Destructoid’s award for Best PS4 / PS5 Game of 2023 goes to…

Destructoid’s award for Best PS4 / PS5 Game of 2023 goes to…

It’s 2023 and my miles-long PlayStation 2 backlog is still eyeballing me, but there sure were a lot of good games on PS5 this year worth jumping on — with a few of those available on PS4, too.

Over the last few weeks, the Destructoid crew has been juggling around nominees and winners for our GOTY 2023 picks, and this year’s line-up didn’t make those conversations very cut-and-dry. On the PlayStation front, our best PS4/PS5 game nominees list could easily pass for something over a decade old; it’s very Destructoid.

Final Fantasy pops up twice, once with a proper mainline entry, FFXVI, and again as an adorable rhythm game spin-off in Theathrythm. We also saw gems like Armored Core 6 and Alan Wake 2, games I wouldn’t have put money on as getting sequels but was happily proven wrong. Octopath Traveler 2 debuted earlier this year, too, with a refined, brilliant formula. Then Marvel’s Spider-Man 2and Street Fighter 6 round things out with additions to both namesakes we’re all still rambling about.

Whatever your favorite, we could only pick one, and it’s going to the Square Enix RPG. Okay, I reckon that’s not specific enough — Destructoid’s winner for Best PS4/PS5 Game of 2023 is Final Fantasy XVI.


Final Fantasy XVI is full of departures from series norms and still faithful to weaving its namesake in through and through. As an action game, combat is more Devil May Cry than anything else, and the massive jump from turn-based systems remains one of its most divisive directions.

This one marries a lot of Final Fantasy XIV with the series’ usual single-player approach, too. FFXVI telegraphs its battles in ways XIV players should find familiar, putting heavy emphasis on timing. A successful encounter feels a little more like nailing a dance number, while older entries favor Chess. And for those of us bad at both, it’s at least worth playing for another Cid.

As one of the industry’s most formative RPG series, escaping the shadow cast by beloved creators and older Final Fantasy games remains a constant obstacle for newer entries. Regardless of feelings on some of its execution, it does that and delivers something worthy of its spot among series greats.

So here’s to you, Final Fantasy XVI. Congratulations to our other nominees as well. This year was rather hellish, but just the process of spinning up our favorite picks was a good reminder of how much creativity and talent we saw this year. As a reminder, our nominees included:

Destructoid’s Best PS4/PS5 Games of 2023:

  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Armored Core 6
  • Street Fighter 6
  • Theathrythm Final Bar Line
  • Alan Wake 2
  • Octopath Traveler 2

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