Cripes! 2023 has been a BUSY old year for video games huh? I have loved more games this year than I have any other year since maybe 2006! So with this in mind I don’t think I would be doing my job properly if I kept this to a top 10 SO HERE ARE MY TOP 20 GAMES OF 2023 – starting with entries 20 – 11.
20) Aliens: Dark Descent
Aliens Dark Descent has made it on this list purely based on the level of fun I had online with it over a couple of weeks. A surprise drop (for me at least) on Xbox Game Pass, Aliens Dark Descent filled me and my friends with a sheer panic as we continuously were overwhelmed by Xenomorphs.
19) Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty combines tough Soulslike gameplay with a unique twist. Set in a fantastical Three Kingdoms era, it stands out with its combat system focusing on parrying and a Spirit gauge that influences your attack and defence. It’s more accessible than typical games in this genre, thanks to AI companions and a less punishing loss upon death. The game’s levels are packed with verticality, encouraging strategic play. Overall, it offers a fresh take on the challenging Soulslike format, making it a notable entry in this year’s game lineup.
Wo Long is essentially Sekiro 0.75 and, unfortunately for me, is way too easy which is why it’s only at 19.
18) Fire Emblem Engage
Fire Emblem Engage is a vibrant tactical RPG set in the divided land of Elyos. It revolves around Alear, a Divine Dragon on a quest to collect Emblem Rings and fight the Fell Dragon, Sombron. The game features a strategic combat system and a hub for social activities and upgrades. Whilst I will say the games tactical depth and visual style are unbelievably good, the story and character development are much less compelling compared to previous titles like ‘Three Houses.’ It’s primarily a single player experience with some optional multiplayer elements.
17) Remnant 2
In the middle of Remnant 2, I considered having it in my top 10 – however the latter third of the game became utter bollocks for me and my party so without any further justification I have bumped it down drastically.
16) Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince
At number 16 on my list is Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince. This monster-catching RPG brings back the charm of the Dragon Quest series with its signature style. You play as Psaro, engaging in a unique monster wrangling and synthesizing gameplay. The game shines with its intuitive combat and the strategic depth of monster fusion. While it sticks to a familiar formula, the sheer fun of building your monster team and exploring its world makes it a captivating experience. Despite some performance hiccups on the Nintendo Switch, it’s a solid addition to the genre and a must-play for fans of the series.
15) Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Making the 15th spot on my list is Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon. This visually stunning and atmospheric game offers a unique take on the Bayonetta universe, focusing on a younger Cereza’s journey. While it deviates from the high-octane action of the main series, it provides an engaging mix of puzzles and combat suitable for younger and casual players. The game is a great pick for those new to the Bayonetta world or fans interested in exploring its origins, even if it might not fully satisfy those seeking the classic Bayonetta challenge.
14) Persona 5: Tactica
At number 14 on my list is Persona 5: Tactica. This tactical RPG spin-off from the acclaimed Persona 5 universe combines the series’ deep storytelling and character development with strategic turn-based gameplay. It’s Persona in an tactical RPG package… like it is what it is.
13) Lies of P
Sliding into the 13th spot on my list is Lies of P. This Soulslike game, inspired by the dark tones of the Pinocchio story, immerses players in the eerie city of Krat. You play as P, a lifelike puppet, navigating a world filled with intriguing lore and a unique Belle Epoque aesthetic mixed with steampunk elements. The game’s rich atmosphere and art design, combined with challenging gameplay that echoes Bloodborne, provide a compelling experience.
It was in the top 10 but frankly Nameless Puppet can fuck off.
12) The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
At number 12 on my list is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This sequel to Breath of the Wild takes players back to Hyrule, offering a familiar yet evolved experience. With its focus on exploration, both on the ground and in the sky, the game brings a fresh perspective to the beloved world. New abilities like Fuse and Ascend change the way you interact with the environment, and the Ultrahand mechanic is a highlight, allowing for creative problem solving. The game maintains the series’ charm with engaging puzzles, atmospheric dungeons, and a story that builds to an excellent conclusion. Returning to Hyrule with these new tools and perspectives makes Tears of the Kingdom a captivating and memorable journey in the Zelda series.
11) Dead Space
Securing the 11th spot on my list is the 2023 remake of Dead Spaces. This version revitalises the classic with enhanced graphics, a fully voiced protagonist, and refined gameplay. The eerie corridors of the USG Ishimura are more immersive than ever, and the reworked weapons add a new dimension to combat. The tension and horror are amplified by improved sound design, making every moment aboard the ship a nerve-wracking experience. The remake not only honors the original but also elevates it, making it a must-play for both newcomers and fans of the series.
Stay tuned over the next few days for entries 10-1!
Written by Luke.
Edited by Alexx.