In conclusion, Persona 3 Reload is worth playing for both old fans (who've played the original Persona 3) and newcomers because it is quite simply the most playable version of the game with modern quality-of-life improvements and new mechanics that make it near definitive. While the lack of certain content (like The Answer epilogue) stops it from being able to truly definitive; if there's one Persona game that you want to play, there's no reason to choose Persona 5 when you have Persona 3 Reload.
It's hard to change things too much for a fighting game franchise, but Tekken 8 ultimately does feel like a major improvement over Tekken 7. The amazing next-gen visuals, the cinematic story mode, and the new mechanics make the gameplay more fun and exciting; they're all what will make Tekken 8 a more memorable entry in the franchise. Will be as iconic of a game as Tekken 3 or Tekken 5? Only time will tell but it sure does look like it.
If all you want is mindless mecha fun where you can drop into a mission and destroy waves of enemies without a second thought, Custom Mech Wars is the game for you. If you're really looking for a meaty mecha game with lots of worthwhile content, please for the love of all things mecha, just get Armored Core 6 Fires Of Rubicon instead.
An Avatar game was a strange choice to become a game from the beginning, and adding the Far Cry formula to it has resulted in a game that's not good but not too bad either; it's just mediocre. Hopefully, Massive Entertainment's next game, Star Wars Outlaws, looks to have higher prospects of being a better game and not just another uninspired game based on a famous IP. Avatar Frontiers Of Pandora is truly only for fans who just want more from James Cameron's Avatar, but not those looking for a great open-world game to sink their teeth into.
Alan Wake 2 is not for everyone, but for fans of the Remedy Connected Universe since 2010's Alan Wake, it's exactly the game that we've been waiting for. While the game still follows conventional Resident Evil-like survival horror elements, there are enough unique mechanics here and blend atmospheric visuals and trippy live-action sequences to make this a genuine Remedy Entertainment experience that only the Finnish developers could deliver. It's also one of 2023's best games and a definite contender for GOTY, even in a year filled to the brim with phenomenal games.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is as close to perfect as a Spider-Man game can be. It has emotion and heart; as well as inspiring me to be a better person just like the best superhero stories do. The gameplay in this game is undeniably the best of any Spider-Man game ever made to date. This marks a new gold standard for superhero and comic book games in this current generation, just like Activision's Spider-Man 2 did in 2004 and Rocksteady's Batman Arkham Asylum did in 2009.
Ultimately, Assassin's Creed Mirage feels like a return to form for the franchise. If you've hated the action RPG leanings of the franchise for the past few years and have been hankering for the good old days, this game just might do it for you. Assassin's Creed Mirage isn't revolutionary in any way, and it has some issues, but it's a good enough stealth jaunt.
Armored Core 6: Fires Of Rubicon manages to stand out in a sea of good games in 2023 and it is a strong contender for Game Of The Year. Even if you've never played an Armored Core game, or if you don't like Soulslike games (which shouldn't be an issue in the first place), this game is recommended for fans who crave great mecha action games. There's nothing else like it in the market right now, and Armored Core 6: Fires Of Rubicon is finally the game that elevates this franchise beyond its niche to the mainstream. There's no doubt about it.
While Baldur's Gate 3 has its issues (what game doesn't?), it definitely deserves all the praise it's been getting and then some. Although it launched in a packed year (The Legend Of Zelda Tears Of The Kingdom, Final Fantasy 16, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Dead Space Remake, Hi-Fi Rush), Larian Studios' latest effort is a strong GOTY 2023 contender.
Shadow Gambit The Cursed Crew is one of the best strategy games of 2023 so far. It's a delightful experience that requires patience to enjoy. For fans of the stealth strategy genre, this game is a must-play, especially the unique save-scumming mechanic that distinguishes the game from other titles in the same genre.
Miasma Chronicles is The Bearded Ladies' third XCOM-like game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and it's arguably their best one yet. It has lots of flaws, but many of those can be fixed with future patches. The developer continued to improve their mastery with the niche gameplay combo of tactical turn-based strategy mixed with stealth, and this game is an example of that. It's still worth playing in spite of being hampered by the weight of its ambition.
[Despite its repetition] Dead Island 2 was for the most part fun to play. And that's all you really need for a game like this. We need the opposite of survival horror zombie games and Dead Island 2 provides that experience. You can just let loose, and beat up zombies to your hearts' content. Because sometimes, it's fun just to enjoy some mindless chaos without having to worry about conserving ammo or saving up resources for a rainy day situation.
Persona Theory Games' second game, Kabaret, is a great one that is both a bigger and better narrative experience compared to their previous title. Kabaret is a quintessential experience for the best that the region's games industry has to offer right now, and it's more proof of why the world should start paying attention to developers from this region.
If you’re looking for an immersive but short indie game that you can perhaps play in a single weekend, The Last Worker is perfect for that. The themes explored in the game are timely, especially considering the rise of Amazon as a mega-corporation in the real world. So, in that regard, The Last Worker presents a hypothetical future where capitalism runs amok.
When a game can do all that and still make me appreciate a different culture, that's truly the mark of a great product, so kudos to the folks at Awaceb. If you're looking for a non-conventional open-world game where the focus isn't on combat, Tchia is a great choice.
This is a game that only the most hardcore Final Fantasy fans, or maybe even fans of rhythm games in general, can truly enjoy to the fullest. For everyone else, you're basically just paying for the music, and nothing much else. Personally, I'd rather spend my time just listening to them on Spotify or any other music streaming service.