If the best games of 2023 tell us anything, it’s that this year will be remembered as an outrageous year for video games. Whether that’s because of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, contorting release windows, or the more plentiful stock of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, the winter period is absolutely stacked with new games for 2023 that are worthy of your attention.
Here you will find the GamesRadar+ recommendation for the best games of 2023 that have been released so far. We know that with so many upcoming PS5 games and new PC games set to land this year it can be difficult to keep track of where you should invest your time and energy – we want to help you not only understand what to play, but what’s hot. Stick with us, and you’ll be able to remain a part of the evolving conversation around video games in 2023.
We will be updating this list of the best games of 2023 every month, spotlighting two experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Given that this is the year where we’re finally seeing a mass of upcoming Xbox Series X games, and countless upcoming indie games that have already caught our eye, that objective may be tougher than ever before.
January Game of the Month (runner-up) – Hi-Fi Rush
Hi-Fi Rush emerged out of nowhere like a rush of blood to the head, signaling that 2023 will be the year where Xbox Game Studios starts making good on its investments. In my Hi-Fi Rush review, I noted how taken aback I was by the confidence displayed by Tango Gameworks here – a studio best known for the horrifying The Evil Within 2 and high-strangeness of Ghostwire: Tokyo. This rhythm-action game is bursting at the seams with heart and humor, and arrives with the sort of colorful visual style and eclectic soundtrack that’s difficult to turn away from. Music is presented as the pulse of Hi-Fi Rush’s world, where everything from platforming to combat is performed on beat, which ultimately propels it into being one the best Xbox Game Pass games of the year.
Developer: Tango Gameworks | Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series X
January Game of the Month – Dead Space Remake
Rebuilding a 15-year-old survival horror classic was never going to be easy, not least because the original Dead Space still holds up well. And while the original games’ visuals look a little tired against today’s standards, I don’t believe the technical jump between 2008 and 2023 is as significant as, say, the Resident Evil 2 remake’s leap from PS1 to PS4. I must admit: I wasn’t sure if Motive Studio could do the OG justice. But as I detailed in my Dead Space Remake review, wow, did the devs deliver. Sharper visuals, better lighting, deeper dialogue, reworked boss fights and level layouts; new guns, new enemies, and new standards set – in the survival horror space, and for modern day remakes generally. The Dead Space Remake is a remake done right.
Developer: Motive Studios | Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
February Game of the Month (runner-up) – Metroid Prime Remastered
I’ve always considered Metroid Prime to be one of the best GameCube games of all-time, owing to its subtle subversion of traditional first-person shooter mechanics and a smart structural design which encourages quiet exploration of a hostile alien planet. While some of its elements certainly feel antiquated today, Metroid Prime Remastered is further proof of the excellence of this adventure. Massive overhauls to the visual direction, controls, user interface, and performance make this a must-play – regardless of whether you’re making a return trip to Talon IV or enjoying your first visit to the strange labyrinthian world. Metroid Prime was always singular and special, and this fantastic remake only improves upon the strengths of the underlying foundation design. This is a must-play for every Nintendo Switch owner.
Developer: Nintendo | Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Metroid Prime Remastered review: “Breathes new life into one of the greatest games of all-time”
February Game of the Month – Horizon: Call of the Mountain
I never realized how tiny I’d feel seeing a Tallneck up close. Suddenly, I’ve got far more admiration for tiny Aloy whizzing up the back of one of these huge metallic beasts without a care in the world. Those things are huge! It’s that kind of realization that makes Horizon: Call of the Mountain pure magic. It’s currently the flagship PSVR 2 game and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it stunning, but it manages to perfectly capture the combat and gameplay of Horizon Forbidden West and Zero Dawn and translate them to VR in a way that feels fresh and innovative. From the crafting to the traversal, everything has been thought of through the VR lens, making it extra tactile and satisfying from that first-person perspective, which results in it being the ultimate way to immerse yourself in this unique, robotic world. It also helps that it introduces a fresh character, a new story, and some returning faces too, so it’s just the ultimate treat for Horizon fans – if you invest in the PSVR 2 hardware.
Developer: Firesprite, Guerrilla Games | Platform(s): PSVR 2
PSVR 2 review: “Worth its weight in gold in the not-too-distant future”
March Game of the Month (runner-up) – Dredge
Never has a game delivered on its elevator pitch as well as Dredge. A cosmic horror fishing game, it marries the mundane with the unsettling. One moment I’m heading out over the ocean to seek out some rare, expensive catch, the next I’m making a desperate run for the nearest port as the sun sets, the darkness descends, and the creatures that lurk in the depths of the sea and my psyche start to make themselves known. Beautifully and intricately designed from the haggard faces of its long-suffering NPCs to the unsettling piano riff that denotes a troubling new discovery, everything about Dredge lends itself to a near-perfect realisation of an excellent idea. A dark horse in the GOTY race, for sure.
Developer: Black Salt | Platform(s): PC, PS5, PS4, Switch, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Dredge review: “A fascinating, ever-so-gently horrifying experience”
March Game of the Month – Resident Evil 4 Remake
This was the remake Capcom couldn’t mess up – a classic Resident Evil entry with a certifiable place in gaming history. And, somehow, they did it, with an almost flawless reimagining of the game that redefined third person action. Leon’s all new shooty Euro trip to rescue the President’s Daughter manages to channel the essence of the 2005 original’s weird, almost Lovecraftian outsider threat into something that feels fresh and new. It doesn’t even change that much, with minor updates to the controls and gunplay, and a few story tweaks that largely enhance rather than subtract from the experience. It all adds up to a tight and tense horror trip that ricochets from body horror to high action, with enough variety and surprises to make you feel like you’ve been as much of a journey as Leon and Ashley.
