PC Invasion’s Game of the Year 2023

2023's been an incredible year for gaming.
Pc Invasion Game Of The Year 2023
Screenshot: PC Invasion

In closing out 2023, that momentous phrase we’ve all heard a thousand times has almost become a cliche. “It’s been an incredible year for gaming.” I don’t know how many times I’ve uttered it in reverence to the jam-packed year filled to the gills with 9s and 10s.

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This year has truly felt like the phoenix rising from the ashes of the COVID years, and let me tell you, gaming is back.

From top to bottom, 2023 has been overindulgent. Delectable indies have taken us to the bottom of the ocean, flown us to strange planets with dark hallways filled with lethal monsters, and sprung us between worlds within worlds. Scrumptious action adventures have given us high-octane mecha fights, magical broom rides through wisping trees, and worlds among the stars explored with blasters and blade. All this, and I’ve not even hinted at PC Invasion’s 2023 Game of the Year, runner-ups, and honorable mentions.

PC Invasion’s 2023 Game of the Year winner: Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 Xbox Save Bug
Image: Larian Studios

What a surprise Baldur’s Gate 3 was! I expected Tears of the Kingdom or Starfield to sweep the competition when it came to 2023 game awards, but, like the best Rogue build, Baldur’s Gate 3 snuck up and stole our hearts.

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What can be said about Baldur’s Gate 3 that hasn’t been said already? The characters, the in-and-out-of-combat mechanics, the choices, the main and side quests, the race and build customization, the multiplayer, the lore, the bosses — everything about Baldur’s Gate 3 is phenomenal.

My favorite part about Baldur’s Gate 3 is the player-lead narratives and silly shenanigans you can get up to with a group of friends. Just the other day, my little Bard Halfing was snuggling up to my friend’s Owlbear-form Druid Elf on a stone bed when my Rogue Elf friend decided to turn off the candles to set the mood while my Paladin Tiefling friend warned him that the candles were outlined in red. Well, Balthazar didn’t like that; he started a fight, one which we won. As a group, we decided not to save scum that back because the narrative we created was too brilliant. Moments like these continuously flood the internet and likely will for years to come — the communal longevity of Baldur’s Gate 3 speaks volumes about its excellence.

PC Invasion’s GOTY 2023 runner-ups

Pc Invasion Goty 2023 Runner Ups
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Though Baldur’s Gate 3 won PC Invasion’s Game of the Year 2023, there were a few notable runner-ups worth shouting out. In second place is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, in third place is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and in a tie for fourth place is Alan Wake 2 and Super Mario Wonder.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is deserving of second place and in a less competitive year, it would’ve taken first place. The same can be said for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Alan Wake 2, and Super Mario Wonder. Honestly, I’m just happy to have so many great games to have played and to look forward to playing during the slower weeks of 2024.

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PC Invasion’s 2023 honorable mentions

Pc Invasion Goty 2023 Honorable Mentions
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Before we roll credits on 2023, a handful of PC Invaders want to give a special shout-out to a few games they hold near and dear. 2023 was such a fantastic year that the runner-up and honorable mentions lists don’t encapsulate all the games we loved, but these are ones that you shouldn’t miss.

