Popularity is when someone tries something and thinks – Hey, this is great! But when it comes to the best video games of the year, the overall impression goes far beyond just that type of excitement.

If you found time to enjoy some of this year’s grand releases, this holiday season may be the most enjoyable occasion to catch up on the rest. 2024 is just around the corner, and we can positively say that 2023 has been one of the best and most prolific in gaming history.

That may mean the upcoming months have a few more pleasant surprises up their sleeve, capable of astonishing industry like those on our list. So hurry up to put on that epic Spider-Man suit, explore the nooks and crannies of ancient Hogwarts castle, and confront the most bizarre cordyceps fungus or whatever your heart desires.

And if by some chance you still need to learn what our best choices might be, check out this ultimate summary of the most popular titles of 2023.

Criteria for Popularity

It’s hardly surprising that one of the most crucial criteria for video game popularity is sales. The titles on this list did a great job, sometimes even breaking some sales records.

Other factors include compelling narratives, graphics quality, successful continuation of beloved franchises/game series, tech advancements, player reviews, availability on multiple platforms, and greater diversity. So much to consider!

Baldur's Gate 3

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

Inspired by the legendary Dungeons & Dragons, BG3 takes the entire role-playing genre to a new level of excellence.

Based on its origins, the game doesn’t shy away from implementing solutions from the classic tabletop experience to adorn them with gorgeous graphics and an unimaginable multitude of potential choices.

Many players state that Baldur’s Gate 3 deserves the GotY title because it is a fantastic game. And that’s true! In its timeless simplicity, it sold 2.5 million copies during Early Access. This result shouldn’t shock, as the entire series gathered a massive fanbase since the first two games, and the third title seven years after the last expansion for BG2: Enhanced Edition is quite an event!

Key features
  • A deliciously crafted campaign based on the D&D system
  • Intertwined storylines featuring a multitude of choices
  • Well-written characters and absolute freedom
  • An immersive world dipped in a stunning audiovisual setting


Release date:2023-09-06
Developer:Bethesda Game Studios

Nothing is better than a staged open-world RPG experience, and this one develops in space.

And since Starfield is Bethesda’s first intellectual property in 25 years, it’s destined to secure a spot on this list.

Starfield combines the good old vibe of our favorite Elder Scrolls with a modern approach to space exploration. Its beautifully designed cities, complex RPG mechanics, and realistically-looking spaceships are just a gateway to an even dearer treasure – complete freedom of choice in how the story evolves.

Key features
  • A massive world with over 1,000 planets to land on
  • Complex RPG mechanics and memorable NPCs
  • Classic role-playing experience set in a sci-fi universe
  • Endless exploration opportunities

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Release date:2023-03-24

The refreshed Leon S. Kennedy’s survival-horror adventure is a real treat for every fan of the Capcom series.

To the point, it sold over 4 million copies during the first two weeks after its release.

Amazingly, RE4 mostly stays the same. It’s our favorite, widely beloved story wrapped in slightly tweaked visuals – but that’s what made this title available to a new generation of gamers. Detailed character models, improved mood, and a genuinely terrifying experience make it one of the shiniest gems in the entire genre.

Key features
  • A legendary storyline set in new visuals
  • An overwhelming sense of omnipresent threat
  • Way scarier experience
  • Dynamic camera angles and improved textures

Hogwarts Legacy

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

Like the Philosopher’s Stone, the Harry Potter franchise turns everything into pure gold.

No wonder that Hogwarts Legacy, with its majestic take on the wizarding world, sold more than 12 million copies in its first two weeks.

For a long time, loyal Potterheads have dreamed of visiting the actual Hogwarts castle. Hogwarts Legacy made this possible by introducing a gigantic world packed with magical secrets, familiar places, and iconic mechanics – for everyone to explore as they wish!

Key features
  • The legendary setting from the Harry Potter books
  • A mysterious plot with all the magic involved
  • Unique mechanics and character development
  • Stunning audiovisual setting

Diablo 4

Release date:2023-10-17
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

In all its simplicity, Diablo 4 combines fast-paced combat with various available skills and the neatest loot.

But this part is different from its predecessors because our choices finally matter.

We waited 11 long years to return to Sanctuary, and each passing day only increased the anticipation. So Blizzard had to deliver something better than ever – a game merging the gloomy atmosphere of the 2nd part, a responding world, and diverse character builds. How did it go? As Blizzard reports, Diablo 4 sold the most significant number of copies in the shortest time, becoming the company’s fastest-selling title.

Key features
  • Five unique character classes
  • A classic hack-and-slash experience in modern graphics
  • A gloomy story inspired by the Diablo 2 vibe
  • An open world of inspiring stories and secrets to discover

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Release date:2023-10-20
Developer:Insomniac Games

Although superheroes provide one of the hottest movie themes of recent years, they lack in the video game category.

Until now, the time when Insomniac Games decided to accept the challenge by releasing probably the best Spider-Man title ever.

The plot is simple – Peter Parker and Miles Morales fight iconic criminals on the streets (and rooftops) of New York. But this story is much more dramatic. The massive city delights, the vulnerable sides of both characters impress, and the movement in all directions fascinates – finally, some good take on our favorite Spider-Man story.

Key features
  • Spider-Man gameplay inspired by the legendary comic books
  • Two deep personalities to discover
  • Epic swinging in the air
  • An ever-changing environment to explore

Street Fighter 6

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

SF 6 modernizes the familiar gameplay, leaving its core mechanics – fighting. These risky innovations paid off, as no other game gathered so many fans previously convinced the fighting genre was long dead.

Capcom’s new title lets you fight and more! There is an online Battle Hub mode, an immersive solo campaign, a new Drive System, and a refreshed roster of playable characters. Moreover, everything looks much better and more realistic thanks to Capcom’s RE Engine.

Key features
  • Classic fights in an incredibly dynamic setting
  • New features for online and solo fun
  • More characters to play
  • Faster loading times

The Last of Us Part 1

Release date:2023-03-28
Developer:Naughty Dog LLC

Unlike many post-apocalyptic titles of recent years, The Last of Us unravels the fates of ordinary people surviving a rather devastating reality infested by the cordyceps fungus. That makes this story so believable and engaging!

By giving up on classic post-apocalyptic superhero-like characters, TLOU 1 created a story revolving around human emotions, the will to survive, and the desire to protect loved ones in dangerous circumstances.

This approach perfectly balances an engaging narrative, typical zombie gameplay, and horror features, delivering a game that inspired one of Netflix’s most popular shows.

Key features
  • Engaging stories of people living in a post-apocalyptic reality
  • Tremendous emphasis on relationships and challenging choices
  • Rebuilt visuals and more accessibility options
  • Beautiful art design filled with secrets

Emerging Trends in Gaming

The gaming industry constantly evolves, highlighting new trends with each passing year. Our list shows advanced technologies can be a recipe for success when paired with immersive writing and a unique approach to familiar genres.

Players crave massive worlds, choices, and life-like characters, making the adventure more believable. For now, the top development studios lead the popularity charts – but the rising recognition of the indie genre may significantly change this state of affairs in the upcoming years.


One thing that unites the most popular games of this year is freedom. Today’s video games have evolved from their linear ancestors, steadily placing more and more power into players’ hands. Designing a world that responds to our actions is, of course, a massive piece of work.

But maybe we always wanted video games to be more open to our decisions. And now, through the epic world of Baldur’s Gate 3, the moral choices of TLOU, the new features of Street Fighter 6, and the faraway space adventures of Starfield, they finally are.