15 Games of 2023 You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring

These 15 games deserve more of your attention.

Posted By | On 09th, Aug. 2023

15 Games of 2023 You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring

Calling 2023 a packed year would be a massive understatement. More than halfway through the calendar, it already seems well positioned to be regarded, once the dust has settled, as one of the best years the medium has seen in a long time, with effectively every month bringing excellent and memorable new releases, many of which are likely to go down as all-time classics. But of course, a byproduct of having a year be as densely packed with stellar releases is that a lot of stuff ends up getting lost in the shuffle. There’s plenty of great games that have launched over the course of the last few months that perhaps haven’t been getting the amount of attention they deserve, so here in this feature, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. These are the year’s best games that need to be played by more people.


Coming out of nowhere in June, Dave the Diver delivered a unique and compelling mix of adventure, role playing, and management mechanics. Putting you in the shoes of the manager of a sushi restaurant who routinely has to dive underwater to supply it with the fish it needs, Dave the Diver ends up being a much deeper and more addictive experience than you’d expect going in. Add to that its charming visuals and a surprisingly well-told story, and what you get is a game that ends up being far more than even the sum of its excellent parts.



We’re not done with offbeat fishing games yet, because Dredge is yet another indie gem that a lot of people have ended up sleeping on. Part fishing and sailing adventure, part Lovecraftian horror game, Dredge is built on two pillars that seem so diametrically opposed to each other on paper, it doesn’t seem possible for them to work very well together- and yet they do. The unsettling horror elements of the experience will keep you hooked and consistently on your toes, and just as compelling are the relaxed and addictive fishing mechanics and progression loops. Combined together, they make for what might be one of 2023’s more unique experiences.


amnesia the bunker

At a time when the survival horror genre is thriving more than it ever has, you’d think a major new game in an established horror franchise would be the talk of the town. Amnesia: The Bunker has sadly not found that kind of widespread success, but as those who’ve played it will tell you, it certainly deserves to. The Bunker serves as an excellent evolution of Frictional Games’ horror franchise, taking its tried-and-true light-and-dark mechanics and its brand of palpable first person horror and mixing it with a much more open ended approach than the series has ever been known for in the past. Then there’s the persistent stalker enemy that haunts your every step as you make your way through the titular bunker, heightening the scares that much more. It might be a brief experience, and it might not have the blockbuster flair of AAA megatons like Dead Space and Resident Evil, but for horror fans, it’s definitely not a game you should be missing.



An inventive idea can be easy to sell in a 90-second trailer, but fall completely flat in its execution in a full-fledged game. That, happily enough, is most certainly not the case with Viewfinder. That first moment where you take a picture and snap it into place in the environment, only to see it organically become part of that environment- that moment is pure magic. Does the luster of that central gimmick wear off a little bit as you get further into the game? To some extent, yeah- but Viewfinder remains an engaging experience until the end nonetheless, thanks to how freeform it feels and how much flexibiliy it affords to the player.


You’ll find no shortage of games inspired by Pokemon in any given year, but surprisingly enough, very few of them actually manage to capturing the magic that has always defined the Nintendo franchise. Every so often, a few of them do, however, and Bytten Studio’s Cassette Beasts is definitely in that group. Not only is it a well-made monster collecting RPG with an addictive combat loop and progression mechanics, it also has other strengths that you might not normally associate with the Pokemon formula- chief among them being a legitimately strong story. Maybe not one that’ll sweep the awards, but certainly one that’ll keep you genuinely interested in learning what happens next. Add to that its gorgeous retro visuals, and you get what’s probably one of the best indie games of the year.


Everspace 2

Launching in full after spending roughly two years in early access, Everspace 2 was obviously very much a known quantity by the time it saw its 1.0 release earlier this year, though it’s a bit surprising to see how little everyone’s been talking about just how much of a leap it is over its predecessor. Where the moment-to-moment gameplay is concerned, its tight flight and combat are in and of themselves one of the game’s highlights, but add to that an overhauled and fuller structure, and the improvements become even more significant. Dense role playing mechanics, a massive open world map, oodles of content to dive into- if you’re looking for a dense, well-made RPG to get lost in for a few dozen hours, Everspace 2 is well worth a look.


The Last Case of Benedict Fox_04

Admittedly, The Last Case of Benedict Fox is one of the most flawed games in this list. Metroidvanias are a dime a dozen these days, and fans of the genre have become spoilt for choice with a cavalcade of genre-defining releases over the last few years, from Ori to Metroid Dread and so many others. The Last Case of Benedict Fox is certainly several steps down from those giants of the genre, thanks in no small part to its frustratingly inconsistent combat and platforming mechanics. Purely on the backs of its strengths in art design, worldbuilding, and lore, however, it’s still a solid adventure that’s well worth undertaking. Should it be close to the top of your list for games you should get to at some point in the near future? Maybe not- but it should at least be on it.


oxenfree 2

We knew pretty much exactly what to expect from Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals, and that’s pretty much exactly what Night School Studio delivered with this long-awaited sequel- another tightly written adventure experience with a compelling story and an excellent dialogue system. After all, why wouldn’t you build on the original game’s strong foundations? Oxenfree 2 does what you’d expect a sequel to do, introducing iterations and improvements in every area of the experience to deliver a game that isn’t massively different from its predecessor (at least in a mechanical sense), but does feel like a much fuller, more polished experience. It’s also an immensely replayable game, just as the first one was, which only adds to its value (not that it’s lacking on that front as it is).


