It’s time for our annual countdown to award the very best games this year had to offer. Over the next ten days, we’ll count down our top ten games of 2023.
As always, the votes of each Press Start team member, weighted from #10 through to #1, were collated to compile our collective very best for the year that was. Games worthy of one’s top spot would be awarded the maximum of 10 points and the values would descend down to their tenth selection, which would receive a single point.
A round of rapid polls were utilised to settle dead heats and finalise the top ten.
Our love for Fires of Rubicon as the year’s most heavy metal sounding title is a matter of public record, however Armored Core 6 delivered a definitive mech-piloting game full of blistering action that remains true to the series’ roots.
FromSoft, who’ve given birth to their own genre between the last Armored Core and now, resisted the probable urge to lean into all of their learnings from crafting worlds like Dark Souls and, last year’s Game of the Year, Elden Ring.
Instead, they doubled down on what Armored Core had always done.
It rewards persistence in a world where humanity has well and truly given up, doing so through intuitive and ball-crushing combat that is as gratifying as it is grating. It also lets players tailor their mech to their playstyle, leading to an unprecedented level of customisation not seen before in Armored Core.
“Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon manages to successfully bring back and cultivate an experience reminiscent of the old games for newer audiences without losing sight of what made the previous games so good. While it’s still relentlessly challenging and the story can be a bit drab, Fires of Rubicon is yet another success for FromSoftware with its satisfying and fast paced combat.”
“The promise of a new game from a FromSoftware franchise I’ve somehow missed in the past was a great way to get me in. Huge customisation and awesome combat mechanics kept me with Armoured Core VI all the way through.
Zipping around at ground level, zooming through the air, quick dodges and firing endless combinations of weaponry and mech parts, Armoured Core VI is a blast from beginning to end.”
James W said:
“No game in 2023 has, to me, better captured the intricate balance between raw, primal power-fantasy gameplay and richly thematic storytelling and worldbuilding than Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. A franchise that lay dormant during a decade of propulsive FromSoftware success, there was a very real chance that Armored Core’s long-awaited return would betray the series’ sicko mech roots.
Instead, Fires of Rubicon blazes its own unique trail, deftly weaving From’s contemporary cinematic language with player-driven, razer sharp action and deeply satisfying machine customisation. It also houses some of the outright coolest moments in a game this year, pushing From into another decade of with a promise— they won’t miss.”
At the time of publishing, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (for PlayStation 5) stands at an 86 on Metacritic.