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The Game Awards’ 2023 Game Of The Year Nominees

At last we know what are 2023’s “The Game Awards” nominees for Game Of The Year! Every year various media outlets come together and submit their votes for what is the definitive top game of the year. The description for such a game (according to the TGA website) is: 

A game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.”

An interesting thing that all this year’s nominees have in common is that they are all sequels (and one is even a remake of a 19 year old game), something we have never seen in the history of the award show! Still, even these games have a sense of originality to them within their respective series! If you are unfamiliar with them lets give our 6 nominees a closer look!

Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 has been lauded for its storytelling, gameplay, and technical achievements. It received high praise from critics, evident in its Metacritic scores, which range from 88 on PlayStation 5 to an impressive 94 on Xbox. The game is a direct sequel to 2010’s Alan Wake, developed by Remedy Entertainment, about a writer dealing with a mysterious dark force that has kidnapped his wife. Some say the game has a very “Twin Peaks meets Finnish Horror” vibe. I haven’t played the game yet but from what I have heard about it is that it masterfully blends survival horror with live-action cutscenes in a way that messes with your head. 

The Gamer said this about it: This feels like the game this developer has wanted to make for years, unrestrained in the best possible way as it goes hard on layered storytelling, flawed yet fascinating heroes and a series which for over a decade now has been harboring untold potential. To see that ambition finally realized is a delight, and the end result is one of the best survival horror games I’ve ever played.” 

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 swings into the spotlight as a strong contender for Game Of The Year, showcasing a web of success through its sales, critical acclaim, and player engagement. Developed by Insomniac Games, this title has captured the hearts of fans and critics alike.

By October 30, 2023, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 had already surpassed an impressive milestone, selling over five million units worldwide. This feat is a testament to the game’s widespread appeal and the enduring popularity of the Spider-Man franchise.The game has also received universal acclaim, with a Metascore of 90 based on 146 critic reviews. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 sees the two Spider-Men (Peter Parker and his protégé, Miles Morales) having to save New York and its various villains from the murderous Kraven the Hunter. Things really get interesting when the symbiote gets thrown in and mixes things up. The game is gorgeous and greatly improves on the previous games with better web-handling and more cinematic combos. Of the 6 nominees this one is my favorite!

Resident Evil 4

We’ve talked about Resident Evil 4 before and about it’s high-quality gameplay and production, and we are glad to see it included among 2023’s heavyweight titles. While it isn’t the scariest Resident Evil game around, it is definitely the grandest in terms of scope and snappy gameplay! Although it is a remake of the 2004 game, it improves upon it in just about every single way possible, enough changes to make it an essentially different game and worthy of nomination. 

 The RE series is no stranger to the Game Awards. Resident Evil Village(8) was also a GOTY nominee back in 2021. Can the series finally pull in a win this time? Only time will tell. With a Metacritic score of 93 it has earned universal acclaim. Gamespot said this about it: “Raises the bar for what a good remake is and at the same time, preserves Resident Evil 4’s legacy as a genre-defining experience and one of the greatest games of all time.” I personally love RE4 Remake and am glad to see the judges recognize it’s uniqueness and excellence.

The Legend Of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

To literally no one’s surprise, Tears of the Kingdom is indeed a nominee for GOTY. The game that dominated sales charts earlier this year and helped deliver Nintendo one of it’s most profitable quarters ever is carrying a tremendous amount of momentum into the awards season! While TotK was long heralded as the indisputable GOTY, that narrative has shifted a bit in the last two weeks ( a little more about that in a minute). Still, it is the heavy favorite to take the award this year!

TotK, a follow up to 2017’s The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, has shocked gamers with it’s immaculate physics engine and ingenious multifaceted approach to puzzle solving and in-game manipulation of vehicles and weapons. TotK signals a paradigm shift in game design by giving players various tools to play with and then unleashing them upon an open world to figure out. With a Metacritic score of 96 it is one of this year’s most successful game releases! 

Baldur’s Gate 3

Developed by independent studio Larian, BG3 is the new favorite in winning the GOTY race. Remember how we mentioned that TotK originally was? Well that has changed because BG3 has already won GOTY. No, not The Game Awards’ GOTY but at the Golden Joystick Awards. This has shifted people’s perceptions that if TotK didn’t win there, it may not win here. Of course that is no guarantee, but it is kind of like winning Iowa in the U.S. presidential race as it sets the tone for whatever comes next. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a juggernaut of a game! 

Set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons, BG3 takes the player and their party on an epic adventure to thwart the plans of the Mindflayers and remove a Mindflayer parasite from themselves before it becomes too late! The game features hundreds of hours of fully voiced dialogue, plenty of sidequests, and ways to build your party. The ability to manipulate and tinker with the open world and even interact with the environment during combat makes it a standout of a game! With a Metacritic score that mirrors TotK (96 currently) BG3 guarantees it will make this one of the tightest GOTY contests in years! Over on the Facebook fan page “A Gamer Life”, Jayden Ralston said: “Baldur’s Gate has this in the bag”! I think Jayden may be right.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

This has been a great year for everyone’s favorite mustachio’d plumber. Dominating the box office with his movie earlier this year, Mario is playing for keeps on both fronts, film and video games. Super Mario Bros. Wonder rounds out this year’s nominees as well as being one of two Switch exclusive games (TotK being the other) that also has a Metacritic score in the 90s (92 as of writing).

You may be wondering (pun intended) how a 2D side-scrolling Mario could make it onto the podium with the year’s big boys. Well Wonder flips the script by being one of the best feeling and most diverse games in the series! Almost every single level has a unique mechanic or gimmick that makes it memorable and a standout experience. Nintendo really brought their A-game and made this one of the best (if not THE best) entries in the series.

Closing Thoughts

What do you all think about this year’s nominees? Would these be the games you would have nominated? Feel like your favorite game from this year was snubbed? Maybe you wanted Hogwarts Legacy to be nominated? Maybe you wanted Starfield or Star Wars: Jedi Survivor to be nominated (like I did)? Sound off in the comments section down below. For more geeky coverage be sure to subscribe to Geeknewsnow and check out our coverage of all things geeky. Until next time, stay geeky out there!

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