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The Best Games You Might Have Missed From 2023

Best Games You Might Have Missed From 2023

2023 has been absolutely stacked with fantastic games. So many, in fact, that narrowing down our best 15 games of the year was quite a tall task. It left out lots of great games that deserve to be celebrated – games that, we suspect, many people aren’t even aware of. And so, if you’re here reading this, we hope you’ll learn about a great game or two that somehow slipped under your radar this year.

Every game on this list has been rated very highly by us – so if you read our reviews regularly, you might already be aware of them (thank you!). But in the grand scheme of things, the games we’re rounding up here have gone largely unsung in wider media, and they perhaps haven’t had the commercial buzz they absolutely deserve.

Before 2024 comes around, then, do yourself a favour and pick up one of the best games you might have missed from 2023. You won’t be disappointed. We’re presenting these in no ranked order: they’re simply alphabetised.

Afterimage

Afterimage town (1)
  • Release date: 25th April
  • Developer: Aurogon Shanghai
  • Publisher: Modus Games
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “Sure, Afterimage has plenty of flaws. It’s a little too difficult at times. Its choice to lock fast travel behind a rare potion is frustrating. And it’s all too easy to feel like you’re at a dead end. But despite its issues, it has kept us coming back for more. This is a beautiful metroidvania with a huge, impeccably-designed world that begs to be explored. Whether you’re a long-time metroidvania fan or enjoy action RPGs, Afterimage is well worth pouring some time into.”

Read our full review of Afterimage

American Arcadia

American Arcadia review
  • Release date: 15th November
  • Developer: Out of the Blue Games
  • Publisher: Raw Fury
  • Available on: PC

We said: “Taking six to eight hours to complete, I’ve blasted through American Arcadia in just two sittings, being utterly gripped the whole time. The side-scrolling platforming and first-person puzzle gameplay blend together seamlessly, with the story here being king. Despite a few small presentation issues that need ironing out, the gameplay here is flawless – and jumping from Angela’s first-person viewpoint to being in control of a side-scrolling Trevor via her computer monitor is nothing short of genius. If you enjoy adventure and puzzles, and like the sound of a story that’s reminiscent of The Truman Show, this is a game not to be missed.”

Read our full review of American Arcadia

Backfirewall

Backfirewall
  • Release date: 30th January
  • Developed by: Naraven Games
  • Published by: All In! Games
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “If you enjoy first-person puzzle games and quite fancy jumping into one that puts quirkiness and personality front and centre, then you’ll find a lot to enjoy in Backfirewall. With well-written and acted dialogue and plenty of engaging puzzles to work your way through, it’s a hidden gem that’s well worth seeking out.”

Read our full review of Backfirewall

Chants of Sennaar

Chants of Sennaar review
  • Release date: 5th September
  • Developed by: Rundisc
  • Published by: Focus Entertainment
  • Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC

We said: “Unique in its art style and its approach to gameplay, Chants of Sennaar is filled with captivating puzzles that are a joy to solve, set against a backdrop of a world that you’ll be desperate to learn more of. Figuring out the meaning of each glyph is supremely satisfying, but also is solving the game’s wealth of other puzzles. Even a generous helping of stealth is not enough to dampen our enjoyment of this special game.”

Read our full Chants of Sennaar review

Dordogne

Dordogne review
  • Release date: 13th June
  • Developed by: Un Je Ne Sais Quoi/Umanimation
  • Published by: Focus Entertainment
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “Dordogne’s unique selling point is undoubtedly its art style. It truly is beautiful – perhaps one of the most gorgeously animated games we’ve had the pleasure to play, even. And yes, the visuals alone are almost enough to carry the game. Despite the odd misstep, though, we did thoroughly enjoy the story and came to care for Mimi and her grandmother – as brief as our time with them was. It’s small, it’s quaint, but it’s touching – and it’s one of those special games that reminds you life is precious, fleeting and nothing should be taken for granted.”

Read our full review of Dordogne

Dynopunk

Dynopunk review
  • Release date: 25th May
  • Developed by: Tomato Fantasy Games
  • Published by: 101XP
  • Available on: PC

We said: “We feel like we’ve discovered a real hidden gem in Dynopunk. Part visual novel, part management sim, every facet of the game has kept us thoroughly engaged. Its pixel art style is wonderful, and accompanied by an eclectic and unique soundtrack, it’s hard to put down once you start playing. We really hope Dynopunk garners a bit of buzz, because it absolutely deserves it.”

