The Short Answer
Yes, Borderlands 3 is absolutely still worth playing in 2023. For both new players and series veterans, it offers one of the best cooperative FPS experiences available today.
Hi friend! My name is Wendell Barlow. As an investment and data expert, I love analyzing trends and statistics to find the smart play. Today we‘ll be digging deep into Borderlands 3 to help you decide if it‘s worth playing in 2023.
Borderlands 3 released back in 2019 as the third entry in the popular looter shooter franchise. It added exciting new worlds, vault hunters, weapons, and quality of life improvements.
Now four years later, does Borderlands 3 still hold up? Can it still compete with newer releases in the genre it helped define? Let‘s find out!
Borderlands 3 By The Numbers
First, let‘s look at some key statistics and data for Borderlands 3:
- Metacritic Avg Critic Score: 81% (PS4)
- Estimated Sales: 13-18 million copies
- Average players in 2022: 198,366 (Steam)
- Peak players in 2022: 363,403 (Steam)
- Number of Viewable Guns: Over 1 billion
- Average Story Playtime: 23 hours
- Completionist Playtime: 80+ hours
These numbers indicate Borderlands 3 has enjoyed enormous sales success and retains an extremely healthy playerbase four years after launch.
Reviews remain positive and concurrent players are well above most titles this long after release. Clearly the game still appeals to a wide audience today.
Has The Core Gameplay Held Up?
In my opinion, the most important factor is if Borderlands 3‘s core gameplay still holds up in 2023. Let‘s discuss what I view as the key elements:
Satisfying Loot Loop
Borderlands 3 absolutely nails the addictive loop of defeating enemies, gaining loot, equipping new weapons, and using them to take on tougher enemies. With over 1 billion procedurally generated guns, there is incredible variety to discover. New weapons constantly change up your playstyle. Legendary guns with unique effects are especially impactful and fun to experiment with.
The loop becomes even more rewarding in the endgame Mayhem modes where enemies are tougher but drop better loot. I believe this core loop remains as compelling as ever in 2023.
Chaotic Co-Op FPS Combat
Between the different vault hunter abilities, varied enemy types, elemental effects, environmental hazards and more – Borderlands 3 delivers some of the most chaotic and fun FPS combat around. Playing co-op amplifies the insanity.
Gunplay feels responsive with tons of options for dealing damage. Whether you like sniping, run-and-gun, or explosives, there‘s a playstyle for everyone. Even after hundreds of hours, the combat remains exciting thanks to the randomization. The game is still incredibly fun to pick up and blast enemies with friends.
Each vault hunter has three distinct skill trees that enable diverse character builds. You can respec at any time to experiment with different abilities and playstyles. There are many viable endgame builds to chase for each character focusing on damage, survival, support, or specific weapons.
Plus there is a vast array of gear from class mods to artifacts that complement builds. Even four years later, players are still discovering new builds and interactions – a testament to the depth of the skill systems.
As you gain XP from completing missions and defeating enemies, you continually unlock new skills, upgrades, and gear. It‘s incredibly satisfying to start a new character and see them progress in power over time.
Endgame progression comes from Mayhem levels, guardian rank perks, and perfecting your build. There‘s always a new goal to achieve or piece of gear to find.
So in summary, Borderlands 3‘s gameplay foundations remain rock solid in 2023. The combat, co-op, loot loop, and progression are still best-in-class.
How is the Post-Launch Support?
Another factor to consider is how a game evolves over time based on developer support. Let‘s look at how Borderlands 3 has improved:
Bug Fixes and Optimization
There were some technical issues with Borderlands 3 at launch, especially on consoles. But Gearbox has delivered consistent patches fixing bugs, improving stability, and optimizing performance. Load times have been cut by over 50% which greatly improves pacing. Recent next-gen console versions look and run fantastic.
Quality of Life Features
Gearbox has added many handy quality of life improvements like guardian rank perks, battle pass XP, lost loot machines, skippable cutscenes, weapon trinkets, and more. These incremental upgrades enhance the overall experience.
