The best video games of 2023 so far

The best video games of 2023 so far
A scene from ‘The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.’ (Nintendo)
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Updated 30 June 2023

The best video games of 2023 so far

The best video games of 2023 so far
  • From remade classics to brand-new brilliance, here are the standout titles from the past six months

DUBAI: From remade classics to brand-new brilliance, here are the standout titles from the past six months.

‘The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’

Developer: Nintendo

The “Zelda” games have entertained generations of gamers now, going back to the original “Legend of Zelda” in 1986. This latest sprawling, magical open-world adventure game — a sequel to 2017’s excellent “Breath of the Wild” — has clearly been created by a team who love the franchise; the care and thought they have put into crafting the enormous and engrossing world of Hyrule (and its shady underworld) are apparent throughout. As usual, you play as Link, the elven hero with the magic arm. If you decide to follow the main quest then you’ll be helping Princess Zelda prevent the evil Ganondorf from trashing Hyrule, but you probably won’t be following the main quest for long — the great joy here is wandering off to explore the staggering amount of “background” in the game and the hugely satisfying ability to improvise by combining found objects. “Tears of the Kingdom” can be tricky and frustrating at times, but the payoff is always worth it. This is a masterpiece.

‘Street Fighter 6’

Developer: Capcom

The latest addition to one of the all-time great franchises was a triumph, selling 1 million copies within five days of its release and garnering critical acclaim too. All well-deserved for its engrossing mix of accessible gameplay (if you pick the right level for yourself), customizable characters, almost-faultless online competition, and the ability to focus on particular areas of combat that best suit your style — all of that on top of the iconic retro visuals that have entertained millions since the late-Eighties.

‘System Shock’

Developer: Nightdive Studios

The 1994 original wasn’t a huge success commercially, but is now seen as a seminal game in the history of first-person adventures. This remake might achieve similar status. The developers have stayed loyal to the source, but made full use of the technological advancements of the last 30 years to deliver a visual experience to match the excellent — and very difficult — gameplay. Set in a steampunk-style near future, you play a hacker responsible for reining in a malevolent and frighteningly powerful AI called SHODAN.

‘Meet Your Maker’

Developer: Behaviour Interactive

Relatively simple to pick up and very hard to put down, this enjoyable and unique first-person action shooter sees you play as a killer robot, raiding bases created by other players. How hard that proves to be depends on how devious and cruel the bases’ creators are. You’ll find yourself ‘dying’ in some remarkably original ways. But you can always get your own back via your own base designs.


Developer: Black Salt Games

No. Fishing simulators don’t usually end up in ‘Best Games of the Year’ lists, even in July. But then again, fishing simulators don’t usually have a sinister undertone like “Dredge” does. You play a struggling trawler captain leading his crew around a group of remote islands. You can trade your catches with the locals, and gradually improve your boat, skills and knowledge. But the more you find out about those locals, the more you’ll realize you’ll need all the help you can get to survive these waters.

‘Hi-Fi Rush’

Developer: Tango Gameworks

It probably won’t enjoy the longevity of a truly great game, but for a quick blast of unadulterated excitement, this over-the-top, cartoonish mayhem is hard to match. You play as wannabe rock star Chai, whose music player is accidentally embedded in his chest during experimental surgery. Now you have to defeat the evil execs of the company that did this to you, with fighting skills that require you to try and match the rhythms of the game’s killer soundtrack. Loud, dumb and lots of fun.