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Negative World 2023 GOTY Awards
February 14, 2024, 02:35
Before we get started, I want to clarify to anyone who has stumbled upon our GOTY awards that we are a Nintendo-focused site, and our awards reflect that. This doesn’t mean that we don’t love and play games on other platforms, but for the sake of these awards we stick to games that appear on Nintendo platforms only.

Also, for these awards we define eShop as anything that seems more focused on the eShop than retail (indies, etc.), while our regular awards apply to games that seem more focused on a retail release. There is no clear line between the two and we do the best we can to put games into the categories that make the most sense!

So let’s get to it!

Best Visuals

And the winner is…

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (42 points)

Metroid Prime Remastered (27 points) (tie)
Pikmin 4 (27 points) (tie)

Not quite:
Octopath Traveler II (20 points) (tie)
Super Mario Bros. Wonder (20 points) (tie)
WarioWare: Move It! (8 points)

Some solid visuals this year, but Tears of the Kingdom runs away with it, while Metroid Prime Remastered and Pikmin 4 tie for second. The rest did pretty well, although WarioWare's wacky style wasn't enough to bump it up higher.

Best Audio

And the winner is…

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (34 points)

Metroid Prime Remastered (32 points)
Octopath Traveler II (22 points)

Not quite:
Pikmin 4 (21 points)
Super Mario RPG (20 points)
Super Mario Bros. Wonder (18 points)

A very close race for first, with Tears of the Kingdom just barely edging out Metroid Prime Remastered. Some soundtracks remain a classic no matter how old they are. The rest of the pack all put up solid points too, with barely any gaps in between their scores.

Best Narrative

And the winner is…

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (45 points)

Octopath Traveler II (25 points)
Sea of Stars (16 points)

Not quite:
Super Mario RPG (15 points)
OXENFREE II: Lost Signals (3 points) (tie)
The Case of the Golden Idol (3 points) (tie)

Tears of the Kingdom takes it again, sweeping the visual, audio and narrative awards. A trio of RPGs, a horror game and a point and clicker fill out the rest of the awards.

Switch eShop Most Wanted

And the winner is…

Hades II (29 points)

Hollow Knight: Silksong (27 points)
Penny's Big Breakaway (24 points)

Not quite:
World of Goo 2 (22 points)
Metal Slug Tactics (18 points)
Pepper Grinder (7 points)

Hades II takes it! For the first time since 2018, something other than Hollow Knight: Silksong or Metal Slug Tactics wins our Switch eShop most wanted game! In fact, Metal Slug fell three spots since it won last year, are people getting sick of waiting? Either way we have some good looking games on the way!

Switch eShop GOTY

And the winner is…

F-Zero 99 (38 points)

Vampire Survivors (17 points)
Sea of Stars (14 points)

Not quite:
SteamWorld Build (11 points)
Cocoon (7 points)
Cassette Beasts (1 point)

It's not even close, nothing stood a chance against the first F-Zero game in years, not to mention the fact that it was a free download. Vampire Survivors and Sea of Stars put up an alright fight, however.

Switch Most Wanted

And the winner is…

Metroid Prime 4 (72 points)

Princess Peach: Showtime! (24 points)
Another Code: Recollection (17 points)

Not quite:
Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island (15 points)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (5 points)
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2 points)

And Metroid Prime 4 wins our most wanted game yet again. What a surprise! Maybe this game will actually release someday? Princess Peach takes a distant second and Another Code fills out the winner's circle. 2024 looks to be a slow year, is Switch 2 on the way?

Switch GOTY

And the winner is…

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (69 points)

Pikmin 4 (25 points)
Super Mario Bros. Wonder (20 points)

Not quite:
Octopath Traveler II (15 points)
Fire Emblem Engage (4 points)
Super Mario RPG (1 point)

In a win that I'm sure surprises no one, Tears of the Kingdom takes it with 69 points. Oh my! The real story here is the Pikmin 4 and Super Mario Bros. Wonder showdown, and Pikmin 4 takes that one by a small but respectable margin. Super Mario RPG manages a single point.

And that’s it for our GOTY 2023 awards. If you’re interested, you can view our GOTY results for past years here!

PS. Thanks again to the members of the Negative World, are we on the edge of a revival? Will the mobile-friendly version be finished in 2024? Stay tuned!

If you're reading this and not a member yet, get yourself signed up, ok? You can sign up right now in less than a minute. All accounts are totally free! Go for it!

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02/14/24, 02:35   Edited:  02/22/24, 09:45
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Thanks for running the Negative World 2023 TOTK awards!
Nice to see so much anticipation for Penny's Big Breakaway. It's been getting a ton of preview coverage lately, and with rumors of a Nintendo Direct this month, I've got my fingers crossed for the game to drop very soon.

nate38's top 12 games played in 2023!
(that'd be all of them)
Games released in 2023 have ***Asterisks
Nintendo system games are in Red

