Game Of The Year 2023

It’s that time again where we ask our team of writers what games they loved and what let them down in 2023, it was an amazing year for all walks of gaming life ranging from the AAA tier to the Indies and then some.

Enough with my intro let’s get into the meat of what made Otaku Gamers UK tick in the year 2023.

Game of the Year 2023: Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader

A game of the year is always an odd proposition for me, and probably for you seeing this, as I don’t play many major releases. No Spiderman 2, TOTK, Baldurs Gate or Starfield, for example, have been played nor do I have any interest in doing so at the moment. That’s probably because Rogue Trader continues to take up much of my time into 2024, a CRPG is a perfect match for the 40K universe that I’m surprised its took so long. There’s a lot of lore to take in (the glossary is a godsend) and heretics to purge if you choose not to be one yourself, as well as plenty of battles and choices to shape the expanse. Not really touched on in my review much, but I do enjoy the space battles a lot, they feel more like naval combat as you line ships up for a broadside of mag cannons. Its a gem of a game really if you like the lore or Owlcats previous work, there’s just so much to see and do. Outside of some animation bugs I haven’t had much else to take me out of the game, lucky in that regard considering how others have fared. I’m looking forward to finishing up this PC playthrough I’m doing now so I can start a heretical one afterwards, I just hope Lady Cassia will warm to my charms before the end.

Honourable Mention/s: Warhammer 40K: Darktide, HROT & Star Trek Resurgence

Honourable mentions usually follow a similar route as GOTY, probably stuff lower down the pecking order. First gonna go to W40K: Darktide. Originally released 2022, the reworked update to coincide with the Xbox release in 2023, and the content drops since, have put the game in a much better place. Still has some ways to go on the content side, but there’s no denying the gameplay and its visceral nature is some of the best on the market. Another highlight would be my highest reviewed game in HROT. To be honest I was starting to tire of the sprite based boomer shooter, so when this Quake-esque shooter dropped I was excited. Turned out to be better than I hoped with a bleak atmosphere and levels to lose yourself in. One of the biggest surprises for a Trekkie that enjoys narrative focused games was Star Trek Resurgence. It seemed such a low key game that I only remembered it released a few months ago when I picked it up on Xbox. The games great to play when kicking back and relaxing, the story plays out like a series of Trek episodes that you have some control over the direction of. I’d probably say its the best Trek game in several years

Disappointment: Succubus Hellish Orgy VR

Worst game is always a tough one, a game has to be REALLY bad for me to dislike it in some way – so I’ve gone for something disappointing instead. Now this game was banned from releasing on Steam so I had hopes it would be an OTT Succubus spin-off for VR, shame it didn’t work with the G2, but luckily I’d treated myself to a Quest 3 for crimbo. Fire it up and I’m stuck in a cage getting berated by Vidija, but that’s ok as there’s tiddies to ogle. Turns out I gotta pick up this saw and cut my way out. Pick up the saw. Pick up the saw. PiCk uP tHe SaW. PICK UP THE SAW! Finally, now to follow the tushie, only to get berated again and I gotta light some candles. Using what? This? No. That? eh. Maybe try this? So much work. After that its back to getting berated. Feck this menial malarkey, the tight succubus butt & bewbs on display in VR ain’t worth. To be fair most of the disappointment probably stems from my own expectations in possibly getting something more akin to a hack & slash like the base Succubus game instead of an S&M simulator.


Game of the Year 2023: Fading Afternoon

My GOTY for the website without a doubt is Fading Afternoon, it’s no secret I enjoy Yeo’s titles and this one was highly anticipated and it delivered like a high interest loan on payday. From its gorgeous visuals to its distinct storytelling, beautiful music and visceral combat this game really felt a culmination of the previous titles from Yeo (Friends of Ringo Ishikawa and Arrest of a Stone Buddha).Since I reviewed the title here the game has seen many more updates adding even more content in the form of extra story, stuff to do and balance tweaks to make your last few weeks as a Yakuza hitman even more enjoyable and deadly while making it more immersive than you could imagine. 

With a Nintendo Switch port on the way now is a great time to cast your eye over Fading Afternoon and get it on your wishlist or pick up the Steam version. 

