Once again, it’s time for Geoff Keighley to bestow his blessings on the best games of the year before retreating to Valhalla to feast and slumber. To celebrate the occasion, Steam is currently offering discounts on a selection of winners from the past nine years of The Game Awards.
This is a fantastic opportunity to supplement your library with some of the biggest releases of 2023, like Diablo 4 and Starfield, but you can also find discounts on essential titles that you may have missed like Valiant Hearts, Her Story, or Celeste. While this promotion is highlighting dozens of titles on Steam, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites that are currently discounted, along with their nominations for this year’s Game Awards.
This Year’s Nominees
Cocoon is the latest title from a studio founded by Jeppe Carlsen, the person responsible for the unsettling narrative platformers Limbo and Inside. This psychedelic odyssey is a personal favorite amongst much of the Polygon staff and has been nominated for the best independent game of 2023.
Striking puzzle platformer Viewfinder has been nominated for the best indie debut by the developers at Sad Owl Studios. A clever title based around the use of perspective, Viewfinder feels similar to Portal, except you’re given an instant camera instead of a Portal gun.
The latest open-world title from Bethesda, Starfield, is an expansive opera that’s currently nominated for this year’s best RPG. This title offers players a wealth of options to customize their experience from modifying their backstory, appearance, ships, and more.
Nominated for best action, art direction, and innovations in accessibility, the hyper-stylized rhythm-based action game Hi-Fi Rush is a witty and wild game that features an excellent original soundtrack in addition to licensed songs from Nine Inch Nails, The Flaming Lips, and The Prodigy (to name a few).
Diablo 4, the long-awaited action RPG sequel returns to the darker roots of the series and has quickly become the live-service game of choice for many, earning it a nomination for best multiplayer this year. However, Diablo 4 is also eligible for an award for innovation in accessibility, as it includes a variety of tunable assistance options for dexterity, vision, and text.
Cyberpunk 2077 — and specifically, the Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion in 2023 — has risen from the ashes of a disastrous launch to become one of the great comeback stories of the gaming industry. CD Projekt Red has leveled a monumental level of dedication to live up to the expectations of its community, earning it nominations for best ongoing game and community support in 2023.
Mortal Kombat 1
Mortal Kombat 1 is attempting to earn the title of Best Fighting Game this year, but has also been nominated for innovations in accessibility thanks to its robust suite of features like screen readers, colorblind modes, remappable controls, and more.
Dead Space (2023)
The 2023 Dead Space remaster offered a streamlined and modernized take on this now-classic survival horror title. The original was already a phenomenal achievement in sound design, but this direction paired with modernized fidelity has earned the Dead Space remaster a nomination for Best Audio Design.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2, a game that includes cars like the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, monster trucks, and other audacious die-cast automotives is going toe-to-toe with the likes of Forza Motorsport and The Crew Motorfest for the Best Racing Game of 2023.
Previous years’ winners
Stray, the clever cat-centric title from developer BlueTwelve Studios, earned the award for Best Indie Game in 2022 thanks to its clever blend of puzzle platforming and a world that genuinely sparks curiosity, feline-based or otherwise.
No Man’s Sky
Following a rocky start, No Man’s Sky developed into an amazing interstellar open-world game thanks to Hello Games’ commitment to delivering on its original promise, earning the game an award for best ongoing game in 2020. No Man’s Sky has continued to receive regular narrative and content updates, and it’s still worth checking out, even seven years later.
Tight controls paired with challenging and unpredictable gameplay have shaped Dead Cells into one of the best action games of 2018 and beyond. While this title has received several excellent DLC releases, Dead Cells has also been the recipient of regular content, balance, and quality-of-life updates, keeping the roguelike relevant into 2023.
Drawing from influential titles like Super Meat Boy, Celeste is a brutal platformer that's an exercise of introspection and patience in the face of anxiety. A superb art style supplemented by Lena Raine’s score won Celeste the award for Best Independent Game in 2018.
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
Bethesda followed its reimagining of the Wolfenstein franchise with a sequel that hit harder with its gunplay and narrative beats with Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, landing it the award for Best Action Game of 2017.
The FMV deduction game Her Story earned awards for Best Narrative and Best Performance in 2015. Anchored by stellar performances by actress Viva Seifert, Her Story puts the player to task on rummaging through dated video interviews to piece together events that have left investigators stumped.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
The winner of Best Narrative in 2014, Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a heavily stylized platformer and puzzle game that follows a series of characters through key events of the first World War. Published in partnership with Apocalypse: World War One, a French documentary commemorating the centennial of the conflict, Valiant Hearts is a thoughtful and poignant approach to learning more about this war.