The best games of 2023

The team picked the best games of 2023.
Best Games
Updated on March 19, 2024
Nathan Lawrence
Jan 29, 2024
Icon Time To Read13 min read

Words and picks by

Alex Choros,  Brodie Fogg, Fergus Halliday,  Georgia Dixon, Hannah Geremia and Nathan Lawrence

2023 was one of the best years for games in recent history. That’s why our team of gamers has rounded up a list of 20+ games that you should absolutely consider playing. Check ’em out below.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Developer: Insomniac Games
You can, with the help of your friends, maybe even heal the world.

I’ve always been of the opinion that sequels are never better than the original, but if anything had the potential to change my mind, it was going to be Spider-Man 2. And change my mind it did.

The sequel to Insomniac’s 2018 hit retains everything that made the original so enjoyable—web-slinging all over NYC, taking down bad guys, gathering new suits, gadgets and collectibles... but this time, it goes so much further. I mean, you can fly. You can switch between Spider-Men whenever you want. You can, with the help of your friends, maybe even heal the world.

Spider-Man 2 is full of heart and yet grittier than ever, with genuinely terrifying villains and more than a few glimpses at the fallibility of our favourite spidey heroes.

Georgia Dixon

Play Video
  • Platforms: PS5
  • Genre: Open-World Action
  • Players: 1 player

Armored Core 6

Developer: From Software
Riveting and refreshing robot action

Even as a newcomer to the series, Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon feels like a throwback. There are no battle passes, daily quests, colour-coded loot or open-world maps to be found here. From Software's latest is a blissfully uncomplicated gauntlet of  spectacular mech-on-mech action. At times, if it feels like the kind of purist gaming indulgence that you could only get away with after releasing something as extraordinarily as Elden Ring.

Don't be fooled, Armored Core 6 is not the "Mech Souls" game you've been waiting for. It's unapologetically its own thing and all the better for it.

Fergus Halliday

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  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S
  • Genre: Action
  • Players: 1-2 players

Baldur's Gate 3

Developer: Larian Games
An unforgettable combination of murder, mayhem, and eloquent storytelling.

Baldur’s Gate 3 uses sword, sorcery, and D&D’s 5th edition ruleset to bring you turn-based combat and an open-world adventure across the campaign setting of the Forgotten Realms. Much of what you experience in this highly anticipated RPG changes if (and when) you choose to succumb to the forces of evil and corruption. Your interactions with pre-made potential party members are complex, diverse, and memorable, as you seek to cure the untreated parasite in your brain.

BG3 has me yelling at my computer screen in the same way I curse the dice gods in an IRL D&D campaign. While it might be intimidating for those unfamiliar with D&D, BG3 does most of the heavy lifting, and the result is an unforgettable combination of murder, mayhem, and eloquent storytelling.

Hannah Geremia

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC (PS5 & Xbox Series X coming soon)
  • Genre: CRPG
  • Players: 1-4 players

Brass Birmingham

Developer: Roxley Games
A delightfully intricate strategy game...

Brass: Birmingham is a delightfully intricate strategy game where players compete to build the most profitable enterprise in a vision of 18th-century England on the cusp of the industrial revolution. It’s maddening to teach, but magic once you internalise the way every piece of the puzzle clicks together. Every turn brings new decisions and a sense of pride as you watch your empire expand across the map. Brass: Birmingham is a rare board game where I’m left asking for just one more turn and always thinking about how I could have played it differently.

Fergus Halliday

Play Video
  • Platforms: Board Game
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Players: 2-4 players


Developer: Black Salt Games
Staring into the abyss has never been so rewarding.

