Best Overlooked Games From 2023

Highlights

  • Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus And Butterfly is a relaxing and cozy game where you serve drinks and learn about the lives of fantastical characters.
  • Season: A Letter To The Future offers a stunning and peaceful experience as you document the final days of Earth and find joy in simple things.
  • Meet Your Maker allows you to create deadly outposts or navigate other players’ designs, offering a fascinating multiplayer experience and perfect trap-building opportunities.

THEGAMER VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

2023 has been full of so many excellent games it’s nearly impossible to play them all. Between massive open-world adventures like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to immersive RPGs like Baldur’s Gate 3 and everything in between, this has been the first year in a while where the avalanche of stellar titles feels supremely overwhelming.

Related: The Best Nintendo Switch Games Of 2023

After rolling credits on Resident Evil 4 Remake or Final Fantasy 16, you might want to hop into something smaller before embarking on the next journey. There are plenty of underrated games from 2023 that have been lost in the shuffle that are just as good – if not better – than some of the biggest games of the year.

10 Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus And Butterfly

Lua sits beside an angry cat

Is there anything more relaxing than having a great conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee? Coffee Talk 2 picks up three years after the events of the first game and features most of the original cast, plus a few new faces for you to meet. With a relaxing soundtrack and cozy vibes, it’s one of the best games to boot up on a rainy day.

Throughout the roughly seven-hour visual novel, you will open your café each night to serve drinks to a roster of memorable and fantastical characters. Aside from preparing beverages for your customers, you’ll also spend your time learning about their lives and helping them navigate issues like dating, careers, and more.

9 Season: A Letter To The Future

Estelle sits back against her bike in a field as the sun sets

Season: A Letter To The Future launched in January 2023 and is a gorgeous and unique experience. From the mesmerizing visuals to the laid-back gameplay mechanics, its beautification of the apocalypse is absolutely stunning while simultaneously providing a sensation of peace and ease.

You play as Estelle, a young woman who sets out to document the final days of Earth before it’s wiped away. You can record history by drawing, taking photographs, recording audio, and more. It’s almost a meditative experience as you bike around and search for the simple things that provide you the most joy.

8 Meet Your Maker

Two players face an enemy in a hallway

If you’ve ever wanted to recreate the temple from the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, then you should check out Meet Your Maker, one of the most fascinating multiplayer games from 2023. Imagine Super Mario Maker, but instead of creating a 2D platforming level, you have the tools to make a death mansion that other players must navigate and survive.

Related: Meet Your Maker: Tips For Raiding Outposts

Available on almost every platform except for the Nintendo Switch, you can do one of two things in Meet Your Maker: create deadly outposts to stump other players, or infiltrate one yourself to see if you can outsmart someone else’s design.

If you build an outpost, you can watch the footage of how other people navigated it to make adjustments and create the perfect trap for unsuspecting victims.

7 Cassette Beasts

Two characters face the ocean while standing behind a fence

Between Coromon and Temtem, there has been a surge of games heavily inspired by Pokemon that have tried to make a name for themselves in the monster-catching genre. Cassette Beasts takes many of the core concepts from the Pokemon series, but instead of simply recycling mechanics, it builds off of them to create an experience that feels new and familiar at the same time.

Cassette Beasts contains many quality-of-life features longtime fans of the Pokemon series have hungered for in the past few generations. It’s challenging, contains an incredibly compelling narrative, and has a permadeath mode for those who enjoy Nuzlocke runs.

If the Pokemon series has been letting you down lately, Cassette Beasts might rejuvenate your love for the genre for less than half the price of Scarlet and Violet.

6 Wildfrost

Hongo's Hammer is used against Makoko

While games like Slay the Spire and Monster Train continue to dominate the roguelike deck-building department, plenty of newcomers like Wildfrost continue to push the boundaries of the genre and discover room for improvement. With its eye-popping visuals and intricate mechanics, Wildfrost is perfect for deck-building veterans and those looking to hop in for the first time.

Your main goal is to strategically use unit cards to protect your leader. If that card is destroyed during battle, your run is over. Exploring different card combinations is consistently intriguing as you learn which ones work best together. Wildfrost has one of the most charming art styles of the year, and each run feels incredibly rewarding.

5 The Murder Of Sonic The Hedgehog

A group of characters from the Sonic series gather in a train

Most Sonic games involve going fast and defeating Dr. Eggman, but The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog puts a new spin on the series by turning it into an engaging murder mystery visual novel. The game received universal acclaim when it launched on April Fool’s Day for its engaging writing, stellar presentation, and being free to download and play.

Related: Every Sonic Games On Nintendo Switch, Ranked

It’s Amy’s birthday, and she invites all her friends to a murder-mystery-themed party. It doesn’t take long for the event to go off the rails, and it’s up to you to investigate and deduce who is behind the twisted murder of the Blue Blur. The game is only a couple of hours long, but it’s an enjoyable ride full of twists and turns for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

4 Have A Nice Death

Death prepares to fight Gordon Grimes

There are plenty of games that allow you to take on the role of Death, but this roguelike platformer puts a fun twist on the part by making you the CEO of Death Incorporated. After his employees start acting up, Death must put down his Underworld’s Best Boss mug and seize his scythe once more to reign in his staff and lighten his own workload.

Like many games in the genre, one of the best parts about Have A Nice Death is unlocking new weapons and spells and pairing them up to see which combination works best with your play style. It’s a challenging game, but finally taking down a boss after struggling against it is always satisfying.

3 Goodbye Volcano High

Worm Drama plays a show at Lava Java

For some people, the end of High School felt like the end of the world. Goodbye Volcano High juxtaposes that feeling with a group of Dinosaurs trying to survive their final year of school while a giant meteor heads toward Earth. You play as Fang, who is stuck navigating the end of school, friendships, dreams, and the world.

Playing through Goodbye Volcano High almost feels like watching an afternoon cartoon with its beautiful animations and quirky humor. You will make choices throughout the game that affect your relationships, providing you with scenes that vary depending on how close your group is before the end of it all.

The soundtrack is another highlight, full of melancholic tunes that sound like they belong on a Phoebe Bridgers B-Side.

2 Tchia

Tchia climbs a tree as the sun sets behind her

If you’re in the mood for a virtual vacation, Tchia will transport you to a tropical island full of beautiful scenery and endless possibilities. Developed by a team with personal connections to New Caledonia, this game features a fictional interpretation of the islands that is meant to simulate the joys of explorations and being part of a harmonious community.

What truly makes the game unique is how you can explore the island. The titular protagonist can soul-jump between other living and inanimate objects to help her reach new locations and solve puzzles. Few sandbox titles radiate as much joy and creative freedom as Tchia, making it a standout.

1 A Space For The Unbound

The main characters from A Space For The Unbound

A Space for the Unbound launched on almost every platform in January 2023 and is one of the most unique and unforgettable games of the year. It’s a shame that it has been overshadowed by an avalanche of massive triple-A titles, but if you need something different to play between the year’s biggest games, this ten-hour adventure is equally absorbing and satisfying.

Like Kentucky Route Zero and Night in the Woods, A Space for the Unbound contains the perfect balance of humor and emotional story beats as you experience Atma and Raya’s journey. The game begins on a relatively normal note, but strange things begin to happen as you progress, and it eventually evolves into a surreal exploration of the human psyche.

Everything from the soundtrack to the writing is top-notch, and the themes throughout are guaranteed to resonate with almost anyone.

Next: The Best Adventure Games On Nintendo Switch

Leave a Comment