The Best Games Of 2023 (So Far)

2023 is set to go down as an all-time great when it comes to the most memorable years in gaming. It’s not often that you get so many months of high-profile and critically acclaimed releases, but so far, this year has delivered a seemingly endless line of AAA blockbusters and smaller games with impressive ideas at their cores. While there’s still some time before 2023 draws to a close, we’re taking a look at the games that got a review score of 8 (which we deem “great”) or higher on GameSpot so far this year.

That’s not to say that the games that scored below that threshold (or that we didn’t review) aren’t worthy of playing. But we’ve nonetheless got a hefty list to go through–games of an incredibly high standard that are spread out across a wide variety of genres and themes.

So far, this list has five games that got an ultra-rare 10/10 score from GameSpot. At the same time, dozens of other 2023 releases excelled in their efforts to provide unmissable entertainment on various platforms. The list below is encouragingly diverse as well, as between the usual high-budget blockbusters and sequels, there are titles with more intimate stories to tell, lower stakes, and innovative approaches to their respective genres.

For more, the GameSpot Reviewcast will give you a behind-the-scenes tour of how our reviewers came to their conclusions.

Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2

Simply put, Alan Wake 2 is Remedy Entertainment’s greatest game yet. No small feat for a developer which has produced all-time classics like Max Payne, Control, and the original Alan Wake, but this sequel builds on those successes to create a masterpiece of scares and storytelling. A killer combo of dual campaigns that complement one another, fan-pleasing storybeats, and a fusion of multimedia ideas that propel the series headlong into survival-thriller territory, Alan Wake 2 is an illuminating experience for the ages.

See at Humble

Baldur's Gate 3 -- 10

Baldur’s Gate 3 — 10

Some of the most ambitious games around boast of giving their players an unparalleled level of freedom, but Baldur’s Gate 3 rolls a D20 on that concept and scores a critical hit with its execution. It’s that focused approach to giving players the tools they need to be the best adventurer that they can be, along with a memorable cast of characters, unique playthroughs, fantastic combat, and at least one instance of punting a squirrel into bloody giblets, that makes Baldur’s Gate 3 so impressive.

See at GOG

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty -- 10

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty — 10

Phantom Liberty brings a sense of finality to Cyberpunk 2077, a game that has had a long redemption arc play out in the years since it was first released in a less-than-optimal state. With this expansion, Cyberpunk 2077 goes out with a bang as developer CD Projekt Red begins to push forward on its sequel, and the result is a captivating story within a tightly constructed spy-thriller adventure. Phantom Liberty is Cyberpunk 2077 at its very best, a complete overhaul of the original game that leaves a lasting impression by the time that the credits roll on its thrilling tale of espionage and violence.

.See at GOG

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom -- 10

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom — 10

Any Zelda game following in the footsteps of 2017’s Breath of the Wild has its work cut out for it, but Tears of the Kingdom took a successful formula and remixed it in a way that can only be described as revelatory. It’s a game with a familiar Zelda formula at its core, but turbo-charged with new ideas and a spark of creativity that elevates it above its predecessor. A game about equivalent exchange, this grand adventure in Hyrule rewards your effort with a constant sense of wonder, beckoning you to explore its serene landscape with a toybox full of novel tools at your disposal.

See at Amazon

Resident Evil 4 -- 10

Resident Evil 4 — 10

Pity any developer looking to remake a classic video game, because Resident Evil 4’s remake is a hard act to follow. The original game has a permanent seat on any list counting down the greatest of all time, but it might have to give up its spot to a stunning remake that doubles down on the survival-action aspects of its predecessor and masterfully rebuilds the experience into a genre-defining adventure. Both respectful of its past and brimming with new and well-executed ideas, Resident Evil doesn’t get better than this.

See at Best Buy

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon -- 9

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon — 9

Can a Bayonetta game without all of the over-the-top action still be called a Bayonetta game? Not only is the interactive answer to that a resounding “yes!” but it’s also an innovative expression of artistry that reveals a new layer to the sultry witch who’s typically seen kicking Godzilla-sized monsters through skyscrapers. Bayonetta Origins is a storybook approach to Platinum Games’ favorite witch, a charming pivot away from the action games. A warm exploration of Cereza during her formative years, Bayonetta Origins is a love letter to the franchise that wears its illustrated heart on its sleeve.

