We Did a Fantasy Draft… of 2023’s Best Videogames

Our videogame fantasy draft showed 2023 will be a year to remember

With the 2023 NFL season finally here and fantasy footballers gearing up for an exciting opening weekend, we at Prima Games decided to make our own fantasy league with a videogame twist. Since 2023 has been one of the greatest years in gaming history, ten Prima writers and staffers came together for a two-round fantasy draft, not of NFL players, but the best games of the year (both released and upcoming).

However, this draft is not merely symbolic because there is glory on the line and a chance to earn the Prima Fantasy Cup (metaphorical of course). With a randomized pick order, a “snake draft” to ensure fairness, and 2023 games only allowed to be selected once, here is the recap of the Prima Teama’s Fantasy Videogame League Draft.

Prima’s Fantasy Videogame League Draft Results

a list of 2023 games

Round 1

1. Baldur’s Gate III
2. Hi-Fi Rush
3. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
4. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
5. Resident Evil 4 Remake
6. Starfield
7. Sea of Stars
8. Final Fantasy XVI
9. Diablo IV
10. Pizza Tower

Round 2
11. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
12. Remnant II
13. Street Fighter 6
14. Octopath Traveler II
15. Dead Space Remake
16. Alan Wake II
17. Mortal Kombat 1
18. Hogwarts Legacy
19. Theatrhythm Final Bar Line
20. Metroid Prime Remastered

Participant 1 – Cilla Wells

  • Draft Selections
    • Baldur’s Gate III (Pick 1)
    • Metroid Prime Remastered (Pick 20)

Cilla says, “Having the first pick is both exciting and nerve-wracking. You get to have your pick, but there’s a lot of pressure to choose the best! I chose Baldur’s Gate III because it has exceeded so many peoples’ expectations, performed phenomenally, and has been an entrance into not only the series itself but for the whole genre, myself included. Usually in games I don’t struggle at all to make choices, but BG3 threw me into the deep end from the beginning, and I absolutely loved it.

Honestly, I was surprised that no one else had chosen Metroid Prime Remastered by the time my second turn came around. I chose it because it was a well-received remaster that was well done.. with a little bit of there was nothing else on my list left.”

Participant 2 – Matt Vatankhah

  • Draft Selections
    • Hi-Fi Rush (Pick 2)
    • Theatrhythm Final Bar Line (Pick 19)

Matt says, “In a year stacked with such massive releases, someone’s gotta stand up for the underdogs. Will Hi-Fi Rush or Theatrhythm win the Game of the Year award? Maybe not – but damn it, they’re both the best games released in this holy year of 2023, and I’m prepared to die on that hill. Colorful, vibrant, carefree, and full of rhythm – that’s what video games are all about, baby.”

Participant 3 – Patrick Souza

  • Draft Selections
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Pick 3)
    • Hogwarts Legacy (Pick 18)

Patrick says, “My first pick couldn’t be different than Tears of the Kingdom. It kept blowing my mind the more I played it, and it’s more than a worthy successor for the groundbreaking title that was BotW.”

“But not all games have to bring something new, and huge to the table. Sometimes all they need is to scratch that itch just right. And I’m pretty sure that’s what Hogwarts Legacy did for many, and that’s why this is my second pick.”

Participant 4 – Ashley Anthony

  • Draft Selections
    • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (Pick 4)
    • Mortal Kombat 1 (Pick 17)

Ashley says, “My first pick, Spider-Man 2, was a no-brainer. Insomniac Games has received recognition as one of the best game developers from critics over the years. With Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, despite being set in the same city, New York City, they showed they could elevate the gaming experience, racking up loads of awards and nominations at various gaming awards. They’ve delivered on both of Spider-Man 2’s predecessors, exceeding expectations. Expecting more of the same, if not better!”

“My second pick, Mortal Kombat 1, is purely based on my love for the Mortal Kombat franchise. This game has been there, done that, collected the t-shirt, and then made a new t-shirt. It is, hands down, one of the best fighting games ever made, if not the best. Now that they’ve added a story mode to a fighting game, it sounds like a recipe for great success.”

