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Top 10 Games of 2023 - Best of 2023 Event

2023 has been called by many popular outlets and gaming creators, "one of the best years in gaming ever" or at least in recent years. It is definitely true that 2023 has delievered some amazing titles, and GOTY 2023 was as competitive as ever. Like all forms of art and entertainment, Greatness has objective aspects and subjective aspects. There are games that are objectively great in terms of mechanics , graphical fidelity, and narratives. That doesn't stop games from being subjectively debated. We saw how passionatly fans of some of the most popular GOTY favorites debated which games is better.

I do think my list will have some obvious picks, and have some surprises. If you are like me, and you enjoy reading and watching every end of year top 10 list from every news outlet and youtuber you enjoy, you will be surprised by my list. I have some games that will top 3 most others lists left off mine. I have some lesser known titles on my list. This list is my sole subjective opinion. Just because a game doesn't make or rank high on my list doesn't mean it is bad, it didn't appeal to me. Sometimes a game comes out that I can see it's objective greatness, but it doesn't resonate with me.

I will say that this year marks two firsts for the Game Infinite's Best of Event and final Top 10 list. Each year, I debate heavily my top 2 picks for GOTY. I went back and forth between Apex Legends and Jedi Fallen Order, Final Fantasy 7 Remake and The Last of Us Part II, God of War Ragnarok and Lost Ark. Every year I find myself struggling between two amazing games. This was the first year in my time doing this that I knew what GOTY was when I was playing it. I had no doubt, and didn't feel a struggle. I will bet that you will be very surprised what takes our GOTY pick however, as the second Gi first is something about what wins our GOTY pick.

I am not doing an Indie Top 10 list year. Indie games are a huge part of our DNA at Game Infinite, so much so that we have seen success with our Indie Game Round Up article series and the launch of our Indie Game Youtube Project featuring countless developer's games. However, so many of the many indie games we have been following either released already in 2022, or have 2024+ release windows. I know countless indie games release every month, but 2023 still felt dryer than normal? Fact is, despite following so many indie games, I didn't play enough of them in 2023 to warrent a separate list. That being said, a few of the ones I did play were incredible, and one of them even warrented a special title we've NEVER given before to an indie game.

(Full Video)

Scroll down for our picks for the 10 Best Games of 2023.

10. Super Mario Bros Wonder

Barely making it on to this list is a game I almost slept on completely. I've all but written off the Nintendo Switch, having been pretty disappointed with Nintendo's decision to not update this asthmatic aging hardware. The Switch's inability to keep up with modern consoles has lead to dozens of very embarrassing glitchy ports of AAA titles that look nothing like their PS5 or Xbox counterparts. Games run ugly, especially on modern 4k displays with the Switch lacking simple 4k upscaling when docked. The last game I was excited for on Switch was Kirby's attempt to take on a 3D platforming game. The game was fun, but was very much held back by hardware. I said in that article last year, that it could have been so much better if allowed to run on proper hardware.

Super Mario Wonder however, was nominated for GOTY at the Game Awards and got rave reviews. I didn't expect much from "yet another Mario platformer". Playing this on the Switch still holds the game and experience back. That being said, yes it runs like a game from the past, and yes it is "yet another Mario platformer", but I will admit that this is still a fantastic game underneath that. The new powers and setting provide a fresh coat of paint to such an old franchise. Do I think this is a GOTY contender, not at all. However, for Mario fans this is a fun experience worthy of number 10 on this list.

9. Street Fighter 6

Street Fighter 6 arrived to usher in the latest wave of new fighting games we are getting. With a new MK and new Tekken upcoming, fighting game fans certainly have enough to keep them entertained. However, it was Streetfighter 6 was the one that stood out to me most. I enjoyed the characters, modern gameplay, and ability to customize characters.

8. Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy could have been GOTY 2023. It could have been a 10/10 title. It is a beautiful, well crafted, and incredible game that should have rocketed to the top of this list. This game is great...enough for a spot on this list in a jam packed year of greatness. However, it committed one grave mistake that kept it from GOTY and dropped it all the way down to "just" the number 8 spot on this list. I don't want to discourage people from playing this game, because it is amazing at what it is, and well worth a spot on this list. But I do have a complaint keeping it from 7 spots higher on this list.

