Insert Credit forum's time sensitive GOTY 2023 thread (for fun, non-serious)

Without wanting to step on the toes of the non-time sensitive version of the GOTY thread, I've started this thread because we are now approximately 85% of the way through the year which is fair game to start the annual discussion without the immediacy and hot takes of social media.

What are your favourite games that were released in the year 2023? I have found myself playing more games from this year than I contemporaneously did in other years. This year's been pretty good!

I have found previous years' threads to be good jumping off points for discovering new games that had passed me by so in the interests of perhaps jogging memories I've pulled and whittled down Wikipedia's list of videogames from this year into ones _first_ released this year (it's a long list), notable games that are due to come out this year, and a separate list of games that are rereleases on contemporary platforms, newly translated games, and remakes/remasters. These are by no means exhaustive, don't shoot me. Pray that my spoiler / details tags are correct because I can't preview them in a new discussion.

### Games that were first released in 2023 (long list)



AEW Fight Forever

Age of Wonders 4

Akka Arrh

Alan Wake II

Aliens: Dark Descent

Alien Hominid Invasion

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Assassin‘s Creed Mirage

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key

Atomic Heart

Baldur’s Gate 3

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon

Blasphemous 2

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

C-Smash VRS

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III

Cassette Beasts

Cities: Skylines II

Clive ‘N’ Wrench

Company of Heroes 3

Counter-Strike 2


Dave the Diver

Dead Island 2

Deliver Us Mars

Detective Pikachu Returns

Diablo IV

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless

Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons

Dragon Quest Champions

Everybody 1-2-Switch!


F-Zero 99

Fading Afternoon

Fantavision 202X

Farming Simulator 23

Fate/Samurai Remnant

Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis

Final Fantasy XVI

Fire Emblem Engage

For the King II


Forza Motorsport

Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2

Gal Guardians: Demon Purge

Ghostrunner 2

Goodbye Volcano High

Graze Counter GM


Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos

Hi-Fi Rush

Hogwarts Legacy

Honkai: Star Rail

Horizon Call of the Mountain

Horizon Chase 2

House Flipper 2

Hyperdimension Neptunia: Sisters vs. Sisters

Immortals of Aveum

Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai

Jagged Alliance 3


Just Dance 2024 Edition

Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society

Layers of Fear

Lies of P

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

Lords of the Fallen

Marvel‘s Spider-Man 2

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code

Mega Man X DiVE Offline

Miasma Chronicles

Mortal Kombat 1

Moving Out 2

Mr. Saitou

Octopath Traveler II

Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission VR


Oxenfree II: Lost Signals

Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo

Payday 3

Picross S9

Pikmin 4

Pizza Tower


Punch Club 2: Fast Forward

Puzzle Bobble Everybubble!


Remnant 2

RoboCop: Rogue City

Samba de Amigo: Party Central

SD Shin Kamen Rider Rumble

Sea of Stars

Season: A Letter to the Future

Slay the Princess

Sonic Superstars

Souls of Chronos

SpellForce: Conquest of Eo

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor


Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life

Street Fighter 6

Summer Time Rendering: Another Horizon

Super Bomberman R 2

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Sword Art Online: Last Recollection


Teslagrad 2

The Crew Motorfest

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria

The Making of Karateka

The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog

The Pale Beyond

The Talos Principle II

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Theatrhythm Final Bar Line

Tintin Reporter: Cigars of the Pharaoh

Total War: Pharaoh

Valiant Hearts: Coming Home

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider

Wanted: Dead

Wargroove 2

Wild Hearts

Wizard with a Gun

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

World of Horror

WWE 2K23

Yeah! You Want “Those Games,” Right? So Here You Go! Now, Let’s See You Clear Them!