Participant 5 – Grant Testa

  • Draft Selections
    • Resident Evil 4 Remake (Pick 5)
    • Alan Wake II (Pick 16)

“With heavy hitters like Baldur’s Gate III and Tears of the Kingdom off the board early (as expected), I was hoping that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 would fall to the fifth overall pick, but had to adjust my strategy when it was selected 4th. Although I was tempted to choose Diablo IV or Starfield, in a competitive year of RPGs, I opted to go for 2023’s highest rated survival horror title, Resident Evil 4 Remake instead. I would be absolutely shocked if RE4 doesn’t get a GOTY nomination at The Game Awards this December, as it is one of the most critically acclaimed remakes ever made.”

“In the second round, with Dead Space and Armored Core 6 off the board, I strongly considered drafting Hogwarts Legacy, but went back to the well of survival horror with the upcoming Alan Wake II, a potential dark horse game of the year contender with high upside for a mid-second round pick.”

Participant 6 – Madison Benson

  • Draft Selections
    • Starfield (Pick 6)
    • Dead Space Remake (Pick 15)

Madison says, “For my first pick, I chose Starfield since I’ve been a long-time fan of Bethesda’s series, notably the Elder Scrolls Games. I went into the draft picks optimistic about Starfield’s performance and features, and as of now, I’m happy with my choice.”

“My second choice, the Dead Space Remake, was because of how much my friends enjoyed it. Although I’ve never played it, I know several people who praise it, leading me to believe it’s a strong contender for this year’s awards categories.”

Participant 7 – Meg Bethany Koepp

  • Draft Selections
    • Sea of Stars (Pick 7)
    • Octopath Traveler II (Pick 14)

Participant 8 – Wallace Truesdale

  • Draft Selections
    • Final Fantasy XVI (Pick 8)
    • Street Fighter 6 (Pick 13)

Wallace says, “I chose Final Fantasy XVI because the game has an amazing combat system with the Eikon powers, has proven to be a great entry for new players to the franchise, features pretty fun characters, and is visually stunning.

As for Street Fighter 6, my friends in the fighting game community told me about the sheer number of players, old and new, playing the game concurrently when it was released, so it seemed like a good pick. Plus, they’re really enjoying it.”

Participant 9 – Daphne Fama

  • Draft Selections
    • Diablo IV (Pick 9)
    • Remnant II (Pick 12)

Daphne says, “Remnant II is one of those games you wake up thinking about. It’s the perfect marriage between gunplay and roleplay elements, with a lush world, ample secrets, and unique bosses that kept me coming back for more.

Diablo IV’s grim storytelling and diverse array of builds made it the highlight of my spring. I can’t wait to see what Season 2 brings.”

Participant 10 – Shaun Cichacki

  • Draft Selections
    • Pizza Tower (Pick 10)
    • Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (Pick 11)

Shaun says, “When it comes to indie games, I would like to consider myself a connoisseur. I tend to gravitate toward these particular titles over the larger, big-budget brothers and sisters that continue to flood the market for a variety of reasons. My first choice for the Prima Team Draft had to go to Pizza Tower, because not only is it still my favorite game of the year up to this point, but I would pay a disgusting amount of money to watch The Game Awards Orchestra try to make their way through the complex and convoluted score of the song It’s Pizza Time.”

“On the opposite side of the fence, it seems that high-octane action has been my go-to for the year 2023. While initially dismissive of the game, the opportunity to review Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon fell into my lap and I found myself drooling over the explosive action unfolding before me.”

How Does a Fantasy Videogame League Work?

Since our videogames obviously won’t compete against each other every Sunday, the league winner will be determined through a balanced, unique points system based on awards and nominations received at The Game Awards 2023. We will unveil our fantasy league scoring during the awards season, so check back in December when we release the Prima Games’ Fantasy Videogame League results and reveal our Champion.

About the Author

Grant Testa

Grant Testa is a writer at Prima Games, who specializes in achievement hunting and horror gaming. He is also an avid comic book reader/collector, fantasy footballer, and rock music fanatic. Thousands who have been defeated by Grant in online multiplayer games have cried to themselves, wondering, "How did he get so good?! Why can't I be a gaming demigod like him?" They would probably be surprised to learn that Grant actually inherited his elite gaming skills from his mom, Joann Hansen, one of the speediest stenographers/typists in the nation, (and probably the world). Fun fact: he is also the son of the world’s first “let’s player” and comedy legend, Tim Testa.