The Game Awards is an annual ceremony celebrating the culmination of what constitutes gaming culture. With live performance renditions of epic soundtracks from popular games, trailers for future projects and multiple awards handed out to the best games of the year, it is arguably the biggest event for gamers. This year has been an incredible year consisting of extremely remarkable releases. At the center stage of the ceremony is the crowning of the title, “Game of the Year,” which pits six chosen games that have proven worthy. Here is The Highlander’s ranking of the nominations and our prediction for who will reign victorious as the greatest game of 2023.

  1. “Resident Evil 4”

The “Resident Evil” franchise strikes again with its new fourth iteration, emerging as a well-executed survival horror game. This Capcom classic is modernized with many quality-of-life changes, giving the series a mechanical makeover that gives players an even greater experience and keeps the original spirit of the series. Although “Resident Evil 4” is a remake that deserves a nomination, it still doesn’t stand up to the giants that await ahead.

  1. “Super Mario Bros. Wonder”

Returning to its 2D origins, “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” comes out more bright and whimsical than ever. This new addition to the legendary Nintendo franchise still finds ways to feel fresh and new with a dazzling, expressive aesthetic along with wonderful new abilities and foes to face.

  1. “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2”

The beloved web-slinger finds his way back into gamer’s hands with PlayStation-owned Insomniac Games’ next iteration of “Marvel’s Spider-Man.” The game has since proved to be everything one can ask for in a sequel. With a thrilling narrative, more creative abilities to play with and adored Spider-Man fanfare, players can not help but fall in love with “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2,” happily swinging through New York in the cohesively built superhero action game.

  1. “Alan Wake 2”

Remedy Entertainment’s “Alan Wake 2” emerges as an enthralling sequel to the 13-year-old cult classic “Alan Wake.” With gamers doing their best to persevere in the survival horror game, the experience brings players right to the edge of their seats until the screen explodes with a maelstrom of violence and gore. What further completes the game is its intuitive and well-structured action-filled combat system with its striking visuals, elements which only enhance its compellingly tense and suspenseful storytelling.

  1. “Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom”

With its critically acclaimed incarnation “Zelda: Breath of the Wild” winning the Game of the Year in 2017, Nintendo’s “Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” was arduously tasked with delivering a gaming experience that would rise to extremely high expectations. When the highly anticipated sequel hit the market, the game didn’t rise to expectations — it soared above it. Gamers were met with not only resolved problems from its last iterations, such as weapons that broke too soon and a somewhat flat storyline, but it also included a new building system that gave Nintendo players seemingly limitless creative freedom.

  1. “Baldur’s Gate 3”

Despite its weirdly lukewarm release, Larian Studio’s “Baldur’s Gate 3” is a critical masterpiece, exemplifying what it means to perfect the formula of tabletop role-playing games. This game is a dream for any “Dungeons & Dragons” fan and raises the bar for role-playing games. Extraordinarily, the game would set the standard so high that it prompted its players to attack other gaming companies for not delivering the quality that “Baldur’s Gate 3” had. 

The game had its players falling in love with what seemed like an infinite plethora of actions that could be achieved in this game, only limited by the scope of your imagination. Detailed customization, a beautiful extensive open world to explore along with narratives that can twist and turn with every heavy decision the player must make add up to a wildly romantic and indescribable adventure that can only be described as the ultimate replayable experience.