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Blasphemous 2 -- 9

Blasphemous 2 — 9

The first Blasphemous game, released in 2019, was an atmospheric but flawed fusion of metroidvania and Souls-like influences. Visually, the game left an impression, and developer The Game Kitchen used that foundation to build a significantly improved sequel. All that visual splendor inspired by the terror of the Spanish Inquisition, religious paintings from that era, and oppressive architecture have been kept intact and enhanced with fine-tuned combat, more engaging traversal, and wonderfully challenging platforming sections. It’s a sinfully good time.

.See at Best Buy

Cocoon -- 9

Cocoon — 9

Developer Geometric Interactive has made a big splash with its debut game, Cocoon, as this intricate blend of puzzles and riddles pulls at your gray matter with captivating content. Not just a fun collection of brain teasers, Cocoon combines fantastic sound design and art with some of the tightest level design around to deliver a subtle but brilliantly told story.

See at Fanatical

Dead Space -- 9

Dead Space — 9

The original Dead Space still holds up as one of the best sci-fi horror games of all time, and EA’s Motive studio could have easily slapped on a new coat of 4K paint and called it a day. Going above and beyond, Motive’s comprehensive remake doesn’t just retain the edge-of-your-seat terror of 2008’s horror-genre savior, it builds on it with thoughtful upgrades, a constant sense of dread that keeps you on your toes, and gnarly graphics that’ll make you want to keep a bucket nearby.

.See at Best Buy

The Expanse -- 9

The Expanse — 9

Few studios can deliver decision-heavy games that’ll have you sweating as Telltale Games can, and with the studio back in action after several turbulent years, The Expanse is a stellar example of a lean-and-mean sci-fi game that feels incredibly focused. All of Telltale’s signature gameplay elements are here, from excellent voice-acting to a gripping narrative that feels like an organic extension of the beloved sci-fi series, all of which creates a stellar adventure that’ll keep you awake at night as you ponder the tough choices that you made in it.

.See at PlayStation Store

Final Fantasy 16 -- 9

Final Fantasy 16 — 9

A sequel in name only, Final Fantasy 16 continues the franchise’s rich tradition of reinvention, delivering an action-packed saga for the ages. Backed up by excellent voice-acting, a rousing score, and one of the best pooches in recent memory, Final Fantasy 16 goes all-in on its premise to create a game that is awe-inspiring with its Godzilla-sized boss fights and surprisingly mature with its emotional rollercoaster of a story.

See at Best Buy

Hi-Fi Rush -- 9

Hi-Fi Rush — 9

One of the biggest surprises of the year, Hi-Fi Rush is an ode to joy played out on a well-worn Stratocaster Fender. Devil May Cry meets Guitar Hero, the game is a constant rush of rhythm-based action that feels just right and sublime when you nail the notes and has a Saturday morning cartoon energy to its design and a likable cast of characters anchoring all the fun. On top of that, the game has infectiously brilliant original and licensed soundtracks, creating an awesome mix that’s a must-play on Xbox and PC.

See at Fanatical

Forza Motorsport -- 9

Forza Motorsport — 9

It’s been years since Xbox gamers last got behind the wheel of a Forza Motorsport game, but the wait was worth it. A technical tour de force of precision and visual splendor, Forza Motorsport is a platform for racing excellence that feels sublime. It has a terrific layer of approachability, a solid roadmap for the months ahead as more vehicles and tracks are added to the game, and a garage full of thoughtful changes to its high-speed formula that makes the game constantly rewarding.

See at Amazon

Persona 4 Golden -- 9

Persona 4 Golden — 9

For anyone looking to step out of the shadow cast by Persona 5, the next best thing is a trip into the past with Persona 4 Golden. The 2008 PlayStation 2 game has aged well, and with a welcome number of improvements to its interface and combat, you wouldn’t think that it’s 15 years old. Compared to Persona 3’s incredible storytelling and Persona 5’s flashy action, Persona 4 Golden hits that sweet spot for style and substance, and this new version makes it a must-have for fans of the series.