...It's characters and story are a little boring.

The developers were so focused on building an amazing Hogwarts Simulator that they forgot to populate that world with interesting characters and tell a cool story. This game excels at allowing us to walk (or fly) around the world of Harry Potter. The problem is that exploration is somewhat lonely. One of the best parts of the original Harry Potter story are the companions Harry meets and the friendships he builds along the way. The teachers, the fellow students, they are a huge part of the magic of the Wizarding World, and in this game you spend most of the time ALONE, on solo journeys, talking to yourself. This game came out in the beginning of the year, and to be honest off the top of my head I don't remember ANY of the characters' names. Had this game had a Mass Effect or Final Fantasy 7 style companion system, where you go on this journey with characters talking to you and building relationships along the way, this game could have been night and day better.

This is a celebratory list, so I don't want to focus too much on that negative and limit the many great things of this game. It's world and gameplay are incredible. This is one of the better spell based combat systems I have ever seen. It's flight mechanics are fun. It's combat is superb. But I needed to point out how much higher it could have been had they taken the time to give us cool companions and interesting teachers. This could have been Harry Potter: Mass Effect, instead it was just Harry Potter: Call of Duty. Beautiful and fun to go "magic pew pew" for a while, but I don't care about any of the people or story.

7. Honkai Star Rail

Every year a game comes out that violates my rules of what games I like and still manages to pull me in even when it's "not my type of game". Honkai Starrail is a game that normally would be a "skip" for me, because it commits one of the worst gaming mechanic "sins" that more than most will typically turn me off from a game. In fact, this year it's inclusion might confuze and even upset some readers because one of the most popular games of the year that I struggled to get into has the same mechanic. Why this game "Gets away with it" and that other mega popular game doesn't, I can't really explain.

I am of course talking about turn based games. I hate turn based combat. I find it slow, immersion breaking, and just unnappealing to me. I often argue that that genre is archaic and unnecessary in the modern age. I think it actively ruins games. I generally have an rule of "this game would be better if only it wasn't turn based". To include a turn based system, but be perfect in every other way...usually I still write it off.

There just something about turn based that makes games feel incredibly repetitive; it points out just how repetitive combat can be. Spider-man 2 for example is an example of how real time combat can help obscure when you are performing the same 4-5 attacks against hundreds or thousands of enemies. If I close my eyes and picture Spider-man 2 as turn-based where you had to select "Attack A" and watch an animation, 27 times in a single encounter, good lord that game would be even more repetitive than it is. That game would be torture. There's just something small feeling about hitting "attack option A" and sometimes "attack option B" and watching the same animation over and over and over and over that makes me sleepy. In real time, you can at least have more combos and options to make the hundreds of encounters feel different.

I know some people are going to be like "how can you include this game and not know..." I don't have a really good answer. Maybe the fact that this game was free to play, so it asked nothing of me to try, and it's turn based mechanics are simple and approachable for those not bent to it. It doesn't feel like i have to learn this deep complex system when it's a system I don't care for. Yes it is turn based...but it was also free and easy to do? Where as a full priced title, offering a very deep and complex turn based system was less interesting. It's really subjective and I don't have a better explanation.

6. Forza Motorsport

2023 saw two-(ish) sequels to previous Game Infinite GOTY winners, with one being a embarrassment and another making it on this list. While not a "direct sequel", as Forza has two subtitle series with Horizon and Motorsport, with the former being more arcade and the latter being more simulation, this is still the next Forza game after our 2021 GOTY winner in Forza Horizon 5. I have always been more partial to the fast, "bouncy", nature of the arcade Horizon series. I have played more simulation games in the past and never really enjoyed them. When I play a racing game, I enjoy the unrealistic speeds and handingly of arcade racing games. I went into Motorsport expecting it to "not be for me"; and as predicted the feel of the game is very much unlike the racing games I typically play. Instead of feeling like I'm going 120 mph, flying around corners in a virtual rocket with wheels; cars in Motorsport feel far more like real life. They don't feel like rockets. They don't easily drift around turns at 100 mph. They don't easily kick off into a drift at the easiest flick of a switch. The cars in the game feel heavy and slow, but oddly in a way that was still fun. I told myself that this was a different type of racing game, and to try to enjoy it for what it is, a simulation. This is flight simulator on the ground. I pushed through and found myself enjoying the more mature, focused strategic drive. I had to be care not to crash. I had to plan my turns better. This was an mature racing game. When I want chaotic rocket racing, I have games for that. This was different, and different was actually fun.

