Tears of the Kingdom and Spider-Man 2 should be GotY frontrunners

Insomniac /

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Spider-Man 2 would both likely be the winner in a lot of years for gaming. They have to contend with one another in 2023.

There are two titles in gaming this year that have completely taken the world by storm: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Spider-Man 2. These two games have been unbelievable, and are a shoo-in for multiple accolades when the time comes. The unfortunate aspect of their release dates is that they have to contend with one each other (as well as the admittedly strong Baldur’s Gate 3).

They both excel in different lanes, but there’s one thing they share that has set them apart: an incredible, powerful story. While Zelda‘s open-world scheme that has a million side quests allows for a lot of freedom, it still has a story driving it. Your exploration will eventually reveal things and show you what’s happening in the game. Whether that happens right away or later on is up to you, but the story that eventually unfolds is one of the best in recent gaming.

Without spoiling, it was a story that completely took me by surprise. The gameplay mechanics, the world, and the things you could do in the game had me hooked from the beginning. After beating it and moving on to other games, the story is what lingers with me.

Having just recently beat Spider-Man 2, I believe that will also be the case. Much like (to a lesser extent) TOTK pushed the Nintendo Switch to its max in terms of console power and abilities, Spider-Man 2 showcases what the powerful PlayStation 5 can do. The combat and traversal mechanics particularly stand out. However, in the future, it’s the impactful and stunning story that will stay in gamers’ minds.

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom
Nintendo /

That’s what gaming can be. Where Fortnite and other big, multiplayer games will reach insane player counts, there’s just nothing like playing through a good story. Audiences everywhere are suckers for good stories, which is why we love movies, books and television so much. Gaming, finally, is being heralded for that as well.

In the Game of the Year race, Spider-Man 2 and Tears of the Kingdom should be the two frontrunners. There’s more to it than the story, as graphics, abilities, the gameplay itself all matter a lot. But when a lot of games do well in those areas, a powerful and lasting story should set one apart.

This year, gamers have been blessed with two games that did just that. The only downside is that these were both exclusives, and those without a Nintendo Switch or a PlayStation 5 might have missed out on peak gaming in 2023.