Is this year’s Game of the Year already locked?

A lot of amazing games were in the mix for the Game of the year award in 2022, but eventually, Elden Ring from FromSoftware took home the award over the latest adventure of Kratos, GOW Ragnarok. But what is the competition like this year? We’re not even at the half-year mark, and one game is already leading the charge.

The latest Nintendo-produced game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is everything you could want it to be – pure magic. It’s far more than a sequel and is Nintendo at its best, as they’ve borrowed the best parts and qualities from the entire history of the franchise, yet created something new and innovative that absolutely captivates audiences.

Breath of the Wild domination

Breath of the Wild set a new standard for the franchise back in 2017, as it was the best game around that year, surpassing Horizon Zero Dawn and Persona 5, presenting an open world where the player could explore Hyrule in the style of the previous games. It’s very easy to get distracted from the main quest, since there is something new to discover around every corner.

Game of the Year worthy sequel?

Tears of the Kingdom follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with a similar map style, but it feels anything but repetitive. The game is huge and there is plenty to do. If you focus on the main objective, it’ll take you a whopping 54 hours, but up to 150 hours if you want to reach 100% completion. If you have no idea what to do, there’s always a cave, sky island, or well to explore.

The story really sets itself apart from the typical Zelda storylines. While it’s still about stopping the main evil bad guy and saving Princess Zelda as usual, the direction the developers have taken the game is best described as ‘wild’. We’re not saying that the story reaches the level of The Last of Us, but it’s definitely more than just a backstory like the ones found in the predecessors.

Can any other title take down the Legend of Zelda?

So if Tears of the Kingdom is so good, what game can actually beat it for the Game of the Year awards? That is a good question.

We gamers have been blessed with some amazing games so far in 2023 (I’m not looking at you, Gollum!), and we’re not even halfway through. Hogwarts Legacy was one of the most hyped games of the year, and it was really fun, but I feel like I ran out of things to do quite quickly. Both Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and the remake of the best game in the series, Resident Evil 4, have also been released, and both are great, but it’s hard to imagine them rivaling Nintendo’s Zelda.

The two most popular fighting games in the world are also getting new installments this year. We’re talking about Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, of course, which are always a big hit among their respective fan bases.

For some games, like Assassin’s Creed Mirage and the latest Spider-Man sequel, the release date hasn’t been set yet, so it’s still too early to tell if they’ll compete with Zelda.

Can history beat history?

However, the game that we think has the most potential to beat Zelda is another historical franchise. In June 2023, Square Enix will release Final Fantasy XVI, and it’s a BIG deal! Square Enix has released countless remakes and spin-offs of its most popular franchises, but the regular mainline entries are always a special treat, and they’ll undoubtedly feature the series’ usual mix of stunning graphics, combat, and fantastic story.

Tell us in the comments what game do YOU think will win Game of the Year in 2023!


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