Top Games in 2023 and upcoming 2024

List of Top 15 Games in 2023

#1. Alan Wake II

Alan Wake II

After over a decade, the cult classic Alan Wake has finally received a worthy sequel. Alan Wake II is more than just a game; it’s a celebration of art, filled with meta-narratives, musical sequences, and links to Remedy’s other games, Control and Quantum Break. It’s also a chilling exploration of writing and the implications of sharing your words with the world. This game, one of the most frightening survival horror games of the past ten years, will have you wanting to keep the lights on.

The game’s narrative is split between two main characters and their individual journeys. FBI Agent Saga Anderson is drawn to the small town of Bright Falls, Washington, to investigate a mysterious cult linked to Wake’s novels. Meanwhile, Alan Wake is trying to escape the Dark Place, a seemingly endless loop he’s been trapped in for 13 years. As the game progresses, their separate paths intertwine, revealing a deeper connection than either of them initially realized.

Both characters are forced to question their realities. Anderson does this through her detective work and case files, gathering evidence by interacting with Bright Falls’ residents. Wake, on the other hand, uses his writing to alter the reality of the Dark Place and the world beyond it. Despite having more than just a flashlight and a handgun this time, the game never allows the player to feel entirely at ease. Alan Wake II offers a complex but rewarding narrative, a trademark of the game’s director and lead writer, Sam Lake. It’s a game that invites multiple playthroughs to uncover all its hidden clues and connections. Just remember to stay in the light.

Available on: PC, PlayStation 5,  Xbox Series X|S

#2. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Many gamers may have overlooked Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon due to its intricate title. However, this custom-robot action game, created by the same team behind Elden Ring, is one of the most thrilling and fast-paced games of the year. The boss battles offer the perfect level of challenge, and the extensive customization options make it incredibly fun to experiment with different combinations.

Available on: Xbox Series X|S, PC, PlayStation 5

#3. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

The transformation of Cyberpunk 2077 from an unplayable game at its launch to a highly acclaimed sci-fi title three years later has been truly remarkable. Now, with Idris Elba gracing the cover for the Phantom Liberty expansion, Cyberpunk 2077 is not only fully functional but also packed with more content than ever before.

Available on: Xbox Series X|S, PC, PlayStation 5

#4. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Mario has had a remarkable year. The beloved plumber not only starred in one of 2023’s biggest cinematic hits, but also featured in one of the most critically acclaimed games of the year. The game, titled ‘Wonder’, is the first side-scrolling Mario game since ‘New Super Mario Bros. U’ in 2012, evoking a sense of nostalgia. Players have the option to play as Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Toad, Toadette, Nabbit, or Yoshi as they journey through the Flower Kingdom to rescue it from Bowser. The game also offers multiplayer mode, supporting up to four characters. It’s an excellent introductory game, particularly for younger gamers who have been introduced to Mario through the recent film. For veteran gamers, it retains the essence of classic Mario, but with improved graphics. A new feature that adds a twist to the game is the Wonder Flowers, which transform the map in a reality-altering way when collected.

Available on: Nintendo Switch

#5. Cocoon

Cocoon

Cocoon, one of the top puzzle-centric games of the year, stars a beetle hero in an extraterrestrial setting who stumbles upon an enigmatic sphere. This sphere houses a different universe, and the game provides the player the ability to jump between the sphere’s world and the outside to solve a range of puzzles. It’s akin to Inception but with an art style reminiscent of Hollow Knight. Moreover, the entire game can be finished in approximately 3-4 hours.

Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5,  Xbox Series X|S

#6. Forza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport, despite being the thirteenth installment in the Motorsport series, is being viewed as a next-gen racing game that can compete with Sony’s highly acclaimed Gran Turismo series. Both games perform remarkably well when compared. However, Forza’s realistic ray-tracing and the game’s ability to capture the weight of its cars gives it a competitive edge in the racing genre.

Available on: Xbox Series X|S

#7. Citizen Sleeper: Purge

Citizen Sleeper Purge

Citizen Sleeper, one of the most creative narrative-based RPGs since Disco Elysium, captivated me once again with an impressive batch of complimentary DLC content, culminating in March 2023’s Purge. While the original game had my character devising an escape strategy from a starship reminiscent of Blade Runner, Purge reversed the situation, compelling me to battle for the companions I had (self-centeredly) abandoned.

Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5,  Xbox Series X|S

#8. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask

The Teal Mask DLC might not rectify the numerous technical problems of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, but it significantly increases the count of returning Pokémon in this latest installment of the renowned Nintendo series. Additionally, it introduces a novel half-matcha, half-ghost Pokémon named Poltchageist.

