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2023 was a year of massive highs and harrowing lows for video games. While you could say that the influx of high-profile and well-polished titles made 2023 the best year ever, the industry also suffered a tremendous blow thanks to numerous and wide-scale layoffs. There were many mixed emotions and the effects of this year won’t be felt until 2025, possibly.

At the same time, Nintendo managed to crank out not only a brand-new Mario title that was excellent but also a sequel to Breath of the Wild in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. If you had any doubt that Link’s newest adventure would be our GOTY for 2023, then we have a bridge in Hyrule to sell you.



Many consider Breath of the Wild to be a modern Nintendo masterpiece and it’s hard to truly debate that. Others had some issues with weapon degradation and survival elements, etc. Still, the title managed to become the best-selling entry in the Zelda series and was the first game released in the same year as a Mario game that outsold Nintendo’s plumber. Expectations and hype were through the roof for Tears of the Kingdom.

How did Nintendo respond?

Well, we got a tremendously polished and well-thought-out sequel that essentially improved everything the first game did. Not only that, it added so much extra that even with a few niggling issues (I will never love that weapon degradation) couldn’t take away from the sheer majesty that was exploring Hyrule. The new tools expanded the scope of gameplay immensely, the story felt more focused, and even the performance was simply better.

It might be a long time before we see another full-scale Legend of Zelda adventure from Nintendo, but with a game as good as Tears of the Kingdom, we know the wait will be worth it. Here’s to whatever Nintendo has in store for Link next.


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Written by Peter Glagowski

Peter has been a freelance gaming and film critic for over seven years. His passion for Nintendo is only matched by the size of his collection.