Game Of The Year Editor’s Pick, 2023

Video games 2023. Year big good games so many played, liked. Ten favorite how choose? Games good big year break record, indie triple-A, Xbox tax Geoff Kheighley honorable mention 6,000 laid off.


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These ten incredible games each represent the pinnacle of artistic craft and technical achievement, providing experiences that have the power to move us in ways that only games can. Tonight we honor this year’s best games by arbitrarily ranking them from ten to one.

You’re reading the best GOTY list, obviously, but I’m professionally obligated to tell you that all of your favorite gamers did their own GOTY list this year. You can find all of them collected here, and in a few days we’ll share TheGamer’s overall GOTY List, which is derived from all of our combined lists using some kind of complex math formula. I don’t know how it works, to be honest.


10. Spider-Man 2

miles diving away from venom and peter in spider-man 2
via Insomniac

I said all Insomniac had to do to win me over was to get rid of the radial menus, and I’m a (spider) man of my word. Insomniac has done a great job building its own Spider-Universe that pulls from the comic canon and in some ways improves on it, and I’d be happy to see the studio stay in this universe long-term, especially if the games stay a manageable length. Spider-Man 2 makes the list, half because of how much I love swinging around New York, and half because it was just really nice to finish a whole game over a weekend.

9. Chants of Sennaar

The main protagonist of Chants of Sennaar wandering in a garden areas of a palace featuring vibrant pink, yellow, and greent environment art.

I don’t know what we’re calling this genre of detective-puzzle-record-keeping games like Return of the Obra Dinn, Curse of the Golden Idol, and Chants of Sennaar, but I love them. I can’t get enough of them. Chants of Sennaar is a puzzle-adventure game based on the Tower of Babel that asks you to decipher four different languages using context clues, intuition, and process of elimination, and the way you incrementally build your knowledge base throughout the game is so rewarding. They made learning fun y’all. Still can’t speak Spanish but at least I can read Sennaaran.

8. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Riding a direhorse in the upper plains following a kite Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

I’ve been bluepilled since Avatar came out in 2009, so I fully expected Frontiers of Pandora to be a lousy game that I enjoyed anyway. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only does FoP not suck, it’s easily the best-looking game of the year, and Ubisoft’s best open-world game since Immortals Fenyx Rising. Not the highest bar, I know, but I had a great time exploring Pandora’s lively world and I expect I’ll be revisiting this one often.

7. Remnant 2

Remnant 2: Meeting With Nimue

Normally my GOTY lists aren’t this single-player focused, but my best friend had a baby this year and we don’t get as much time to game these days. But Remnant: From the Ashes has long been a co-op favorite of ours, so we made time for Remnant 2 and it didn’t disappoint. The gunplay, world-building, and creature designs in this series are all incredible, and Remnant 2 goes even bigger than the first, with massive, hand-crafted maps that are so packed full of secrets you could spend countless hours searching for them. If your friend has a new baby and you’re looking for a game to help you stay in touch, maybe it should be this one.

6. Pixelborn

pixelborn game

There’s no rule that our GOTYs have to be video games, but to stay consistent with my peers I decided not to include my new favorite trading card game, Disney Lorcana, on my list. Then I realized I could still sneak it in by including Pixelborn! Why am I cheating when I made up the rule?

Lorcana has changed my life in so many ways. It’s an incredible game with a community I’m proud to be part of, and I think it’s fair to say it owes at least some of its success to Pixelborn. The unofficial digital version is a phenomenal way to build and practice decks and it has helped me learn infinitely more about this game than I ever would playing once a week at my LGS. Maybe it’s unethical to include it on my list since its creator, Pavel Kolev, is a friend of mine, but tell that to Geoff and Kojima.

How about an honorable mention? SteamWorld Build is a unique spin on the city builder genre that I’ve been enjoying a lot, particularly for the way it leans and satirizes into the hyper-capitalist tendencies of the genre.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The-Legend-Of-Zelda-Tears-Of-The-Kingdom-Exploration

I see Tears of the Kingdom as a watershed moment for gaming for one reason, and it ain’t the fact that you can build Gundams out of rusty shovels and derailed mine carts – although that is pretty dang cool. Tears’ biggest impact on the medium will be the way it erases the invisible hand of its game design and gives the player true agency to solve problems their own way.

When people talk about clever solutions they devised, they’ll often say something like, “I know that’s not how you’re supposed to do it, but it worked!” What’s so profound about Tears of the Kingdom is that if it worked, then you did exactly what you’re supposed to do. This isn’t the relationship we’ve learned to have with games, and it’s still going to take a while for people to understand how profound this game actually is, but I suspect that will be a big part of its lasting legacy.

4. Metroid Prime Remastered

Samus's grapple beam glowing as she gets an upgrade in Metroid Prime Remastered

My colleagues might not think remasters should qualify, but Metroid Prime Remastered took one of my all-time favorite games and made it even better. It looks incredible – which isn’t easy to do on the Switch – and the modern controls make this the only version of Metroid Prime I’ll ever play again, and I’ve played it a lot. This is one of the only perfect scores I gave this year, and I stand by it.

3. Resident Evil 4

Leon Fending of Crazed Los Illuminados Cult Villagers

Like Metroid Prime Remastered, Resident Evil 4 Remake takes one of the best games of all time and makes it even better, but in wholly unexpected ways. Capcom somehow managed to make a game that’s nothing but set pieces. There’s no downtime, no forgettable stretches, it’s just one big moment after another for 15 hours. I love me some big blockbuster popcorn-type games and this is the year’s best.

2. Slay The Princess

The Princess is split into two halves

The Game Awards have a category called Games For Impact that highlights the year’s most meaningful games. If it was up to me, Slay the Princess would have won this award because I think it ruined my life.

I was drawn in by the promise of a shifting, choice-driven narrative that plays on the conventions of genre horror. What I got was a profound 3am existential crisis as I was forced to confront the void and eternity. I hate this game; it’s amazing.

From left to right, Steamworld Build, Asgard’s Wrath 2, Diablo 4, and Cocoon. Great games, but not great enough.

1. Alan Wake 2

2-GOTY 2023 Editor's Pic-Switzer

I’ve already gushed about Alan Wake 2 plenty, so anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to see it at the top of my list. Remedy’s style of metaphysical horror checks a lot of boxes for me, but the execution of Alan Wake 2 pushes it into a higher echelon than any game it’s made before. It’s remarkable how singular its vision is – something triple-A games are increasingly losing as teams and production schedules continue to balloon – and it excels in every possible metric I could imagine.

For anyone cynical about postmodernism, or feels like there’s nothing original left to make, look at Alan Wake 2. It unashamedly wears its influences on its sleeves yet never feels derivative or stale. It effortlessly saunters through disparate tones and genres, able to pivot between meta-camp and blood-chilling terror, while utilizing music and film to deepen its story and themes. Remedy has always been good, but Alan Wake 2 is its masterpiece. We’ll be studying and appreciating this game for many years to come.

Next: Asgard’s Wrath 2 Review Is Delayed Because I Can’t Play VR Without Hurting Myself

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