The Best RPGs of 2023

It’s no secret that 2023 has been incredible for gaming, but the role-playing game genre has seen some especially great additions. From deep odysseys into fantastical worlds to serious action RPGs with excellent combat, there was something for everyone. Here are our picks for the best role-playing games of the year.

NOTE: All entries and rankings were decided by an internal vote held among the entire GamingBolt staff.

#12. DIABLO 4

Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Xbox One | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment | Read Our Review

Not counting all the controversy surrounding Blizzard Entertainment and former director Luis Barriga, Diablo 4 had a rough start when it launched in June. Despite praise for its open world, lore and overall presentation, its build-crafting was fairly simplistic, while the end-game was decent at best and grindy at worst. The pre-Season 1 patch also did no favors with its hefty nerfs.

Nevertheless, the development team stuck with it, making several much-needed improvements to classes like the Sorcerer, reducing the XP grind and quality of life changes like porting to Nightmare Dungeons directly from sigils. The variety of viable builds has gone up, and there are even tough end-game challenges like Abattoir of Zir (which still requires some fine-tuning). If you’re burned out on Diablo 2 or 3, can’t get into Path of Exile or just want a solid action RPG looter, Diablo 4 is in a much better state and worth checking out.


Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 | Developer: Hexworks | Read Our Review

Announced nine years ago, Lords of the Fallen finally launched this year. Hexworks delivered a massive world five times larger than the original, introduced a dual-realm mechanic that impacted the gameplay and combat, and stuffed it with a memorable dark fantasy aesthetic. It also didn’t hurt that combat felt meaty and responsive, with a variety of spells and weapons to dip into.

Lords of the Fallen isn’t without its issues (like some rough encounters with too many enemies), but over two dozen patches, splitting PvE and PvP balancing, new spells, stability and performance improvements, and more have made it even more appealing to Dark Souls fans, even if it’s far from the best Souls-like experience this year (which we’ll get to soon).


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 | Developer: Dambuster Studios | Read Our Review

If we had a dime for every title considered vaporware that miraculously released this year, we would have two dimes. Blah blah blah, you know the rest, but it still applies because Dead Island 2 is fantastic. Set in post-zombie outbreak Los Angeles, the first-person title emphasized combat and creative ways to slay over a deep story (though the lore is still interesting) or an open world.

Despite this, you can customize the six Slayers in interesting ways thanks to Skill Cards, customize weapons with different status effects, discover unique armaments and more. There’s a healthy amount of side quests, ranging from the straightforward scavenger quests to the bizarre (Body Art. Not even once). Most importantly, the combat is as strategic and visceral as you’d like while rewarding straightforward hacking and slashing.


Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 | Developer: Rockfish Games | Read Our Review

It’s incredible how the Everspace series started as a rogue-lite space shooter, especially with the sequel offering in-depth action RPG mechanics and boatloads of handcrafted content. There are extensive systems to explore, allies to recruit (each providing unique perks) and tons of loot to discover, including unique ships.

While the story may not be for everyone, each system is packed with things to do, whether you jump into massive battles against capital ships or venture into endgame rifts. The incredible fidelity makes the space-hopping that much more endearing.


Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 | Developer: Omega Force | Read Our Review

Omega Force’s WILD HEARTS admittedly didn’t pass much muster when it was announced to be a hunting title in the vein of Monster Hunter. Thankfully, the gameplay spoke for itself, showcasing a unique approach to action RPG combat with some inventive combat. The Karakuri mechanic, which facilitated building different tools to explore and fight, added some spice to battles.

Each weapon, from the aerial brilliance of the Claw Blade to the unconventional Bladed Wagasa, is fun to use. Couple this with memorable Kemono to battle, massive regions to explore, and a sizable endgame to go with the campaign, and WILD HEARTS stands capably on its own.


Available on: PS5 | Developer: Guerrilla Games | Read Our Review

horizon forbidden west burning shores

A year after Horizon Forbidden West blew our expectations away with its gorgeous visuals, deep skill system, customization and combat, Burning Shores came along to remind us of its quality. Set in a separate region where lava streams and water meet, the expansion adds lots of new content, memorable new characters and quests, and one of the most epic final bosses yet.

