Alex Simmons

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By virtually any measure the quality of games, movies, and television shows released in 2023 has been outstanding (aside from the treatment of the industry workers who create them). That banner year is reflected in the diverse collection of 10 out of 10 scores IGN has awarded, totaling 17 for the year. It’s a mix of new and old, exciting premieres and grand finales, remakes, adaptations, sequels, and spiritual successors to some all-time greats across all mediums. Action, drama, horror, anime, sci-fi, and fantasy are all represented – and while there are no full-on comedies on the list, there are plenty of laughs to be found among them. And to have Metroid, Castlevania, Resident Evil, Zelda, and Baldur’s Gate representing our highest-scoring games of 2023 makes it feel like a year that celebrates gaming history, but with decidedly modern takes on the classics.

Scavengers Reign – Max

Scavengers Reign, from creators Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner, sets human drama on an alien planet when a group of survivors crash-lands on a terrifying new world. As the survivors converge on the landing site of their spacecraft, they are met by terrifying and beautiful native creatures and plants and see firsthand the kind of interconnected natural web they have stumbled into. The further they go, the more the gorgeously animated world integrates them into its environment as they learn to adapt to their new home, setting the scene for one of the best science fiction shows ever made. – Emma Stefansky, November 15, 2023

Read the full Scavengers Reign review

Attack on Titan Series Finale – Crunchyroll

Attack on Titan comes to a close with an epic, feature-length finale that encapsulates everything that’s made this story so popular. The big-scope action is some of the best in the entire 10-year saga, with a stunning mix of 2D and 3D animation that brings the world-ending Rumbling to life with terrifyingly awesome results. Eren’s actual plan and motivation finally come to light, concluding one of the most fascinating character stories in modern anime with new insights that both make him everything we thought him to be, and yet also something different and more understandable. Combining moments of rousing triumph with absolute horror and despair, this is the ideal way for Attack on Titan to end. – Rafael Motamayor, November 7, 2023

Read the full Attack on Titan Series Finale review

The Fall of the House of Usher – Netflix

Mike Flanagan returns to form in The Fall of the House of Usher, delivering a deliciously macabre and contemporary reimagining of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Classic tales marry with modern commentary in a limited series that delivers at every turn. You’ll scream, you’ll cry, and once it’s over you might just start it all over from the beginning again. – Amelia Emberwing, September 22, 2023

Read the full The Fall of the House of Usher review

The Bear Season 2 – Hulu

The Bear Season 2 is perfect. From the performances to the pacing, the second season provides propulsive stakes for the story to build towards, while having the confidence to invest in side journeys that make the ensemble of characters far richer and best prepared for the ultimate challenge of making The Bear succeed. – Tara Bennett, July 14, 2023

Read the full The Bear Season 2 review

Vinland Saga Season 2 – Crunchyroll/Netflix

In its second half, Vinland Saga season two becomes a masterclass in storytelling. It takes the strong foundations of pacing and character work done in the first half and ratchets up the tension with an impending battle that brings to a boil Thorfinn’s transformation from agent of death to a true warrior. Aided by stunning voice acting, strong direction and stunning animation, this season sets a standard for modern anime. – Rafael Motamayor, July 3, 2023

Read the full Vinland Saga Season 2 review

Succession Season 4 Premiere – Max

The final season of Succession is one of the most anticipated television shows of 2023, and its first four episodes suggest it is not holding anything back. Powerhouse performances from the Roy clan offer a dazzling masterclass of buttoned-up emotions competing with years of desperately craving approval from the family patriarch. Each department behind the cast is at the top of its game, from regular Succession director Mark Mylod to composer Nicholas Britell. Swinging from comedy to drama helps keep the material fresh even when dealing with ongoing power struggles, and just when you think specific stories might become repetitive, something alters the course. If the rest of the season is as compelling, creator Jesse Armstrong’s choice to go out on top after this season will be the right one. – Emma Fraser, March 26, 2023

