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Forums > News > What was the favorite game you played in 2023?

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Plok (186103) on 12/28/2023 1:31 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

As 2023 draws to a close, so do our gaming runs for the year. Let's share which games we liked playing the most this year.

As always, the games themselves need not have come out in 2023 necessarily, all that matters is that you played them and they left a mark on you.

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Plok (186103) on 12/28/2023 1:56 AM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

A fantastic year for games, though sadly not for their developers. I think I've last played this many fresh games back in the 2000s, which.... oh no...

Games are listed in order in which I played them.

  • Age of Wonders 4 - despite the surprisingly broken launch (took about a month to stabilize), AoW4 had a core that took the best bits of AoW3 and Planetfall and made a game one can lose track of time in without fail. After the tomes, netcode and AI were tweaked post-launch, it earned its keep. Customizable races are a change that grew on me, though unit variety suffered from it. Even so, the game doesn't have any particular gaps in content other than missing naval units, and all other changes had intentional trade-offs that made it all work together.
  • Mass Effect: Legendary Edition - I don't know what was wrong with me when I briefly tried the original versions of ME1/2 and didn't get hooked. The trilogy deserved its legacy, even with the moments of outright daftness from the characters and even an entire race (if you know, you know). The combat had more and more things added to keep it interesting, but vehicle sections after the MAKO was removed were a big misstep. You actually feel like a space cowboy saving the galaxy in your own way, and it's deservedly a part of gaming history.
  • Jagged Alliance 3 - talk about a comeback. While I had several passing interest phases with JA2, this one sunk me in hard simply for how well it flowed. It's a tremendous turn-based tactics game with no loose mechanics, no useless characters, no major bugs even. It's as if they managed to capture, for the lack of a better term, the "precision" of controls and objects in the world like it is a late 1990s isometric 2D game, but in a 3D engine. Everything actually just works. The game deserved more traction than it got, as it was made as tight as possible to revive a franchise that was riddled with poor titles almost as much as Command & Conquer was. Can't wait to see what's next for both JA and Haemimont Games.
  • Baldur's Gate III - the hype and craze were warranted. Only Larian can see high expectations for a new game in a legendary series, ask "is that all?" and proceed to flex on the whole industry. Few games released to date are capable of immersing the player in both gameplay and storyline to such a degree. The campaign is very long, but none of it feels like random filler. Characters, combat, choices that genuinely matter, visuals... all top notch. The co-op multiplayer is not only exceptionally fun, but launched as surprisingly stable in both LAN and online, especially for such a complex system. BG3 is not just worthy of the title Game of the Year, but Game of the Generation.
  • Street Fighter 6 - this is the year I started sampling fighting games. I had never understood the appeal but noticed that nearly all of them had awesome character designs. Started with SF 30th Anniversary Collection and Ultra SF4, which are all great and helped me understand why people like the genre, but I kept failing to commit to more than a few fights and actually git gud. SF6 is precisely what a newcomer like me needed - not only a singleplayer mode that deepens interactions with the main cast and has a sense of progression, but also tutorializes the principles both common throughout the game and unique to individual characters, and goes out of its way to accommodate both new and old audiences simultaneously - while it's a suicidal move for anyone else, Capcom masterfully executed balancing the Modern and Classic controls. The only problems the game has are obtuse menus and high DLC prices, but the core game alone is more fun than frustration and otherwise doesn't have anything missing.

Shorter games: En Garde! (simple concept, cute, cheerful) and Tavern Master (perfect for cozying up)

Dishonorable mention: Star Trek: Infinite (an official Stellaris reskin that isn't bad, just disappointingly short on innovation and buggy)

My ranked list of 2023 games:

  1. Baldur's Gate III
  2. Age of Wonders 4
  3. Jagged Alliance 3
  4. Street Fighter 6
  5. En Garde!
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Patrick Bregger (294975) on 12/28/2023 3:57 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

The Top Ten:

  1. The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie (Steam): This year I did my second playthrough through the Trails series (I already played Trails 1-3 and Zero in 2022, though) and directly followed it up with the Reverie which saw its English release in 2023. While it did not live up to the predecessors, I'd probably rank it the lowest of the whole series, I still loved it.