Ys X: Nordics!<

### Games that are still to be released in November and December 2023 (short list)


Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince
Flashback 2
House Flipper 2
Persona 5 Tactica
RoboCop: Rogue City
Sonic Dream Team
SteamWorld Build

The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology!< -

### Games that were (or will be) rereleased, remade or remastered, and / or released in "The West" for the first time in 2023 (medium list)


Alien Hominid HD
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg
Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster
Batsugun Saturn Tribute Boosted
Dead Space
Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection
Front Mission 2: Remake
Gargoyles Remastered
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
GrimGrimoire OnceMore
Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection
Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1
Metroid Prime Remastered
Pikmin 1+2
Princess Maker 2 Regeneration
Quake II - Enhanced Edition
Ray'z Arcade Chronology
Resident Evil 4
Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles
Rune Factory 3 Special
Star Ocean: The Second Story R
Super Mario RPG
System Shock Remake
Telenet Shooting Collection
The 7th Guest VR
The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie
The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure
The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails
Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie
Wizardry (Digital Eclipse)
Xuan-Yuan Sword: Mists Beyond the Mountains

Ys Memoire: The Oath in Felghana!< -

For my own brief thoughts, there have been some pretty damn good games released this year, and several that I was really looking forward to that haven't landed especially well.

### Games that I've liked a lot:


  • - Paranormasight - I put this as one of my all timers in this year's nominations. Absolutely fantastic game with a great story, playful mechanics and puzzles, and a flawless presentation.
  • - Super Maro Bros Wonder - I love it. It feels as close to being a Super Mario World sequel as I could ask for.
  • - Octopath Traveller 2 - I'll be first in line to defend the first game despite its flaws but the second game knocks everything out of the park. I finished this feeling quite despondent because I really enjoyed hanging out with the characters in the world.
  • - Street Fighter 6 - I haven't played this anywhere near as much as I wanted to but it's cool. Capcom nailed it.
  • - Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line - I've enjoyed previous games in the series but never really engaged with the quests or anything like that. That changed for this game and I ended up doing _everything_. Having a tonne of great DLC from across SquareEnix's catalogue outside of Final Fantasy makes this still a staple for me.
  • - Akka Arrh - Llamasoft does it again with an effortlessly cool game with immaculate presentation. Again, I haven't played this anywhere near as much as I feel I should have but it's tight as heck.
    -Etrian Odyssey ports - Specifically I've played EO2, and the way that Atlus have converted these games to work on a single screen is expertly sublime. An utter joy to play.
  • - The Making of Karateka - I haven't "finished" going through this yet but it's such a great idea and I really hope that it's done well enough for Digital Eclipse and Frank to do another one.
  • - Final Fantasy 16 - I'm still undecided about this as I'm only about halfway through. The story is, kindly speaking, rough, the combat is great, and the characters are fine (mostly). I do like it, I just won't know how much until I finish it.!<
  • ### Games that I thought were OK / pretty good:


  • - Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - I was really looking forward to this and it started off exceeding my expectations. I was however a little disheartened with some of the bosses. The central mechanic of having an in-stage level that determines how strong or weak you are to an enemy relative to their level was a neat idea but it essentially led to me steamrolling most levels and bosses because I would rarely lose my advantage. Cool idea, not so great execution.
  • - 30XX - 20XX was a game that I played solidly for about a month during one of the COVID-19 lockdowns and I thought it was a neat expansion of Mega Man games and ideas into a roguelite setting. I enjoyed 30XX but it didn't feel quite as engaging as its predecessors.
  • - Quester - I am liking this dungeon-crawler-of-sorts a lot, I've just hit a point where I absolutely have no idea where I need to go so it's on the backburner. Really cool, foreboding presentation - big SMT: Strange Journey vibes.
  • - F-Zero 99 - Disheartened at the lack of a proper new F-Zero, I still had a fun, throwaway time with this. It's probably the best of the "99" games that Nintendo have released.
  • - Double Dragon Gaiden - I had a pretty good, if brief, time with this. There's some light progression mechanics within the game, and the tag team system is pretty good too but I beat it pretty easily and I don't have any desire to go back to it any time soon.
  • - Slay the Princess - My partner and I played this on Halloween and were optimistic that it was going to be a good ol' slice of moderate horror with a thoughtful narrative. Instead it was an interesting premise with a mess of a narrative and sprinkles of light gore. It was _fine._
  • - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - When games feel like work I begin to rapidly lose my enjoyment of them. It just took about 100 hours for that to happen. Also the story made me do the Frank "uggghhhhhh" sound at every turn.
  • - Renfield: Bring Your Own Blood - It's a Vampire Survivors clone / derivation based on the decent movie that came out earlier this year. It's alright, I had a decent time with it even if it's fairly limited in scope.
  • - The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog - It's free! And entertaining, silly and playful. Unfortunately the forced platforming sections aren't fun, perhaps the admission of which is in the presence of options to make them completely trivial rather than rock hard towards the end.
  • - Dancing Duelists - It's also free on itch, and from Mega Crit the creators of Slay the Spire. It's very much a demo / prototype in their move away from Unity but it's a pretty good 1 vs 1 autobattler where victory is dependent on what items and buffs are chosen in between stages. Not bad!
  • - Saintmaker - This is a visual novel with some religion-horror elements in it. The story is so-so and predictable but the characters are pretty decent and the art is lovely too.!<
  • ### Games that I didn't like as much

