Games of the Year

RPGFan Games of the Year 2023: Best Mobile Game

GOTY 2023 Best Mobile Game Honkai: Star Rail

Winner: Honkai: Star Rail

Honkai: Star Rail‘s launch proved that HoYoverse could capture lightning in a bottle twice. Combining traditional turn-based RPG combat with their signature gacha character acquisition was a recipe for success, rocketing the game to the top of the mobile charts. The game is more than just a money printer, though, addressing some of the most glaring flaws of their breakout hit Genshin Impact. Honkai: Star Rail has a greater focus on linear storytelling, allowing all the characters to have moments to shine. The combat system is well-considered and balanced, and each character feels unique and useful in their niche. The combo potential of various team compositions makes party building addicting, and the focus on roguelike dungeon crawling for the repeatable daily content is refreshing compared to the doldrums of material grinding and fetch questing in Genshin‘s daily tasks. It remains to be seen if Honkai: Star Rail will reach the commercial heights of its predecessor, but as a free-to-play game, it succeeds at being satisfying to play without spending a dime.

by Ben Love

Runner-Up: Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis

Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis promised lofty ambitions: remakes of every game in the Compilation of FFVII with pseudo-turn-based combat and chibi scenes reminiscent of the 1997 original. While the rollout of this content may take years, given a slower start than many anticipated, it has nonetheless proved a fantastic way to revisit classic storylines. The game’s best quality is its beautifully written origin stories, including the First Soldier campaign depicting Sephiroth’s inaugural combat mission, and bite-sized tales that fill gaps in the main characters’ timelines. We’re still early in this gacha game’s lifecycle, but it’s a promising start and faithful celebration of its venerable source material. It just needs to mosey less with its content rollout.

by Tim Rattray

Readers’ Choice: Best Mobile Game of 2023

Winner: Honkai: Star Rail (49.6% of votes)

Runner-Up: Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis (41.8% of votes)

Ben Love

Ben Love

Ben is a features and reviews writer for RPGFan. When he's not 50 floors deep in a dungeon or commanding armies on a digital battlefield, he can be found curled up with his cat Mochi and a good book. Ben has a passion for the development history and legacy of RPG-focused studios. He's also a proud Falcom aficionado and a (mostly) shameless Fire Emblem fan.