In the ever-expanding realm of gaming, where triple-A titles often dominate headlines, there exists a hidden trove of gems waiting to be discovered! As we embark on a journey through the gaming landscape of 2023, it becomes increasingly evident that greatness isn’t solely reserved for the most hyped-up releases.
This article delves into 2023’s many underrated releases, shining a spotlight on the hidden treasures that may have slipped under the radar of mainstream attention. From innovative indie creations to overlooked masterpieces, read on to discover all of the greatest underrated games of 2023!
Cross Blitz is an indie game that was released towards the tail end of 2023, so it’s understandable why it flew under the radar for so many gamers. Cross Blitz is one of those games that’ll keep you absorbed for hours; you’ll sit down to kill some time for a few minutes and then look up, only to realize that you’ve been playing it for like 3 hours straight (yes, I speak from experience).
Cross Blitz is a unique, deck-building RPG that offers its players over 30+ hours of action-packed adventures across multiple different storylines, leading to wildly differing narratives and endings. Along the way, players can collect over 200 unique cards to use in tactical turn-based card battles, with each battle being more harrowing than the last. Fans of deck-builders and fast-paced RPGs especially shouldn’t sleep on this incredible hidden gem!
The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood
From the makers of The Red Strings Club comes The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood, a game about living in exile, making unimaginable sacrifices, and testing the limits of the human psyche. This game is an absolute must-play for any and all fans of emotionally charged RPGs, narrative-driven games, and games that explore wildly complex themes. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this emotionally charged title; The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is easily one of the most underrated games of 2023!
The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood immerses players into a bewitching narrative experience as Fortuna, a fortune-telling Witch who has been condemned to live in exile on an asteroid for 1,000 years. In her desperation, Fortuna calls upon a Behemoth, a forbidden entity, in order to regain her freedom. The consequences of these actions are great, but her desperation is far greater; follow Fortuna as she navigates her new-found freedom as one of the most powerful Witches of all time!
LISA: The Painful – Definitive Edition
LISA: The Painful is a dark and emotionally charged RPG that thrusts players into a post-apocalyptic world steeped in despair, hopelessness, and horrors beyond human comprehension. Although it was originally released back in 2014 along with its expansion, LISA: The Joyful, its definitive edition was finally made available to the public in July 2023.
This indie gem immerses players in the harrowing tale of Brad, a deeply troubled and flawed protagonist navigating a desolate landscape fraught with grotesque enemies, unimaginable moral dilemmas, and, most importantly, absolutely zero women. In the post-apocalyptic world of Olathe, women have all been completely wiped out, or so everyone thought; one day, Brad stumbles upon an abandoned baby girl wrapped in a blanket, and decides to do his best to keep her hidden from the rest of the depraved monsters and men of his former home.
Season: A Letter to the Future
Season: A Letter to the Future was released all the way back in January 2023, so it’s honestly baffling to me that it’s flown under the radar for so many people for so long. This game is widely considered to be one of the most underrated games of 2023, and it’s no wonder why; Season: A Letter to the Future is one of those games that’ll give you a whole new perspective on life, whether you like it or not!
This philosophical game allows players to take on the role of Estelle, a young woman leaving home for the first time as the world comes crumbling to an end. In the wake of the inevitable apocalypse, Estelle is determined to document the wonders of the world in her journal as a “letter to the future”, in hopes that someday, someone might be alive to come across it, and know that the world that came before them was a beautiful one. This game will leave everyone who plays it with a smile on their face and tears in their eyes; it’s an emotionally eviscerating journey that won’t leave anyone unaffected!
The Coffin of Andy and Leyley
(THIS GAME IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART)
Okay, so while the other entries on this list have had at least some measure of heartwarming elements to them, The Coffin of Andy and Leyley is pretty much the complete opposite. If you love playing morally decrepit games that deal with wildly deranged subject matters, then look no further than The Coffin of Andy and Leyley! Despite its grim and grisly narrative, this horror game somehow maintains an immaculate Steam rating of 10/10 with over 10,000+ reviews and counting.
The Coffin of Andy and Leyley is about two morally bankrupt siblings, Andrew and Ashley Graves, who have been left for dead in their abandoned apartment. While slowly starving to death, the toxic-ly codependent siblings strive to find a way out of their prison of an apartment building, and “accidentally” develop a taste for human flesh along the way. Surprisingly, however, cannibalism is not the most effed-up thing that players will have to deal with while playing this game. If you like horror and have been looking for a game that will live rent-free in your brain for the rest of your life, then congratulations, you’ve found it!
(The developers themselves once described it as a “questionable trainwreck” in a devlog, if that tells you anything)
The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog
Similar to the last entry, The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog deals with themes of death and murder, though it’s not nearly as horrific and is mostly a comedy. Developed by Sega themselves, The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is a 100% free game that has received thousands of positive reviews since its release back in April 2023. Honestly, I can’t see why it’s not infinitely more popular than it is; it’s probably one of the greatest underrated games of 2023!
As you may have already guessed by its title, The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is about, well, the murder of Sonic the hedgehog. This game takes place on a train called the Mirage Express, where Sonic’s lifeless body has just been discovered! You, the main character, must interrogate the entire colorful cast to find out what happened to their beloved blue hedgehog. Is it all just a big misunderstanding, or is something more sinister afoot?
Chants of Sennaar
Chants of Sennaar is easily one of the most underrated puzzle games of all time, let alone 2023. This indie game came out back in early September 2023, and it is a bit on the small side (at least when compared to similar games within the genre), so it’s easy to see why it got overlooked despite its excellence.
Chants of Sennaar is a puzzle adventure game that allows players to take on the role of a traveler who has been tasked with reuniting the Peoples of the Tower. Following an ancient prophecy, the traveler must explore a seemingly endless prodigious labyrinth, uncover long-buried secrets, and find the answers to ancient mysteries better left unsolved. Solving long-dead mysteries and deciphering ancient languages to restore communication between the Peoples of the Tower won’t be easy, but someone has to do it!
And that’s it for our list of the greatest underrated games of 2023! From the enthralling narratives of bewitching worlds to the mind-bending puzzles of unexplored realms, these hidden gems have proven that greatness often lies beyond the spotlight. For more 2023 game recommendations, check out Twinfinite’s “Best Indie Games of 2023” and “Best Co-Op Game of 2023“!
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