I’m about as much a fan of fishing sims as I am of the real-life thing: that is to say, not at all. So when I tell you that while Dredge is very much an arcadey fishing simulator, but it’s still one of the best games you’ll play all year, you’ll know it’s meant for landlubbers as much as those with sea salt in their veins. Things start out simply enough in Dredge. You’re a fisher whose boat is yet another victim of foul waters. Work catching fish to pay off your new-tub debt, upgrading it as you go. But things get creepy early on. Fishing at night is ill-advised, at least initially. And then there’s the lure of a cosmic horror setting that’ll pull you into the depths of rewarding archipelago exploration.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, XBO, XSS, XSX, PC, Switch, Linux, Mac
  • Genre: Adventure-RPG
  • Players: Single-player

Meet Your Maker

Developer: Behaviour Interactive Inc.
A sadistic but savvy spin on the run-and-gun action of an old-school shooter.

Meet Your Maker is fast, fun and buoyed by a feast of player-created levels that keep the action engaging and unpredictable. Every encounter is a black box that forces you to reckon with what another player’s deadliest impulses can throw at you and then conceive your own solution to that problem.

Behavior Interactive has cunningly blended together the shooting of old-school shooters with the level creation toolset of titles like Little Big Planet and the addictive gameplay of precision platformers. Meet Your Maker might be a game where you find your own fun, but it’s been masterfully tuned to make that process as frictionless as possible.

Fergus Halliday

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox 
  • Genre: First-person shooter and Strategy
  • Players: Co-op multiplayer

Lego 2K Drive

Developer: Visual Concepts
The Crew with Lego makes for an addictive open-world racer.

Even if you’re not big on driving games, it’s hard to zip past the appeal of Lego 2K Drive in a game name that says it all. It’s got Lego. It’s got racing. And it’s published by 2K. Unfortunately, that latter part means there is some ickiness when it comes to charging full price and recouping extra costs via microtransactions. Ickiness aside, Lego 2K Drive is an absolute blast even if you don’t love racing games. The tutorial eases you into the proceedings of an open-world racer where your Lego ride automatically transforms between on-road, off-road and water-taming forms. There’s lots to see, stacks to unlock, and you’ve gotta love that destroying Lego props is so actively encouraged that it fills your boost meter.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms:  PS4, PS5, Switch, XBO, XSS, XSX, PC
  • Genre: Racing
  • Players: 1-6

Amnesia: The Bunker

Developer: Frictional Games
Amnesia: The Bunker finds fresh thrills in a more open sandbox approach and a new setting

After mastering their own formula with Amnesia: Rebirth, The Bunker sees Frictional take a fresh foray into unknown territory. It’s a fascinating and thrifty experiment that fans of the series will likely enjoy, as well as one that’s much more approachable for newcomers intrigued by the premise.

The Bunker finds fresh thrills in subverting many of the things that made Amnesia so popular in the first place. It’s not quite as deep a dive into madness as previous romps, but that briskness (and the promise of procedural generation) works in its favour. A fresh new setting and more freeform design make for an all-new Amnesia experience you won’t soon forget.

Fergus Halliday

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • Players: Single-player

Everspace 2

Developer: Rockfish Games
The best spaced-based flight since the good old days.

Let’s do the disclaimer dance first. There are a lot of problems with Everspace 2, most notably in how much it wastes your time. It’s scary to think how many hours I lost travelling between points rather than having a viable fast-travel system (which is never truly offered). Then again, I’ve put in 70 hours, and I really enjoyed the vast majority of that time. Everspace 2 is at its best when you’re caught in the barrel-roll of exploration and space combat. Some of the environments are truly breathtaking. And in appropriately levelled fights—yes, it’s got some RPG systems that aren’t always perfectly implemented—it’s the most fun I’ve had engaging in space dogfights since the Wing Commander days. Sure, it’s more arcadey than sim, but the ‘Diablo in space’ pitch goes a long way to setting expectations for just how addictive Everspace 2 is when it’s firing on all cylinders.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PS5, XBO, PC, PS4, XSS, XSX, Linux, Mac
  • Genre: Space-shooter
  • Players: Single-player

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Developer: Nintendo EPD
An engrossing follow-up to Breath of the Wild that’s worth the wait.

