The polls are closed and your votes counted for the PlayStation Blog Game of the Year 2023. The winners of these awards, spanning 18 categories, have been shaped entirely by player choice. A thank you to everyone who voted and – given the strength of titles released in the past 12 months – were stuck with some difficult decisions to make. And of course, our thanks to all the studios and creatives whose work have helped define PlayStation’s 2023. 

Best New Character 

Venom | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

New faces solidified themselves as instant gaming icons in 2023. Baldur’s Gate 3 adventurers faced tough choices in who to bench back at camp as they journeyed across the Forgotten Realms, new challengers slotted easily alongside long-term mains in Street Fighter 6 and a gravelly-voiced Cid won hearts across Valisthea and beyond. Yet it was Venom – a powerhouse pairing of powerful physical presence by way of Insomniac’s character design and an unsettling performance by horror legend Tony Todd – that took the top spot.

Astarion | Baldur’s Gate 3

Kraven | Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Clive Rosfield | Final Fantasy XVI

Best Story 

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 packed a lot of heart into the breadth of its story campaign. Regardless of whether we were absorbing quieter character moments or swinging ourselves into bombastic, blockbuster-level beats, all were supercharged by an emotional core. Insomniac’s ability to make us invested in the cast and their story arcs meant revelations and reveals hit all the harder. And you clearly agreed: with votes totaled, it won Platinum Trophy for Best Story of 2023.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Alan Wake 2

Final Fantasy XVI

Best Graphical Showcase

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

A larger, denser Marvel’s New York to swing and soar through. Ray-tracing regardless of what your graphical setting of choice.Visually dazzling set pieces that highlight the next-gen heft of PS5. An SSD-powered fast travel option that needs to be seen to be believed. For all those and more, it’s little wonder that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 earned top spot for Best Graphical Showcase in 2023. Hats off to Insomniac.

Alan Wake 2

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Final Fantasy XVI

Best Art Direction

Alan Wake 2 

Remedy blends the realistic and surreal to deliver striking, dreamlike visuals. Alan Wake 2 innovatively merges moody in-game graphics with live-action footage projected into the game world. The result is an unpredictable, reality-bending world where anything could happen. The effect ranges from startling, screen-filling flashes to climactic set-piece moments like an unforgettably dramatic musical sequence that must be experienced to be believed. This is Remedy’s visual storytelling at its best.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Diablo IV

Sea of Stars

Best Audio Design

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

The raging howls and unearthly voice of Venom. The solid, wet smack of a web shot. The energetic crackle of Miles’s bioelectric powers. The ever-present background hum (and snippets of conversation) of a living, breathing city. The perfect placement of enemy positions through 3D Audio. Insomniac’s audio teams earned the studio the well-deserved accolade of the Platinum Trophy for Audio Design.

Alan Wake 2

Hogwarts Legacy

Resident Evil 4

Soundtrack of the Year

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

From the very first chords of EARTHGANG’s “Swing” energizing our first web-swing towards the opening clash with Sandman to the subtly discordant version of Peter’s Hero theme representing his continuing corruption by the Black Suit, returning composer John Paesano smoothly crafted Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s soundtrack to embody our heroes’ respective journeys and brought us along for the ride. And between, licensed tracks providing the perfect accompaniment to some big emotional moments.

Final Fantasy XVI

Baldur’s Gate 3

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Best Accessibility Features

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Not only did Insomniac double the number of Spider-Men you could play as in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, they also doubled the number of accessibility options to a spectacular 70+. New additions and updates to old favorites include challenge level modifiers and gameplay assists, shortcut buttons, game speed, and audio frequency controls. And with a post-launch update in early 2024, including audio descriptions, screen reader, and high contrast outlines, Insomniac is committed to making sure that anyone can wear the mask!

Resident Evil 4

Street Fighter 6

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Best Use of DualSense controller

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

If you looked disconcertedly at your DualSense controller during a Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 session, you weren’t alone. 

Insomniac can be commended for their versatile use of DualSense features, be it a punch thrown or web line slung, asymmetrical pressure on adaptive triggers to fix particle colliders, a Super Slingshot feeling like the world’s best rubber band flick and more. Yet it was a primal-like roar emanating from the controller’s speaker as a Black Suit-clad Peter let loose in combat that provided arguably the biggest thrill, an unsettling foreshadow of what was to come. 

