Game of the Year 2023 – Best PlayStation Game

Game of the Year 2023 Best PlayStation header

2023 was a huge year for PlayStation 5, with Sony finally able to cut loose and produce consoles without any of the constraints of the last few years. There’s now over 50 million PS5 consoles out in the wild, as they’ve taken a firm grasp of this generation, and then there’s the launch of the PlayStation VR 2 to hopefully rekindle their ambitions for virtual reality.

But compared to last year, this was actually a surprisingly quiet one for Sony’s first party studios,

Game of the Year 2023 Best PlayStation award

Some risks are worth taking, even when it takes a beloved franchise in a new direction. After the Marmite of RPGs, Final Fantasy XV, was released five years ago, a change was definitely absolutely needed.

Final Fantasy XVI is very different to its predecessors. First and foremost, it’s a lot more grown up, with the sex, swearing and everything else that its muse, Game of Thrones, offers. Then there’s the set-piece Eikonic battles, where players duke it out as the Summons the franchise is famed for. It looks and sounds utterly spectacular.

This PlayStation-exclusive game is a must-play for all action-RPG fans who want something a little more grown up. It shines for its lore and its lack of exposition for the sake of it, with reams of backstory hidden just a button-press away, offering a flow that feels more natural than any other Final Fantasy game to date. Its characters are fantastic, and as you grow to love them, their moments of sacrifice hit in a way unfelt since the likes of Final Fantasy X.

– Nic B

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – Runner Up

Spider-Man 2 had a lot to live up to, not only following up a defining superhero game and its excellent spin-off, but to weave both of them into one story with two Spider-Mans. Unsurprisingly Insomniac knocked it out of the park, with Spider-Man 2 being bigger, better, and more envenomed than ever. Bringing with it what is arguably one of the best interpretations of Kraven the Hunter and a unique version of one of Spidey’s best enemies, Venom. Naturally that means there are also symbiotes, a black suit, and new, tendril-y abilities for Peter to use, whilst Miles gets some new electrical abilities as well.

Spidey 2 expands on the previous games in basically every way it could, and it looks outrageously gorgeous whilst doing it.

– Gareth C

Horizon Call of the Mountain – Runner Up

Setting a new level for what to expect from virtual reality gaming on PlayStation, Horizon Call of the Mountain was a pure showcase for the power and fidelity that PlayStation 5 can push through a cable to PlayStation VR 2. If you want to show off what PSVR 2 can do for a curious visitor to your home, then this is the game to load up for them, whether it’s just the river ride experiential demo, or to let them loose with some of the simple but enjoyable climbing and combat mechanics.

– Stefan L

Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

So, which PlayStation 5 games really stood out for you? We lean toward highlighting console exclusives with our award, but feel free to highlight any game that you like.