25 Best Games of 2023 That You Need to Play

25 Best Games of 2023 That You Need to Play

Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Nahush Gowda

It’s December and it is time to wrap up the year. 2023 has been great for gaming and the industry as a whole, well for the most part. From big AAA titles like Spiderman 2, Alan Wake 2 to surprises like Cocoon, Dave the Diver and Hi-Fi Rush, there are a lot, I mean a lot, of games that need your attention.

Well, it is impossible to play all of them. So, here we are to give you the best games of 2023 that you need to pick up.

Disclaimer: This is not a definitive list and is in no particular ranking. These are the 25 games that we think must be on your playlist as you look forward to games in 2024.

25. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Team Reptile
PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

This game will feel nostalgic to all those who grew up on Jet Set Radio. In a way, it is the spiritual successor to the Jet Set Radio. For those who are not aware, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is an action-adventure, platformer with skateboards. As a street skater armed with a spray can, you’ll grind rails, bust combos, and paint the town red (and every other shade imaginable) while outrunning the authorities and battling rival crews. It has good music, and an underlying narrative and gives a serious nostalgic hit for many gamers!

24. Octopath Traveller 2

Square Enix, Acquire
PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

A list is incomplete without a JRPG. For all the JRPG or classic RPGs out there, there are few games for you and Octopath Traveller 2 is one of them. It greatly improves on the first game and makes the narrative more engaging as it neatly binds the story of 8 travellers. The game isn’t bogged down by the repetitive nature of such games and tells a great story. If you are looking for some narrative RPG that subverts your expectations, this is the game you should play.

23. Against the Storm

Eremite Games
Windows PC

What happens when a city builder meets a roguelite? Well, you get Against the Storm. It is a unique city builder and subverts the expectation of city builder games in so many ways. It constantly throws challenges at you and each map gives you a variety of problems to deal with. It is fast and if you are looking for an “action-city-builder” (like that’s a thing), this is the game.

22. Street Fighter 6

PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5

The ultimate fighting game of 2023! Street Fighter 6 takes everything good from its earlier instalments and makes it even better. From new Modern Controls to World Tour mode and great online play, this makes it an amazing fighting game with very little room left for criticism. If you are itching for fistfights, Street Fighter 6 will happily indulge you.

21. Dredge

Black Salt Games
PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

Is it a horror game or a chilled fishing simulator? How about both? Dredge is a horror game with a fishing skin. You encounter different islands that hide a creature and you need to defeat it to progress. The ship upgrades and skill progression in satisfying and you probably will end the game with the satisfaction of building a big ship and conquering monsters – literally and metaphorically.

20. Pizza Tower

Tour de Pizza
Windows PC

As an owner of the small pizzeria who wants to save it, you must climb a tower fighting eccentric “characters” and defeat the sentient pizza “Pizzaface”. It will remind you of the old games that require you to platform up a tower while fighting. Pizza Tower is simple, and wacky and has quite a lot of secrets to keep you interested. If you want something short and fun, Pizza Tower is the perfect game for that. The most eccentric game of 2023.

Related Reading: All the trailers at Xbox Games Showcase 2023: Payday 3, Fable, Hellblade 2, Starfield and more

19. System Shock

Nightdive Studios
Windows PC

One of the best remakes done this year, System Shock repaints the original 1994 System Shock in the best way possible. It keeps the elements that made the original game so beloved and upgrades the visuals and the gameplay. It is a sci-fi, first-person shooter and you play as a hacker in cyberpunk Citadel station. It is a faithful remake and knows what it is doing. One of the most influential games in history gets a modern remake, what more could you ask for?

18. Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon

PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5

Before the FromSoftware was known for amazing Souls games, it made Armored Core. A mecha-battle game, there was no Armored Core game for a long time. Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is an amazing game that will leave you wanting more.

The combat is fast and fluid even though you fight with big mechs. The mech building is immensely fun as you can build virtually anything you want and making changes is not just visual, but functional. FromSoftware has taken everything it has learnt to make great games and it puts it all into Armored Core 6 and makes it undoubtedly the best one of the series!

17. Blasphemous 2

The Game Kitchen
PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

One of the most polished 2D metroidvania games, Blasphemous 2 improves on its first game by adding more weapons, continuing with its religious narrative and an overall great level design. There is a recent increase in Metroidvania games but this is the best of 2023. It’s addictive, it has a good art style and an overall fun game to play.

16. Remnant 2

Gunfire Games
PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5

A combination of souls-like and third-person shooter, this is my personal favourite of this year and it is absolute fun. It has a decent lore worth exploring, has variety of enemy types and great bosses. This game has great replayability, thanks to procedural generation. No two playthroughs are the same and there are tons of secrets to find and unlock.

