Oh man, another year has gone and flown by, and what a year it has been!
We must acknowledge that while there have been so many amazing success stories for gaming, there has also been great sadness, with thousands losing their jobs. Our thoughts are with everyone this holiday season, and we hope everyone gets back on their feet and makes games again soon.
So we celebrate the hard work of so many talented developers, artists, QA testers, and designers who go above and beyond to make gaming what it is today.
Below are our top 28 games of 2023, and this was no easy feat. There are so many incredible games we couldn’t fit on the list, with some honourable mentions below before we get into the best of the best.Honourable mentions:
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Final Fantasy XVI
Robocop: Rogue City
Right, with that out of the way, let’s get celebrating the best of the best. Here’s Game-News Top 28 of 2023!28. Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Mario is beyond a staple of family-friendly gaming, and 99% of his games are fantastic. While it may not be the most innovative, Wonder is some of the best family fun this year for sure, with its crazy combinations of mechanics, and highly engaging, and rewarding platforming gameplay.27. You Will Die Here Tonight
Combing survival horror and rogue is a promising concept for a video game, and while not perfect, You Will Die Here Tonight does do so many things right, with cool horror gameplay, compelling gameplay loop and neat little dashings of death, exploration, and lateral thinking.26. Abriss - Build to Destroy
As Simon Pegg famously said, “It’s a subtle blend of lateral thinking and extreme violence”. This is an excellent quote for a lot of video games, but it rings so true for this clever, destructive puzzler that has you destroying evil buildings. Another quirky concept that does play out massively well! 25. Railbound
Another puzzler, but this time a much cuter, more chillaxed one. Railbound is for those who love trains, cute art styles and lateral thinking. It’s a super sweet, creative and clever train puzzler that really shouldn’t pass you by.24. Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter over the years lost its sense of purpose, but with 2023’s Street Fighter 6, Capcom has brought the legendary fighter back into the spotlight, crafting one of the best and most accessible fighting games ever made. It’s this year’s best fighting game and surely deserves all the praise and love from gamers and the community.23. Above Snakes
Survival games are a dime a dozen nowadays, so it must take something quite special to stand out among the crowd. Above Snakes leaves its presence felt in the genre with its unique Western setting, compelling tile-based gameplay and thrilling story that has a few neat twists and turns.22. Dread Templar
We have been blessed with so many retro-inspired “Boomer-Shooters” over the years, but Dread Templar manages to up the ante and nail the brutal Quake-inspired gameplay, with stunning visuals, level design and top-notch action that will grip you from start to finish.21. Jusant
Don't Nod has evolved over the years as developers, and with such promising projects as Banishers coming out next year, they had enough to pump out a cracker indie title for 2023. Jusant is a powerful and superb platformer unlike any other, and goes above and beyond with its aesthetics, gripping climbing gameplay and cool storytelling format. One of the platforming ages in gaming.20. Rain World – Downpour
So, few games manage to capture intense brutality, gruelling hardships and immense rewards over hardships. But Rain World: Downpour brings all these elements together in a magnificent survival game that truly tests your skills and lateral thinking. Rain World may not be everyone, but those who overcome the hardships will find the highest sense of accomplishment and be amazed at some of the best-looking pixel art water ever!19. Zelda: TOTK
The recent Zelda games have broken away from the adventure traditions of old, to deliver vastly engaging, and highly organic adventure experiences with no bounds or limits. Tears of the Kingdom pushes this notion further with awesome, and captivating building gameplay mechanics that have resulted in the creation of some of the best YouTube videos this year. I never imagined you could have massive Gundam suits in Zelda, but here we are!18. Alan Wake 2
