Roughly halfway through 2023, it feels safe to say that this has already been one of the best years in gaming history. While that statement accounts for a few of the things happening in the industry right now (such as finally being able to find a next-gen console) it of course speaks to the quality and quantity of incredible gaming experience we’ve been treated to so far.

In fact, it’s difficult to imagine that most people have found the time to even try to play half of the greatest games that have been released in 2023 so far. Look beyond the few blockbusters that have dominated conversations this year, though, and you’ll find an incredible collection of smaller titles that showcase the diversity of the industry and how there really is a masterpiece for everyone in the modern gaming landscape.

So while we will be updating this list throughout the year, here are some of the absolute best games of 2023 so far:

Alan Wake 2

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Nobody really knew what to expect going into Alan Wake 2. The 13 years that have passed since the flawed (yet fascinating) debut of the original title had elevated some expectations and altered others. Against considerable odds, though, Alan Wake 2 turned out to be one of the greatest horror games ever made.

Like its predecessor, Alan Wake 2 exhibits the raw creative spirit that made it a breath of fresh air and a necessary outsider for the genre. However, the original Alan Wake doesn’t come close to matching this sequel’s narrative, horror atmosphere, and most memorable moments. At a time when so many games feel cut from a similar cloth, Alan Wake 2‘s greatest quality may be the many ways it feels like a game that only Remedy could have made – Matthew Byrd

Assassin’s Creed Mirage

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One

What began as a piece of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey DLC designed to pay tribute to this franchise’s roots eventually grew into Assassin’s Creed Mirage. While it was a bit of a gamble to deviate from the modern Assassin’s Creed formula and release a smaller overall experience, Mirage shows that we can all sometimes benefit from considering our roots.

At its best, Mirage essentially reviews the origins of this series through the lens of what it became. The result is an Assassin’s Creed game that certainly feels closer to the original entries in the franchise, yet has been modified in ways that exemplify a few of the more useful refinements the series has adopted along the way. Though not quite the best of both worlds, it does offer a new starting point upon which something truly special may be built. – MB

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One

FromSoftware hasn’t touched the Armored Core franchise ever since the studio invented and perfected the Soulsborne genre. However, the company hasn’t lost any of its giant mecha magic.

At its core (ha), Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon is a robot nerd’s dream. The game revolves around a customization system where each robot part significantly alters performance as a whole. Combat is frantic and bound to remind players of their favorite Gundam and Macross fights, but a robot’s efficacy hinges on its builds. Every fight and mech is a balancing act between speed, energy efficiency, weapon damage, ammo capacity, and more. Add in massive boss fights, and you have a recipe for the new standard of mecha action. Like Dark Souls and Elden Ring before it, Armored Core VI is challenging and won’t appeal to everyone, but that uncompromising vision makes the game feel special, not unlike Dark Souls and Elden Ring. – Aaron Greenbaum

Amnesia: The Bunker

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

Amnesia: The Bunker is an evolution of the Amnesia franchise that largely sticks to what works while also adopting more traditional survival horror tropes.

As is series tradition, players are trapped in a dark and moody maze and need to escape, and they aren’t alone. A monster with an AI not unlike the xenomorph from Alien Isolation constantly stalks players, and while they can fend the creature off with a gun, ammo is extremely limited and necessary for other situations and puzzles. This extreme focus on resource management, combined with dark corridors and the constant threat of a monster, amps up the tension and scares to degrees rarely seen in other games. – AG

Baldur’s Gate 3

PC, PlayStation 5

In 2019, Larian Studios announced it was working on the latest entry in the beloved Baldur’s Gate franchise, Baldur’s Gate 3. In 2020, Larian released the game into Early Access. While the term “Early Access” is a dirty word (or two) these days, the company used the feedback it received to create one of the most polished games of 2023, if not the decade.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a frighteningly accurate portrayal of a homebrew Dungeons & Dragons campaign in the best way possible. Players can build characters with an impressive number of skills, spells, and races, all of which come into play throughout the adventure. While the combat and dialogue systems are robust, the true meat of Baldur’s Gate 3 lies in its presentation. The story is gripping and demands multiple playthroughs, and characters are brought to life with pitch-perfect acting and writing. Most importantly, the world is brimming with so many hidden details that it’s a miracle the game engine doesn’t collapse under the weight. – AG

Cassette Beasts

Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

You can’t really talk about Cassette Beasts without talking about Pokémon. It is, after all, a game that sees you collect various monsters across the world and participate in battles against other monster collectors. The comparisons are obvious, and developer Bytten Studio has never shied away from them.