Developer: Capcom | Platform(s): PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Resident Evil 4 Remake review: “A spectacularly pretty game loaded with atmosphere”
April Game of the Month (runner-up) – Dead Island 2
This is probably the best game for capturing the ick-out grossness of practical effect horror movies, with a gore system that, as of writing, is unparalleled in games. The zombies you smack about in your battle to escape an undead LA, shatter and burn, melt and peel in a way that begs for experimentation. And it’s game that lets you and encourages you with elemental effects, traps, and a range of weapons to mix and match as you see what sort of damage you can inflict. It’s a simple game – hitting zombies on the way objectives is 90% of it – but one that takes so much pride and care in making that as much fun as possible.
Developer: Dambuster | Platform(s): PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Dead Island 2 review: “A one note thrill, but it’s a note that absolutely sings”
April Game of the Month – Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
I really enjoyed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, so to return to Cal Kestis’ adventure and find everything that made that game special already in place was great. To then watch Survivor build so confidently on those foundations was truly special. Throwing you into desperate, edge-of-your-seat lightsaber battles one moment, before letting an epic set piece establish a new turn in a heartfelt, twisting story the next, Survivor brings a galaxy far, far away to life in ways I’ve never seen a Star Wars game do before. Hugely ambitious but absolutely delivering, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor sets a baseline for what the next generation of Star Wars stories could look like.
Developer: Respawn | Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor review: “More ambitious, confident, and heartfelt than Fallen Order”
May Game of the Month (runner-up) – Planet of Lana
The games that stay with me are almost always the ones that effectively make me care about its characters, and that’s very true of Planet of Lana. The bond between protagonist Lana and her newfound cat-like companion Mui is at the heart of what makes Wishfully’s adventure so special, with puzzle scenarios that task you to use their different skills to help each other progress. The way in which they need and support each other to get through a variety of difficult situations makes it so easy to fall in love with their friendship. Alongside great pacing and a beautifully realized world that’s brought to life with gorgeous music, Planet of Lana succeeds at being a touching, memorable experience that held my attention from start to finish. I’m sure I’ll be thinking about it for a long time to come.
Developer: Wishfully | Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
Planet of Lana review: “A beautiful adventure full of mystery, suspense, and charm”
May Game of the Month – Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
I realise now what takes Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to a new level, beyond simply being one of the best open world games of the year, is its total, uncompromising commitment to emergent and organic gameplay. There’s a reason everyone you speak to has a completely different story to tell about their time in Hyrule – it presents you with a chemistry set of mechanics so deep and broad that there’s always something new to discover, and creative play will inevitably yield fresh results.This is exactly the sort of gameplay I love to see AAA gaming investing in, as it shows a real respect for the player and trusts them to build their own stories within the world offered. Despite occasionally being a little too big for its own good, Tears of the Kingdom is a proud step forward for games design – and any title that lets you fire Koroks into space has to be worth at least a consideration for game of the year.
Developer: Nintendo | Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review: “A rich, robust experience that builds on what came before”
June Game of the Month (runner-up) – Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter 6 is one of the best fighting game packages I’ve ever encountered. It’s absolutely jam-packed with things to do right out of the gate, with Capcom delivering a diverse collection of game modes, fighting styles, and opportunities for personal expression. This all combines to reflect the diverse fanbase which has rallied around this franchise over the last 35 years, and has successfully rebuffed any fears that the developer would repeat its past launch mistakes. Street Fighter 6 truly has something to offer every type of fighting game fan.
Developer: Capcom | Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Street Fighter 6 review: “Arguably the best overall fighting game package ever made”
June Game of the Month – Diablo 4
I opened up my 5/5 review by claiming that “Diablo 4 consumes time like a Necromancer does corpses: ravenously, and without repentance.” I still stand by that statement. Blizzard Entertainment has crafted one of the most polished and precise time sinks that I’ve encountered for an exceptionally long time, with Diablo 4 fast becoming a video game that I just can not turn away from. It has this incredibly capacity to just destroy entire evenings, and I couldn’t tell you whether it’s because I’m a sucker for the loot grind or simply because it’s fun to make nightmarish rooms of hellspawn explode with a single button. Either way, there’s a very good chance that I’ll be locked into Diablo 4’s rhythms for the rest of the year.
Developer: Blizzard | Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Diablo 4 review: “A magnificent and absurd loot theme park”
July Game of the Month (runner-up) – Venba
Venba is a stunning tour de force adventure through the lives of Indian immigrants. It perfectly melds together a story of generational anxieties and dreams, pulling from strands intricately familiar for millions of people around the world. That story is intertwined with a brilliant and enthralling cooking puzzle game, one which establishes Venba as a master of the subjects it explores. Simply put, Venba is a must-play experience that shouldn’t be ignored.
Developer: Visai Games | Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch
Venba review: “A master of the subjects it explores”
July Game of the Month – Pikmin 4
Pikmin 4 isn’t just another Pikmin game. Nintendo has taken a long-established formula and twisted it smartly, creating one of the best and most approachable installments to the franchise to date. By new challenges, new ways to play, and a whole new character, Pikmin 4 is quick to subvert expectations and deliver for a wide group of players – no matter if you’re new to the RTS genre or have been enjoying Pikmin’s otherworldly outdoor antics for years.
Developer: Nintendo | Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Pikmin 4 review: “The most approachable Pikmin entry ever”
Our list of the best games of 2023 was updated on August 1, 2023 to include our favorite games from July.