My Top Ten Games of 2023

Mitchell Lineham
7 min readDec 19, 2023

What a good year for gaming. As many have said throughout the year, this seems to be one of the strongest years of gaming we’ve had for a long time. I wasn’t sure I agreed, but it’s actually been tough putting this list together this year, and a good number of games battled it out to make it on my top ten. I have one honourable mention for a game that I loved, but hadn’t changed much since its last two installments too, so let’s have a look and see if there’s a real gem you missed out on this year.

Before that, though, we all know that this year has been fantastic for video games, and maybe an all-time favourite or two has popped up for you, but it’s such a shame to see the industry (one of the most lucrative going), has laid off several thousand people and is committing itself to another brain drain. Enjoy this year because there might be a dip in quality as so many of the lower echelon employees are dropped in an attempt to tighten purse strings further, probably for a hefty bonus up top, and those same jobs might not become available again for a long time. Those still there will no doubt be overworked too, as the workload never changes, so I hope everyone takes care of themselves and finds what’s good for them.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

A quintessential Spider-Man story, just like the one before it. Insomniac have such an incredible understanding of Peter Parker, and I love what they’ve done with Miles and MJ too, and Hailey is great representation for deaf people. I wish the combat was a little less button-mashy, but I love swinging around and seeing what I can do as my favourite friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. With the ending reveals, I know the next game is going to be a banger.

Final Fantasy XVI

I love this game, and I’ve been a big Final Fantasy fan for as long as I can remember. IX is my all-time favourite game, so hearing people say that XVI isn’t a “true Final Fantasy game” is such a shame. Final Fantasy is a series all about reinventing itself, and it’s been action-based longer than it’s been turn-based at this point. It’s allowed to deviate from its roots, and the narrative and Titan battles on show gripped me, and some of the emotional beats have stayed with me since.

Armored Core 6

Quite possibly the world’s worst-kept hidden gem, given that it’s by FromSoftware, but I almost passed on this. I bought it for release at the last moment, and spent the next week or so speeding through its three endings. Absolutely loved it, its customisation, its gameplay, and that it made me care about a bunch of characters you don’t even get to see. I’ll be first in line for another entry, and I’m not even a mecha fan.

Jack Jeanne

I knew I’d love this one, and it’s since become my favourite Otome game, and the first I’d recommend if you’re new to the genre. A soundtrack I just had to import on CD, writing and characters I fell in love with, and it was actually easy to pick a route to jump onto — no needing to read a guide for this one. Just an all-around fantastic game.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

I played this one in co-op with my partner, and we both had a blast. I love seeing games with such vivid bursts of colour and creativity like Wonder has, and it encourages replayability and some lovely accessibility options for those who might find it more difficult. We played as Peach and Toadette, and I still get itches to jump back on. It’s such a tight and well-realised experience, and it deserves all the praise it gets.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

I know some people were down on this one, but I loved Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. It’s one of my most played games of the year, and my favourite soulslike this year (Lies of P is amazing, too, but I’ve yet to finish it). I really liked the China setting, and Team Ninja have such a satisfying parry system. It’s fast, it’s fluid, and it feels so damn good to play. Wish so many playstyles and customisation options, it really encourages you to find your own way to play. Parry is a must, though.

Fashion Dreamer

Oh, Fashion Dreamer, my dream game. As a huge fan of Style Boutique, I’m so happy to have a synSophia game on Switch. I reviewed it here, and still feel very positively about it now. I wish it had a little more to do, especially as the event it was doing this month was delayed, but it’s such a feel-good game with an addictive gameplay loop. I just love fashion sims, and synSophia is top of the game.

Pikmin 4

Pikmin 4 is the game that got me to realise just how creative and joyful Pikmin is. I’m looking to play through the rest of them now, but I also played this in co-op with my partner doing all we could in it. Nintendo really are the best at making me feel like I’m playing a game that just wants to be a game, and all the childish joy that comes with it. I wish the co-op mode allowed you both to control a character, but the pebble throwing mechanic is pretty rad, too. It grew on me a lot, and we just took turns as we set out for another day’s adventure.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Anything that arks back to The Clone Wars era is good by me. The map is still a pain in the arse, and there’s a little too much climbing and wall-running, but Cal’s journey is one I’m eager to see more of. I love the Souls-inspired combat, and how it enhances the overall lore of Star Wars (which I’m a big fan of), and I’m looking forward to getting back to this one to do some more side stuff. We’re also building a BD-1 LEGO, because he’s hella cute.

Resident Evil 4

As always, Resident Evil 4 straight rocks. Relieved that this is the case, as I really disliked Resident Evil 3 Remake and Village, but this is a terrific remake of one of the best games around. I still don’t think the gameplay is a great fit for some of the more hectic boss battles, feeling as if I’m trudging through sludge to get a good shot, but the rest of it is nailed down — I just think they’ve not entirely escaped the “tank controls” just yet. I’m a big fan of Resident Evil 5, so excited to see what that remake will hold.

Honourable Mention

Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line

This one’s an honourable mention because although it’s the best it’s ever been (although I do miss the touch screen controls a lot), I just didn’t play a lot of it. I’ve played so much Theatrhythm over the years that I just haven’t played as much of this one as I thought I would, but it’s something I’ll keep returning to. Proper lame that Square Enix locked Final Fantasy IX’s Melodies of Life behind deluxe DLC, though. For shame.

And that’s my top ten, and it took a lot more deliberating, and sometimes I look at the list and think “oh, maybe I could move that one up”, but I think the list itself will stay the same now. What a great year for video games, but unfortunately an awful one for the industry given the thousands and thousands of layoffs one of the most lucrative industries has decided to push through.



Mitchell Lineham

Writing "The Presence of Eve", repped by Tiger Lily Publishing Co. | Hang around for Otome and Games | Mostly active here, Instagram, Letterboxd and Goodreads