[Top 10] Biggest AAA Games of 2023

Biggest AAA Games Released In 2023
This article takes a look back at just some of the biggest releases of 2023 so far!

As we slowly grow closer and closer to the end of the year, it’s only natural for us to look back across these many months at all of the accomplishments we have achieved, all of the good memories we’ve made, and every other moment of pride that we can look back on. It’s only natural, of course, that when looking back over the year we start to think about the biggest video game releases from this year!

With so many big-name games coming out over the past ten months, and with even more coming up later in the year, it can be a bit hard to narrow down all of the biggest hits in just one post. But I’ve done my best to gather a list of just ten of the best AAA games to be released in 2023, and I think you’re gonna like what we’ve got to show off. So without further ado, let’s get into this list regarding ten of the biggest AAA releases of 2023(so far)!


#10: Dead Island 2 (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S)

Dead Island 2 Official Reveal Trailer

Opening up our list is Dead Island 2, the long-awaited sequel to its 2011 predecessor that finally shambled into the light of day in April 2023. Set around 14 years after the events of the original game, the city of Los Angeles has fallen to another mysterious zombie outbreak and has been quarantined off by the U.S. military to prevent the infection from spreading any further. Trapped inside the quarantine zone, six survivors who discover they are immune to the disease, dubbed “Slayers”, work together with other survivors to try and escape the city by any means necessary. Whether you decide to go it alone or team up with friends in co-op, Los Angeles is going to throw the deadliest of its undead forces at you, and it’s up to you and your zombie-slaying skills to get out of the city in relatively one piece.

Much like the original game, Dead Island 2 starts with the player choosing from one of six selectable characters, each with their own background and personality for flavor, and more importantly each with their own unique skills and abilities, along with the additional choice of either being proficient in dodging or blocking enemy attacks. Once let loose in Los Angeles, players will have to scavenge for ranged and melee weapons alike to combat the undead hordes, which both can come in several rarity variations and both can be upgraded with new mods, elemental effects, and perks that can all alter the player’s stats in some way. The game’s map consists of 10 different zones to explore, each filled with iconic gore-splattered locations from Los Angeles, unique enemies to face off against, and new weapons to battle them with.

Dead Island 2 also features the “FLESH” system, short for “Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids”, a procedurally generated dismemberment system that allows for realistic, weapon-appropriate wounds to be inflicted on zombies, allowing players to break the skin, shatter bones, rupture organs, and eviscerate the zombies in their path in any other way they see fit with brutality akin to Valve’s Left 4 Dead. Unlike Left 4 Dead though, Dead Island 2 is more of a role-playing game than strictly a first-person shooter, and unlike the previous Dead Island, Dead Island 2 doesn’t utilize a typical Skill Tree but instead possesses a deck-building system that allows players to choose from a variety of Skill Cards which are gained through level ups, quests, or finding them in specific locations, and are interchangeable with each other to allow the player to customize their character’s bonus perks, abilities and stat boosts however they want. 

Dead Island 2 might be one of the bigger “sleeper hits” on this list, specifically due to its many years spent in development hell that ultimately led to a more subtle release than other games later on in this list, but that’s not to say it’s not worth being talked about here, especially Dead Island not only sold over 1 million copies just 3 days after it launched but went on to sell over 2 million total copies just a month later in May. I myself have been a fan of the Dead Island games for years, and I personally think that Dead Island 2 was well worth the long wait. So if you consider yourself to be a fan of zombies, and specifically cutting down zombies in gruesome and grisly fashion, then Dead Island 2 is a game well worth checking out.

Meet larger-than-life characters, slay countless foes, and become the ultimate Zombie Slayer as you fight to escape the gore-splattered streets of Los Angeles.


#9: Street Fighter 6 (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox Series X/S/Arcade)

Street Fighter 6 - Announce Trailer

Capcom’s award-winning series returns with its newest challenger, Street Fighter 6. Among the many major fighting game releases that have come out over this past year, the Street Fighter series also makes its grand return with the sixth mainline entry in the series, retaining all the features fans loved about the old games and tying it together with plenty of new content to play with. From familiar faces to new game modes to explore, Street Fighter 6 has plenty for fans old and new to discover.

The launch roster of Street Fighter 6 features 18 characters for players to choose from, with more coming in future DLCs, featuring faces both old and new, from classic characters like Ryu and Chun Li to new fighters like Jamie and Kimberly, each of which are incredibly dangerous combatants in their own unique ways. A notable addition to combat in this game is the new “Drive Gage”, a six-bar stamina meter that gives each fighter new special attacks while limiting dodging, an addition that encourages fighters to be more creative and complex in a match, giving players the opportunity for more in-depth and high-level fights if utilized correctly. Players will be able to use this sizable roster of colorful weirdos across three main mode types, titled “Fighting Ground”, “World Tour”, and “Battle Hub”.