Read the full Succession Season 4 Premiere review

Succession Season 4 – Max

From the first episodes of Succession’s final journey, it was clear that Jesse Armstrong was not holding anything back. Killing Logan Roy so early in the game was a power move that proved wildly successful, as it gave space for dynamics among his potential replacements to rise and fall. Not to mention the emotional rollercoaster of every character (particularly the Roy siblings) grappling with this tremendous loss. After the ongoing cycle of negotiations and betrayals, it was impossible to predict how this story would conclude, and yet the choice to end as it did is incredibly fitting. There is no weak link in the ensemble cast, and there have been several tour de force performances from Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, and Matthew Macfadyen among many others. Nicholas Britell’s score remains one of the best in recent memory, and the scale of this season is as impressive as the Norwegian mountain backdrop. Unlike Kendall Roy, Jesse Armstrong has gone out on top. – Emma Fraser, May 30, 2023

Read the full Succession Season 4 review

Attack on Titan Final Season: The Final Chapters, Special 1 – Crunchyroll

Attack on Titan returns with the first half of its explosive, apocalyptic finale, and it is better than ever. The animation is firing on all cylinders, the themes are laid bare, the emotions are at an all-time high, and the result is one hour of heartbreak, excitement, and awe-inspiring thrills. Make no mistake, this is Attack on Titan at its peak, and if the finale can deliver like Part 3 does, it will cement itself as the defining anime of a generation. – Rafeal Motamayor, March 7, 2023

Read the full Attack on Titan Final Season: The Final Chapters, Special 1 review

The Last of Us Episode 3: Long, Long Time – Max

A masterfully told love story set in a world designed to leave them unwritten, episode 3 of HBO’s The Last of Us is a sensational hour of television. It shines a light on a chapter previously shrouded in resentment, instead offering two characters a brighter, happier time together. Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett take on leading role duties with elegance, leaving an unmistakably beautiful mark on the show as we’re shown a side of humanity that makes what Joel and Ellie are fighting for worth saving. It’s an episode, just like love, that lives long in the memory after experiencing it. – Simon Cardy, January 29, 2023

Read the full The Last of Us Episode 3: Long, Long Time review


A biopic in constant free fall, Oppenheimer is Christopher Nolan’s most abstract yet most exacting work, with themes of guilt writ large through apocalyptic IMAX nightmares that grow both more enormous and more intimate as time ticks on. A disturbing, mesmerizing vision of what humanity is capable of bringing upon itself, both through its innovation, and through its capacity to justify any atrocity. – Siddhant Adlakha, July 19, 2023

Read the full Oppenheimer review

John Wick Chapter 4

It seemed like an impossible task, but the Baba Yaga has a history of delivering on those: John Wick: Chapter 4 stands above its predecessors – and the past decade’s worth of action films as a whole – as a modern epic, something Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski have been driving at since 2014. Wick’s world war is bursting at the seams with creative, thrillingly staged action choreography and cinematography, perfectly pitched performances from an outstanding and unforgettable cast of allies and villains heralded by a merciless Bill Skarsgård, all without losing its grip on the sensitivity that keeps John’s struggle for absolution at the heart of every bullet fired and every edged weapon swung. Slide Chapter 4 a gold coin across the table and see what happens when John Wick lands a perfect shot. – Tom Jorgensen, March 13, 2023

Read the full John Wick Chapter 4 review

Baldur’s Gate 3 – PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

I don’t want to say every CRPG going forward should aspire to be like Baldur’s Gate 3. Not everything needs to be nearly this big and ambitious, or even this dense. But it is a landmark moment in the genre, and if I had to point to one paragon that I would like everyone else making these to take inspiration from, this is absolutely it. I waited 14 years for the stars to align again so that we could get the ideal mix of crunchy, tactical, old-school RPG combat, an epic and well-written story with complex characters and lots of meaningful choices, and a level of polish and cinematic presentation that let me see the sweat and the sorrow on characters’ faces in their darkest hours. Plenty of other games have partially completed that list, but the last time they all came together was Dragon Age: Origins in 2009. And I can finally say that game, and its Infinity Engine predecessors, have a worthy successor that’s not just matched their RPG greatness, but surpassed it. Baldur’s Gate 3 is just about everything I could have asked for. – Leana Hafer, August 18, 2023

