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It’s been an incredible year for video games and easily one of the best of all time. Not everything has been pretty behind the scenes, but the amount of 10/10 masterpieces released this year is astonishing. The Game Awards 2023 takes place in December, and the GOTY nominees will be revealed on Monday, November 13th. The best aspect of The Game Awards is always the trailers and announcements, but this year’s game of the year is particularly interesting because there are so many titles that would be deserved winners. With nominees typically restricted to six, here we discuss the nominations we hope to see announced next week.
Before talking about games we would like to see, we’ll first briefly touch on a few that could be nominated but we didn’t include. Final Fantasy 16 is an absolutely breathtaking marvel, but it is slightly weighed down by dozens of underwhelming side quests and a plot that is padded out too much with fetch quests. Dead Space is a triumphant masterpiece from the beginning of the year, but we’ve given the survival horror remake nod to another classic. Super Mario Bros. Wonder could be a nomination, but we’ve decided to stick to one Nintendo exclusive. Lastly, Hogwarts Legacy would easily deserve a nomination in any other year, but the competition in 2023 is jampacked and we’ve just opted for other games instead.
It’s possible some of the above could be nominations, but below are six nominees we hope to see announced.
Alan Wake 2
Alan Wake 2 is the most recent to come out. It’s a survival horror masterpiece starring Alan Wake and Saga Anderson in missions based on chapters around two meta-narratives, Initiation and Return. Saga Anderson is an excellent new playable character, and she’s an equal protagonist to Alan Wake himself. Each of their missions feature different tones with Saga’s more grounded in the reality of creepy woods while Alan’s are home to horrifying set-pieces such as constantly transforming hotels and theatres. No matter who you’re playing, it’s a terrifying spectacle compounded by a narrative that is constantly gripping with its many twists, turns, and revelations.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3 is arguably the strongest contender to win game of the year at this year’s Game Awards. Not only have Larian Studios delivered one of the best RPGs of the year, they have also delivered one of the best games of the entire century. There are just too many good things to say about Baldur’s Gate 3. The companions are wonderful, the turn-based combat is fun, choices actually matter with several different outcomes possible, and Larian’s presentation is a massive step above their previous games such as Divinity Original Sin 2. Act 3 admittedly wanes in quality thanks to the removal of upper Baldur’s Gate, but it’s not terrible, and Acts 1 and 2 are game of the year contenders on their own.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
The Dead Space Remake is fantastic, but Capcom’s retelling of Resident Evil 4 is sublime. It doesn’t completely replace the OG Resident Evil 4 as you can still return to the 2005 classic to enjoy the more campy humor and action. Long-time fans may prefer the original Leon full of famous one-liners, but the 2023 remake is still excellent for everyone. Ashley is massively improved with a better presentation that doesn’t go over-the-top to make her a strong woman, meanwhile, the combat is exhilarating whether shooting zombies, monsters with tentacles, or battling your old lieutenant. It’s one of the best-looking games of the year as well, and it’s a nostalgic and modern survival horror masterpiece both oldtimers and newcomers can enjoy.
Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a 10/10 game in its own right, but the Nintendo-exclusive nomination we see happening is Tears of the Kingdom. Breath of the Wild won game of the year at The Game Awards 2017, and we could be getting a repeat with its sequel at the upcoming Game Awards 2023. Tears of the Kingdom doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t matter as that’s not what people wanted. Everybody simply wanted more Breath of the Wild but bigger and better, and that’s exactly what Nintendo delivered. The boss fights are great, the open world is one of the best ever to explore, and it’s simply gorgeous despite the Nintendo Switch not being a graphical powerhouse anywhere near on par with the PS5 or Xbox.
Dave the Diver
There’s typically one indie gem thrown up against the heavy hitters when it comes to the game of the year prize. Sea of Stars is another possible contender that is perhaps more realistic, and we wouldn’t be shocked or upset at all if it is nominated for the main prize. However, Dave the Diver is excellent, and it’s something everyone on PC and Nintendo Switch should experience. Games that take place underwater are always beautiful because of the beauty of the sea, but they’re also unnerving because of the terror of what’s lurking beneath the waves, too. It’s universally loved on Steam with a 10/10 overwhelmingly positive reception, and that’s because it’s a brilliant single-player RPG that is just as wonderful on land as it is under the sea.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
We gave Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 a perfect 10/10 in our review. Since then, there have been some wild reactions from fans. Many fans are perhaps justified in thinking Mary Jane is too OP tasing symbiotes and the world’s deadliest hunters, meanwhile, some are less justified in not being able to get over Harry Osborne being Venom instead of the more classical Eddie Brock. While complaints from petty to understandable are all over the web, there’s no denying Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is one of the most fun games of 2023. It’s not too long to the point of overstaying its welcome, the story is full of humor along with moments of emotion, and the combat and web-slinging are just bigger and better. Kraven is a great villain accompanied by a threatening soundtrack and crime-ridden New York city is a blast to fly around as Spider-Man with wings.
Again, per Geoff Keighley on Twitter, The Game Awards 2023 nominees will be revealed on Monday, November 13th.