The Fighting Ground mode is essentially the “normal” mode of any fighting game, where players can fight either locally against bots or friends or online against other players using the game’s fighter roster, along with additional training and arcade challenge modes, all of which is highly similar to what generally every player would come to expect out of a Street Fighter game. The World Tour mode is a single-player story mode that allows the player to create their own custom fighter, ranging from complete control over what their character looks like to how they should fight and sets them loose in multiple 3D open-world environments, where players can pick fights with virtually any NPC they encounter on the streets of this open world. The Battle Hub mode is an online lobby specifically for competing in casual or ranked online battles using your World Tour custom character, where you use the skills learned in World Tour to battle others online, compete in special events, or play emulated Capcom arcade games, among other features.

Street Fighter launched to critical acclaim from nearly all sides, gaining praise for an “online component (that) actually works, and works well, right out of the gate” according to The Guardian, its vast character creator mode with “a ridiculous number of body, eye, hair, nose, and voice options for creating a goofy, imaginative, or realistic martial artist” according to PCMag, and the Drive Gage system that sets “up a compelling risk/reward dynamic that tinges on every interaction” according to Game Informer, as well as praise to the game’s high-level accessibility features that make playing the game far easier for players with physical or visual disabilities. Similar to Dead Island 2, within five days after launch Street Fighter 6 had already sold over 1 million copies, then reaching the 2 million copies sold mark just a month later in July.

I’ll be bluntly honest here in that I… am quite terrible at fighting games just all around, for as much love and effort as I try to give them I can’t really keep up with those who know what they’re doing, so I will say that Street Fighter isn’t my favorite series in the world. That being said, for those who aren’t garbage at Street Fighter and are big fans of the series, or just fighting games in general, Street Fighter 6 will give you the keys to the kingdom in terms of content to experience and explore. The only downside I should warn you about is that if you’re a fan of character palette swaps and other small customization bits, the game’s monetization is generally high-priced for what’s currently a $59.99 game. But if that downside isn’t glaring enough to be an overall deal breaker for you, then you’ll still have plenty of fun with the content you don’t have to pay extra for in Street Fighter 6.

The award-winning Street Fighter series returns with new characters, new ways to play, and new highly evolved combat mechanics for players to enjoy and master in Capcom’s newest challenger, Street Fighter 6!


#8: Atomic Heart (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S)

Atomic Heart - Launch Trailer

Atomic Heart takes place in an alternate history 1955, where scientist Dmitry Sechenov developed a liquidized programmable module called the Polymer in 1936 that sparked incredible technological breakthroughs in the fields of energy and robotics in the USSR and later turned the Soviet Union into an idealistic utopia where humans live in harmony with robots of all shapes and sizes who do most of the manual labor for them nowadays. But just days before the release of the new Kollektiv 2.0 program that would further improve the connection linking robots together and usher in a “true post-labor era” for the world, something mysteriously goes awry in the Facility 3826, the main setting of the game, that not only causes the robots to go into a murderous rampage, but also causes mutants created by secret experiments to be unleashed, and worst of all, threatens to cause a national embarrassment. This is where you come in.

Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter with action-adventure and RPG elements, where you play as Major Sergey Nechaev, codenamed Agent P-3, a WWII veteran with memory problems who was friends with Dr. Sechenov after Sechenov saved his life in the past, which is why Sergey was even present for the Facility 3826 incident to begin with. Across the Facility, players will encounter a wide variety of enemies ranging from mechanical, biomechanical, biological, and even airborne enemies, and players will have to fight these varying threats using either ranged or melee improvised weapons which can be discovered around the world and then upgraded either using household appliances and other items found around the world, or with pieces of the robots you’ve fought and defeated which can be ripped off their metal remains and refurbished for your equipment. Along with conventional weapons, Sergey is also equipped with a Polymer AI glove called CHAR-les, nicknamed Charles, which gives Sergey special abilities like telekinesis, freezing, and electrical among other abilities that can be used to fight off foes.

The game has been attributed to other first-person shooter games with story-driven narratives, particularly Bioshock, Fallout, and the Metro series, and though it has received criticism for certain elements being tedious at times, such as when doing fetch quests, in turn, the game has been praised for its ambitious and highly imaginative world, with all-around impressive visuals and fun combat elements. The revenue of development studio Mundfish rose to an all-time high when the game performed better than expected, and according to said devs the game had reached over 5 million individual players just 3 weeks after launch, and though a likely substantiation chunk of those players were Xbox Game Pass users, that’s still a more than fair number for an entirely new IP.

