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Best AI games 2023: Released and upcoming

Inworld Team
August 31, 2023
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AI has long been a key part of video games. It’s helped generate expansive in-game environments, brought to life beloved companion characters, and powered complex enemies. The last few years have seen significant advancements in AI. That’s set to significantly change how the tech is used within video games. For the first time, AI is now capable of generating entire video games, powering NPCs you can talk to voice-to-voice, and more.

One type of AI-generated video game can be made by using ChatGPT to recreate classic games such as Pong, Tetris, and Snake. Another type of AI game is a text adventure where the world and narrative are described entirely through text and the player interacts by typing simple commands. 

After that, there are more sophisticated examples where AI is used for just one part of the game. Microsoft Flight Simulator, which used generative AI to build its immense recreation of Earth falls into that category. So does Origins, our own short playable interactive mystery game powered by AI NPCs – something many YouTube and Twitch favorites have played and enjoyed. 

Gamers enjoy playing AI games because the generative technology behind them allows for more dynamic and freeform experiences. AI-powered NPCs, for example, can exhibit much more human-like behavior than their coded counterparts, leading to increased immersion. Gamers also (sometimes) enjoy trolling AI NPCs to try to break them. 

To celebrate AI games, we’ve recently launched Play Pass, a growing library of games, demos, and mods that integrate dynamic AI NPCs you can talk to. We also wanted to walk you through some of the best AI games today – and give you a taste of what to expect for the future of gaming.

What is an AI game? 

An AI game is a game that’s either created entirely or driven significantly by advanced AI systems like generative AI. AI games can be broken down into one of four distinct types: AI text games, AI-generated games, games with advanced AI technology, and generative AI-powered games. .

AI text games

Using similar tech to that which powers ChatGPT, AI text games are a throwback to classic text-based adventure games such as Zork or The Hobbit.  But whereas these old-school adventures were limited in scope, AI text games offer almost limitless possibilities. For example, in AI Dungeon, you can jump between worlds, time periods, and dimensions in just a few sentences.

AI-generated games 

AI-generated games are those which have been created almost entirely by AI models. Given the technology behind these games is relatively new, there are only a few examples on the market. One good example is The Girl Does Not Exist, a relatively simple puzzle game where every asset was generated by an AI model.

AI games with advanced AI technology 

Several games on the market today implement highly sophisticated forms of AI to elevate the player experience. For example, The Last of Us: Part II uses advanced AI to power its enemies, providing them with an ‘awareness state.’ This means that if an enemy sees one of their comrades killed without actually seeing the culprit, that particular enemy will be on alert and more vigilant as they plot to take their revenge.

Generative AI-powered games 

These include games that implement AI NPCs, AI assets, procedural generation, or any other features that are primarily generated on generative AI. While most of these types of generative AI are relatively new to the gaming industry, procedural generation has been around the longest. It’s even been used in several high-profile titles, including No Man’s Sky, Persona, Hades, and Diablo. Examples of AI NPCs in games include Cygnus Enterprises whose companion character PEA is powered by generative AI. 

Best AI video games already released

Rapid developments in AI means new AI game experiences are coming to the market every day. Here are just some of the best examples of AI in video games out there today.

AI Text Games

These games use generative AI to power text-based adventures.

  • AI Dungeon: A fantasy-themed text adventure RPG.
  • Private Detective: A mystery-themed text adventure RPG.
  • Kingpin Adventure: A Breaking Bad-themed text adventure RPG.
  • D&D Game Master: A fantasy-themed text adventure RPG.
  • The Portopia Serial Murder Case: A generative update to Square Enix’s iconic 1983 game by the same name. 

AI-generated games

These games are all playable examples of independent AI game design.

AI games with advanced AI technology

These AAA games all feature advanced forms of AI but don’t use generative AI.

  • Red Dead Redemption 2:  Renowned for the game’s expansive lifelike worlds. Much of that is owed to the dynamic behavior of its AI-powered NPCs.
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Realistic AI-powered NPCs are the stars of this other Rockstar title. They’ll look as they cross the street, remark on how the player is dressed, and more.
  • Alien Isolation: The game’s Xenomorph character can learn from past mistakes, behaving differently each time the player encounters it.
  • FIFA: They deploy a form of AI called ‘football knowledge,’ which ensures the physics of the football are scientifically accurate.
  • Bioshock: Infinite: An advanced AI powers Booker Dewitt’s companion, Elizabeth, who exhibits humanlike behavior such as reacting to the world around her and independently supporting the player.

Generative AI-powered games

The following games all feature NPCs powered by Inworld AI’s generative character engine.

  • Cygnus Enterprises: A cross-genre game that combines Action RPG Shooter with base management gameplay elements recently updated its game to power their companion character, PEA, using Inworld’s Character Engine.   
  • Origins: Origins is a playable short created by Oscar-winner John Gaeta (The Matrix) where players must investigate an explosion in the fictional city of Metropolis by questioning completely unscripted NPCs.
  • Meet Wol: Transform your space into a redwood forest with an AI-enabled owl who’s ready to teach you about the forest and its ecosystem. 
  • Skyrim mod: Popular modder Bloc released a mod that transforms Skyrim NPCs. You can interact and speak to them voice-to-voice. 
  • Mount&Blade 2 - Bannerlord mod: Bloc also released a mod for Mount&Blade 2 - Bannerlord that allows players to have unscripted conversations with any NPC in the game world.
  • AI Wonderland: This Roblox game allows you to talk to characters while unlocking the mystery of the Jabberwock.

Upcoming AI games

Since ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion went viral in 2022, a number of game studios have announced plans to incorporate generative AI into their in-production titles. Expect more studios to announce their AI plans in the future. 

  • Project M: NCSoft, the creator of Aion and Guild Wars, unveiled its use of AI-powered Digital Humans in a trailer for the upcoming project. 
  • Justice Online: In February, NetEase announced they would be adding generative AI to their upcoming MMO title.
  • Get Slapped!: This action-comedy fighting game won’t just have mind-bending arenas and eccentric foes, it will also have NPCs that you can talk to.  
  • Hidden Door: Based on classic tabletop games, Hidden Door is set to launch an Alice in Wonderland theme social roleplaying game led by an AI narrator and powered by generative AI. 
  • Slothtopia: This sloth-themed social simulator. In this world, players can fish, farm, build relationships, and catch monsters. All the NPCs in the game are powered by Inworld AI, creating a more exciting and dynamic experience.
  • Afar Rush: This mobile idle racing game lets you compete against players from all around the world. In AFAR Rush, you get to choose gear to match each of the action-packed courses.

The Future of AI gaming

With advancements in artificial intelligence showing no signs of slowing down, expect to see more game developers experimenting with it in ways that push the bounds of what’s possible.  

Want to be the first to know about (and play!) new generative AI games? Join Play Pass and you’ll get access to cutting-edge AI games first! 

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