Unfortunately, 2023 wasn’t the best year for PlayStation exclusives. The only title from Sony’s stable to make it on our Game of the Year 2023 list is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. However, there were plenty of third-party masterpieces to make up for it. Check out our favorite games of the year below!
PlayStation LifeStyle Game of the Year 2023 List:
10. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Cyberpunk 2077’s had a long road to redemption. When Son kicked the game off the PlayStation Store because of technical issues, we never thought its DLC would end up on our Game of the Year list two years later. Phantom Liberty has enough content to be a game in its own right and offers an alternate take on how V’s journey could have ended up. Unfortunately, the DLC and the 2.0 update that launched alongside it are only available on PS5. However, if you have the PS4 version, you can still upgrade for free!
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9. Final Fantasy 16
It seems inevitable that Final Fantasy 16 will be one of the more divisive entries in the series. It primarily concentrates on one character, Clive Rosfield, as opposed to a huge party, and the story is focused on his perspective. For some fans, that eschews franchise tradition, but we appreciated the narrowed focus compared to Final Fantasy 15, which was a bit all over the place. Clive’s story stands out as one of the more poignant we’ve seen in a Final Fantasy, and it’s a spectacle to behold.
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8. Assassin’s Creed Mirage
This pseudo-prequel to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes the series back to its roots and pays homage to the original. Unlike the sprawling epics we’ve gotten in the last few entries, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is localized to 9th-century Baghdad and ditches many of the role-playing elements to emphasize stealth, assassinations, and parkour. We couldn’t help but be relieved to play a distilled experience, and Basim Ibn Ishaq’s origin story reminded us why we fell in love with the franchise in the first place.
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7. Hogwarts Legacy
Despite the controversy surrounding the Harry Potter franchise, Hogwarts Legacy managed to captivate us with its rendition of the titular wizarding school and the surrounding countryside. For those of us who grew up alongside Harry, the chance to attend Hogwarts was a dream come true. Exploring its nooks and crannies, attending classes, and seeing the many easter eggs the developers included was a treat. Where Hogwarts Legacy goes above and beyond, though, is that the gameplay is fun enough to stand on its own merits. Even if this is your first visit to Hogwarts, you can still have a blast and leave wanting more.
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6. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order itched the scratch Star Wars fans had for years when it was released in 2019, and we couldn’t wait to get back to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. It’s everything the first game was, but bigger and better. Cal gets more abilities and equipment, environments are more expensive, and we even get to chill in a cantina whenever we want. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor provides the excitement that most of Disney’s projects have lacked and has done much more to keep the franchise alive than it gets credit for.
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5. Street Fighter 6
Street Fighter 6 is our favorite fighting game of the year because of its respect for newcomers and veterans. It’s an excellent point to enter the series, thanks to its revamped mechanics and multiple control options. However, it still retains enough of the franchise’s traditions to keep from alienating those who cut their teeth on SF 2-5. We also loved the absolutely bonkers story mode that channeled Yakuza to make one of the best create-a-fighter experiences ever. If you have even a little interest in the fighting genre, it’s worth checking this game out.
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4. Resident Evil 4 remake
Resident Evil 4 revolutionized the series when it debuted in 2005 and is lauded as one of the best games ever. Its influence on gaming as a whole is so strong that many doubted that a remake could do it justice. However, Capcom managed to pull off a fantastic retelling that complements the original perfectly. Almost every aspect of the original has been remade or expanded, and the updated gameplay makes blasting through Ganados a thrill. Resident Evil 4 remake is another excellent entry in the alternate continuity started with RE2 remake, and we’re excited to see which game gets reimagined next (fingers crossed for Code Veronica)!
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3. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Marvel’s Spider-Man and its Miles Morales-centric follow-up were hard acts to follow. Somehow, Insomniac Games managed to outdo themselves and then some with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Peter Parker and Miles join forces to take on a multitude of threats while navigating their personal lives. From Kraven the Hunter’s militaristic menace to the symbiote Venom sapping Peter of both his good nature and healthy relationships, this gutsy sequel took an already solid foundation and gave both heroes an expanded inventory of unlockable abilities, gadgets, and suits with which fans could explore and defend New York City. While this movie could have resulted in a tired storyline or rote gameplay loop, instead it strengthened an already excellent series with thoughtful writing, inclusive characters, and comic book-powered combat to satisfy all players. The biggest problem with this tandem adventure is that it eventually has to end.
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2. Baldur’s Gate 3
Player agency has been a hot topic in the gaming industry for decades. Some studios like to keep players focused on the task at hand, while others open their worlds up for a bit more interaction. However, with Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian Studios went beyond this. It removed practically all limitations to how a player could affect their surroundings. See a locked door? You can talk the key out of an NPC, blow it down, find a hidden route to completely bypass it, or simply ignore it. The challenge in this CRPG is to find your way, and there are so many possibilities and so much raw content that everyone’s playthrough will be different.
1. Alan Wake 2
It took 13 years for Alan Wake 2 to be released, but the wait was worth it. FBI agent Saga Anderson joins Alan’s struggle to escape the Dark Place, and we’re once again thrust into the madness surrounding the town of Bright Falls. The plot is a roller coaster examining family, religion, and the supernatural, and it had us hooked from beginning to end. Excellent pacing keeps the lengthy story from becoming a slog, and the ability to alternate between Saga and Alan’s story means each player will have a slightly different experience during their playthrough. While it’s rooted in survival horror, we recommend this game to anyone who wants a strong single-player experience.