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I am a huge gamer. Gaming has been a big part of my life since childhood. There is just something about sitting down at the end of the day and getting lost in another world. It really helps with my stress and anxiety, depending on the game, and is an excellent way for me to unwind at the end of the day.
There are many games and different consoles that I have played throughout the years, but this list will focus on the present moment. I have been mainly gaming on Xbox for many years now, most recently the Xbox One X|S. I do have Xbox Gamepass and love to discover new games, especially smaller Indie games. So, without further ado, here is the list of games I have been vibing to in 2023.
The first 3 series of games are ones that I tend to replay every year or so. I always seem to gravitate back to them making different choices or playing different styles of character or whatnot.
Fallout 4 is probably one of my favorite games. Many people in the Fallout fandom will argue with that but I personally love the building aspect of it the most. I enjoy each of the games in the series but 4 is my favorite.
The Fallout series is set in the post-apocalyptic future after the world went to nuclear war. Before the war, people were sold on the idea of fallout shelters in case the war progressed enough BUT they did not know that the people behind these vaults were going to use each of these vaults for experiments. Each vault that you come across and explore has its own story and characters that you can learn about through computer consoles, notes, or sometimes characters. It is a massive open-world game with hundreds of locations, characters, and quests. With multiple endings depending on the faction you choose, there are so many possibilities with this game. The aesthetic of the game is 1950s-inspired retro-futurism.
I love the variety of quests and locations. Just roaming around and discovering new places years after first playing is still exciting. Fallout 4 has a settlement-building aspect to it that makes it different from the previous Fallout games. Since I’ve already beaten the main storyline (many times), I just love to go around to each of my settlements and build them up and add settlers like I want. Some are themed, and some are just basic, but overall, it is just so easy to get lost in building up settlements.
Dragon Age Series
The Dragon Age series is probably my second favorite series behind Fallout. It is a fantasy role-playing game. There are 3 games in the series, with a fourth one coming sometime soon. The franchise is set in Thedas, with events from the main series games taking place primarily in its southern regions. Thedas is the only continent of the known world and consists of various clans, nations, and states inhabited by multiple humanoid peoples. Several kingdoms and countries have emerged over nine centuries of a calendar era based on the traditionally reckoned year of the founding of The Chantry, the dominant religious organization in the Dragon Age series, and each century is referred to as a separate “Age”.
The way I would rate them in my opinion is Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition (3rd in the series), and then Dragon Age Origins (the 1st in the series). Again, there are those in the fandom that would argue with that order. My main go-to character is usually an elf mage, other than Dragon Age 2 where you have to be a human, but I still play as a mage.
Mass Effect Series
The Mass Effect series is another series that I love from the same developers as Dragon Age, BioWare. The series is set in the distant future where humanity and several alien civilizations have colonized the galaxy using technology left behind by advanced precursor civilizations. The trilogy story is based on the player character, Commander Shepard, who attempts to save the Milky Way galaxy from a race of ancient, hibernating machines known as the Reapers. There is also a fourth game with different characters and even further in the future than the trilogy called Mass Effect: Andromeda. I would have to say that my favorite out of all of them is Mass Effect 2.
I was OBSESSED with the original Sims game back in the day! Our oldest is 22 and says one of their first memories is watching me play The Sims when I would lie down with them for a nap. The Sims 4 is the latest installment of the game, though it has been out since about 2014. Create a unique Sim, build the home of your dreams, explore the world, and just play around with life! My current game is a single young adult guy who has impregnated a bunch of Sims around town so I have about 25 little Sims babies running around. LOL, I was bored. But I plan to have them grow up and continue playing with the firstborn child. and so on.
I have actually switched from console to PC recently so I can play with mods. Even though there is a ton of stuff to do in the game already, mods make it even more fun and can even change your playstyle dramatically.
The next set of games are multiplayer games that I enjoy, mainly with friends and family.
