The highest-rated game of 2023 on Metacritic isn’t actually Tears of the Kingdom, although it is up there.
While Metacritic hasn’t released an official list of the best games of 2023, it’s not too hard to see which games fared better than others.
Metacritic is, of course, a popular review score aggregator for both critic and audience scores across movies, TV shows, and video games. While not always an accurate portrayal of a game’s worth (review bombing can be a kick in the teeth), it can be a fascinating look into how the gaming world views a release.
It’s also a good opportunity to bicker amongst ourselves and exclaim “Ya Jokin Shoulda Been Higher” in response to each new entrant.
Without further ado, the ten best games of 2023 according to Metacritic’s own Metascores. We’ve not included user scores in this list — that’s a different list entirely. What is represented here are the reviews that, overall, critics lavished more praise on than any other.
Let’s get into it.
10. Turbo Overkill
Can I get some fucken New Zealand flag reacts in the comments section please? Made by Aotearoa’s own Trigger Happy Interactive, Turbo Overkill is the best kind of assault on the senses. Even former editor Alex Walker mentioned it in his GOTY list just last week! If you’ve not availed yourself of this instant classic just yet, do so immediately. Fantastic stuff.
9. Street Fighter 6
A wildly popular return to form after several uneven years of play in SFV, Street Fighter 6 reinvigorated the series. It’s a smoother, more fluid, more dynamic fighter than its predecessor, better for casual play and high-level pro play alike. If the response is anything to go by, Capcom will want to keep it around for a good long while.
8. Xenoblade Chronicles 3
The third entry in the popular Switch JPRG series, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was seemingly liked by the critics as much as fans. Part of the larger Xeno universe, these RPGs have become beloved by players and I’ve seen quite a bit of disappointment that XBC 3 hasn’t found its way into more GOTY lists this year.
7. Super Mario Bros. Wonder
No surprises here, tbh. It rocks. Play it.
6. Resident Evil 4 Remake
Resident Evil 4 is a special game, beloved by an awful lot of people. It seems Capcom satisfied those long-time RE4 enjoyers with its modern era remake. Leaning even further into shooter mechanics than the original, it is an exceptionally grimy reimagining of a game that changed the series’ identity.
5. Against the Storm
Against the Storm is described as Banished meets Slay the Spire. It’s a dark fantasy themed roguelite city builder that tasks players with building and growing a bustling township in a world that very much wants you gone. It’s great, addictive gear and the critics bloody love it.
4. Asgard’s Wrath 2
A very late entry on the list, Asgard’s Wrath 2 is already regarded as one of the best VR games ever made. If you’ve been waiting for a clear and present killer at for the Meta Quest range of headsets, this is it. The reviews are out of this world.
3. Metroid Prime Remastered
One of the greatest entries in an already storied series, Metroid Prime Remastered makes Retro’s beloved first-person adventure title playable on the Switch. What’s more, it recaptures everything that made the original so special while filing down the rough edges of time. A joy to play from start to finish and an important part of Nintendo’s classic library.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
I think the only real surprise here is that Tears of the Kingdom came in at #2 on the list. A towering achievement on every level, the result of giving developers years to understand a series to its core and the giving them even more time and latitude to build something special and refined with it. It’s difficult to think of ways Nintendo can improve on a game that seems to have it all — a wide open world that is vital and interesting, everywhere you look. A crafting system so skillfully made that people will teach design courses about it. It’s a sequel that outdoes its predecessor in every way, which is insane, because its predecessor was Breath of the goddamned Wild.
1. Baldur’s Gate 3
Unsurprisingly, Baldur’s Gate 3 tops the list of best games on Metacritic for 2023. A firehose of positive reviews applaud this massive RPG’s ambitions and its great developmental feats. It will sweep GOTY lists everywhere this year. It is the best RPG we’ve seen in years, and is surrounded on all sides by other fantastic RPGs. A testament to Larian’s commitment to bringing D&D back in to the world of CRPGs.
There you have it folks. The top ten games of 2023, as decided by Metacritic. Were there any surprises for you? For me, it was seeing Alan Wake 2 and Spider-Man 2 much farther down the list than I expected. Also surprising: that the Quake 2 remaster came in higher than either of them. Incredible games like Pizza Tower and Dave the Diver failed to crack the top 10, as did Cocoon and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
Do you agree with this list? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments.
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