Coming in at number eight is Dead Space. This full PS5 remake kicked off 2023 with its January release, and honestly, we haven't stopped thinking about it since. With The Callisto Protocol launching just a month prior and sharing a lot of the same DNA, EA Motive wiped our memory of Johnny Protocol as it thrust us into a dark, terrifying, yet wildly enchanting world.
Absent from PlayStation consoles since the PS3 era, Dead Space made its triumphant return with a horrifying, bloody embrace. This was a game that not only countered arguments against the need for remakes like it, but had us asking "when are we getting the Dead Space 2 remake?"
With stellar pacing and some delicate revamps to the central story, Dead Space is the perfect balance of old and new brought into the PS5 era. Thanks to some phenomenal lighting and audio design, Dead Space is more terrifying than ever, and further solidifies the USG Ishimura as an icon of video game settings. It's exceptionally cinematic, and we loved slowly walking down dimly lit corridors, just listening to the horrors that awaited us and the rumblings of the Ishimura itself.
What stuck with us more in this remake, though, was the risk and reward to exploration of the ship. Each time we ventured off into some blood-speckled hallway with loot or precious ammo on our mind, it induced a mixture of fear and excitement unlike most other games in 2023. And the pulpy flesh system only amplified that feeling, as we blasted, ripped, and stamped our way through hordes of necromorphs.
Combat is visceral and the epitome of "surviving by the skin of your teeth", making each encounter butt-clenching yet wholly entertaining. We really felt every bullet missed or health pack wasted, and were painfully aware of our inventory at every turn. Yet that worry was totally worth it when you were finally able to unload the ammo of the stronger weapon you were saving to rip through the latest big bad.