The Best Heroes In Gaming In 2023

There have been tons of unique games launched across 2023, which means there are plenty of excellent video game heroes to play as. Thanks to that fact, a hero must be something special to stand out among the sea of excellent heroes, and that is far from a simple task.

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Their adventures don’t necessarily need to be the grandest thing around (although that does help), but the character really needs to be fantastic. Whether saving princesses, just trying to survive, or battling against seemingly insurmountable odds, these video game heroes are some of the best that 2023 has to offer to gamers like you.

10 Super Mario

Everyone’s favorite mustache-plastered Italian plumber made his return in a big way in 2023. Returning to the 2D style of older games, Super Mario Bros. Wonder sees Mario and his pals once again adventuring to stop Bowser and save the Flower Kingdom.

With a few new power-ups in the form of fruits and flowers, Mario runs, jumps, and stomps his way to Bowser through some of the best levels that 2023 has to offer. Always making a big impact, Mario managed to once again solidify himself as one of the best heroes of the year with his defeat of Bowser, and that’s before talking about his hit movie or Super Mario RPG!

9 Leon Kennedy

There was no way that someone like Leon Kennedy wasn’t going to be on this list, especially with the warm reception for Resident Evil 4 Remake. Once again going on a mission to rescue Ashley from the clutches of evil, Leon really goes through it in this game.

While he’s not always as campy as he was in the original, there’s still a lot to love about the more grounded take on the character. It’s how real Leon feels in this game that makes him a great hero. How he reacts to all the things he faces makes sense for someone who’s met similar horrors before.

8 Isaac Clarke

In another instance of a hit remake in 2023, the Dead Space series made a triumphant return to the sci-fi horror genre. As a result, Isaac Clarke was able to come back, but instead of being a perfect reflection of his original counterpart, he now has much more characterization.

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With Isaac now being fully voiced, you don’t need to guess what’s going through his head as he stumbles through the horrors of Ishimura. Simply surviving the horrendous Necromorphs has to earn Clarke a spot here, and the new hidden ending the game features teases so much more.

Practically anytime a Zelda game launches, you can expect Link to appear on lists like these, and that couldn’t be more true this year with the launch of Tears Of The Kingdom. The sequel to Breath Of The Wild follows its dark trend, with Link immediately being bested by Ganondorf, leaving the Master Sword destroyed.

Having to uncover what’s happened to Zelda, how to retrieve the Master Sword, and what it will take to defeat Ganon as you journey Hyrule, the Depths, and the sky is pure wonder. Link’s journey is harrowing, but one of the most thrilling, and it’s all capped off with an epic battle that further solidifies Link as a great hero.

6 Alear

Those who love the Fire Emblem series probably loved playing through Engage with the newest player avatar character, Alear. Instead of being the average fantasy lord, Alear is actually a Divine Dragon who winds up tasked with defeating Sombron before he can decimate the land.

Like other games in the series, you can spend time getting to know all of your units and growing their relationship with Alear. It is this very thing that makes Alear interesting as you get a combination of high-fantasy storytelling, and a little bit of slice-of-life goodness as well.

5 Cal Kestis

For many, likely including you, the return of Cal Kestis in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was a big deal. Some may argue that the game does a bit too much, but most can agree that Cal Kestis remains a fantastic hero with a story that is just as good.

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Officially fighting against the Empire as a member of the Rebels, Cal Kestis has grown into himself much more. Cal comes across as a much more competent Jedi, as he should, a move that easily could have been ignored to keep Cal a relatively simplistic character, but the developers aimed for something even bigger.

4 Samus Aran

Thanks to the excellent Metroid Prime Remastered, Samus Aran is once again blasting her way through alien planets in the first-person perspective. The game may be a remaster instead of a remake, limiting the major differences from the original in comparison to others, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t one of the best shooters on the Nintendo Switch.

Whether you’re investigating every bit of Chozo lore, battling space pirates, or taking on Meta Ridley, it’s pretty clear that Samus is simply capable of heroics many others aren’t. Going onto an alien planet to take out Ridley with a severely damaged suit is always going to be so incredibly cool.

3 Dave The Diver

Admittedly a bit of an oddball pick, but Dave The Diver deserves some love as one of the great sleeper heroes of the year. Letting you control a simple diver who also happens to run a sushi restaurant, Dave may not be a grand hero, but he still absolutely is one.

Despite how simple Dave The Diver may sound, the adventure does pick up quite a bit as you move through the game’s various missions. You’ll think everything is just dandy until you’re met with Yawie or any other surprising bosses.

2 Liu Kang

Mortal Kombat 1 continued the trend of excellent modern Mortal Kombat games, even if it did reset the timeline yet again. While you do play as a variety of heroes throughout, Liu Kang deserves some credit as the real MVP of the game.

Having shifted from Mortal Kombat winner and defender of Earthrealm to a literal god, Liu Kang has come a long way since his humble beginnings. Having to once again combat Shang Tsung and the multiversal threat he poses was fantastic to see, and you were probably thrilled at just how much the game managed to tease moving forward.

1 Spider-Man

You can pick either Peter Parker, Miles Morales, or both of them for a spot like this. In Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, you get to experience gameplay through the Spider-Men, and that includes all the web-swinging action you might expect from the game’s many excellent missions.

With a fantastic story that throws Peter against an old friend and the indication that Miles has officially come into his own as the main Spider-Man, both characters deserve a spot on this list for separate reasons. One had a bittersweet conclusion, the other, a sort of coming of age.

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