2023 is coming to a close and while the gaming industry has certainly seen a tumultuous year across the board, there were still some incredible games released. From major AAA titles like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to games that took everyone by surprise like Lethal Company, there was honestly something for everyone to play this year. But what were my 2023 video games of the year?
While I didn’t play everything I wanted to this year, I was still able to play even more than I did last year, which is a bonus. The best part is that I was able to play a plethora of different types of games. From beautiful adventure games to games that brought me back to the past, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed gaming as much as I did in 2023.
So, with that said, let’s dive into my top video games of the year for 2023.
Mike Straw’s Top Video Games Of 2023
5. Dave the Diver
Brave diver by day; even braver restaurant manager by night. Dave the Diver is an RPG with a fantastic mix of complex yet relaxing gameplay. The cutscenes are well-crafted and the game’s overall aesthetic feels soothing yet suspenseful, especially during the exploration portions.
Mintrocket’s ability to blend a management sim and traditional adventure exploration is something I don’t remember seeing done in a way that was so memorable. I’ve found myself spending hours playing without even realizing the time has passed. It’s a very hard game to put down.
What can be said about Baldur’s Gate 3 that hasn’t been said before elsewhere? From the gameplay to the narrative choices to the presentation and general quality, Baldur’s Gate 3 is almost as perfect as a game could get.
Baldur’s Gate 3’s dedication to the Dungeons & Dragons source material is done in a way that makes long-time fans happy while not being too daunting for new and unfamiliar players. The open-ended nature of the game allows you to play any way you can think of, making it one of the most replayable games we’ve seen.
It’s not often that a shadow-dropped game is truly special, but Hi-Fi Rush is just that. A game that came out of nowhere from Tango Gameworks, Hi-Fi Rush blends rhythm and action to near perfection.
The game’s soundtrack is fun and makes the action even more enjoyable as you play as Chai fighting to stop executives from Vandelay Technologies from using their “experimental surgery” to control the minds of people. Though things can get chaotic at times, the game is a fun, fast-paced ride that gives you memories of Jet Set Radio at times while also being an original experience all its own. And even after you complete the main story, there’s more to do and challenges to complete that add more depth to the game.
In El Paso, Elsewhere you go through a motel that continues to see floor after floor appear in the most psychedelic way in order to rescue the innocent and return to the elevator. Unfortunately, every time you get to the elevator, there seems to be a more daunting level ahead of you within the void. It’s all part of the greater plot to stop your ex, Draculae, from destroying the world.
El Paso, Elsewhere is a call back to action games of old like Max Payne and Dead to Rights, and it does a fantastic job of paying homage to those games while also carving out a unique path all its own.
The gameplay mix between normal and slow-motion adds a nice flair to the experience, and the soundtrack is one of the best you’ll hear in any game.
There’s just something about a game that takes inspiration from a specific location, incorporates its culture, and does its best to represent its source. Tchia does all of that while also being a fantastic game in every aspect. The story, while sometimes dark, is beautifully crafted, and the open-world gameplay is some of the best I’ve seen in quite some time. The ability to possess various objects and animals gives you the ability to try out new ideas while exploring, letting you see what works and what doesn’t.
Everything about Tchia is memorable, and it’s a game I can’t recommend enough. If you want to know more about Tchia, you can check out our interview with game director Phil Crifo.
What were your top games of 2023? Let us know in the comments below. For more Insider Gaming, read about the plans for Call of Duty 2025.