2023 has been outstanding for the gaming industry, delivering incredible games on all fronts. From massive RPGs to incredible fighting games, studios have knocked it out of the park across all genres this year, releasing 25 titles with a 90 or higher rating on Metacritic.
However, I found the offerings of the horror genre, in particular, incredibly satisfying this year. I have always been enthralled by the thrill and sense of danger lurking at each corner in such games, so the last ten months have been very enjoyable.
Why it matters: Though franchises like Resident Evil were already strong and helped the genre flourish, 2023 delivered a diverse and high-quality lineup that will be hard to rival for the industry in the future.
Highest-Rated Games of 2023
While Baldur’s Gate 3 and Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom took the highest spots on Metacritic this year, horror games have been no slouch when it comes to the rankings.
2023 began with the return of one of my favorite survival horror franchises, Dead Space. Following the recent trend of remakes in the industry, EA revived this excellent franchise.
While I found the original game very captivating, the remake was even more compelling and terrifying as it came with gorgeous visuals and quality-of-life changes that added to the overall experience.
Dead Space was rated 89/100 on Metacritic, falling just short of the prestigious 90/100 target. However, it managed to surpass many anticipated games like Starfield, Final Fantasy 16, and more.
Just two months later, we were treated to Resident Evil 4. Growing up with the PS2 console, this game has always been special for me, and the remake solidified my belief that it was ahead of its time in 2005.
The remake is currently the sixth highest-rated game on Metacritic, scoring 93 out of 100. In the following months, I also enjoyed my time with The Outlast Trials, Sons of the Forest, and Amnesia: The Bunker, but they didn’t match the bar set by the two remakes.
As the genre appeared to be losing steam, Remedy Entertainment changed everything with Alan Wake 2. While my expectations for this entry were not high, I was completely taken aback by the incredible blend of mystery, psychological horror, and third-person shooting presented in this game.
Like Dead Space, it averaged a score of 89/100, just missing the 90/100 rating. However, this game provided a distinct experience that was bolstered by its class-leading next-gen visuals.
Lack of Quality Horror Games In Recent Years
As I enjoyed all the recent horror games, I realized that the wait for such a lineup had been very painful over the last few years.
While games like Resident Evil Village were quite good, titles like The Medium, Scorn, and The Callisto Protocol were mostly letdowns after the incredible anticipation behind them.
Because I had already tempered my expectations after such disappointments, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of horror games this year. Looking back at the year, I find it difficult to imagine this lineup being topped anytime soon.
Games like Resident Evil 4 have also been among the best-sellers of 2023, reaching over 5 million sales.
Such record-breaking results have led to a new enthusiasm for horror games. I believe 2023 marks a turning point for this genre, and its positive impacts will be felt for many years to come.
The industry is now moving into a new era of horror games, boldly represented by returning classics and new entries.
Konami will continue the trend of remakes with Silent Hill 2 in 2024, while Capcom’s Resident Evil 9 is described as the studio’s most ambitious horror project. The likes of Alone in the Dark are also returning next year, so there is much to look forward to for fans of horror games.
Abiyan is on track to complete his Computer Science bachelor’s degree. His enthusiasm for writing and gaming motivates him to keep readers and gamers updated with the latest information from the industry. In his free time, Abiyan enjoys playing Dota 2 and Rocket League. Abiyan has also been cited in reputed websites such as Kitguru, Comicbook, GamingBible, Eurogamer and Gamingbolt.