Shacknews Best Xbox Series X Game of 2023 - Starfield

Starfield provided a much-needed AAA release for Microsoft in what was a quieter year for the company.


With the spending spree that Microsoft has been on over the last several years, we’ve been waiting for the dominos to start falling. The launch of Starfield this year felt like the first in what will be a series of dominos for Xbox Game Studios. The first new Bethesda IP in over two decades brought us into a fascinating sci-fi world where humanity is scattered amongst the stars, forming factions and colonies across different solar systems.

Bethesda manages to deliver a living and breathing world full of diverse cultures and communities, making it fun to simply planet hop and speak with random NPCs. The story is one of the best Bethesda has done in years, with a New Game+ that completely recontextualizes the entire campaign.

Starfield also comes with a new game engine that’s utterly gorgeous. The visuals in Starfield are stunning, and the character models have gotten a much needed upgrade. Movements are much smoother, and Bethesda has shown tremendous growth in its shooting gameplay from Fallout 4 in 2015 to now.

Space flight and combat are among the new gameplay additions in Starfield, and are at the center of the experience. Hopping into a ship and flying it around, adjusting its various systems so that you can zip through the stars or take down members of the Crimson Fleet feels exhilarating. This extends to the ship builder, where we spent many hours constructing the Starship of our dreams. We already knew that Bethesda would be a mighty valuable asset for Microsoft, and Starfield was a reminder that Bethesda still has it.

Be sure to read over the rest of the Shacknews Awards in our Year of the Games: 2023 feature.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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