Looking Back on Gaming — 2023 Edition
Crazy. Another year has been and gone, shifting itself to the rearview mirror. At this end of things, it seems all a bit surreal. To a point, I think that’s a somewhat normal feeling about having had a whole ‘nother year go by, but this year certainly split itself into a ‘before’ and ‘after’ in my mind adding to that effect somewhat.
Last year, when looking back, I said that I thought 2022 would have been one of my lowest for gaming, insofar as average hours spent per month was concerned. That turned out to be very much not true. Quite the opposite, with a 96-hour average/month, which was (almost) the top since I started tracking.
I didn’t make that prediction again for 2023. I didn’t make any predictions. But, this time around, if I had, it would have been true.
Dragonflight and the holidays massively bumped my January 2023 hours, taking the record of the highest single month for time spent gaming. The average for the year though, was 84 hours/month average, vs last year’s 96 hours/month average.
What consumed these hours though?
Well, let’s see!
Top 10 2023 Games — By Months and Hours Played
Trying something a bit new with the table graphic this year, and including the previous years (albeit in summarised form) for additional context. While a lot of what I play will have only come out this year, there are a few that have a history going back before 2023 as well.
Unlike Belghast, I don’t have any full 12-month game runs, let alone 4 of them. That just isn’t how I tend to approach games any more. Probably not since Asheron’s Call. It’s actual time spent live, that is, not just my revisit a few years ago!
What is my more typical style, and seems to be largely missing this year, are the single-month ‘All-the-time’ Games. Those games I may only play for a single month, but still take some 60+ hours within that month.
Warframe comes somewhat close this year, I suppose, as most of those 70 odd hours happened in April, with just a small second dip into the Waframe pool in December to try the new cinematic quest line.
I would love to know how having the March data may have changed up the picture here as well though! It has been driving me a little crazy to have made the same mistake a second time and now not knowing as a result. Ugh!
Last year, I lamented the fact there had been no updates or other reason to return to The Division 2, nor any announcement of The Division 3. This year, we got both! Div 2 got a kickstart to its seasonal content, and Div 3 was officially confirmed. I have no expectations we’ll see it in 2024, possibly not even 2025 — but boy am I here for it when it comes around!
Top 10 Games Overall — By Months and Hours Played
It is going to be a long, long time before anything shifts WoW away from it’s position at the top of the totem pole. I am not even sure I can imagine a day when it falls out of the top 10 entirely. And I say this in the belief (once again), that I may well have quit WoW entirely.
It does amuse me though to see Asheron’s Call hanging on there near the bottom of the Total Hours played chart, despite the fact I haven’t jumped into it since 2019.
Top spot notwithstanding, I do wonder whether Granblue Fantasy Relink might at least shuffle around the lower spots for hours played. From what I know of the game so far, it’s certainly possible. Monster Hunter Rise by way of comparison was just pipped off the list, at 107.4 hours played (vs. Overwatch at 108 hours played).
The ‘Complete’ List
Spoiler: This isn’t a complete list at all. Not by a long shot. There are 229 games listed in the spreadsheet (up 29 from last year) from over the (almost) five years I’ve been capturing this data. This is just the top 63 (i.e., the number I could fit on screen without zooming out further). Last year, cutting it off here only excluded games with below 12 hours played. This time, the cut-off occurs for games at around 14 hours of play.
If you would like to look at the actual complete list — you can view the data set here.
Wrapping up and Predictions for 2024
- World of Warcraft: Will not feature in the top 10 for 2024 — I expect I’m done with WoW. Hopefully for good; but… Well, we all know how that typically goes.
- Granblue Fantasy Relink: In contrast, this will feature in the top 10 for 2024; at least in hours played. Possibly for months played as well. In fact, I will say: In the top 5 for hours but in the lower half of the top 10 for months played.
- Final Fantasy XIV: The urge to play this again has been steadily increasing. For quite a long time now. I suspect 2024 will be the year this finally reaches the point of taking action. I’d like to say this will mean I run all the way through to the completion of Endwalker, but history would say more likely is the completion of the current mid-expansion patch content I’m in and through the next expansion (Stormblood).
And I’m sure there will be other surprises in there too. Black Myth: Wukong has a scheduled release date of 20th August 2024 at this stage, and I have great hopes for this to be good. Might even be 2024’s Elden Ring. Unless of course, Elden Ring is 2024’s Elden Ring. FromSoftware haven’t said as such, in fact, if anything they’ve said to expect it to be a long way off still — but I still can’t help but wonder if Shadow of the Erdtree expansion releases in late 2024.
That’s it for me though I think.
Will see how I did come the start of 2025!