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Returnal PC -- 9

Returnal PC — 9

Returnal is developer Housemarque at its arcade-inspired best, an unrelenting score attack of intense action, bullet hell, and endless resets until you nail that one perfect run. On PC, the game is even better, a technical masterpiece that takes full advantage of that platform to deliver a gorgeous graphical upgrade to an already terrific game. Compared to some of the less-than-stellar PC ports that needed months of post-launch fine-tuning, Returnal sets the bar for how well a PlayStation Studios game should play on PC from day one.

See at Fanatical

Sea of Stars -- 9

Sea of Stars — 9

The video game market is awash with RPGs designed to appeal to the nostalgic part of your brain, but Sea of Stars is more than just a fantasy adventure that looks like it belongs in an SNES library. Beyond those 16-bit influences, Sea of Stars is a surprisingly modern game at heart that puts a fresh spin on evergreen gameplay mechanics. Engaging combat and beautiful pixel-based art direction combine to create a charming time capsule.

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Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew -- 9

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew — 9

The final game from developer Mimimi, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is a delightful and spooky swashbuckling adventure. A healthy mix of eccentric characters, satisfying stealth puzzles, and gameplay where you’ll have to think several steps ahead if you don’t want to be sent to Davey Jones’ locker, Shadow Gambit is humorous, sometimes macabre, and endlessly satisfying. After all, nothing is better than a plan that comes together beautifully, and that’s something that Shadow Gambit excels at.

See at Fanatical

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical -- 9

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical — 9

If you had a musical number featuring the Greek gods of old as a GOTY contender on your bingo card, then we might want to ask you for some winning lottery numbers. Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical is a story with heart and incredible musical sequences, one where you feel like you have genuine agency in the story and every consequence feels like the reward that you deserve. It naturally has a banger of a soundtrack, and if you’re looking for an auditory delight, this visual novel of emotional melodies is not to be missed. Just put a yoga mat down before you play, lest you tap a hole in the floor thanks to the catchy beats.

See at GOG

Street Fighter 6 -- 9

Street Fighter 6 — 9

Compared to its predecessor, which needed a lot of post-launch work to get into fighting shape, Street Fighter 6 came out swinging when it entered the 2023 ring. Arguably the most influential brand in the fighting game genre, Street Fighter 6 is a masterpiece of tight combat mechanics, luxurious visuals, and a thriving multiplayer scene. More than that, the game is an incredibly approachable brawler thanks to its detailed tutorials and modern control schemes that encourage players to learn its various intricacies. And when you’ve got a game that encourages more people to play, everyone wins.

See at Best Buy

Super Mario Bros. Wonder -- 9

Super Mario Bros. Wonder — 9

Super Mario Bros. Wonder lives up to its title with a sense of whimsy and colorful chaos that’ll put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Sure, it’s the typical Super Mario 2D formula at first glance, but once Wonder Seeds enter the equation, this Super Mario title subverts expectations and reinvents its gameplay with unpredictable and exciting twists. More than just a familiar game with bite-sized moments of fresh ideas, Super Mario Bros. Wonder sprinkles a ton of visual treats into the mix and caps it all off with modernized multiplayer to create the definitive 2D Mario game of the Switch era.

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The Talos Principle 2 -- 9

The Talos Principle 2 — 9

A brilliant puzzle game that’ll stretch your mind and possibly give you an existential crisis with its themes of avoidable apocalyptic destruction, The Talos Principle 2 expands and improves on the original game in every way possible. A thought-provoking journey through logical fear, The Talos Principle 2 asks hard-hitting questions through a series of rooms that remain constantly engaging with the conundrums that they throw at you.

.See at Amazon

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre -- 9

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre — 9

Are there any classic horror franchises that haven’t dipped into the pool of asymmetrical multiplayer? While we’re still waiting for that dedicated Nightmare on Elm Street game, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a thrilling example of thinking outside the box and then cutting it to ribbons with a Poulan 245A chainsaw. TCM uses a 4v3 setup, a format that works brilliantly to instill a sense of tension and dread in players looking to escape Leatherface and his family. Respectful to the source material and anchored by a rewarding gameplay loop, this game feels like a horror movie coming to life.

