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Overall Game of the Year 2023

Overall Game of the Year 2023 - Article

by Evan Norris , posted on 25 January 2024 / 6,338 Views

When all is said and done, 2023 will be remembered as one of the best years of the ninth generation. It was a time when every platform and every corner of the industry got in on the fun. PC gamers enjoyed exclusives like Against the Storm and Videoverse, not to mention scores of multiplatform games. The PlayStation 5, previously lacking in console exclusives, received two highly-anticipated titles in Final Fantasy XVI and Marvel's Spider-Man 2. Xbox came out of left field with the surprise hit of 2023, Hi-Fi RUSH. And Nintendo, heading toward the tail end of the Switch era, gave us a year to remember thanks to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and Pikmin 4.

It's a testament to the greatness of 2023 that more than half of the aforementioned titles didn't make the cut-off for Overall Game of the Year. Those that did make it onto the Shortlist below are each special in their own way. Alan Wake 2, a long time in the making, dazzled players with its cutting-edge graphics and brilliant narrative. Baldur's Gate III wowed critics and consumers alike with an amazing cast of characters and dizzying gameplay freedom. Final Fantasy XVI impressed with its beautiful cut-scenes and fresh take on action combat. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a game under the shadow of impossibly high expectations, invigorated its audience with endless opportunities for experimentation. And Resident Evil 4 riffed on an 18-year-old formula, in some instances improving on one of the best games of all time.

     

The Shortlist:

   

Alan Wake 2

    

Baldur's Gate III

 

    

Final Fantasy XVI

    

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

     

Resident Evil 4

        

     

      

      

The Runner-Up:

Baldur's Gate III

Baldur's Gate III is a massive achievement, on all fronts. It blends tactical turn-based combat with opulent production design, stellar storytelling & world-building, and amazing music & voice acting. Its fictional world feels alive and urgent, and its characters seem incredibly real. But its greatest achievement is the way it invites players to make choices, be creative, and live with the consequences of their decisions and actions. No video game can truly recreate the open-ended freedom of tabletop role-playing games managed by a human GM, but Baldur's Gate III, thanks to its living, breathing world and interconnected moving parts, manages to approximate that freedom as closely as possible. The result is a generation-defining role-playing game.

    

    

   

The Winner:

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

It's difficult to talk about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom without referencing its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, our pick for Overall Game of the Year 2017. Breath of the Wild captured lightning in a bottle, and in the process changed the fortunes of the Zelda franchise, the Switch, and, in some ways, Nintendo in general. Tears, being an iterative sequel released in the twilight years of the Switch, can't compete with that. But it doesn't have to. Judged on its own merits, it's a phenomenal open-world game that surpasses its forebear in several important areas.

Since 2017, The Legend of Zelda has been all about freedom: freedom of choice, of movement, and of experimentation. Tears of the Kingdom elaborates on those items, granting players an obscenely large sandbox in which to explore, and a set of imaginative, intuitive tools with which to alter (and in some cases bend the reality of) that sandbox. When that spatial and mechanical audacity combines with the traditional tenets of Zelda — evocative production design, colorful characters, dangerous dungeons, and riveting action-adventure gameplay — the results are spectacular.

Does that mean it's better than Breath of the Wild? Maybe, maybe not. That's a question that will be debated by fans for years to come. For now, though, one thing is crystal clear: Tears of the Kingdom is our pick for Overall Game of the Year 2023.

   

   

Previous Winners

   


Elden Ring

  


Metroid Dread

    


The Last of Us Part II

  


Resident Evil 2

  


God of War

  


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

  


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

  


Rocket League

  


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

  


Super Mario 3D World

  


Journey

  


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  


Mass Effect 2

  


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

  


LittleBigPlanet

  


BioShock


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25 Comments
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

I'd have given it to BG3, but the Nintendo fan base is quite large here so not surprised TOTK won

  • +7
Random_Matt TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

Indeed.

  • 0
Manlytears TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

Indeed, Vgchartz is Nintendo land.

  • +1
xMetroid TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

Appart from the Game awards, a lot of critics gave it to ToTK as well. It's not only because of the fanbase of this site.

  • +12
TheLegendaryBigBoss xMetroid (on 25 January 2024)

Did it? Based on all of BG3 nominations for GOTY it has won all of them I don't think TOTK has. They include:
The Game Awards
Golden Joystick Awards
Brazil Game Awards
New York Game Awards

This is in terms of awards, not from websites. It's roughly even from website GOTY awards.

  • -5
Random_Matt TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

The fella is talking rubbish, ignore him.