It’s not often that Nintendo does direct continuations of the Zelda series. But I’m sure glad they did with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. In fairness, I’m far less interested in the somewhat clunky, overly cutesy story that’s more start-stop than it should be. What I’m infinitely more addicted to is the new tools for player expression. Tears of the Kingdom is kind of like Minecraft meets Breath of the Wild. And it’s certainly at its best when it lets you solve its many, many puzzles in very left-field ways. The new powers build on Breath of the Wild’s already addictive gameplay and address some of the traversal shortcomings. If you’re like me, you’ll find the most fun of re-exploring Hyrule in trailblazing off the main path.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: Switch
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Players: Single-player

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Developer: Respawn
The best Star Wars action game ever made.

In many respects, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a refinement of what was started in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The story is better in that it doesn’t have that doomed-to-fail feeling. The characters are more fully rounded, with enough time between Fallen Order and Survivor for there to be well-earned tension between returning protagonist Cal Kestis and the crew of the Mantis. Plus, there are some great new cast additions. And, of course, the gameplay has been appropriately escalated without the all-too-common lazy trick of a character reset (I’m looking at you Tears of the Kingdom). Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is at its best when you’re engrossed in exploring the larger hub planets, tackling foes old and new with fun Force powers and varying lightsaber stances that truly make you feel like a Jedi Knight.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PS5, XSS, XSX, PC
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Players: Single-player

Diablo IV

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo IV puts a formidable spin on a familiar formula.

Each Diablo game has inspired its own generation of diehards and I suspect that this one will continue that trend. The open world here is staggeringly large but significantly more suited for completionists who want to see everything in a single run than previous instalments in the series.

Right now, Diablo IV ditches the leanness of its predecessor in ways that are surprising and satisfying, but rarely superior. It's enticing to watch a simple thing be complicated, though sometimes the sum of that spectacle is a reminder that less can sometimes be more.

Fergus Halliday

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Players: Single-player, Local and Online Co-op

Returnal (PC)

Developer: Housemarque, Climax Studios
The best place to play a frantic roguelike shooter.

Not unlike The Last of Us Part I’s launch on Steam, Returnal hit the ground limping with a somewhat shoddy port. Fast-forward a few months, though, and Returnal has been patched into a very playable, very addictive place. Jump into the space boots of Selene who crash lands on what might be the most hostile planet in sci-fi history (and that’s saying something). It’s a roguelike, so dying is a critical part of your progression. But despite some runs unrewarded by RNGesus, it’s tricky to not restart “just one more run” after you die. Get lost in the addictive loop of exploring new worlds, scoring new unlocks (temporary and permanent), and blasting apart a range of Housemarque-branded colourful foes.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC and PS5
  • Genre: Third-person shooter
  • Players: 1-2

Hogwarts Legacy

Developer: Avalanche Software
An engrossing magical journey even for non-fans of the Wizarding World.

The Force is strong with this one. Wait. Wrong IP that kicked off with a hero’s journey about a gifted orphan with magical powers. Hogwarts Legacy ditches the Harry Potter era, rewinding the clock to a point in the timeline where developers Avalanche Software are free to get creative with their wands. And get creative they do. Even as someone who thinks Harry Potter is just fine, there’s no denying the magical experience of playing through Hogwarts Legacy. Build your own wizard, then set out on a mystery-driven story with a honed gameplay loop. The expansive game world is stuffed with fun things to do and, if my play-through is any indication, there are around 30 hours of (mostly) main-path content before you hit the credits.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, XSS, XSX, XBO, PC, Switch (soon)
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Players: Single-player

Resident Evil 4

Developer: Capcom
A mostly compelling remake that keeps you hungry for more.

