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Every last RPS Bestest Best review of 2023

A list of the bestest games we've plonked a sticker on this year

Slices of five Bestest Best picks from across 2023 featuring, A Space For The Unbound, Shadow Gambit 2, Talos Principle 2, Paranormasight, and Season: A Letter To The Future.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/ Toge Productions/ Mimimi Games/ Devolver Digital/ Square Enix/ Scavengers Studio

Cor, there's been a lot of games this year, haven't there? While I've only slapped one Bestest Best badge down in 2023 (woe is me), our lovely freelancers, current RPSers, and former RPSers have done a whole lot more badge-slapping. A grand total of 26 Bestest Bests have graced our monitors this year, which makes it three more than last year's Bestest Best round-up. And I'd say it's a nice mixture of big budget open worlders, puzzle gems, and indie delights that make up our roster for 2023, too.

So yeah, I'd encourage you to have a flick through the list below and see if there's anything you can add to the wishlist. Even as the person with "Reviews" in their job title, I can confirm I literally have loads of these Bestest Bests in my backlog. I will endeavour to play a handful over this Christmas break on my Steam Deck, maybe combining the experience with a nibble on a mince pie. Anyway, enjoy! And Merry Reviewsmas!

A schoolgirl looks down at a blue flower that's growing out of her palm in A Space For The Unbound.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Toge Productions

A Space For The Unbound review: a supernatural teen romance with a wonderful sense of time and place

A Space For The Unbound's world-ending coming-of-age adventure holds incredible weight while also being sentimental and heartfelt.

A screenshot from Season showing Estelle standing in a field of glowing purple flowers. The image has the RPS Bestest Best badge
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Scavengers Studio

Season: A Letter To The Future review: a melancholy travelogue of a gorgeous post-war world

A gorgeous cycling road trip about documenting your travels through a melancholy post-war world that'll soon be washed away in a great flood. An adventure with a poetic outlook and deliberately slow pace, Season keeps pulling you in deeper and deeper.

Returnal artwork showing Selene in front of a wall filled with helmets. It has RPS' bestest best badge in the top left corner.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/ PlayStation

Returnal review: an immaculate third-person shooter that may keep you in its loop forever

As long as your PC is up to the job, Returnal is a top-notch conversion of PlayStation 5’s finest, combining razor-sharp shooting with dense atmosphere and a captivating story.

A side on profile of a woman in glasses from The Wreck, with the RPS Bestest Best logo in the corner, and the word INTENSE below
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/The Pixel Hunt

The Wreck review: a raw road trip down memory lane

An affecting and powerful visual novel, The Wreck takes a long hard look at grief, guilt and family relationships to deliver a cathartic gut punch to the senses.

A young woman in Paranormasight looking wide-eyed and shocked, the screenshot features RPS' bestest bests badge
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Square Enix

Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries Of Honjo review: a hair-raising and subversive horror visual novel

A gripping tale of rites, rituals, and revenge, Paranormasight has turned out to be one of this year's biggest surprises. Its subversive approach to both horror and visual novels is as refreshing as it is chilling. A must-play for Zero Escape and Danganronpa fans.

A close-up of Leon Kennedy in the Resident Evil 4 remake, with the RPS Bestest Best logo in the corner
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Capcom

Resident Evil 4 remake review: an exceptional return to one of the greatest action games of all time

Part reimagining, part dutiful modernisation, the Resident Evil 4 remake is silly, bold and brash, sure, but unashamed of its past and happy to relish in its inspirations. The scale of what Capcom has achieved here is remarkable.

Tchia looks down at some yellow sparkles emanating from her hands in Tchia.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Kelper Interactive

Tchia review: a gorgeous open-world adventure bursting with heart

Tchia's gorgeous archipelago is bursting with character and exploration potential. Together with a heartfelt story and authentic New Caledonian inspirations, this adventure is an impressive debut from developers Awaceb.

A boat sails past a rocky outcrop with a lighthouse perched on the edge in Dredge, with the RPS Bestest Best logo in the corner
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Team 17

Dredge review: spooky ocean thrills that reel you in for more

Dripping with atmosphere and armed with several compelling story hooks, Dredge is an eldritch fishing tale that will have you hooked from the word go.

A creepy humanoid in a spaceship uniform approaches the player in System Shock, the screenshot has Rock Paper Shotgun's bestest best badge in the top left corner
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Prime Matter

System Shock remake review: Nightdive rebuilds the immersive sim mothership just as it was

While its refusal to let you cheat the exam will prove too punishing for some, the new System Shock is a breathtakingly beautiful and astonishingly faithful remake that proves the enduring power of Looking Glass design.

Sissel discovers he cannot read in Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, with the RPS Bestest Best logo in the corner
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Capcom

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective review: a glorious remaster that's still to die for

A beautiful remaster of one of the greatest murder mystery puzzle games of the last two decades, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective feels every bit as fresh and lively today as it did back in 2011.

