2023’s Highest Rated Games Are Mostly Remakes Or Remasters

An image shows Dead Space, Metroid Prime and Resident Evil 4 covers together.

2023 has already been a pretty solid year for games. Nonetheless, in the event you cease and have a look at Metacritic to see what among the highest-rated video games launched this yr truly had been, you’ll discover a pattern: Lots of them are remakes or remasters of older video games. It’s a pattern that seemingly has a couple of totally different causes, however which additionally may sign that some players are uninterested in all of the bullshit that always comes with trendy video games.

We at the moment are within the third month of 2023. In most years, particularly pre-pandemic, you’d anticipate not less than three and even 4 large, common, well-received video games to have been launched by now. And 2023 is not any totally different. But looking at Metacritic’s top-rated games of 2023, you’ll discover that to date all the top-rated video games (not counting duplicates) are remakes, remasters, or upgraded ports. You must scroll all the way in which all the way down to quantity 9 to seek out the only real, utterly new, and recent recreation: the Xbox motion rhythm recreation, Hi-Fi Rush. So what’s happening?

The best reply, which sales data seems to back up, is that persons are uninterested in trendy video games being full of loot packing containers, microtransactions, always-online requirements, terrible crafting mechanics, and extra. This sentiment has been rising in recent times and publishers have seemingly seen, hence the influx in remasters and remakes as firms pour assets into sprucing up stuff of their again catalogs that folks on-line gained’t shut up about on Twitter and Reddit. And it is smart from an financial standpoint. These are the video games gamers appear to need. And games are very expensive to produce, and solely getting larger and extra dear. So if you’ll maintain making large video games, you need extra certain bets. Like Hollywood and its love of remakes and reboots, the online game business is turning into extra reliant on previous hits and well-known IP to assist prop up lagging gross sales and costly improvement prices.


However I don’t assume that fully explains why so many remakes are killing it on Metacritic. One other side of this is perhaps the folks reviewing video games professionally. Lots of them are older critics (older on this context is anybody over 25) and so they, like myself, might maybe be a bit nostalgic for nice, stand-alone, single-player video games from the previous. I imply, have a look at that very same Metacritic list, but sorted by user scores and also you’ll see completely totally different video games, a lot of them new and plenty of of them that includes on-line multiplayer.

So whereas it’s straightforward to recommend outdated video games are good and new video games are dangerous and that’s why remakes are doing so nice proper now, I believe who performs these video games, who writes about them, and the prices that go into making large video games are additionally key elements of this pattern.


The actual query, one which I assume is already being debated within the feedback, is: Is that this a foul pattern? And whereas I do know some right here at Kotaku have recommended that it definitely is not-so-good, I’m extra combined on it. I positively agree that remasters are much less thrilling than some brand-new video games. However I additionally assume a superb recreation can, extra so than a movie, profit from trendy tech and improved engines.

Plus gaming is greater now than ever and there are a ton of people that have by no means performed a recreation launched earlier than 2015 who may discover lots of enjoyment in a Dead Space remake. And with the horrible state of recreation preservation in 2023, remakes and remasters might sadly be one of many few authorized methods to get pleasure from some video games. I don’t have a lot hope for that entire state of affairs to get higher any time quickly, both.


Who is aware of, possibly this pattern isn’t as pronounced because it seems proper now. It’s potential this knowledge is simply the results of a variety of large, high-profile remakes releasing across the identical time early within the yr. However, issues may keep this manner for some time. More remakes and remasters are regularly being announced, and looking out on-line you’ll see folks begging publishers for remakes or remasters of basic PS2-era video games like The Simpsons: Hit and Run and Bully. We may even see newly polished video games of the previous proceed to dominate for the foreseeable future. 


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