The Top 20 Video Games of 2023, Ranked

2023 was a stellar year for gaming. Here are the best of the best from Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo and PC.

Credit: Larian Studios

2023 was a remarkable year for video games. From consoles to PC, the games showcased in interactive entertainment have pushed the boundaries like never before. Whether they be sequels, reboots of franchises or something entirely new, gamers have been graced with some of the most polished, captivating and varied games ever. Here are the top 20 games of 2023.

20. Street Fighter 6

After a lackluster entry with Street Fighter 5, Capcom has come back strong. Street Fighter 6 unleashed a huge roster of new and returning characters, an engaging single player and a solid variety of online modes that aren’t just for esports champions. SF6 does as much to welcome newcomers to the series as it does to pay off long-time fans. It’s worth a look for any gamer aiming to dole out chin music. 

19. Humanity

Stunningly stylized, addictively puzzling and uniquely presented, Humanity throws players for a loop as its gameplay evolves along the way. Taking control of masses of people as a Shiba Inu for some reason, the weirdness of the premise doesn’t detract at all from the Lemmings-style gameplay.  

18. Dave the Diver

Part deep sea fishing adventure, part restaurant management, and all pixelated like it was 1989 for for one of the most captivating games of 2023. Dave The Diver is a game played in two halves; the beginning of the day is spent below the waves, hunting exotic fish to bolster your menu offerings and the evening, putting those ingredients into sushi in the chaos of a hyped up sushi bar with demanding customers. It’s a unique experience in modern gaming, pitch perfect and enjoyable through and through. 

17. Jusant

With a style that’s reminiscent of the Nintendo 64 days, Jusant’s rock climbing, rope swinging gameplay is easy to pick up, hard to master and supremely rewarding when done correctly. The level design is excellent and doubling back is common but rarely frustrating as the mute character traverses increasingly difficult sections of a tower, discovering mementos of a civilization that’s died out. 

16. Starfield

Probably one of the most divisive games on this list, Starfield was (and still is) a game that Bethesda wants to have the longevity of Skyrim. For some, that will undoubtedly be the case but for many others, the tedium may not pay off in this sci-fi explorer the way it did in Skyrim’s fantasy world. Still, the scope and absolutely stunning galactic skyscapes found in Starfield make it a must play for any gamer. Only time will tell what kind of staying power it has. 

15. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

One of the best sequels in the Star Wars gaming universe, Jedi Survivor continues the story of Cal Kestis and his struggle against the Empire. The third person action remains excellent here as Cal hones his powers and becomes an even bigger threat while cutting through legions of storm troopers. Memorable characters, huge set pieces and overall Jedi badassery make this a great entry into the growing series. The force is strong with this one. 

14. The Talos Principle 2

One of the best puzzle games of the year, with a sprawling gorgeous environment and a healthy helping of philosophy, The Talos Principle 2 is deep, challenging and occasionally meta and that all combines for a game that breaks the mold of a puzzler in many ways.

13. Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

Short, sweet and oh so Japanese, this game is an appealing interlude for the Yakuza franchise as fans wait for the next entry, Yakuza: Infinite Wealth, to arrive next year. Chock full of references, mini-games, and secret agent adventures in the underworld of Osaka, it’s a novel take on the expansive world of the series with familiar characters and lots of brawling. 

12. Lies of P 

Sitting firmly in the intersection of Dark Souls and the story of Pinocchio, Lies of P may seem like a strange amalgamation for a game but the dark style and myriad bosses make for some excellent, engaging gameplay. Somehow, the familiarity of the take on the Pinocchio story really does work here; why wouldn’t a puppet need upgrades, right? When the modern gaming landscape requires familiar stories to really work, why not go to some of humanities oldest? 

11. Diablo 4

Building on the long-running franchises best parts, Diablo 4 set out to deliver the best of what the Diablo series has done before. Deep RPG elements and a supremely dark tone await gamers looking to dive into hell once again. Hundreds of hours of gameplay await the faithful here and attachment to any chosen character will build a devilish bond like few other games can. 

10. Pikmin 4

The adorable Pikmin return with new types, new challenges and a new dog. Pikmin 4 never loses track of its roots and, mercifully, never becomes frustrating either. This is joy on tap and Nintendo just does that kind of game so damn well. It’s easy enough to pick up for new players but also brings the series to Switch for old fans of the series. Prepare to dump hours into this one. 