Elder Scrolls Online
I started playing Elder Scrolls Online in 2017 and lived on that game for a few years at least. I had a huge group of friends that would get together on it and have so much fun. I don’t get on it as much anymore but I still like to get on every so often.
- The Fight for Tamriel Begins: Three alliances vie for control of the Empire. As these powers battle for supremacy, darker forces move to destroy the world.
- Play the Way You Like: Battle, craft, fish, steal, siege, or explore. The choice is yours to make in a persistent Elder Scrolls world.
- A Multiplayer RPG: Adventure alone, quest with friends or join an army of hundreds in epic PVP battles.
- Tell Your Own Story: Discover the secrets of Tamriel as you quest to regain your lost soul and save the world from Oblivion.
- Unlimited Adventures, No Subscription Required
I am almost embarrassed to admit how much I actually play this game! Paladins is a free-to-play online multiplayer first-person shooter game where 2 teams of 5 fight against each other, whether for a holding point, pushing a payload, or a full-on deathmatch free-for-all, with limited-time modes also available. You choose from a variety of characters and classes such as healers, tanks, flanks, and damages. This game has a lot of issues that need to be addressed but something about this dang game keeps me going back. The main class that I love to play is a healer, I don’t know, maybe it’s the mother in me!
Overwatch and Paladins are similar in the sense that it’s a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter 5v5 game with various characters vying over multiple objectives. I have actually started to play this more than Paladins lately. Overwatch 2 is a sequel AND replacement to the original Overwatch game.
This set of games is settlement/colony management games.
Surviving the Aftermath
Build and manage a colony of survivors after a world-ending event in Surviving the Aftermath. Construct more than 61 unique buildings to handle everything from resource collection and farming to exploration and security. Explore a vast procedurally generated world featuring six different biomes filled with resources, wildlife, rival societies, and more. Each environment has different conditions that affect your colony’s survival.
Frostpunk tells the story of how our planet mysteriously freezes, putting an end to civilization as we know it and forcing the human race to adapt to harsh conditions. As the leader of possibly the last civilized society on Earth, you’re going to build the city that your survivors live in, discover new technologies, explore frozen wastelands, and most importantly, manage and rule society to prepare it for life in an unforgiving world.
Tropico is a strategy game series about a remote banana republic. You play as its charismatic leader ‘El Presidente’. Tropico 5 starts off in Colonial times and moves all the way through to Modern Times.
- Research and Renovate – Advance your nation by discovering new buildings, technologies, and resources. Renovate your old buildings to more efficient modern buildings.
- Advanced trade system and trade fleet – Amass a global trade fleet and use your ships to secure trade routes to neighboring islands or world superpowers, both for export and import.
- Explore your island – Discover what lies beyond the fog of war. Find valuable resource deposits and explore the ruins of ancient civilizations.
- All new art – All artwork has been re-designed from scratch to provide Tropico 5 with a unique visual identity. Choose from over 100 buildings from each of the individual eras.
- Cooperative and competitive multiplayer
- Up to 4 players can build up their own cities and economies on any given island map. Players can choose to share resources, supplies, and populations or declare war on each other.
Endzone: A World Apart
Endzone: A World Apart is easily comparable to Surviving the Aftermath (mentioned above) but much more manageable and smooth playing in my opinion.
- Build a settlement on the hostile surface of the earth with over 70 different buildings and take care of your men, women, and children. Gather & refine many different resources and manage your economy by building an efficient infrastructure with streets and depositories.
- Survive in a world of constant threats including radioactively contaminated ground, droughts, toxic rain, sandstorms, and raiders. Send expeditions to forgotten places and make meaningful decisions that change the fate of your people.
- A variety of challenging scenarios with specific winning conditions and a distinct storyline will put your survival skills to the test.
So there you have it, my list of video games that I am vibing to in 2023. Do you play any of these games on the list? What are some of your favorite games that you seem to gravitate back to? Let me know below in the comments.