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The Game Awards 2023 Nominees Revealed: Meet the Contenders

  November 14, 2023
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The much-anticipated Game Awards 2023 is just around the corner, and the gaming world is buzzing with excitement as the nominations have been unveiled. Let’s take a closer look at the nominees competing for top honors and the notable games that surprisingly missed the spotlight.

The Showdown for Game of the Year

Game Awards

Geoff Keighley, the mastermind behind The Game Awards, announced the contenders for the coveted Game of the Year. The six heavyweight titles battling it out include Baldur’s Gate 3, The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Alan Wake 2, Resident Evil 4, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Among them, Baldur’s Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 lead the pack with eight nominations each.

List of Game of the Year nominees for all categories

Game of the Year

Honoring a game that offers an unparalleled experience across all creative and technical aspects.

  • Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)
  • Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)
  • Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Game Direction

Acknowledging exceptional creative vision and groundbreaking innovation in game direction and design.

  • Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)
  • Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2(Insomniac Games/SIE)
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Adaptation

Recognizing outstanding creative work authentically adapting a video game into another entertainment medium.

  • Castlevania: Nocturne (Powerhouse Animation/Netflix)
  • Gran Turismo (PlayStation Productions/Sony Pictures)
  • The Last of Us (PlayStation Productions/HBO)
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Illumination/Nintendo/Universal Pictures)
  • Twisted Metal (PlayStation Productions/Peacock)

Best Narrative

Recognizing excellence in storytelling and narrative progression within a game.

  • Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)
  • Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (CD Projekt Red)
  • Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Best Art Direction

Celebrating exceptional achievement in artistic design and animation, whether creatively or technically.

  • Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)
  • Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Lies of P (Round8 Studio/Neowiz Games)
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Score and Music

Highlighting outstanding music encompassing the score, original compositions, and/or licensed soundtracks.

  • Alan Wake 2, Composer Petri Alanko (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)
  • Baldur’s Gate 3, Composer Borislav Slavov (Larian Studios)
  • Final Fantasy XVI, Composer Masayoshi Soken (Square Enix)
  • Hi-Fi Rush, Audio Director Shuichi Kobori (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Composed by Nintendo Sound Team (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Audio Design

Commending excellence in in-game audio and sound design.

  • Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)
  • Dead Space (Motive Studio/EA)
  • Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)
  • Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)

Best Performance

Awarded to an individual for exceptional voice-over acting, motion capture, and/or performance.

  • Ben Starr, Final Fantasy XVI
  • Cameron Monaghan, STAR WARS Jedi: Survivor
  • Idris Elba, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
  • Melanie Liburd, Alan Wake 2
  • Neil Newbon, Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Yuri Lowenthal, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Innovation in Accessibility

Recognizing advancements in software and/or hardware that broaden gaming accessibility for a wider audience.

  • Diablo IV (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Forza Motorsport (Turn 10 Studios/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)
  • Mortal Kombat 1 (NetherRealm Studios/WB Games)
  • Street Fighter 6 (Capcom)

Games for Impact

Acknowledging thought-provoking games with meaningful pro-social messages or themes.

  • A Space for the Unbound (Mojiken Studio/Toge Productions/Chorus)
  • Chants of Sennaar (Rundisc/Focus Entertainment)
  • Goodbye Volcano High (KO_OP)
  • Tchia (Awaceb/Kepler Interactive)
  • Terra Nil (Free Lives/Devolver Digital/Netflix)
  • Venba (Visai Games)

Best Ongoing Game

Awarded to a game that excels in continuously evolving player experiences through ongoing content updates.

  • Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/EA)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)
  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • Genshin Impact (HoYoverse)

Best Community Support

Recognizing games with outstanding community engagement, transparency, and responsiveness through social media and game updates.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Best Independent Game

Honoring remarkable creative and technical accomplishments in games developed outside the traditional publisher system.

  • Cocoon (Geometric Interactive/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Dave the Diver (MINTROCKET)
  • Dredge (Black Salt Games/Team 17)
  • Sea of Stars (Sabotage Studio)
  • Viewfinder (Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing)

Best Debut Indie Game

Celebrating the best inaugural game created by a new independent studio.

