Games of the Year

RPGFan Games of the Year 2023: Best Story

GOTY 2023 Best Story Baldur's Gate III

Winner: Baldur’s Gate III

It begins with a startling scene of an octopedal mind flayer putting a parasitic worm in your eye. If you can believe it, Baldur’s Gate III doesn’t settle down but only gets weirder. Though your main goal is to relieve your unusual malady, your tale branches off in whichever direction the wind takes you as you stumble into a sidequest at a time and circle the drain. It takes a self-deprecative spirit to enjoy, but Larian believes you can handle it, have a chuckle, and weather whatever means they come up with to torture you. When you need a break, you can hang out with your companions who are on their own fascinating, possibly self-destructive personal journeys. Somehow, Larian manages to keep things from getting too dour in a fantastical adventure full of colorful characters and situations. Aside from everything else BGIII does expertly, it offers a narrative unlike anything you’ve experienced before and which you’ll never forget.

by Abraham Kobylanski

Runner-Up: The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure

The Trails series is known for its deep and connected storylines that span decades. For over twenty years, we’ve been roaming Zemuria and meeting hundreds of characters while solving small mysteries and stopping world-ending threats. With the Crossbell series finally getting officially localized, this duology fills the gap between the Trails in the Sky and Trails of Cold Steel games and serves as the best story in the series thus far. Trails to Azure expands upon its core cast while introducing a dozen new characters that quickly make their marks on history. Every character feels fleshed out, every dramatic event feels earned, and the twists and turns make this the most exciting and well-written Trails game we finally got our hands on.

by Des Miller

Readers’ Choice: Best Story of 2023

Winner: Baldur’s Gate III (29.4% of votes)

Runner-Up: Final Fantasy XVI (17.6% of votes)

Abraham Kobylanski

Abraham Kobylanski

Abe's love for RPGs began when picked up Earthbound for the SNES in 1995, and it hasn't gone out since. He grew up with the classic 16-bit RPGs, like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasies, though he's gravitated more toward Western and Strategy RPGs lately. His passion for the genre was especially reinvigorated in the past few years with amazing games like FFVII:R, Persona 5 and Yakuza: LAD. He's always on the hunt for cool, smaller obscure games as well.