2023 was a huge year in terms of game releases, with a wealth of fantastic games, ranging from indie all the way up to triple-A, finally reaching players hands.

Keeping track of all of them isn’t easy, so for the purposes of this article, we’re narrowing the scope to talking about ten of the best PC releases of the year. And even that isn’t enough to cover ALL of them, because this year was intense.

We had a mighty remake of an old classic, a modern revisit of a series twenty years old, interesting tweaks on tried-and-tested formulas, and a studio circling back to its roots after a decade of catering to a different playstyle.

There was also an incremental innovation of series identity, and an unexpected contender arriving late in the year and quickly rising through the ranks. And that’s just some of the games on the list.

If you want to know what games we’re talking about, read on to see our non-exhaustive list of …

Alan Wake 2

Release date:2023-10-27
Genre:Action
Developer:Remedy Entertainment

After 13 long years of waiting, broken only by a cameo in the studio’s Control, Alan Wake has returned.

And, as it turns out, it turned out to be one of the best years of the year in general, and an obvious nominee for the Best Music award, to boot. As the Remedy-verse keeps growing, so do the stories, and this time it means the game needed two characters as your windows into this world.

Explaining what AW2 is about would take too long, but in broad strokes it’s a murder investigation which turns into a horror story tapping a lot into metanarratives and creating a fascinating, and very weird, plot. It’s mostly a third-person survival horror, but there are also shades of an adventure game as you collect clues and make rewrites of reality in each character’s respective mind space.

Key features
  • Two protagonists with interlocking stories
  • Soundtrack performer by Poets of the Fall returning as Old Gods of Asgard
  • Connections to Remedy’s previous game, Control, but there’s more to it…
  • Fantastic graphics, especially regarding lighting

Cocoon

Release date:2023-09-29
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Geometric Interactive

Have you ever been world-hopping beetle? Do you want to be? Hopefully yes, because otherwise you’ll miss out on one of the best games of 2023.

Cocoon is mostly a game about solving environmental puzzles on a series of worlds explored thanks to the mysterious orbs you find along the way, but there’s also a boss battle awaiting you on every world for extra thrills.

Cocoon’s formula is quite simple, but executed incredibly well, with interesting challenges, satisfying interactions, and beautiful presentation. It was developed by Geometric Interactive, and its director, Jappe Carlsen, was a designer for Limbo and Inside, which should be a strong recommendation in its own right.

Key features
  • Engaging, complicated puzzles to solve
  • Orbs with diverse abilities
  • Challenging boss battles
  • Top-down camera does a great job presenting the lovingly crafted levels

Brotato

Release date:2023-06-23
Genre:Action Roguelike
Developer:Blobfish

A typical potato has problems holding more than two weapons at once.

But Brotato isn’t typical, and can easily handle even six of them, a skill that’s very valuable given the hordes of enemies it has to fend off. Nobody could have expected this game the end this year with an Overwhelmingly Positive rating on Steam, but there is power in simplicity… and in goofy, silly fun.

It’s a horde-survival roguelike with more than forty playable characters, tons of weapons, and very quick runs, making it a great game to play on your lunch break.

Your chosen ‘tato attacks automatically, Vampire Survivors-style , so you just have to worry about movement and figuring out a good build. Add to this a top-down 2D aesthetic and you get a Brotato, one of 2023’s hits.

Key features
  • Very quick runs
  • An absurd number of possible and viable builds
  • A wave-based horde survival starring valiant potatoes with up six weapons at a time
  • Customizable difficulty

Lethal Company

Release date:2023-10-23
Genre:Online Co-Op
Developer:Zeekerss

Lethal Company was a sudden breakout hit of 2023. It’s a co-operative horror game set in a retro-futuristic, post-apocalyptic setting.

Players assume the roles of workers for a megacorporation, and are tasked with recovering scrap from various moons, none of which have conditions suitable for human survival. Some of them even have dangerous alien monsters waiting for dinner.

The gameplay is fairly realistic, modeling various kinds of environmental hazards and injuries, and the aspect of coordination and planning is very important to a successful mission. The horror elements are very prominent, although, it’s not hard to turns this into a comedy of errors if your co-op buddies are chaos gremlins.

Key features
  • Cel-shaded graphics make the game look friendlier than it is
  • You’re just grunt workers for a greedy Company
  • Diverse locations filled with all kinds of nasty danger
  • Excellent co-op experience

Street Fighter 6

Release date:2023-06-02
Genre:Fighting
Developer:CAPCOM Co., Ltd.

The Street Fighter series has been with us for almost forty years now, and it’s gathered a well-deserved fame and adoration of fighting game enthusiasts.

This year’s Street Fighter 6 delivers all the juicy, over-the-top 2D duels the fans expect, but doesn’t stop there. It also has a singleplayer mode with an urban open world you can explore with a custom character, to spice things up.

The combat system is as polished, crisp, and exciting as ever, and powered by the Drive Gauge used to unleash and power-up a range of cool moves, such as Parries or Focus Attacks. There are 18 characters in the core game roster, including fan favorites like Ryu and Chun-Li, and you should expect some style shift in their designs, adjusted to the retouched aesthetic proposed by SF6.

