Happy New Year! The year 2023 is finally behind us, and it’s time to reflect on every game I played and choose the cream of the crop. Surprisingly, this year’s list only features games that were released in 2023, a departure from my approach in 2017 and 2020.
Be mindful that this is not supposed to be a list of the objective best games of 2023, I’ll just be including that one I got to play! So, without further ado, here are my top games of 2023:
I make so many beginnings there never will be an end.
-Louisa May Alcott
5. Assassin's Creed Mirage
Coming in at number 5 is my introduction to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. For this one, I’ll be borrowing some words from my review:
“In the end, despite the technical issues, uncanny facial expressions, and a not-very-strong narrative, I feel like this was a great introduction to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I’ll always remember how great it felt parkouring on the rooftops of Baghdad while finding ways to break into guarded buildings, and having fun strategizing my next assassination.
Ubisoft Bordeaux managed to do something special here, bringing to life a game that caters to fans of the early Assassin’s Creed games, other stealth game enthusiasts, and even newcomers to the franchise like myself.”
4. Super Mario Bros Wonder
This game speaks for itself. It’s a 2D Mario game nominated for Game of The Year in several categories.
The first thing that stands out in Super Mario Bros Wonder is the amazing visuals and style, which, combined with a pleasant soundtrack, make for a fantastic and unique experience.
Then we have the great, tight gameplay we are familiar with but with new wacky mechanics that make it stand out among previous 2D Mario games released in recent years.
I won’t elaborate more until I review it properly, but if you have a Switch, you need to do yourself a favor and pick up this game, even as a late Christmas present.
3. Dragon Quest Monster: The Dark Prince
I played this one back to back with Super Mario Bros Wonder, and it’s the game I’m currently reviewing, so I have it very fresh in my mind.
As a monster tamer fan, this game piqued my interest immediately. However, when I first tried the demo, it declined very fast. The performance was terrible, and the overall presentation was subpar.
Still, I couldn’t get it out of my mind, and a few days after its release, I bought it. After powering through the demo bits and seeing the rest of the game, I changed my mind. It might not win a Game of the Year award for the best story or visuals, but the monster-taming aspect is phenomenal and has me hooked to this day.
I’m seriously trying to move past it and start other games, but it’s been really difficult since all I can think about is fusing new stronger monsters to take online!
2. Cassette Beasts
This year I dabbled in a bunch of monster-taming games, from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet to TemTem, Coromon, Monster Crown, and the previously mentioned Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince. But none of them were as memorable as Cassette Beasts.
It’s a 2D open-world adventure featuring a kick-ass soundtrack that’ll get you pumped for every monster battle. A diverse cast of likable and memorable characters, an awesome fusion system, and a story filled with mystery that was a joy to unravel.
All of these features combined make a game that is more than worthy of being on this list, and I’m excited to get back at it with some friends after the multiplayer update in 2024.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Here we have the game I played the most last year and that I’ll keep playing in the foreseeable future.
To me, it surpassed BOTW in every aspect except the novelty. However, the new mechanics made exploring the beautiful landscapes, skies, and depths of Hyrule feel fresh, and it kind of ruined other open-world games for me a bit. Now, have the habit of trying to swim upward in every game that has some kind of vertical exploration…
But it wasn’t just the mechanics that sold me; the narrative also played a major part. It was way more present in this title, making my journey feel more connected to the world I was exploring, something that I had a hard time feeling in Breath of the Wild.
Tears of the Kingdom’s world feel alive, and every time I turn it on, I find something new to do or have an idea I want to experiment with.
It truly was the best game I played in 2023, and I can’t wait to see if I’ll be playing a game in 2024 that can surpass the wonder of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
How about you what were your best top games of 2023? Let me know!