Available on: Nintendo Switch

#9. Dredge

Dredge

Black Salt Games, an indie developer from New Zealand, delivered one of the most delightful surprises of the year. What initially seems like a typical fishing game takes an eerie turn into the realm of Lovecraftian mythology. The player takes on the role of the Fisherman, navigating the waters around a cluster of islands on a small motorboat, catching a variety of fish and salvage to sell at the local settlement or to itinerant merchants for boat enhancements. These upgrades become crucial when darkness descends, as the day’s catch transforms into sea monsters, phantom vessels, and bizarre occurrences amplified by the Fisherman’s hallucinations. As the player ventures further, completing secondary missions, collecting artifacts, and finding messages in bottles, it becomes apparent that the waters conceal a much bigger secret. Despite lacking the finesse of its AAA counterparts, Dredge stands out with its striking art design, effective use of sound, and an innovative format embedded in seemingly straightforward gameplay, making it a game worth playing and Black Salt Games a developer to keep an eye on.

Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5,  Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One

#10. Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3, the third installment from Larian Studios, takes the RPG genre to unprecedented levels. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons universe, the game is set in the expansive world of the Forgotten Realms. Players can create a character from a selection of 12 classes and join a group of pre-set characters for an adventure that can be enjoyed either solo or in multiplayer mode. The game allows for a seamless transition between the two modes, enabling players to start solo and then team up with friends for specific missions. The gameplay features turn-based combat and promotes a variety of attacks and reliance on the party.

What sets Baldur’s Gate 3 apart from other fantasy RPGs is the depth of the supporting characters and the relationships that can be formed. These relationships, including romances, evolve through plot progression and dialogue choices, and each companion character is well-developed, reminiscent of the golden era of BioWare (the developer of the first game). The game is ideal for those who appreciate the intricate character dynamics found in the Mass Effect trilogy and Dragon Age: Origins. Unlike many other RPGs, Baldur’s Gate 3 promotes freedom, meaning there are multiple ways to defeat an enemy or complete a quest, and even key NPC characters can be eliminated without hindering story progression. With a gameplay duration of over 100 hours, there’s a vast world to explore, either alone or with friends, making Baldur’s Gate 3 a gift that continues to entertain gamers.

Available on: PC, PlayStation 5,  Xbox Series X|S, Mac

#11. Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2

Let’s momentarily set aside the exhilarating sensation of navigating the city as Spider-Man: The standout aspect of Spider-Man 2 is the sheer volume of the comic book hero’s backstory it manages to incorporate. The sequel from Insomniac presents the most compelling Spider-Man narrative we’ve encountered in recent times. Now, we can also appreciate the fantastic feeling of the swinging mechanism in the game.

Available on: PlayStation 5

 #12. Street Fighter 6

Street Fighter 6

Could this be the contemporary Street Fighter game we’ve been anticipating? It appears so! Finally, we have a fresh Capcom fighter that embodies the flair and excitement of traditional Street Fighter games—minus the frustrating microtransaction/DLC aspects of previous installments. (Street Fighter 5, I’m pointing at you.) This doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of content to anticipate with this one. Capcom is already introducing new fighters, and we’re all in.

Available on: PC, PlayStation 5,  Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4

#13. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The follow-up to the 2017 hit game, Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom, is the result of the originally planned DLC content for Breath of the Wild becoming too grand in scope. Nintendo’s Tears of the Kingdom provides the necessary room and time for all that ambition to shine. The player once again steps into the shoes of Link, journeying through the realm of Hyrule in a quest to find Zelda and thwart the Demon King, Ganon, from wreaking havoc on the world. Tears of the Kingdom enhances the open-world feature, introducing new areas like caves and sky islands to discover. The seamless movement and combat of Link, coupled with fresh power-ups, make navigating Hyrule an enjoyable, albeit challenging, adventure. While it’s easy to become engrossed in the game’s stunning visuals and exploration, the captivating storyline, tied to Hyrule’s ancient past, consistently draws the player back to the main mission and the enigmas that lie therein.

Available on: Nintendo Switch

#14. Resident Evil 4 (Remake)

Resident Evil 4 (Remake)

The best entry of the Resident Evil series gets an upgrade that is more than worthy of the original’s reputation. Capcom has been on quite a run with their Resident Evil remakes and RE4 is the best of the bunch, despite its more action-driven gameplay taking away some of the fright factor of the earlier entries. The story of the original game is retained—players take control of U.S. Agent Leon S. Kennedy as he fights to save the President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, from the dual threats of the Los Illuminados cult in Spain and the mysterious virus known as Las Plagas. The remake updates combat, allowing Leon to move and fire his weapon at the same time as well as block with his knife. The map has also been updated, with additional areas and enemies for Leon to make his way through. One of the biggest improvements to the game is that Ashley has a lot more agency, and feels more like a partner to Leon, rather than being a constant chore for him to keep track of. All of these improvements and additions make RE4 a more enthralling adventure and a high point for contemporary survival horror.

Available on: PC, PlayStation 5,  Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Mac, iPad

#15. Bomb Rush Cyber Funk

Bomb Rush Cyber Funk

Devotees of the iconic roller-skating game, Jet Set Radio, will be immersed in a sea of nostalgia with Bob Rush Cyberfunk. This new game’s art style and gameplay are heavily influenced by the 2000s SEGA titles, particularly as it also features a high-speed graffiti gang skater theme.

Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S

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