Besides the obvious racing aspect, Forza always has incredible photomodes, that provide hours of just virtual photography of photorealistic cars.

(Game Infinite - Gi Plays Screenshots)

5. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2

As much as I enjoyed my fancy simulation, the mature experience of Motorsport, A "Serious" racing game enjecting realism, forcing me to strategize and think while I drive...I think I enjoyed Motorsport more because when i needed 20 minutes of turning my brain off, I had Hotwheels Unleashed 2 to be there. Sometimes, after a long hard day of work, after getting the kid to bed, and resigning to my office to play only a short remaining time of gaming, I don't want to think, strategize, struggle. I just want to listen to music and drive. Unleashed 2 is the polar opposite of Motorsport in every way. It is unrealistic in everyway. You feel like a rocket on wheels. It is dumb easy fun, and that is some times needed in gaming. 2023 gave us two very opposite and differet racing games that met different needs. I put them at 5 and 6 ranking on purpose because they easily could flip depending on what type of racer do you need. Do you want a challenge and a simulation? Do you need to just relax and mash a nitro booster every few seconds? Both are incredible experiences in different ways and worth your time.

4. Eternights

Eternights in not a perfect game. In fact it is sometimes, a little weird, but in a charming and endearing way. It's story is a little goofy and dream logic at times. It's...quirky. There are times where the gameplay and level design seem a little simple. In a year that is just overflowing with high quality, massive experiences, I feel like this game has been a tad overlooked by the gaming community and many gaming outlets.

However, I think many outlets fail to realize how impressive, and important this game truly is. If you ever came across the trailer, you might think this was a AA, medium sized game from Bandai or one of the other studios that pump out medium sized anime projects each year. Each year we get several niche medium sized anime games being made on medium budgets for medium sized audiences, and this looks like those.

However, once you learn that this was a debut indie title from a solo dev, I think your jaw will be where mine is. That is why I think this game is so important, as it joins a shortlist of ever growing indie solo projects that are an order of magnitude above what we exepect from small to solo teams. What just a few people are capable of creating now is incredible. We are seeing full 3D games, being made primarily by one person to a quality that is just unreal. These types of games are important to recognize because they raise my standard for what I expect developers to be able to create. Quite frankly, they spoil me. They give me a little bit of a "Tony Stark built this in a cave, with a BOX OF SCRAPS" attitude towards game developement.

Believe me, knowing as many developers as I do, I have incredible empathy for how hard development is. I have patiece for delays. I respect developers who (honestly) use the Early Access process. I know how a game can represent years of hard work. I don't want to trivilize the difficulty. While at the same time...However, HOWEVER, When I see larger teams give us abominations such, Babylon's Fall, The Day Before, Kong, Gollumn, Walking Dead, often with massively larger budgets, etc... I point to games like Eternights and can't help be like..."See? It can be done." This is a beautiful, fun, 3D game that doesn't look indie, and it was made by ONE PERSON. You can do it devs! This game is underated and needs to be lifted up to show what solo devs can pull off. I think the industry might be a little scared to showcase games like this because they raise the standard.

(Press Kit Images)

3. Resident Evil 4 - Best Remake

2023 was a year of remakes and remasters. We got lots of high quality, labors of loves on older games that clearly have developers who are passionate about updating older beloved titles. I have had a policy that remasters don't quailfy for this list but remakes possibly can. I feel like that is fair. If you are rebuilding a game and reusing a story it should still count. This year was hard as we got amazing remakes like Dead Space, remasters like Metroid. They were good, but one stood above the rest.