Remedy deserves so much praise and love for their amazing work, making some of the best gaming experiences over the last 20 years. Alan Wake 2 while having a few awkward bumps in the road, has a phenomenal art style, crazy visuals, compelling and intense horror gameplay, and a story that bats**t insane, it is one of the most interesting narratives in gaming.17. This Bed We Made
Such a shame this didn’t get any love at the game awards. But it will get all the love from us here at Game-News. An exquisite, immensely interactive and heart-felt narrative game that is story-rich, and presents such stellar performances and a highly dynamic sense of storytelling, it’s hard not to admire This Bed We Made. The studio has made a cracking game, and I hope they make many more!16. American Arcadia
Another incredible narrative-driven game, that’s all about the insane greed of capitalism, voyeurism, and the dangers of nostalgia, which is all wrapped in a nifty and super fun action platformer. American Arcadia gives us stellar voice work, a captivating story and neat bits of thrilling cat-and-mouse gameplay that feels like a work of Steven Spielberg.15. Sea of Stars
Sea of Stars is a triumphant exercise in hard work, perseverance, and talent in the indie scene. A game in the making for quite some time has become one of the best RPGs not only this year but in recent memory. Much more a stellar RPG than some other AAA high-budget space RPG games …Here we go, the top 14 games of 2023!14. Trepang2
Trepang2 is awesome. It’s just so awesome, and we want more from these crazy developers who know their stuff, and love action games such as F.E.A.R. Insane and brutal action, visually stunning and highly challenging but rewarding gunplay that allows you to duel wield grenade launchers. 13. My Friendly Neighbourhood
Speaking of talented indie devs, we have another brilliant indie horror game that infused Sesame Street and Resident Evil. My Friendly Neighbourhood is a super charming, immensely creative and good old-style survival horror with a few neat tricks up its sleeve that make it stand out among other highly established indie horror games. 12. El Paso, Elsewhere
Do you know those two nightmare levels from the original Max Payne? Well, some crazy, talented madman decided to make a whole game of them. El Paso, Elsewhere is trippy as balls fever dream that’s super cool, super slick, super depressing, and features vampires, werewolves and one angry pill-popping gunman. It’s an insanely terrific old-school-inspired shooter from a bunch of crazy talented indie devs. 11. Lies of P
I’m a real boy! Or I mean, I’m a real From Soft game. Lies of P is super special, as it’s the closest thing we’re getting to a Bloodborne sequel ever, and this is from a small developer who has pretty much made a perfect replication of a From Soft / Souls-borne game ever made not by From Soft. Visually stunning, highly engaging combat, and one of the most enriching worlds we’ve explored since Yharnam. 10. Ghostrunner 2
Try, try, and try again. We gamers love a bit of punishment, trial and error and perfection with style. And Ghostrunner 2 delivers all the good and more! As I said in my original review “Developer One More Level has indeed done the unthinkable task of pulling off a bigger, better and more enjoyable sequel. Like Gears of War 2, Resident Evil 2, and DOOM Eternal, Ghostrunner 2 joins that elite group of video games that surpass their superb originals to become God-like.”
It's a phenomenal sequel, a perfect blend of action platforming and trial and error, that looks cool and delivers one of the most enriching action experiences this year. 9. Armoured Core 6
While From Soft didn’t make a Souls-Borne this year, they did bring us a fine return of the Mecha genre, with one of the best, and thoughtful action games in recent memory. Like Ghostrunner 2, it’s a fine sequel that delivers and much more, with pristine action gameplay, a cool story and intelligent dynamics such as an innovative new game plus mode.8. Dredge
Now we’ve had so much Eldritch Horror gaming in recent memory, and it’s come to feel a little tad bit stated at this point. Dredge manages to blow everything else out of the water and deliver a refreshing take on the Lovecraftian formula, by implementing fishing gameplay and an enriching sense of progression. Plus plenty of creepy fish to sell and corrupt the masses.