9. Mortal Kombat 1

Like Street Fighter 6, the mad geniuses behind Mortal Kombat 1 have brought back characters, added new ones and honed the fighting style for new and old players alike. What MK1 does that SF6 doesn’t is take the series back to the beginning, rethinking everything that came before and wisely rebooting the story so that characters we’ve known for decades, like Liu Kang and Raiden, have an entirely different feel. The change allows for new depth and surprises that are very welcome to the ultra-violent franchise. The story here is SO GOOD, filling in with something excellent where the Mortal Kombat movies have largely been a let down. Again, wisely for a franchise based on a video game, the only way to know is to play. 

8. Forza Motorsport

When it comes to Forza, the promise of racing simulation, down to the millimeter, is delivered upon tenfold. Forza doesn’t mess around when it comes to delivering realism, all the cars, all the tracks, all the horsepower are on display here. 500 vehicles were included off the bat with 100 of them being the first time for the franchise. While it doesn’t carry the charisma of its Horizon sister-game, there is simply no better way to feel the adrenaline of racing this year. 

7. Final Fantasy 16

Sex, war and intrigue; Final Fantasy 16 delivers an unparalleled fantasy experience in 2023. The long-running franchise has seen itself take many different forms over the years but the plot and presentation of FF16 is certainly an entry that places the series firmly among the best in modern gaming. A quality story paired with some of the best action combat from the Final Fantasy series so far makes this a must-play for Final Fantasy fans and fans of the fantasy genre alike. 

6. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Despite its rocky original launch, Night City has come a long way. The ambitious game fell flat initially with bugs and graphics weirdness that really hindered its debut. Those days are thoroughly in the past though, and Phantom Liberty marks what should be considered a resurgence or perhaps relaunch of what Cyberpunk was intended to be. The setting is magnificent, the gameplay is smooth, the character interactions are spellbinding and the combat is balls-to-the-wall fun. 

5. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Throwing it back to the days of 2D side-scrolling Mario games, Wonder is a blast from the past but also serves as a reminder that Nintendo’s studios are absolute masters of level design. Featuring a big list of playable characters a la Super Mario Bros. 2, this game is simply delightful, especially thanks to its new elephant power up and watching Elephant Mario squeeze through trademark pipes. With lots of collectibles and secret levels, there’s a ton of game here to keep players gaming for a long time. 

4. Alan Wake 2

The long-awaited follow up to Alan Wake has finally seen the light of day and it does not disappoint. It’s an epic, immersive, detective novel-ish world as players unravel the dark, disjointed story, where layered plots are happening on top of one another, asking players to make sense of it all and find the truth in both the lies and the dreams. Few games come along in this genre that reach the high water mark like this. 

3. Spider-Man 2

Two Spider-Men, a punched out NYC landscape that includes Brooklyn and Queens and all the web a wall crawler could ever want, Spider-Man 2 features some of the best combat from a comic book franchise since the Arkham series put gamers into Batman’s cape and cowl. The game is full of iconic villains and some surprising takes on Peter and Miles’ story, weaving them seamlessly as Peter looks to set down his mantle and find a life while Miles looks to grow up and become the Spider-Man Peter knows he can be. Insomniac has left very little to want, paying off casual gamers with the full powers of a legendary superhero and decades old fans with easter eggs that nod to Spidey’s long history as NYC’s resident do-gooder. 

2. Baldur’s Gate 3

D&D comes to life in a way never seen before in Baldur’s’ Gate 3, with the implementation of a turn-based strategy game absolutely blowing away anything that’s come before. The breadth and depth of this game is staggering, with a story that rewards player innovation and cooperation. The game feels personal on so many levels as huge plot points reveal themselves in particular ways based on player actions and a D20. It’s hard to imagine the Dungeons and Dragons formula being as satisfying and well presented as it is in BG3

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Everything that made Breath of the Wild the game of the year of 2017 is back and every ante is upped in Tears of the Kingdom. Link’s return to Hyrule, now featuring cavernous depths and lofted aeries in a map punched out by a new existential threat is absolute perfection. Nintendo has this formula down to a science. Characters who know and love Link are ready to point toward the right direction in the enormous map. Villains who are ready to throw down in fisticuffs wait at every corner for even more satisfying combat encounters. The legendary story truly earns its name as Nintendo’s long-running series gets an entirely new chapter for the little swordsman who has captured the hearts and minds of generations of gamers.