  • - 20 Minutes Till Midnight - I've been playing this on and off for the last week or so. It's another Vampire Survivors clone but it feels utterly lifeless and the meta progression is glacial.
  • - Valiant Hearts: Coming Home - I really wanted to like this but as I can only play it on my phone via Netflix I'm currently loathe to play it because of the platform it's on. I thought the first game was great on Xbox 360 but this is a slog.
  • - Savant Ascent - Remix: A free new game for owners of the original Savant Ascent (that I had in my Steam library from however long ago). It's essentially a twin stick shooter with very limited movement. It's very brief and I forced myself to finish it.
  • - Mia and the Dragon Princess - I've played a few FMV games this year and this was not a good one. Clumsy acting, uninteresting story, and unbelievable characters. Mercifully it only lasted me an hour or so but it's not one I would recommend in the slightest.!<
  • ### Games that I would like to play if I ever get the time for them.


    Age of Wonders IV

    Baten Kaitos 1 +2 remasters


    Bombrush Cyberfunk

    Dead Island 2

    Dragon Quest Monsters 3


    Fading Afternoon


    Fuga 2

    HiFi Rush

    Marvel's Spider-Man 2

    Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

    Like a Dragon: Ishin

    Logiart Grimoire


    Pizza Tower

    Princess Maker 2 Regeneration

    Pseudo Regalia

    Quake 2 Remastered with the new campaign

    Resident Evil 4 remake

    Robocop: Rogue City

    Sonic Superstarts

    Star Ocean 2 R

    Super Mario RPG remake

    System Shock remake

    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of… games

    The Lost Legends of Redwall

    Turok 3

    Wandering Sword

    Wizardry remake

    Xuan Yuan Sword

    Yeah You Want Those Games….

    Ys X: Nordics<!

    i think the only game released this year that i‘ve put any amount of serious time into (because i packed up everything and moved continent) was Bomb Rush Cyberfunk. also nearly the most money i’ve dropped on a game ever. it kills in every way and speaks to me on a spiritual level

    I've occasionally talked about this game since it released, but it is absolutely my GOTY

    My one sentence review is: "what if artdink made the most dreamcast game ever"

    Turns out the only 2023 game I played was a few hours of Hi-Fi Rush, so that’s my Game of the Year.

    edit: Forgot about Zelda. Hated it though, so Hi-Fi Rush still wins.

    not to spoil my pick, but petition to add myhouse.wad to the 2023 list thankyou.gif

    I‘ve played a bunch of games this year while I’ve worked through creative block (which ironically semi-morphed into ‘game playing block’ where I played a little bit of a bunch more games and it felt like none of them ever ‘stuck’), and I am 100% positive I‘ll revise this first draft of some GOTY ’23 choices. But here goes:

  • - Super Mario Wonder: I am extremely hesitant to include a 2D Mario game here, but Nintendo absolutely hit it exactly right with this one. Which they should, because they're Nintendo and they have an ample amount of resources to throw into a game if their flagship franchise. It was weird and took more chances than I ever expected a post-'95 Mario game to take.
  • - Octopath Traveller 2: I can't really add anything to what's already been said, but this game really got me to enjoy these sorts of turn-based RPGs again, after being seriously burned out on them for a while.
  • - Star Ocean Second Story R: I've still got a ways to go with this one, but it's shaping up to be a lot of fun, and I think there's a good chance it will be a GOTY contender for me.
  • - ...and then I played and loved several games released in previous years that are outside the bounds of this thread!
  • There were some big disappointments for me too! The biggest one is probably Tears of the Kingdom, a game that just never clicked for me! I don't think it's a bad game, but it's as though they took all of the bits of Breath of the Wild that I didn't enjoy and doubled down on them. Which is a shame, because I look at the game and it's amazing in so many ways! I liked the underground bits quite a lot, but they still weren't enough to help me enjoy the rest of the game.

    The other is, sadly, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk! I understand why a bunch of folks loved it, and I started out playing it with stars in my eyes! But in the end it duplicates almost every problem I had with its source material, from the weird occasional and inconsistent physics problems, and a control looseness that doesn't feel very good to me when I'm asked to do specific move-based tasks. In short, there was a kind of patience for janky-ass controls that I was prepared to accept in 1999 but that I'm no longer willing to train myself to compensate for a game's eccentricities in 2023.

    To my surprise I did pretty good at playing 2023 games because there were a number of like $10-$20, relatively short time commitments

    this is my list:

    _Fear & Hunger 2: Termina_ - my #1 this year and might be an enduring favorite. Posted about on the forum before but I admire how the game allows player thought and feeling independent of mechanics to guide the path through it. Also the way that what mechanics and "gameplay" there is sort of dissolves away from being rpgmaker menus into the way the player interfaces with this weird esoteric object. It's not quite as good at that first aspect as _Pathologic 2_ or _Shenmue_, but it's a rare for narrative games to exist as their own thing and let people actually interact with them rather than be led by the nose. Exceptionally nasty and mean atmosphere to this one be warned.

    _Fading Afternoon_ is my #2 and I hope it wins GOTY on the IC podcast at least. Also does the mechanics-light storytelling quite well, and it's opaque enough that people apparently don't get it, which is of course a shame. It's not a game you win at or find much gratification in. It's about the last months in the life a mob thug, and you can go out with angry violence, with maudlin sentimentality, or by just kind of receding into nothing. Some incredibly good pixel art autumn and winter + odd jazz funk soundtrack. Great stuff.

    _The Invincible_ is #3. This is a slow-paced game about walking around, looking at stuff, talking to people and having productive conversations, miscommunications, arguments. It's actual Science Fiction rather than science fiction-flavored nerd shit (like mass effect for example) by developers who have at least read one actual book, in this case the pretty good one it's based on. Also enjoyable for the super detailed rendering of what golden age sci fi thought future tech would be like. Looks way, way more like an old cover of _Galaxy_ or _Astounding Science Fiction_ than No Man's Sky does a cover of _Omni_ or Chris Foss

    The rest in no particular order

    _Six Ages: Lights Going Out_
    _Jagged Alliance 3_
    _World Of Horror_
    _Cyberpunk 2077_ (it counts)

    still haven't played _Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood_ like a chump maybe that will make the list once I get around to it