You can easily sink in a hundred hours and not get bored of killing root monsters in different ways. It can be really challenging at the highest difficulty but feels extremely satisfying when you kill that one annoying boss! If you like third-person shooters and want a fast-paced action game, Remnant 2 will not disappoint you.

15. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Respawn (EA)
PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5

The adventure of Cal Kestis continues a few years after the events of Fallen Order. This is the year of sequels and Jedi Survivor delivers on that. Given that it had performance issues at the release, the majority of it is fixed now and it is safe to pick it up and play. As a Star Wars fan, this is one of the best the franchisee has to offer. 

As a game, it improves on traversal issues from the first game and offers a lot more fighting stances, new force abilities and new worlds to explore. It is a simple game that itches your Jedi fantasy, has a good story, has amazing worlds to explore and lets you throw Stormtroopers around. If you are a Star Wars fan and you haven’t played the first game, I would recommend you pick it up and play both games.

14. Asgard’s Wrath 2 (VR)

Sanzaru Games
Meta Quest

Released just a few days back, this has the potential to bring in more sales for Meta Quest 3. Asgard’s Wrath 2 is probably the best VR game of the year and beats PSVR2 in bringing better games to its platform. Even though it is just an RPG, it is quite impressive as a VR game and there is nothing that comes close to it.

It is a fantastic game that has good characters, a decent enough story, a variety of enemy times and a lot of good times. If you are planning to get into VR gaming, this is a great point to start!

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13. Jusant

Windows PC, Xbox Series S|X, PS5

We never thought a climbing puzzle game would garner so much attention and offer such a rich experience. Jusant is a mountain climbing game mixed with puzzles and has an underlying narrative and an added mystery. It is atmospheric and even though it is intended as a simple, chill game, it has some challenges to keep up the tension and interest. It is a short game that will leave you completely satisfied and probably an itch to go rock climbing.

12. Lies of P

Neowiz Games, Round 8 Studio
Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5

Lies of P wears the Souls game inspiration on its sleeve and does it so well that one would think, it is made by FromSoftware themselves. Inspired by both Pinocchio and the brutal Soulsborne legacy, this might look like a Bloodborne clone, but no!

Lies of P boasts its own twist on familiar gameplay – expect a deep weapon system, dynamic enemies demanding flexible tactics, and a world worth exploring. Also, in a year full of AAA titles with performance issues and broken ports, Lies of P is a rare game that runs really well and is visually striking. I don’t know what else to say about this game. If you like Souls games, pick this up or start your Souls journey with this one.

11. Hi-Fi Rush

Tango Gameworks
Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X

I would just say two words for this game – Charming and Fun! Hi-Fi Rush took us all by surprise as it was released silently and showed how fun gaming can be. It is an action-rhythm game but doesn’t force you to play a hundred per cent on rhythm.

The combat is designed well to accommodate newbies to rhythm games (like me) and even the hardcore ones. Even if you miss the beats, you can progress in the game but you will not get combo benefits and higher scores. The cast of characters is charming, genuinely funny and has a decent story to compel you to finish the story. It took me a weekend to complete the game and I had a blast hitting my opponents on beat with an electric guitar.

Related Reading: All trailers and gameplays shown at Gamescom 2023 – Opening Night Live

10. Talos Principle 2

PC, Xbox Series S|X, PS5

This year has a lot of puzzle games that are really good and this is one of them. Again, a sequel on the list, Talos Principle 2 takes you on a journey of self-discovery and compels you to think about existence. It is a world where humans are extinct but the culture and accomplishments of humans have survived through robots and the cities.

It has great visuals, good music and if you are interested in philosophy, this game will keep you entertained for hours on end.

9. Dave the Diver

Windows PC, macOS

Diver by morning, sushi restaurant manager by night. Dave the Diver mixes two things that are connected with a thin thread of ‘fish’. It is a delightful game that is part exploration game and part management sim. It has a memorable support cast who helps Dave run the sushi restaurant. Dave the Diver manages to fuse two concepts together that seem way too unrelated!

8. Cocoon

Geometric Interactive
PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

I rarely play puzzle games, well I get bored quite easily. However, Cocoon managed to hook me up in the starting few minutes. You play as a humanoid bug with world-jumping mechanics. The game is designed incredibly well giving you all the necessary tools and instructions without even you realising it.

The art style is amazing, the mechanics are really unique and the puzzles aren’t frustratingly difficult but give you a decent challenge. Cocoon will forever remain one of my favorite games and I hope it does the same for you.

7. Dead Space (2023)

Motive Studio (EA)
PC, Xbox Series S|X, PS5

Dead Space is an iconic game and it was time for it to get a remake. Dead Space is an incredibly well-done remake with modern updated graphics, slight changes in gameplay and a few changes in the story that just elevate the game.

