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.
As soon as word reached people’s desks that magical bear sex was to be a big part of Baldur’s Gate III, the world sat up and paid attention. After a long graft and a stint in early access, Larian Studios only went and put out one of the most comprehensive role-playing games of all-time.
By adapting a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for video games, Baldur’s Gate feels like a tabletop night with friends come to life. It’s mechanically dense and has such amazing scale, it’s a game genre purists and Dungeons and Dragons veterans can find equal joy in for hundreds of hours.
The very idea that there’s a whole other game inside of Baldur’s Gate III that most people won’t ever see is nuts, but the player agency granted through narrative branching profoundly impacts the plot and creates an experience that’ll likely be unique to you.
“Baldur’s Gate III is a landmark achievement for CRPGs and gaming at large. The only thing more staggering than its immense scope and density of systems is the quality in which it’s all presented. Its unwavering flexibility and accommodation for player choice is intoxicating, and the replay value on offer here will no doubt cement Baldur’s Gate III as a timeless and regularly revisited masterpiece.
For a game as rich and complex as this, it also works surprisingly well on console.”
“Baldur’s Gate III is exceptional in so many ways. As someone who’s only dabbled in Dungeons and Dragons over the last year, I was initially hesitant to invest time in a game built so heavily on those foundations.
That said, Larian Studios has made the formula and format of D&D so bloody easy to approach and sink your teeth into in Baldur’s Gate III. It’s a game that’s packed with incredible stories, lore and content that’ll keep you going for hundreds of hours.”
“It’s hard to praise Baldur’s Gate III without taking note of the journey Larian took to this point, improving and expanding the RPG in early access for three years after gaining the rights to develop the sequel by blowing people away with their highly acclaimed Divinity: Original Sin series. The studio put all their knowledge and experience into Baldur’s Gate III, with no restraint on time or cost, with the result stunning in every way from visuals to systems to writing.
Not only does the story lead you on an enthralling quest across the Sword Coast but the companions you come across are right up there with the most compelling in the genre, especially with such high quality performances on display from start to finish. The game is a monumental achievement that is unlikely to be topped for a very long time.”
At the time of publishing, Baldur’s Gate III (for PC) stands at a 96 on Metacritic.