It’s the turn of the year, and as promised, here’s our picks for Game of the Year. Feel free to leave us a comment below letting us know what your GOTY is, and we’ll roast you if we don’t like it (just kidding). In all seriousness, thanks a ton for being part of our community — we couldn’t do it without you all! Here’s to another successful year full of great releases, strong news, and cool articles.
Gabriel Stanford-Reisinger, Managing Editor
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 — Compared to last year, I’ve made it a mission to play more games, and while I might sound like a broken record as I reviewed this one and it is my Game of the Year — Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was just inherently special.
Swinging as everyone’s favorite webslinger is just a treat, and it makes great use of the things that make the PS5 stand out — its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers add a new element to gameplay that makes you feel a little more like Spider-Man. Even as someone who is very finicky with open worlds, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the city, stopping crime, fist-bumping the other Spider-Man and snapping photos.
Whether you’re a huge superhero buff or just a casual enjoyer of Insomniac Games’ sequel to its beloved webslinging title is a good time all around.
Ryan Hartmann, Senior Editor
Baldur’s Gate 3 — I knew Baldur’s Gate III was my choice for GOTY the moment I had one simple realization — I wasn’t skipping any dialog, in any conversation. As much as I love RPGs, I’ve never been one to sit through each and every tidbit of conversation a game was willing to throw at me, not even in truly well-written and engaging games like The Witcher 3.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, I was not only fully engaged with every conversation that came my way, I was actively seeking them out, with any character I came across, no matter how trivial it seemed in relation to the main story or any side quests I was involved in, simply because I wanted to know more about the world and the people who inhabit it. Baldur’s Gate III delivers in spades on almost every front: the turn-based combat is great, the game is often visually stunning, the sound design is fantastic, and the basic narrative thrust is compelling, but it’s Larian Studios’ dedication to creating morally complex, intriguing characters fully realized through beautifully crafted dialog that will keep me coming back to this game long after its contemporaries cease to hold my interest.
Jack Andrews, Contributor
Alan Wake 2 — Until booting up Alan Wake 2, I would’ve confidently said that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was my Game of the Year without a second thought, but about halfway through Alan Wake 2’s fantastically eerie story, my mind began to change…
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is my favorite game ever, which I’ve accumulated more than 1,000 hours playing, so I breezed through the sequel and adored every minute of it. It was familiar. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, as somebody who rarely delves into the horror genre, Alan Wake 2 was something very unfamiliar to me.
The jump scares, the dark, thrilling story, and the atmosphere of the game all had me hooked and drastically altered my view of the horror genre. On top of that, the game itself is stunning and Bright Falls, Watery and the Dark Place are all a joy to explore and play in. For that reason, my Game of the Year for 2023 has to go to Alan Wake 2! I am absolutely hooked, and I cannot wait to see what is next in the Remedyverse.
Matt Hill, Contributor
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 — In a year packed with so many great games, I thought it would be hard to pick a winner, but Insomniac Games’ phenomenal Spider-Man 2 thwipped itself straight to the top spot. If you’ve played Spider-Man or Miles Morales you know that Insomniac gets Spider-Man. The stellar comic book story, the joyful glee of webbing across New York, and the rock-solid combat. So how do you top quality like that? Spider-Man 2 is how.
Going for spectacle right from the open with an unforgettable bout with Sandman, thereafter the game never lets up. Dropping some truly ruthless villains to tango with, another exceptional comic book story and combat that’s both streamlined and evolved for the better. That’s not even touching on the bigger map that’s an absolute treat to explore thanks to intuitive movement mechanics and the perfectly implemented web wings. Spider-Man 2 is a showcase of a sequel that ramps up everything up to 10 without sacrificing what made the original great, and that’s why it’s my Game of the Year.
Alex Moretti, Contributor
Resident Evil 4 — After the Resident Evil 3 remake was released to a less–than–stellar reception, Capcom knew it couldn’t mess this one up. While a part of me wishes Resident Evil 4’s remake took a more campy tone (though I’m glad they still kept the Bingo line), I can understand trying to make the game appeal to a larger audience by making it a more straightforward action–horror game.
While not everything from the 2005 original could make the cut, what is here is a fantastic modernization of an already masterpiece of a game. With everything that fans of Resident Evil loved about the original fused with modern amenities, from its bombastic set pieces to its revamped combat system.