Read our full review of Dynopunk

Fort Solis

Fort Solis
  • Release date: 22nd August
  • Developed by: Fallen Leaf/Black Drakkar Games
  • Published by: Dear Villagers
  • Available on: PS5 and PC

We said: “It’s short enough to play through in one sitting, but that’s for the best: once you get started with Fort Solis, you’re going to struggle to pull yourself away. It’s a tense, haunting journey that will have you hooked from the word go, keeping you on your toes as you wonder what awaits around every corner. Perhaps its overall story could have packed a bit more punch, but we still lapped up every second of it as we explored the fascinating and eerie titular space station.”

Read our full review of Fort Solis

Full Void

Full Void
  • Release date: 18th July
  • Developed and published by: Out of the Bit
  • Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC and Evercade

We said: “With its wonderful pixel art and minimalist but atmospheric soundtrack, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with Full Void. We honestly launched it while waiting for another game to download, but then couldn’t pull ourselves away until it was over. Needless to say, while it’s quite short and relatively simple, it’s an experience you shouldn’t overlook during this absurdly busy period. Especially if you have a fondness for old-fashioned 2D platforming adventures.”

Read our full review of Full Void

The Gap

The Gap
  • Release date: 19th October
  • Developed by: Label This
  • Published by: Crunching Koalas
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC

We said: “Gap is a very pleasant surprise, and a great amount of praise needs to be showered onto its developer, the two-person team of Label This. This is a clever and engaging thriller, brought to life with believable characters and a very grounded approach to science fiction that we can really get behind. It isn’t without the odd hiccup, but they’re easy to forget once you’re absorbed into Joshua’s compelling story.”

Read our full review of The Gap

Killer Frequency

Killer Frequency
  • Release date: 1st June
  • Developed and published by: Team17
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC

We said: “It’s safe to say that Killer Frequency has taken us by surprise. We don’t really know what we expected from it, but it gripped us from the outset and made us keen to keep playing. A multi-layered affair, it’s a lot of fun trying to find solutions to the harrowing situations that your callers have found themselves in, but there’s also pleasure in finding out more about its protagonist, Forrest, and the rest of the residents of Gallow’s Creek. Those fond of narrative adventures and engaging puzzles would be wise to give this a spin.”

Read our full review of Killer Frequency

Kingdom Eighties

Kingdom Eighties
  • Release date: 26th June
  • Developed by: Fury Studios
  • Published by: Raw Fury
  • Available on: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “It may only last you a few hours, but Kingdom Eighties: Summer of Greed is well worth spending some time with. Its simple gameplay is infectious, and you’ll rejoice as you expand your basecamp, pushing enemies back in the process. There’s limited guidance but you’ll soon get to grips with what you should be doing, soaking in the absolutely gorgeous visuals as you do.”

Read our full review of Kingdom Eighties

Loddlenaut

Loddlenaut review
  • Release date: 16th November
  • Developed by: Moon Lagoon
  • Published by: Secret Mode
  • Available on: PC

We said: “Cute, joyous and packing in an important message to boot, I adore Loddlenaut. This is the epitome of relaxing, stress-free gaming, with the only thing you need to worry about being keeping your oxygen topped up. Cleaning up the oceans is fulfilling in a way that few video games are – and getting to interact with the adorable loddles is simply a bonus you’re going to want to keep coming back for.”

Read our full review of Loddlenaut

Make Way

Make Way
  • Release date: 4th December
  • Developed by: Ice Beam
  • Published by: Secret Mode
  • Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “Whether you’re having a gathering with your friends over the holidays or arranging an online games night, make sure Make Way is top of your playlist. This wonderful little game turns a very simple idea into a moreish, devilish and absolutely riotous multiplayer experience that will keep you coming back for more. It’s just a shame that not everything is unlocked at the outset so we can go full-on carnage right away – but we can’t have everything.”

