Game of the Year: #7 - Dead Space 1
Image: Push Square

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?"

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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.

EA Motive made the smart move of not overly bloating the game either, coming in between 10-15 hours to complete. So while it's a nerve-wracking experience throughout, it's one that doesn't overstay its welcome, or demand more time than it deserves — a novelty in the modern gaming. Nonetheless, we're grateful for PS5 remakes like Dead Space, which allow us to experience a classic to its fullest potential for the first time, or all over again.

Push Square's Game of the Year list is primarily decided by an internal staff vote. Our community Game of the Year poll is also taken into account. Feel free to agree or disagree with our list in the comments section below.

You can check out all of our Game of the Year coverage by clicking the link.

Do you agree with Dead Space being our #8 Game of the Year? (714 votes)

  1. It should be higher on the list46%
  2. Yeah, it's about right29%
  3. It should be lower on the list6%
  4. It shouldn't even be on the list7%
  5. I don't know / I haven't played it13%