The Game Awards 2023 winners: Baldur’s Gate 3 wins big

The Game Awards 2023 - Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur's Gate 3 - Larian Studios

The Game Awards 2023, the hugely popular ceremony often likened to the Oscars, has come and gone once again. Hosted by presenter and former video game journalist Geoff Keighley, the event recognises the best games from the year, encompassing various genres and technical categories.

Streamed live to the world on YouTube, Twitch, and just about every social media channel, and voted on by over 100 media representatives from around the world The Game Awards 2023 was hotly contested. All eyes were on which game would take home the coveted Game of the Year gong. Last year’s top award went to Elden Ring, a meticulously designed open-world action roleplaying game made by renowned Japanese developer From Software.

This year’s major award went to Baldur’s Gate 3, a sprawling Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG by Larian Studios. Survival-horror Alan Wake 2 from Remedy Entertainment joined Baldur’s Gate 3 in dominating the nominations, taking home three awards itself. Other notable nominees include Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros Wonder, two very different games that launched on the same day. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom won Best Action/Adventure Game, while the Resident Evil 4 remake rounded out the Game of the Year contenders.

Locally, Australia doesn’t have much in the way of representation this year. Our hopes are pinned on Dredge, a spooky fishing game from New Zealand’s Black Salt Games. It’s nominated for both Best Independent Game and Best Debut Indie.

Different from many industry shows, The Game Awards 2023 also showcases announcements for upcoming games. Its weird dissonance between commercialisation and attempting to be a prestigious event is something of a running gag among viewers. Regardless, it’s a big event that draws massive viewership each year.

The Game Awards 2023 nominees and winners

Best Family Game

For the best game appropriate for family play, irrespective of genre or platform.

  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder – Winner
  • Disney Illusion Island
  • Party Animals
  • Pikmin 4
  • Sonic Superstars

Innovation in Accessibility

Recognising software and/or hardware that is pushing the medium forward by adding features, technology and content to help games be played and enjoyed by an even wider audience.

  • Forza Motorsport – Winner
  • Diablo IV
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Mortal Kombat 1
  • Street Fighter 6

Best Performance

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

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

Best Narrative

For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • Alan Wake 2 – Winner
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Best Debut Indie Game

For the best debut game created by a new independent studio.

  • Cocoon – Winner
  • Dredge
  • Pizza Tower
  • Venba
  • Viewfinder

Best Action Game

For the best game in the action genre focused primarily on combat.

  • Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon – Winner
  • Dead Island 2
  • Ghostrunner 2
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Remnant 2

Best Art Direction

For outstanding creative and/or technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

  • Alan Wake 2 – Winner
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • Lies of P
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best VR/AR Game

For the best game experience playable in virtual or augmented reality, irrespective of platform.

  • Resident Evil Village VR Mode – Winner
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Humanity
  • Horizon Call of the Mountain
  • Synapse

Best Mobile Game

For the best game playable on a mobile device.

  • Honkai: Star Rail – Winner
  • Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis
  • Hello Kitty Island Adventure
  • Monster Hunter Now
  • Terra Nil

Best Audio Design

Recognising the best in-game audio and sound design.

  • Hi-Fi Rush – Winner
  • Alan Wake 2
  • Dead Space
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Resident Evil 4

Games for Impact

For a thought-provoking game with a pro-social meaning or message.

  • Tchia – Winner
  • A Space for the Unbound
  • Chants of Sennaar
  • Goodbye Volcano High
  • Terra Nil
  • Venba

Best Independent Game

For outstanding creative and technical achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

  • Sea of Stars – Winner
  • Cocoon
  • Dave the Diver
  • Dredge
  • Viewfinder

Best Score and Music

For outstanding music, inclusive of score, original song and/or licensed soundtrack.

  • Final Fantasy XVI – Winner
  • Alan Wake 2
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best Community Support

Recognising a game for outstanding community support, transparency and responsiveness, inclusive of social media activity and game updates/patches.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 – Winner
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Destiny 2
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • No Man’s Sky

Best Fighting Game

For the best game designed primarily around head-to-head combat.

  • Street Fighter 6 – Winner
  • God of Rock
  • Mortal Kombat 1
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2
  • Pocket Bravery

Most Anticipated Game

Recognising an announced game that has demonstrably illustrated potential to push the gaming medium forward.

  • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth – Winner
  • Hades II
  • Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth
  • Star Wars Outlaws
  • Tekken 8

Best Ongoing Game

Awarded to a game for outstanding development of ongoing content that evolves the player experience over time.

  • Cyberpunk 2077 – Winner
  • Apex Legends
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • Fortnite
  • Genshin Impact

Best Adaptation

Recognising outstanding creative work that faithfully and authentically adapts a video game to another entertainment medium.

  • The Last of Us – Winner
  • Castlevania: Nocturne
  • Gran Turismo
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  • Twisted Metal

Best Action/Adventure Game

For the best action/adventure game, combining combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Winner
  • Alan Wake 2
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Best RPG

For the best game designed with rich player character customisation and progression, including massively multiplayer experiences.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 – Winner
  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Lies of P
  • Sea of Stars
  • Starfield

Best Sim/Strategy Game

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

  • Pikmin 4 – Winner
  • Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
  • Cities: Skylines II
  • Company of Heroes 3
  • Fire Emblem Engage

Best Sports/Racing

For the best traditional and non-traditional sports and racing game.

  • Forza Motorsport – Winner
  • EA Sports FC 24
  • F1 23
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
  • The Crew Motorfest

Best Multiplayer

For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences, irrespective of game genre or platform.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 – Winner
  • Diablo IV
  • Party Animals
  • Street Fighter 6
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Player’s Choice Award

Best game as voted on by the public.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 – Winner
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Genshin Impact
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Best Game Direction

Awarded for outstanding creative vision and innovation in game direction and design.

  • Alan Wake 2 – Winner
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Game of the Year

Recognising a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 – Winner
  • Alan Wake 2
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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