Atomic Heart is one of the stranger AAA games to come out this year, in some ways both good and bad. But overall the good outshines the bad, as a few tedious fetch quests can easily be overshadowed by its unique world setting, imaginative story, and gruesomely fun combat elements among other enjoyable gameplay features. If you’re looking for something with a Bioshock vibe but with an entirely new twist to it, in all the right ways, then Atomic Heart is surely worth your attention.

After the Utopian-like union between man and machine inside the Soviet Union is suddenly broken when previously servile robots begin killing every living organism in sight, it's up to you and your AI companion to survive long enough to figure out who’s responsible for this chaos.


#7: Hogwarts Legacy (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S/Nintendo Switch)

Hogwarts Legacy - Official Launch Trailer 4K

Set in the late 1800s long before the events of the books, Hogwarts Legacy gives players the means and the ability to run free across the wizarding world of Harry Potter but through an entirely new lens. In Hogwarts Legacy, you play as a new student who uncommonly must begin their studies as a fifth-year student(because we aren’t quite ready for open-world games with life-and-death combat staring a child character just yet), because they possess the power to control an ancient kind of magic and holds the key to an “ancient secret” that threatens the stability of the entire wizarding world. Thus, you are sent to Hogwarts not just to learn magic in the traditional sense, but also to solve the mystery behind this resurgence of a long-forgotten magic, and to reveal those who wish to harness its power for themselves.

Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action RPG set in and around the legendary Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, giving fans of the Harry Potter series the means to really absorb the nostalgia while exploring the school while still giving them plenty of new additions to enjoy as well. In Hogwarts Legacy, you begin the game by creating your student who you can customize to look however you like, along with being able to join whichever of the school’s four Hogwarts Houses you prefer. From there, players will participate in classes across the school that will teach them how to cast spells, brew potions, and master combat abilities to develop their fighting style which will inevitably come in handy, along with plenty of other activities to perform. As this is an RPG, naturally the player will need to complete certain challenges in order to earn Experience Points used to level up and grow stronger in certain attributes. Challenges come in the forms of combat, completing quests, exploring the world, and all the other goodies you can expect from the genre.

Players are free to explore the open world and come across memorable locations from the books and films, such as Hogsmeade Village, the Forbidden Forest, or the Room of Requirement, with each new area featuring different activities to do, secrets to find, or even enemies to encounter. Players are also able to tame, care for, and eventually ride certain magical beasts in the world such as Hippogriffs and Thestrals, which can be used to help you travel the open world along with certain unlockable or discoverable spells. Most importantly, during your adventures, you’ll be able to interact and even befriend certain NPCs that can eventually join you on your exploits around the school, who even have special character quests to be unlocked if your friendship with them grows high enough.

Though the game did receive some slight controversy prior to launch due to some comments made by Harry Potter’s creator J. K. Rowling, in the end, it mattered very little as the game launched to positive reviews and critical sales numbers. The game received high praise for its immersive and faithful recreation of Hogwarts Castle, the interesting characters to be met, and the way the game gives players incentive to actually explore the atmospheric world either for unlockables or just for fun, with some criticisms in turn given to its “standard” open-world exploration elements players might expect out of open-world games and occasional technical glitches such as the game pausing for a few seconds when using certain doors. Just 13 days after the game’s February 10th release, Hogwarts Legacy had already sold over 12 million copies and generated $850 million in revenue, then reached over 15 million copies sold and over $1 billion by May 5th. On Steam the game peaked at over 489,000 concurrent players at one point, the second-highest ever player count peak for any single-player game on Steam behind only Cyberpunk 2077’s 1 million concurrent players.

In short, Hogwarts Legacy gives virtually every Harry Potter fan their metaphorical cake and helps them eat it too with all of the immersive details and gameplay elements for players to discover and enjoy across the game. Like most, I’ve both read the Harry Potter books and seen the films dozens of times over the years, so seeing the success that Hogwarts Legacy has earned through its delightfully well-made and utterly fanservice-y gameplay makes me happy, and maybe even a bit nostalgic. If you were a nerdy kid like I was and have enjoyed the Wizarding World in the past, then Hogwarts Legacy absolutely adds to that world’s legacy in all the right kinds of ways.

Master spells, brew potions, and combat malicious forces looking to exploit your unknown connection to an ancient magic, and ultimately become the witch or wizard that you want to be.


