Even in a year stacked with huge hitting games like 2023, some titles go under the radar and end up surprising you. You might have heard of them in the discourse, or they could come out of nowhere and take over your life. Every year has games you didn’t expect to give you as good of a time as they did, which can be nice in an industry that sometimes can feel a little stale with its big releases. Here are the games that left the most positive surprise impact on us in 2023.
The nominees are…
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- Hi-Fi Rush
- Lethal Company
- Sea of Stars
- Remnant 2
And the award goes to…
No disrespect to the rest of the games on this list, but Hi-Fi Rush was easily the biggest surprise of 2023. In January, we all tuned into the Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct expecting to get looks at Minecraft Legends, Forza Motorsport, and probably the most disappointing game of 2023 in Redfall but were given an out-of-nowhere game reveal from Tango Gameworks.
Hi-Fi Rush was something completely different for the developer that gave us The Evil Within series. It was colorful like a comic book, it had charm oozing out of every corner, and it was a rhythm-based combat action game that had a great rocking soundtrack filled with original and licensed music. This wasn’t the first of its kind, but we struggle to find any game that put all of this together in a better package. It is challenging where it needs to be but also very approachable for people who don’t necessarily vibe with the rhythm aspect of it.
Hi-Fi Rush not only signifies how motivated developers with fun ideas can make some of the best games ever, but sometimes it is okay for a team to try something completely off-the-wall for them.