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5 Best Games of 2023 (So Far)

Which games have stood tallest in the first half of 2023?

Jeremy Proome

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2023 is already turning out to be a stellar year for gaming, with the first two quarters delivering some sublime experience (of course, mixed with some underwhelming releases). However, it’s time to celebrate the good rather than lament the bad, so here are our picks for the best games of 2023 (so far):

Final Fantasy 16

Final Fantasy 16 is a new foot firmly planted into an action-orientated genre, something that the franchise had been teetering towards for quite some time. It may be jarring for some longtime fans, but looking at it as a standalone action game, it’s a fantastic entry that leans on the franchise’s visual cornerstones while delivering a slick and confident gameplay experience that’s well worth diving into.

Hi-Fi Rush

Hi-Fi Rush is not only one of the best games of 2023, but it was also a massive surprise, which makes the experience even better. While Hi-Fi Rush comes from the same team that brought us the horror of The Evil Within, the game is the complete opposite experience, delivering a super-colourful, rhythm-based hack-‘n-slash action game that has a punchy soundtrack, stellar visuals, and an interesting gameplay loop.

Dead Island 2

As a zombie survival experience, Dead Island 2 ticks all the boxes. It may be a more campy take than something like The Walking Dead, but it works in its favour. There’s some really enjoyable and meticulously detailed level design, where finding and scavenging for things feels intuitive and interesting; while the combat is satisfyingly bloody and indulgent thanks to the gorier moments. Well worth a play if you have any inkling or interest in zombies, hitting things, and rounding up some virtual survivors.

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Resident Evil 4

If you played the original, you’ll love shooting and surviving your way through this vastly improved nightmarish rescue mission of Leon Kennedy that makes up RE 4′s plot. And if you haven’t ever played Resident Evil 4, you’re in for a treat, given that this is one of the best survival horror experiences around, which has now been given a healthy dose of ninth-generation gaming magic.

Dead Space Remake

Everything that made the original Dead Space isn’t lost with the game’s rebuild. The atmosphere, tension, and relentlessly enjoyable limb-chopping combat are all turned up to 11 thanks to the new visuals, improved controls, and modern enhancements. This is a remake done right, perching Dead Space right next to that of the Resident Evil 2 remake as a nostalgic homecoming worthy of your attention.

What are your favourite games of 2023 so far? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA, posting on our Facebook page, or commenting below.

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