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Best Xbox Games of the Year 2023

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The best Xbox games of 2023

It’s fair to say that 2023 has been a cracking year for games and gamers. It was always going to be the case, with multiple gaming experiences pushed back from the pandemic years, but we couldn’t have guessed it would be quite as strong as it has been. 

In fact, in any other year, a host of cracking games could have been crowned as the best Xbox releases of the year, and it says something that the likes of the rebooted Dead Space, Lies of P, Forza Motorsport or Baldur’s Gate 3 have failed to find a place on our list. Admittedly, if the latter had been released a few weeks earlier, it could have been an altogether different story. 

But it is what it is and that means the list of best Xbox games released in 2023 should be seen as a strong one. So strong in fact that we’ve picked out the eight finest. If you are looking for a new addiction, we’d suspect that each and every one of them will be able to cater to your needs. 

So join us as we detail the best Xbox games of the year for 2023. We think there may be a few games included that surprise you… 

Dead Island 2

dead island 2
Welcome to HELL-A!

Dead Island 2 Review – 4.5/5 score

“Sure, there’s a zombie apocalypse happening, but Dead Island 2 might be the most fun end-of-days yet. Dead Island 2 delivers a delightfully bloody romp that has been well worth the wait.”

It took an age to arrive, but Dead Island 2 whisked us off on a cracking zombie-fuelled adventure through Hell-A. From the Deep Silver and Dambuster Studios teams, if you initially found love in the original Dead Island, and were hit by the hype of that Dead Island 2 trailer from way back when, we’d urge you to jump in right now. 

Dead Island 2 is a first person action RPG, mixing in style, vibrancy and about as many of the undead as you could ever expect. A gore-drenched LA world, it’s in the brutal combat where Dead Island 2 really comes alive, all as you attempt to prove yourself as the ultimate zombie slayer. 

It’s just a shame that the Dead Island 2: Haus expansion didn’t quite live up to the greatness of the base game.

Starfield

starfield
Starfield – an absolute space epic

Starfield Review – 4.5/5 score

Figuratively and literally, Starfield is the next evolution for a Bethesda game; taking that framework and that sandbox before applying it 1000 times over. There are memorable characters, quests and locations, but these help you tell your own journey too as you forge your own path and create your own plots within this unfathomably large sandbox.”

Can there be a ‘best of 2023’ list without including Starfield? Even if it didn’t quite reach the heights many expected of it?

Well, no, we don’t think there can be and whilst this may well be a game that is thought of lovingly in five years or so, it doesn’t mean you should be sleeping on it here and now. 

What needs to be said about Starfield that hasn’t already been mentioned? Probably the biggest game of the year – at least in sheer size – this is certainly not a game that you can jump into, hoping to complete in a few evenings. Put a good couple of months aside, more if you want to experience everything this space epic holds, and you’ll be a bit closer to the mark. 

From the award-winning Bethesda team, Starfield whisks you off to the year 2330. It’s here where humanity is looking to expand beyond the usual solar system, setting up home on all-new planets. As a space miner, the expanse of Starfield awaits. A Day One Game Pass debut sold it even more.

DREDGE

dredge
Sail into a monstrous fishing adventure

DREDGE Review – 4.5/5 score

“We want to play a double-bill of DREDGE and Moonglow Bay. Because while Moonglow Bay is the positive, life-affirming and wistful side of fishing, DREDGE is the opposite. It is monstrously gorgeous, hideously compelling, and has our fingernails down to bloody ends.”

Moving from the mega-budgets of Starfield, we find ourselves setting foot aboard the good ship DREDGE. The most indie of all titles in this list, DREDGE is a monstrously gorgeous fishing experience that is utterly compelling, highly intriguing and full of adventure. And the best thing about it? You don’t even need to like fishing in order to succumb to its beauty. 

From Team17 and Black Salt Games, DREDGE places you in the shoes of a humble trawlerman, left to scour the seven seas, delving into the depths, selling your catch to any and all. A simple setup, DREDGE plays near perfectly, sending you off on quests during the day and nightmarish runs as the sun sets. How far you look to dive into the mysteries it brings is up to you, but this is a game that urges you to continue forward, pushing the boundaries with every turn, taking to the waves and ‘seeing what happens’. 

And frankly, for many, it’s that which is the main draw of what DREDGE allows. Fish to survive? You betcha. 

Stray

stray
A cat in a bucket? That’s the joy of Stray

Stray Review – 4.5/5 score

Stray is a masterclass in escapism gaming. Taking a rather unusual perspective doesn’t stop this being a joyous experience from start to finish, irrespective of whether you are a cat person or not.”

Love them or hate them, there’s no doubt that it is the cat that is the star of Stray. But throw in a cracking narrative, visuals to die for and some of the most open-ended of one-sided conversations and you’ve got a recipe to die for. 

