It’s close to the end of 2023 now. Not long before we all wake up and get to see what Santa has gifted us this year. Looking back at 2023 it’s been quite a year. Several of us here at GamEir have our own thoughts on the Games of the Year. So let’s break down who has loved what.

Graham’s Game(s) of the Year

Right, so I had a surprisingly difficult choice this year. This year has been the year of RPGs in my mind and yet several of the big RPGs out there are not on my list. I have a Holy Trinity this year and they are, Chained Echoes, A Space for the Unbound and Sea of Stars. These titles are stellar. The characters and the trials and tribulations they all go through are iconic in my opinion.

All of these are indie darlings and the studios behind them have shown they can roll with the big boys, and in my opinion, they can topple them.

With Chained Echoes there is a phenomenal multi-generational story going on that transcended time. The characters were fascinating, the world was deep and the story was heartbreaking.

Sea of Stars is a love letter to fans of old-school RPGs, especially if you love Chrono Trigger. Much like the other two I’ll mention, the story is out of this world.

And then there is A Space for the Unbound. I was brought to tears by this title. It hit home for someone who deals with internal issues and I respect the team behind it for tackling such intimate topics.

I can’t pin down a favourite, but I can’t recommend these titles enough.

Paddy’s Game of the Year

It seems trite and a little obvious to pick such a popular and well-received game as my game of the year. It would be like Cheddar winning “Cheese of the Year” or an Aldi Merlot winning “Wine of the Year”. However, sometimes it’s okay to go with the common consensus. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is amazing. It is literally the Amazing Spiderman.

Everything about this sequel is an improvement on the universally loved original. It isn’t perfect, but it is immensely enjoyable on every level. The sequences that may have felt a little sub-par only feel like that because of the lofty standards that the other missions held them to.

Even with the critical acclaim it received, I think this is not only the game of the year, I think it may be the most underrated game of the year.

It was hyped up to such an extent that anything less than a stellar experience would have been a letdown. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 did not let anyone down.

The fact that it was recently overlooked for many awards speaks volumes about the quality being churned out in this industry, but Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 deserves nothing but praise for realising that if a formula is not broken, it doesn’t need fixing, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be given a little upgrade.

Jade’s Game of the Year

Hey friends! Thank you for another wonderful year of talking about games! It will come as no surprise to anyone that my game of the year involves dinosaurs. My game of the year for 2023 is Paleo Pines. I’ve been following this little indie game since it was announced, and I don’t think I’ve ever followed a game so closely. I was actually on holiday in another country when it came out and still made sure I bought it on release day.

Paleo Pines is a wonderful little farming game but with dinosaurs instead of normal farm animals. The story paired with it is heartwarming and full of loveable characters. However, nothing beats the wonderful feeling of befriending dinosaurs. I can’t remember ever being so in love with a game. Growing and progressing through the game brings endless amounts of joy to my heart, and I’ll be buying and playing Paleo Pines on every platform I can. I cannot recommend this game enough to absolutely everyone.

Before I leave, I’d like to thank all our lovely readers for your support over the last year. Thank you all for keeping up with this misfit group of nerds. 

Conor’s Game of the Year

In late 2023, I found myself with an unshakeable itch to have a nice relaxing game to sink hours into over the winter months. Originally, I started with an absolute classic in Stardew Valley, but quickly lost interest as I had already done that game to death across multiple playthroughs. As luck would have it spooky season had begun, and inspiration hit as I wanted to try a necromancy game to really get myself into the spooky mood. Lo and behold, I found my Game of the Year in Graveyard Keeper!

You start as a random person unceremoniously ripped from his average life and brought to an unknown graveyard. A bishop, talking donkey and skull quickly get you acquainted with your duties as the new graveyard keeper. This game takes everything that Stardew has going for it, turns it on its head and makes it edgier in every possible respect! You can grow crops, dig graves, create zombie minions, and even perform surgeries.

It is so simple to get into it and every single in-game day there’s some menial task that just grips you and takes you down the same rabbit hole that Stardew would, except more morbid. I am quickly approaching 80 hours in a game I only purchased in early October. Once I boot up Graveyard Keeper, there’s really no stopping me for the rest of the evening, especially in these winter months!

Niall’s Game of the Year

How do you follow up a game that revolutionised how open-world games work? Give players the tools to break your systems wide open. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom turns you into a tiny elf Oppenheimer as you build weapons of mass destruction while exploring an even more in-depth Hyrule.

Jumping from a sky island to skydive through a chasm in the earth to reach the dismal depths below is such a stunning feat that you will wonder how the Switch doesn’t explode. Full of incredible technical achievements, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is an uncanny adventure and the new gold standard for the industry.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year from all of us here at GamEir.

Stay tuned to GamEir. Come talk with us on Twitter (@gam_eir), Facebook (@GamEir), and Instagram (@GamEir).  

I promise we’re nice! Keep up with our streams over on Twitch (GamEir) and our videos on YouTube (GamEir) and we’ll give you all the latest content. 

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