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The Best Games Of 2023 So Far

Gamers in 2023 have found themselves on quite the roller coaster ride. For those still haunted by the disastrous launch of "Cyberpunk 2077," it can be difficult to look toward an upcoming release with more than guarded optimism. New cautionary tales seem to arise each month (looking at you "Redfall" and "Forspoken"), with an increasing number of titles dropping in broken or unpolished states. Sometimes there's a good game hidden under the bugs, which makes the situation all the more frustrating. Meanwhile, the price for AAA entries has reached an all-time high.


Thankfully, the situation isn't all doom and gloom. Though the industry continues to navigate some growing pains in this digital age, developers in both the AAA and indie spaces have managed to ship some remarkable games this year. From survival horror to rhythm-based, these titles span multiple genres. No matter their mood or inclinations, gamers should be able to find a glimmer of happiness amidst 2023's greatest gems.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

In 2022, "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" won the Game Award for Most Anticipated Game. A few months later, Nintendo delivered, serving up the masterpiece that players had hoped for, especially in the wake of 2023's growing list of disappointing launches.


Though it didn't please every "Zelda" fan, Nintendo set a high bar with "Breath of the Wild." For the sequel, the developer expanded on many of the strongest features of the original, offering a much larger open world for players to explore. The addition of new powers for Link also makes for a much more versatile and customizable experience, encouraging players to interact with the various environments and materials in creative ways. "'Breath of the Wild' felt far from unfinished but, inconceivably, 'Tears of the Kingdom' has somehow made it feel like a first draft," IGN observed in its review.

Augmenting the gameplay improvements, "Tears of the Kingdom" delivers one of the franchise's most in-depth stories. While it looks like the standard formula at first glance, the plot involves much more than Link playing the hero to Zelda's damsel as they go up against Ganondorf. The "Breath of the Wild" follow-up takes the IP to new heights (literally due to the addition of sky islands), making it a must-play for 2023.

  • Release Date: May 12, 2023

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: Action-adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: 96 (Switch)

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Capcom just keeps churning out hits for its "Resident Evil" franchise. The remakes for the second and third numbered installments pleased critics and players, and 2021's "Village" lived up to the pre-release hype, adding a new narrative to the mix. The remake of "Resident Evil 4" kept the trend going, distinguishing itself as a game of the year contender in the early months of 2023.


"Resident Evil 4" follows Leon Kennedy as he sets out to recover Ashley Graham, the daughter of the U.S. President, following her kidnapping by a group of cultists. Leon traces Ashley to a village in Europe, where the inhabitants have clearly seen better days. The remake smooths out many of the original's rough edges, though the first iteration still has a lot to love. 2023's take comes with all the modern trappings, including much smoother movement and combat. The enemy types also keep players on their toes, culminating in a tighter final act and boss encounter.

Thanks to the improvements and care for the source material, the "Resident Evil 4" remake feels at once familiar and new. If you like lots of action with your horror, this is the one.

  • Release Date: March 24, 2023

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Survival horror

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: N/A (PS4), 93 (PS5), 92 (PC), 91 (Xbox Series X)

Dead Space Remake

2023 may be remembered as the year of the remake thanks to the release of not one, but two top-notch reimaginings of iconic survival horror games. 2023's "Dead Space" preserves much of what made the original so enjoyable, while incorporating a number of tweaks and additions designed to better appeal to modern audiences.


For the uninitiated, "Dead Space" follows engineer Isaac Clarke as he makes his way through the devastated hellscape that is the USG Ishimura. Isaac boards the planetary mining ship as part of an investigative effort in response to a distress call. He soon discovers that undead monstrosities called Necromorphs have overrun the vessel. He must deal with this constant threat, along with his worsening mental state, as he attempts to uncover what happened to the Ishimura and its crew.

Introduced as a silent protagonist, Isaac returns fully voiced for the remake, infusing him with a bit more personality. The environments and character designs make use of the power of the latest PC builds and next-gen consoles, serving up a large helping of detail. Players can explore more freely, and the combat fills up every corner of the Ishimura with even more gore than the original. The "Dead Space" remake respects its roots through a careful combination of improvement and preservation, giving it lasting appeal for both new and returning players.