Yet, at a time when the mainline Pokémon games feel more stagnant than ever, Cassette Beasts immediately distinguishes itself as a valuable alternative. It incorporates music into its gameplay in ways rarely seen outside of masterpieces like Lumines. More importantly, it offers a slightly deeper take on basic Pokémon gameplay that will surely appeal to franchise fans who have grown tired of that series’ complacency. Even those who haven’t considered themselves a Pokémon fan in ages may be unable to deny the ways that the love that went into this game so clearly manifests itself in nearly every aspect of the experience. – MB

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Released alongside Cyberpunk 2077‘s massive 2.0 update, Phantom Liberty really does represent Cyberpunk 2077 at its very best. Yes, that update includes most of the changes that drastically alter Cyberpunk 2077 for the better, but it’s the ways that Phantom Liberty often operates as a playground for those improved concepts that make it so special.

This expansion’s exceptional main narrative and incredible sidequests allow you to explore the possibilities of Cyberpunk 2.0 combat, character building, crafting, inventory, and navigation changes in ways that the base game can’t quite match. More than just what Cyberpunk 2077 should have always been, Phantom Liberty feels like a sneak peek into what this series still has to offer. – MB

Darkest Dungeon 2

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

Some have argued that Darkest Dungeon 2 shouldn’t even be called Darkest Dungeon 2 and…well, there’s something to that. This game changes nearly every significant aspect of its predecessor by offering a slightly more linear roguelike experience where each “run” feels like a more isolated experience rather than something that clearly serves as a small part of a much larger adventure.

Once you manage to get past its somewhat shocking changes, though, you’ll find it much easier to succumb to this strange sequel’s unique charms. The nature of its runs encourages you to press your luck more than the original game did, which feeds into the game’s wonderful Lovecraftian themes of madness and greed. All the while, you still get to enjoy Darkest Dungeon’s fascinating character/party-building mechanics and the wild strategies they enable. – MB

Dave the Diver

PC, Mac

Dave the Diver may be the biggest surprise of 2023 so far. While there is little outwardly appealing about a game that sees you dive deep into the ocean in order to acquire the fish needed to keep a growing sushi restaurant in business, this really is one of those titles you need to play in order to fully appreciate. 

The one word that comes closest to summarizing Dave the Diver’s brilliance, though, is “harmony.” While this game borrows a little from so many different genres and concepts, every individual element supports the greater adventure and enhances every other aspect of the game. The drive to dive a little deeper and acquire a few more resources provides the game’s traditional incentives, while the joy of simply existing in this game’s charming world allows you to achieve that rare state of interactive nirvana. – MB

Dead Space

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

The original Dead Space is widely regarded as one of the best horror games ever, and the 2023 remake offers many of the same thrills but looks and sounds much better. However, the developers weren’t content to just improve what was already present.

The Dead Space remake adds new story beats designed to keep Dead Space newcomers and veterans alike invested. More importantly, it overhauls the original game’s exploration to make it less linear, which really helps the remake almost feel closer to a completely different game. Anyone who enjoyed the original Dead Space game or the survival horror genre will love this version, especially if they felt burned by what was supposed to be the franchise’s spiritual successor, The Callisto Protocol. – AG

Diablo 4

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

The Diablo games, especially the earlier entries, are widely regarded as titles that all other dungeon crawler ARPGs must measure up to. While the franchise stumbled a bit with Diablo 3 (and a lot with Diablo Immortal), Diablo 4 put the series back on the right path.

Diablo 4 continues the Diablo tradition of challenging players with dungeons packed with macabre monsters and then rewarding gamers with shiny loot. This gameplay loop is as addictive as ever, especially when you finally start earning some of those sweet Legendary items. Moreover, Diablo 4 fixes many of the shortcomings of Diablo 3, including a lack of challenge and character customization. Admittedly Diablo 4 tripped over itself with the pre-Season 1 patch, but even taking its issues into account, the game is still devilishly fun. – AG


Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch

The horror genre is arguably the most malleable in the video game industry. There are survival horror games, horror RPGs, and now thanks to Dredge, horror fishing simulators.

