysterious world, players manipulate environments to unlock new paths. Its moody atmosphere, abstract narrative, and maze-like progression perfectly balance challenge and discovery.

Played on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, PC

Rough average playtime: 15 hours

5. Assassin’s Creed Mirage

Best Games of 2023

“Assassin’s Creed: Mirage” returns to the series’ roots, emphasizing stealth over massive open-world action. With a focus on parkour and disguises, players engage in sneaky missions, providing a refreshing change for fans longing for a more intimate Assassin’s Creed experience.

Played on: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, PC

Rough average playtime: 30 hours

6. Detective Pikachu Returns

Best Games of 2023

“Detective Pikachu Returns” explores the Pokémon universe with a refreshing take on relationships. While not a complex mystery game, it offers a compelling narrative and explores new dimensions of connections between people and Pokémon.

Played on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, PC

Rough average playtime: 10 hours

7. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Best Games of 2023

“Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” transcends the typical sequel trap by delivering a heartwarming and thought-provoking story. With two webheads offering unique abilities, new villains, and thrilling gameplay, it stands out as an exciting superhero experience.

Played on: PlayStation 5

Rough average playtime: 25 hours

8. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

best family game Nintendo Switch

“Super Mario Bros. Wonder” reinvents the classic boot level from Super Mario Bros. 3, offering a delightful and unpredictable 2D experience. With each level introducing unique gimmicks, it’s a newbie-friendly game filled with pure, unadulterated fun.

Played on: Nintendo Switch

Rough average playtime: 8 hours

9. Jusant

Best Games of 2023

“Jusant” challenges the open-world traversal trend, requiring players to climb an immense tower using minimal tools. Its subtle climbing mechanics and beautiful and sad world provide an engaging and rewarding journey.

Played on: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, PC

Rough average playtime: 5 hours

10. Alan Wake II

Alan Wake 2 video game

Thirteen years after the enigmatic disappearance of Alan Wake, his return in “Alan Wake II” is a narrative triumph that mirrors the passage of time. This sequel, akin to the audacity of “Twin Peaks: The Return,” weaves a compelling tale that captivates from start to finish.

Played on: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, PC

Rough average playtime: 20 hours

11. Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI video game

Despite its flaws, “Final Fantasy XVI” shines with an impeccable combat system and dazzling boss fights. Focused storytelling and a central solid cast elevate the experience, proving that excellence can be achieved by mastering a few key elements.

Played on: PlayStation 5

Rough average playtime: 35 hours

12. Disney Illusion Island

Disney Illusion Island Nintendo Switch

“Disney Illusion Island” provides an inviting Metroidvania experience, decentralizing combat in favour of exploration and cooperation. Its accessibility makes it enjoyable for Disney enthusiasts and those new to the genre.

Played on: Nintendo Switch

Rough average playtime: 6 hours

13. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom video game

“Tears of the Kingdom” successfully follows up on the open-world masterpiece, “Breath of the Wild.” With improvements, wild mechanics, and a seamless map, it becomes a shared experience for players, building on the legacy of its predecessor.

Played on: Nintendo Switch

Rough average playtime: 55 hours

14. Venba

venba video game

“Venba” explores the immigrant experience through the lens of cooking. Depicting the daily life of a family from India in Canada, it combines the Tamil language, film, music, and cuisine to convey a touching narrative.

Played on: PlayStation 5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC

Rough average playtime: 10 hours

15. Thirsty Suitors

thirsty suitors video game

“Thirsty Suitors” intertwines skateboarding romance with immersive role-playing, crafting an unparalleled gaming encounter. Against the backdrop of an immigrant’s homecoming, the game intricately explores the immigrant narrative, infusing it with flair, heartfelt storytelling, and vibrant energy.

Played on: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC

Rough average playtime: 12 hours

16. Dredge

dredge video game

“Dredge” fills a gap with its Lovecraftian-style horror fishing simulator. Navigating dark, cruel waves to catch monstrous fish adds a haunting and beautiful dimension to the oceanic adventure.

Played on: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC

Rough average playtime: 8 hours

17. Street Fighter 6

street fighter 6 video game

“Street Fighter 6” continues Capcom’s legacy of reinventing and modernizing the classic fighting game series. With vibrant visual design and excellent online multiplayer, it is a joyous celebration of the genre’s enduring appeal.

Played on: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series S/X, PC

Rough average playtime: Varies widely based on multiplayer engagement; a typical arcade run could range from 1 to 2 hours.

18. Resident Evil 4 Remake

Resident Evil 4 Remake

The “Resident Evil 4 Remake” maintains the essence of the original while modernizing visuals and narrative twists. It offers a thrilling horror experience with memorable encounters and gothic splendour.

Played on: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series S/X, PC

Rough average playtime: 15-20 hours

19. Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars video game

“Sea of Stars” pays homage to Super Nintendo-era RPGs like Chrono Trigger. Its relaxing pace, stunning visuals, and enthralling turn-based battles make it a respectful tribute to a bygone era.

Played on: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC

Rough average playtime: 20-25 hours

20. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor video game

“Star Wars Jedi: Survivor” delivers another enthralling adventure set in the Star Wars universe. It expertly expands the franchise’s lore with familiar characters, set-piece locations, and captivating battles.

Played on: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, PC

Rough average playtime: 18-22 hours

21. Dave the Diver

Dave the Diver video game

“Dave the Diver” offers a compelling gameplay rhythm as players switch between exploring the marine trench and serving seafood at a sushi restaurant. Its surprising depth and humour make it a captivating experience.

Played on: Nintendo Switch, PC

Rough average playtime: 6-8 hours

This roundup captures the diversity and excellence seen in the gaming landscape of 2023, showcasing titles ranging from intimate narratives to blockbuster adventures. As we celebrate these achievements, let’s also remember the creators who poured their passion into these games amidst the challenges faced by the industry.

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