#6: Dead Space (PC/PS5/Xbox Series X/S)

Dead Space Official Launch Trailer | Humanity Ends Here

From a distant magical past to a hopelessly dark far future, at #6 we take a look at the remake of the 2008 survival-horror hit of the same name, Dead Space. This 2023 remake follows the same overall story as the original game but does so with a range of new additions and changes, the most notable of which is that Isaac Clarke is no longer a silent protagonist and actually has a speaking role beyond grunts and screams, the new “peeling” system that allows players to dismember and destroy the bodies of the enemy Necromorhps with more accuracy and, of course, more gore, and a revamped zero gravity system that gives Isaac thrusters for better control in the game’s zero gravity sections. Although the Ishimura has a new blood-soaked coat of paint, the terror that you’ll endure within its halls remains all too familiar.

The main story beats of the remake remain the same as the original. Set in the 26th century, starship systems engineer and protagonist Isaac Clarke joins the crew of the USG Kellion repair shuttle on their mission to make contact with the USG Ishimura, a massive starship designed for a new resource mining method called planetcracking during a time when Earth was threatened by dwindling resources, which has mysteriously gone dark after sending out a distress signal during its planetcracking mining operation of the planet Aegis VII. But once Isaac and the rest of the Killion’s crew arrive onboard the Ishimura, they quickly discover that the Ishimura’s crew has been plagued and mutated by an unknown alien contagion that has transformed the crew members into grotesque humanoid monsters, which attack Isaac and his friends and force them to split up. The only reason Isaac agreed to this mission was because his girlfriend Nicole was the senior medical officer on the Ishimura when it went down, so not only does Isaac need to fight tooth and nail to keep himself alive and the Ishimura up in orbit, but he’s also on a mission to find and save Nicole, all while struggling with his growing mental instability…

Dead Space pits players against a series of terrifying zombie-like monsters in a unique sci-fi setting, where players will utilize a wide range of engineering tools turned weapons to fight off the alien Necromorphs which seek to rip Isaac apart and add him to their ranks. What originally started as a routine repair mission is turned into a nightmare, and everyman engineer Isaac Clarke is forcibly turned into a savior as he fights to repair the deteriorating ship he and his friends are trapped upon, cutting down the former crew members and whatever other monstrosities that are put in his way in order to survive against all odds. Dead Space 2023 brings back the genre-defining strategic gameplay that made the original game a classic and adds to it with a brand new engine built from the ground up, brand new graphics, immersive and atmospheric audio that does justice to the original game, and many more features both old and new that brings the Dead Space series back into the spotlight in grand, gruesome fashion.

This modern retelling of the Dead Space story launched on January 27th this year and still managed to become the second-best-selling game of the month, falling behind only Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. I’ve been a fan of Dead Space for years now, so much so that I’ve played through Dead Space 2008 at least half a dozen times over the years, so seeing a series that I do greatly love return and succeed as well as it has made me quite happy back during the beginning months of the year. Take it from a diehard fan like myself, if you’re a fan of survival horror done right, then you should certainly check out Dead Space as soon as you can. I promise that it won’t leave you disappointed.

Isaac Clarke goes from an ordinary starship engineer to a survivalist fighting for his life against zombie-like alien monstrosities. Will he be able to survive the nightmare on the Ishimura, or will he lose his mind and make us whole again?


#5: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S)

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - Official Reveal Trailer

The story of Cal Kestis continues in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Set five years after the events of the previous game, Jedi: Fallen Order, Jedi Knight Cal Kestis continues to bring the fight to the Galactic Empire as a resistance fighter working under Saw Gerrera, though grows disheartened as the Empire continues to grow in strength as its influence spreads further and further across the galaxy. As the galaxy descends further into darkness, Cal is pushed to the edges of the galaxy to try and escape from the clutches of the Empire where he will have to face off against familiar threats and new ones as well, traveling across a new slew of alien worlds. As one of the last Jedi Knights left, how far is Cal willing to go to protect himself, his friends, and the legacy of the Jedi Order?

Jedi: Survivor carries over much of the prior game, generally all around being quite similar to Fallen Order which is to be expected out of any sequel, but still brings in plenty of new additions like new Lightsaber stances, including a fully fleshed dual wield Lightsaber mode, a Kylo Ren-style crossguard mode that requires paying attention to more precise timing windows to be effective, and a blaster-Lightsaber combo stance as well, all of which along with the original two stances are designed to be interchangeable and specifically effective against certain enemies. A new Force ability is also available for Cal to learn, where he can freeze enemies and blaster bolts in place similar to Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. Lastly, there are plenty of new character customization features that not only let players edit Cal’s entire outfit but also change his hairstyle and facial hair, along with some additional Lightsaber cosmetic customization options.