  2. The Case of the Golden Idol (Steam): One of the, if not the best, puzzle game I have ever played.

  3. Disco Elysium: Director's Cut (GOG): Another game which I gave a third try. This has to be the best writing I have encountered in a long time, but a few bugs and unfortunate design desicions (no longer available skillchecks are still shown in the list) made it worse.

  4. The Making of Karateka (Steam): This was made by the same people which made the Atari 50 and this is just as good, if not even better.

  5. Cyberpunk 2077 (without the add-on) (GOG): My third try and I finally learned to love it.

  6. Titanfall 2 (EA App): I was positively surprised how well this FPS is made. A whole lot of fun and every level has its own style and gimmick. Maybe a bit too long towards the end.

  7. Gunpoint (Amazon Games): Old enough to be considered a classic, but I have played it for the first time. One of the few times I wished a game was longer.

  8. Piczle Cross Adventure (Steam): I like nonogram games with story. I played this for almost 50 hours according to Steam (I fell asleep a few times, though) and I regret nothing!

  9. Tokyo Xanadu eX+ (Steam): It is basically Trails of Cold Steel with an action-based combat system and set in modern Japan. The first time I played it, I bounced off hard. This time I learned to appreciate the story and characters. However, the bonus story at the end (unlocked similar to the Royal content in Persona 5) was bad and should have been cut.

  10. Return to Monkey Island (Gamepass): I liked it, but I don't remember anything about it.

The Bonus Entry:

Yakuza 0 (Steam): I can't rank it yet because this is the game I am currently playing. I'm 60 hours in (Chapter 10) and right now I would place it either before or after Cyberpunk 2077.

The Biggest disappointments:

  1. Thi4f: Worst of this year, worst of every year.

  2. Myself: I am disappointed because I did not finish Baldur's Gate III (30 hours) and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous (64 hours). Normally I would have devoured both games - because they are excellent - but at some point I couldn't bring myself to start them up. I'm sure I'll come back to them at some point in the future.

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MobyReed (318) on 12/28/2023 11:25 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Satisfactory. Played another round with Update 7 & 8. Now my most played game on Steam, beating out Factorio!

Captain of Industry. Another great factory game.

Railgrade. Polished train puzzle/factory game. Also has an excellent soundtrack.

Thronefall. Elegent strategy game. Short, but sweet.

Dwarf Fortress. Steam release.

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Shiho Takamori (10964) on 12/31/2023 1:07 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

One Word: TOTK.

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GTramp (81965) on 1/1/2024 10:21 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing all the best to MobyGames.

Games I enjoyed the most in 2023 were:

  • Atomic Heart (PC) - amazing atmosphere and music, solid gameplay. I really enjoyed this one. The first story DLC released later that year was not so interesing unfortunately.

  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PC) - short and fun Uncharted spin-off.

  • Only Up! (PC). This is one of the scariest games I have ever played. Damn I had my hands shaking when I finally beat it. This is a masterpiece.

  • Dead Space Remake (PC). Very competent remake which added a lot to the old DS formula.

  • Die Hard (TurboGrafx-16). Top-down action game which is fun to play. The music is great too.

  • Quake: Dimension of the Machine (PC). This year I replayed Quake 1 and all it's official addons and I had a blast. The Dimension of the Machine addon stands out for pushing the game's limits to the max with its level design.

  • Resident Evil 3 (PC). This one's very different from the source material and it's quite short. It was fun.

  • Spiritfarer (PC). A beautiful game about death, we really enjoyed this one in co-op.

  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble (SNES). This one is easier than the first two DKC games and it plays really well.

  • The Callisto Protocol (PC). This one was criticized a lot but I have a soft spot for games like this.

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC). This game was criticized too back when it was released. And those who judged it rashly were wrong, obviously. Once I got into it it was fun and engaging experience, just like the prequel. I still need to play the DLCs.