  • Release Date: January 27, 2023

  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Survival horror

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: 89 (PS5), 87 (PC), 89 (Xbox Series X)

Hi-Fi Rush

2023 has already proven to be a good year for rhythm game fans. The high-octane cyberpunk title "Hi-Fi Rush" blends several genres together, producing a standout experience augmented by officially licensed tracks from groups like Nine Inch Nails and The Black Keys. Players step into the shoes of Chai, an aspiring rocker turned failed cybernetic experiment as he teams up with a colorful group of characters to take down a corrupt corporation.


Created by Tango Gameworks, the studio behind "The Evil Within" and "Ghostwire: Tokyo," "Hi-Fish Rush" came out of left field with its bright animation and vibrant energy. The developers made it simple to enjoy the rhythm aspect of the game, ensuring that Chai's actions always sync with the beat. Players aren't penalized for failing to match the timing, though they do enjoy bonus damage if they press buttons at the right moment. This system allows the music to seamlessly combine with the beat 'em up-style combat, as well as the platforming and puzzle elements.

Beyond the gameplay, "Hi-Fi Rush" unfolds in a rich, music-infused world populated by a stellar cast of allies and antagonists. Chai gets a robotic cat companion, among other cool and well-thought-out companions. Anyone looking for a stylish mood booster to fill anywhere from 11 to 50 hours can't go wrong with "Hi-Fish Rush."

  • Release Date: January 25, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Action, rhythm, beat 'em up, hack and slash

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: 89 (PC), 87 (Xbox Series X)

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line

The "Theatrhythm" series returned in fine form in 2023, adding "Final Bar Line" to its growing lineup of "Final Fantasy"-themed rhythm games. The latest entry builds on the strong foundation established by its predecessors, making the leap from the 3DS to the PS4 and Switch. Though not a complete homerun, "Final Bar Line" surpasses the installments that came before it through small refinements.


"Final Bar Line" offers a huge nostalgia factor thanks to its deep catalog of 385 songs drawn from 29 "Final Fantasy" titles. Players can take on the levels solo or co-op, and there's even a competitive option that allows them to face off against others. Clearing the full song list can easily take dozens of hours filled with button taps, holds, and analog stick slides.

"Final Bar Line" augments the experience through the inclusion of RPG elements, letting players assemble a group of their favorite "Final Fantasy" personas. Each comes with a class and abilities, and players can finish song quests to unlock additional benefits. The game doesn't include its own narrative, but will still likely please fans of the many memorable "Final Fantasy" scores.

  • Release Date: February 16, 2023

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4

  • Genre: Rhythm

  • Game Modes: Single-player, local multiplayer (up to 2), online multiplayer (up to 4)

  • Metacritic Score: 87 (Switch), 87 (PlayStation 4)

Octopath Traveler 2

Back in 2018, "Octopath Traveler" made quite the splash when it hit the RPG scene, drawing players in with its central cast of eight characters and their interweaving stories. Its sequel followed up on this success by adopting a nearly identical format, chronicling the journeys of eight new playable protagonists in a fresh setting. While it remains up for debate whether "Octopath Traveler 2" surpasses the original, it does stand out as another success for the series.


To see all that "Octopath Traveler 2" has to offer, players will have to complete the main campaign eight times. Each of the core characters has their own narrative, and the game locks the player into their choice at the start of the game. The tone, themes, and scale of these pathways vary wildly, with some of the "Octopath Traveler 2" party members outshining the others. Players who loved the combat system in the first entry also won't be disappointed, as it appears again here in essentially the same form.

While it doesn't do much to evolve the franchise, those who completed "Octopath Traveler" and longed for more of the same had their wish granted by the follow-up. It also functions well as a standalone venture for anyone who just found the franchise given that the plot and world don't connect to the original at all.

  • Release Date: February 24, 2023

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC

  • Genre: RPG

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: 85 (Switch), N/A (PS4), 86 (PS5), 83 (PC)

A Space for the Unbound

Many games set out to blend the mundane with the supernatural, but few have managed to do so with as much heart as "A Space for the Unbound." The adventure title follows Atma, a high school student nearing graduation in rural Indonesia alongside his girlfriend, Raya. The pair unexpectedly gain magical powers and with this development comes a supernatural peril that threatens not just to destroy the couple but reality as a whole.