Dredge is a slow burn of a game that starts with players having to work off a debt and slowly creeps its way into Lovecraftian nightmares. Every aspect of the game is a tense balancing act, from spending money to maintain and upgrade the main character’s ship to risking safety and sanity for better hauls. Dredge knows how to lull players into a false sense of security and then keep them on edge. – AG

El Paso, Elsewhere

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

If you look at El Paso, Elsewhere and only see a Max Payne knockoff…well, who can blame you? This game does not try to hide its most obvious influence, nor should it. Too few recent games have followed in Max Payne‘s footsteps, meaning that even the most obvious tributes feel surprisingly refreshing.

Yet, El Paso really is so much more than it appears to be at a glance. The game’s From Dusk Til Dawn vampire style and reined third-person shooter gameplay go hand-in-hand to create the best tribute to an action horror movie that doesn’t quite exist but most certainly deserves to. – MB

Final Fantasy XVI

PlayStation 5

In a series that is never afraid to reinvent itself, the boldness of Final Fantasy 16 still manages to stand out. Indeed, Final Fantasy 16 is closer to an action game like Devil May Cry than it is to many of the titles that have made up gaming’s most famous RPG franchise up until this point. To be fair, there are times when the game struggles (or fails) to make the most of its change in direction. 

Yet, it’s nearly impossible to deny the awesome audacity of this experience. Final Fantasy 16 features some of the most jaw-dropping setpieces in gaming history as well as the exceptional visuals, soundtrack, and animations needed to make those moments land as hard as they do. This is a truly bold game that both starts and ends up at places you would never dream of witnessing. – MB

Hi-Fi Rush

Xbox Series X/S, PC

Hi-Fi Rush took gamers by surprise, not just because its developers were primarily known for horror games, but because Hi-Fi Rush is just so dang good. The game world is bright and colorful, and every cutscene and character interaction is absolutely hilarious. Moreover, this stealth release’s action is hack-and-slash gameplay at its finest but with a rhythm game twist that rewards players who can slay to the beat.

Despite receiving no real advertisements ahead of its release, Hi-Fi Rush‘s quality quickly helped it spread via word of mouth. Hi-Fi Rush is a true passion project, and we need more games like it. – AG

Hogwarts Legacy

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

While Hogwarts Legacy isn’t directly connected to any existing Harry Potter movies or books, the game effectively transcribes the franchise’s magic into a digital, open-world format. Hogwarts Legacy lets fans create their own students to explore Hogwarts (circa the 1890s) and the school’s surrounding areas in a way the novels and films never permitted.

Hogwarts Legacy truly works thanks to its presentation. Every spell, magical creature, and hallway was lovingly crafted by a team that loves the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Moreover, the story lets players not only witness but also influence a previously unseen period of the property’s history. – AG

Lies of P

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

Though the Soulslike genre continues to grow, it shows few signs of slowing down. That’s largely because of games like Lies of P. Yes, it’s an obvious nod to some of the things that made Bloodborne such a masterpiece, but Lies of P successfully argues that someone should have borrowed some of Bloodborne’s best ideas long before this game did.

With its excellent gothic horror setting, refined combat, and surprisingly strong storytelling, Lies of P both represents the best of the evolution of the Soulslike concept and offers enough new ideas of its own to show how much more space there is left to explore in this area of gaming that is starting to change the way we play games. – MB

Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

At its core, Like a Dragon: Ishin! is a Yakuza adventure with a samurai theming, and that’s a compliment. Players get to explore a bustling town, fight wandering thugs with a robust combat system, and encounter wild and wacky side missions. And as is Yakuza tradition, the story is a gripping tale of loyalty, political intrigue, and multilayered protagonists solving problems with their fists.

Because Like a Dragon: Ishin! sticks so close to its Yakuza roots, the game also shares its world-building strengths. The town in Ishin! isn’t huge, but it is full of addictive side activities that help break up the action. Some provide tangible rewards, while others just help gamers unwind after particularly difficult sections, but they all add to the game world and make it feel lived in and real. – AG

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

PlayStation 5

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is almost certainly the best Spider-Man game ever made. While that’s no small accomplishment given the surprisingly high quality of Spider-Man games over the years, Spider-Man 2‘s triumphs extend far beyond that. There’s also a strong case to be made that this is the best superhero game ever made.

