2023 has been a year that has seen many titles released to major commercial & critical success. These titles have managed not only to impress players upon their first playthroughs but also to keep them returning for more. This is wonderful, as it is a testament to not only the solidity of their design but also the strength of their core gameplay mechanics. In short, these games are phenomenal and deserve all the recognition they receive. Today, we are here to showcase some of them. Without further ado, here are the 5 Best Award-Winning Video Games of 2023.
5. Marvel's Spider-Man 2
We are kicking off today's list of the best award-winning video games of 2023 with a bang. Here, we have Marvel's Spider-Man 2. The recent release of this title has managed to serve as a phenomenal way to cap off the year. The game features one of the smoothest, most responsive, and downright fun combat systems in recent memory, as well as stellar traversal mechanics. Swinging through New York City as either Peter Parker or Miles Morales simply feels fantastic. The web-swinging mechanics have been improved since the previous game, making traversal a blast in and of itself.
The game does a great job of teaching players to become Spider-Man, and it shows. Players are walked through tutorials that are made to be fun, as well as informative, rather than slogs to get through. And that is to say nothing of the game's incredible story, which incorporates many fantastic villains from the Spider-Man rogue gallery. No matter your reason, there are tons of things to discover and many reasons to love Marvel's Spider-Man 2. For its commitment to quality and stellar moment-to-moment gameplay, we consider it to be one of the best award-winning video games of 2023.
4. Final Fantasy XVI
We are staying somewhat in the same vein of action-packed titles with our next entry. Here, we have Final Fantasy XVI. This is a game that manages to not only carry the torch of its predecessors but also to improve astronomically along the way. The story elements of this title are much darker and more pronounced than its predecessor, and the combat is, in a word, outstanding. For fans of the visual feast for the eyes that Final Fantasy games offer, this entry certainly does not disappoint. The combat in the game manages to place the choice of how to implement action-combat solely in the hands of the player.
This ensures that no matter how you enjoy playing the game, each playstyle is valid. The story-driven nature of the game manages to be accented by simply phenomenal fight sequences. This not only gives the entire game a sense of bombast and polish but can be downright awe-striking at times. Regardless of your experience or time with the Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy XVI is worth playing both in its own right and as part of the long-running franchise. In short, Final Fantasy XVI is one of the best award-winning games of 2023.
3. Sea of Stars
We are taking quite a turn with our next entry. Swapping out the cinematic spectacle and bombast for something that feels all at once more personal and thoughtful, here we have Sea of Stars. As far as indie releases go this year, Sea of Stars, without a doubt, stole the show. Created by Sabotage Studio, this title manages to pack an unforgettable experience within a well-polished and near-perfect package. The game itself manages to blend its puzzle elements with its turn-based combat beautifully. All the while, it is harkening back to classics of the past while modernizing them in a way that doesn't feel diminishing in the slightest.
From a visual standpoint, the game is also simply stunning. The characters and environments pop off the screen in each scene. There are six different characters for players to choose from, each of which feels distinct in their own way. The game manages to not only carry the legacy of its predecessors beautifully but gain strength all its own in the process. Simply put, if you enjoy RPGs or JRPGs, then Sea of Stars is for you. For these reasons, we consider it one of the best award-winning games of 2023.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
We are following up on our last phenomenal entry with another stellar title. For many The Legend of Zelda fans, a profound question was posed regarding how the series would follow up on Breath of the Wild, from the earliest murmurs about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. It was clear to many that this would be a massive undertaking. The game manages to modernize the classic Zelda formula while paying homage throughout. This can be seen not only in the attention to detail given to characters. But also in places around the world and the game's puzzle mechanics.
The return of traditional dungeons to the game was marked as a resounding victory for classic Zelda fans. Added to this, the open-world concepts present within the game were vastly improved upon compared to their predecessor. Additionally, the game's incorporation of its physics engine astonished many players and developers alike. Every aspect of the game feels like both an evolution, as well as a return to form. To close, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is undoubtedly one of the best award-winning games of 2023.
1. Baldur's Gate 3
For our final entry on our list of the best award-winning games of 2023, we have Baldur's Gate 3. For many RPG fans, the developers at Larian Studios have performed, some would argue, flawlessly within their last few releases. So when it was announced that players would be able to get their hands on Baldur's Gate 3, the hype surrounding the game was at a fever pitch. Following the success of Divinity Original Sin 2, many fans had their eyes on Larian to see what they would accomplish as a follow-up.
What they managed to deliver was a title that not only shook up the industry. But it also manages to strike awe in many through the polish of its design. The freedom afforded to the player within the game, in many ways, remains unmatched. This freedom, especially when coupled with the game's phenomenal cooperative nature, makes for what some would argue is the definitive modern RPG experience. The game also features a staggering hundred and seventy-four hours of cinematics, greatly enveloping the player in its world. To conclude, Baldur's Gate 3 is one of the best award-winning games of 2023, without a doubt.
So, what's your take on our picks for the 5 Best Award-Winning Video Games of 2023? Do you agree with our picks? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.