Jedi: Survivor also features worlds with much bigger maps filled with even more NPCs and secrets to discover within, each possessing unique biomes to explore, challenges to overcome, and enemies big and small to face. Each world features its own native species of creatures, ranging from creatures that are just background flare, creatures that act as mini-boss fights in certain locations, and even creatures that can be ridden to help traverse these new larger maps. And when you’re not exploring the world or solving puzzles inside ancient Jedi Meditation Chambers to unlock new perks and skill points, chances are you’ll be coming face to face with the Imperial forces that have set up facilities on these worlds, either to harvest its resources or specifically to locate and hunt you down, leading Cal to unravel important story elements across multiple worlds as he encounters both familiar friends and foes alike, along with some new allies, and perhaps even deadlier enemies on top of it.

Jedi: Survivor received generally favorable reviews upon release, such as The Verge praising the game’s balancing of its action-platforming and exploration gameplay elements and its story elements, stating that "it manages to balance all of these different elements so that it never feels like you're stuck doing just one thing" while criticizing its somewhat by-the-numbers and “bland” main story elements. Though the exact sale numbers so far are currently unknown, the game did become the most downloaded game for both the US and European PlayStation digital stores.

In short, if you’re a fan of Star Wars, and specifically a fan of Jedi: Fallen Order, then Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will have everything that you’re looking for in an open-world Star Wars game with few exceptions. If you’ve been thinking about getting the game for yourself if you haven’t already, be sure to do a bit of research as the PC version of the game has been reported for having some notable bugs and polishing issues, so a console port might be the better way to go until everything gets cleared up on the PC. But other than that, Jedi: Survivor will still provide you with what’s ultimately an all-around fun experience in the Star Wars universe.

Continue the story of Jedi Knight and Order 66 survivor Cal Kestis, who struggles to continue his fight against the Galactic Empire as their strength continues to rise throughout the galaxy.


#4: Resident Evil 4 (PC/Mac/PS4/PS5/Xbox Series X/S)

Resident Evil 4 Remake - Reveal Trailer 

The latest release in Capcom’s string of remastering their iconic Resident Evil series brings us to a remake of their 2005 release, Resident Evil 4. Set six years after the disastrous zombie outbreak in Racoon City, Agent Leon S. Kenedy, a survivor of the incident, has been sent to rescue Ashley Graham, the daughter of the U. S. President, who has been kidnapped. Leon tracks Ashley to a remote village somewhere in Spain, where he soon discovers that the local villagers have been infected by a mind-controlling parasite courtesy of the mysterious cult responsible for the kidnapping. So now not only will Leon have to keep himself alive in this strange hostile environment, but he’ll also need to rescue Ashley and keep her alive along with himself as he fights off swarms of mind-controlled villagers, insane cult members, and unimaginable monstrosities is his efforts to get himself and Ashley out of this nightmare.

Similar to the Dead Space remake, the Resident Evil 4 remake retells the same overall story as the original game while using newer design aspects from prior RE remakes and further updated features and elements to help “modernize” the game. Major changes include the ability to move while shooting and reloading to give Leon better mobility for dodging, along with a new parrying mechanic to block incoming attacks with his knife, along with counter-attacking and killing downed enemies as well, with the main balance being that your knife will break and have to be replaced at the Merchant’s shop, though you can possess multiple knives with varying attributes.

The game also features an additional crafting system along with the standard inventory management system, allowing players to craft items and ammunition using items found around the world. Items that can be interacted with or destroyed around the world have been highlighted to make general exploration easier for some, while bigger changes include a litany of new puzzles to solve, altered locations to explore, and changed-up interactions with certain characters that both make this remake new and distinct enough, but also helps it to stick to its roots and remain faithful to the original. And of course, with updated modern vividly detailed graphics to make the game more realistically beautiful just as well as brutal, to make certain areas more tense and unnerving to traverse, and all the more immersive so players can really get sucked into the nightmare that is Resident Evil 4.

Resident Evil 4’s remake, much like the other Resident Evil remakes, launched to critical acclaim from critics and fans alike. Critics praised the game’s updated and realistic graphics, its updated controls, and its story which brings plenty of enjoyable newness while still retaining plenty of what made the original game a survival-horror classic. The game sold just as well as its critical praise, with over 3 million copies having been sold within the first 2 days of its March 24th release, then reaching 4 million copies sold by the first 2 weeks, making it one of the fastest-selling Resident Evil games to date.

Not sure how widely known this fun fact is, but the original 2008 Dead Space did directly draw inspiration from the 2005 Resident Evil 4, so seeing both these games brought back in newer, flashier ways all the way here in 2023 is certainly a nostalgia trip for me. With all the Resident Evil remakes that are out by this point, it might be hard to decide where to start if you haven’t checked out the games already. But if you're thinking about giving the 2023 retelling of Resident Evil 4 a look, then you’ll only find yourself left wanting more out of both this game and the series overall, that much I can assure you.

