I have been attempting to formulate a reasonable guess at GOTY nominees and potential winner list for a while now as we head into the end of the year, but every time I turn around some sort of new competitor has emerged.
This week, it’s Alan Wake 2, which has released and scored an 89 on Metacritic, a tick below a 90, but a 92 if you’re looking on PC where its visuals can be maxed to their fullest.
A week ago, I wrote up a list that showed the top potential GOTY nominees purely by Metascore, which included:
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – 96
- Baldur’s Gate 3 – 96
- Super Mario Bros. Wonder – 93
- Resident Evil 4 – 93
- Street Fighter 6 – 92
- Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – 92
That’s six, the number we get for the GOTY nominating list at The Game Awards. But it obviously leaves out a ton of high quality games this year, Final Fantasy XVI, Sea of Stars, Dave the Diver, Diablo 4, Hi-Fi Rush, Armored Core 6, Lies of P, Remnant 2, Starfield, Hogwarts Legacy, the list is seemingly endless.
However, even though Alan Wake 2 is not in the 90+ range like so many games are this year, my guess is that it secures one of the spots after this release. The voters in The Game Awards are journalists and industry devs and leaders, and I have seen dozens and dozens of them absolutely raving about Alan Wake 2 as a masterpiece.
I think Resident Evil 4 is out of contention for being a remake. Street Fighter 6 for anti-fighting game bias (but it will clearly win that category). And even this year, I’m not sure there’s room for a traditional indie pick like Sea of Stars or Dave the Diver. I can see Final Fantasy VI or Armored 6 getting there. I would have said Starfield two months ago, but not anymore. Hogwarts Legacy will be the best-selling game of the year besides Call of Duty, most likely, but this group will not nominate it.
But Alan Wake 2? From everything I’ve seen? Absolutely, and it may snag a Best Performance or Best Director win. I still think that Baldur’s Gate 3 is absolutely the game to beat for GOTY, and it’s hard for me to see anything, even Zelda, even Alan Wake, surpassing it. But who knows.
I’m about to jump in myself to see what all the fuss is about, but yes, it’s clear Remedy has something special here after a 13 year break.