Developer Insomniac’s understanding and love of everything Spider-Man is on full display in this sequel that sees the spectacular studio go bigger in every way possible. Yet, it’s the ways that Insomniac managed to capture the humanity of this game’s many characters that resonate long after the spectacle of those big setpiece moments has been translated into the exhalation of a simple, “Wow.” – MB

Metroid Prime Remastered

Nintendo Switch

When Nintendo announced it was bringing back the beloved Metroid Prime franchise with a surprise fourth entry, countless gamers lost their minds with excitement. While we’re still waiting for Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo at least decided to let fans relive the game that started the franchise with this incredible release.

As its title suggests, Metroid Prime Remastered is a remastered version of Metroid Prime. The original Metroid Prime masterfully translated Metroidvania mechanics into a sci-fi FPS world full of environmental storytelling, and Metroid Prime Remastered hasn’t changed any of that. However, the game’s control, visuals, and audio are better than ever thanks to its upgraded models, effects, and ambient sounds. The game is an excellent walk down memory lane for veterans and an even better starting point for newcomers. – AG

Octopath Traveller 2

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC

The original Octopath Traveller was a wonderful throwback to a different era of RPGs that sometimes struggled to discover what distinguished it from the masterpieces it most closely resembled. With Octopath Traveller 2, developers Square Enix and Acquire decided to hold nothing back as they fully explore the possibilities of a concept that was never lacking in potential. The result is one of the finest RPGs in quite some time. 

Yes, Octopath Traveller 2 is bigger than its predecessor. However, the game’s sheer size is significantly less important than the ways this game uses its incredible scope. It’s one thing to offer a game with multiple protagonists that can be utilized and acquired in nearly any order. It’s quite another to ensure that every path a player could potentially take through the game feels like the way the game was meant to be played. I’d go so far as to say we haven’t seen a game manage this many intriguing characters quite so well since the great Suikoden 2. – MB

Patch Quest


One look at words like “Roguelike” and “Metroidvania” in Patch Quest’s description may make you think “Oh, it’s another one of those indie games.” However, while Patch Quest does invoke aspects of other indie titles, there really is nothing else quite like it out there. 

The typical Patch Quest run sees you dive deep into a dungeon in order to collect monsters and utilize their unique abilities. However, Patch Quest only bares a passing resemblance to a Pokémon title. Its action is actually much closer to a bullet hell game in which each collected monster slightly expands your projectile arsenal. Think of it as a cuter version of Returnal or a deeper take on The Binding of Issac if you must. As I said, though, it’s really very much its own thing. – MB

Pizza Tower


Pizza Tower effectively fills the void left by long-dead Wario Land games. This indie title is an addictive side-scrolling platformer that emphasizes running through levels as fast as you can while collecting as many pizza ingredients as possible. The main character’s moves are designed to combo with each other to maximize momentum and speed, and much of the challenge stems from perfecting runs to maximize point totals (which is as challenging as it is rewarding).

Pizza Tower also shines thanks to its presentation. Every in-game sprite was hand-drawn with close attention to detail that sells the main character’s personality, and the music is in a league all its own. – AG

Remnant 2

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

The original Remnant offered an undeniably compelling blend of Soulslike concepts and third-person shooter gameplay. For all the things that the game did well, though, its many rough edges made it clear that it was the product of a relatively fresh team working within the uncharted confines of a relatively fresh idea. While I can’t say that Remnant 2 fixes all of its predecessor’s flaws, I can tell you that it offers one of the year’s most intense experiences. 

Remnant 2 features one of the best blends of RPG-like character-building and real-time action I’ve ever experienced, which is all the more impressive when you consider how many games in recent years have tried to balance those elements. Remnant’s moment-to-moment gameplay is so enjoyable that I often found myself caught off guard by the times it offered RPG-like quests and boss battles that are often worthy of (or better than) that genre’s best offerings. It’s the kind of game that makes you wonder what larger developers are doing with their ever-growing production budgets. – MB

Resident Evil 4 (Remake)

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

The original Resident Evil 4 offered a compelling blend of action setpieces, terrifying shootouts, and campy dialogue. The game served as the blueprint for subsequent Resident Evil games, remakes included. Well, now Capcom has remade that game as well.