Wo Long Fallen Dynasty (6)

A major AAA game coming from a well-established studio might seem a strange pick for a list such as this one, but it’s fair to say that Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty hasn’t caught on the way Team Ninja’s past Soulslikes did. And sure, it’s easy to argue that Nioh and Nioh 2 are far better games- but Wo Long, in spite of being a bit rough around the edges, is still well worth experiencing. Its core strength, unsurprisingly, lies in its combat, which takes a leaf out of Sekiro’s book and places much greater emphasis on speed, aggression, and of course, parrying. If a stiff challenge and a tight combat system is what you’re looking for in your Soulslikes, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a game you need to be checking out.


pikmin 4

Though Pikmin has a devoted fanbase, it has never really been as widely successful or had the kind of mainsteam appeal that you’d see with properties like Mario or Zelda. But if ever there was a game to prove that Pikmin deserves a lot more attention, Pikmin 4 would be it (though to be fair, the first three games also illustrate that point very well). Once associated with dreaded terms like “vaporware” and “development hell” and “Nintendo’s Half-Life 3“, Pikmin 4 proved to be well worth the long wait upon its launch in June, providing the series’ best, most complete, and most packed outing to date. On top of numerous iterative changes and quality-of-life improvements to further enhance and polish the series’ formula, Pikmin 4 also introduces major new ideas, from Oatchi the space dog to night expeditions, not to mention a surprisingly meaty post-game that’ll have you thinking about Dandori long after you’ve rolled the credits. Pikmin 4 may very well go down as one of the best games in the Switch’s library, and more people need to play it.


jagged alliance 3 4

Launching nearly two and a half decades on from the launch of its predecessor, Jagged Alliance 3 shoulders the heavy responsibility of bringing the franchise back into relevancy with great aplomb, delivering a mechanically solid and addictive turn-based tactics RPG that simultaneously captures the series’ identity while modernizing it for the contemporary audience. Though it’s a bit rough around the edges where its clunky UI and its attempt at humour are concerned, Jagged Alliance 3 exceeds at delivering deep, dense systems that make its combat and progression sing. Building up your squad of merceneraries and tailor it to your needs remains a captivating experience from beginning to end.


Sure, technically, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is most definitely not a new game, but Capcom did bring the beloved Nintendo DS classic back in enhanced and upgraded form for modern platforms in June, once again illustrating just how good the game is- better, in fact, than many who haven’t played it might think. The unique, gorgeous visual style and the utterly bizarre yet compelling plot help it stand out in ways that you wouldn’t expect going in, while the inventive and engaging puzzles serve as the icing on top. From the first second until the last, it also keeps you hooked with its excellent writing. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is very much the definition of a forgotten classic, and hopefully, its re-release will help remedy that.


Aliens Dark Descent screenshot

You never really know what you’re in for with a new Alien game, especially where the quality is concerned- they can just as easily be disastrous experiences (like Aliens: Colonial Marines) as they can be instant classics (like Alien: Isolaton). Tindalos Interactive’s Aliens: Dark Descent sits somewhere in between those two groups, though perhaps leaning more towards the latter. It’s got its fair share of issues – from bland writing to technical hiccups – but in spite of those caveats, there’s no denying that it’s also an easy game to recommend, not only for fans of the Alien franchise, but to anyone with a passing interest in real-time tactics games. The action is tense and consistently enjoyable, the environments are well-constructed and look great, and the horror vibes are strong, even if the game is never actually scary in any meaningful way. It might not be one of the year’s best games, but it’s definitely worth a look at the very least.


trepang2 2

Trepang2 is a game that hasn’t got nearly as much attention as it deserves. Horror can be an incredibly hard thing to nail in any entertainment medium, but Trepang2 nails its specific brand of horror more often than not. Its gunfights are visceral and violent like you wouldn’t believe, with every hit and impact having a sort of oomph that’s hard to find in most games. Those two elements – the panic-inducing horror and the brutal combat – serve as Trepang2’s most crucial pillars throughout the experience, and they never seem to run out of steam, because right until the credits roll, the game will keep you hooked to your screen.


system shock remake

System Shock needs no introduction to anyone invested in the games industry, and the legacy of the original game (and the series as a whole) stands firm to this day. Remaking a game of that stature is never an easy task, and Nightdive Studios certainly took its time to be done with the project. But after years of development and a fair few delays, the System Shock remake finally launched for PC earlier this year, and boy did it serve as a solid reminder of what made the original so great. It’s an incredibly faithful recreation, and while that does at times work against the remake due to a few aged mechanics and design choices, on the whole, it’s an excellent, gorgeous version of one of the most influential games ever made. Hopefully its console launch later this year will help it attract a bigger audience.

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