The highest-rated games of 2023, according to Metacritic

Super Mario Bros. Wonder screenshot

With both Super Mario Bros. Wonder and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 gaining 90+ scores, the Metacritic ratings for 2023 are through the roof.

I think we can all agree that 2023 has been a banner year for video games. The current list of the highest-rated games of 2023 on Metacritic features 29 games with a Metascore of 90 or more, including the newly released Super Mario Bros. Wonder (93) and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (90).

Of course, Metacritic isn’t infallible: for example, games with a low number of critic reviews can tend to skew the ratings somewhat. But the large number of games with ratings of 90 or above confirms what we all knew already: that 2023 has been a bit of a special year.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 currently has a Metacritic rating of 90. Credit: Insomniac Games

Of the 29 games with scores of 90+, quite a few are either re-issues of old games or ports of previously released games to new platforms. The 90+-rated re-releases and ports include: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition (with a Metascore of 94), Metroid Prime Remastered (94), The Case of the Golden Idol (93), Tetris Effect: Connected (93), Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (90), Persona 4 Golden (90), Quake II – Enhanced Edition (90), Moss: Book II (90), Rogue Legacy 2 (90), Tents & Trees (90), Walkabout Mini Golf (90) and Pistol Whip (90).

If we strip those out and only include games that were first released in 2023 – and assume that the remake of Resident Evil 4 is different enough to constitute a new game – then we have the following list. (Note that the list features DLC expansions as separate entries, and the links will take you to our reviews.)

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (96)
  • Baldur’s Gate 3 (96)
  • Resident Evil 4 Remake (93)
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder (93)
  • Cocoon (92)
  • Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania (92)
  • Street Fighter 6 (92)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed (92)
  • Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways (91)
  • Turbo Overkill (91)
  • Sea of Stars (91)
  • Diablo IV (91)
  • Jack Jeanne (90)
  • Dave the Diver (90)
  • The Making of Karateka (90)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (90)
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (90)

It’s great to see The Making of Karateka on the list, a lovingly created game/documentary hybrid that we hope will start a trend for more interactive documentaries dedicated to classic games. There are a few surprises, too: I’ll admit to never having heard of the visual novel Jack Jeanne, which launched in Japan in 2021 but was released in English for the first time in 2023.

pikmin 4 review
Pikmin 4 didn’t quite make it into the 90+ Metacritic range. Credit: Nintendo

In addition, there are loads of other excellent games which just missed out on a 90+ rating, such as Hi-Fi Rush (89), Shadow Gambit (87), Pikmin 4 (87), Starfield (86), A Space for the Unbound (86), Blasphemous 2 (85), Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (85), Cassette Beasts (84) and Viewfinder (84). Plus there are still several highly anticipated releases to come in 2023, including Cities: Skylines 2 (24 October), Alan Wake 2 (27 October), Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name (9 November) and SteamWorld Build (1 December).

Truly, 2023 has been a banner year for video games. But on the flipside, in a somewhat ironic twist, it’s been an absolutely terrible year for the games industry, with more than 6,000 layoffs so far at companies including Epic, Unity, Embracer, BioWare, Microsoft and many more – something that Vikki Blake thinks we should all be more angry about.

Read more: Alan Wake 2 preview | “This is the best version it could possibly be”

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