Without a doubt, FromSoftware’s fantastic Elden Ring garnered my personal GOTY spot very comfortably for 2023 (with the astounding Obsidian’s Pentiment a close second), really, it was an easier pick than any other year in recent memory. Nothing else has come close, particularly in terms of pick of the year for AAA’s big things.
However, as much as I loved my epic journey through The Lands Between, and boy did I adore it, when I look back in the year 2023 as a whole, it was, once again, the indie games that kept me interested, kept me playing and kept me coming back for more on Xbox during the past twelve months.
There were some indie entrants in 2023 that we all knew were going to be crackers long before they got here, like the amazing immortality of Sam Barlow (the man doesn’t know how to make a bad game), but others, a lot of others, just kind of slipped out of nowhere. And it gave me what were easily my most memorable experiences of the year, the kind of gaming experiences that stay in your mind for a long time and remind you why you love this art form in the first place.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a game I’ve been watching for ages – if Dotemu has anything to do with a project, I usually keep it – and even though I expected it to be very good, it ended up blowing me away, fully reliving the excitement That addictive take on the old Turtles games I spent a lot of time and money playing in arcades after school, but with a modern sheen that made everything a little smoother.
In terms of the things that totally blew me away, well, there were a few. Rose-Engine Games delivered an amazing installment of sci-fi survival horror with Signalis, a game that unexpectedly ended up in my top five list for the year. Bounding Box Software delivered an absolutely terrific slice of old-school shooter action in the form of Prodeus – truly the best shooter overall, no questions asked – and Matthias Linda Chained Echoes is a retro RPG that manages to pay homage to the classic while bringing plenty of fun. Their own unique ideas, excellent fighting characters and likable to the table. How on earth could one person do such a thing?
Saturnalia is an incredibly unique horror game with a truly terrifying art style and atmosphere that caused me decent bedtime troubles during the few nights I spent playing it, Citizen Sleeper is one of the most beautiful and memorable sci-fi experiences out there. Sunnah and Tunic Well, Tunic is one of those games that is so clever that you feel like a complete bloody idiot while you play it. A fool loves something that makes him feel like a fool, sure, but he’s a fool nonetheless.
There were many more, too. Vampire Survivors quite rightly took over the world with brilliantly simple action that’s insanely addictive, Weird West is an absolute cracker of a top-down RPG that’s bursting at the seams with budding fun and Norco, which just arrived on Game Pass recently, is likely one One of the best point and click adventures ever made and a game you must go and download right now, my friend. seriously.
Honestly, I’ve heard folk complain on countless occasions lately that 2022 has been a bit of a mess for old PC gaming, but seriously now, if you come close to that conclusion, you’re not casting your gaming network nearly wide enough. 2022 has been an absolute impactful year. Danger. It was great in part because of the greatness of the Elden Ring, of course, it’s one of the greatest video games of all time. But it is especially It was great because, time and time again, beautiful indie games delivered amazing, one-of-a-kind experiences that position the matter of gaming as unquestionably an art. They honestly taught me things, showed me different perspectives and kept me wanting to play, stay interested and stay passionate about this great hobby for the long haul.
#Soapbox #Elden #Ring #GOTY #Incredible #Indie #Games #Playing