Game of the Year 2023 – Best Nintendo Switch Game

GOTY 2023 Nintendo Switch

2023 was an incredible year for Nintendo Switch fans, with Nintendo having easily the strongest line up of first party games and exclusives from the big three console manufacturers. Sure, a large part of that was thanks to the company trawling through their back catalogue of beloved classics and sprucing them up for their current handheld, but there were also long-awaited sequels, rejuvenated mainstays and more.

If we’re expecting Nintendo to release a Switch successor next year, then 2023 has seen the current generation going out with a thunderous round of applause.

GOTY 2023 Nintendo Switch award

Given how big a reinvention Breath of the Wild was, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as a direct sequel couldn’t really hope to have the same impact on the series. Yet that’s not to understate just how big of an achievement it still is.

Yes, we’re returning to the same rendition of Hyrule as before, but it’s been transformed with vast new over and under world locations. Meanwhile, the Sheikah Slate has been replaced with a thoroughly different set of abilities, letting you fuse together objects to create structures, enhance weapons, and build wild contraptions that wholeheartedly embrace the kinds of wild playfulness that many people were forcing into the more limited set of tools from Breath of the Wild.

Wrap that up in another sweeping tragedy, and Tears of the Kingdom is a fitting bookend for the generation.

– Stefan L

Super Mario Bros. Wonder – Runner Up

It’s been a good long time since the New Super Mario Bros. series felt new, and Nintendo knew it. A decade on from the last game in that series, another reinvention of the side-scrolling Mario platformer was needed, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder was exactly that.

At its core, this is another 2.5D Mario platformer, but Nintendo has really instilled a fresh sense of playful fun once more. You never really know what’s waiting for you around the corner, thanks to the trippy effects that finding Wonder flowers present as they transform the levels, the gameplay and your character for a few minutes.

Add local multiplayer shenanigans, a delightful new art direction, and some quirky new power ups to use, and this is exactly what Super Mario Bros. needed.

– Stefan L

Fire Emblem Engage – Runner Up

Fire Emblem Engage seems like it released a ling time ago, and I suppose in gaming terms January 2023 is an age. Engage strips things back from the expansive multiple storylines of Three Houses, and is all the better for it, with more focus, and certainly a more approachable feel than its predecessor. Its tactical relationship-building gameplay remains utterly beguiling though, and combined with a vibrant anime-influenced art style it’s a true must-play for Nintendo Switch owners.

– Dom L

Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

What was your favourite Switch game of the year? Let us know in the comments and come back tomorrow for our verdicts on the Xbox and PlayStation lineups!