games / Columns

Top 8 Games I’ve Missed So Far in 2023

October 6, 2023 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Baldur's Gate 3 Image Credit: Larian Studios

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! Yes, I am somewhat back, finally! After a nice five month break dealing with health, hospital and other issues I have returned to try and resurrect this column. I thought for this column’s topic I would make a list of games that I really missed out on this year so far, either due to not having a budget, not getting a review code (Armored Core 6), or because I was stuck in the hospital and a recovery home for almost 3 months. While I’m not 100% healthy now I can at least write this column out now, so let’s begin:

#8: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

This is actually the one game on this list that I do have now and am currently trying to play through. I say “trying” because, like with BOTW, I am bouncing off hard in this game. I think for me, I like the actual structure of the older Zelda games more with a quality vs. quantity approach to dungeon/puzzle design. I also find the combat to be a bit lackluster and the less said about the nightmare of trying to use Ultrahand to manipulate objects, the better. While I can fundamentally agree that this is a great game and plenty of people love it, I am still not enraptured by the game much, except for exploring the depths (underground) area.

#7: Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

Advance Wars came out almost a week before I was set to go into the hospital, for the first time, so it really passed me by. And since then, it really hasn’t gone on sale or anything, it’s still $60, with the cheapest used copies being around $50. If the game would drop down to $40 or even $35, it’d be an easy pick up for me. This would actually be my first dip into an Advance Wars game since I largely didn’t play handheld stuff from the GBC on and the series was primarily on handheld consoles. Still, I wait for the day when the game can get affordable enough for me.

#6: Aliens: Dark Descent

An actual semi-good Aliens game? The hell you say! Based on the long running media franchise, Dark Descent is basically “What if XCOM had Xenomorphs?” and you know what? That’s just fine. Dark Descent might not be the best game ever but it knows what it is, has fairly decent reviews and actually respects the source material, which is something most Alien games don’t manage to do. I’m sure at some point this will be included in some Humble Bundle or will be heavily discounted and that’s when I’ll pounce, grab it, and then play it.

#5: Star Trek: Resurgence

Much like with Aliens, it actually seems like there is finally another good Star Trek game in the world. I think the subtitle “Resurgence” is pretty good since the Star Trek franchise has been going through a bit of a resurgence as well with good shows like Strange New Worlds and Prodigy out. If this game had been out on Steam while I was in the hospital, I likely would have grabbed it, but it didn’t. Resurgence is basically an adventure game, in the Telltale style, set in the Star Trek universe, and that sounds great to me. Sadly, I almost always keep forgetting about it, and it didn’t make a huge splash when it came out but it seems to be a fairly solid little game.

#4: Baldur’s Gate 3

BG3 is a game I easily could have bought on Steam while I was away. The problem is, my laptop is pretty old and the odds of it running it nil because I don’t even have a SSD, which it requires. Honestly, I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy Baldur’s Gate 3, I have a friend who helped write it and while I did enjoy Divinity: Original Sin 1 and 2 some, I eventually got too overwhelmed with all the systems that were in place. Baldur’s Gate 3 looks like more of that, which is both good and bad. Maybe I’ll try it someday and it’ll be magical but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

#3: Armored Core 6

The fervor around Armored Core 6 kind of surprised me a lot. I was a fan of the original Armored Core game, all the way back in 1997. That was an extremely awkward playing mech game, with you having to use R2 and L2 to look up and down and it had some other difficult mechanics. So I was extremely fearful that a lot of recent FromSoftware fans, due to Bloodborne, Elden Ring, etc., would be hit in the face with the game’s control system being out of date. Thankfully, this isn’t the case since they really modernized the game, removed the timer (for the most part) and have it look utterly gorgeous. This is definitely high on my list of game that I want to play soon.

#2: Remnant 2

The real bummer about Remnant 2 is that the site actually did get a review code for it, specifically for the Steam version. But like with Baldur’s Gate 3, even the minimum specs that the PC version requires, my laptop is now sadly below. The request for a PS5/PS4 code went unanswered, so here we are. I was one of the few people who really loved the first Remnant game, so having more of it to play with some better controls/boss fights would be a dream of mine. Also, forcing my friend to play it with me would be some nice revenge since he is now forcing me to play Saints Row with him right now. Eventually the game will get cheap, likely when Embracer crumbles apart, and that is when I’ll buy it.

#1: Final Fantasy XVI

When I was in the hospital I really did try to buy a copy of Final Fantasy 16 so I could play it by the time I got out. The first copy didn’t have the extra steelbook that Best Buy ran out of and the second copy I ordered, from QVC, was mysteriously cancelled. While FF 16 is barely a JRPG at this point, it is still very highly regarded as an action game and one that I really want to play. I’ll be curious to see what happens in the story and if I can get invested or not. This, to me, is probably the one real big game I need to play, before I can try and formulate a GOTY list, at least a personal one.

For comments, list which you did over the summer or what games you played.

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Top 8 Games That I Always Return To