The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Staff Spotlight
Isaac Danon
Isaac Danon
Staff Reporter

Isaac is a junior at Sage Creek and he’s a staff reporter for The Sage. In his free time, he enjoys drawing anime characters and making Capcut videos for volunteer organizations. Also, he sells exclusive...

Top Selling Games of 2023

Holden Kopman
Various titles from 2023 form together in the shape of a television to represent the collection of vast genres. 2023 was a remarkable year for the gaming industry, having something special for gamers of all kinds.

2023 was yet another successful year in the gaming world, packed with few original titles and a list of sequels. Not only did the year hold numerous contenders for award winners but also many high-quality games fighting for the title of highest-selling. Here are the top 10 selling games of the year.

10. Starfield

The player’s custom space explorer stands atop a tree native to the planet Jemison while taking in the sunset view. Even though a majority of its generated worlds lack distinctive qualities, “Starfield” has a few notable landmarks that are filled with hours worth of content. (Holden Kopman)

Despite a messy release and split player base, “Starfield,” an open-world Role-playing game (RPG) produced by Bethesda Softworks, brought a list of innovations to the table with its release; notably its dramatic scale. The player has the choice of visiting hundreds of AI-produced solar systems – a concept that piqued the interests of many going into the game. Alongside this, “Starfield” has been one of Xbox’s most anticipated exclusive games of recent years, which is likely the reason behind its millions of copies sold. Although it did not reach the heights of past Bethesda titles like “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Starfield” was a success in the eyes of many fans of the genre.

9. Mortal Kombat 1

In the Kameo selection screen of the quick match section, a player decides which assist will pair with their selected character. In MK1, there are a total of 425 potential combinations between its 25 roster fighters and 17 Kameo fighters. (Holden Kopman)

“Mortal Kombat 1” (not the original Mortal Kombat) is a soft reboot of Netherrealm Studios’ beloved brutal fighting game franchise. Even with a highly successful previous entry – “Mortal Kombat 11” broke franchise records by selling 15 million copies – “MK1” managed to size up to its large footsteps. This was likely due to its fresh concept and early decision to reveal the DLC fighters. As of November, “MK1’s” sales were at nearly 3 million copies and still growing, showing the love fans still share towards the franchise. With Netherealm’s recent statement on the third entry to the “Injustice” series being in the works, there is no doubt that fans will eagerly await another top-notch fighter. 

8. Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

A gamer ignites Cal Kestis’ dual-wielding lightsaber on the final explorable planet Tanalorr. “Jedi Survivor” has 6 total planets, each holding unique sections of the story. (Noah Kopman)

Electronic Arts’ (EA’s) “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor” proved to amass the same success as its well-received predecessor, “Jedi: Fallen Order” and even sold over 30% more copies at launch. After numerous failures on EA’s part in the live service department like the recent “Battlefield 2042” and “Star Wars Battlefront II,” “Fallen Order” was a major refresher to fans seeking a simple, single-player experience. “Survivor” provides much of the same, but improves on the flaws of “Fallen Order,” such as incorporating a fast travel system, more combat stances and fewer ponchos (sorry, Cameron). Although its rough launch on PC proved to be a major disappointment and setback to those planning to play on the platform, there is no doubt that the force is strong with this title.

7. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

A gamer makes his way towards the safe zone amidst “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’s” PVP (Player vs. Player) gamemode. The “Call of Duty” franchise has been well known for its PVP gameplay modes since its first game in 2011.
(Tiago Gohnes)

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II,” despite its release in 2022, also sold remarkably well in 2023. The game additionally received mixed reviews, reaching as low as a 2/10 on Steam.

Developed by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision, “Call of Duty: MWII” is an FPS that follows the strong multiplayer formula of previous entries while establishing a precedent for the next game to come. Introducing swimming and water physics as well as a more advanced AI, 2019’s “Modern Warfare” sequel managed to gain its spot in the top 10.

Sage Creek High School Junior Tiago Gonhes felt disappointed with the entry because of his prior positive experience with the well-renowned series.

“One of the biggest complaints widespread among the community is that the story direction for the Campaign portion was written poorly, making the overall feel and progression of the story bland and dry,” Gonhes said. “As for the multiplayer aspect, various different features have been added that are very new to the ‘Modern Warfare’ Franchise though the response to this brought about the community wanting more of the original aspect of ‘Modern Warfare.’”

6. Diablo IV

The “Diablo IV” character in-game shops at a vendor for new equipment. “Diablo IV” has many customizations, which allow for the player to change their character how they like. (Tiago Gohnes)

Developed and produced by Blizzard Entertainment, “Diablo IV” is a hack-and-slash, action RPG (Role-Playing-Game) dungeon-crawler, carrying on the success of the previous “Diablo” game. The game earned $666 million dollars within the first five days of its being released – seems fitting.

“Diablo IV” was the next game in line in the “Diablo” series and was nominated for Best Multiplayer Game from The Game Awards 2023 and Golden Joystick Awards, the Best Steam Deck Game on The Steam Awards and many others. 

The reviews for the game are also favorably positive; it scored higher than 80% on most critic sites and individual reviewers. As the game continues to be updated by its dedicated developers, “Diablo IV’s” live service will not die down anytime in the near future.

