The New Horizon: Best Soft Sci-Fi Video Games of 2023

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In the realm of video games, soft sci-fi takes players beyond the rigidity of hard science, delving into stories enriched with human emotions and societal implications rather than the technicalities of science. The year 2023 has seen a plethora of games that exemplify this genre, offering experiences that are as emotionally engaging as they are imaginative.

Key Highlights:

  • Soft sci-fi games prioritize human emotions and societal implications over technical scientific details.
  • Notable games in this category often explore post-apocalyptic scenarios, psychological horror, and deep personal narratives.
  • 2023’s standout soft sci-fi games include “The Last of Us Part II,” “Returnal,” and “Control,” each delivering unique narratives and gameplay experiences.

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Soft Sci-Fi in Gaming

Soft sci-fi games are known for their focus on psychological, sociological, and anthropological aspects, providing a canvas for storytelling that examines the human condition within the context of speculative technology and settings​. This genre often includes subcategories like dystopias, space operas, alternative histories, and time-travel adventures​​.

2023’s Pantheon of Soft Sci-Fi Games

Narratives Beyond Science

  • “The Last of Us Part II” continues to captivate audiences with its post-apocalyptic narrative, where a horrifying infection and the quest for a cure frame a deeply personal story of loss, revenge, and survival​.
  • “Returnal” combines roguelike mechanics with psychological horror, crafting a personal narrative against the backdrop of an alien world, blurring the lines between the vastness of space and the depths of the human psyche​​.

Unique Worlds to Explore

  • “Fallout 4” offers a nuanced vision of a post-apocalyptic world, where the desolation of a nuclear wasteland is as compelling as the dark humor and societal commentary it presents​​.
  • “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” stands out with its blend of cyberpunk elements and a “cyber renaissance” art style, pushing players to approach challenges with a mix of stealth, hacking, and combat​.

Memorable Gameplay Experiences

  • “Borderlands 2” entices with its loot-centric, co-op gameplay, and a world teeming with humor and danger, setting a high bar for the looter shooter subgenre​.
  • “Control” is noted for its surreal narrative and atmosphere, invoking a sense of isolation and discovery as players navigate a shape-shifting environment​​.

Emotional Engagement and Investment

  • “Titanfall 2” showcases the genre’s power to make fantastical scenarios feel intimate, with its narrative depth and innovative time manipulation mechanics​​.
  • “Outer Wilds” captures the intrigue of space exploration and the potential perils that lie beyond our solar system, encouraging a sense of cosmic wonder​.

2023 has proven to be a rich year for soft sci-fi gaming, with titles like “The Last of Us Part II,” “Returnal,” and “Control” offering players emotionally resonant stories and engaging gameplay. These games emphasize the human experience within fantastical settings, showcasing the genre’s unique ability to explore the societal impact of technology and the human condition.

About the author


Joshua Bartholomew

A casual guy with no definite plans for the day, he enjoys life to the fullest. A tech geek and coder, he also likes to hack apart hardware. He has a big passion for Linux, open source, gaming and blogging. He believes that the world is an awesome place and we're here to enjoy it! He's currently the youngest member of the team. You can contact him at