Racoon City incident survivor and now U.S. Agent Leon S. Kennedy is tasked with saving the kidnapped daughter of the President, a quest which will lead both himself and Ashley to square off against horrors like they’ve never seen before.


#3: Baldur’s Gate 3 (PC/Mac/PS5/Xbox Series X/S)

Baldur's Gate 3 Official Launch Trailer

Entering our top 3 on this list, it’s only fair that we give this spot up to none other than Baldur’s Gate 3. Set in the world of the Forgotten Realms in the year 1492, over 120 years after the events of the second game in the series, the player character wakes up on a giant dimension-crossing Illithid(or Mind Flayer) flying ship and is implanted with an Illithid tadpole parasite that will ultimately transform the player into a Mind Flayer themselves. Before the full transformation can be completed, however, a group of Githyanki warriors attack the ship, causing the protagonist to be freed and to take control of the ship, steering it to and ultimately crashing it into the continent of Faerûn. Surviving the crash, the player character awakes alongside other former prisoners who are also infected with the Illithid tadpoles. This moment marks the beginning of the player’s ultimate quest, now joined alongside their party of fellow tadpole-infected survivors, to set out into the world in search of a cure before succumbing to the Mind Flayer sickness now plaguing them.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a role-playing game based on the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, where players will be able to create their own character, create a party with other characters, and complete quests across a world filled with magic, danger, and people just trying to get by. When beginning a new game, players have the choice of either selecting one of six pre-made “origin characters” or creating their own fully unique character using one of the eleven standard D&D races and their subraces, whose appearances can be entirely customized to their liking, along with choosing one of the twelve character classes and their character’s stat points, and even a background that serves as additional background flavor for your character. Once your character is set, the six pre-made characters can then be recruited to your party to join you on your adventures, where you can either befriend them, make them hate you enough to leave your party or perhaps love you enough for things to get physical.

Baldur’s Gate 3’s story takes place across three story arcs, each set in three unique areas of the world that allow players to explore that area freely in open-world rules, allowing them to complete quests in any manner they see fit. The quest system in Baldur’s Gate 3 is unique to most other RPGs, as unlike most other RPGs, Baldur’s Gate 3 allows you to mercilessly kill almost every NPC you meet in the game in any order you want, regardless of their importance to the storyline, while still having the game allow you to continue forwards in the plot despite their death, as just one example of the flexibility Baldur’s Gate 3 allows with its quests. And of course, along these many quests, you will encounter just as many if not more dangerous and deadly foes and creatures of all shapes and sizes, which you and your party will be able to do battle with using turn-based combat which is entirely based on the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset, a new addition to the series.

Baldur’s Gate 3 launched to critical acclaim all around, as high praise was given to the immersive and detailed description of the D&D Faerûn world in-game, as well as praise to the game’s combat mechanics and virtually limitless open-world freedom, but especially was praise given to the game’s writing, and more specifically to your character’s companions, with praise directed towards their memorability and their highly expressive facial animations. Though the numbers aren’t known for after its full release, during its Steam Early Access release period Baldur’s Gate 3 had sold 2.5 million copies before the full game was even out! According to Fraser Brown of PC Gamer, Baldur’s Gate 3 is “the new pinnacle of the [CRPG] genre”, and it seems that many are already sharing that sentiment.

I’ve not played D&D for years and years like some people have, but I have played a decent chunk of it during 2023 so far, and on top of that I have played many different RPG titles over the years. Though I haven’t gotten my hands on Baldur’s Gate 3 yet, because I’ve already got enough of a backlog as it is, I definitely do plan on giving it a go eventually as just by looking at the game I can tell it’s a majorly worthwhile experience, from the combat to the character writing, to everything else in between. For fans of the CRPG genre, tabletop RPGs, or just fans of uniquely entertaining games in general, Baldur’s Gate 3 deserves some of your attention and then some.

Create your character and party up with a cast of unique and charming companions as you venture across the Forgotten Realms in search of a cure for the Mind Flayer curse that’s been inflicted on you all.


