The Best Xbox Games of 2023

Despite some middling exclusives, there were plenty of fantastic games on Xbox in 2023.
best of 2023 xbox games gameshub

Xbox players didn’t have a whole lot of true exclusives to enjoy in 2023, but regardless, there were plenty of great video games released for the Series X, Series S, and Xbox One – especially on the Xbox Game Pass service. From dark reimaginings of classic fairy tales, to terrifying tales of lakes and darkness, and even snazzy pop culture-inspired musical combat adventures, the biggest blockbusters went extremely hard.

And Xbox is only heading up from here, with big games planned for 2024 – Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, possibly the Fable reboot – and fresh plans likely in the works with Activision Blizzard, now that court cases around the acquisition are largely resolved. Whatever comes next, we’ll always have these fantastic experiences from 2023 to remember.

Here’s GamesHub’s list of the best Xbox games in 2023.

How does GamesHub pick its Game of the Year list?

GamesHub’s Game of the Year picks are selected collectively by tenured staff and regular contributors. Each participant puts together a ranked personal list of their favourite games released in 2023, and titles are given a score according to their rank, with 10 being the highest, and 1 being the lowest. The scores are collated, and the games are ranked by their collective score, with staff members adjusting where necessary before locking in the final list.

Honourable Mentions

starfield update patch notes november 2023
Image: Bethesda Game Studios

To kick off, let’s focus on the games we loved in 2023 – but didn’t quite make our unranked list of the top five best experiences. First, we’ll mention Starfield, a game that told a grand tale of space travel and featured plenty of great cosmic locales. Then we’ve got Resident Evil 4, a brilliant remake of one of the greatest classic horror adventures, and Street Fighter 6, a stellar community-based fighting game that also riffs on classic gameplay.

Beyond these titles, another honourable mention must go to Venba, for its gorgeous and impactful exploration of family and deep-rooted culture, as well as to Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty for its dashing spy missions and impressive sleekness.

And now, onto our list of the top five best Xbox video games of 2023.

Lies of P

Lies of P Review goty best games of 2023
Image: Neowiz

For all the games inspired by Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and the rest of the FromSoftware repertoire, I’ve never seen one that has completely enamoured people like Lies of P. 

Perhaps it’s the stunning art direction, featuring Victorian costumes and creatively macabre mechanical terrors. Perhaps it’s the inventive reframing of the story of Pinocchio, and how the game uses it to do something interesting in examining themes of self-actualisation. Or perhaps it’s the tight and exciting combat, featuring inventive weapons and an entertaining array of prosthetic limbs, whose abilities can completely change the way you approach things.

Read: Lies of P Review – The Perfect Game Isn’t Just a Fairy Tale

Whatever it is, it’s clear the developers at NeoWiz have been able to tap into what makes the Soulslike genre resonate so strongly, and have excelled at putting their own unique spin on things. If you’re a Souls fan, do not sleep on Lies of P, and keep a close eye on this studio. – Edmond Tran

Hi-Fi Rush

best video games 2023 hi-fi rush
Image: Tango Gameworks

I’m not normally one to buy into nostalgia plays, but Hi-Fi Rush was definitely a special exception this year. It doesn’t play into an existing intellectual property, but rather the vibe of a whole era of video games that existed in the early 2000s – think GameCube, Dreamcast, and Capcom’s Clover Studio – and it does it exceptionally well. I love vibes.

Read: Hi-Fi Rush, the surprise Xbox exclusive game, is pure delight

A character action game bursting with colour, personality, and music, it makes you long for a time when games were unafraid to be a bit more joyous and experimental, leaving the doom and gloom behind for bopping robot enemies in time with the rocking tunes – it’s Saturday morning, and 9/11 hasn’t happened yet. Take me back, Hi-Fi Rush. – Edmond Tran

Alan Wake 2

alan wake 2 review ps5
Image: Remedy Entertainment

Alan Wake 2 positively blew me away in 2023, after more than a decade of waiting for it. Frankly, Remedy Entertainment outdid itself with this sequel. It’s creepy, and gorgeous, and extremely obtuse, in a way that’ll have you salivating for answers, generating conspiracy theories, and going deeper into its strange, winding lore. Remedy is a company known for its storytelling, and Alan Wake 2 represents the best of what the studio is capable of.

It’s a multi-threaded monster. A literature-minded horror adventure with sprawling plot threads that dangle and tease, inspiring questions, curiosity, and an ever-forward march as it spins a complex web of terrors. But while it weaves a tale that seems to dance out of reach with every strange chapter, as the interlocking stories of Saga Anderson and Alan Wake play out, deft writing and a strong plot means the answers eventually coalesce in gripping fashion.

Read: Alan Wake 2 Review – Save The Writer, Save The World

That’s not to mention that Remedy hid a full-blown musical in this game, and plenty of other quirks besides. It’s a phenomenal experience and one well worth exploring yourself. – Leah J. Williams

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

best games 2023 goty list
Image: FromSoftware

Even more so than its previous games, FromSoftware’s Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon makes every major victory against its overwhelming odds, and its fearsome boss characters, feel exhilarating, well-fought, and hard-earned. In a desolate far-flung future where industry mars the world, corporations are at each other’s throats, and alliances change on a whim, it feels like there is no hope. But that’s what makes charging through the awfulness feel so liberating. 

Read: Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon Review

No RPG levelling, no hand-holding – it’s just you and the mech you built against the world. If you fuck up, maybe you change out your parts, your weapons. But at the end of the day, it comes down to you and your persistence, your focus, and your mettle. It’s a power fantasy you have to work hard for. When you hear the crunch of metal and see the dramatic slow-motion effect when your killing blow lands… it feels like you could punch the moon. – Edmond Tran


Jusant Preview - Key Art
Image: Don’t Nod

Jusant came at the perfect time of year. Wedged between a string of blockbusters that demanded all too much attention, Jusant merely presented a big mountain, and asked you to climb. Jusant gave my mind the space to unravel, like releasing a goldfish into a big tank after carrying it around in a plastic bag all day. 

Read: Jusant Review – One Hand at A Time

Climbing in Jusant is a thoughtful, tactile, and meaningful act, where every move you make is considered. Let the world fall away while you focus solely on your next hand hold, and Jusant will put you in the calm, meditative state you need when the world, and blockbuster video games, feel like just a bit too much. – Edmond Tran

Catch up with more of GameHub’s favourite games of 2023, including platform-specific lists and picks from special guests in our Best of 2023 roundup.

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