Read the full Baldur’s Gate 3 review

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Nintendo Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is an unfathomable follow-up to one of the greatest games ever made, somehow improving upon it in nearly every way – be that with simple quality-of-life improvements, a genuinely exciting story, or wildly creative new building mechanics that make you rethink what is possible. It both revamps old ground and introduces vast new areas so immense it somehow makes me wonder if Breath of the Wild was actually all that big, with an almost alarming number of tasks to complete, mysteries to discover, and delightful distractions to keep you from ever reaching that place you naively thought you were headed. Nintendo has followed up a triumph with a triumph, expanding and evolving a world that already felt full beyond expectation and raising the bar ever higher into the clouds. – Tom Marks, May 11, 2023

Read the full The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review

Resident Evil 4 Remake – PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

Whether you’re a fan of the original or a newcomer with a hankering for some action-heavy horror of the highest quality, Resident Evil 4 is like a parasite-riddled Spaniard: a total no-brainer. Its combat is friction-free but no less stress-inducing thanks to its ferocious cast of creatures, its story rapidly shuttles through a series of action scenes that are diverse in structure but uniformly unwavering in intensity, and its world is rich in detail and full of fun and often snarling surprises. Its improvements over the original are too numerous to list, from simple quality of life changes to completely overhauled boss fight mechanics, and with the exception of the disappointingly diminished personality of the merchant, the team at Capcom has barely put a foot wrong. Whaddaya buying? Only the most relentlessly exciting Resident Evil adventure of all time that’s been rebuilt, refined, and realised to the full limits of its enormous potential. A wise choice, mate. – Tristan Ogilvie, March 17, 2023

Read the full Resident Evil 4 Remake review

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania – PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania is a shining blueprint of how to do a crossover right. It celebrates the history of the franchise while mixing it with Dead Cells’ own identity to make something that’s more than the sum of its already excellent parts. Not only does this collaboration feel like it makes total sense, the utmost care has clearly been put into every aspect, whether it be the still fantastic monster-slaying combat or the huge number of secrets waiting to be found inside. Regardless of whether this is the last content update Dead Cells will get or not, Motion Twin and Evil Empire deserve to receive their flowers and proudly take a massive bow. – Camron Hawkins, March 8, 2023

Read the full Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania review

Metroid Prime Remastered – Nintendo Switch

Metroid Prime has been one of my favorite games for decades, but I’m still shocked that its bones are so strong. 21 years later, in 2023, Metroid Prime Remastered had to do so little beyond modernizing the controls and updating the graphics to become one of the best games you can buy once again. This ultimate solo mission is a respite from the noise of hint-giving companions and lengthy cinematic cutscenes that make up much of today’s single-player games. Those things have their place, but Metroid Prime Remastered shows that you can tell a story and create a grand adventure by building an amazing world and creating unique and fun tools to explore it with. I strongly encourage you to delve into Metroid Prime Remastered, and get lost. – Samuel Claiborn, February 17, 2023

Read the full Metroid Prime Remastered review

Asgard’s Wrath 2 – Meta Quest 3

Asgard’s Wrath 2 is the full-fledged VR open-world RPG I’ve always wanted to play, and for that matter it’s one of the best RPGs in any perspective I’ve played in years. With four unique characters and stories, fantastic and satisfying combat, intricate and rewarding RPG systems, a great story, and an entire roguelite dungeon-crawling mode thrown in just to show off, this masterpiece completely nails almost everything it tries – much of which has never been pulled off in VR. The Meta Quest 3’s killer app has arrived, and even after more than 90 hours throwing squids at gloriously shredded lizards and whipping across gaps, I’m still eager to jump back in. – Travis Northrup, December 14, 2023

Read the full Asgard’s Wrath 2 review

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Every IGN 10 of 2023