  • Super Cyborg (PC). This is just a Contra ripoff but it is very competent in its presentation and design. I'm currently stuck at the last boss which apparently has more than 5 forms...

The worst game I played in 2023 was Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code (PSP) - slow and boring piece of crap. And people praised it back in 2006, I can't believe that...

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Michael Zimnicki (114) on 1/1/2024 8:37 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

My cousins visited me during Christmas and we played Ticket to Ride, the board game. Actually, it was the European variant:


The original game was about rail-road in America.


The goal of the game is to take tracks of rail-road, cards of which you have drawn (i.e. taken, not drawn in the sense like creating marks with crayons). For instance you can draw a track from London to Vienna and you have to play cards to take pieces of this track. It's like you get contracts for tracks and you must get and play the right cards to build those tracks, but you don't have to take the shortest route between given cities, you can go around, for instance because you are getting cards for building around, or because you can fulfill two contracts with one line when you are not building in the straight line.

It's a strange game, it's being marketed as being about traveling by railroad, while it quite obviously is about building rail-road tracks for which you have contracts. Because the game's marketing claims the game is about traveling, contracts are called tickets. :)

My another relative, which is a Down (but you can't tell by looking at her) and has her tongue partially connected to the palate, I believe, one way or another she could not speak properly, but it got better recently and I could understand her, practice makes perfect it seems, anyway she came to my place with her mother and played Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 on my Playstation.


But I don't have a season pass, actually, I totally neglected installing it on time.

We usually change at the controller when she comes, I do the trickier parts, still she has better reflexes than I do. She used to treat the game as usual shooter, this is how she approached the mission with freeing people digging the graves near the church. She tried many times to storm the enemies and shoot them at close range and ultimately she succeeded, on the easiest difficulty level, however. In one review it was written that it was a shame the game does not focus on sniping: "Sniping is the winning card in its deck, and yet CI Games regularly plays other hands to the game's detriment"


Nah, it's fine as a shooter, too, and a lot of fun. Not that this approach is easy. Hope I won't discourage anybody from treating this game as a sniping game with tactics.

It seems it's an occasion to say something about the red dot. The red dot appears on lowest difficulty level when holding breath, or something like this, and shows where the bullet is supposed to land. I didn't take it into consideration when playing, however, at first because I was so occupied with aiming I completely did not spot the hint, later because a long time after completing the tutorial I forgot how to hold breath. I think it's by pressing one of sticks on the controller, hope I remember correctly, which is completely unintuitive for someone who started with Atari computer, I would never think of doing something like this with the controller. So if you think too much of a hint would bother you, you can try with the medium difficulty level. I think the tutorial does not take the difficulty level into consideration too much, however, the game will get more difficult when the actual game starts. Alternatively, I was just checking on the net about difficulty levels and the red dot, and it seems here


that you can turn-off red dot even on the lowest difficulty level. Hope it is like this on Playstation and XBox, too. Don't have much time to check it at the moment.

Wanted to tell this, as someone would start the game and say, hell, I am playing a sniping game and it tells me where the shot lands.

Heck, I was to write about my games in 2023, and I'm writing a review with tips.

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vedder (69745) on 1/1/2024 9:49 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

  1. Disco Elysium - Everyone was very positive about it and they were right. Definitely in my top 10 of favourite RPGs.
  2. Deathloop - Once I got over my misconception of being able to play it like Thief, and embracing the fact it plays more like BioShock I really started to love it.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Finally got a Switch. Wasn't sure I would enjoy this because the only previous Zeldas I liked were the 2D top down Link to the Past and Minish Cap. I'm happy that I do really like it. That means I'll also be playing Tears of the Kingdom somewhere in the forseeable future and I'll get a lot of extra milage out of the Switch.
  4. Crusader Kings III - I did another run of the game this year. It's great, but the second run did feel a bit same-ish after a while even while starting from a different part of the continent.
  5. The Forgotten City - A fun time-loop puzzle game.
  6. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout - Played a bunch more after a year or more of not looking at it. Fun to see some new content and actually reached a point where I regularly manage to get that crown.
  7. The Last of Us: Part II - It's great for the most part, but it's too long for the story it tries to deliver.
  8. Vampire Survivors - I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. Got all the achievements and secrets for the base game (without DLC). But I'll probably not play this kind of game for a couple years. Satiated for this kind of experience for now.
  9. Stray - Cute and pretty.
  10. Unpacking - A masterclass in environmental design.

