If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

The bright and beautiful RPS Advent Calendar 2023

I'm dreaming of a game Christmas

A close up of Horace the Endless Bear looking at a big pile of presents with his name on, next to a plate of cookies with a glass of milk. It's the 2023 RPS Advent Calendar!
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Let's get ready ready, let's get ready ready, let's get ready to Christmas! Is it just me, or did 2023 seem like it had more games than ever before? But look, don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened - and make the smile extra big, because, as we do basically every year, the RPS staff have worked hard (read: voted and bickered) to bring you our games of the year in beautiful, numerical form. Digitally open a new door each day and enjoy the magnificent The RPS Advent Calendar 2023!

Another important seasonal tradition is playing Skeal

If this is your first RPS GOTY Calendar then, welcome! What happens is, every day of December, up to and including the 24th, we will reveal one of our games of the year - the games from 2023 that we think are neat as heck, notable or otherwise just, the bestest best. To give it the proper cool-game treatment each game gets a whole post to itself, lead by one of the RPS staffers who liked it the best, often with humerous or joyful additions from other treehousers. They're in no particular order until we get to the 24th, because on Christmas Eve we reveal our game of the yearest game of the year (so, our actual Game Of The Year 2023). It's a hoot and a half, so keep checking every day to see how the list shakes out.

Our advent image this year is courtesy of Lucy Grimwood, who has done a fantastic job. I really love the tiny cookie and glass of milk, and the use of purple. You'll also be able to enjoy Lucy's work on the header for the Christmas Cracker jokes we post while we're away for the break, which is good because you will not enjoy the jokes themselves.

The rules for our calendar voting are thus:
Any game released this year eligible for inclusion, which also includes games that released into early access, or games that released into 1.0 after an early access period, or remasters or remakes that we consider especially noteworthy. We sometimes allow games from December last year to sneak in, if they came out after voting was finalised, and games that we can make a case for 2023 being their year, even if they didn't come out in 2023. For example, a live service game whose numbers surged suddenly, and old indie game that broke big out of nowhere, or big transformative DLCs would all count.

Voting this year was the same secret ballot as in 2022. Previous years saw each member of the RPS team allocate ten points in a shared spreadsheet of games so everyone could see and do last minute ludicrous tactical voting. The secret ballot put a stop to this last year, and resulted in an interesting list, so we're probably going to keep doing it. Everyone sent in a list of ten favourite games from this year, with the first on our list getting 10 points, the second 9, and so on. These were collated to make the final advent calendar list. Last year's game of the year was decided by a robust debate in our work chat, with a final vote via emoji reacts. This year no tie breaking was needed. We had a runaway winner, in fact. There's a clue for you.

The RPS calendar appeared in 2007, and basically every year since: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2014 we did the RPS Bestest Bests which were the exact same only it wasn't based around a calendar. We went back to the calendar format for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. That makes this the seventeenth RPS advent calendar, if you count the freak years (2008 and 2014).

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

Related topics
About the Author
Alice Bell avatar

Alice Bell

Deputy Editor

Small person powered by tea and books; RPS's dep ed since 2018. Send her etymological facts and cool horror or puzzle games.