A black and white chuck of building is being used as a ramp in Viewfinder. The screenshot has the RPS bestest best badge in the top left corner.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Thunderful Publishing

Viewfinder review: a mind-bending puzzler where perspective is everything

Viewfinder is a puzzle game like no other. Its reality-shifting, mind-bending hook is constantly fascinating, and the directions it takes will leave your head spinning in the best way possible.

Three heroes face an enormous king in Let's! Revolution!
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Buck/Hawthorn Games

Let's! Revolution! review: the fantasy Minesweeper roguelite you never knew you needed

Superbly presented with oceans of strategic depth, Let's! Revolution! is a spirited fantasy roguelite that gives Minesweeper a vibrant new lease of life.

An enormous ghostly woman with a halo and a spectral core emerges from the ground in Remnant 2.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Gearbox Publishing

Remnant II review: fast, brutal combat meets procedural dimension-hopping in this ambitious sequel

A staggering improvement upon a solid foundation, Remnant 2 is an engrossing Soulslike that brings all the horror and joy of alien world exploration to wonderfully dark fruition.

A spaceship explores the depths of space in V: Rings of Saturn. The RPS bestest best badge is in the top left corner.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Kodera Software

ΔV: Rings Of Saturn review: turns asteroid mining lead into space game gold

Physics and realism offer flavour rather than undermine the raw joy of flight and space hoovering. ΔV: Rings Of Saturn is a sim for players who didn’t even know this was their niche.

A desk scene with a dual-screen video games console and several magazines and game boxes, with the RPS Bestest Best logo in the left corner
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Kinmoku

Videoverse review: hold onto your heartstrings

A thoughtful and beautifully-written tale about online friendships and the communities that bring people together, Videoverse makes every interaction and dialogue choice count as you navigate its interpersonal dramas.

The player character, a ranger, looks at some elves that have been turned to stone in Baldur's Gate 3. An RPS Bestest Best logo is superimposed on the image
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

Baldur's Gate 3 review: the rumours are true, this is a really good RPG

Larian's RPG is an incredible world to get lost in, and though it may take you 100 hours, you will want to play again. It's the best Dungeons & Dragons game anyone has made, and probably will ever make. Unless there's a sequel in another 20 years.

Three pirates leave their ship to sail to shore in a small boat in Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Mimimi Games

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew review: an all-time treasure

A crowning achievement of open world stealth puzzling, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is fiendishly good fun. Easily Mimimi's best stealth strategy game yet.

A woman sits atop a wall in a screenshot from Six Ages 2, cleaning her sword. There RPS Bestest Best logo is on the left side of the picture
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Kitfox Games

Six Ages 2: Lights Going Out review: a fascinating story-generator with a wealth of possibilities

Another solid entry in a unique story-generator series that rewards a fascination with human cultures, but demands acceptance of failure and misfortune.

Idris Elba looking sad in shiny clothes in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty review: perhaps the best expansion pack ever made

A brilliantly written and performed spy-thriller set in the middle of Night City and of Cyberpunk 2077's overarching story.

Insect lad stands by a purple orb as a three-headed alien being whirrs to life in Cocoon.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Annapurna Interactive

Cocoon review: this puzzler is a world-hopping delight

Masterful geography makes this world-hopping puzzler not only a series of clever problems, but a grand exploration of a wonderfully realised cosmic universe.

A train in voxel puzzle game Station To Station puffs up a hill. The RPS Bestest Best circular badge is in the top left corner of the image
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Prismatika

Station To Station review: all aboard the prettiest puzzle express, calling at fun junction

Station To Station is a short but lovely train-themed puzzle game, perfectly balanced, and you'll play it in pursuit of a more beautiful engine.

A screenshot from Endless Dungeon that shows two characters unloading ammo into enemy robots.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Sega

Endless Dungeon review: an excellently moreish roguelike about opening doors

A very satisfying tower defence roguelike, except the "tower" has legs.

A failure screen in World Of Horror showing that an Old God who can manifest through mirrors has entered the reflection in your lover's eye
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Ysbryd Games

World Of Horror review: a weird and wonderful horror adventure in time for Halloween

Repetitive combat in World Of Horror can't entirely mar a unique, stylish and layered horror adventure that makes you want to play more the more that you play.

The main character in Jusant holding their little blue water blob friend. The RPS Bestest Best award sticker is on the left side of the screenshot
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Don't Nod

Jusant review: a show don't tell masterpiece

Jusant's tale unravels through concrete, satisfying climbing that contrasts with ephemeral hints at the past, in a game that marries function, form and story in a most beautiful way.

A robot and a cat look at the RPS Bestest Best logo in The Talos Principle 2
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Devolver Digital

The Talos Principle 2 review: masterful puzzles that will make your head spin with dizzying delight

Reprising its engrossing mix of chewy puzzles and deep philosophising about the nature of human experience, The Talos Principle 2 raises the bar yet again with its playful approach to problem-solving, and asks how we fit into the wider machinations of the world at large.

A town in Against The Storm with Bestest badge slapped on the right.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Hooded Horse

Against The Storm review: a roguelite citybuilder awash with great ideas

An inventive roguelite citybuilder brimming with challenge and excitement, making it a bold step forward for both genres.

What are some of your bestest bests from 2023? Let us know in the comments!