Apparently never having played the original Resident Evil 4 is some kind of gamer sin. So I was relieved to hear that Capcom was giving RE4 the remake treatment. While not perfect, there’s a lot to like about the basics. The graphics are incredible, particularly on a high-end PC. The larger-than-life story is an acquired taste, but absolutely at its best when it's more camp than serious. Plus, there’s so much to do outside of the main path that it’s a checkbox-loving completionist dream. And that’s without taking the prospect of a New Game Plus run into account. If you prefer your survival-horror games closer to Aliens than Alien, the shoot-happy Resident Evil 4 is absolutely worth checking out.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PS5, PS4, XSS, XSX, PC
  • Genre: Survival-horror
  • Players: Single-player

The Last of Us Part I (PC)

Developer: Naughty 🐾 Dog
Now that the launch bugs have settled, play the definitive version of the seminal classic.

Chances are, you’re already familiar with The Last of Us if you’re a PlayStation owner. If you’re not, jump down the page to read why The Last of Us Part I is such a great experience. But for PC fans, the beloved game was off to an incredibly rocky start at launch. Quite a few patches later, though, and The Last of Us Part I is a fantastic experience on PC, particularly for those with high-end hardware. It’s the same top-tier game, natch, comboing the core game and the Left Behind DLC. But the PC version takes an already stunning game and elevates it to breathtaking heights. AI upscaling makes high fidelity and refresh rates a reality for the right graphics cards, plus you really should check out some of the more popular mods to hone and expand the experience.

Nathan Lawrence

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  • Platforms: PC, PS5
  • Genre: Action-adventure 
  • Players: Single-player
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Turbo Overkill

Developer: Trigger Happy Interactive
One of the greatest shooters of recent memory that you should absolutely play.

The Doom reboot and its Doom Eterna successor threw down a bloody gauntlet for shooters to evolve in a different direction. That kinetic momentum-based approach has since been adopted, honed and evolved further in the indie space. And the poster child right now of the culmination of the momentum-based shooter is Turbo Overkill. With a hilariously over-the-top premise ripped straight out of an ’80s B movie, it’s less about the story and more about the moment-to-moment gameplay. That is to say, the over-the-top gunplay. The better combat spaces are a splicing of old-school arena shooters with Tony Hawk-like momentum and a killer arsenal. You’ll have so much fun blasting your way through the campaign, immersed in the gore-tastic violence and equally killer soundtrack, that it’s hard to believe this game is under $40.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC (console later)
  • Genre: First-person shooter
  • Players: Single-player

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew

Developer: Mimimi Games
A satisfying swansong for a developer who rebirthed a dormant subgenre.

It’s sad to see that Mimimi Games has chosen to scuttle its studio after the release of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew given what the devs were doing with the real-time-tactics genre. Shadow Gambit is, perhaps, a wee bit too ambitious with what it puts in, which sometimes results in it feeling overstuffed or otherwise padded. But those cons are more impatient annoyances from the core gameplay loop that may just be the best the beloved subgenre has ever seen. Unlock and pick your ragtag undead crew of miscreants to tackle stealthy pirate-themed incursions. The gamification of ‘save scumming’ absolutely rewards experimentation. Plus, there’s nothing quite like rolling with the punches and actually being rewarded for quick wits.

Nathan Lawrence

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  • Platforms: PC, PS5, XSS/X
  • Genre: Real-time tactics
  • Players: Single-player

Remnant II

Developer: Gunfire Games
The gameplay loop is so compelling you’ll easily overlook the lacklustre story.

Remnant II was in a rough state at launch, at least as far on PC optimisation and stability was concerned. Fast-forward a few patches, and the game is thankfully in a much better place. Even with some lingering issues, there’s no denying the addictive gameplay loop of Remnant II, which plays in many ways like a third-person Destiny. While the story’s forgettable, the gunplay, upgrades and gear grinding will keep you coming back for more. Couple that with drop-in/drop-out co-op, cleverly randomised components, plus some of the best boss battles in recent memory, and Remnant II is a game that can easily consume dozens of hours of your life.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS5, XSS/X
  • Genre: Action-RPG
  • Players: 1-3-players


Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
The easiest 60+ gaming hours I’ve ever had since Skyrim.

