2023 has been a huge year for games with Tears of the Kingdom at the top of my personal list for the end of year awards coming up very soon. However, the latest Legend of Zelda entry has got some stiff competition in Baldur’s Gate 3, Super Mario Bros Wonder, Final Fantasy XVI, Resident Evil 4 Remake and Armoured Core 6, just to name a few. Today I want to look at Tears of the Kingdom’s case for winning game of the year 2023 and why’s it’s not only game of the year, but could be game of the decade.
We knew going into 2023 it was going to be a good year for games. Over the past few years we’ve seen delay after delay due to covid, and it felt like the floodgates finally opened this year with many top quality games releasing. Tears of the Kingdom was my most anticipated game this year, and for good reason, I went on to sink over 100 hours into the game.
There is plenty of competition for the title of Game of the Year 2023. I mentioned some of them in my intro including Baldur’s Gate 3, Super Mario Bros Wonder, Final Fantasy XVI, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Armoured Core 6, Dead Space Remake, Dave The Diver, Hogwarts Legacy, Starfield, Diablo 4, Spider-Man 2 and Starwars Jedi Survivor all have a good chance for winning awards at the end of the year.
While Tears of the Kingdom is my Game of the Year, it may not be everyone elses game of the year. There are plenty of other great games, but I think game of the year is going to come down to two games; The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom and Baldur’s Gate 3. If you would have asked me this question in May, I would have said I’m confident Tears of the Kingdom will take the crown, however, now I am not so sure. Baldur’s Gate 3 came out and blew everyones expectations and has been getting glowing feedback from across the industry from critics and fans alike.
This year is going to be the closest year in a long time. Most years you have a front runner, like 2022 with Elden Ring. That pretty much swept the board, even though God of War Ragnorok and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 were great games, they didn’t really come close to Elden Ring.
The two main contenders this year have a lot of similarities, while offering up very different gaming experienced. Both send you off on a huge adventure, while the mechanics are very different. If you like D&D and deep RPG experiences then you’ll most likely favour Baldur’s Gate 3. If you like active action and adventure then you’ll probably favour Tears of the Kingdom. Baldur’s Gate 3 is probably the best role-playing game we’ve seen focusing on narrative and character depth, with the developer offering the player seemingly infinite choice which can change direction of the main story and side quests. Larian Studios allow the player to make their way through the world from a narrative point of view, selecting their own path. Tears of the Kingdom offers player choice too, but more from an exploration and building point of view. Baldur’s Gate 3 arguably has the better story, but the moment-to-moment gameplay in Tears of the Kingdom is so fun through Link’s abilities like ascend, fuse, ultrahand and recall… it’s hard to pick between them.
Here’s some reasons why I think Tears of the Kingdom will win game of the year.
Better than Breath of the Wild
Arguably, it’s a better game than Breath of the Wild. Tears of the Kingdom builds on everything that was great about Breath of the Wild and goes above and beyond.
Much was made of the Sky Islands in the build up to the release of Tears of the Kingdom, but the big surprise at launch was The Depths. This huge secret underground area, which is just as big as Hyrule was my favoruite gaming moment in 2023, that first time going down into the depths was absolutely magic.
Link has many different abilities including Recall, Fuse, Ascend, but Ultrahand wins the prize for the most outstanding abilty. The fact you can stick together items found around the world and create vehicles and structures, plus even battle mechs if you have the know-how. Ultrahand on it’s own is reason enough for Tears of the Kingdom to win GOTY.
While Breath of the Wild was ablout climbing, Tears of the Kingdom focuses on skydiving, and that sense of freedom you get from jumping off a sky island, or being shot up into the sky by one of the skyview towers, it’s second to none.
I know there are plenty of story holes in Tears of the Kingdom, but that ending with Ganondorf and Princess Zelda has to go down as one of the most epic battles we’ve had in a Legend of Zelda game.
There are a few reasons why I think Tears of the Kingdom is going to win Game of the Year, but I also asked you what you think.
Great game, although I did get a bit leggy with it toward the end. In my opinion too much of an evolution of BOTW rather than revolution. It did feel like an expansion in the end. That being said, I still couldn’t score less than a 9.9/10. Not GOTY for me though, that honour should go to Baldurs Gate 3. Never played a CRPG before, picked it up for ps5 a few weeks back and haven’t put it down. Utterly incredible.
As much as I love TOTK, it has got some stiff competition this year. After I had finished the game, I thought for sure it had goty in the bag. Now I’m not so sure. Game play wise, TOTK is the best that I’ve EVER played. But for me personally, I play single player games for the story first, and I liked Starfield’s main story more. Plus we still have a game like Spider-Man 2 coming out in just a few days.
It has the biggest scope of any video game with so many ways and places to immerse yourself the world is yours to play with and navigating the terrain always feels like a creative challenge to see what cool vehicles you can build to get around and when your really proud of your build you can favorite it. It’s probably the longest developed game ever made with such a large skilled team pouring their souls and their love into it.
No game can come close to what they made with TTOK, the open world, the feel, the physics, the amount of game play even without DLCs, the endless possibilities. It’ll probably do one better and win “Game of the Decade” if games like GTA6 doesn’t compare, even then it’s like BOTW a masterpiece, except it’s better than BOTW
Hate to break it but y’know Baldurs Gate has this year in the bag. Lotta Great games tho this year, Personally want Armored Core 6 to win but dreams are best left in sleep. I do feel the expansion of the companions as well as the functionality of the zonai devices are a nice Touch. The real star of ToTK is ofc Ganondorf’s return, However I’m dissatisfied with the Brief cameo of Twinrova and could have became something. Modders’ll figure it out
Let me know what you think in the comments.