Annapurna Interactive rarely miss a beat and even though there’s a good chance you’ll have played Stray elsewhere previously, the fact that BlueTwelve Studios’ Stray is now on Xbox makes us nothing but happy. 

Where else can you pet the cat?

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

star wars jedi survivor
Lightsabers ready!

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review – 4.5/5 score

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor doesn’t do much different over Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but the small tweaks and improvements that are in place make for a much more enjoyable experience. Tighter level design, fast travel and a better hub world were all on wish lists after the first game, and they’ve been added in here.

Star Wars fan? We’d suspect that you’ve been all over Star Wars Jedi: Survivor since day one. But just in case you missed the release of EA and Respawn’s continuation of Cal Kestis’ tale, you should be jumping in with this one right now. 

Set half a decade after the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it’s time to head into the galaxy once more, pushed to the depths by the power of the Empire. Only here will the newest threats emerge. 

If you thought Starfield was a bit of a space epic, you ain’t seen nothing with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Complete with a cinematic combat system, Jedi powers awaiting, being thrust into the life of Kestis is one that will appeal massively to the fans – and even those who wouldn’t normally see themselves as fans of the Lucas sagas. 

Remnant II

Remnant II – one of the best games of the year

Remnant II Review – 5/5 score

Remnant II is absolutely full of these moments from the very beginning, to the middle bit where you keep rerolling the same worlds just in case you missed a minute detail, and then on to the conclusion, knowing you get to do it all over again.”

Even though – as a team – we’ve dished out seventeen 5/5 review scores in 2023, Remnant II is only one of two on this list with such an award to its name. Yep, many of the others have fallen by the wayside due to being a) more niche affairs, or b) expansions of previous base games. 

But Remnant II makes for a bronze medal push for the 2023 GOTY list with ease – loved by pretty much anyone and everyone who has played it. 

Following on as the sequel to the equally great Remnant: From the Ashes, Remnant II is a solo or cooperative affair in which you’ll be left to navigate a wickedly evil world, all in hope of stopping reality itself. It works best with a mix of ranged and melee combat at the fore, as you go up against all manner of enemies and bosses, unfolding the adventure and journey along the way. 

With new worlds to be explored and nothing less than endless replayability promised, we struggled to find too much to complain about in Remnant II. We’d suspect you’ll come away with similar conclusions. 

And if you need more than just the base game of Remnant II? We loved The Awakened King expansion too. 

Hogwarts Legacy

hogwarts legacy
Hogwarts Legacy – a magical world

Hogwarts Legacy Review – 4.5/5 score

A game for all the ages, there’s a ton of content included so take out your wand, put on your most magical of hats, and go and enjoy the thrills of Hogwarts Legacy.“

It’s just Harry Potter innit? Ah, well, no. Hogwarts Legacy is much more than a continuation of books and films. It’s a game that stands on its own, an experience that is multiple hundreds of hours in length. 

Originally an Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 and PC current-gen exclusive, since the earlist of releases, Hogwarts Legacy has become available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 too. But no matter where you get your gaming, you should be grabbing for your wand and experiencing the magic this one brings. 

A world full of magical beasts and the locations made famous in the books, Hogwarts Legacy whisks you off to the 1800s; a student looking to keep safe the most ancient of secrets. It means that – ultimately – it’s you who decides the legacy of the wizarding worlds. 

Alan Wake 2

alan wake 2
Alan Wake 2 – our GOTY 2023

Alan Wake 2 Review – 5/5 score

Alan Wake 2 is the magnum opus of horror games, but not simply because it delivers some scares. Oozing with creative flair, it confidently flaunts unconventional and even experimental methods of storytelling, which makes it very special indeed.”

There’s a reason why Alan Wake II has a 5/5 review score next to its name on this very website. And there’s a reason why our friends at Metacritic have it at the very top of their 2023 list of best Xbox games. Alan Wake 2 is nothing short of brilliant. In absolutely every way. 

Of course, we waited some time for Remedy Entertainment and Epic Games to finally get the tale of Alan Wake 2 out in the hands of gamers. In fact, it’s been more than a decade since the original game released, with an American Nightmare and the brilliance of Control following on from that. 

But now Alan Wake 2 is here and we’re calling it as the Game of the Year – the best Xbox game to release on Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S in 2023. 

A supernatural horror that allows you to play as two very different characters, the worlds created, the narrative teased and the stunning visual style all come together to ensure that there is no better game to be playing on your Xbox. And even though this one is sold as a bit of a ‘horror’, we’d urge all to get it downloaded with immediate effect. 

Alan Wake 2 is that good. There is no debate. 


And so there we have it – 8 of the very best Xbox games to have released during 2023. We’ve settled on Alan Wake 2 being our outright GOTY, but honestly, it could have been any number of those shown. 

Let us know what you think by posting down in the comments. Is your favourite games of 2023 on this list? What have we missed out? 

And don’t forget, you can grab all the games on this list from the Xbox Store. Many of them are available through Game Pass too.

Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.
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