2023 has been a packed year for fantastic video games, yet two games stand out from the pack, at least in critical acclaim. Those games are Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, yet there’s one other game challenging them on Metacritic, one that most people haven’t heard of.
A new game may threaten the dominion of Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, as Super Mario Wonder has also had an amazing critical reception. That’s almost to be expected from a 2D Mario game, and fans would have been shocked if it received less than 9s across the board, so it’s a worthy opponent to Link and Tav.
Metacritic’s Top Games Of 2023
2023 is spoiled for choice in games with a 90+ on Metacritic. There were a bunch of ports and remakes of classic games in the mix, with The Witcher 3 and Metroid Prime: Remastered both receiving 94, while Resident Evil 4 and Tetris Effect: Connected received 93. These results are expected, as these titles had an established legacy.
Regarding new titles, Rogue Legacy 2 and Sea of Stars received a 90 on Metacritic, Diablo IV and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 received a 91, and Street Fighter 6 received a 93. All of these games are sequels to highly acclaimed games, so their presence in the upper tiers of Metacritic also makes sense.
What’s surprising is the games that didn’t receive a 90 or above. The Dead Space remake got an 89, Armored Core VI got an 88, Pikmin 4 and Final Fantasy 16 got an 87, and most surprisingly, Starfield got an 86. These are all still positive scores, and all the games are worth checking out.
Baldur’s Gate 3 and Tears of the Kingdom are on top of the pile, both of which received a 96 on Metacritic. No one doubted that the sequel to Breath of the Wild would exceed its predecessor, considering that the same development team was involved. Baldur’s Gate 3 was a rockier prospect, and the game shipped with lots of bugs, but there’s no denying what an incredible experience it is, one that begs players to come back for more.
The One Game That Challenges Baldur’s Gate 3 & Tears Of The Kingdom
It turns out that a third game in 2023 also received a 96 on Metacritic, yet it’s completely absent from “Game of the Year” discussions. This game is called Six Ages 2: Lights Going Out, and it’s a strategy RPG available for PC and iOS, with the iOS port listed as receiving the higher Metacritic score.
Six Ages 2 is a fantasy game in the world of Glorantha, which is currently in a mystical version of the Bronze Age from our world. You play as a clan leader who must protect their tribe against an onslaught from the environment, monsters, and rival factions. The game merges gorgeous artwork, and engaging story beats while the player manages their tribe and tries to keep them alive. The random nature of events means that no two playthroughs are the same.
So, Why Does No One Care About Six Ages 2?
It’s unfair to say that no one cares about Six Ages 2. After all, as of the time of writing, it has 82 reviews on Steam with a Very Positive response. Meanwhile, Baldur’s Gate 3 has 333,322 reviews, also being Very Positive.
Six Ages 2 doesn’t have the name value of a Legend of Zelda game, nor is it the first major Dungeons & Dragons RPG video game in years. It also has an unusual premise and a slow-paced gameplay style. Static cutscenes don’t exactly make for great YouTube Shorts of TikTok videos, which Baldur’s Gate 3 and Tears of the Kingdom excel at producing.
In short, Six Ages 2 isn’t the kind of game with blockbuster appeal from a huge audience. It might be an excellent game, but its genre and subject matter are more of an acquired taste, certainly more than driving Link around Hyrule in a magic car or going on adventures with your sexy elf friends. It also had the misfortune of launching in one of the most packed gaming years in living memory, but maybe when the dust settles, more people will look at this fascinating game and see what they missed out on.