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Standout Video Games of 2023 Across All Ages

The gaming industry has witnessed the launch of hundreds, if not thousands, of new titles this year, ranging from independent ("indie") gems to mobile games for smartphones. The holiday season is upon us, offering a plethora of choices for gamers eager to indulge in the latest and greatest. However, the challenge lies in navigating the sea of options. Fear not, as we've curated a list of some of the best games of 2023, categorized by recommended ages, to guide you through the gaming wonderland.


Standout Video Games of 2023 Across All Ages
Nintendo


Kids

Super Mario Bros. Wonder - Price: $59.99; Platform: Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Bros. Wonder brings a modern twist to side-scrolling gameplay, offering a fresh and frantic take on the classic Nintendo experience. Players can choose their favorite characters – Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, Daisy, and others – and embark on a journey to save the Flower Kingdom. The game's levels come alive with special items, power-ups, and magical effects, making it a delightful solo adventure or a cooperative experience for up to three friends locally or online.

Party Animals - Price: $19.99; Platform: Xbox Series S/X/One and Windows PC

Recreate Games' Party Animals is a physics-based multiplayer brawler that lets players embody combative animals, from puppies to dinosaurs. With melee attacks, an array of weapons, and diverse game modes, such as Last Stand, Team Score, and Arcade, Party Animals is perfect for families looking to engage in virtual battles. Honorable mentions in this category include Nintendo's Pikmin 4, Sony's MLB The Show 23, Microsoft Game Studios' Forza Motorsport, and EA Sports' NHL 24.

Teens

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 - Price: $69.99; Platform: PlayStation 5

Developed by Insomnia Games, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 brings back Peter Parker and Miles Morales in an extraordinary sequel. Players swing, jump, fight, and unlock new gadgets in their quest to traverse New York City and take down the formidable Venom. The game's open-world setting allows players to explore side missions and discover collectibles, providing a comprehensive experience for Spider-Man enthusiasts.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Price: $69.99; Platform: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo's Tears of the Kingdom surpasses its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, offering more freedom, new runes, a compelling narrative, and enhanced graphics. As Link, players search for Princess Zelda while battling the Demon King and his minions. With a combination of aerial, ground, and subterranean maps, Tears of the Kingdom is a must-play for Nintendo Switch owners. Honorable mentions in this category include EA’s Hogwarts Legacy, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Team17’s Dredge, Capcom’s Street Fighter 6, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 16, and Bethesda’s H-Fi Rush.

Adults

Alan Wake II - Price: $69.99; Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, Windows PC

Developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Epic Games, Alan Wake II is a psychological "survival horror" action game that follows novelist Alan Wake and FBI agent Saga. Played from an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective, the game challenges players to navigate dimly lit environments armed with weapons and a flashlight. With a "Mature" rating, Alan Wake II promises a spine-tingling premise, intense action, and exceptional visuals.

Diablo IV - Price: Starting from $54.99; Multiple Consoles and PC

Blizzard Entertainment's long-awaited sequel, Diablo IV, lives up to the hype. This next-generation action role-playing game drops players into deadly dungeons to quest alone or with others online. Collect loot, upgrade abilities, and explore new locations in this immersive game that supports online cross-platform play between consoles and PC.

Baldur’s Gate 3 - Price: $59.99 for Windows PC, Mac; $69.99 for PlayStation 5

Set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, Larian Studios' fantasy RPG, Baldur’s Gate 3, offers a vast universe for players to explore. With 12 classes, 11 races, and the option to create a custom character, the game promises an epic adventure across cities, forests, caves, and dungeons. Whether playing solo or in a party of up to four online, Baldur’s Gate 3 provides a captivating journey through the Forgotten Realms universe.

Honorable mentions for adults include Bethesda’s Starfield, Behaviour Interactive’s Meet Your Maker, and Deep Silver’s Dead Island 2.

In the ever-expanding realm of video games, 2023 has proven to be a stellar year, catering to gamers of all ages with diverse and captivating titles. Whether you're into classic adventures, superhero exploits, or fantasy realms, there's a game for everyone this holiday season. So, grab your controllers, immerse yourself in these gaming wonders, and let the virtual adventures begin!

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