    video games! yahoo

    thinking of the games that actually came out this year that i played

  • - **vividlope** (not finished): great game with great style, can be tough at times if you wanna go for those V ranks (which i sometimes do) but its really chill otherwise (4.5 hours)
  • - **bomb rush cyberfunk** (finished, may go 100% one day): i really loved my time with this one, it felt nice to see that a game kinda landed on that jet set radio vibe and pretty much stuck the landing, the music is awesome, the story is actually pretty neat to see and play through, im excited to see how team reptile tries to build on this in the future
    (15 hours)
  • - **the making of karateka** (finished [timeline]): amazing first entry (of many hopefully) in the gold master series, i loved going through a more fleshed out timeline similar to atari 50 but with much more documentary stuff; it was wonderful to watch, read, listen, and optionally play these games, i still need to finish the karateka remaster and og maybe, deathbounce is neat, am excited for digital eclipse to continue making this kind of stuff (5 hours)
  • - **ridiculous fishing ex** (finished and new game+): a good remake from ko_op, i still prefer the original but with it slowly breaking on newer stuff it only makes sense to play the remake, it still keeps the main gameplay intact with some additional small tweaks/mechanics (reload speed upgrades, ammo upgrades since infinite ammo is now a late game upgrade compared to it being always infinite), theres also a new daily mode that also acts as a seasonal monthly mode with its own new variables and fish and rules (its neat but i couldnt really stick with it much) (>10 hours?)
  • - **world of horror** (endless): havent put a lot of time into this one but the little ive played has been really cool, it is a wonderful spooky vibe, the art and music is super great, the game can be tough but it's something i can learn and its really neat, will definitely try to make more time for it (112 minutes)
  • - **pizza tower** (not finished): was a little poorly optimized and also busy with school so i didnt play too much of it, it seems like a very fun time and ive been following the development of it for the longest while and keeping up with the demos, i also got it through the patreon they had for 10$ before it came out [What A Steal!], i might come back to it sometime, ive watched enough of the game to know that i probably wont get all P ranks but all S ranks? maybe.
    (3.6 hours)
  • - **alien hominid hd & invasion** (brand new): this came out last week and that was right before the seattle trip i went on, so didnt have a lot of opportunity to play it, ill definitely spend time on playing these though now that im home
    (HD, 19 minutes)
  • - **ghost trick** (finished the ds version, im still counting it) amazing game, loved all of time with it, some of the puzzles can be tricky but i was able to mostly go through it without going to a walkthrough, i love the story and music and characters, the mystery really unravels in such a cool way (that i wont spoil here!!!) and the chapters are very well paced to play 1 or 2 at a time until finishing it (~12 hours)
  • - **paranormasight** (ive only played a tiny bit of it so i dont have much to say) (90 minutes)
  • - **the murder of sonic the hedgehog** (not finished): i could probably finish this in 1 or 2 sittings if i really wanted to, im gonna try and make myself do that sometime because it seems like a nice small game (48 minutes)
  • - **dangeresque: the roomisode triangulate** (finished): how could you forget one of the coolest releases of the year ???, this is a fun little adventure game and if you like homestar runner, this'll be a very great time, i think it's worth it for the price and it's a fun small game, also recommend the halloween hide n seek game videlectrix put on steam this year too (2.6 hours)
  • - **moonring** (not finished): amazing and FREE rpg, you can really sink your teeth into this one and play long sessions of it, the look and music is great, the level up system encourages you to explore the world of caldera and get engaged with this world that's been created, highly recommend and you have nothing to lose (~7 hours)
  • - **mosa lina** (endless): described as a hostile immersive sim and it feels like a fun toy box in a way, it can allow for some really cool moments when you learn how the tools and physics work so you can complete these interesting levels, they're all very bite sized so each level can feel like a crash course and helping you slowly build understanding of the games mechanics, i like how the last level in a given chunk turns into an extended version of itself with more tools to get, might spend more time in it sometime to try and get better at it (119 minutes)
  • games that im interested in and want