Whether you’re venturing underwater or soaring through the skies, combing through new frankenclouds while avoiding lighting, Burning Shores further builds on the base game’s brilliance and offers some great development for Aloy’s character.


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 | Developer: Neowiz Games, Round8 Studio | Read Our Review

Lies of P_03

It’s 2023, and no Bloodborne remaster or remake. Not even a hint that it’s ever happening. Enter NEOWIZ’s Lies of P, a Belle Epoque-era action RPG based on the tale of Pinocchio. This time, however, you venture through the ruined city of Krat, battling killer puppets to find Geppetto and hopefully set things right.

The mood is already on point – it’s the combat and pacing where Lies of P shows its hand. Special attacks and Legion Arms, customizable and unique weapons, memorable encounters against challenging enemies – it had everything a Souls-like fan could want.


Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 | Developer: CD Projekt RED | Read Our Review

With how extensive update 2.0 turned out, Cyberpunk 2077 alone is a noteworthy RPG experience. However, Phantom Liberty does more than add new content, including courier missions to steal vehicles or Airdrops to claim loot before rival gangs can. It told a compelling story – a spy fantasy rife with intrigue and betrayal, where the good guys were never what they seemed, and your decisions profoundly impacted the characters.

Of course, for combat junkies, there are Relic abilities, from emergency cloaking to sending enemies flying with Gorilla Arms. If that weren’t enough, Phantom Liberty added over 100 new items, from weapons and vehicles to new Cyberware, and even offered a new ending to the main story. Altogether, it’s a fitting finale in Cyberpunk 2077’s redemption arc.


Available on: PS5 | Developer: Square Enix Creative Business Unit 3 | Read Our Review

Final Fantasy means many different things to different people. Final Fantasy 16 may not have catered to every fan’s wish, especially those craving turn-based or ATB combat, but it certainly excelled with its story, characters and setting. The world of Valisthea and darker presentation fit the more mature tones well, even as Clive Rosfield’s journey morphed from revenge to redemption.

The combat is also incredibly on point, especially when you gain more abilities to diversify combos. Stunning environments and an incredible soundtrack round out the package, and while it could have used more extensive side quests, deeper role-playing mechanics and more complex dungeons, Final Fantasy 16 is still a fun and enthralling action RPG from start to finish.


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, Nintendo Switch | Developer: Avalanche Software | Read Our Review

Despite the controversy, Hogwarts Legacy offered something most Potterheads have desired for years – a proper triple-A title to fulfill that wizarding fantasy. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is captured in immaculate detail, coupled with memorable characters (with a select few offering some great side quests).

Shuffling between spells during combat, especially Avada Kedavra-ing someone into dust, felt great, but it was all the little things – from raising creatures in the Vivarium to riding a broom through the highlands – which really cemented the fantasy. All that’s needed is actual classes to attend, and Quidditch, and Hogwarts Legacy will be perfect.


Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 | Developer: Larian Studios | Read Our Review (PC | PS5)

Six years in development, with a lengthy period in early access, Baldur’s Gate 3 is a reminder of Larian Studios’ status as one of the best RPG developers in history. The range of customization, from the numerous classes and subclasses to the spells and actions, caters to the Dungeons and Dragons fantasy of letting you roleplay as who you want.

It’s bolstered by a strong story, decisions with far-reaching consequences, and incredible characterization that stays with you, even over a hundred hours in. There’s plenty to criticize, like Act 3’s performance, but Larian has been working hard to address other complaints, adding a hefty Epilogue to provide a more well-rounded conclusion based on your choices. Whether you started at launch or are jumping in today, Baldur’s Gate 3 is a masterpiece.


Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S | Developer: Bethesda Game Studios | Read Our Review


Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield is our role-playing game of 2023, narrowly beating out some stiff competition. Don’t get us wrong – several areas could be improved, from the user interface and variety of weapons to point of interest generation. Mods also needed to be added yesterday. However, for those who get into it, Starfield has a quiet appeal as you wander the desolate planets, create an outpost to either settle down or mine resources, and soak in the atmosphere.

The sheer range of stuff to do, from surveying and space battles to smuggling and bounty-hunting, is pretty solid and backed by some responsive shooter. Where it goes next is anyone’s guess, but Starfield is currently an intriguing sci-fi adventure with tons of content. It’s certainly not for everyone, but those who love it will swear by it.