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The biggest takeaways and full winners from The Game Awards

The Game Awards founder and host Geoff Keighley alongside the Great Gonzo in an interstitial bit between rapid-fire awards.
The Game Awards
The Game Awards founder and host Geoff Keighley alongside the Great Gonzo in an interstitial bit between rapid-fire awards.

Baldur's Gate 3 had an outstanding night at The Game Awards.

Not only crowned Game of the Year, the Dungeons and Dragons epic won Best RPG, Best Community Support, Best Multiplayer, the Players' Voice Award — and one of its actors, Neil Newbon, won Best Performance.

Surreal horror adventure Alan Wake 2 followed closely behind, picking up Best Directing, Best Narrative, and Best Art Direction. But it also stole the show with a live musical number featuring the game's stars and creator Sam Lake performing interpretive dance to a heavy metal accompaniment.

Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke, center, celebrates Baldur's Gate 3's big win in plate armor.
/ The Game Awards
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The Game Awards
Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke, center, celebrates the big win for Baldur's Gate 3 in plate armor.

That wasn't the only bonkers moment of the night. Hideo Kojima and Jordan Peele stepped from a fog-shrouded door to announce a new collaboration called OD. Matthew McConaughey, Timothée Chalamet, Simu Liu, Anthony Mackie and stars from the upcoming Fallout TV show rotated on and off stage to plug their game-related projects and present awards.

A live orchestra played a brand new song from the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, which, incidentally also won in the Most Anticipated Game category. VTuber Ironmouseaccepted the Content Creator of the Year award in character as an animated demon queen. And muppet Gonzo joined Awards founder and host Geoff Keighley to ruminate on chasing chickens in Best Action/Adventure winner, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

From left to right: Masked dancers, Alan Wake star Ilkka Villi, game creator Sam Lake, and "Mr. Door" actor David Harewood.
/ The Game Awards
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The Game Awards
From left to right: Alan Wake star Ilkka Villi, game creator Sam Lake, and "Mr. Door" actor David Harewood.

But before we get to the rest of the highlights, some disclosure: NPR is one of the more than 100 outlets that contributed ballots to The Game Awards, which picked winners based on those tallies and an open online voting system.

Singer Loren Allred performs Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's new theme song, composed by series legend Nobuo Uematsu.
/ The Game Awards
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The Game Awards
Singer Loren Allred performs Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's new theme song, composed by series legend Nobuo Uematsu.

Other Announcements

  • Matthew McConaughey touted Exodus, which resembles Mass Effect with Interstellar flourishes. He also said that players would have unique relationships with the character he performs — leading to speculation that generative AI might be involved.
  • Capcom announced Monster Hunter Wilds with a new trailer. It's set for a 2025 release.
  • The minds behind Personas 3, 4 and 5 trotted out a new fantasy JRPG called Metaphor: ReFantazio.
  • Arkane Lyon, the creators of Deathloopand Dishonored, announced a game set in Paris based on Marvel's vampire hero, Blade.
  • No Man's Sky developer Sean Murray revealed Light No Fire, an upcoming open world title pitched as a "procedural, fantasy, unexplored earth."
  • Final Fantasy 16 shadow-dropped a whole new expansion during the ceremony. Echoes of the Fallen is out now, while a second piece of downloadable content, The Rising Tide, comes out next year. God of War Ragnarök also announced free "roguelike-inspired" DLC releasing imminently, on December 12th.
  • Epic put out multiple announcements and advertisements for their ever-widening Fortnite metaverse. These efforts include a new Lego mode and a racing-focused spin on Rocket League.
  • 2023 had not one but two hit fishing games — so naturally they're teaming up. Dredge will sail into Dave the Diver's waters in a free crossover also out later this month.
  • New trailers for two 2024 games have serious Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice vibes — Black Myth: Wukong and Team Ninja's Rise of the Rōnin.
  • That's not to mention a newly announced indies, including Pony Island 2: Panda Circus, by the maker of 2021's brilliant horror card game Inscryption; Harmonium: The Musical, which follows a deaf child as she signs her way through a world of animate musical instruments; and Big Walk, from the studio behind the little scamp simulator, Untitled Goose Game.


The complete list of nominees and winners (in bold) of The Game Awards 2023 is below.

Game of the Year

Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)

Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Game Direction

Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)

Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2(Insomniac Games/SIE)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Adaptation

Castlevania: Nocturne (Powerhouse Animation/Netflix)

Gran Turismo (PlayStation Productions/Sony Pictures)

The Last of Us (PlayStation Productions/HBO)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Illumination/Nintendo/Universal Pictures)

Twisted Metal (PlayStation Productions/Peacock)

Best Narrative

Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)

Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (CD Projekt Red)

Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Best Art Direction

Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)

Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)

Lies of P (Round8 Studio/Neowiz Games)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Score and Music

Alan Wake 2, Composer Petri Alanko (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)

Baldur's Gate 3, Composer Borislav Slavov (Larian Studios)

Final Fantasy XVI, Composer Masayoshi Soken (Square Enix)

Hi-Fi Rush, Audio Director Shuichi Kobori (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Composed by Nintendo Sound Team (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Audio Design

Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)

Dead Space (Motive Studio/EA)

Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)

Best Performance

Ben Starr, Final Fantasy XVI

Cameron Monaghan, STAR WARS Jedi: Survivor

Idris Elba, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Melanie Liburd, Alan Wake 2

Neil Newbon, Baldur's Gate 3

Yuri Lowenthal, Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Innovation in Accessibility

Diablo IV (Blizzard Entertainment)

Forza Motorsport (Turn 10 Studios/Xbox Game Studios)

Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Mortal Kombat 1 (NetherRealm Studios/WB Games)

Street Fighter 6 (Capcom)

Games for Impact

A Space for the Unbound (Mojiken Studio/Toge Productions/Chorus)

Chants of Sennaar (Rundisc/Focus Entertainment)

Goodbye Volcano High (KO_OP)

Tchia (Awaceb/Kepler Interactive)

Terra Nil (Free Lives/Devolver Digital/Netflix)

Venba (Visai Games)

Best Ongoing Game

Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/EA)

Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)

Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)

Fortnite (Epic Games)

Genshin Impact (HoYoverse)

Best Community Support

Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)

Destiny 2 (Bungie)

Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)

No Man's Sky (Hello Games)

Best Independent Game

Cocoon (Geometric Interactive/Annapurna Interactive)

Dave the Diver (MINTROCKET)

Dredge (Black Salt Games/Team 17)

Sea of Stars (Sabotage Studio)

Viewfinder (Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing)

Best Debut Indie Game

Cocoon (Geometric Interactive/Annapurna Interactive)

Dredge (Black Salt Games/Team 17)

Pizza Tower (Tour de Pizza)

Venba (Visai Games)

Viewfinder (Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing)

Best Mobile Game

Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis (Applibot/Square Enix)

Honkai: Star Rail (HoYoverse)

Hello Kitty Island Adventure (Sunblink Entertainment)

Monster Hunter Now (Niantic/Capcom)

Terra Nil (Free Lives/Devolver/Netflix)

Best VR/AR Game

Gran Turismo 7 (Polyphony Digital/SIE)

Humanity (tha LTD/Enhance Games)

Horizon Call of the Mountain (Guerrilla Games/Firesprite/SIE)

Resident Evil Village VR Mode (Capcom)

Synapse (nDreams)

Best Action Game

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)

Dead Island 2 (Dambuster Studios/Deep Silver)

Ghostrunner 2 (One More Level/505 Games)

Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)

Remnant 2 (Gunfire Games/Gearbox Publishing)

Best Action/Adventure Game

Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publishing)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)

Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (Respawn Entertainment/EA)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best RPG

Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix)

Lies of P (Round8 Studio/Neowiz Games)

Sea of Stars (Sabotage Studio)

Starfield (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Best Fighting Game

God of Rock (Modus Studios Brazil/Modus Games)

Mortal Kombat 1 (NetherRealm Studios/WB Games)

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 (Ludosity/Fair Play Labs/GameMill Entertainment)

Pocket Bravery (Statera Studio/PQube)

Street Fighter 6 (Capcom)

Best Family Game

Disney Illusion Island (Dlala Studios/Disney)

Party Animals (Recreate Games)

Pikmin 4 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Sonic Superstars (Arzest/Sonic Team/Sega)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Sim/Strategy Game

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp (WayForward/Nintendo)

Cities: Skylines II (Colossal Order/Paradox Interactive)

Company of Heroes 3 (Relic Entertainment/Sega)

Fire Emblem Engage (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)

Pikmin 4 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Sports/Racing

EA Sports FC 24 (EA Vancouver/EA Romania/EA Sports)

F1 23 (Codemasters/EA Sports)

Forza Motorsport (Turn 10 Studios/Xbox Game Studios)

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged (Milestone)

The Crew Motorfest (Ubisoft Ivory Tower/Ubisoft)

Best Multiplayer Presented by Discord

Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Diablo IV (Blizzard Entertainment)

Party Animals (Recreate Games)

Street Fighter 6 (Capcom)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Most Anticipated Game

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (Square Enix)

Hades II (Supergiant Games)

Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth (Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio/Sega)

Star Wars Outlaws (Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft)

Tekken 8 (Bandai Namco/Arika)

Players Voice Award

Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (CD Projekt Red)

Genshin Impact (HoYoverse)

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (Insomniac Games/SIE)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Content Creator of the Year

IronMouse

PeopleMakeGames

Quackity

Spreen

SypherPK

Best Esports Game

Counter-Strike 2 (Valve)

Dota 2 (Valve)

League of Legends (Riot Games)

PUBG Mobile (LightSpeed Studios/Tencent Games)

Valorant (Riot Games)

Best Esports Athlete

Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok (League of Legends)

Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut (CS:GO)

Max "Demon1" Mazanov (Valorant)

Paco "HyDra" Rusiewiez (Call of Duty)

Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk (League of Legends)

Phillip "ImperialHal" Dosen (Apex Legends)

Best Esports Team

Evil Geniuses (Valorant)

Fnatic (Valorant)

Gaimin Gladiators (Dota 2)

JD Gaming (League of Legends)

Team Vitality (Counter-Strike)

Best Esports Coach

Christine "potter" Chi (Evil Geniuses - Valorant)

Danny "zonic" Sorensen (Team Falcons - Counter-Strike)

Jordan "Gunba" Graham (Florida Mayhem - Overwatch)

Remy "XTQZZZ" Quoniam (Team Vitality - Counter-Strike)

Yoon "Homme" Sung-young (JD Gaming - League of Legends)

Best Esports Event

2023 League of Legends World Championship

Blast.tv Paris Major 2023

EVO 2023

The International Dota 2 Championships 2023

VALORANT Champions 2023

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: December 12, 2023 at 12:00 AM EST
A previous version of this article misspelled Jordan Peele's name.
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James Perkins Mastromarino
James Perkins Mastromarino is Here & Now's Washington, D.C.-based producer. He works with NPR's newsroom on a daily whirlwind of topics that range from Congress to TV dramas to outer space. Mastromarino also edits NPR's Join the Game and reports on gaming for daily shows like All Things Considered and Morning Edition.
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