  • Cocoon (Geometric Interactive/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Dredge (Black Salt Games/Team 17)
  • Pizza Tower (Tour de Pizza)
  • Venba (Visai Games)
  • Viewfinder (Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing)

Best Mobile Game

Recognizing the finest game playable on mobile devices.

  • Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis (Applibot/Square Enix)
  • Honkai: Star Rail (HoYoverse)
  • Hello Kitty Island Adventure (Sunblink Entertainment)
  • Monster Hunter Now (Niantic/Capcom)
  • Terra Nil (Free Lives/Devolver/Netflix)

Best VR/AR Game

Honoring the best game experience available in virtual or augmented reality, regardless of platform.

  • Gran Turismo 7 (Polyphony Digital/SIE)
  • Humanity (tha LTD/Enhance Games)
  • Horizon Call of the Mountain (Guerrilla Games/Firesprite/SIE)
  • Resident Evil Village VR Mode (Capcom)
  • Synapse (nDreams)

Best Action Game

Recognizing excellence in the action genre focused on combat.

  • Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)
  • Dead Island 2 (Dambuster Studios/Deep Silver)
  • Ghostrunner 2 (One More Level/505 Games)
  • Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Remnant 2 (Gunfire Games/Gearbox Publishing)

Best Action/Adventure Game

Acknowledging the best action/adventure game that combines combat, traversal, and puzzle-solving elements.

  • Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)
  • Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (Respawn Entertainment/EA)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best RPG

Celebrating games designed with extensive player character customization and progression, including MMORPG experiences.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix)
  • Lies of P (Round8 Studio/Neowiz Games)
  • Sea of Stars (Sabotage Studio)
  • Starfield (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Best Fighting Game

Recognizing excellence in games primarily centered around head-to-head combat.

  • God of Rock (Modus Studios Brazil/Modus Games)
  • Mortal Kombat 1 (NetherRealm Studios/WB Games)
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 (Ludosity/Fair Play Labs/GameMill Entertainment)
  • Pocket Bravery (Statera Studio/PQube)
  • Street Fighter 6 (Capcom)

Best Family Game

Highlighting the best game suitable for family play, irrespective of genre or platform.

  • Disney Illusion Island (Dlala Studios/Disney)
  • Party Animals (Recreate Games)
  • Pikmin 4 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Sonic Superstars (Arzest/Sonic Team/Sega)
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Sim/Strategy Game

Acknowledging the best game focused on real-time or turn-based simulation or strategy gameplay, irrespective of platform.

  • Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp (WayForward/Nintendo)
  • Cities: Skylines II (Colossal Order/Paradox Interactive)
  • Company of Heroes 3 (Relic Entertainment/Sega)
  • Fire Emblem Engage (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
  • Pikmin 4 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Sports/Racing

Recognizing excellence in both traditional and unconventional sports and racing games.

  • EA Sports FC 24 (EA Vancouver/EA Romania/EA Sports)
  • F1 23 (Codemasters/EA Sports)
  • Forza Motorsport (Turn 10 Studios/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged (Milestone)
  • The Crew Motorfest (Ubisoft Ivory Tower/Ubisoft)

Best Multiplayer

Honoring exceptional online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences, across genres and platforms.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Diablo IV (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Party Animals (Recreate Games)
  • Street Fighter 6 (Capcom)
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Most Anticipated Game

Celebrating an announced game with promising potential to advance the gaming medium.

  • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (Square Enix)
  • Hades II (Supergiant Games)
  • Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth (Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio/Sega)
  • Star Wars Outlaws (Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft)
  • Tekken 8 (Bandai Namco/Arika)

Content Creator of the Year

Recognizing a streamer or content creator who made a great impact on the gaming community in 2023.

  • IronMouse
  • PeopleMakeGames
  • Quackity
  • Spreen
  • SypherPK

Best Esports Game

Awarded to the game delivering the best overall esports experience, encompassing tournaments, community support, and content updates, regardless of genre or platform.