Enter in Resident Evil 4. This game made it on my list for two reasons, I never played the original, so to me this was a whole new experience. Even still, the comparison between the videos I have seen of the orignal and the remake is standout and obvious. This isn't a squint and see the improvement remake like I felt some are. Resident Evil 4 has been reguarded by many as one of the greatest games ever, I now understand why. I really loved my time in this game, and I'm not a longtime Resident Evil fan or have had much experience with the games. I'm also not a big horror game person either. However, this game found the right balance between action and horror that I feel some horror games struggle. I don't personally enjoy having to struggle with the horror game math of "you have 3 bullets. It takes 5 bullets to kill the zombie. they are 10 zombies. Survive...somehow". I don't really like that type of game that gives you a gun but doesn't expect you to use it. While this is far from Call of Duty...the gunplay feels balanced on this subject. I felt challenged, but not punished.

Additionally, I liked the characters. Leon in someways is the shallow action hero of his time...but feels deeper and better than he should be from that time. Ashley could easily be a poorly written forgettable, damsel in distress...but she feels like a deeper likeable character. She works as a character in 2023. I completely see how despite being "just a remake" this game had enough love put into it to qualify for a top 10 list and even GOTY nominated at the Game Awards.

2. Spider-man 2

Spider-man on PS4 recieved a 10/10 score from Game Infinite way back in 2018. I played that game to exhaustion, and loved the new standard of super hero games that were set. It was beautiful, dense, and had lots of replayability. I played it so much, I felt satisfied. I didn't play Miles Morales or the PS5 remastered version of the game, as I felt like I had enough. thankfully 5 years was enough time between for me to be excited for more spiderman. It would be tempting to say as many have that this was just "more of the same". However, I think that is highly unfair.

Spiderman 2 evolves and deepens the combat system. It tells a lengthy and compelling story. The visuals of this game are just downright impressive. If I had the time, I could spend hours playing with the photomode just as much as I did the actual game.

The game isn't perfect, but it is excellent enough to rocket it to number 2 on this list. I felt like the game had one too many villians, with Kraven's ending feeling a little rushed. I also felt like the game struggled with some difficulty spikes. Kraven's men felt disproportionate from all the other enemy factions in the game. The game's difficulty spikes sometimes felt like a quiet tv show interrupted by loud commercials. I found myself raising and lowering the difficulty throughout my play, which is something I typically find unnecessary. It was weird struggling against "normal enemies" with Kraven's but finding a boss easy. Many of them have long range attacks that are quick can get you inbetween all the flipping animations, and others have OP blocking that requires specific attaacks or parry's. Maybe it was just my play style, but Why did I die 10 times against a particular swarm of his army but defeated Sandman, Lizard, Kraven, or Venom on the first try? It's a little nonimmersive that the final act Symbiote "super alien" armies were easier than Kraven's fur covered men with guns. The difficulty in the game just needs some time on the ironing board.

That small nitpick aside, I loved the graphical fidelity, the hyper fluid combat, the narrative, and everything from start to finish. They balanced Miles and Peter to where neither character felt like the guest of the show. Mary Jane's stealth missions were improved. The game also includes one of the best missions in 2023, with the Venom appearace and escaping Oscorp sequence. That was just intense and easily the best part of the game. It could easily be my GOTY if it weren't for the number one pick. The photo mode feels like a whole game, allowing you to endlessly photograph amazing scenes.

(Game Infinite - Gi Plays Screenshots)

Honorable Mention: Baldur's Gate 3

I feel like my list is going to look very different than many outlets, and many of you will feel like there are some GLARING admissions.

I need to address the elephant in the room with Baldur's Gate 3...