Free Events and Modes
There are now seasonal events with unique activities and rewards. Limited time modes like Arms Race provide fun twists on the core formula. These help keep things fresh for existing players.
Paid DLC Expansions
Three major story DLCs have been released which add substantial content. These provide 10+ more hours of campaign, new gear to collect, and expanded endgame activities.
Overall, Borderlands 3 has seen incredible post-launch support from Gearbox. The game is in a much better technical state now and new content keeps it feeling fresh.
Let‘s Discuss the Value Proposition
Bang for your buck is always an important factor when making a purchasing decision. Here‘s a breakdown of what you get with Borderlands 3:
Hundreds of Hours of Content
It offers at least 50 hours just completing the main story and side quests with a single character. Replayability is massive thanks to alt characters, True Vault Hunter mode, Mayhem levels, and endgame farming. You can easily spend 200+ hours without getting bored.
Free Post-Launch Updates
All the optimization patches, gameplay modes, seasonal events, and quality of life improvements have been free. You‘re getting a much better version of the game compared to launch.
Huge DLC Expansions
The Ultimate Edition bundles the base game with all six DLC packs including three major story expansions that each provide 10+ hours of additional content and gear.
Being able to play the entire massive experience online with friends adds tremendous replay value. Finding loot and taking on challenges together is extremely fun.
When you add it all up, Borderlands 3 Ultimate Edition offers one of the best values in gaming for under $60 when on sale. You would be hard pressed to find hundreds of hours of content, substantial DLC, and cooperative play for a cheaper price point.
Is There Still a Strong Playerbase?
For online cooperative games, having an active playerbase is key to getting the full experience. So how is Borderlands 3 holding up?
Let‘s revisit those player numbers from earlier:
- Average players in 2022: 198,366 (Steam)
- Peak players in 2022: 363,403 (Steam)
These are extremely healthy stats for a PvE co-op game that is four years old. For comparison, the recently released Tiny Tina‘s Wonderlands peaks around 25k players on Steam.
Review site GameRevolution also reported wait times for Borderlands 3 public matchmaking were under 30 seconds across all platforms.
The crossover appeal, frequent sales, and next-gen console boost ensure new vault hunters are always jumping in. Limited events and new DLCs also bring back veterans.
In summary, the Borderlands 3 playerbase is going strong in 2023. You‘ll have no trouble finding public games or community members to play with.
What Are Players and Reviewers Saying?
Let‘s take a quick look at what both players and critics are saying about Borderlands 3:
- 81 Metacritic: "A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won‘t cause massive damage."
- IGN: 8/10 – "A ridiculously fun co-op shooter."
- GameSpot: 8/10 – "Fantastic feeling core shooting improved by wide build variety."
- 93% positive of 58k reviews in past 30 days
- Praised for replayability, gun variety, humor, co-op gameplay
- Criticisms of poor writing, technical issues at launch
On r/Borderlands, recent community feedback remains very positive:
- "BL3 is the best Borderlands for gameplay"
- "Gunplay feels so good and varied"
- "It deserves more appreciation"
- "Still enjoying it years later"
So both professional reviewers and everyday players widely agree Borderlands 3‘s core gameplay shines despite narrative shortcomings. There‘s a clear consensus it remains incredibly fun and replayable even years later.
Hopefully this deep dive has helped provide useful insights into making the right call on Borderlands 3 in 2023. To summarize:
Borderlands 3 offers one of the best cooperative looter shooter experiences available now. The core gameplay loop remains incredibly addictive thanks to satisfying combat, build diversity, and rewarding progression.
Despite launching in 2019, it has aged wonderfully thanks to extensive post-launch support and a thriving playerbase. The Ultimate Edition provides outrageous value with hundreds of hours of content.
For both franchise veterans and newcomers seeking a fun chaotic co-op game, Borderlands 3 is absolutely still worth playing in 2023. I hope you found this guide helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Yes, get Borderlands 3!