Though we're arguably living through the greatest year for video games ever, it's tough to deny that the industry is also more rife with predatory money-grubbing practises than ever before.
With games continually taking longer to develop, many publishers feel that the mere upfront $70 price tag isn't enough, and they need to recoup additional revenue through DLC expansions and microtransactions.
While not all DLC or MTX are inherently evil by any means, they're certainly worth approaching with a healthy degree of skepticism, if only because they represent such a large slice of the financial pie for publishers.
And in 2023, crass monetisation has reached a fever pitch, with even many hugely popular and well-received games trying to bleed every last possible cent out of customers who, more often than not, have already paid a princely sum to play.
This especially overpriced parade of in-game bulls**t makes the days of Oblivion's infamous $2.50 horse armour seem positively innocuous and not-remotely-predatory by comparison.
And because this excruciatingly expensive nonsense generally prints enormous amounts of money, it's never going away - it is a bell that, sadly, cannot be un-rung...
10. Mortal Kombat 1's $12 Happy Halloween Fatality
There are many things that players might accept as monetisable in a video game, but fatalities in Mortal Kombat? Not a damn chance.
Just before Halloween, developer NetherRealm released a patch for the most recent iteration of the fighting franchise, Mortal Kombat 1, which included a new fatality themed around All Hallows' Eve.
The fatality in question sees the perpetrator shove a jack o'lantern on their victim's head, watch as creepy crawlies pour out of it, and then kick their pumpkin-clad head clean off, sending it flying before it smashes into the front door of a house nearby.
Sounds like a perfect fit for the game, right?
Yet NetherRealm ultimately decided to charge a pretty penny for the pleasure, with the fatality costing an eye-watering $12.
Fans quite rightly complained that they were being nickel-and-dimed, with those who splashed out a whopping $110 on the game's Premium Edition - which doesn't include this fatality - feeling especially hard-done-by.
And on top of this, it's not even a particularly creative fatality by Mortal Kombat's gloriously unhinged standards. As entertaining as the core game is, this monetisation is vile.