It’s that time of year again. Soon flies by, doesn’t it? To celebrate the festivities, we (the editorial team) have decided to cook up a feature that covers our favourite games of the year. Expect games from a variety of platforms, including titles from PC and consoles. Some picks might be expected considering the hype behind certain games this year…but there may be some surprises up ahead, so read on!
Adele’s Game of the Year 2023 – Baldur’s Gate 3
To absolutely no one’s surprise, my Game of the Year is Astarion… I mean, Baldur’s Gate 3. I’ve talked everyone’s ear off about this gem of a game, and I could honestly gush for ages about how much I love it – but I won’t put you guys through that.
So, why is it GOTY for me? I don’t think I’ve felt this attached to a video game since I first started playing Final Fantasy 14. Every minute I was out of the game, I wanted to dive back in straight away. There’s something about wandering around the world of Baldur’s Gate 3 that’s an absolute treat.
It’s the characters and environments that make it a stellar game for me. Each of the main characters has their own story, quirks, and personality types – even the random NPCs have depth! Admittedly, I’m one of the many Astarion lovers, but I also adore Shadowheart and Karlach.
BG3 is one of those games that makes me excited to start a second, third, or even fourth playthrough, just so I can experience the game differently each time. With a variety of routes to go down, decisions to make, and dialogue options to choose from, it feels like a fresh adventure all over again.
Meriel’s Game Of The Year 2023 – Lethal Company
While 2023 has been a great year for games, it’s been one at the very end that’s caught my attention. While there are definitely games out this year that are greater technical achievements, it’s hard to think of any that have given me as much pure enjoyment as Lethal Company, and in the end, it’s the fun that matters most.
This indie multiplayer game, made by a solo developer, tasks you with salvaging scrap on abandoned moons for an ethically dubious space corp. Well, you and up to three friends. Whether they’ll still be your friends after one flies the spaceship off and leaves you to die to hostile extra-terrestrial wildlife is a whole other matter.
The wildlife is indeed very hostile and often requires a trick to avoid. If you’re very lucky, someone will tell you a monster’s gimmick. If not they’ll watch laughing hysterically as your deceased form gets ragdolled around a hallway.
Lethal Company is a horror game, but it’s one of the funniest horror games you will play. Dying in ridiculous ways, hearing your friend’s voice cut out right after saying ‘What’s tha-‘, dancing around with a boombox, and abusing the ship’s horn all make it one of the best ways to spend a multiplayer session. And all for a bargain price.
This is embarrassingly mainstream, but my pick of the year is Metroid Prime Remastered. Timing is a factor. First I played Tears of the Kingdom, an undeniably majestic game that I felt judged by because I’m too impatient to read dialogue or find a sensible path around a mountain.
Playing Metroid Prime Remastered afterward was like going on holiday straight from school. Retro Studios’s punchy remake is a refreshingly compact and forgiving romp through a simpler time and the perfect antidote to heavyweight game fatigue.
Simon’s Game of the Year 2023 – Daily Dadish
I’ve played some storming games this year – Mario Wonder was constantly jaw dropping, Puzzle Bobble Everybubble had me stuck to my Switch for hours, and Atari 50 was impressively exhaustive. But I can’t really look beyond a title I’ve played every single day of 2023. Well, pretty much every day anyway.
Daily Dadish is a spin off of the somewhat-under-the-radar 2D platforming series that boasts three titles to date (with a fourth on the way). But to call this a spin off is perhaps harsh, as it offers a new level every day for you try – so it’s absolutely packed with content. It launched back on February 8th, so I’ve been playing it for well over 300 days consecutively now.
Better still, each level offers a star if you can beat a set time – and it’s often incredibly difficult to do so. But never impossible, and it asks you to play the game with a completely different mindset. Going through each day’s level with my wife in the morning has become a concrete part of my daily routine, and I’ll miss it when it comes to a close in a few week’s time. I guess I could just play it all over again…
Sho’s Game of the Year 2023 – Fae Farm
Fae Farm is genuinely just as magical as the title suggests. You escape into an enchanted world full of charming residents, critters and farms! Well, actually there is a lot more to it than that.
Fae Farm has an addictive storyline with gentle progression taking the stress off sticking to the campaign. I like a sense of direction in games, but I’m also someone who is easily distracted and enjoys tending to random side quests, as well as spending time decorating my space. All of that is something that Fae Farm delivers on and in such an endearing art style!
Games that dive into the cosy magical genre are getting quite competitive but Fae Farm absolutely dominated the scene thanks to its enchanted story and gameplay features. One thing I really enjoyed was being able to complete different collections and inviting friends to play alongside me (Hey Adele!).
It’s hard to round up this game into a few paragraphs so you’ll just have to trust me that if you haven’t seen this game already it’s worth checking out. Fae Farm is plentiful on the colour, whimsy and adventure! You can check out this farming RPG over on Steam and Switch.