12. WarioWare Inc.: Mega Microgame$ -- Finished the story, played most microgames.
11. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3: eReader levels -- Feels like Super Mario Maker 0.1
10. Lunistice -- Collected all things as all characters. Pretty good simple 3D platformer.
09. ***Sonic Superstars -- Completed the full story. Disappointing that Sega finally got the physics right and still turned out an uneven game.
08. Escape Academy -- Finished the game. Fun little escape room collection.
07. ***Hi-Fi Rush -- Finished the game on Normal. Didn’t quite jam with it as much as I wanted to, but it’s pretty solid.
06. ***F-Zero 99 -- Played for about ten hours. Came close to a few wins, but never got one. Fun and unexpected update to a classic.
05. ***Marble It Up! Ultra -- Got all treasure boxes and diamond medals. Good update to a great game.
04. ***Gimmick! Special Edition -- Got all achievements on Serious Mode. Did a few speedruns (Normal End 17:20.06, True End 28:04.53). Excellent repackaging of a rare cult classic.
03. Towerfall -- Finished all Dark World and Quest levels on Legendary. Got all Diamond times in Trials. Played some co-op with friends. Very fun, solo or multiplayer.
02. ***Super Mario Bros. Wonder -- Acquired all badges, mostly singleplayer but some multiplayer. Polished and dynamic new 2D Mario game.
01. ***The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom -- Finished the story, all shrines and lightroots, most sidequests, 250 hours in all. Unexpected and fun new direction for Zelda after BOTW.

Posted by 
 on: 02/14/24, 05:09
Thanks for putting all this together, Zero!

nate38 said:

08. Escape Academy -- Finished the game. Fun little escape room collection.
Ooh, nice! Were you able to try this in co-op? We played it back in 2022, it's a fun co-op romp. We managed to get through all the puzzles without running out of time, though we did have a couple of close calls!

Posted by 
 on: 02/14/24, 22:10
@Mop it up No, I played it solo. I think I only ran out of time once, in the library that was on fire. I once did an escape room with like eight people that went horribly (too many cooks!), and I wonder if that probable outlier of an experience soured me on co-op escape rooms in general, haha.

Posted by 
 on: 02/14/24, 23:58
Hmm, I wonder what my top games I played this year would be? Something like this? The order near the top is a bit arbitary but 1-7 or so are fairly accurate.

12. Unravel
11. F-Zero 99
10. Control
9. 13 Sentinels
8. Picross S9
7. Yakuza 0
6. Kirby and the Forgotten Land
5. Divinity Original Sin 2
4. Pikmin 4
3. Super Mario Wonder
2. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
1. Resident Evil 4 Remake

Posted by 
 on: 02/15/24, 02:01

Nice to see Picross in there!! I'm finishing up S6 now.

I just heard that a new crossover between the Story of Seasons people and the Piczle people is releasing at the end of the month. I look forward to it.


For my Top Ten of 2023, people can find the details here.

I hope people will read my post, but here's the shorthand.

10.) Sea of Stars
9.) SteamWorld Build
8.) Oxenfree II: Lost Signals
7.) Stray
6.) Metroid Prime Remastered
5.) Octopath Traveler II
4.) A Plague Tale: Requiem
3.) Super Mario Bros. Wonder
2.) Pikmin 4
1.) The Legend of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

Honorable Mentions:
Picross S5
Super Mario RPG

Posted by 
 on: 02/15/24, 02:55   Edited:  02/15/24, 03:04
@Zero How did you like Control? And did you play it on the Switch cloud version or whatever?

@DrFinkelstein Haha, I had the same experience as you when I first went into the Depths, totally forgot I could just warp out of there for a good hour or so.

Posted by 
 on: 02/15/24, 04:41
@nate38 Nah I'm playing Control on my PS5. I haven't finished it yet but I'm probably like 2/3 done?

It's... alright? I think I was just expecting more. It puts you in this super weird world and then it's kind of just a fairly basic shooter most of the time. Even when you eventually get powers like being able to fly I don't feel like they really work into the battle system all that well. And part of why I decided to check it out is that people compared it's non-linear progression to Metroid Prime but it feels way more simplistic to me (with a much worse map.) For the most part it always directs you exactly where to go and a lot of the "non-linear" stuff is just side quests or doors you can't open yet, often just controlled with like, having the right level key card.

I know that sounds like a lot of complaining but I still find it to be pretty solid. I just think it needed more to boost it to the next level.

Posted by 
 on: 02/15/24, 05:27
@Zero Yeah I felt largely the same playing it. It got a ton of GOTY cred that year, and it's a solid game but I didn't really understand the hype.

Posted by 
 on: 02/15/24, 15:55
Zero said:
1. Resident Evil 4 Remake

Posted by 
 on: 02/19/24, 21:55   Edited:  03/24/24, 21:25
@DrFinkelstein I won't go into too many details here but I've been having some health issues and Picross S9 was definitely the right game to just get lost in for 20 minutes at a time without feeling like I needed to commit to anything. I never intended it to be a game I'd "finish" but at this point I'm probably more than halfway done with it.

Posted by 
 on: 02/19/24, 22:51   Edited:  02/19/24, 22:52
@nate38 Ha ha, yeah, escape rooms can get pretty nutty in a group if everyone has their own ideas on how to solve stuff! The game is just 2-player co-op though which is a lot more manageable. The library is one where we cut it really close, I think we finished with 4 seconds left.

@Zero I had a similar experience with Control and agree with your points, it's a good game but the hype had me expecting something great. There wasn't as much exploration as it sounded like there would be. It felt like the story ultimately didn't go anywhere, though it's possible that some of its psychological themes went over my head. The combat is fun, albeit not much I didn't already experience in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers.

Posted by 
 on: 02/21/24, 02:33
Mop it up said:
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers.

An under appreciated game, IMO.

Posted by 
 on: 02/21/24, 04:30
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