Games of the Year

RPGFan Games of the Year 2023 ~ Editors’ Awards: Tyler Trosper

RPGFan Games of the Year 2023: Editors' Awards

Every year, I find myself behind in gaming. Not to say I haven’t played any games released in 2023, but I’ve found progress slowed by the number of amazing games over the past several years. TOO MANY GAMES! Unfortunately, several 2023 games will also spill over into my 2024 backlog. I will try my best to point out the ones I’ve played this year.

Hidden Gem of 2023: Little Goody Two Shoes

Halloween brought a hidden gem that blends horror, life sim, and a distinct ’90s anime vibe: Little Goody Two Shoes. The lush environments and character animations bring Elise’s world of Kieferberg to life, along with the gorgeous soundtrack. Elise herself is an earnest protagonist shaped by the world around her after her grandmother passed away years ago. Balancing everyday life and the horrors at night provides a satisfying gameplay loop. Will Elise achieve her goal of getting rich, leaving Kieferberg, and dating the girl of her choice, or will she be branded a witch by the community? With ten endings, Little Goody Two Shoes offers a unique and worthwhile experience.

A girl makes her way through a darkened hallway in Little Goody Two Shoes.

RPGs Perfect to Play with Your Friends: Dokapon Kingdom: Connect and Doomsday Paradise

RPGs to play with your friends are a bit hard to come by (besides MMORPGs), but two games in particular had my friends returning for more: Dokapon Kingdom: Connect and Doomsday Paradise. The former, a re-release of a Wii and PlayStation 2 game, provides a delightful board game experience with your close friends. Choose a class, save towns, and more in a turn-based experience that I found delightful. Just like with Mario Party, it tests your friendships.

Similarly, Doomsday Paradise sets you and your friends on a quest to prevent the apocalypse, but your priority is finding that special someone to share the end of the world with. Think Monster Prom but with turn-based card battles. Playthroughs are breezy depending on your chosen timeframe, with some games lasting half an hour to 45 minutes. The quirky characters, hilarious writing, and over 120 endings keep bringing my friends and me back to this game.

I’m Overwhelmed and Still Only in Act 2: Baldur’s Gate III

I’m not alone in saying Baldur’s Gate III is a fantastic game. Conversing with my friends about my experience is such a joy because of how differently the story can develop based on your choices. I remember being ten hours in and wondering, “Everyone loves this Astarion guy, but I haven’t seen him once. Where is he?” Little did I know that I missed an area in the first half hour. Every moment, big and small, feels so special. A big part of BGIII that draws you in is the fantastic characters and writing. Karlach needs to be protected at all costs!

Screenshot of Baldur's Gate III, one of several RPGs coming this week

We Technically Got Another Xenoblade Game and it is Good: Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed

I had a lot of feelings for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 in 2022, both good and bad. Something felt off, missing. However, once Future Redeemed launched, the experience felt complete. Not only did we receive closure on details from the base game, but we also received a satisfying and dramatic closure for the entire series. The characters, both old and new, are fantastic, and the gameplay formula and quality of life features make this some of the best story and gameplay of all of the Xenoblade Chronicles games. Whether you’ve been a fan since the days of Xenogears and Xenosaga or since the first Xenoblade Chronicles, there’s a lot for everyone to enjoy. The ending is moving and opens a plethora of possibilities for the series’ future.

Tyler Trosper

Tyler Trosper

Tyler Trosper is a news writer for RPGFan. He has an unhealthy obsession with the Xeno franchise, especially Xenosaga. He runs a podcast about the series in his free time and sometimes works on fan projects. Tyler would die happy if Xenosaga Episode IV was announced. Besides Xeno, Tyler enjoys watching anime, his favorite being Neon Genesis Evangelion.