Key features
  • You can turn-on real-time commentary to feel like you’re in a tournament
  • Revised aesthetic
  • You can create your own fighter for the singleplayer mode
  • Combat system relies on creative use of the Drive Gauge

Hogwarts Legacy

Release date:2023-02-10
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Avalanche Studios

Many years after most people have abandoned hope of another full-fledged game set in the universe known from the Harry Potter books.

Hogwarts legacy arrived, and while it doesn’t adapt the books or the movies at all, it turned out to be one of 2023’s bestsellers and took many people of a journey to familiar locations in the wizarding world.

The story is set in the late 19th century and revolves around a resurgence of mysterious ancient magic coinciding with a new conflict between goblins and wizards. As a fifth-year student (of your own creation) you are in position to shift the balance of forces, but it wouldn’t be a Potterverse story if saving the wizarding world didn’t find time to attend classes and explore the castle.

Key features
  • Third-person action role-playing set in the world-famous universe
  • Numerous spells to learn and utilize in combat and exploration
  • Set around a century before the books
  • Customizable player character

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Release date:2023-08-25
Genre:Action
Developer:FromSoftware Inc.

A decade since the last AC, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon came smashing through the bestseller lists.

Carried on the fame developer FromSoftware gather thanks to Soulsborne games, Sekiro, and Elden Ring. And it truly was a return to form for long-time fans of the AC series, delivering intense mech combat with impressive customizability and plenty of challenging battles ahead.

And the mechs truly are a sight to behold, with plenty of flexibility for numerous builds and cosmetic changes letting you build your perfect engine of destruction. The story takes place on planet Rubicon 3, once ravaged by a cataclysm caused by the mysterious substance known as Coral, which now returns and corporations can’t wait to take control of it by any means necessary.

Key features
  • Intense combat encounters against powerful bosses and squadrons of lesser enemies
  • Deeply customizable mechs
  • Science fiction storyline revolving around a volatile substance
  • Several endings

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Release date:2023-03-24
Genre:Action
Developer:CAPCOM Co., Ltd.

The original Resident Evil 4 is widely considered to be a top tier RE game, so it’s remake was inevitable, especially on the wave of several successful remakes of previous REs.

Running on the powerful RE Engine, the game offers modern graphics and smoothed out (but still authentically “RE4”) gameplay. A perfect deal for fans of the original, and a great game for everyone else.

As special agent Leon S. Kennedy you’re sent to Spain to rescue the kidnapped daughter of the US president, kidnapped by a weird cult which took over a remote village. Of course, things go sideways fast, due to typical RE stuff: mind controlling parasites, mutations, and over-the-top villains. A perfect setup for a third-person shooter/survival horror with the vibe of 90’s action flicks.

Key features
  • Faithful and improved remake of one of the best games of its era
  • Set in rural Spanish village taken over by a mutated cult
  • Skillfully marries horror and action
  • Excellent enemy designs

Baldur’s Gate 3

Release date:2023-08-03
Genre:RPG
Developer:Larian Studios

After a few years spent in Early Access, the long-awaited Baldur’s Gate 3 launched in August 2023 and it took the gaming world by storm.

It’s easy to see why. It looks fantastic, the writing is on-point, there are enough meaningful choices to many very different playthroughs, fans of build optimizing have a lot to work with, and the environment is reactive in a way reminiscent of immersive sims.

BG3 is based on the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, adjusted for the video game medium, and it set in a slice of the famous Sword Coast, known from other D&D video games. The story kicks off with your character freed from a pod on a mind flayer ship hurtling through hell, and it’s not even the biggest problem you face, because there’s an invasion threatening the titular city.

Key features
  • Explosive turn-based combat powered by the fifth edition of D&D
  • Three large open world regions filled with secrets and stories
  • Several fully fleshed-out pre-generated characters and two customizable options
  • Empowers creative solutions thanks to highly interactive environment.

Hi-Fi Rush

Release date:2023-01-25
Genre:Hack and Slash
Developer:Tango Gameworks

Hi-Fi Rush didn’t earn many headlines, but still managed to be nominated for Game Awards.

It stars Chai, a young man who signed up for a cybernetic limb and instead got his music player fused to his heart. Labeled a defect and scheduled for disposal, he is aided by a young woman named Peppermint, who has a personal bone to pick with the corporation which caused this mess.

But it’s not just the upbeat anti-corporation story that makes Hi-Fi Rush so good. It’s the hack and slash combat system, entertaining platforming, and the fact that all actions and events in the game are synchronized to a steady beat. That’s right, it’s a rhythm-based character action game, and it works phenomenally well. HFR is a ton of fun for any enthusiast of Devil May Cry-like action.

Key features
  • Cel-shaded, cartoonish aesthetic, with vibrant, over-the top-designs
  • The combat is a real spectacle of special attacks and creative combos
  • Everything is synced to a beat
  • The story doesn’t take itself too seriously

What a year

This concludes out list, but it’s nowhere near the full range of amazing games which arrived on PC alone, not to mention other platforms. You could spend 2024 just catching up on all the good stuff from 2023, but, of course, there are many promising releases planned for 2024 too, such as the new Yakuza (Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth), Dragon’s Dogma 2, or Tekken 8. And that’s just the first quarter!