2024 will be the year of PC gaming. And if you're looking to ring in the new year right, check out the most impactful PC games of 2023.
Baldur's Gate 3
As one of the most talked about games of the year, it shouldn't shock anyone that Baldur's Gate 3 is held as an incredibly impactful PC game. Turn-based RPGs, as a genre, are usually kept as niche interests for the general gaming populous, yet Baldur's Gate 3 has upped the ante.From a slew of lovable characters to an unmatched attention to detail, Baldur's Gate 3 is an experience unlike anything on the market today.Industry veterans have attempted to calm the gaming community from placing this game as the new "gold standard of RPGs". And in a way, they are right. Yes, Larian Studios was working within a beloved IP. It did have previous infrastructure from their past games. And it was equipped with a sizeable development team, but it was the execution that catalyzed this masterwork. Designing, creating, and writing a cast of compelling companions is devoid of past context. A creative and frankly hilarious marketing campaign ignores any type of help from the studio's history. And compared to other developers, of the same caliber, Baldur's Gate 3 has an attention to detail that is frankly refreshing in modern gaming. Baldur's Gate 3 is an anomaly but it stands to issue a challenge to other AAA developers. Baldur's Gate 3 is not only one of the most impactful PC games of the last ten years, but its reach will be difficult to contextualize. If you're tired of hearing about Baldur's Gate 3, just wait until its inevitable DLC release. Things will verge on the insufferable. That's how impactful Baldur's Gate 3 is to video games.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
No one will argue that Cyberpunk 2077 had an incredibly polarizing launch, however things have changed. With award nominations, a 9/10 Steam rating and a Metacritic score of 89, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is more than just a new coat of paint. It is one of the most impactful games of 2023, bar none. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is a full-on engine swap. Not actually, think of it more metaphorically like a car garage. Cyberpunk 2077 came in one big blue turd. Phantom Liberty is quick off the line and puts The Fast and the Furious to shame. This DLC features two new finale moments in a tale that capitalizes on everything the base game built upon.In what could be its own standalone game, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is an impressive continuation of Night City's story. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is a triumph, casting out the shadow of its initial launch. And with the Cyberpunk franchise continuing to build on its IP, we wouldn't be surprised if its impact continued in the coming years. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty makes our most impactful PC games of 2023 list because it, eventually, delivered. The story hit, the world is open, deep and filled with rich RPG elements that will have you debating character builds, packed within a gameplay loop that was fun off the rip. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty has created a deep, immersive landscape that fulfills expectations and surpasses them. Night City has been back, time to take notice.
THE FINALS is a dark horse vote for the most impactful PC game of 2023 but it has been a treat to end the year. The FPS genre has not had a paradigm shifter in a long time and THE FINALS embodies that. "Unique" doesn't capture the entire game but it's the closest it gets. It's like if Apex Legends and Red Faction: Guerrilla decided to get together in the best ways possible. It possesses chaotic gameplay mixed with a fast-paced sandbox FPS, with a new take on the rather stale battle royale genre is a patchwork monster of a game, and it all works surprisingly well. And that's where its impact emerges. Embark Studios takes us back to the custom maps of Warcraft, Halo and Call of Duty with this incredibly entertaining FPS and it is paying off in stride. That type of entertainment has been lost to hyper-competitive titles and soulless rehashes of past success stories. THE FINALS is a rollercoaster ride that gives an air of the original release of Fortnite. If you're looking for something to ring in the new year with friends, THE FINALS needs to be considered. Images via Larian Studios, CD Projekt, and Embark Studios
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