Winner: Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Oi! Just wot is up with these sparkin’ accents?
You mean to tell me they managed to blend a variety of world dialects, like Welsh, London, Australian, and even American, put in some fun language of their own, and it all coheres into something wholly its own thing? Yes, yes they did. Okay, some of the accents are just a little over the top, but I can forgive a few flourishes here and there when the localization work is so consistent and just so darn good. The fact that the first game’s original localization was created in the UK has been a true boon to the series, and the fact that the writing is so good on top of all the additional character the localization and voice work brings to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 makes it not just the best localization of the year, but one of the finest localizations I’ve ever seen.
by Zach Wilkerson
Runner-Up: Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.1 and 6.2)
I don’t often take game screenshots to capture dialogue, but with Final Fantasy XIV, I do this routinely. Honestly, I would have voted for Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker in this category based solely on the writing in the latest Tribal quests. The idea of building a café in space with moon bunnies and robots ticks so many of my boxes it isn’t even funny. But the dialogue sure is. Your mileage may vary with pop culture references, but some quest names perfectly pull from popular pages of… sorry, I got carried away. There are some fun references. But beyond cafés at the end of the universe, the dialogue of both villains I grew up with over 30 years ago and brand-new favorite characters are consistently well-written, and I find myself hanging on their every word, anxious to see what comes next.
by Mike Salbato