Best video games of 2023

Best video games of 2023

In 2019, many big releases took place: we saw the first solo development of Hideo Kojima, a new game from Sam Lake and even the sensational return of Electronic Arts to single player titles – all at once in the Star Wars franchise. It is not easy to determine which of the industry’s products was the best for the year, because they all had different conditions. One came out with a focus on the mass market, the other focused on a narrow audience, and the third was an experimental remake. However, it would be wrong to end 2019 without the top of the main games, which titles we chose – in the material.

Tenth place – Apex Legends, the best “royal battle”

Apex legends

Apex Legends was released in early February 2019 and, despite the absence of an advertising campaign, firmly entrenched in the big three “royal battles”. Hype didn’t pass me either, so I took friends and went to conquer the expanses of Kings Canyon.

My first “royal battle” was PUBG, and after it it was difficult to get used to the speed of running and the abilities of the heroes in Apex. But after a couple of matches, I realized how to act in the game, and all the differences from PUBG already seemed to me interesting solutions of the developers. It turned out that Respawn did a cross between PUBG and Fortnite – a “royal battle” with excellent shooting mechanics and a high tempo of matches.

Another find in Apex Legends is a simplified communication system. With its help, you can communicate with teammates using not a microphone, but a chat wheel and special tags. I do not like talking in matches with unfamiliar players, so this system has become a big plus for me.

Six months after the release, Apex began to lose its audience, but developers still continue to improve the game and add something new. Several new characters have already appeared in the Battle Royale, and in October a special map was added to them. According to rumors, Respawn also has big plans for the development of the game and the e-sports scene for 2023. It remains only to wait!

Text: Julia yulch1q Iskowski

Ninth Place – Astral Chain, Best Switch Game

Astral chain
Astral chain

PlatinumGames is primarily known for its desire for dynamic gameplay and a desire to diversify established genres. Astral Chain in this regard was no exception – this is an unusual action game, which in style is somewhere between the “Indian cinema” from Bayonetta and the relatively measured NieR: Automata. The language does not turn out to be called a simple slasher, largely due to minor episodes with puzzles and investigations, as well as a huge attention to detail.

The main feature of Astral Chain is the constant interaction of the hero with huge monsters on a leash – Legions. The player controls both characters at the same time – it is this mechanics that creates real magic when the wards begin to act as a whole in perfectly set animations of combo attacks or when passing conditional bands with obstacles. Add to this several types of Legions with a skill tree, and even by the end of the game it will be difficult to recall all the possible combat skills.

Astral Chain definitely deserves the attention of all slasher enthusiasts, even despite the anime style, which can be seen not only in the visual component, but also in rather pathetic plot moments. Otherwise, the game leaves only one negative impression – regret that it only came out on the Nintendo Switch and did not reach a wider audience.

Text: Daniel Smacked Hvalev

Eighth place – Control, the best heir to Alan Wake


Control is a rather unusual game, in which the focus is not on gameplay or even on the plot. The beauty of Sam Lake’s new project is in the design and visual design, with which he managed to create a narrative in the spirit of the Twilight Zone or The X-Files. In one of the first scenes, the heroine suddenly broke the fourth wall and turned to me directly – from that moment Control really captured me.

The key character in this story was not the charismatic cleaner Ahti and not the main character, but the “oldest house”, in which all Control events take place. The administrative building – a symbol of control and order – here turns into a mysterious and as if living organism. Concrete labyrinths are changing, ordinary rooms take on frightening forms that subtly hint to the player: “Don’t try to arrange this.” And it is insanely beautiful!

At the same time, Control has enough disadvantages. The combat system, despite the formal variety, is rather boring and resembles “The Witcher 3” with minimal complexity. All battles take place according to one scenario – roll, hit, “ignore”, and repeat. In Control, the heroine has telekinesis, flights, jumps and a cool gun, but sometimes it bothers to use all this. What can I say about the absolutely unnecessary weapon crafting system and skill upgrading! There are also enough problems with the plot: even the mysterious atmosphere and impeccable design sometimes fade due to an inconsistent story.

But with all these flaws, Control is fine in the details – in the references to Twin Peaks or It, the grin and accent of the cleaner, Poets of the Fall music, or shots with the former director releasing puffs of smoke. Perhaps this is not the best game – in the usual sense of the word – but it is a vivid and curious gaming experience that is worth experiencing.

Text: Vyacheslav PilotBaker Ipatov

Seventh place – World of Warcraft Classic, the best downgrade

Ragnaros - art for WoW Classic
Ragnaros – art for WoW Classic

World of Warcraft Classic was released in the summer of 2019. Blizzard revealed that the game, released 15 years ago, can still compete with new products from eminent developers. The American company managed for the second time to launch its largest project and make it even cooler.

