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The Best Games Of August 2023, According To Metacritic

The second half of 2023 continues to be a heck of a time in video game history, particularly for fans of long-running franchises. May kicked things off with the eagerly anticipated release of "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom," while June saw the return of "Street Fighter." Then in July, "Pikmin" and "Oxenfree" both received well-liked followups. August was no different, bringing fans new entries in a few series that have been missing in action for a while.


Beyond the big sequels, however, August also yielded a few surprises, including a painstakingly programmed remaster for one of the greatest FPS games of the '90s and a retro-styled prequel to a more recent indie action title. Nostalgia ruled in August, and gamers are all the better for it. Let's take a look at the top video game releases of the month, as ranked by the scores over at Metacritic.

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon

FromSoftware brought its classic mech action series roaring back to life with this year's "Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon," which is an interesting beast. Though many longtime fans were concerned that the title would simply play like "Elden Ring" with robots, the truth is that FromSoftware has taken the best elements of its more recent titles and applied them to what worked in older "AC" games. The result is the smoothest-playing "Armored Core" game yet.


Sure, some people have taken issue with the wonky camera and demanding in-game economy, but it's hard to complain too much when you can also obliterate a war machine in slow motion and walk away from the blast. Many gamers are discovering "Armored Core" for the first time thanks to this entry, which SVG's Sam Watanuki says "has not only reignited interest in the mecha genre but also provided a roadmap for future developers on how to evolve a long-standing series while respecting its roots."

  • Release Date: August 29, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Genre: Action, Simulation
  • Game modes: Single-Player, Multiplayer (Up to 9)
  • Metacritic Score: 87 (PC), 86 (PS5), 80 (Series X|S)
  • SVG's Review

Quake 2 - Enhanced Edition

"Quake 2" was a revelatory game when it was first released by id Software in 1997. By slowing down player movement and making the gameplay feel more methodical, the developers managed to create a game even more intense than the original. For some fans, this is id's crowning achievement of the 1990s, surpassing even the gory heights of the first few "Doom" entries. "Quake 2 – Enhanced Edition" brings the heavy metal intensity to modern consoles with a fresh coat of paint, new missions, and some welcome quality of life updates.


Yes, although this is a remaster and not a full-on remake, critics are convinced that "Quake 2 – Enhanced Edition" might as well be a whole new game. Enemies are smarter, inventory is easier to manage, and levels are more navigable than ever thanks to a new compass system. GamingBolt's Ravi Sinha writes, "This is the best version of the game to exist and simply essential for anyone who enjoys classic first-person shooters."

  • Release Date: August 29, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Genre: Action, FPS
  • Game modes: Single-Player, Multiplayer (Up to 8)
  • Metacritic Score: 87 (PC), 84 (PS5), 90 (Series X|S)

Sea of Stars

2018's "The Messenger" quickly became a favorite for fans of indie action games thanks to its clever visuals and phenomenal storyline. While "Sea of Stars" marks quite a departure from that game — changing from Metroidvania platformer to a turn-based RPG — this prequel may become an even bigger hit. Critics have applauded the game's satisfying combat system, which encourages players to swap out characters and time their attacks carefully, as well as its overworld puzzles that double as traversal options. 


Above all else, the music and character writing have received unanimous praise. SVG's own Gabran Gray remarked, "The game's atmosphere will make you want to stop and smell all the roses, and the overarching story will keep you engaged and playing well past your bedtime." The title has already proven popular with gamers, selling 100,000 copies on launch day, despite being available on Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus Extra. If you haven't played "Sea of Stars" yet, do yourself a favor and check out a game that's going to be on many best-of-the-year lists.

  • Release Date: August 29, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Genre: RPG
  • Game modes: Single-Player
  • Metacritic Score: 91 (Switch), 88 (PC), 91 (PS5), 90 (Series X|S)
  • SVG's Review

Baldur's Gate 3

At this point, "Baldur's Gate 3" requires very little introduction. The game has been so warmly received by critics that it briefly overtook "Tears of the Kingdom" as the best-reviewed game of the year. It's easy to see why, as Larian Studios has managed to craft one of the most in-depth and captivating RPGs of all time. "Baldur's Gate 3" implements elements of the 5th ruleset for "Dungeons & Dragons," which can be a bit overwhelming for newbies at first blush. However, patient players will soon grow accustomed to the title's spin on turn-based combat, however, and will be taken in by the game's vast world and exquisite character writing. Each party member feels like a real friend by the end of your playthrough, and navigating your team from the depths of Avernus to the heights of Moonrise Towers is an unforgettable experience.


Critics have praised "Baldur's Gate 3" for most closely capturing the feeling of playing a great "D&D" campaign, with Larian Studios acting as a wickedly clever DM. As SVG's Sergio Solorzano puts it, "While nothing matches the energy of sitting around the table with friends, 'Baldur's Gate 3' delivers the depth and choice of 'D&D' in a massive package."

  • Release Date: August 3, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5 (Sept. 6 release)
  • Genre: RPG
  • Game modes: Single-Player, Multiplayer (Up to 4)
  • Metacritic Score: 96 (PC)
  • SVG's Review