5. Madden 24

Football players tackle each other. “Madden NFL 24” is the 24th game in the Madden NFL series, which, similarly to other sports games, releases a new one every year. (Holden Kopman)

There’s only one sports game on this list? – that’s mad(den). This year’s EA NFL sports game, “Madden NFL 24” was bound to make sales with updated rosters and upgrades to the predecessor. Game reviewers on Metacritic averaged 65% while the players have an accumulated score of 1.3/10. The game can be played either single-player or multiplayer and  includes mini-games, which hadn’t been seen since “Madden NFL 12.”

4. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Swinging into the gaming scene in late October was the third entry to one of Playstation’s most recognized superhero franchises – this time, featuring both protagonists Peter Parker and Miles Morales. “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” has been praised for truly mastering the formula that “Marvel’s Spiderman” and “Marvel’s Spiderman: Miles Morales” established with improved combat and fluid web swinging. By selling 2.5 million units within 24 hours of its release and now well over 5 million, it is clear that fans could not wait to get their hands on the game. 

Spiderman fights Sandman in the middle of New York City. “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” gameplay includes fighting and swinging gameplay within the city to save the day from familiar enemies across the franchise.
(Tiago Gohnes)

3. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

“The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” became likely the most anticipated Nintendo game of 2023 due in large to being the sequel of the award-winning “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” Starting with its reveal in 2019, “Tears of the Kingdom” builds off its prequel as an open-world experience with the Land of Hyrule plus two more additional areas to explore. There is no doubt that Nintendo has nailed the formula for its many recurring titles – especially with the “Legend of Zelda” games.

Sage Creek High School Senior Everett Oh enjoyed the gameplay experience as well as the storyline as a whole.

“It came out during the summer so it was a great game to just like hang out and just like chill,” Oh said. “There was so many good graphics and a lot of fun stuff to do. There were a lot of plot twists and game mechanics in the game story itself. It made the game a super thorough and well-thought-out storyline.”

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III

As the introduction cutscene of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” plays, Link begins his fight against the Demon King Ganondorf. Ganondorf is a recurring boss throughout the Legend of Zelda games. (Tiago Gohnes)

Providing another entry to the “sequel to a reboot” series, the multiplayer mayhem of “Call of Duty Modern Warfare III” was able to earn itself the second spot on the top- selling list through its consistent fanbase. As the second “Call of Duty” game to make the list, “COD: MW III,” was bound to make sales for it simply being a Call of Duty game, although its reception wasn’t necessarily on the positive side.

The famous game franchise was initially developed by Infinity Ward, but is now developed by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. They follow the same FPS (First Person Shooters) formula with one of the main attractions being the multiplayer modes – which is what the games are most known for. Unlike the multiplayer section, the game’s campaign lowered the bar of the franchise; this was poked fun at by Christopher Judge, the famous voice actor known for portraying the “God of War” character Kratos, at the game awards.

Available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, this variation, despite being number two top selling in 2023 was unfortunately rated the lowest Call of Duty game on Metacritic to date.

Captain Price gives off a deadly stare, indicating his battle damage over the years. The red background and dark tone promotes what could be expected out of “Call of Duty Modern Warfare III.” ( COD MW3 2023 Animated Wallpaper by Favorisxp is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 DEED )

 1. Hogwarts Legacy

Holding the spot of 2023’s highest-selling game is a title that not only saved a franchise but showed the true capabilities of the wizarding world. “Hogwarts Legacy,” to the delight of many fans, was able to realize what a true AAA “Harry Potter” game should look like. From Hogwarts school activities to open-world combat and exploration, the game set its eyes on a wide variety of players coming in. In addition, instead of focusing on the franchise’s central protagonist (Harry Potter) yet again, the developers at Avalanche Studios left full character customization and house choice up to the player.

A figure attempts to manipulate his in game character with a prop wand. Though this is not currently a feature in the game, it could be an interesting update in the future.
(Holden Kopman)

Despite distributing over 15 million copies, “Hogwarts Legacy” was unable to secure any awards alongside its many remarkable contenders but was nevertheless able to make its mark on the player-base. After a die-down in interest in the franchise within recent years, “Legacy” managed to proclaim itself as a solid and well-polished title, which potentially leaves room for further expansion in coming years.

As new innovations are made and player bases grow, the world of video games will only expand as time passes. 2023 was an extraordinary year in many departments and, with games like “Palworld” and “Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth” kicking off the new year in a positive direction, 2024 will only improve upon the game industry’s well-cooked formula.

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  • P

    Pranidhaan C.May 5, 2024 at 8:40 am

    Completely agree!

  • T

    Tiago G.Apr 10, 2024 at 9:45 am

    Very solid article guys!

  • M

    Marth Fire EmblemFeb 1, 2024 at 2:05 pm

    Fire Emblem Engage should’ve been on the list

  • S

    Steve LFeb 1, 2024 at 1:08 pm

    You guys should do an article on Massive Monster’s game Cult of the Lamb. Probably the most underrated indie title of 2023.

    • R

      RadwanFeb 2, 2024 at 2:11 pm

      it didn’t come out in 2023 though

      • S

        Steve LFeb 5, 2024 at 12:34 pm