A fantastic action, survival-horror game! That’s all! Go, play this game if you like such games or even if you don’t, give it a try.

6. Super Mario Bros Wonder

Nintendo ED
Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has been on fire lately with so many good games lately and this year is no less. Super Mario Bros Wonder is a delight to play as each level throws something new at you not letting you get bored with the repetition.

The Wonder Flower adds a delightful twist to the gameplay by transforming certain enemies, including Hoppo, the friendly hippo-like creature. When the flower activates, Hoppo puffs up like a giant balloon, turning this normally jovial buddy into a hilarious obstacle coursing through one of the game’s vibrant levels. This whimsical effect adds a playful layer of surprise and chaos to the classic Mario formula.

5. Resident Evil 4

PC, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5, iOS, macOS

Another great remake this year, Resident Evil 4 makes an already great game, even better. The original was almost perfect and the best horror action game that ever existed. It gets a fresh coat of graphical paint and some quality-of-life upgrades. However, it also lovingly reimagines the world with intricate details and expands on the original’s gameplay, adding deeper survival mechanics without losing sight of the story and mechanics that resonated with players.

4. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Insomniac Games
PlayStation 5

Spider-Man 2 picks up the story from Spider-Man and Miles Morales and introduces many beloved villains in the mix.  Web-swinging is fun, the game is cinematic, the combat is satisfying and has a good superhero story to tie all of them together. You can play as both Miles Morales and Peter Parker and both come with their each upgrades and unique abilities.

Spider-Man 2 has definitely raised the bar for superhero games and it doesn’t get any better than this.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

EDP Nintendo
Nintendo Switch

In 2017, Nintendo shattered Zelda tradition with Breath of the Wild’s sprawling open world, setting a benchmark still chased by the industry. “It’s like Breath of the Wild” became synonymous with masterful open-world design. Five years and all of Nintendo’s first-party might later, they’ve finally surpassed that modern classic with Tears of the Kingdom.

Yes, it’s familiar – but better. The Ultrahand ability (a Lego-like building mechanic) is twice as efficient and twice as fun. Imagine constructing bridges on a whim, or raining terror from above in custom flying saucers. Where Breath of the Wild forced you to exist in its world, Tears of the Kingdom empowers you to conquer it, brick by exhilarating brick.’

2. Alan Wake 2

Remedy Entertainment
PC, Xbox Series S|X, PS5

A part of the Remedy’s Connected Universe, it is a continuation of Alan Wake’s story and also exists in the same universe of Control. Alan Wake is stuck in the dark world and on the other side, we get a second protagonist – Saga Anderson, an FBI officer. 

The narrative of the game might seem disconnected with the two protagonists but it all comes together as you play. Alan Wake 2 is not just good in storytelling, it is visually striking (made on Unreal Engine 5) and atmospheric elevating the whole experience.

1. Baldur’s Gate 3

Larian Studios
PC, Xbox Series S|X, PS5

Bladur’s Gate 3 has won The Game Awards’ Game of the Year and it is not surprising. Baldur’s Gate 3 pushes the limit of what RPG can do and how good it can be. No one thing makes it such an amazing game. Set in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, it has well-crafted, heartfelt character arcs, and complete freedom to explore the world and forge your own story. This is the new yardstick for RPG games and Larian Studios have outdone themselves.

Special mention: Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

PC, Xbox One Series S|X, PS4, PS5

The game AC6 was one of the underrated games of year 2023. Many gamers went with low expectations but the game in actual came out on top. AC6 is definitely one of the top mech games of recent times.

Though if you are an AC veteran, you will expect more. You may find the game a bit challenging if you do not have any previous experience with AC titles. Other complaint is the game length, it is we would say on average side (15h-30h). Additionally, the game ran well from its release day only. It is nice to play a game that does not need to be fixed. Looking at you, Cyberpunk 2077.

But overall, The game has it all, – Recommended if you want a solid action game with some exciting set pieces.

Honourable mentions

As we said earlier, this list is not exhaustive and there are even more games that deserve your attention. Here are some games that are also some of the best 2023 has to offer.

  1. Chants of Sennar
  2. Football Manager 24
  3. Coral Island
  4. Diablo 4
  5. Atomic Heart
  6. Pikmin 4
  7. Metroid Prime Remastered
  8. Starfield
  9. Horizon Call of the Mountain (VR)
  10. Venba

Check out: The best 10 games of 2022

Final Thoughts

Well, there you go. These are the best 25 games of 2023 that we think you should try. 2023 was a great time for gaming in general. The most surprising aspect was that most of the hits came from indie and AA games. This is a good trend as we will see more experimentation in games with smaller budgets.

As we say goodbye to 2023, we have 2024 to look forward to.

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