  • - **7th guest VR**, myst got its own vr remake so its interesting to see this one come out as well, seeing as how theyre both kind of connected in that early multimedia cd rom game boom and were being developed around the same time, looking at some articles about it and it seems like its kind of cool?, i wanna check it out to see for myself
  • - **C-Smash VRS**, i really want this and really hope it comes to quest 2, pleaseeeeeee, i need it because i think it really looks cool and the music sounds jamming
  • - **quake 2 remaster**, i have this in my steam but i feel like i have to finish quake 1 first, feels like an essential game that ive just never finished
  • - **pikmin 1+2 and 4**, this applies to the whole pikmin series bascially, i want to maybe marathon through them one day because it's one of those few kinda weird nintendo series that's still kind of active, definitely the most active its been in a long while this year
  • - **kirbys return to dream land deluxe**, i always love me some kirby, might pick it up sometime when i feel more comfortable spending 60$ on a game probably
  • - **super mario rpg**, i got a decent chunk of the way through the original this year (got to boosters castle and added bowser into my party), i want to finish that first on bsnes because i was having an absolute delight playing through it, everything about it is wonderful
  • - **armored core 6**, i dont have the consoles or specs for it but maybe one day i will, i'll play it on steam deck or something and it'll be cool, i should check out the whole series too since this one does seem different from the rest
  • - **alan wake 2**, also dont have the consoles/specs for this one, i wanna try going through the whole remedy catalog before getting to this one, finished max payne 1 and it was amazing, i'll get to max payne 2 real soon (then alan wake, quantum break, control, alan wake 2, maybe ill throw max payne 3 in there too)
  • - **deathbulge: battle of the bands**, i followed the comic deathbulge for a while and i really liked it so i do wanna check out this video game that theyve been cooking for a little while (kickstarter was in 2019...)
  • - **knuckle sandwich**, is coming out this month (november 23)!!!! and im excited for it, im definitely going to buy this one, been following the development of this for a long time also (kickstarter was in 2018!! all hail The Grid)
  • i was going to include games that i played but didnt come out this year, i already did a little bit of that throughout this post though and this is getting a bit long
    sorry for the big text wall
    but also thank you for reading if you have read all the way through

    I‘m very sorry to be another “I only played one 2023 video game” person but it’s Void Stranger for me and I think it would have had a pretty good shot this year no matter what else I might have played.


    i forgot to mention void stranger mostly because im pretending it doesnt exist until i finish zeroranger

    I checked my Steam library and I only see four commercial games I actually played and liked. They are:

  • - Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance (sic) of the Slayer
  • - _Spin Rhythm XD_
  • - _Street Fighter 6_
  • - _Void Stranger_
  • That’s it!! I’ve been playing catch-up on new releases since like 2017 lol

    Evidently the only “2023” game I played was Rhapsody II: Ballad of the Little Princess so… there ya go. GOTY.

    Enjoyed my time with 2023‘s Pikmin 4, TOTK, and Suika Game, but was blown away by the one all-timer I’ve played from this year, Void Stranger. Hard to describe without giving too much detail, but best experienced just picking it up only knowing it‘s a sokoban, and you should take notes.

    I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to design and pace a puzzle game with both bite-sized sokoban rooms that can feel completely different with the knowledge you have, plus accounting for the thinky puzzles you deduce over time as you progress. I knew going in I’d need a notebook on hand, and I absolutely LOVED taking notes for this. It made getting deeper and deeper into it so much fun, and it felt so nice taking pictures of it and showing it to people.

    I‘m now “After Everything” in terms of game progress, and spent an hour yesterday in my local library with my hand inside a scanner, going through 266 pages from two separate notebooks and putting them into PDFs. This is my second one of System Erasure’s games I‘ve played after completing TLB in 2018’s ZeroRanger a week earlier, and absolutely loved both.

    My game of the year all the way. Love it so much.

    [URL=][IMG width="200"][/IMG][/URL] [URL=][IMG width="200"][/IMG][/URL]


    tomes of knowledge!!

    In some ways this is my year of leaving things unfini. I was locked out of finishing my Baldur‘s Gate 3 save, I was enjoying Octopath Traveler 2 so much that I put it down and want to save it for a rainy day, Cities Skylines 2 is great but I haven’t spent enough time with it yet, I haven‘t installed Forspoken yet, and I have super mixed feelings about FFXVI that I am doing myself a favor and not letting myself return to it until I paradigm shift. So many of my potential GOTY games I haven’t gotten around to yet.

