Gaming: my favourites from 2023


A purely self-indulgent post :) 

1 Final Fantasy XIV

My most favourite game.   After the WoW (World of Warcraft) universe - where I had logged over 10 years of playing - changed from being a great, friendly and collaborative place to a nasty, uncouth, homophobic and gender unfriendly environment and I finally gave up on it,  and switched to Final Fantasy XIV.  

In Eorzea I have found friends in the Free Company, caring people, and players who embrace diversity and kindness.  Not to mention an amazing game engine, amazing open world with beautifully designed flora and fauna, region specific architecture, great story lines with characters you deeply care about  (omg the story with the twins made me cry when they finally reunited with their family!) and very challenging dungeons and raids.

Like WoW, it has many battle classes and crafting classes and gathering classes.  You also have the ability to change your look by 'glamouring' your gear.  And yes, there are mods available to change the look of an asset, if you really want. 

If you are looking for an open-world MMORG (massive multi-player online roleplaying game), this is what you want. 

Screen shot two characters FFXIV

2 Hearthstone

Still free to play from Blizzard, a turn based 2 online player strategy game with many playing modes.   Very humorous sounds, nice animations, great game play.   

Screenshot hearthstone game in progress

3 Stray

Be your inner cat and save the world.  Adorable characters, great story, challenging puzzles.  The cat's movements and behaviours are very true to life and according to this post, 80% of the development team has cats :)  Stray has you jumping around and navigating a cyber post disaster city filled with robots that you get to know and befriend.  

The game is on steam and very affordable.   More info:









4 Road 96

Road 96  is a fun multi-scenario story and exploration game.  Your experience is based on the choices you make especially in the dialogues.  Great political commentary and as you play, you get to know the backstory and complexity of some of the main characters.     The graphics are cartoon like but very pretty and I particularly (no surprise there) enjoy the dialogue with Alex, a young and very smart nerd who uses blocks on the pedals to drive the car.

Also can be found on steam. 

5 Firewatch 

Recent discovery since it was on steam for $3 - great game, interesting graphics.  You're a fire watch forest garden and you are discovering some of the goings-on at the site which are more than you would've expected.  

Beautiful cartoon like graphics, dialogue driven story. 

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