After the restart, the good old MMORPG experienced difficulties, but the bulk of the problems were not related to malfunctions or bugs, but to a huge number of people who wanted to break into the fantasy world of military craft. Users were eager to experience the emotions of youth, sought to be the first to play a time-tested masterpiece of game design. Classic received a lot of rave reviews, got into the top in terms of views on Twitch and firmly entrenched in the media space.

In the past year, WoW Classic pleased users not only with content from Blizzard, but also with plots that the players themselves invented. The community knows how to entertain themselves – the Horde will raid and force the inhabitants of the whole server to migrate to other realms, the Alliance will lead the unlucky tauren to execution in Ironforge. Due to the strong foundation from the developers and the fascinating social component, Classic is not a pity to waste time. However, the MMO genre does not allow playing sporadically – if you plunge into the world of World of Warcraft, then seriously and for a long time.

Text: Anastasia Allestron Bismuth

Sixth place – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the best revival of the Jedi games

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Game developers in the Star Wars universe always run the risk of not meeting fans’ expectations – especially given the criticism for the latest movie trilogy. The franchise needed a solid game about the Jedi, which probably would have liked the widest possible audience. That is why Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order only has time-tested concepts.

Respawn Entertainment, in fact, put together the Fallen Order in parts familiar to gamers from other popular series. As a basis, the developers took the idea of ​​Dark Souls with rare saves and complex battles, and then added a bit of everything – from puzzles to platforming elements. Oddly enough, this works best: already familiar mechanics add up to one interesting and varied game.

Fallen Order knows how to make the user feel like the last Jedi surrounded by Empire soldiers, and to interest him in exploring the levels. A series of exhausting battles, puzzles and plot inserts here are arranged so that none of these elements manage to get bored even to the end of the storyline. It is thanks to the gameplay that the new part of Star Wars deserves a place in the top ten games of 2019.

Text: Daniel Smacked Hvalev

Fifth place – Death Stranding, the best parable about sticks and ropes

Death stranding
Death stranding

Death Stranding is the new game of Hideo Kojima, and this is enough to justify its inclusion in any top. The debate about what happened to the Japanese game designer flared up with the release of the first reviews and, it seems, have not stopped to this day. A boring courier simulator or an unusual gaming experience? A protracted secondary tale or a deep philosophical utterance? It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer to these questions, and this is the unconditional success of Kojima – he created a truly resonant product.

On, I released two materials about Death Stranding, in which I first discussed the situation with mixed ratings of the game, and then did an analysis of key points. Not everyone agreed with me, and rightly so – the truth can only be reached in discussions. The important thing is that Kojima managed to arrange a dispute even between game journalists, which the industry had not seen for a long time.

It’s impossible to guess where all this will come – Death Stranding may become the game of the year at The Game Awards, gain audience recognition on PC and stay in history, or it may simply fail, discouraging Kojima from experimenting. It is difficult for me to compare this game with others – it is so unusual that it can hardly objectively integrate into some top according to the results of the year. However, not including Death Stranding in the rating would be an even bigger mistake, so I gave her a ceremonial fifth place – thus, the top 4 will probably look more objective!

Text: Vladislav Machinae Animal

Fourth place – Resident Evil 2, the best remake

Resident evil 2 remake
Resident evil 2 remake

A few years ago, a wave of remakes swept the industry: we got the updated Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Link’s Awakening, Final Fantasy XII, MediEvil and many other games. In 2019, we saw a kind of culmination of this trend – Capcom released a remake of Resident Evil 2, which not only did not lose the dignity of the original, but also increased them, making acquaintance with the series a much less painful process for a modern gamer.

I have never been a fan of the series, and therefore I thought it necessary to interview friends who have long been watching Resident Evil. In such cases, you always expect to hear a healthy portion of criticism: they say that the remake turned out to be soulless, the graphics spoiled everything, and indeed it was better to live without a remake. But everything turned out to be wrong! Longtime franchise fans immediately told me: the reissue has become much more atmospheric, and this is a big step forward.

This was achieved due to changes in the sound design: the developers deliberately abandoned the background soundtrack. He was replaced by silence, which, however, is constantly breaking something. The creaking of the floorboards underfoot, the sounds of dripping water overhead, rustling and footsteps, a sudden roar behind him – all this accompanies Leon and Claire throughout the passage. And it works much better than traditional OST!

In addition, the remake allowed developers to eliminate minor inaccuracies and prepare for the release of the reissue of the third part. This is important because the trikvel events take place two days before and immediately after the storyline of RE 2. In the original titles, there were inconsistencies because of this, but now the developers seem to be able to fix everything – they got a kind of retcon series. However, even in isolation from future plans for Capcom, the remake of Resident Evil 2 deserves a place among the best games of the year and sets the bar for all future re-releases that the industry is likely to see.