Hogwarts Legacy

Alan Wake 2

Resident Evil 4

Best Multiplayer Experience

Baldur’s Gate 3

One of the best examples of choice-driven RPGs of this year (and any other) gets even better if you venture into the Forgotten Realms in the company of friends. Even aside from the intense discussion that’ll stir prior to any dice roll, the resultant chaos of multiple voices shaping your quest lines gives adventurers with solo campaigns running in parallel the opportunity to witness Larian’s careful craft playing out: from different incidental dialogue to entire scenarios previously unseen, it showcases how much thought and work has went into the game. Incredible stuff. 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III

Mortal Kombat 1

Street Fighter 6

 Best Ongoing Game

Fortnite 

2023 was Epic’s full-court press for Fortnite, a game that already sets a high bar for innovative content updates. Early this year Epic rolled out a new graphical overhaul for Fortnite, tapping the power of Unreal Engine to boost Battle Royale’s vivid visuals to new heights. But the crowning achievement in 2023 is the introduction of a whopping three new titles to the Fortnite ecosystem. LEGO Fortnite, Rocket Racing, and Fortnite Festival all launched this month, introducing new ways to play with friends. Fortnite now has you covered whether you’re into racking up VIctory Royales, surviving and building in a LEGO wilderness, speeding to first place, or rocking out with friends. Fortnite players’ cups runneth over.

GTA Online

Final Fantasy XIV

No Man’s Sky

Best Expansion 

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

When an expansion pushes players to start the game over from the very beginning, you know you have something special. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty incorporates a morally compelling spy thriller into a world where right and wrong have lost all meaning, adding nuance to every decision and making your actions hold weight in ways that the base game only scratches the surface of, along with a plethora of gameplay improvements, new weapons, and cyberware, Phantom Liberty brought structure to a world filled with chaos. 

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores

Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways

Destiny 2: Lightfall

Best Sports Game

EA Sports FC 24

EA Sports FC 24 marks the first step into a new era for the world’s game, with gameplay authenticity and realism being a driving force. The implementation of HyperMotionV technology on PS5 translates the rhythm and fluidity of real-world football into the game, using volumetric data from over 180 top-tier matches from competitions like the UEFA Men’s and Women’s Champions League, Premier League, and more. Also the enhanced Frostbite Engine is used to make every moment in EA Sports FC 24 feel more authentic – from your jersey rippling in the wind to more elevated matchday experiences. The result is one of the most visually detailed and realistic entries to the world’s game to date.

The Crew Motorfest

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged

NBA 2K24

Best Independent Game of the Year

Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars pays homage to the RPGs of the 16-bit era by setting a new standard for the entire genre. It asks what made the turn-based adventures of yesteryear so good and pushes to make all those qualities great. From a combat system that’s engaging to traversal that’s thoughtful, it constantly reinvents how you interact with the world without ever losing its identity, showcasing that the passion for the genre is alive and well in both design and appetite. 

Blasphemous 2

Dredge

Humanity

PS VR2 Game of the Year

Resident Evil Village VR Mode

While it’s late-in-the-year release excluded Resident Evil 4 VR Mode from running in this year’s Awards, Capcom’s survival horror series still proved a towering presence in the PS VR2 Game of the Year category, with Resident Evil Village VR Mode stealing the majority of the votes, Horizon Call of the Mountain coming a close second. Yet with the rest of the votes split nearly evenly across the majority of an extensive nominee list, it highlights how many of PS VR2’s diverse range of experiences are resonating with players worldwide. 

Horizon Call of the Mountain

Nock

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge

PS4 Game of the Year

Hogwarts Legacy

One of the closest fought categories of the entire Awards saw two titles go neck and neck for the duration of the polls. In the end, wands won out over chainsaws as Hogwarts Legacy pipped Resident Evil 4 by just over half a percent of the votes, mimicking the same tussle the two games had in last year’s Most Anticipated Game of 2023 and Beyond category. The Silver and Bronze positions had similar close ties, with just under half a percent separating two other games, as acclaimed Souls-like RPG Lies of P and the latest work from the originator of the genre FromSoftware, in the form of Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon, took Silver and Bronze respectively. 

Resident Evil 4

Lies of P

Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon

PS5 Game of the Year 

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

2023 was a great year for games, and any of the extensive list of nominees had a fair chance of securing the top spot for PS5 Game of the Year. Yet as polls closed, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was voted as players’ favorite title of the past 12 months, adding yet another notch to Insomniac’s incredible run of PS5 releases.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Final Fantasy XVI

Alan Wake 2

 Studio of the Year 

Insomniac Games

Any number of teams could have rightly earned the nod as Studio of the Year. Yet even as players made tough choices as to who earned their vote in this category, it gave us time to reflect and savor again the fantastic work by creatives across the industry and the world, who have given us all such wonderful gaming memories over the past 12 months. Insomniac’s work in crafting the blockbuster return of Spider-Men Peter Parker and Miles Morales resonated with enough players to take the Platinum Trophy, but congrats as well to all the other nominees who fans voted for. 

Larian Studios

CD Projekt RED

Square Enix

Most Anticipated PlayStation Game of 2024 and Beyond

Grand Theft Auto VI

The debut trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI offered a tantalizing glimpse to the richness and next-gen visual splendor that’ll await PS5 players when they visit Vice City. And by the record number of views that trailer has received to date, the city’s population is set to explode when the game launches in 2025.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Marvel’s Wolverine

Dragon’s Dogma 2