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Game Of The Year Editor’s Pick, 2023

I may be TheGamer’s Tabletop Editor, but I have been known to dabble in the bleepy-bloopy games once in a while as well. Cardboard can only sustain a man for so long, and there were so many bangers that 2023’s going to go down as one of gaming’s best years. How could I not?

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While there are an embarrassing number this year I’ve not had time to get to yet (sorry, Armored Core 6), there was one game that had my heart right from the start, when we still didn’t know what 2023 had in store for us.

Though mine are clearly the best choices, I’m not the only one declaring the best games of the year. Every editor and specialist at the site will be doing a list, and you can find them all over on the hub. Our full-site list will be revealed on December 18.

10 Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3's key art.

I bounced off Baldur’s Gate 3 hard when it first came out, but revisiting it a couple of months later, it’s clear to see why it’s as loved as it is.

A ridiculously deep RPG that adapts tabletop D&D mechanics near-perfectly, with easily the strongest writing and cast of the year. I can’t wait to lose more time to Baldy-Gee, and maybe kiss Halsin while I’m at it.

9 Master Detective Archives: Rain Code

Rain Code Key Art

All year, I’ve been chasing the high of the debate-’em-up Danganronpa. The one to best scratch the itch came from Danganronpa’s creator himself, Kazutaka Kodaka. Oozing with the style and action-packed argument sequences, Rain Code is a worthy successor to the series I love so much.

8 Pizza Tower

Pizza Tower - Peppino screaming as he meets a sentient pizza

Pizza Tower stresses me the hell out. It’s a deep-dish of anxiety with a stuffed crust of stress, but it’s also one of the smoothest platformers in recent memory. Add to that the absolutely incredible Ren & Stimpy-style animation that never even attempts to stay on-model, and you’ve got one tasty slice of a game.

7 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

the texas chain saw massacre leatherface chainsaw dance

I fed grandpa and I loved every second of it.

6 System Shock

System Shock Remake: Mutated Citadel Staff Attacking The Hacker

2023 was the year of the horror remake, and underneath the piles of Isaac Clarkes and Leon Kennedys, there’s a little, terrified spaceman fighting against a megalomaniac AI. A horrific maze of cyborgs and mutants, all wrapped up in a retro art style, Night Dive’s take on System Shock manages to be faithful to the original, while feeling totally fresh.

Honourable Mentions That Didn’t Make The Final Cut

5 Humanity

Two lines of humans form an infinity loop in the Jump Start trial of Humanity.

Yes, this is an impressively clever and compelling puzzle game. Yes, it constantly reinvents the idea of funnelling an endless crowd of people through satisfying puzzles to great effect. But mostly I just like pressing the button that makes the dog bark.

4 Lies Of P

The Scrapped Watchman attacks Pinocchio

Lies of P takes the deep lore and gothic stylings that make Souls games what they are, but adds in enough changes to the formula to tone down the nonsense that makes them such a chore to play. With a sequel already confirmed, I can’t wait to revisit little Robo-Timothy Chalamet and see what else Krat has to offer.

3 Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries Of Honjo

Paranormasight - Tetsuo and Erio in a park

It’s an odd comparison, but Paranormasight is the closest you’ll get to playing an episode of Death Note.

A masterclass in nonlinear storytelling and horrific worldbuilding, it managed to dart between shlocky ghost horror and tense, atmospheric confrontations full of mind games with impressive ease.

2 Hi-Fi Rush

Chai in mid-air against the backdrop of the city in Hi-Fi Rush

It’s amazing to think Bethesda released the soulless Redfall and Starfield this year, because Hi-Fi Rush has more heart than most other games put together.

Its first few hours may be rough, but just hold on until you unlock the parry, and you’ll be rewarded with a slick, technical hack-n-slash full of the best characters and most memorable set pieces of the year. I’ve not stopped thinking about Chai and the gang, or that glorious Invaders Must Die segment, in the months since playing.

1 Dead Space

Dead Space Game of the Year

If you’d asked me what the best survival horror game ever made was this time last year, I’d have said 2008’s Dead Space. Now? It’s 2023’s Dead Space. Dead Space managed to take a near-perfect 15-year-old game and make it look quite pants in comparison.

The gameplay has been refreshed without losing the heaving, desperate feeling of the first time around. The Ishimura’s been turned into an open world where you can freely walk from tip to tail to fantastic effect. Isaac Clarke’s backstory has been expanded, and they even gave him dialogue that didn’t feel ham-fisted in.

Dead Space is one of my favourite games, and having a remake that understood why so completely as this has kept it at the top of my list for the entire year. After the wet fart that was Dead Space 3 ruined all my hopes for more plasma-cutting horror, it’s so nice to have Isaac and the Necromorphs back.

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TheGamer Game Of The Year Hub – 2023

This is the landing page for all the GOTY lists written by TheGamer’s team. Behold our dazzling opinions!

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