Games of the Year

RPGFan Games of the Year 2023: Best Strategy RPG

GOTY 2023 Best Strategy RPG Fire Emblem Engage

Winner: Fire Emblem Engage

Fire Emblem Engage had a lot to live up to after the enormous success of its predecessor, Three Houses. While Engage was not exactly the “Three Houses 2” many may have wanted, it is a terrific entry in Nintendo’s tactical RPG franchise. Where Three Houses‘ success stemmed from its school setting and social aspects, Engage‘s strengths lie in the actual strategic gameplay. The combat and maps are great, and the game also excels at incorporating characters from throughout the series to aid your party in battles. It has been almost a full year since Engage released, and subsequently, it sometimes feels lost among the sea of solid RPGs that 2023 produced. For it to still be named Best Strategy RPG by the staff speaks to its overall quality.

by Jimmy Turner

Runner-Up: Wargroove 2

Wargroove 2 manages to take the colorful cast of shallow characters from the first title and fleshes out their backstories, motivations, and relationships to the world of Aurania with deeply satisfying results. If you had told me that a sequel to Wargroove would deftly handle sensitive issues such as the consequences of imperialism, young queer love, and the burden of parental expectations, I would’ve been skeptical. Yet Wargroove 2 successfully takes the narrative to emotionally resonant places and maintains the core strategic gameplay that made the first so satisfying, all while putting Nintendo to shame with its robust online features. The Advance Wars imitator has surpassed its inspiration, and is a must-play for any fan of turn-based strategy.

by Ben Love

Readers’ Choice: Best Strategy RPG of 2023

Winner: Fire Emblem Engage (36.1% of votes)

Runner-Up: Persona 5 Tactica (18.7% of votes)

Jimmy Turner

Jimmy Turner

Jimmy has been a fan of RPGs since the SNES era of his childhood. Now—as a father of four—he loves playing RPGs both old and new with his family and seeking validation for his love of the classics. Along with video games he likes playing board and table-top games as well. Other family time is spent watching either anime, WWE, Big Brother or Ghost Adventures, and conducting their own paranormal investigations.