In a year stuffed with bangers (see the rest of this page), Starfield could have easily been overshadowed by other games. But that absolutely wasn’t the case for me. Despite some quibbles like incredibly clunky menus, Starfield had my exclusive attention for more than 60 hours. Even with that time investment, I still don’t feel like I’m close to done with Starfield. It’s more a case of taking a breather from my Starfield addiction and going back later to start wrapping up everything I still have on my to-do list. I’ve already mastered stealth. Conquered boost-packing gunplay. And finished a whole lot of main storylines. But that still leaves intricate shipbuilding. Outpost management. And the daunting reality that I’ve only made a dent in the intimidatingly sprawling upgrade system.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS5, XSS/X, XCG
  • Genre: RPG
  • Players: Single-player

Street Fighter 6

Developer: Capcom
A great sparring partner for people curious about fighting games but typically intimidated to get started.

If you’re a hardcore Street Fighter plan, you’re already playing Street Fighter 6. But if you’re more like me and you like the idea of fighting games more than how intimidatingly difficult they can be, well, you should still play Street Fighter 6. Why? It feels purpose-built to actively encourage those kinds of curious players. Sure, there are the basics like a tutorial or self-paced practice modes. But the real gem for newbies is World Tour, which helps players master the basics by slowly dishing out core gameplay mechanics and a gradual array of combos. Don’t get too caught up in the side content, mind you. But if you follow the faux-pen world main objectives, you’ll leave World Tour mode feeling like maybe you can hold your own in multiplayer.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, XSS/X
  • Genre: Fighting game
  • Players: 1-16

Aliens: Dark Descent

Developer: Tindalos Interactive
An impressively tense meshing of Aliens with a real-time take on XCOM.

Aliens: Dark Descent is so good that, despite many frustrations with my pre-release review, it still has some of my fondest gaming memories of 2023. What Tindalos Interactive has managed to do with creating consistent tension with an isometric viewpoint is nothing short of technical alchemy. If you’re like me and were put off by XCOM’s RNG emphasis and turn-based combat, Dark Descent offers a great way to sample some of that depth. Best bit: all combat is real-time, though you can toggle turn-based battles if that’s more your speed. Tindalos has patched the game into a much better place than at launch, and it’s one of those games that I look forward to replaying in the future with a patched take on strong gameplay foundations of tense bug hunts.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSS/X
  • Genre: Real-time tactics
  • Players: Single-player

Mortal Kombat 1

Developer: NetherRealm Studios
A multiverse-embracing hard-hitting rebirth of a legendary gore-tastic fighting series.

While Street Fighter was my first fighting game and Killer Instinct Gold was my first love in the genre, the Mortal Kombat series has been a consistent companion since its controversial first outing. That controversy was, of course, around the gory finishers, and the over-the-top bloodbaths have become more entertaining with each successive entry. Microtransaction concerns aside—something that, unfortunately, plagues tentpole fighting games these days (including Street Fighter 6)—Mortal Kombat 1 is a hoot as a single-player experience. The sprawling story gives players a good taste of the main brawling roster and there’s a refreshing emphasis on simple combos with well-balanced combat on normal difficulty.

Nathan Lawrence

Play Video
  • Platforms: PC, PS5, XSS/X, Switch
  • Genre: Fighting game
  • Players: 1-2-players

How we pick the best games

While we rigorously test consumer technology products, like smartphones, wireless earbuds and headphones, there's no right answer when it comes to picking the best games available. Our list is simply made up of the games that have brought our writers joy over 2022; the games that have challenged us, wowed us, and commanded far too much of our free time. Games we think more people should know about. Games we think you'll enjoy too. 

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Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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