Honourable Mention: Blood West

Blood West is my honourable mention, only missing the top spot because we covered it in early access when it came out in 2022. Everything I said about the game still rings true but the extra polish, the extra chapters, voice acting and even more im-sim elements than you can shake a tribesman stick at meant this game is an absolute joy to return to for fans of Westerns, horror and games like Deus Ex, Thief and Prey. 

You can read my thoughts in the link and pick up the game on Steam, hopefully a console port will be released this year. 

Disappointment: Air Twister

Air Twister was a title that I couldn’t wait to sink into as a huge fan of Shmups, Rail Shooters and Yu Suzuki titles, sadly despite it being all of these, the game missed in more than a few departments. While not a terrible game, you can read the review in the link as I explain it was more of a missed opportunity and felt cheap rather than whimsical. In an age where Shmups and Rail Shooters are on the up this should have lead the pack, instead it faded into the crowd. 


Game Of The Year: Street Fighter 6

In a year full of heavy hitters like Baldurs Gate 3 and Tears of the Kingdom, the game that kept my attention for the longest was Street Fighter 6. I’m a huge fan of the series so the anticipation for the game was high. The game met my expectations and then some, being one of the most complete fighting game packages on the market, with a solid amount of single player content along with a fantastic roster with incredibly fun gameplay. I spent the majority of my 200+ hours with the game working my way up the ranked ladder which was a lot of fun with the games top class online netcode. The presentation of the game is also great with striking visuals and some great redesigns for the cast along with some great newcomers. 6 months on from release, I still find myself playing the game a fair amount, learning each character one by one and the game has received two post launch dlc characters which are both a lot of fun to play. Overall, out of all the games that released over the year, Street Fighter 6 was the game that I spent the most time with and found myself enjoying the most.

Honourable Mention: Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

Another one of the year’s highlights was Like a Dragon Gaiden. Continuing longtime protagonist Kiryus story after the events of Yakuza 6, the game goes back to its action combat roots and refines them to arguably the most fun the combat has ever been in the series. While a smaller scale game in the series, the story was fantastic and had a good amount of side content to add some more time to your playthrough. The visuals were also great, taking advantage of the Dragon Engines. The game came as a surprise to me, not expecting it to be one of my favourite games of the year. The game also reignited my interest in the series and after finishing Gaiden I played through the rest of the series, with Gaiden still being one of the best games in the series. 

Disappointment: Detective Pikachu Returns

For the most part, I enjoy most games in the Pokemon series, including the spin-offs, so I expected that I’d find some fun with Detective Pikachu Returns. Unfortunately I found the game far too simple, even when considering the games target audience of younger players, the gameplay didn’t feel very engaging to me and could feel like a chore to get through at points with a lot of the gameplay being walking from place to place and talking to people with repetitive dialogue choices. The cases themselves felt fairly predictable, being able to figure out the culprit before the game reveals them to you. The visuals were also fairly weak with some poor lighting in areas bringing the presentation down. However, the game wasn’t all bad, Pikachu himself had some entertaining moments, particularly in his dialogue and the gameplay had a few bright spots when partnering with other Pokemon, but overall, the game felt like a disappointment to me.


Game of the Year: Robocop: Rogue City

Robocop: Rogue City is easily my favourite game of 2023, it’s the perfect piece of Robocop media in nearly 30 years, a perfect accompaniment to the original 2 movies. The game plays wonderfully well as Teyon have fine tuned their plan over the development and support of their previous outing Terminator: Resistance. That experience pivots perfectly well and the results are incredible.

Honourable Mention: Lethal Company

Any other year this simple game probably would have made my goty, it’s the most basic of premise, go to a planet, loot, escape. But with everything else that’s going on, on each planet, and a good crew by your side, Lethal Company has become a must play multiplayer loot em up.

Disappointment: Kingpin: Reloaded

Upon finding out that often overlooked gangster FPS Kingpin: Life of Crime was being remastered I was pretty excited to dive back in. Unfortunately it’s been a bit of a disaster. A very poor upgrade and something I wished was a whole lot better

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