My 2023 Games of the Year

Like I mentioned recently, its been a grim year for the video games industry. Despite that, we got some good games this year, some of which I played and enjoyed quite a bit. Let’s talk about them. This list is in the order of which I played them.

Hi-Fi Rush

2023 started off strong with a surprise release. Hi-Fi Rush developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks released on January 25, 2023 with no prerelease fanfare. It got announced and released on the same day. A game with unique mechanics and flair that charmed me. I was never particularly *good* at the game but that didn’t matter too much. You can read my review of the game here.

Season: A letter to the future

Season is quite possibly the game that made me think the most this year. A thoughtful treatise on the power and meaning of memory and its relation to the passing of time. You can read my review of the game here.

Resident Evil 4: Remake

Resident Evil 4: Remake or RE4R in short was the first Resident Evil game I played and boy was it a banger. I am not one for survival horror but RE4R managed to mix survival horror with heart pumping action in a way that kept me hooked. You can read my review of the game here.

Cloudpunk

Of all the games I will mention in this list, Cloudpunk is the only one not released this year (it was released in 2020). However, its art style, worldbuilding and characters had enough of an impact on me to consider it a GOTY. Like I mentioned in my review I am very much looking forward to what the sequel does.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Official Keyart for Baldur's Gate 3

Overall, the best game I’ve played this year was Baldur’s Gate 3. From mechanics, narrative, and character, this game delivers on all fronts. A game that I will be thinking about for years to come and one which I hope to replay at some point. You can read my review of it here.

Honorable Mentions

A few games that don’t go on the main list but are worth mentioning:

  • Street Fighter 6
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
  • Assassin’s Creed: Mirage

Street Fighter 6 is the first time I even began to appreciate a fighting game thanks to its “modern” controls. I didn’t stick with it long term but I’m glad I played it.

Phantom Liberty was a phenomenal DLC for Cyberpunk 2077. I enjoyed Idris Elba’s performance in it and the rest of the story was also enjoyable. I started a new playthrough C2077 to play Phantom Liberty and I’m currently slowly working through the main story again. This time around I am taking my time to take in the world a bit more.

Assassin’s Creed: Mirage was a refreshing change of pace from the overwrought games we’ve been getting in the series so far. I enjoyed playing it but ultimately it didn’t leave enough of an impact for me to consider it a GOTY. I definitely want to play more AC games in this style.

Reflections

In 2023, I overwhelmingly focused on single player titles after feeling severely burned out on playing multiplayer games with season passes in them. I definitely enjoyed the slower pace at which I played games. I didn’t play as much in 2023 but that’s fine as I am focused on quality rather than quantity. Not grinding season passes also gave me time to enjoy other media forms like movies, books and podcasts.

Most multiplayer games truly have lost their appeal for me. The only joy I got out of a multiplayer game this year were a couple rounds of Overwatch 2 quick play. Other than that, I don’t find any multiplayer game particularly fulfilling and they certainly can’t keep my attention for long periods of time. Ah well.

In 2024 I want to continue focusing on single player titles. There are a few games released in 2023 that I didn’t get around to that I want to play, chiefly Alan Wake 2. There are also other non-2023 single player titles sitting in my queue that I want to play.

Are there any 2024 releases I’m looking forward to? To be quite honest, I don’t remember what is supposed to be coming out in 2024 so I’ll be taking those in as they release. The future is unknown on that front. Exciting.