My 2023 Games of the Year
My 2023 Top 5 Games of the Year list!
Man, I am not ready for 2024. Another year where everything can go belly up if Mother Nature is in a bad mood? No thank you, there was a chance that was way too close to comfort for me. Plus, there were so many games I wanted to play, some that didn’t come out this year and some that did come out this year. I wished I had enough time to play Hi-Fi Rush or Baldur’s Gate 3, but alas I guess it’s going to be something I play next year. Still, I had some hard choices to make. Like with my other list, I easily picked out three, but had a hard time picking the last two. I thought about it for days, weighing the games against each other and asking myself “Is this really GOTY worthy? Is it more worthy than this game?” Well, I think I got it.
I do have a couple rules for my list:
- It had to be games I completed (though endless games do get a pass if I played any)
- It had to be released in 2023 (duh)
- The release date for the version I played counted as its release date for my list (for example: it released on Steam in 2022, but since I played the console port that came out in 2023 it counts as a 2023 release)
- This is a strict Top 5 list (no runner ups or ties!).
Anyway, let’s get into my personal Top 5 Games of the Year in no particular order:
If you looked at yesterday’s post for the games I really enjoyed (that weren’t released in 2023), this wouldn’t be a surprising addition. It’s even better that I was able to jump into this sequel soon after completing the first game. Void Terrarium 2 picks up about a year after the first game where we get to see the fate of a particular character and learn that Toriko is literally falling apart. Not to mention a weird glitchy mass takes over the Scrapyard and everyone has to relocate to a new safe location. This sequel builds on so much that was introduced in the first game and Toriko is still as cute as ever. This also put more focus on the story, which definitely was a good choice as it answered the questions I (and I’m sure other players) had after finishing the first game. Although, I still miss the OP skills the first game had and I am still traumatized by the enemy that the icky filter was made for.
I’ll miss Toriko, but at least this duology was able to get a perfect ending.
This was one of the games I was really looking forward to. I love Danganronpa and detective mystery games, so when I heard about this releasing I knew I was going to play it as soon as I could. Which I did and it was a really easy inclusion to my GOTY year. Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is the game I’m talking about and it smashed the expectations I had. It has it’s own weaknesses like every game, but I absolutely loved the story, the characters, the artwork, the music, and the mysteries you need to solve. I especially love Shinigami and how well her and Yuma played off of each other. It’s so amazing and you can’t go wrong with this game if you’re looking for another detective mystery story. I especially recommend it if you loved both Danganronpa and AI: The Somnium Files as Master Detective Archives: Rain Code do share elements with those two games.
I didn’t end up playing the DLC chapters though.
I love otome visual novels, but there are some premises that I just plain don’t play. Like historical otomes, though I do want to try one some day (specifically Winter’s Wish). Plus, it does have to seem interesting, stick the landing, and having a good writing style. Jack Jeanne was an otome that seemed right up my alley, but the stat raising aspect really made me pause. Nonetheless, I ended up trying it and man was it the best choice I could make. The stat raising was kind of pointless, but Jack Jeanne turned out to be one of my favorite visual novels that I’ve played. Not only was the story interesting, but the characters were so well written (including the side characters), there are so many fun scenes, all the plays are well written, I loved the rhythm minigame, the singing is amazing, and the dancing cheorgraphy is amazing as well. Almost everything in Jack Jeanne is amazing (the stat raising and not being able to skip the rhythm minigame being negatives) and I really hope this gets a sequel. Or at least a fandisc where we can romance Tanakamigi (like an alternate reality where you get put into Amber).
Yet another otome visual novel and this one broke me down, built me back up, only to break me down once again. Only one other game was able to do that. Virche Evermore does have some lows in the story and won’t be for everyone due to how dark it is, but it’s also one of the best visual novels I had the pleasure of playing. The story is great, the routes are all fantastic, the LIs were fantastic, the action scenes were tense and written well, and the game is so beautiful both in its visuals and soundtrack. This game managed to surprise me at every turn.
Though, it’s still a crime that Ankou didn’t get his own route. I love that man so much and he deserved one (for spoiler-y reasons).
This entry was one that I thought the longest on, but I felt like I would put this just barely beat the game that ended up as number six. Despite not enjoying Bayonetta 3, I ended up picking Origins hoping I would like it. This spinoff game took a departure from the mainline games with it being an action adventure game, instead of hack-and-slash, a different art style, and more of a focus on the story. Well, I really do think this spinoff worked, really well actually. This really surprised me with how much I ended up loving it (even though I still don’t agree with the $60 price tag). This game is a beautiful game with divine voice acting, fun gameplay that used controlling two characters well, and a great story where you get to watch Cereza grow as a witch. I also loved Cereza and Cheshire in this game and being able to watch a bond build between the two as the game goes on. Bayonetta Origins really surprised me with how much I ended up loving and enjoying it.
Bayonetta 3’s story stinked, but Bayonetta Origin’s story shined brightly.