#2: Starfield (PC/Xbox Series X/S)

Starfield Official Gameplay Trailer

Coming up at #2 is another long-awaited RPG that fans have been looking forward to for years, that being none other than Starfield, the first new IP to come out of Bethesda Softworks in 25 years. Set over 300 years into the future and taking place across an area of approximately 50 light-years around our solar system, you enter the role of a space miner working for the company Argos Extractors on a mission to locate an artifact possessing strange gravitational effects, an artifact which when found causes the player to experience a vision that propels them across time and space. After waking from this vision the player sets off to the city of New Atlantis, the capital city of the United Colonies, to deliver the artifact to the client. This leads the player to meet a group called Constellation, whom ultimately the player will join in order to hunt down more of these artifacts across the universe, as Constellation believes this to be one of the last great mysteries for humanity to uncover…

Starfield is an RPG set in a “Nasapunk” future where humanity has colonized distant stars, and not just survives but thrives in this new era of space travel and intergalactic commerce. Starfield’s players, like all good RPGs, start the game by creating their character, being able to customize the appearance of their face and attributes about their body, along with choosing from a series of character backgrounds and up to three optional traits. Though your face and body don’t affect gameplay besides from small details like the way your character walks, your character background can come into play for certain events in the game, such as when an NPC needs a Beast Hunter and you have a Beast Hunter character background, unlocking a special dialog option. Along with your character, Starfield also offers players the ability to customize their very own intergalactic spaceship, giving players the ability and even encouraging them to create their very own fully customizable and fully personal spacecraft to be any size and shape they so please.

Across an area within the Milky Way galaxy, there are over one thousand fictionalized and non-fictional planets and moons for players to land their ships on, the majority of these celestial bodies being procedurally generated and filled with random bits of bases to discover and secrets to uncover. On top of that, there’s a range of unique friendly to not-so-friendly faces to be met across the vacuum of space during your travels, who can range from space pirates looking to blast you out of the star-filled sky, or just an old woman wondering if you want to share a meal and maybe a few stories. Across this vast space of… well, space, players will be able to discover and customize all sorts of weapons ranging from setting appropriate to outright strange, level up and unlock new skills and traits, and complete a vast number of quests in any way they choose, whether they choose to do so as a heroic explorer, a villainous raider, or anything else they put their minds to.

Critically the game was praised for its expansive and immersive world and varied missions, with Leon Hurley from GamesRadar+ stating that Starfield is the best game Bethesda has put out since The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and that it offers endless discovery and opportunities for players who love open-world exploration. The game did also receive some mixed criticism, such as while the side-quests and overall ability for roleplaying were praised along with the overall setting, the main storyline was criticized as being generally “soulless” by TechRadar, with certain important characters in the game feeling at times too one-note. The game still saw critical success from players despite its handfuls of ups and downs, as within the first two hours of Starfield being released to early access it had reached a peak of 230,000 concurrent players on Steam, then moving on to become Xbox’s most-played next-gen game ever with 1 million concurrent players. By September 19th, the game had reached over 10 million individual players in total.

Despite its ups and downs, Starfield is still one of the most ambitious games to be released this year and perhaps even in the last ten years, and overall it does live up to the height of being this grand exploration game that Bethesda wanted it to be. It’s quite simple really, if you’re a fan of RPGs, a fan of space exploration in games, or just plainly a fan of Bethesda games, Starfield is going to have everything you want to see and maybe even more. Just don’t get yourself too lost in the stars if you do plan on checking out Starfield, had you not already.

Set out across the expansive world of Starfield however you desire. With over 1,000 planets to explore and your very own custom-built spaceship to reach them with, the sky is quite literally the limit on being whoever you want to be, however you want to be.

Not a bad list so far, eh? There are plenty of heavy hitters from across 2023 on here already, all of whom have seen massive success without the year even having closed out yet. But don’t worry, there’s still one game left for us to look at. And that game is…


#1: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo Switch)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Official Trailer #3

Rounding us out at #1, what kind of list would this be if we didn’t at some point talk about the latest release in one of Nintendo’s biggest series, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom! Set several years after the events of the previous game, Breath of the Wild, we rejoin the titular Princess Zelda and the heroic protagonist Link as they explore a mysterious cavern underneath Hyrule Castle, from where a poisonous substance called gloom has been seeping out and getting people sick. After exploring the strange cavern and discovering a mural depicting the founding of Hyrule Castle and an ancient battle with a being referred to as the “Demon King”, Zelda and Link are attacked by a gloom-wielding mummy, who succeeds in badly wounding Link’s arm and partially destroying the legendary Master Sword which he wields. This awakened mummy somehow causes Hyrule Castle to begin flying up into the sky, causing Zelda to fall into the depths below before disappearing with a mysterious light…

Link awakens later to find that his damaged arm has been replaced by a being named Rauru, the spirit of a Zonai who is behind his new arm, and further discovers that he is atop the Great Sky Island that is flying high above Hyrule, which has been plunged into chaos by the event underneath the castle, now known as the Upheaval, creating dozens of floating sky islands and in turn revealing a missive and unexplored underground cavern that spans across the entirety of Hyrule known as the Depths. Now, Link must use his newfound abilities to set out across the fields of Hyrule once again to bring peace to the land, figure out what happened to Princess Zelda, and ultimately fight back against the new malevolent forces that threaten Hyrule once again.