Dredge is a phenomenal little indie darling and has every right to be the beloved, eerie, fish-tastic cult classic it’s become.7. Resident Evil 4 / System Shock / Dead Space (remakes)
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat, but all of these are remakes, and they’re all very good! Resident Evil 4 defied all expectations to live up to the original and do something much better overall! Dead Space’s return was a massive win for fans and a remarkable reminder of why it’s such a legendary series. And then we finally got Nightdive Studio’s remake of System Shock which stuck to its guns, and managed to recapture the original in both new and nostalgic ways.
One remake is a brilliant reimaging that pushes everything to the max and beyond, but still respects the original. Another is a truly faithful remaking of a cult classic that doesn’t detour, thus keeping all the legendary elements intact. And another does a perfect balance of old and new, with some fantastic new dynamics and twists.
They’re all amazing and all equally deserve to be here together.6. Blasphemous 2
The original Blasphemous was a tremendous artistic achievement and an amazing Metroidvania that stands with the high and mighty of the sub-genre. So a sequel was something of a high risk, but The Game Kitchen has cooked up one of the best sequels in recent memory, that drives more focus as a Metroidvania and gives us the best follow-up possible for a legendary title.
Blasphemous 2 is another extraordinary achievement that goes above and beyond for its gorgeous art style, tightly woven intense combat, and rich world-building that will keep you invested and exploring until the end of day.5. Cacoon
INSIDE and Limbo are some of the best games ever made, and Cacoon (from the same lead developer) also joins that club of outstanding, and phenomenal lateral platformers, which are timeless, endearing and utterly magnificent.
It’s a vastly intelligent game, filled with a fascinating mystery, a compelling and dense world filled with wonder and depth, and a rich narrative delivered through some unique means, accompanied by beautiful music and a cracking art style.
Truly one of the greats.4. High-Fi Rush
Tango Gameworks went outside of their normal bread and butter, of spooky horror titles to deliver quite frankly one of the best action platformers in a long, long time. It’s highly original, immensely creative and colourful, with a killer soundtrack and utterly engrossing gameplay, which really will stand the test of time like so many other cell-shaded cult classics.
It's a phenomenal game that deserves so much love and praise for its animation, clever and funky music-inspired combat and it’s timeless qualities.3. Dave the Diver
Dave the Diver came out of the blue and has left its mark in gaming history as one of the most charming, delightful, fun highly creative and original indie darlings for the ages. What an exceptional game that is utterly flawless, immensely rewarding and just one of the most endearing gaming ventures that everyone can love.
Dave the Diver has delved deep into the ocean and into our hearts.2. Baldur’s Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate is one of the most encouraging success stories for gaming, proving so many wrongs when they said no one likes RPGs, or that CRPGs can’t be successful.
This is such a passionate love letter to the genre, one of the most profound gaming experiences that easily re-ignites that fires of the genre, and will live on far longer than any looter shooter / live service gaming experience.
Baldur’s Gate like Dave has left its mark in gaming history, with its immense amount of choice, creative freedom, gripping storytelling and highly innovative gameplay mechanics that reward exploration and creativity.1. Amnesia: The Bunker
Now, lists like these generally put things in odd perspectives, as everyone has their idea of the best game or games in 12 months. We love all the games on this list from El Paso, Elsewhere, Dave the Diver, Resident Evil 4 and High-Fi Rush. They’re all incredible and deserve praise like no other.
But Amnesia: The Bunker is something quite special, and at times on a whole other f***ing level.
It’s a game that will inspire so many young and old designers, igniting a flame of creative decision-making, combining gameplay mechanics, and mixing genres to form intense and riveting gaming experiences.
The level of immersion, the intensity of horror, and creative freedom and depth of decision-making make Amnesia: The Bunker truly the best game this year, and certainly one of the greatest horror games ever made. It’s an astonishing venture that we can see inspiring others to blend genres and think outside the box for the horror/survival horror genre.
We really can’t wait to see what Frictional Games has in stall for us next.
That’s it everyone! Another year, another line-up of fantastic games which will define the ages. We can’t wait to play and see what 2024 brings us, and we look forward to seeing you guys there!