Our individual Game of the Year articles allow our lovely team of writers to share their own personal PS5 and PS4 picks for 2023. Today, it's the turn of reviewer Brett Posner-Ferdman.
In a year packed with so many incredible games, it's easy for some great releases to fly under the radar. For many, It seems that Bomb Rush Cyberfunk did exactly that. As a modern love letter to Jet Set Radio, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk does everything I could have asked for and more. The gameplay and trick system is perfect, and everything is exploding with a sense of style I haven’t seen since Jet Set Radio Future. Not only is it incredibly fun and addictive, but it gets major bonus points for having one of the best soundtracks out of any game released in 2023.
When it was announced that Arzest, one of the developers of Balan Wonderworld, was working on the follow-up to Sonic Mania, all sorts of red flags were raised for me. But, as a resident Sonic fan, I knew I’d buy it anyways, and I am happy to report I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I enjoyed my time with Sonic Superstars. The physics feel great, the emerald powers are really fun, and Trip is a welcome addition to Sonic's ever growing roster of characters. And while contentious for many, I actually enjoyed a lot of Superstars’ soundtrack. My only complaints come from the game’s boss fights, but otherwise, I loved my time with Sonic Superstars and am looking forward to seeing what comes next.
In many ways, Street Fighter 6 felt like it snuck up on me. While I followed the character reveals closely, and played in the game’s beta, part of me was still skeptical of the new direction the series was going. When I finally got my hands on the game in June, all my fears were put to rest. The gameplay is fast, fun, and strategic, and it became my go-to multiplayer game this year with friends and family (including those who don’t play traditional fighting games). While the post-launch support has been a slow drip feed of content, the core game is so strong that I don’t find myself minding too much. Here’s hoping 2024 continues to treat Street Fighter 6 well.
Another game that really snuck up on me, Marvel’s Spider Man 2 didn’t excite me like it did for most people. While I loved the original Spider-Man, Miles Morales felt like too much of the same for me. So while I knew Spider-Man 2 was going to be well-crafted and an enjoyable time, I was worried that there wasn’t going to be enough “new” here to hook me like the original. Thankfully, my fears were unjustified. The stakes are higher, the combat is more refined, and swinging around New York is somehow even better than before, thanks to the addition of the web wings. There is honestly very little to complain about here, Insomniac Games created a truly incredible sequel to one of their all-time best games.
When I took a look back at every game released this year, there was really no doubt in my mind on what would be number one on this list. The original Resident Evil 4 is not only one of my favorite games, but it is one of the most influential games of all time. For that reason, I think many were worried about the prospect of a remake. How can you mess with perfection? Well, Capcom has had lightning strike twice, as Resident Evil 4’s remake is nothing but incredible from start to finish. All the best moments from the original are here and accounted for, but reimagined and modernized to fit perfectly alongside Resident Evil 2 and 3’s remakes. And that is to say nothing about how Capcom turned Separate Ways into the best piece of DLC released this year. Playing Resident Evil 4 Remake was nothing but a treat, and it serves as a perfect reminder of why Resident Evil 4 is considered one of the all-time greats.
What do you think of Brett's personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree wholeheartedly, or berate relentlessly in the comments section below.