The Best (and Most Underrated) Games of 2023

The Best (and Most Underrated) Games of 2023

Part 1: The Best Games of 2023

2023 delivered almost every type of game you can imagine, a true ‘something for everyone’ scenario.

If I created something that listed everything awesome this year and included a little bit about each one, we’d be here for an hour.

So here’s what I’m gonna do instead, I’m gonna take a deep breath, and then list off only some of the most popular or major big releases of 2023 in one go, and if I survive – I’ll move on to which ones were the best of the best this year and what made each one of them special. Once that’s done, we’re gonna get stuck into my top surprises and underdogs of the year, and then my own personal favourite.

This is the part where a creator usually says something like “So without further ado, let’s jump in”. I refuse to conform – because I’m just such a bad-ass. I just won’t do it.


So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Diablo IV
  • Street Fighter 6
  • Starfield
  • Alan Wake 2
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • Pikmin 4
  • Fire Emblem Engage
  • Lies of P
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • F1 2023
  • Horizon Call of the Mountain
  • Bayonetta Origins
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
  • Assassin’s Creed Mirage
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Dead Island 2
  • Redfall
  • Cocoon
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Forza Motorsport
  • Metroid Prime Remastered
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Dredge
  • Pizza Tower
  • Advance Wars 1+2
  • Dave The Diver
  • Cyberpunk: Phantom Liberty
  • The Finals
  • Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
  • Remnant 2
  • Sea of Stars
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Dead Space Remake
  • Stasis Bone Totem
  • Mortal Kombat 1


That was supposed to only be a list of the better games from this year, and it ended up being like, 40 games – and that’s not even taking into account all the gems and other deserving games I’ve missed. And keep in mind, I didn’t include a bunch of ongoing games that are in a great place right now.

Cutting a list this good down to just a few notable games feels impossible, but that’s why we’re all here- so let’s get to it. The 2023 games in my selection are based on a variety of factors ranging from personal experience to other types of positive buzz and coverage, I’m going for more of a global view on this, rather than some sort of What’s Good Game Awards type thing.

The following games are top notch, and even a bit obvious at this point, but remember that for the more personal picks, stick around for what comes after.

So after much ado about something, here’s our list of the best of the best games you can play in 2023, in no particular order:

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy for giving Harry Potter fans the experience they’ve always wanted, and delivering it in a package that turned out way better than most people were expecting.

Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 for its exploration of video games as a true form of art and storytelling, not to mention jaw dropping graphics.

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder, for reminding us that video games can still be about the purity of great gameplay, rich colourful visuals and an overwhelming sense of joy and fun.

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 with its fun gameplay, hugely popular cast of characters and incredible technical achievements.

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, for finding even more ways of cramming incredible levels of creative thinking and ideas onto a console you can play even while sitting on a bus.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3, for setting an entirely new standard for what’s possible (or rather not impossible) in an RPG (Oh, and err, Bear… relations).


There’s a hefty list of honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut for one reason or another, notably: Final Fantasy 16, Diablo 4, Starfield, Resident Evil 4, ARMORED CORE 6.

You might ask why those didn’t make the main list, but I’m not gonna elaborate further because, well… there’s like 40 games on that list… and at least 20 of them could have easily been contenders for Game of the Year had they been released any other year.

Any way you look at it, it’s been an incredible year for gaming. No matter if you’re a gamer looking for great gameplay, amazing stories or just need to solve some puzzles to pass the time. 2023 has been a fantastic year for gamers, the kind that we may not see again for a very long time.


Part 2: The Underdogs

While I personally played and reviewed what feels like a million games this year, I still didn’t get to them all – so who knows what else I’ve missed. This list mostly excludes the big hitters that we’ve already discussed. The ones you’re generally going to see in most game of the year award discussions anyway.

It’s time to talk about the 2023 games that surprised me most. Here we go.