It is sweeping awards left and right. It took GOTY 2023 at the Game Awards. It is winning GOTY at most major news outlets, and I understand why. This game has hundreds of hours of quality content. It is one of the most visually impressive games. It sets a new standard for what AAA gaming could be. The player choice, the world exploration, the companions, the dialogue variation. They are all industry trend setting. This game is a clear winner to many, by a mile, and does things never done before. It also has real world precedent setting that is unnerving the suits at the top of many major studios. It launched with no battle passes, no DLC, no aggressive monetizations. It launched polished and finished. It's success tells the other studios what gamers expect. We expect complete quality experiences for our money. This is game is important from a technical standpoint, and it is important from a real world consumer practice standpoint. In a year that gave us one of the worst PC launches I have ever seen from AAA with Jedi Survivor, and some studios launching absolute scam games like the Day Before, Kong, Walking Dead, Gollum, etc... games this Baldur's Gate 3 is important because gamers are telling these studios enough is enough. We demand quality.

It would be too easy to just sit back and declare BG3 our GOTY because I know it's objective excellence and why it's important. However...I can't. I stipulate everything great about it. I have no complaints. I just struggled to get into the game. I only played about 5 or 6 hours. My biggest critique is very unfair, and many will disagree or even dismiss my opinion. I already said I don't like turn based games. I find them slow and non-immersive. I have no critiques about the implementation, just that even the polished quality implementation was a negative for me. If this game had real time combat I think it would be one of the best games ever and maybe I'd have 100 hours in it. This was more than just a turn based game. It was a pretty in depth, deep mechanic of a D&D simulator.

There are games that are winning GOTY nominations and awards out there this year that aren't on my list. I want to say as clear as I can, I don't think these are bad games; in fact, many of these games are phenomenal. Baldur's Gate 3 and Starfield are two games that have huge fan bases, and many consider top tier games of the year. I played them both for a few hours each, and they just for some reason didn't stick with me. I have trouble enjoying turn based games, and BG3 is very deep Dungeons and Dragons simulator.

Honerable Mentions: Starfield, FFXVI, Need 4 Speed Unbound, Exoprimal...

These games are great, I just didn't get into them. I played FFXVI and considered it for this list, but I just didn't enjoy it as much as the other games not his list. I felt the characters and world were a little flat. Exoprimal was way more fun than it ever deserved to be, a great 2000's era shooter with hoards of dinosaurs. It's fun and a recommended play, but just fell a little short from this list. Need 4 Speed Unbound almost became the third racing game on this list, but I felt that Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 was more fun on the arcade side, and Motorsport fulfilled the simulation side better. Unbound technically qualified for this list as we do Dec-December similar to the Game Awards, but I felt while it was great, we had some better racers this year. Starfield is another big one that was RANK #1 on our most anticipated list. I was super excited for this sprawling space sim with "1000+ planets". I played it for about 5-6 hours...and I was just disappointed. The characters were boring. The planets were ugly. I am sorry but I tried.

Honerable Indie Mentions: Mirror Forge, Planet of Lana, Beyond the Long Night, Cynthia Hidden in the Moonshadow

If I was doing a Top 10 Indie Games of the year list, these would have been immediate inclusions. I wasn't able to finish them all yet, or play enough indie gems to make a full list, but I wanted to give them an honorable mention here as these are some trully amazing games worthy of your time! Some of them are available in the Game Infinite Indie Trailer project for clips and trailers! Watch Here

Dishonorable Mention: Jedi Survivor on PC

While Starfield, FFXVI, and Baldur's Gate 3 just weren't for me...I still understand why people put them on their list. There is one game that needs a DISHONORABLE MENTION. That is a sequel to a FORMER GOTY winner here at Game Infinite and my biggest dissapointment of 2023. That is of course the PC version of Star Wars Jedi Survivor. Star Wars Fallen Order was our GOTY in 2019, closely matched against Apex Legends. How can a sequel fall so far from GOTY to a dishonorable mention on this list? Easy. The launch version of the game on PC was INEXCUSABLE. It is easily the worst pc launch I have ever played.

We throw around the term "unplayable" alot...but just listen to my story.

Let me tell you about my experience. If you enjoyed the game on console and don't understand, just listen to what it was like for many of us on PC. If you think maybe my PC just sucks, I assure you it doesn't. I can play all other AAA games on high or ultra settings. This game was just terrible at launch.

