Top 10 Video Games of 2023

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2023 was an incredible year for video games and many of the year's biggest titles are available at the library. Here is a little about my three favorite games of the year and I included a list of what I consider the 10 best titles from 2023 you can find at the library.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild had a lot of hype to live up to. Nintendo’s first open world Zelda game was hailed as one of the greatest games of all time when it released alongside the Nintendo Switch six years ago. The physics sandbox and the completely open world return in Tears of the Kingdom but they are enhanced by new systems meant to engage players creatively. The biggest addition is the ability to pick up any object and attach it to another. The simple ability blows open the doors of creative potential. Allowing you to build not only constructions like bridges but full-on mechanical contraptions. Working boats, cars and flying machines are just the beginning of what players can create. Online I’ve seen some truly mind-blowing creations, for example an actual working Mecha-Godzilla, complete with laser blast breath.

But if this was simply a really good vehicle builder it wouldn’t be my game of the year. The building has expanded the possibilities for both exploration and puzzle solving, the main tenets of a Zelda adventure. And there’s so much to explore and so many mysteries to solve! To start playing Tears of the Kingdom is to feel the pull of mysteries in every direction. And when I say every direction, I mean it. In addition to the massive kingdom of Hyrule, Tears of the Kingdom adds an expansive sky filled with islands to explore as well as an entire underground world known as the depths that will put players adventuring skills to the test.

Then there is the story. Breath of the Wild was the first Zelda game to feature fully voice acted cut scenes but Nintendo struggled to deliver a narrative that lived up to the higher production values. Here the highly produced cut scenes return but the narrative is more complex, darker and for lack of a better word epic. And it all builds to a conclusion that might be my favorite ending sequence ever in a video game.

2. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

From the acclaimed developers at From Software, (Dark Souls, Sekiro, Elden Ring) comes the rebirth of an old franchise. Armored Core games have been around since the PlayStation 1 but after the success of Dark Souls, From Software let the series lay dormant for 10 years. What they have created is not the Armored Souls game many people wanted or expected. Instead, they delivered a true Armored Core game; a mission-based action title built around fast paced mecha combat.

You pilot an Armored Core, aka a giant robot you use in battle as an independent mercenary. Various factions vying for control of the planet Rubicon hire you to be a dog of war. Rubicon is host to a unique resource that is only found on this planet and the plot does play out a bit like Frank Herbert’s Dune. There is even a giant worm!

The gameplay is thrilling, the story and setting are appropriately dire and the mecha customization is expansive and creative. One of the best parts of this game is that people can not only fully customize their giant robot, but share their designs online with others. At a time when many modern games charge you an arm and a leg for cosmetics, the freedom afforded to create whatever design you want feels like a breath of fresh air.

3. Resident Evil 4

When the original Resident Evil 4 released in 2005 it was widely hailed as a horror-action masterpiece. Since then, Capcom has re-released the game on every possible video game platform. They also started a new series of remakes in 2019 with the highly regarded remake of Resident Evil 2. At that point a remake of 4 seemed inevitable, however fans remained skeptical. Unlike Resident Evil 2, the original version of 4 is widely available and still very fun to play. Could a remake really do justice to a game so beloved to this day? I am happy to report the answer is yes.

Resident Evil 4 the 2023 version is a thrilling action-horror adventure. It takes what worked about the original game turns those aspects up to 11. The completely reworked modern graphics look gorgeous. The gameplay is enhanced with modern controls and a new parry mechanic. Characters are expanded and given bigger roles in the narrative. But not everything is the same. Some of the more campy elements of the original have been abandoned, there’s no giant flame-breathing statue robot at the end of the castle section unfortunately. But the tone of the original remains. The fun is intact and better than ever in Resident Evil 4.

4. Spider-Man 2

"Be greater together. Experience an original Marvel's Spider-Man single player story. Wield Peter Parker's new symbiote abilities and Miles Morales' explosive bio-electric Venom powers. Fight Kraven the Hunter, Lizard, an original take on Venom, and many more! Explore the expanded open world of Marvel's New York, featuring new environments and locations" -Container

5. Pikmin 4

"Save your crew and stranded castaways with the help of Pikmin and Oatchi the Rescue Pup!" -Container

6. Super Mario Bros. Wonder

"Discover the power of WonderWonder Flowers transform you... or the world around you! Collect badges. Equip badges to jump higher, swim faster, and more. Astounding power-ups: Elephant Mario, Bubble Mario, Drill Mario" -Container

7. Metroid Prime Remastered

Play as Samus Aran and battle Space Pirates as you explore and learn what happened on Tallon IV.

8. Dead Space Remake

"The sci-fi survival horror classic Dead Space returns, completely rebuilt from the ground up to offer a deeper and more immersive experience. Explore the deep-space mining ship--the USG Ishimura--as engineer Isaac Clarke. What starts as a routine repair mission quickly turns into a battle for survival as the truth behind the horrors on board begins to unravel" -Container

9. Final Fantasy 16

"Final Fantasy XVI is set in the fictional world of Valisthea, a world divided between six nations who hold power through access to magical Crystals and Dominants, humans who act as hosts for each nation's Eikon. Tensions between the nations escalate as a malady dubbed the Blight begins consuming the land. Clive Rosfield, guardian to his younger brother Joshua, witnesses his kingdom destroyed and goes on a revenge quest in pursuit of the dark Eikon Ifrit"-Wikipedia

10. Street Fighter 6

Street Fighter 6 spans three distinct game modes, including Fighting Ground, World Tour and Battle Hub. The experience also includes innovative new gameplay features, plus enhanced visuals for every aspect of the game.


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Ethan Herdrich
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