See at Best Buy

Thirsty Suitors -- 9

Thirsty Suitors — 9

Thirsty Suitors buttons its coat up over a number of genres, easily alternating between turn-based combat, cooking minigames, and a skateboarding simulator with artistic flair. While there’s an undeniable Scott Pilgrim influence driving the experience–protagonist Jala Jayaratne has her own league of evil exes that she has to face–Thirsty Suitors puts its own spin on that idea and elevates it with a nuanced story, unique battles, and choices that feel like they actually matter.

Viewfinder -- 9

Viewfinder — 9

The beauty of puzzle games is that they feel uniquely satisfying when you figure out a solution to a seemingly impossible conundrum. Viewfinder, a short puzzle game with a captivating central mechanic revolving around using 2D images to bridge the gap in 3D environments, is full of those “Eureka!” moments. It’s simple to understand, expertly paced as the visual riddles begin to increase in difficulty, and remarkably flexible with the paths that you can choose to overcome some of its more challenging puzzles.

See at Steam

Amnesia: The Bunker -- 8

Amnesia: The Bunker — 8

When an Amnesia game nails the balance for palpable fear, hide-and-seek with a lethal twist, and an unnerving setting, you can expect a terrifying game that’ll make you want to sleep with the lights on. Amnesia: The Bunker sticks the landing when it comes to fear, nightmarish monster designs, and a surprising amount of replayability as developer Frictional Games delivers the best game in the series since Dark Descent. Amnesia: The Bunker is endlessly terrifying and relentless with its efforts to make your smartwatch think that you’re having the mother of all gym sessions.

.See at GOG

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon -- 8

Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon — 8

From Software’s return to the world of Armored Core 6 is a welcome dive into thrilling mech combat that has been influenced by the studio’s work on its grim fantasy adventures over the years. While it’s not Elden Ring with mechs, Armored Core 6 has still inherited that sense of challenge and aggression from its younger franchise siblings. It’s a treat for the eyes, and the comprehensive mech customization aspects allow for a diverse range of playstyles in this beautifully realized revival of a classic franchise.

See at Best Buy

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora -- 8

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora — 8

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is easily some of the best digital tourism of the year. With a vast slice of Pandora to Na’vigate and no shortage of threats on the horizon, this alien world is a treat to explore, and alongside a robust crafting system, fun movement mechanics, and gorgeous cinematics, there’s a compelling adventure at the heart of this game.

.See at Amazon

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania -- 8

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania — 8

It’s been nine years since the last Castlevania game, and even longer since the last game that had a more traditional format. Enter Dead Cells, one of the best roguelites on the market, and a Castlevania expansion that marries the gameplay of both franchises into a riveting and cohesive package. A match made in heaven, this Dead Cells makes the most of this crossover and has a plethora of Castlevania Easter eggs littered throughout its new biomes. We don’t know when Castlevania will make a return to its whip-cracking roots, but until then, this is the next best thing for fans of the Konami franchise.

See at Best Buy

Diablo 4 -- 8

Diablo 4 — 8

More than a decade removed from the divisive Diablo 3, this latest return to Sanctuary builds on the best of its predecessor and restores the grim fantasy setting that the franchise became known for in its formative years. Diablo 4 is more than just a strong encapsulation of its greatest hits combined with modern touches, as this dark tale also builds a foundation to continue its stories long after the end credits have rolled. A gorgeous new entry point for newcomers, this devilishly fun game will be around for a long time as its new seasonal approach turns Sanctuary into your digital home away from home.

See at Amazon

El Paso, Elsewhere -- 8

El Paso, Elsewhere — 8

One of the best games of the year starring those immortal pain-in-the-necks known as vampires–sorry, Redfall–El Paso, Nowhere is a rollercoaster of action and trippy stages once it hits its stride. Woven between every bullet fired are Max Payne-inspired action sequences, and levels that look like they belong in a mid-’90s music video directed by David Fincher, is an intimate tale of love at the end of the world. Inspired by the past but not beholden to those influences, this gun-toting blockbuster has a fresh take–and stake!–on romance and some of the most exciting gunplay of the year.

See at Xbox Store

Humanity -- 8

Humanity — 8

PlayStation VR2 hardware has had some innovative games added to its library since launch, and Humanity is another fascinating use of virtual reality hardware to create something unusual and captivating. Also playable and every bit as worthwhile without VR goggles strapped to your head, this game puts you in the role of a Shiba Inu dog who guides hordes of spirits across geometric constructs is an audio-visual treat for the senses. Its gameplay is always evolving and its spatial puzzle premise is excellently executed.

