Mina’s Best Games of 2023

2023 has been such an amazing year for gaming! I can’t even begin to tell you all how much difficulty I had picking out the best games for this list because I have played such an amazing array of beautiful, amazing titles this year.

I know that I have had to leave some things off this list, but I honestly would have been writing this article into the new year if I hadn’t. So here is a list of all my favorite wholesome and LadiesGamers-friendly games I have adored this year.


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Viewfinder is one of my favorite puzzle games of all time, possibly my absolute favorite. It is a mind-bending puzzle game where you need to place and walk into photographs, bending the world around you to get from one place to the next. It was a beautiful, sad story about what could be the end of the world, or the beginning of a whole new one.

Station to Station

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Have you ever encountered a game and knew immediately that it was a product of love? Station to Station is instantly recognizable as a passion project, and it shows in every inch of the voxel art in it. I was honoured to chat with the developer over Discord briefly, and you could hear the love for trains in every word he uttered. Station to Station is an amazing builder game with a lot of heart.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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First of all, you could build a working mech in Tears of the Kingdom. And you got to save the world too. 10/10, no further notes needed!

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical

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I’m not a huge fan of visual novels, but there is occasionally one that just vibes with me. I saw that some of the devs who worked on Dragon Age: Inquisition had worked on this new, musical visual novel called Stray Gods, and I just had to try it out. The story is gorgeous, the soundtrack amazing, and the voice acting is on point. One of my favorite stories this year, hands down.

A Little to the Left: Cupboards & Drawers DLC

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I played the base game of A Little to the Left in November 2022, which was so fun. Then, this year, the devs released some DLC for it, and I was excited to try it out. I love A Little to the Left, but I loved Cupboards & Drawers even more! This object organization game is all about putting items in order, and I deeply love every level of it.

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean

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The original Baten Kaitos is my second favorite game of all time, right after Final Fantasy 1. I have played it a million times, and I was so happy to see it remastered for the Switch. It’s an amazing game that holds up after all these years. Does this mean I can finally get rid of my GameCube? Eh, probably not.

STONKS-9800: Stock Market Simulator

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STONKS-9800 is a market simulator that lets you buy stocks, deal with expenses, and chat with a cute anime secretary. It’s a very weird little niche game, but it was so fun to play. I put more than 20 hours into it, and I cannot wait to play the full release.


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Dordogne is a game completely painted in watercolors. It’s part visual novel, part puzzle game, part walking sim. It’s massively story-rich and stunningly beautiful. I was so excited to play this sad yet hopeful little tale, and I was not disappointed. Dordogne is one of best games I played this year; it’s a story of loss, memory loss, and accepting the past to move onto a new, brighter future together.

All the Watermelon Games

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For the past year or so, a genre of games called Watermelon Games has been steadily seeping into streaming culture and taking over the collective brain space of casual game players. It’s basically a 2048-like, Tetris-like puzzle game where you need to combine like fruits to make different fruits. It’s a silly game genre, and I have played at least five different versions of it. I even got to review one of these called Watermelon Challenge, and more recently, the Switch game Suika Game.


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Humanity is a Lemming-like puzzle game where you need to lead a whole lot of brainless humans to safety. It’s challenging, it’s beautiful, it’s fun, and you can even create your own levels and play community levels, too. There is a neat story, unlockable outfits for your humans, and even neat boss battles, but the most fun part is trying to do 100% of the puzzles!

Season: A Letter to the Future

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Season: A Letter to the Future is a visual novel and walking simulation game where you are exploring to the end of the current age. Something is changing in the air, and a prophecy has foreseen the coming of the next. Something big is going to change the whole world, and it’s your job to catalogue the current one. Take photos, write notes, and collect bits of all the locations before the next phase begins.


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I was super into Wordle when it first went viral, and I still play it when I can. So when the New York Times Games started another word puzzle game, I was pretty interested. It turns out that Connections is even more fun than Wordle. It’s a free browser game that gives you sixteen words, and you have to try to guess the categories and sort the words into them. It’s short, it’s sweet, and there’s a new one every day.

Sea of Stars

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If you haven’t heard of Sea of Stars, I don’t know where you have been this year. It was all over the place; people fell in love with its beautiful story (I cried while playing it, no shame), amazing music, and old-school pixel graphics. It’s probably one of the most unique RPGs I’ve ever played, and I definitely recommend that you 100% this game. It makes the story a million times sweeter.

Slay the Princess

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It’s a horror visual novel featuring the voice of Nicole Goodnight. I had to play it, and I do not regret a second of it.

World of Warcraft Classic: Season of Discovery

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I played like a million hours of vanilla WoW back in 2004-2005, and I played another million when WoW Classic brought vanilla back in 2019. So when Blizzard announced World of Warcraft Classic PLUS, I was instantly down. You get to relive the magic of the original, vanilla WoW, but with new classes and new content in the vanilla style.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

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I loved the original Ghost Trick from 2010, and I was super stoked to see that it had been remastered and released for modern consoles. I finally get to play it on a big screen!


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