Tears of the Kingdom’s world is similar to Breath of the Wild but naturally includes a wide array of new faces, features, and abilities to uncover in this new game. A major new addition to Hyrule is the Zonai Devices that range from wheels of varying sizes, giant fans used for propulsion in any direction, and even flamethrowers for combat. Link also has possession of five new abilities, titled Ultrahand, Fuse, Ascend, Recall, and Autobuild. Ultrahand can be used to pick up and move objects however Link pleases, Fuse can be used to combine objects like Zonai Devices to create custom-built vehicles, Recall can be used to “rewind” an item backward, so you can “rewind” an explosive thrown by an enemy back into their face for example, Ascend allows players to move upwards through solid objects such as mountains, and Autobuild allows instant construction of previously stored vehicle designs.

The Fuse ability can also be used with Link’s weapons since just like in Breath of the Wild Link will have to scavenge the world for new weapons that can break over time, but by using Fuse in Tears of the Kingdom, Link can combine weapons and craftable items to make even stronger items, such as a stick with a rock Fused to it becoming a hammer, or combining a sword with an explosive to make a bomb-on-a-stick sort of weapon. New enemies can be found throughout Hyrule to use these weapons upon along with the old, with such examples being the Constructs in the sky islands to the Boss Bokoblin variant who leads their fellow Bokoblins with slightly more coordination than normal. Across the series of Sky Islands and dark, putrid recesses of the Depths, there will be plenty of familiar friendly faces to find as well as old enemies, some of whom can even join you as companions along your quests, providing unique abilities that can help you both in combat and mobility across the world.

As may have been expected, Tears of the Kingdom received critical acclaim when it was released back in May, with several critics praising the open-world addition of the new Sky Islands and Depths, as well as the main storyline which distinguished itself from other Zelda titles according to IGN’s Tom Marks. Along with praise for the bigger open-world sandbox, the game’s new building mechanics were heavily praised for their innovative means of encouraging players to find their own creative and new solutions to any problems they might encounter. The only generally agreed-upon criticisms were the notable performance issues during busy fights, and at times unpredictable loading times. Even still, despite being Nintendo’s first game with a $70 price tag, Tears of the Kingdom still sold over 10 million copies in the first three days of release, making it the fastest-selling Zelda game ever, with the game later having sold over 18 million copies worldwide in June, and over 3 million copies in Japan alone.

It doesn’t really get much better than a Nintendo game, does it? The company has repeatedly raised the bar for itself with its games time and time again over the years, and Tears of the Kingdom is no different in that regard. I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this Zelda game, having forced myself to do as much of a 100% run of Breath of the Wild as I can first before moving on to its sequel, a difficult task in of itself believe me. But for those of you who don’t want to wait, beating BotW first isn’t a diehard necessity if you’re looking to splurge on Tears of the Kingdom. So if you’re dying to immerse yourself in another masterclass Zelda experience and you don’t mind that somewhat hefty price tag, then I can fully recommend that you go out and get yourself a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as soon as you can.

Using new abilities to explore massive new additions to the Kingdom of Hyrule, it falls on Link once again to battle back and ultimately defeat the forces of evil that once more threaten the very existence of the Kingdom of Hyrule.



Considering that 2023 isn’t even over yet, that’s quite the mighty list of big-name game releases already wouldn’t you say? And we didn’t even cover each and everyone either! But even still, all things considered, I think it’s a well-crafted list of well-crafted games, each of which has certainly earned its spot on this list thanks to their entertaining gameplay, immersive worlds, and everything else that they all have to offer.

So what do you think, readers at home? Did you like our list of 2023’s biggest AAA games(so far!)? Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share about it, or about games that you might think should’ve been included instead? Then, by all means, I encourage you to let me know how you feel in the comments! I’d love to hear your opinions now that you’ve gotten to the bottom of today’s list! 

Still, whether or not you choose to share, that’s all the time I’ve got for this list, so I’ll leave you with that and I’ll hopefully be seeing you again in our next post.

With countless hours spent traveling through hundreds of virtual worlds through the years, I have both the experience and the passion to guide you anywhere and everywhere you want to go, dear reader.
Gamer Since: 2009
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: The Witcher Franchise
Top 3 Favorite Games:Team Fortress 2, Dead Space, Payday 2

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