See at PlayStation Store

The Last of Us Part 1 PS5/PC -- 8

The Last of Us Part 1 PS5/PC — 8

The Last of Us Part I gives Naughty Dog’s modern-day classic the glow-up it deserves, but it’s not just a visual upgrade here. Meaningful changes to the gameplay, tighter combat, and several quality-of-life improvements create a better version of an already excellent game, and with a comprehensive suite of accessibility options, a far more approachable one as well. The PC version has also been substantially improved after a less-than-optimal launch, and if you’ve yet to experience the game, this is now the definitive version on two platforms.

.See at Amazon

Lego 2K Drive -- 8

Lego 2K Drive — 8

Ever dreamed about building your own car and racing it down a hot stretch of tarmac? That’s the gist of Lego 2K Drive: Open-world kart-racing for Lego fans, Lego 2K Drive is clearly inspired by games like Forza Horizon. A well-constructed racing game at heart, the playful Lego side gives the game a colorful identity and the robust building tools will keep you behind the tiny plastic wheel for hours.

See at Amazon

Lies of P -- 8

Lies of P — 8

Will we ever get a Bloodborne sequel or an improved version of the original From Software game? Only Sony knows, but for now, Lies of P is a stunning alternative when all flights to Yharnam are canceled. Undeniably influenced by the iconic Soulsborne, Lies of P is a very loose retelling of The Adventures of Pinocchio that is grimly gorgeous to look at thanks to the stunning Belle Epoque-infused art direction. While Bloodborne is a clear inspiration, Lies of P avoids being derivative by adding a weapon system that rewards experimentation, aggressive enemies that you’ll need flexible tactics to overcome, and a sublime world to explore.

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Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name -- 8

Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name — 8

The Kazuma Kiryu’s days might be numbered, but if Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is any indication, he’ll be going down swinging. A tale that weaves itself between the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon and next year’s Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, The Man Who Erased His Name is a short but sweet entry in the franchise. It still has plenty of new features to keep you engaged in its thrilling tale, serving up a predictable but enjoyable dish of drama, action, and cinematic showdowns starring the Dragon of Dojima.

See at Fanatical

Like a Dragon: Ishin -- 8

Like a Dragon: Ishin — 8

For years, the nuanced politics and history of Japan that formed the core of Yakuza: Ishin made its developers consider this game to be an impossible port for Western audiences. Years later, developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has managed to do it, updating its samurai epic for a global fanbase. Set during the height of the Edo period, Ishin brings an all-star cast of Like a Dragon’s A-list talent back for a romp through history. It’s a solid remaster, the familiar faces on display will have Yakuza fans excitedly pointing at their screens, and once the story gets going it moves along with almost unstoppable momentum.

See at Best Buy

The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story -- 8

The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story — 8

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the League of Legends universe, as there’s no shortage of ways the franchise is expanding beyond its MOBA roots. The Mageseeker is a great example, as once you get past its slow start, this adventure following Sylas combines fluid spellcasting with satisfying melee action to deliver a thrilling League of Legends spin-off. With imaginative pixelated art, an enchanting soundtrack by the always-reliable Gareth Coker, and boss fights that punch way above their weight, The Mageseeker is downright magical.

See at Amazon

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 -- 8

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 — 8

Insomniac’s third outing on Earth-1048 doesn’t offer much in the way of innovation, but there is plenty of refinement and improvement that makes Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 one of the best PS5 games of the year. Packed with tweaks that improve the art of being Spider-Man, challenging new enemies, and a story that pulls no punches, the latest Spider-Man adventure is hard to put down. Riveting to experience and a blast to play, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is the definitive reimagining of comic book’s greatest everyman superheroes.

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Metal Gear Master Collection Vol 1 -- 8

Metal Gear Master Collection Vol 1 — 8

The last few years have seen a concerted effort to preserve games for new systems and generations, and it’s about time that Konami’s favorite Snakes got the same reverential treatment. This treasure trove of Metal Gear games is a highlight reel of the best of the franchise, as it contains not only the original 8-bit Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake alongside the first three genre-defining Metal Gear Solid games, but also a few of the more obscure titles as well. A decent amount of bonus content is included in this package, which collects five groundbreaking games into a comprehensive package.