PC Invasion Writer/ContributerGamePraise
Raza MalikDead Space“From start to finish the game doesn’t give up. As soon as you descend on the iconic Ishimura, the ride begins, and it only gets worse (in a good way). The narrative is another highlight. Being a part of Isaac Clarke’s struggle makes you feel connected to the protagonist. Even if you have played the original, diving back into the horrific world of Dead Space with more than a facelift is worth it. Speaking of facelifts, the remake looks amazing on the new hardware. The darkness of the anxiety-riddled world feels alive and much more immersive which helped pull me. Overall, the Dead Space remake is worthy of your time because it’s the full package: A great and expansive story with horrors that pulls everything together.”
Alex GarciaFinal Fantasy 16“For a year in gaming that was jam-packed with IPs new and old, Final Fantasy 16 seems to be part of one franchise that keeps forging ahead almost 40 years later. The theme of writing your own destiny sticks with me even after I completed the game over six months ago, and will be something that sticks with me for a while. I enjoyed the action shift in gameplay and the outstanding performances from actors such as Ben Starr, Ralph Ineson, Nina Yndis, and so many more. This, coupled with the stellar soundtrack from Soken and the overarching story made for one of my personal favorites of the year.”
Jason VenterPikman 4“Nintendo had a strong 2023 that not everyone may have noticed. Besides Tears of the Kingdom, which was hard to miss, there were new entries in some of its other long-running franchises and even a pleasing remake of Super Mario RPG. One of the brightest stars among that happy little galaxy was Pikmin 4, which revived the franchise 10 years after its last proper new installment and pushed the formula to new heights. There are more varieties of Pikmin to find than ever before, expansive environments to explore, thrilling mini-games, and (best of all) a loveable canine companion named Odachi. It’s the biggest Pikmin game to date, packed with value and charm for fans old and new, and may have just saved the franchise.”
Anthony YatesRobocop: Rogue City“There’s been so many absolute bangers in 2023, but Robocop: Rogue City is my favorite. In the movies, Robocop awkwardly shuffles around with the grace of a bulldozer. Teyon had the unenviable task of recreating that in video game form while keeping it enjoyable. The devs knocked it out of the park while staying faithful to the source material with some of the most visceral combat I’ve seen in a modern shooter.”
Luis PradaDredge“I love an open world that tricks me into thinking it’s much bigger than it is. That’s Dredge. A small snow globe of a game that feels as vast and expansive as a 200-hour RPG. Not just geographically, either, though that is certainly true. Every character feels richly developed with a lot more going on internally than they’re letting on. It’s a tale steeped in oceanic Lovecraftian lore that only provides a sampling of the horrors that lay beneath the surface. But that sampling is just enough to unsettle as it implies a wider, stranger universe of unfathomable terrors.”
Aidan LambourneLords of the Fallen“Lords of the Fallen is truly the best Soulslike I’ve come across, even surpassing (mechanically, as lore and aesthetics are largely personal preference) Dark Souls 3. The dual-world premise isn’t just a gimmick; it’s executed so well that I think other games need to take note. Aside from all the normal Soulslike qualities that it executes excellently, it stands out as a Soulslike that is simultaneously accessible to newcomers and certainly made for players who have brushed off other difficult Soulslikes.
For once, you need to know all the skills and moves and need to take note of the systems, weapons, attributes, and abilities at your disposal.”
Noah NelsonHi-Fi Rush“While I love visually, thematically, and mechanically dark games as much as the next person, I miss the bright, bombastic brilliance of early 2000s mascot games like Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank, and Spyro. Hi-Fi Rush is the only game in recent memory that perfectly captures that nostalgic energy of a Saturday morning cartoon. The music is wonderful, the boss fights epic, the humor is actually funny, and the character growth is surprisingly beautiful. I don’t even like rhythm games and yet, I love Hi-Fi Rush.”

There are so many games that we all loved in 2023. While I think it will be one of the best years for gaming in this decade, there’s still a lot to look forward to in 2024. It’s my job to stay ahead of the curve and play the newest releases, I’ll most definitely be filling my time in 2024 with playing the long list of 2023 games I missed starting with Alan Wake 2.

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Author
Noah Nelson
From his early days of blog-style music, movie, and game reviews to working as the Esports Writer at Coastline Community College, Noah Nelson now works fulltime as a Staff Writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion. He has been helping gamers everywhere with Destiny 2 god rolls, Warzone 2 DMZ missions, and collectibles in any indie game for over a year and a half. His Bachelor's Degree in English Rhetoric and Composition with a minor in Journalism from CSULB has shaped him to be a strong writer and editor. His fondest gaming memory is playing Sly Cooper 2 after begging his mom (for hours) to play it before his birthday and he still cries myself to sleep remembering the time he accidentally saved over his 99% completion save file in Kingdom Hearts 2.