2023 Gaming In Review: Ajescent – Best Games This Year

by Ajescent

It’s now time for our next post celebrating Ajescent’s best games of 2023! If you missed the previous post for our best games of the year, you could check them right now with the links below!

2023 Gaming in Review – Ceidz

Let’s address the elephant in the room. This time last year, I assumed that Final Fantasy XVI would be my game of the year in 2023 and would have no competition. What a difference a year makes because it is not even my on top 3. What are my top 3 games? Alan Wake 2! Wait… I didn’t play it. Resident Evil 4? Haven’t played that either.

Starfield… hahaha, good one. Okay, seriously, I will give an honorable mention to Dredge because that game was amazing, but for me, it did not quite stick the landing. I will give another to T’Chia because whilst fun… I haven’t touched it since I reviewed it… so what am I doing?

I guess I am going to give 3rd place to something I have played and intend to come back to when the dust settles, and that would be… Persona 5 Tactica! I love the Persona series, and whilst Persona 5 and Royal were amazing games, I’ll say it now: I didn’t love Persona 5 Strikers. But Tactica, on the other hand, Tactica scratches the itch of a good Persona story and a great tactical game and rolls them into one beautifully presented package.

I played on Xbox via Steam Deck, and the bite-sized nature of the encounters feels just right for a pick-up-and-play mentality. The game is beautiful, the combat is fun, and the story is just more of the Persona goodness. If you love Persona or tactical RPGs, then this one is an absolute must.

Whilst I loved Tactica, I do, however, reserve the 2nd Spot for Lies of P. In my review of Lies of P, I made the quip about the game is “Bloodborne at home,” which is not as good as the original, but damn, this game is great. The combat, the story, the world, the gameplay, everything feels so excellently put together that you forget that this game is not from a big-name developer or one entrenched in the Soulsborne genre. Neowiz and Round8 Studio did an amazing job, and whilst this game might be forgotten in the melee that is GOTY, it deserves any and all accolades that it receives.

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As mentioned earlier, If you had asked me what I thought my GOTY was going to be in January, I would have said Final Fantasy XVI, and never once would I have said Baldur’s Gate 3. If you had asked me around July/August time, I still wouldn’t have said Baldur’s Gate 3. Why? Because I did not even know that game existed. It was not until the game was officially released that I became aware of it, and I am glad I did because not only is this a deserving Game of the Year winner, but I would even mark it as a potential Game of a Generation. It is not often you come across a game that makes you want to buy a console. This has only happened to me four times in my life: Final Fantasy X for the PS2; Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3; The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Switch and now a Steam Deck for Baldur’s Gate 3 because my PC is nowhere near strong enough to handle this thing of beauty.

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It is always a gamble buying a new machine just to play one game, but not only does Baldur’s Gate 3 deliver, it does so with great presence. The majesty of this game is unrivaled by anything else released this year in terms of sheer content, delivery, and execution. No game for me this year has rivaled Baldur’s Gate 3 in gameplay, storytelling, or presentation. Alan Wake 2 might give Baldur’s Gate 3 a run for its money in terms of soundtrack and presentation, but as I said, I have not played it, so that point is moot. I literally could gush for a while about this game, especially Amelia Tyler’s voice acting as the DM, and it is a shame she was not nominated for this role at The Game Awards. Whilst I acknowledge that everyone on that cast list did wonders in that game, for me, Amelia Tyler was far and beyond all else with her performance. The music by Borislav Slavov is nearly second to none, with variations of “Down by the River” playing in my head at least once a day. Just like the music, the story, the themes, and the gameplay stick with you. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a magnificent game and deserves every accolade it will get without question.

That’s all for me!

What were YOUR best games this year?

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