The Dead Space Remake

Even though I played it nearly a year ago at this point, The Dead Space Remake with it’s beautiful graphics and excellent updates over the original stuck with me hard. I’m so smart that I thought that the Remake was unnecessary, and that Callisto Protocol was the real new Dead Space we were all waiting for. Well, that aged like milk.

Dead Island 2

A lot about Dead Island 2’s early previews were rubbing me the wrong way. I had no idea that I’d end up having such a blast when it finally released. Whether I was literally busting skulls or enjoying the great environmental storytelling in and around Los Angeles, Dead Island 2 was a lot more fun than I was expecting.

Hogwarts Legacy

It’s not perfect, but almost no one expected Hogwarts Legacy to be as good as it is. I think we’re all so traumatised from years of bad licensed cash-ins that we just didn’t want to believe that this could actually be good. It’s a Harry Potter fans’ dream come true, and really does feel like a magical experience.

Phantom Liberty

While everyone else was eyeballing upcoming games like Spider-Man 2 and Starfield, I was not so secretly hyping myself up to jump back into Night City. Yes, Phantom Liberty is an expansion and not a whole game, but it’s a hefty chunk of new content, new environments and an expanded story. What I really didn’t expect was for Phantom Liberty to arrive with a complete overhaul of game systems, skill trees and more. Cyberpunk 2077 is in a great place now, and shouldn’t be missed.

Stasis Bone Totem

Stasis Bone Totem is a loose sequel to Stasis, a game which tried to recapture the glory days of old-school sci-fi horror and 90s PC gaming. Like Alan Wake 2, something I really love and respect about Stasis Bone Totem is that it wasn’t afraid to change things up.

Bone Totem delivers a fresh, interesting setting and cast of characters with a story that unravels a fresh, emotional but fascinating character-focused sci-fi mystery.

So now that my underdogs of 2023 are out there, it’s time for me to reveal the game that I loved the most from this year.

It may surprise you.

Part 3: My Not best but still favourite Game of the Year.

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what it is that make me know a game is going to be one of my favourites, and above all other factors I’ve considered – the biggest early sign for me by far, is what I like to refer to the “OH SHIT IS THAT THE TIME ALREADY” scenario. We’ve all been there.

The short answer is that these kinds of games are usually the ones that remind me why I love playing video games.

I’ll give you a few hints.

  • The developer is mostly known for making shooters in the past
  • A lot of the game takes place in a variety of wild locations
  • The hero is a fearless redhead

That’s right my favourite game of 2023 was, in fact… Horiz

Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

That’s right, Star Wars: Jedi Survivor – A game that I really hope everyone plays when the time, price and updates all meet in the middle.

I liked ‘Jedi Fallen Order’ but it had some issues that made it age a little badly in my mind. I just had almost no hype for Jedi Survivor.

But Jedi Survivor kicks a ginormous amount of Rancor ass. Performance wasn’t great at launch, but despite that it’s still a great looking and sounding game. It did it all for me: Action, adventure, story, gameplay, rewarding progression and exploration and a great way to experience the Star Wars galaxy.

I marvelled at the dark, dingy, lower levels of Coruscant, I felt deep connections to the characters, I raced speeders through deserts and explored crashed starships

Am I really saying that Jedi Survivor is the best new game I played this year? Well, no it wasn’t – but it sure was my favourite.

When it comes to the best games of the year – you never know what might surprise you – and while I do believe that reviews as a guideline still have value, you never quite know what’s going to resonate with you.

Whether you’re only looking at the short lists or the long lists, I’m pretty confident to say that we’ve just lived through a rare period where almost every one of those 40 games I listed earlier are worth playing.
Any way you look at it, it’s been an incredible year for gaming. No matter if you’re a gamer looking for great gameplay, amazing stories or just need to solve some puzzles to pass the time. 2023 has been a fantastic year for gamers, the kind that we may not see again for a very long time.

Thanks for watching, if you enjoyed the video please hit the like button to let us know – and check out the channel for more videos, we’ll see you soon.

A quick note that we have reviews and videos on the What’s Good channel for many of the games being shown, so go check ‘em out when you’re done!