During 2023 there were a lot of excellent contenders to sift through, especially highly anticipated games. However, Baldur’s Gate 3 stood out as the best hands-down for its character choice, customization, and world-building. Unsurprisingly, MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV made the grade for “Most Anticipated” when Square Enix announced the upcoming expansion with Dawntrail. Certainly, it was hard to pass up a game like Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for this list, especially after all the anticipation, but it’s worth an honorable mention here – as an excellent sequel to Breath of the Wild, it warmed many controllers as the pandemic began to fade. Keep playing and reading to find out what the Ogres think the best games of 2023 were and what we can look forward to in 2024.
New Game of the Year: Baldur’s Gate 3
Larian Studios knocked it out of the park in 2023 with Baldur’s Gate 3, the third installment in this fantasy role-playing game based on Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Set in the Forgotten Realms, a fantasy world well known to D&D players, the player quickly finds themselves captured by gruesome mind players and thrust into making decisions if they will accept corruption for power or fight and become a hero to save the world. It embraces the idea that what a player does in the world has a profound effect on the outcome of the game and provides deep customization of characters with a wide variety of people, objects, and environments to interact with. Making it a perfect choice for the Game of the Year.
Runners Up: Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Starfield, Alan Wake 2
Most Anticipated Game for 2024: Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail
Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail is set to make waves this summer as the fifth expansion for the critically acclaimed MMORPG. Players will embark on a journey to Yok Tural, a vibrant and tropical new world teeming with adventure. With the expansion there will also be two new DPS classes, the dual-blade-wielding Viper and the paintbrush-wielding Pictomancer – Square Enix also teased a new limited job called Beastmaster. The cat-like Hrothgar race will receive female versions. Players will be able to reach a higher level cap at 100, up from 90. Producer Naoki Yoshida has promised that Dawntrail will be “a complete evolution” for Final Fantasy XIV, and fans are eagerly awaiting the chance to explore its exotic new landscapes, unleash the power of its innovative new classes, and uncover the secrets that lie hidden within. With its rich content and impressive visual improvements, Dawntrail is shaping up to be an essential expansion for any Final Fantasy XIV player.
Runner’s up: Star Wars Outlaws, Nightingale, Princess Peach: Showtime!
Best Online Shooter of the Year: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III
Activision just can’t stop rebooting its older first-person shooter titles, this sequel to Modern Warfare II, made its debut in 2023 and continues to keep the gunfire rolling. It picks up right after the previous MWII title in the story and brings all sixteen maps from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for multiplayer – players can engage in classic game modes such as Kill Confirmed and Hardpoint, as well as a new Cutthroat, which pits players in a 3v3 mode. There is also a “zombie” game mode that will allow up to 24 players to work in teams on a large open map in teams against hordes of zombies and AI-controlled human enemies to get loot and extract safely.
Best MMORPG of the Year: Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure
ArenaNet’s MMORPG, Guild Wars 2, has soared into a new chapter with the thrilling Secrets of the Obscure expansion. Prepare to reunite with familiar faces and confront emerging threats unlike any Tyria has seen before! Rifts have begun to appear across Tyria and with them arrives a newfound enemy. To fight them, GW2 players have been given the ability to equip weapons from across specializations with the weaponmaster proficiency, which opens up new build opportunities – and all classes will receive new weapons. There are also new maps to explore that have a lot of verticality and focus on griffons and skyscales, the flying mounts of the game. This is just the beginning of Secrets of the Obscure’s epic tale. The expansion will continue to unfold throughout 2024, bringing yet another explorable map, captivating story chapters, and a new coveted legendary armor set.
Runners Up: Palia Online, World of Warcraft, Black Desert Online
Best Online Game of the Year: Diablo 4
Blizzard Entertainment is known for great games, especially the Diablo series, an action role-playing game known for its brutal gameplay featuring an open world, diverse environments, demons, and monsters. Diablo 4 did not disappoint with five classes including Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, Rogue, and Necromancer, all equally capable of smashing demons with the best of them. Lilith, the Daughter of Hated, has returned to the world of Sanctuary, and with her hordes of demons have descended giving players no end of monsters to render into gold and loot. To ensure a constant stream of fresh challenges and excitement, Diablo 4 uses regular seasons. Each season boasts a unique theme and challenging objectives, compelling players to start new characters and embark on a renewed journey through the game, unlocking exciting rewards along the way.
Runners Up: Lethal Company, Super Mario Bro. Wonder, Destiny 2