Honorable mentions:

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider - Solid Metroidvania, but didn't really offer anything new from its predecessor.
  • Mini Metro - Replayed it and got all the achievements. Fun puzzle game, but does get a bit samey after some levels and the micro-management required to get the achievements isn't necessarily a strong part of the game's design.
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Tythesly (9219) on 1/2/2024 11:08 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

  1. Hogwarts Legacy - I have always been a big fan of the Harry Potter series and have always wanted a game like this.

  2. FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster - The very first final fantasy game I have ever played was X on the PlayStation 2. I am normally a stickler for playing games in order of release but I just had to play this one for the nostalgic feeling haha.

  3. House Flipper - I have no idea why Simulation games entertain me so much... But this is one of my favorites for sure. Kind of disappointed in how House Flipper 2 turned out and I hope they improve it soon.

  4. Raft - I have been gaming for over 22 years and this was the first survival game I have actually Co-op'ed with a friend haha. I really hope the developers come back and add more content to this game because it deserves it.

  5. Borderlands GOTY Enhanced - I have had this game for years and only started playing it since June. I hate playing games alone if it features a co-op mode. I finally managed to reach an old high school buddy and we have been playing it ever since here and there. We beat the main game and are just starting the first DLC and are enjoying every minute of it.

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Sciere (915205) on 1/14/2024 9:50 AM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

2023 was the year I finally did a major hardware upgrade as my GTX 970 from 2015 (!) just kept doing fine all those years. In the first months of 2023, before the upgrade, there were a few throwback shooters I enjoyed immensely, such as the massive standalone conversions Ashes 2063 and Blade of Agony: passion projects with a large amount of content and strong design. Hrot was also a pleasant surprise and probably the best shooter of the year (let's not call them boomer shooters). I also enjoyed Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem. I don't like multiplayer shooters anymore, but Hunt: Showdown has a good atmosphere, balance and thrills. That's great game design. I just wish it would also let me explore the environments solo, without threats, just to get to know the locations better. This year I gave up on all shooters that mimic the hectic DOOM: Eternal design with fast-paced gameplay requiring lots of weapon switching and constantly depriving you of ammo (e.g. Turbo Overkill). I really dislike that type of design.

After the upgrade, I turned my attention to more recent titles. Stray was among the best. I prefer shorter, tightly managed narrative driven titles over the freedom of large open world games and this was one was very strong in the execution.

With the upcoming Flashback 2 which I didn't play (because reviews), I got a thirst for cinematic platforming during the summer and played Full Void, Lunark and Planet of Lana. All excellent in their own way. I also wrote a decent description for those, as well as most other games I played.

Cocoon is widely heralded as one of this year's best puzzle games and I agree. Not perfect, but a wonderful experience that never became too easy or too complicated.

Also honorable mentions for Dredge (great, but I wish it had more mystery and the gameplay loop was hidden better), Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Maneater (unfortunately a lot of crashes late game) and Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (kept putting off this one as I don't like visual novels, but this take on the genre was worth it).

My game of the year is Returnal. That Housemarque managed to evolve to take on such a large production without losing the studio DNA is quite an achievement. I loved discovering all the layers in the game and kept finding small surprises and mechanics many hours in. It has an amazing dark sci-fi atmosphere full of hostility, but it's fair because the mechanics are tight. My only gripe is the difficulty spike for the first three biomes. Those were incredibly hard and unforgiving. But once you get past those, the remaining three biomes are a breeze, so the progression design wasn't perfect there.

Enjoying these, but not yet finished: Alan Wake II, Return to Monkey Island and Yakuza 0.