    The game in contention for my personal GOTY, which I have beaten the heck out of, is the beautiful mess known as Fire Emblem **_ENGAGE_**....
    ^(this is an awful song but i'm already nostalgic toward it)

    It feels like a successor to Awakening more than anything else and they made some bold and successful gameplay design choices. I particularly love how they reworked bosses and cranked up their impact on the game. I like that they reduced every unit's movement and shrunk the maps. I like that they added brawlers to the weapon triangle, and are emphasizing class changes and unit customization more than ever. The characters and presentation is truly vibrant. But at the same time, they swing and miss so wildly in other aspects too that it's really fascinating. The story is outrageous, the Emblem Rings feel like unearned fanservice, the Somniel is sort of a mess, and the DLC is wildly unbalanced. But at the same time, it all serves to make the game more _fun_. I think a lot of people can look at the great storytelling of Tellius games and Three Houses and the sense of gravity of the earlier games and be disappointed that this game stands on ceremony in many ways. But trust me, it's really not just an anime cash-in for the people who play FE Heroes mobile game that way it might seem on the surface. It's actually as deep any strategy RPG has ever been and just plain entertaining.

    Part of it is also that I've played 6 FE games this year so it's kind of a stand-in for all of the brainspace I've allocated toward this particular brand of anime chess.

    Didn't get much game time this year, but Armored Core 6 for me. Hard to top.


    @“Emily”#p139410 vividlope


    For games I‘ve played this year (although I have to play several more). Consider this like a prelude version:

    Paranormasight might be my favorite game of the year. Visual novel that it’s both spooky and mysterious, it feels like solving cursed puzzles into a midsummer night. Also has quite a number of meta mechanics that are nice and it‘s a coral character game where every story kind of mingles with each other. A really great surprise.

    Humanity is a puzzle game that is fun in the way that is very fluid and allows you to experiment and see what sticks. It’s fun and light-hearted.

    Fuga 2: Melodies of Steel is the usual continuation from the first game and it is more or less what you expect from the first. It‘s more edgy and despairing, while, at the same time, refreshes the formula: there’s several more little tweaks and little games where you try to improve your tank, and the replayability is kind of fresh, but the combat is more or less the same, if not a little bit more tiresome.

    Hi-Fi Rush has been mentioned before, but it‘s a nice action that brings a little bit of the action platformers of the PS2 era. Kinda clunky on the jumps, kinda stylish and fun in the fights, kinda your back to your Y2K’s era. I think it‘s a good road trip to nostalgia with some good fights and great moments specially during fights and chaning several combos.

    Sea of Stars is a breezy JRPG with the things you usually loved to do if you tried the Chrono series and other ones like Wild Arms. There’s a sense of adventure thanks to how the scenarios are designed, and while the combat is nice and a bit tiring the discovery of secrets and places and things to do (to me) is what stands in a fun way. It tries to get a little bit of the nostalgia from those antique role-playing games, but also wants to do something new and modernized and it works.

    I am still trying to finish several games, but it will come once the year ends.

    Misericorde volume 1 was by far my most memorable and favourite game of this year. Compelling writing, rich characterisation, well-researched history lesson and a good old murder mystery to boot. I get visual novels aren’t for everyone but this is really a fantastic mystery story.

    (Not from 2023 runner-up was Yakuza 7/like a Dragon, what fun!)

    Edit: I forgot that **World of Horror** technically came out this year because I had played it in early access, but that is now probably tied as my #1 pick of the year. Even my partner who doesn’t have any interest in games made post 1995 likes watching it and refers it to “that game that I think looks cool”.

    I have been slowly playing games this year, so I‘m surprised to see how many released this year that I’ve played. Potential GOTY contenders for me:

  • - Like a Dragon Ishin! - a remake. I loved the setting (19th century Japan), story, and much of the side stories and minigames. Combat was fine but felt more cartoonish or less heavy than typical Like a Dragon combat. It was easy to chill with this game.
  • - Baldur's Gate 3 - love table-top roleplaying, love CRPGs based on table-top roleplaying, so it stands to reason I would love this. Fun choices (dimension door and misty step breaks encounters wide open, y'all) and consequences. If I could not get stuck in walls when jumping around, that would be nice.
  • - Final Fantasy XVI - very summons, much Clive, swol fight, wow story.
  • For the not-from-2023 list, I'm not prepared to say, except that I loved Persona 3 Portable (FemC run finally helped me complete the game) and Etrian Odyssey 3, and I've had some very good Crusader Kings III playthroughs. So it's a good year for 3s!