The Best Video Games of 2023

Our Favorite Games of 2023 – An Incredible Year

Most people feel that this was both the shortest and longest year on record, and it makes complete sense. Looking back at a year like 2023 is kind of overwhelming. Controversy was in anything but short supply, way too many people lost their jobs, and we – the gamers – could only sip from the firehose-like deluge of fantastic games. This article is called The Best Games of 2023, but with so much excellence, any of this year’s top ten could easily have grappled for the crown in just about any other year. So read on, readers, for 10 of our favorite games of 2023.

10. Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

Star Wars Jedi Survivor

Star Wars has had a tumultuous relationship with video games. From early highs like Rogue Squadron to Grand Canyon lows like the Battlefront 2 monetization debacle, it’s truly run the gamut. Thankfully, the sequel to Respawn Entertainment’s “be a cool lightsaber dude” simulator – Star Wars: Jedi Survivor – is a damn good video game. Adding multiple layers to an already competent combat system would have been plenty, but Jedi Survivor also packs in a massive amount of content, great characters, and new lightsaber customization. In our estimation it’s “the best of Star Wars since the Disney acquisition.”

9. Sea of Stars


16-bit style RPGs have seen an incredible resurgence in the past few years, but none have flown quite as high as Sea of Stars did in 2023. From Sabotage Studio – the people who made The Messenger – Sea of Stars is a brilliant love letter to the best of the SNES era. Heartwarming characters and excellent turn based combat smash head first into a killer soundtrack partly composed by the legendary Yasunori Mitsuda, and the result is an RPG that A) sinks its teeth deep into your soul, and B) just about outshines the source material it holds in such high regard. If you play RPGs, do not miss Sea of Stars – easily one of the Best Games of 2023.

8. Resident Evil 4 Remake

Remakes often come under fire for finding their way onto game of the year lists, but Resident Evil 4 Remake is truly new. Like new new. Not the story and such, but the experience of playing RE4 Remake is distinctly separate from the original, and we think it’s among the best games of 2023. Resident Evil 4 is already the basis of most third person shooters in the past 18 years, but the remake does well to add to it’s already tense formula, and Capcom’s fantastic engine continues to deliver incredible visuals.

7. Hogwarts Legacy

Controversy follows the Harry Potter franchise wherever it goes, but the votes, and sales, don’t like. Hogwarts Legacy is an engaging and fun romp through Hogwarts Castle and its surroundings. It immerses players in a lush world full of wizarding mischief and wand battles, and tells a decent story along the way. Fan service is nearly limitless, hitting almost all the high points: the exclusion of Quidditch is a curious shame. Nevertheless, it was “one of the all-time great surprises” in our reviewer’s eyes, and it delighted enough of the COG staff to find its place on this list of our favorite games of 2023.

6. Lies of P

Lies of P

One of the other great surprises of 2023 was Lies of P, from the relatively unknown (but obviously quite talented!) Round 8 Studio. We won’t beat around the bush – Lies of P is unapologetically a beat for beat rip off of the Souls games. That’s fine though, as it packs a stunning Bloodborne meets steampunk aesthetic that will tickle your eyeballs and challenging but well rounded combat that’ll challenge your thumbs. More interestingly, “there are small moments when it surpasses its inspiration.” A worthy addition to the list.

5. Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI Review

If you told me in June that Final Fantasy XVI would barely crack the top 5 in our best games of 2023 review, I’d have laughed a long, uncomfortable, Tidus & Yuna laugh. Final Fantasy XVI is a phenomenal experience with some of the finest voice acting on record, bombastic boss battles that defy description, and a moving score. More importantly, it proves that the franchise still has a place in games. The gameplay – though unrelated technically – pushes the structure first attempted in Final Fantasy XV meaningfully forward, and defines the start of where this franchise can go. And this is the sixteenth mainline instalment, people!

4. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Breath of the Wild melted people’s faces off. It was the second coming of our savior Link, and changed the discussion about The Legend of Zelda. Tears of the Kingdom – regardless of what it might do – couldn’t live up to that, right? Wrong. Tears of the Kingdom is better than it’s predecessor in every measurable way. Sure, the overworld map is “the same” as before. Mechanically, this world has no limits. None. The tools you’re given work seamlessly in every situation, and it truly boggles the mind. Video Game Scientists will be studying this game for ages, wondering how the heck they made it work. But work it does. In almost any other year, Tears of the Kingdom would easily top the list of the best games of 2023. But…

3. Alan Wake 2

Oh, Remedy Entertainment. Comparable in many ways to the great auteurs of our medium, Remedy have really outdone themselves with Alan Wake 2. Control was brilliant, and Alan Wake 2 embodies that same description using completely different methods. Alan Wake 2 is weird. It’s spooky. It’s not at all what most people expected it to be. With the potential to be quite different depending on how you approach it, Alan Wake 2 is perhaps the most replayable survival horror game ever made. And graphically? Sheeeeeesh. Alan Wake 2 redefines graphical quality in just about every sense. Pretty – as a description – just doesn’t cut it.

2. Spider-Man 2

Insomniac Games just doesn’t miss. Spider-Man 2, carrying the weight of A LOT of expectations on it’s sturdy shoulders, outshines prior entries handily. It’s the perfect length, with just enough fluff to show off the activities that pack its gorgeous depiction of New York. Miles and Peter play well off each other, with some standout acting from Yuri Lowenthal during [redacted]. The already sharp and entertaining combat feels infinitely smoother. And unassisted web slinging? Be still my beating heart. Spider-Man 2 is the ultimate superhero game, but couldn’t quite find the #1 spot in our best games of 2023.

1. Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3

Could it be anything else? Baldur’s Gate 3 became an absolute juggernaut this fall, overshadowing most other games in this – frankly – ridiculously jam packed year. Then density of content: absurd. The quality of writing: excellent. The intriguing characters: might melt your heart and soul. Baldur’s Gate 3 takes D&D, shines up the rough edges, and presents a phenomenally well crafted that anyone can enjoy. Beyond that, those of us that want to role (pun intended) up our sleeves in get under the hood will find a nearly unending number of ways to play. The number of choices, options, paths, and encounters the game takes into consideration is completely ridiculous – we have no doubt that 16000+ endings Larian Studios have suggested exist do indeed exist. Baldur’s Gate 3, in a year with nary a peer, stormed into our hearts as not just the best game of 2023, but also our favorite. Well done to all the folks past and present at Larian: you truly created a masterpiece.

What do you think? What are your favorite games of 2023? Are they the same as ours? We bet not!