Atma's ability lets him enter the minds of others, shifting their perspective and even helping them work through unresolved traumas. As players might expect from a core mechanic like this, "A Space for the Unbound" explores some heavier topics, such as anxiety and despair. "This game is messy, and it gets no less messy as you dive deeper and deeper into it. The mess is the point," Eurogamer's Chris Tapsell wrote in his review. "This is not tidy subject matter, and there are no tidy answers. But step back to view it as a whole, and it's magic."

"A Space for the Unbound" pulls on the heartstrings. It's a great fit for anyone looking for a story-driven experience housed within a detailed setting brought to life by charming pixel art. We would also be remiss if we didn't point out that the game features a whole lot of adorable cats. And yes, you can pet all of them.

  • Release Date: January 19, 2023

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: 85 (Switch), N/A (PS4), 83 (PS5), 86 (PC), N/A (Xbox One), N/A (Xbox Series X)

Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo

The 2D visual novel "Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo" transports players back in time to the end of the 20th century. Urban legends become all too real when strange happenings unfold across Tokyo's Sumida Ward. Seven individuals find themselves caught up in the bizarre curses that have struck the area. These everyday people, ranging from high school students to police detectives, must solve the mystery before time runs out or they meet their own grisly ends.


"Paranormasight" has delighted players with its twists and turns, thanks in part to its subversive spin on the visual novel genre. The game jumps between the core cast members as they each conduct their own investigations, uncovering clues that get sorted into a well-organized file system. Interacting with items, solving puzzles, and navigating tricky encounters with other characters move the narrative forward. Players can die by making the wrong decisions, but the title equips them with hints delivered by the enigmatic Storyteller before sending them back in time to try again.

In addition to the narrative elements, "Paranormasight" capitalizes on the senses to deliver its scares. The 360° camera ups the environmental details and tension, while the art style and creepy music score really drive home the horrors the characters experience. Those longing for a break from the more cookie-cutter games hitting the market these days need look no further than "The Seven Mysteries of Honjo."

  • Release Date: March 8, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS

  • Genre: Visual novel

  • Game Modes: Single-play only

  • Metacritic Score: 85 (Switch), 82 (PC), N/A (iOS)


On the surface, "Dredge" looks like a simple indie fishing adventure; however, monsters wait in the depths below. The developers at the appropriately named Black Salt Games have seeded the fictional town of Greater Marrow and the surrounding archipelago with Lovecraftian elements. The result? An atmospheric open-world mystery that will test even the most seasoned sailors.


"Dredge" blends easy-to-master mechanics with a pleasing low poly art style, inviting players to set sail in search of their daily catch. The core loop unfolds through a series of minigames, side quests for the locals, and ship upgrades. A cryptic narrative thread joins these moments together, pulling the Fisherman into increasingly dark waters brimming with supernatural horrors. Even more considerable threats come out at night as fog rolls in and the seascape shifts. Players will have to contend with a panic meter as they guide their craft toward the Greater Marrow lighthouse.

Thanks to the excessive grind required to improve the ship and a lack of meaningful customization, "Dredge" isn't all smooth sailing. However, the pros far outweigh the cons, making this a must-play for anyone who fancies a little horror when building a fishing empire.

  • Release Date: March 30, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Adventure, RPG

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: 84 (Switch), 80 (PC), N/A (PS4), 81 (PS5), N/A (Xbox One), 85 (Xbox Series X)

Season: A Letter to the Future

Few people would associate the words "cozy" and "impending apocalypse," but "Season: A Letter to the Future" somehow manages to make the connection. Faced with the coming end of the world (or at least the end of the world in its current form), protagonist Estelle decides to leave the sheltered settlement she grew up in to document as much about the surrounding area as she can before it changes forever. She accomplishes this by riding from location to location, speaking with locals, and chronicling all of the sights and sounds in her journal.


"Season: A Letter to the Future" shines in the visual department, offering a rich tapestry of animated environments. Players can explore these environments through an open-world format, allowing them to forge their own path and document what strikes them as important in each area. They may choose to breeze through the game or stop and take in all of the sights. The less-than-refined bike mechanics muddy the experience a bit, but overall "Season" hits the right notes. Its slow, contemplative style won't please all gamers, but fans of thought-provoking indie offerings should find a lot to like in this meditation on memories and what makes life worth living.

  • Release Date: January 31, 2023

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC

  • Genre: Adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic Score: N/A (PS4), 76 (PS5), 80 (PC)