  • -1
firebush03 TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

According to the GotY trackers, Baldurs Gate is winning 3:1 to Zelda (54.9% to 18.0%). Second winningest for 2023.

  • +6
xMetroid TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

I said critics... which means sites. This is a website. Saying this isn't the only place it won just by being more Nintendo centric.

  • +2
Mnementh TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 25 January 2024)

https://goty.gamefa.com/year/2023/
19% of the awards. That is a higher ratio than God of War Ragnarok won last year. So yeah, TOTK wins outside of VGC.

  • 0
2zosteven (on 25 January 2024)

incredible list to choose from, all great games

  • +3
Aidman (on 25 January 2024)

I am so Happy and so Proud to be part of The VGChartz Community since January 31 2007 yes 2007!

  • +3
KLXVER (on 25 January 2024)

Nice. Incredible game.

  • +3
UnderwaterFunktown (on 25 January 2024)

A predictable result, but one that I'm happy to see (and also one hell of a shortlist).

  • +3
shikamaru317 (on 25 January 2024)

Can't say I'm surprised at the result considering the Nintendo fanbase here on VGC likely equals the other 3 fanbases combined. Zelda was the only one of these 5 that actually released on Switch as well, whereas the other 3 fanbases would have been split voting between the other 4 games, further diluting their voting power compared to the Nintendo fans.

Personally I gave my vote to Alan Wake 2, so I'm glad it at least made the shortlist despite being a sequel to a fairly niche game (Alan Wake 1 only sold like 2m copies) and being a digital only release that is Epic Store exclusive on PC. Alan Wake 2 was always the underdog in any fan voted award.

  • +2
Mnementh shikamaru317 (on 25 January 2024)

Dunno, if you say 3 other fanbases, you probably include PC. But nobody is a 'PC'-fan, as these fanbases are created by companies, and no company owns the PC platform. Most PC players are fans of games, game genres or game series, not platforms.

That is also true for some fans of console platforms. Even though you could consider me a Nintendo-fan, I voted for BG3 this year and Elden Ring last year, as they were really my personal best games of the year. The seeming bias is mostly grounded that some fans of their platforms don't play games outside their platform. This is why I don't vote for PS exclusives, as I haven't played them.

  • +2
shikamaru317 Mnementh (on 25 January 2024)

I'd say there are definitely people who could be considered a PC fanbase, the so-called "PC Master Race". I feel like the number of Nintendo fans/Nintendo first gamers here on VGC probably roughly equals the Xbox, Playstation, and PC users on VGC combined.

  • +2
coolbeans (on 25 January 2024)

No surprises, really. At least AWII got into the shortlist though.

  • +2
firebush03 (on 25 January 2024)

even though TotK may have gotten crushed by BG3 overwhelming sweep across all game awards, it does make me happy to see it get a victory here. It was my personal goty.

Also, for anybody curious on the percentages, I will relay the results:
1st -The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom -
32.485%
2nd-Baldur's Gate III-20.85%
3rd - Resident Evil 4 - 17.78%
4th -Alan Wake II - 10.77%
5th - Final Fantasy XVI - 9.765%
6th - Super Mario Bros. Wonder - 8.33% < eliminated

Edit: what’s wild to me how “at war” many in the comments are lmao. When I think of fanboy’s overriding the results, I think of a game with not many awards which was overhyped to the moon stealing the show: TotK is not this. As of typing, Zelda is currently the second winningest goty by a sizable margin. By the metrics of OC/MC (granted not end-all-be-all), TotK is the highest rated game this year. It clearly has earned it spot in the goty discussion, and as a result it’ll win some awards. This is a niche video game forum giving an award to what people thought was the best title released this year: If this prospect offends at all, please take a break from the internet. Good year for games, all-in-all, with TotK the worthy victor! :)

  • +2
FarleyMcFirefly (on 25 January 2024)

Well deserved!

  • 0
hellobion2 (on 25 January 2024)

Similar to happy console gamers selection

  • 0
Machina (on 25 January 2024)

An expected result, although the margin of victory was smaller than I thought it would be (13% separating 1st from 2nd). Resident Evil 4 didn't do as well as I thought it would, especially in the community vote.

This is only the 2nd time in 18 years that VGC has given the Overall award to a sequel to a previous winner, which is a trend I quite like (unique winners).

  • 0
dane007 (on 25 January 2024)

Interesting to see ff16, in the goty list..playing it now and it's far from goty material

  • -3
LivncA_Dis3 (on 25 January 2024)
  • -17