It launched in April. It is now December and I have still yet to finish the game, and here is why. The game was 100% unplayable for me at launch for WEEKS because it would crash on the opening cutscene almost immediately. Reinstalls, settings tinkering, driver updates, nothing fixed it. After weeks, I got past the first cutscene to playable gameplay. It ran with the framerates of a powerpoint presentation, constantly freezing and dropping to single digit FPS. It crashed on the second cutscene. I eventually was able to skip the cutscenes and WATCH THEM ON YOUTUBE. The game continued to run like absolute trash. It took dozens of tries to beat the first boss because of the performance. After 15 hours of painstaking trudging....after several finally started to run a little better on lower settings.

THEN IT CORRUPTED MY SAVE. Unlike any other game on the planet that offers manual saves on multiple slots, many with cloud back ups, nope not survivor. Survivor acts like this is 1997. This game made me start all over again. I lost all interest in playing it, but now in Decemeber I am trudging along again. The performance after 6 months is better but still unacceptable for a AAA game. I have to play it on MEDIUM just to stop the studdering. I have made it past the point from before. I still struggle to progress because whenever the game offers a new power for Cal, the game bugs and wont do the new power. I had to reboot several times when he got the blaster, and I'm stuck on a new power that is bugged out. I have restarted, reinstalled, and still can't get past this game breaking bug so I don't know if I will ever finish this game. I literally can't progress in the story or revert to an earlier save.

Best Ongoing Game - Marvel Snap

Previous Year ongoing live service games aren't eligible for this list, but with the rise of live service and ongoing titles, I wanted to give a spot to recognize a Best of 2023 shoutout to Marvel Snap as my favorite ongoing title in 2023. Last years GOTY contender, and Best Mobile Game 2022, This game is a daily enjoyment for me, with lasting value past the year it released. The developers have been busy with regular seasons and card drops. It feels still popular with its fanbase, and the game still feels healthily monetized.

1. Viewfinder - GOTY 2023, Indie GOTY 2023

2023 is a Game Infinite first. Despite having indie games be so important to our DNA, with out Indie Game Trailer YT Project, Indie Game Round Up, GiFriends, we feature so many countless indie games. We have a list a mile long of in development indie games we are looking forward to. Each year we crown a INDIE GOTY. What is a first, is despite all this we have NEVER had an indie game take the ultimate crown of GOTY 2023. Not to say we haven't had some close ones, but there always seems to come along a AAA giant that demands the award like God of War or something.

This year, an indie game came along that absolutely blew me away. In past years...I have always debated GOTY. I always have a top two I wrestle with. This year, I knew I was playing the GOTY when I was playing it; and it's possibly one you may not have even heard of. Viewfinder got positive reviews from the outlets, and it was nominated for Best Indie Game and Debut at the Game Awards.

Despite the recognition it did recieve, to me I think it is still underrated. I don't think the IGN's and Gamespot's of the world are giving this game the due recognition it deserves. We talk a LOT of about innovation and novelty in the gaming world, the importance of telling new stories and doing new things. This game tells a story, offers quality puzzles, but most importantly introduces us to a impressive innovative mechanic and does something we haven't seen before. The closes thing thing this reminds me of is Superliminal, our Indie GOTY 2019, where players could alter perspective.

In this game, players are given the ability to alter the game world in an instant, simply by holding up an image to the game world. Not only is this game just technically impressive, it is creatively impressive. I think what the game does is just so fast, so weird, and so different, people may not realize what it is doing. It's actually somewhat hard to describe, so I recommend readers just watch the gameplay clip above. I may have a different pick then everyone else, in a year of AAA Giants of Zelda, Spiderman 2, and Baldur's Gate 3, just absolutely delivering amazing quality, for me what stood out the most was this small indie puzzle game.


Thanks for reading our Top 10 Games of 2023 Article! It is a year in the making, and we need your help to support! Also Come back for more top lists and other end of year celebration content!

Game Infinite is a small independent gaming news and entertainment platform. In order to grow and do even more content, we could use your help! Supporting us also supports our partners! We have a partner to share and are excited to share we have partnered with Iced Tea Aesthetics, an amazing anime apparel brand with incredible nerdy shirts and other items! Use code GAMEINFINITE or our link for 10% OFF!


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