Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards are far from the be-all and end-all of which games are good, creatively bold, and deserving of praise each year, but they’re still fun to get way too serious about. It’s the one day game developers get to dress fancy, go up on stage, and receive our collective thanks for their artistic accomplishment rather than getting canned the night before the quarterly earnings call.
But not every game gets that honor, and The Game Awards 2023 nominations have already whittled down the list quite a bit. The nominations were announced recently, and earlier this week, we asked readers what games they felt were missing. While fan votes and judge ballots are still being counted ahead of the December 7 showcase, here’s every great game this year that got snubbed, according to you.
So, Game of the Year can never be an indie game, right? Or can it? I mean, could Cocoon or Dave the Diver even be nominated if they were simply, objectively better game experiences than anything else that year? (in the main category, not indie) – Cobrasoul
Being “objectively” better doesnt matter because these are always popularity contests no matter how hard we try, more people play AAA than indie by their nature so are more likely to win. And when we get an indie game that gets a huge amount of praise such as Undertale we get pushback from people it didn’t resonate with because, well, entertainment is never objective. – Mav
Not a specific game being snubbed but it’s crazy to me that there isn’t a “puzzle” category. I’ve been playing The Talos Principle 2 and really enjoying it. It launched close enough to the game awards that I don’t think it could be considered, but even if it had released earlier in the year I’m not sure what category it would fit into. I guess these days most puzzle games are indie, and they’ve already deigned to give indie games a whole dubious category, so why would they be more specific than that? -_- – Enfy
Agreed. No puzzle, stealth or platformer categories. I could maybe understand stealth since it’s super niche but there are plenty of puzzle and platformer games released each year. The categories could even be combined if needed since TGA already does that with simulations and sports games. – Jerykk
The closest to a snub that I can think of this year is Final Fantasy XVI for GotY. It probably should’ve replaced RE4 Remake. However, it’s not like RE4 remake is undeserving of the nomination so I can’t really be mad. This year was packed due to all of the delays from COVID-19. – Xalara
I think Final Fantasy 16 got snubbed. Personally I think it got snubbed for GotY, but I get that not everyone loved the game as me. That said, it had some seriously fun combat and looked incredible both technically and artistically. Not including it in those categories felt like a snub.- Konaa
Pentiment got snubbed both in 2022 and 2023, for different reasons.
Pentiment Release Date: Nov 15 2022.
TGA eligibility cutoff date: Nov 18 2022.
TGA nominations announced: Nov 14 2022.
It came out before the cutoff date in 2022, but after the nominations were already announced. So maybe next year, right?
A year later, it is forgotten amid the absurd quality of releases for 2023. – Chanaluss
Dwarf Fortress got snubbed. Game finally comes out after providing hundreds of hours of entertainment just for people who just read stories about shit that happens in Dwarf Fortress and this is the thanks it gets? Pah. – Devour
I’d like to stress: all existing game awards are all nonsense and silly and basically make The Academy Awards look like the portrait of critical integrity….so I ain’t really bent out of shape about anything. That said: I feel if there were a game awards worth putting any stock in then Street Fighter VI probably should have gotten a nod for GOTY. – ericthescruffy
For the most part it’s a perfectly cromulent list of nominees this year, but, then again, I have played very little games this year that actually came out in 2023.
The one game I would go to bat for more is Street Fighter 6 being in more categories. The game is fucking GORGEROUS and would have preferred to see it get the nod in the goty category.
Also for any FGC player to get recognized in the competitive player award. – Devour
Best Ongoing Game and Best Community Support: most of Xbox’s live service games are snubbed: Halo Infinite, Sea of Thieves, Flight Simulator, Forza Horizon, Grounded, Minecraft, Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls Online, etc. – Schweinehund
I was highly disappointed to learn the Lies of P did not get nominated for game of the year. Easily my GOTY, so much that I can’t bring myself to go back to Starfield, or even AC6 for that matter. – Killg0re Tr0ut
Armored Core 6 got snubbed. At the very least it should of also been nominated for music. Probably wouldn’t win (jesus christ Alan Wake 2), but it should of been nominated. – antipothis
Talking about snubs at TGA is old hat. This is the same show that snubbed Forza Horizon 5 when it was literally the best reviewed game of the year. None of the noms made sense. You have coaches who didn’t coach, live service games that aren’t live service, nominating Destiny 2 for best continuing game when even the Destiny stans admit the game has gone off the rails. Putting games like Spider-Man 2 and the endless selection of remakes on a list in lieu of new IP or sequels that actually did something new is such a farce. – Marasai
If you want to use a more literal definition of ‘snub’ (rebuffed, ignored, spurned disdainfully) Hogwarts Legacy fits that bill to a tee. Considering the conversation around the game, it was obvious it wasn’t going to be nominated regardless if it was good or bad. – therubixcube22
It was snubbed about as much as Robocop: Rogue City was snubbed. It’s a perfectly fine 7/10 licensed tie-in game carried by people’s love for the IP, but that’s about all it is. – ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ : Bear Privilege is a Liberal Hoax
Regardless of the controversy, Hogwarts was a pretty mediocre game and it sold because of the IP it was attached to. To imply that it was “snubbed” for awards is to forget that awards are for the actual game delivered, not for the marketing campaign or sales quantity.
It wasn’t misunderstood and there wasn’t any hidden depth that got missed under the surface of the game’s design, it was just a pretty mediocre game leveraging an IP that a lot of people already like. – BrigBrug
Well, no, Hogwarts has a 84 MC score which is higher than many of the nominees in various categories. It absolutely would have been a legitimate nominee in the Best Family Game category, for example. Jedi Survivor’s MC score was only one point higher and it was nominated in the Best Action/Adventure category. – Jerykk
It’s also a Metacritic score, which has been established to be heavily-influenced at best and meaningless at worst. Plenty of games have been reamed by MC’s critics yet been runaway successes, as well as the reverse. Just to use a related example to this year, Skyward Sword was way up there on Metacritic in its release year but is now considered one of the worst (though not outright terrible) Zelda games ever made.
Point is, the more popular an IP is the more likely it’s going to be inflated in terms of opinion, and Legacy definitely falls into that category. – ENDG$MER
Hogwarts Legacy was 2023. I admit I’d forgotten about it completely, but I also had no interest in playing it. It was received pretty well at the time, though, and while I’m sure some people will bring up the political controversy around JKR, I don’t believe The Game Awards would actually care about that. – MazokuRanma
Chained Echoes was eligible for this year’s awards, based on the rules of the contest when it comes to release dates and was seemingly forgotten when it came to nominations. (I believe Pentiment was in a similar-ish situation)
That’s a damn shame for such a gem of a game. – gulox2