  • Counter-Strike 2 (Valve)
  • Dota 2 (Valve)
  • League of Legends (Riot Games)
  • PUBG Mobile (LightSpeed Studios/Tencent Games)
  • Valorant (Riot Games)

Best Esports Athlete

Honoring the most outstanding esports athlete for performance and conduct in 2023, irrespective of the game.

  • Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (League of Legends)
  • Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut (CS:GO)
  • Max “Demon1” Mazanov (Valorant)
  • Paco “HyDra” Rusiewiez (Call of Duty)
  • Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk (League of Legends)
  • Phillip ”ImperialHal” Dosen (Apex Legends)

Best Esports Team

Recognizing a specific esports team for exceptional performance and conduct in 2023, focusing on their achievements.

  • Evil Geniuses (Valorant)
  • Fnatic (Valorant)
  • Gaimin Gladiators (Dota 2)
  • JD Gaming (League of Legends)
  • Team Vitality (Counter-Strike)

Best Esports Coach

Acknowledging the most outstanding esports coach for performance and conduct in 2023.

  • Christine “Potter” Chi (Evil Geniuses – Valorant)
  • Danny “Zonic” Sorensen (Team Falcons – Counter-Strike)
  • Jordan “Gunba” Graham (Florida Mayhem – Overwatch)
  • Remy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam (Team Vitality – Counter-Strike)
  • Yoon “Homme” Sung-young (JD Gaming – League of Legends)

Best Esports Event

Recognizing an event delivering a top-tier experience for participants and broadcast audiences, spanning single or multiple days.

  • 2023 League of Legends World Championship
  • Blast.tv Paris Major 2023
  • EVO 2023
  • The International Dota 2 Championships 2023
  • VALORANT Champions 2023

Snubbed Gems: Games We Hoped to See Nominated

While the nominations represent an impressive lineup, some noteworthy games didn’t receive the expected nods at The Game Awards. Here are some titles that gamers and critics alike had hoped to see recognized:

Assassin’s Creed Mirage: A Return to Stealth Roots

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Mirage delivered a nostalgic return to the series’ essence. Departing from recent expansive RPG formats, Mirage reintroduced the thrill of stealth-based assassinations. Fans reminisced about the game’s emphasis on strategic planning and evasion, reminiscent of the franchise’s early days. Take a look at our review.

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew – A Swansong of Masterful Design

Mimimi Games bid farewell with Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, a swan song showcasing their impeccable game design prowess. Set in a world of zombie pirates and supernatural elements, it provided an intricate blend of tactical stealth and strategic gameplay, leaving an indelible mark despite the studio’s closure.

Amnesia: The Bunker – An Unmatched Horror Experience

Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Bunker gripped players with its unnerving horror. Set in a claustrophobic bunker haunted by a relentless pursuer, the game delivered spine-chilling tension through its immersive storytelling and nerve-wracking gameplay.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty – Inspiration in Ancient China

Team Ninja’s Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty expertly drew inspiration from FromSoftware’s games while exploring ancient China. Beyond thrilling boss fights and challenging combat, its unique morale system elevated player confidence, marking it as a standout in the Souls-like genre.

Hogwarts Legacy: Finally, a Harry Potter Adventure

Hogwarts Legacy fulfilled the long-held desire for a comprehensive Harry Potter experience. Despite some narrative gaps and technical limitations, the game captivated players with its open-world exploration, spellbinding combat, and an authentic portrayal of the Wizarding World. Take a look at our review.

Your Chance to Influence the Winners

With the event scheduled for December 7th at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, fans can cast their votes for their favorite games across categories on the official Game Awards website. However, over 100 global media outlets, including GameSpot, will decide which are the final winners.

The Game Awards 2023 promises to celebrate the outstanding achievements in gaming over the past year. As anticipation builds, gamers eagerly await the unveiling of the winners and the moments that will shape the future of gaming.

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