See at Best Buy

MLB The Show 23 -- 8

MLB The Show 23 — 8

MLB The Show 23 could have easily been the best MLB simulator of the year by default due to the lack of competition, but this year’s entry is more than just an iterative update. The gameplay might feel familiar, but the respect paid to the rich history of the sport makes for a thrilling trip through time. With the spotlight on the forgotten Negro Leagues and the new Storylines mode exploring that pivotal moment in the history of baseball, this year’s game is both thrilling and educational.

See at Amazon

Mortal Kombat 1 -- 8

Mortal Kombat 1 — 8

For anyone looking for a more vicious slice of fisticuffs this year, Mortal Kombat 1 is more than up to the challenge of sating your bloodlust. While it’s not as feature-packed as the previous game, Mortal Kombat 11, the latest from NetherRealm is a kind-of restart for the series that goes back to basics. Fun new mechanics and an unpredictable storyline pave the way for an interesting new direction in the Mortal Kombat multiverse, fatalities are wonderfully ridiculous with the amount of crimson that you can spill, and the game is loaded with Easter eggs that celebrate 30 years of the franchise.

See at Amazon

Octopath Traveler 2 -- 8

Octopath Traveler 2 — 8

Octopath Traveler 2 is a reinforcement of the first game and its ideas, as it continues to establish the identity of this Square-Enix series through its unique HD-2D visuals, layered turn-based JRPG gameplay, and a wealth of stories that you can spend hours exploring. Almost every aspect of those core pillars has been improved upon in this sequel, while the addition of the day/night cycle and Latent Abilities serve to enhance the overall experience and cement its position as a terrific retro-flavored fantasy adventure.

.See at Best Buy

Persona 3 Portable -- 8

Persona 3 Portable — 8

Two Persona remasters in a single year? What a time to be alive! Released during the twilight years of the PlayStation 2 era, Persona 3 is arguably the Persona with the strongest storytelling elements, even if some of them are incredibly dated. Beyond that, this remaster still holds up pretty well and benefits from flashier visuals and gameplay tweaks that enhance its dungeon-crawling escapades and darker narrative.

.See at Amazon

Persona 5 Tactica -- 8

Persona 5 Tactica — 8

The Persona games have traditionally been complex tales with mature themes, and for Persona 5 Tactica, Atlus has delivered a game with a powerful message wrapped inside of an adorable art direction. While there are still complex themes to explore in this spin-off, Persona 5 Tactica offers a brighter and more lighthearted experience starring the Phantom Thieves, as well as tactics-based combat that rewards cunning players who make the most of this game’s new systems. Plenty of thought and care went into crafting a game that combines the storytelling of Persona with fresh ideas, elevating this adventure into a must-have game for Persona 5 fans.

See at Best Buy

Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways DLC -- 8

Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways DLC — 8

If Resident Evil 4’s remake takes an already excellent game and makes it even better, then its Separate Ways DLC takes a forgettable expansion and transforms it into an essential add-on. Starring Leon Kennedy’s favorite frenemy, Ada Wong, this DLC adds to the brilliance of Resident Evil 4 with a few new gameplay ideas, reworked environments, and a story that complements Leon’s journey. It’s not a rehash of what has come before, but rather a fun extension with its very own identity.

.See at Amazon

Season: A Letter to the Future -- 8

Season: A Letter to the Future — 8

Season: A Letter to the Future is a game about memories, a lo-fi journey of exploration that attempts to encapsulate that feeling of wonder when something new is discovered. It’s chill and laid-back, surprisingly introspective, and a reminder that there’s no harm in slowing down to appreciate the world around you. While the cycling mechanics are a little rough, this gem is just what you need when you’re looking for a tranquil ride through scenic locales without needing to leave the comfort of your couch.

See at Steam

Star Ocean: The Second Story R -- 8

Star Ocean: The Second Story R — 8

With over two decades of entries, where does one start when they’re looking to discover the worlds of Star Ocean, Square Enix’s long-running JRPG series? Veteran fans consider 1999’s Star Ocean: The Second Story to be the pinnacle of the series, and more than 20 years later, that beloved game has received a remake for modern systems that captures the retro feel of its PS1 incarnation while refreshing it with new battle mechanics and technical improvements. It’s the definitive version of one of the best Star Ocean games of all time, a revamped adventure that expertly balances between nostalgic charm and modern-day upgrades that transform it into a more dynamic experience.

