From the dawn of anime and video games, us nerds have been falling in love with 2D women. No matter how 3D either medium has become, that fact never changes. Waifus infest our brains until we’re looking up body pillow designs and waging digital wars over who’s Best Girl in Discord. So, as 2023 comes to a close, we’d love to look back at all the complex, fascinating, and loveable ladies who have graced our monitors. They’re hot, funny, scary, adorable, and sometimes, all of the above at once. And that’s why we love ‘em — or even buy sweaters with their faces on them.
Andreja from Starfield
Juri from Street Fighter 6
Karlach from Baldur’s Gate 3
Lae’Zel from Baldur’s Gate 3
Lilith from Diablo IV
Purah from Tears of the Kingdom
Shadowheart from Baldur’s Gate 3
Winner and Why
The Hottest Waifu of 2023 is an easy answer, because she’s hot literally and figuratively — say congratulations to everyone’s favorite Baldur’s Gate 3 tiefling, Karlach. To keep things simple in a story, romantic characters tend to be archetypes. They’re funny OR badass OR adorable. Yet our lovely Karlach manages to be a dynamic heroine with ease. When you’re alone with her, she’s got an amazing sense of humor and such a sweet, tender heart. In battle or in cutscenes, she can turn up the heat and become a fearsome, frightening force. She’s got the muscles. The cute smile. Even if you didn’t romance Karlach specifically, her character and story tugs at your heartstrings.
All of the Baldur’s Gate characters are top tier and all of our nominations have their wonderful charms. Video game writers have truly turned making a loveable waifu into an art form, which is what makes choosing a winner so difficult. However, whether you’re her lover or her friend, Karlach is the best of 2023 because she’s so flawfully authentic and still has it all.