Text: Vladislav Machinae Animal

Third place – Sekiro, the best ninja simulator

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

In one online discussion, my friend said that Sekiro, in comparison with Dark Souls, resembles a browser game. I agree with the analogy, but it’s important to clarify one point: this is the “browser” from From Software, which means that it still claims to be the best game this year.

The Japanese studio is often criticized for copying itself – supposedly at first Bloodborne turned out to be the Gothic Ruskin Dark Souls, and now, under the Sekiro brand, they released a mod on the Japanese setting for the same game. This is not entirely true: From Software’s new creation did take over many souls-like mechanics, but it didn’t become less distinctive, especially in terms of gameplay.

If in the original Dark Souls I ran from enemies, trying to find a window for delivering two or three accurate strikes, then in Sekiro I had to fight closely with every enemy. In this game, it is important not only to learn patterns, but how to pump up the reaction speed – to navigate on the fly and reflect the opponent’s blows with perfect timing.

This is rarely talked about, but it is possible that Sekiro is one of the best sword fighting games. The combat system turns any skirmish with local enemies into a real duel: with a different boss, for more than a minute, showering each other with sparks of crossed swords, we could not cause each other a single damage. But how beautiful!

All other elements of the game suffer from this: the plot component, visual style, level architecture and enemy design – all this is done worse in Sekiro than in the Soulsborne series. Therefore, the game has only the third place in our rating.

Text: Vladislav Machinae Animal

Second Place – The Outer Worlds, New Vegas Best Reincarnation

The outer worlds
The outer worlds

The Outer Worlds is all called “New Vegas in Space”, and this, in my opinion, is enough to call it the game of the year. This is really the same good old RPG that I personally have been waiting for a very long time. Over the past nine years, many great representatives of the genre have come out, but no one had that charm of the Mojave wasteland. Some have gone too far in the direction of action, others have returned so far back that they have almost become desktops, and I don’t even want to remember about the last parts of Fallout.

The Outer Worlds inherited a lot from the cult series, including the frankly weak battle mechanics. But first of all I want to talk about the role-playing system, and it is really good in the new Obsidian product! When creating a character in it, the player is given complete freedom: you can be a genius, a dumbass, a ninja hacker, or a sharp-tongued surgeon.

The same freedom is in the passage. Each quest can be completed in several different ways, depending on what role you play, what characteristics you pumped up and how attentive you were while exploring the world. In addition, most of the tasks (like the game universe) are full of subtle satire and do not have unambiguously good or bad resolutions.

Finally, The Outer Worlds is the best Firefly game we have in the foreseeable future. Judge for yourselves: a western in space decorations, a ship suspiciously reminiscent of Serenity, a crew with a charming mechanic, a talented doctor and even a priest … And most importantly – guitar busts in the silence of a vacuum and beat up to become a “big damn hero.”

Text: Bair Vydar Modonov

First Place – Disco Elysium, The Best Game Industry Book

Disco elysium

My acquaintance with Disco Elysium began with the fact that my character died of a heart attack, trying to remove a tie from a chandelier, and a little later repeated his fate, crouching in a very uncomfortable chair. But the game in stock has other entertainment! For example, once I failed a saving throw, just trying to peer into the mirror, and another time I argued with my character for several minutes, urging him not to drink. These are not unique quests added by developers for the sake of a joke – in Disco Elysium, any event can lead you to a protracted dialogue with your own conscience, subconscious or charisma.

All conversations in the game (even if they take place in the character’s head) are written absolutely brilliantly. This is the rare case when the scriptwriter – no, the writer – managed to create something between the comedy, drama and existential treatise from the first scene and maintain this fragile balance until the end of the plot. I perceived every inner monologue of the protagonist as if I were pronouncing it myself; He kept every meeting with the locals in his memory and promised not to lose; I took a screenshot of each note at first, but soon realized that it makes no sense. Because the whole Disco Elysium is written so that it can be completely downloaded somewhere in a trendy quote box.

At the same time, there is no action at all in Disco Elysium, and therefore in the usual sense it is not even a game, but a kind of audiovisual experience. It is he who makes the work accessible to a wide audience – even one that is still not familiar with games. And that’s great, because Disco Elysium is the industry’s best representative in 2019. It was she who most brilliantly showed what game scripting had achieved by the end of the decade, and did so without explosions, superheroes, or “royal battles”.

Text: Vladislav Machinae Animal

Results of 2019 in e-sports and games:

  • The 12 most unusual games of 2019.
  • From Tetris to Euro Truck Simulator, the most unusual games for which tournaments are held.
  • Hong Kong scandal, WoW Classic launch and BlizzCon announcements. 2019 Results for Blizzard.