.See at Best Buy

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor -- 8

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor — 8

While the PC version might leave a lot to be desired from a performance standpoint, there’s otherwise a lot to love about Respawn Entertainment’s confident sequel to its smash-hit game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Survivor builds on those successes with greatly expanded gameplay and a story that adds to the Star Wars mythos even if it takes place in an isolated pocket of the galaxy’s Outer Rim. Lightsaber combat makes you feel like a seasoned Jedi knight, the puzzles add a welcome diversion when you’re not dealing with bounty hunters, and the scale is impressive when this sequel jumps to hyperspace action.

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Super Mario RPG -- 8

Super Mario RPG — 8

Another great remake for the 2023 history books, Super Mario RPG lives again in a package that rebuilds the beloved turn-based RPG from the ground up. While the presentation is brand-new, the foundations of this classic Squaresoft Super Nintendo game remain firmly in place. Several small quality-of-life adjustments have been made, but for anyone who missed out on the game when it was first released in 1996, now is the time to jump in and play a refreshingly lean RPG that is full of heart, charm, and wonder.

.See at Amazon

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line -- 8

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line — 8

Theatrhythm games are a tribute to the rich musical history of Final Fantasy, and with this latest entry, Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is nothing short of a sensational final act. With 385 music tracks from across the Final Fantasy spectrum, there’s no shortage of beloved orchestral masterpieces and finger-shredding guitar solos here to enjoy here, while the new gameplay elements serve to make a nostalgic journey across Final Fantasy’s soundscape that much more enjoyable.

.See at Amazon

Venba -- 8

Venba — 8

Not every game needs to be a AAA blockbuster with a budget that rivals the GDP of a small European nation to get your attention, and Venba is proof of that. Instead, you’ve got a delightful game that shines a light on different cultures and unites people through the universal love of cooking. There’s a common thread to the art of sitting around a table and enjoying an invigorating meal, and when a short narrative cooking game like this is told with heart and delectable visuals, it’s a heartwarming tale about life and culture.

See at Steam

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun -- 8

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun — 8

It might feel like there are more Warhammer 40k games than there are grains of sand on a beach, and to stand out from the pack, it helps to offer something that hasn’t been done before. Boltgun looks to the past for its inspirations, unleashing an homage to classic ’90s shooters that captures all of the fast-paced action of that era and enhances it with the brutal zeal of the Warhammer 40k franchise. Every weapon is a joy to use as you turn heretics into squishy piles of organic matter and it fully leans into its source material with a gung-ho fervor.

See at Best Buy

Wild Hearts -- 8

Wild Hearts — 8

There’s no denying that Wild Hearts owes a lot to Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, as this game features a very similar gameplay loop revolving around chasing down titanic beasts and defeating them. This isn’t developer Omega Force’s first expedition into monster-hunting–see its two Toukiden games for example–but Wild Hearts is where the studio puts its stamp on the genre with the novel Karakuri system. This synergizes well with the more traditional aspects of the game, complementing the individual elements that make Wild Hearts stand out and gives Monster Hunter some formidable new competition in this space.

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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty -- 8

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty — 8

Team Ninja has delivered some of the best Souls-like games of recent memory in the Nioh series. With Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, the studio builds on its talent for hard-hitting action with a game that is surprisingly approachable. At its core, this is still a fast-paced display of power that puts plenty of emphasis on using the parrying arts, all set in a world that blends historical fact with dark fantasy fiction that feels relentlessly satisfying when you master it.

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WWE 2K23 -- 8

WWE 2K23 — 8

Building on the foundation set by WWE 2K22–which was a welcome return to form for the biggest name in sports entertainment after the atrocious WWE 2K20–WWE 2K23 is a game about refinement. Gameplay hasn’t changed significantly, but factor in new modes like the all-out brawls of WarGames, a more entertaining career for your custom superstar, and a general sense of improvement for other modes, and you’ve got a game that’s ready to headline Wrestlemania.

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