Came close to making this more like my books list and just including the favorite games I played this year, but played just enough brand new games to put together a top 5 from games that actually came out in 2023. I continue to play all my games either handheld or while on the elliptical, so the Asus ROG Ally was big addition this year letting me play pretty much every game on this list that’s not on the Switch.
Anyways, here’s my favorite games of 2023…
1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for Nintendo Switch
A truly remarkable achievement in ways that I’m not sure any of us could have guessed when Nintendo announced they were making a sequel to Breath of the Wild. Tears of the Kingdom refined pretty much everything my former (spoiler) favorite game offered and added seemingly endless new ways to traverse, interact, and manipulate the vast world. Put in over 220 hours into it. Maybe my favorite game of all time.
2. Sea of Stars for PC/Xbox
Finished every single thing you can possibly do in this game, unlocked all the secret endings, and played over 55 hours of it and loved every minute. I’ve never actually played Chrono Trigger, but maybe how much I loved this is sign I finally should?
3. Lego Fortnite for PC/Xbox
Apparently I play Fortnite now? Me and the youngest have been into the new Lego game mode that’s half Minecraft and half Valheim. She mostly spends her time building in the Minecraft side of things while I explore and do combat and collect resources in the Valheim side. Super fun and looking forward to see how they continue to add to it. (God does it need a freaking compass.)
4. Super Mario Wonder for Nintendo Switch
Can my number four game of the year also be my most disappointing? I liked this less the recent 3D Kirby and Yoshi games and SOOOO much less than the fantastic Odyssey and 3D World, so not sure if it’s 2D games I’m not digging or if it just isn’t good as I had hoped. Maybe I’ll hop back in and try to 100% it and see if that improves my enjoyment.
5. Dave the Diver for PC
Loved the main gameplay loop but bounced off of this once they started adding more and more on top of the diving and fishing I bounced off it a bit. I had about 12 hours of a TON of fun though before that. Continue reading “Favorites of 2023: Games”
According to Goodreads, I read 66 books in 2023 with an average length of 375 pages. The shortest book was 4 pages long and the longest was 908 pages. Unlike with my favorite movies list, all but one of the books I read last year was published before 2023 so these are some of my faves regardless of when they actually came out.
Favorite Books I Read in 2023
All science fiction and fantasy in this year’s daves, with four out of the five stories by female writers. In no particular order…
A little unsatisfied with the main mysteries wrapped up and some details that were left unexplored, but overall really enjoyed this quite a bit. Thought the main character was great as well as the various AIs, and in particular really found the idea of the point-fives conceptually intriguing.
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (2020)
Ahhhhh it ended right when all the threads were coming together. I loved this, especially the world building and character development. Gave it five stars despite feeling like it ended half an act early and now I’m even more anxious to start the next book in the series as soon as possible.
Great, quick read that I didn’t want to put down. Enjoyable humor and strong premise and character development of the titular Murderbot. I was disappointed at first by the very last couple pages but then I remembered there’s six-plus other books that it leads into and am a lot less critical of how it wrapped up.
My favorite book about a character who used to be a sentient warfighting spaceship. Liked this even more than the first book and generally really jive with Leckie’s science fiction storytelling.
The final book in Jemison’s Broken Earth trilogy was my favorite of the series. Was a good read in itself but also did a solid job of tying together the storylines from the earlier books without feeling overloaded. Jemison’s writing makes a complex narrative enjoyable and avoids many of the issues that often causes me to bounce off fantasy novels. Continue reading “Favorites of 2023: Books”
Made it back to the theater for more movies this year than any year since before we had kids so I actually have a lot of opinions on 2023 movies in 2023. I logged 303 movies on Letterboxd this year, 45 of which were released this year.
Here’s my top 10 movies of the year:
1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
I wish I had 1/100th of the creativity, imagination of the artists behind the visuals of this movie. Somehow manages to match the emotions of my favorite movie of 2018 with its increased focus on Gwen while still keeping Miles at the center as well. The chase scene is hilarious. Truly remarkable to see with the kids in the theater.
Finally watched this on New Year’s Eve and came really close to putting it up at number one, maybe I would have if I had gotten to see it in theaters. Or after a rewatch or two. Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. are fantastic. Nolan’s Interstellar has become a movie I watch over and over again sometimes just in the background while I work and I’d be surprised if Oppenheimer doesn’t also become something I rewatch often (though it is certainly heavier subject matter).
I only cried twice during this not totally unrelated to my eldest being about to head into her teenage years and you know just the patriarchy in general. I liked it quite a bit but it wouldn’t have ended up this high without the great musical numbers in the last third.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
I liked all the MCU movies this year well enough (and apparently way better than most people) but Guardians Vol. 3 was my favorite this year as they did a great job of wrapping up things particularly for Rocket. Never thought a CGI raccoon could create so many emotions in me. Bummer that James Gunn won’t be able to make more MCU movies with this humor and attitude.
5. The Boy and the Heron
Just now realizing Oppenheimer is the only movie in my top 5 that didn’t make me cry because of course I cried watching a Miyazaki movie with my daughters. Fantastically beautiful in both expected and unexpected ways. The animation in the fire scenes was remarkable and surprisingly evocative and scary. Not our favorite Miyazaki but the kids and I both really enjoyed it, though I wonder how much of it they followed in parts. Continue reading “Favorites of 2023: Movies”