The Resident Evil 4 remake retells the events of the original Resident Evil 4 with a slightly more serious tone. Gone is virtually all of the camp, and in its place is better characterization and some of the best horror segments of the entire franchise. Combat is mostly the same (as it should be) but with more modern and smoother controls. Plus, the remake trims the fat by getting rid of QTE-centric segments. Even in 2023, the name Resident Evil 4 is setting the bar for survival horror. – AG


PC, Xbox Series X/S

After five years, Bethesda has finally released Starfield. After five years of development and hype, audiences finally got to play Bethesda’s newest IP. The verdict? It’s a Bethesda game, all right, which is a compliment, by the way.

In Starfield, players can explore huge areas across outer space, use different skills to complete missions in a myriad of ways, and build outposts and space ships with random resources they scavenge while exploring. Starfield is the kind of game that gives back more than one puts into it. Anyone who just speedruns the story might not enjoy what they see, but players who stop to smell the roses (and shoot the raiders) will find themselves engrossed in the minutiae. In Starfield, it’s not the destination but the journey, and the scenic route is often the best one. – AG

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor picks up roughly where Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order left off, as players once again control ex-Jedi Cal Kestis. Like that game, Jedi: Survivor is an engrossing story with excellent writing and dialogue, pitch-perfect worlds and visuals, and combat that takes clear inspiration from Dark Souls. Jedi: Survivor also adds to its solid framework with new abilities and weapon styles, more expansive worlds, and a larger roster of enemy types.  

While you should definitely play Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, that recommendation comes with a caveat: The game launched with significant performance problems and bugs, especially on PC. Only play the game on a platform with patches that fixed these issues. – AG

Street Fighter 6

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Earlier this year, we suggested that Street Fighter 6 may just be the perfect version of the modern Street Fighter experience. While that may be true, even that bold statement only captures some of the things that make the game feel so special. 

Street Fighter 6 is a game that takes nothing for granted. It offers a refined (and yes, possibly perfected) version of the core Street Fighter experience for those who are looking for it, but many of its greatest qualities are also its freshest. Its almost RPG-like World Tour mode expands our perception of a single-player Street Fighter experience while feeling true to the series’ roots. Its expanded control options welcome new players without making them feel like they’re only getting part of the intended experience. Even the stylish new presentation makes the series feel more alive than ever. – MB

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Nintendo Switch

Despite its return to slightly more classic 2D Super Mario gameplay, very little of the Wonder experience could be called formulaic. Whatever conventions may unite those Super Mario games, they have always demonstrated levels of creativity that separate each entry and elevate those games over most other platformers.

That creativity is on full display in this game that truly is a wonder. No element of this experience is treated as anything less than a showcase of its creators’ considerable imaginations. From the introduction of entirely new ideas to the refinement of concepts that formed the foundation of modern gaming, Super Mario Bros. Wonder shows why these games remain infinitely playable classics. – MB

System Shock

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

In 2016, Night Dive Studio opened a Kickstarter campaign for a remake of System Shock. The game was supposed to launch in 2017, but it was hit hard by delays. The System Shock remake was finally released in 2023, but it was worth the wait.

The 2023 version of System Shock is a labor of love. The game seamlessly translates the 1994 version into a modern game engine with the challenge and complicated systems of the original intact. System Shock is still a polished FPS with an emphasis on exploration and inventory management, but now it has an HD paint job, better weapon mechanics, and superior voice acting. Thankfully, Night Dive Studio didn’t change the voice of the game’s main antagonist, SHODAN, because why mess with perfection? – AG


PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC

In the grand scheme of modern gaming, I suppose you could consider Tchia to be a “cozier” version of Zelda-like game. It is, after all, an adventure that sees you explore a large colorful world and overcome various obstacles with the help of a diverse array of abilities (some of which are based on musical instruments). You’ve probably played a game like Tchia before, and you’ve likely played one fairly recently. 