Read our full review of Make Way

Moonstone Island

Moonstone Island
  • Release date: 20th September
  • Developed by: Studio Supersoft
  • Published by: Raw Fury
  • Available on: PC and Switch

We said: “While the story of Moonstone Island has you spending one in-game year on the isles – 112 in-game days – there’s a very good chance you’ll want to spend much, much longer enjoying everything the game has to throw at you. If you’re used to being guided through adventures, you might find the freedom here a little overwhelming to begin with. But once you start exploring the vast world, collecting all kinds of weird and wonderful resources – not to mention those Pokémon-like Spirits – you’re going to find it difficult to tear yourself away.”

Read our full Moonstone Island review

My Friendly Neighborhood

My Friendly Neighborhood
  • Release date: 18th July
  • Developed by: John Szymanski, Evan Szymanski
  • Published by: DreadXP
  • Available on: PC

We said: “If Resident Evil and Sesame Street had a baby, My Friendly Neighborhood would be it. It wears its classic Resi influences on its arm – such as its door-opening animations and its use of safe rooms – but it’s never derivative, instead managing to be something entirely original, not to mention a great deal of fun. One of the best indie horror games of recent years, My Friendly Neighborhood is well worth paying a visit to.”

Read our full My Friendly Neighborhood review

Rhythm Sprout

Rhythm Sprout
  • Release date: 1st February
  • Developed by: Surt
  • Published by: TinyBuild
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “If you’re a fan of rhythm games or simply love quirky adventures, consider Rhythm Sprout an essential purchase. This is a game that has snuck up on us from nowhere but has thoroughly rocked our worlds. Combining comedy with rhythm-based gameplay, it’s tickled our funny bones and tested our timing while also making us tap our feet and bob our heads. And we’ll certainly be revisiting it for a long time to come.”

Read our full review of Rhythm Sprout

Super Crazy Rhythm Castle

Super Crazy Rhythm Castle
  • Release date: 14th November
  • Developed by: Second Impact Games
  • Published by: Konami
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “There isn’t anything else quite like Super Crazy Rhythm Castle. Unique and innovative, this zany adventure through music and puzzling is undoubtedly one of the best co-op games in 2023. Sure, you can play it by yourself, but you’re going to have more fun when you’re battling it out with friends. Do yourself a favour and make sure this is on your playlist when you have friends over this holiday season: you absolutely will not regret it.”

Read our full review of Super Crazy Rhythm Castle

This Bed We Made

This Bed We Made
  • Release date: 1st November
  • Developed and published by: Lowbirth Games
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC

We said: “A short but focused and utterly compelling experience, This Bed We Made is a mystery that we simply couldn’t pull ourselves away from. As wrong as it feels to be in Sophie’s shoes, snooping into things that didn’t concern us, it didn’t take long for us to be utterly engrossed in the mystery that unfolds. This is a detective game done right, with engaging puzzles and the perfect balance of player autonomy and guidance when you need it. The team at Lowbirth Games has revealed itself to be an incredibly talented bunch of people, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.”

Read our full review of This Bed We Made

Wildfrost

Wildfrost
  • Release date: 12th April
  • Developed by: Deadpan Games
  • Published by: Chucklefish
  • Available on: PC

We said: “With a fantastic art style that immediately charms you, and engaging gameplay that will keep you coming back time and time again, we love Wildfrost. It’s a very welcome entry into the roguelike card battler genre, offering challenging but fulfilling combat that we can’t get enough of. If you’re a fan of games like Slay the Spire, we urge you to try Wildfrost. You won’t be disappointed.”

Read our full review of Wildfrost

The Wreck

The Wreck
  • Release date: 14th March
  • Developed and published by: The Pixel Hunt
  • Available on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC

We said: “With a playthrough taking around four hours, you can be done with The Wreck in one sitting. Chances are, you’ll come to care for its characters, as flawed as they all may be – but that’s something this game does excellently. It’s real. It’s raw. It doesn’t try to sugar-coat how brutal grief – and human emotions as a whole – can be. It tells its story in a beautiful way, and while there are no major plot twists or huge, action-packed moments, it kept us hooked from start to finish. The Wreck might not be a technical marvel, but it’s clear that The Pixel Hunt have mastered the art of human storytelling.”

Read our full review of The Wreck

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.