The Best Games for Your Gaming Library: All-Time Classics and 2023 Releases

Last updated: 12/28/2023
7 minutes read

What are the best games of 2023 thus far? As you’d expect, 2023 promises a great deal in terms of new game releases on PC, console, and mobile devices. With some notable hits from well-established studios like Activision, Capcom, and Bethesda, there are heaps to look forward to as a gamer in 2023.

With that said, we’ve put together a hit list of the best games of 2023, as well as the best video games of all time to use as a comparison against some of the newest kids on the gaming block.

Whether you’re a fan of first-person shooting games, sports sim games, or survival games, we’re sure there’ll be something to switch up your gaming experiences in this article.

The 5 Best Games of All Time – As Rated By Us

If you want to know what gaming excellence looks like, look no further than our collection of the five best games of all time. Although this is strictly our opinion, we’re confident that gamers around the world would agree that these releases set new benchmarks for immersion in the console and desktop gaming.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

When Nintendo launched The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, this helped to cement the popularity of the Nintendo 64, with people rushing to buy the console just for this game. Ocarina of Time secured critical acclaim worldwide, shifting over seven million units globally. With an immersive soundtrack, gameplay and audio, it’s no surprise this fantasy action-adventure title is one of the best games of all time.

2. Grand Theft Auto IV

The sixth installment of Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto IV transports you into the heart of Liberty City, inspired by New York City. The open-world concept is refreshing, as is the third-person perspective, which allows you to see the three main islands and Alderney on foot or by vehicle. It was soon the fastest-selling entertainment product of all time, raking in $310m in the first 24 hours. 

The online multiplayer mode is a refreshing alternative to the single-player mode too, with the cooperative section offering some of the best online games you’ll find anywhere.

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

The third iteration of the Red Dead franchise, Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 is set in the late 19th century, following the trials and tribulations of the outlaw, Arthur Morgan, who must come to terms with the collapse of the Wild West. Its eight-year development cycle was truly worth it, with its cinematics, intuitive controls and plotline landing accolade after accolade. This title has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.

4. Elden Ring

Although Elden Ring has only been out for 12 months, it has already cemented itself as one of the all-time greats in the gaming industry. Within a matter of months, this fantasy action role-playing game landed a string of Game of the Year awards and shifted at least 20 million units worldwide. Metacritic handed this a 96/100 rating, while IGN and GameSpot both rated it 10/10, which makes it one of the best games ever.

5. Half-Life 2

Valve’s sequel of the 1998 original helped to redefine the first-person shooter genre. Valve invested millions in its new Havok physics engine, which helped to replicate real-world environments and enhance gamer immersion. Like the original, you take charge of Gordon Freeman, two decades on from the incident at the Black Mesa Research Facility in the original. Guardian readers voted it as the best games of the 2000s.

What is the #1 game right now?

Based purely on the greatest number of active players, PUBG: Battlegrounds is comfortably the most popular video game in 2023 – and arguably one of the best free online games. It is said to have had more than 1.77 billion downloads, meeting the needs of casual gamers searching for the best free games worldwide. That’s almost double the number of the second most-played video game, Crossfire (1 billion downloads).

The 10 Best Games of 2023 – Released or Due for Release

Compare the best games of yesteryear with the newest releases on console and desktop in 2023 below. We’ve ranked the best games to play this year, including some of the most popular titles to launch in Q1 2023 and the most eagerly anticipated releases later this year.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom is set to be the next in the iconic series of Legend of Zelda releases. Developed as the sequel to 2017’s Breath of the World, Tears of the Kingdom retains the open world of Hyrule. Although there is precious little teased about what to expect, any Legend of Zelda title by Nintendo is fine by us. Tears of the Kingdom is also expected to be released on the Switch, which could be the last major release on Nintendo’s handheld console before it considers a successor.

2. Resident Evil 4

Capcom successfully reimagined Resident Evil 2 and 3 for next-generation consoles and a remake of the original Resident Evil 4 is in the offing this year. Set for release on March 24, there is a huge sense of intrigue as to how Capcom can improve upon the original that still transcends modern day consoles today. If teasers are anything to go by, we’re likely to see a gorier, horrifying take this time around.

3. Dead Space

Speaking of remakes, EA’s Dead Space release in January has already started to make waves as one of the best games this year in the industry. Based on the 2008 original, this survival horror title has been fully reimagined thanks to the use of EA’s next-generation Frostbite game engine. This engine has helped to create new in-game assets and character models whilst staying true to the game’s original designs.

4. Street Fighter 6

Street Fighter 6 is bringing the beat’em up genre back in vogue. Scheduled for release this summer, this iteration of the Street Fighter franchise is said to be more hands-on than ever before. You’ll even get the chance to create your own bespoke fighting character, while the online battle hub is the perfect environment to take your competitive fighting to the next level.

5. Starfield

Bethesda has spoilt us gamers in recent years with the likes of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls offering open-world gaming like never before. Starfield is said to build on this further still with a huge, intergalactic-themed release. Craft your own bespoke spacecraft and take flight into more than 100 different solar systems and encounter thousands of new worlds to build new alliances.

6. Final Fantasy XVI

There are few more eagerly anticipated game releases in 2023 than Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XVI. The 16th instalment of the Final Fantasy series, this single-player release has been reserved solely for release on the PlayStation 5. Sources in the gaming scene believe this latest release will veer closer to westernised fantasy games like God of War or The Witcher, which may disappoint those who enjoy the epic Japanese-inspired environments.

7. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

In 2019, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a big hit with fans of the franchise and Survivor promises to be another exciting sequel. The plotline is based around Cal Kestis, with a host of new combative elements included. Kestis struggles to stay ahead of the Galactic Empire, which is desperate to kill off the last remaining elements of Order 66. Lock horns with new adversaries in the shape of Gen’Dai Rayvis and Pau’an Imperial Senator.

8. Atomic Heart

Atomic Heart was launched last month to significant fanfare. It was one of the most anticipated releases of the year and has been in the making for the last four years. The soundtrack to Atomic Heart was composed by Mick Gordon, who was the brains behind many of the atmospheric Doom soundtracks.

9. Redfall

Following up from the commercial and critical acclaim of timeloop shooter Deathloop, Arkane is back with new release Redfall. Redfall is a town in Massachusetts that’s infested with vampires conceived from a science experiment gone bad. Fusing open-world environments with survival horror game mechanics, Redfall has the potential to be one of the best games this year.

10. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

Ukrainian developers GSC Game World are back with a fourth iteration of the Stalker franchise. Heart of Chernobyl is slated for release in December, transporting you back into the city of Pripyat and the exclusion zone surrounding the iconic Chernobyl nuclear power station. Built using the Unreal Engine 5, it promises to be a visual feast, especially if ray-tracing’s included.

So, there you have it. A collection of the best games 2023 has to offer, as well as the best games to play for those seeking enduring classics that are now part of popular culture.

Of course, our all-time list – and even the 10 best new releases this year – is entirely subjective. One thing is for sure, the level of creativity and innovation in today’s gaming industry is well and truly off the scale!