Yet, Tchia really is one of the best pure action/adventure games of 2023. Though it rarely leaves you wanting for objectives to complete, the game shines in those moments when it simply lets you explore and discover the joy in what lies ahead. Games significantly larger than Tchia struggle to capture the joy of exploration and adventuring quite the same ways that it does. – MB

Tents and Trees

Nintendo Switch, Android

Every once in a while, we are reminded that we’re one great game away from being addicted to yet another puzzle title. Just when you think you’ve gotten your fill of gamified logic, something like Lumines, Brain Age, or even Portal comes along and reminds you how easy it is to lose hours to the process of finding a solution. Well, Tents and Trees is that game. 

In terms of legacy puzzle games, Tents and Trees most closely resembles Picross. It asks you to place tents on a grid so that they are next to trees and fulfill both vertical and horizontal placement requirements. The catch is that you can’t have two tents touching one another. Sound simple? Honestly, it kind of is…until it isn’t. And that’s the brilliance of Tents and Trees. Like the great puzzle games before it, Tents and Trees has this way of making you realize both how far you’ve come and how far there is to go even after you’ve spent hours lost in its elegant charms. – MB

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Nintendo Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is something of a novelty among Zelda titles. Though it re-uses many of that game’s assets (including enemies, music, and temperature mechanics) Tears of the Kingdom is a masterclass in open-world design rather than a simple retread.

Tears of the Kingdom fixes many of the criticisms levied at Breath of the Wild, such as a lack of dungeon and enemy variety. More than that, Tears of the Kingdom gives players new ways to explore through new abilities, including a building mechanic that lets imaginations run wild. And let us not forget new floating islands and an underground region that more than double the amount of digital real estate. Tears of the Kingdom isn’t perfect, but it’s dang close. – AG

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line

PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Though I personally miss the glory days of the rhythm genre, it’s not hard to understand why it went away. Increasingly expensive peripherals diluted a market already suffering from rapidly diminishing creative returns. If rhythm games are going to make a comeback, we’ll need more rhythm games that tap into the heart of the things that once made the genre feel special. 

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line does just that. Essentially a rhythm RPG, this overlooked Square Enix title sees you progress through a series of RPG-inspired challenges as you play to the beat of various songs from previous Square Enix games (mostly the Final Fantasy series). The setup is a bit gimmicky, but the execution is anything but. Though its RPG elements are ultimately pretty light, they certainly enhance the fundamental joy of playing your way through some of the best video game soundtracks ever. – MB

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is a refreshingly old-school FPS game that places amers in the boots of an iconic Space Marine. What’s the game’s story? Who cares! You’re there to purge heretics, nothing more.

The gameplay and presentation essentially channel the best different Doom games with a Warhammer 40,000 paint job, which is fitting since demons are a constant threat in both franchises. Action is as frantic as it is brutal, and levels consist of hand-drawn 2D sprites placed over simple (yet beautiful) polygonal levels. The result is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the thumbs, and the action doesn’t stop until you exterminate the final boss. For the Emperor! – AG

Wild Hearts

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

At a time when it seems like nearly every popular game has become a genre, the relative lack of Monster Hunter-like games remains truly surprising. The few titles out there that do mimic Capcom’s increasingly popular series often lack the budget and ambition needed to elevate its core concepts and offer meaningful competition. 

Despite its shortcomings, Wild Hearts does just that. By emphasizing a slightly faster-paced, slightly more accessible version of the basic Monster Hunter experience, Wild Hearts allows those who have never really gotten into the Monster Hunter series a chance to see what the basic hype is about. Even Monster Hunter fans may find a few ideas in this game that Capcom would do well to pay attention to. – MB

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC

It’s a testament to the strength of 2023’s new release lineup that a game like Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty already feels forgotten about. While there’s a healthy debate to be had about where Wo Long ranks among the best Souslike experiences, there’s less of a debate to entertain when it comes to the many standalone qualities of the core experience. 

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty‘s unique counter-attack mechanics afford its action the kind of pace we’re not used to seeing in many modern Soulslike experiences. There are times when the game actually feels closer to a “classic” Team Ninja action game, and that’s a good thing. It’s an utterly compelling examination of the tentpoles of the genre that keeps you hooked as you gradually figure out its more unique qualities. – MB

The post The Best Games of 2023 (So Far) appeared first on Den of Geek.

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