Game of the Year: Best PS5, PS4 Story Game of 2023

Our Game of the Year coverage continues with the Best PS5, PS4 Story Game of 2023, of which a top four has been put together by the Push Square editorial team. This category highlights the best adventures you can venture on from a narrative perspective on PS5 and PS4. With an intriguing main plot, wonderful characters, and fun distractions of the core path, they’ll keep you engaged with their story no matter how long it takes to roll credits.

Bronze Trophy: Final Fantasy XVI

Game of the Year: Best PS5, PS4 Story Game of 2023 2

The story of Final Fantasy XVI comes in fits and starts, to the point where you can go from slaying one of the world’s biggest bosses to picking flowers for a non-descript side character in the space of five minutes. It most certainly has its highs and lows, but boy is it high when it reaches those peaks. That’s what sees the story of Clive and company make it on this list; a main character all up in his feelings that wants to rid the world of evil. The cutscenes too are consistently incredible with ludicrous production values, elevating the narrative above its usual standard.

Silver Trophy: Alan Wake 2

Game of the Year: Best PS5, PS4 Story Game of 2023 3

There’s the traditional way of telling a video game story with cutscenes and character dialogue, and then there’s what Remedy gets up to. The Finnish developer takes those two core elements and goes to town with them, using more fascinating ways to tell an interactive narrative like FMV and musicals within Alan Wake 2. Introducing Saga Anderson as a co-lead character alongside the famous writer, the two plots can be approached independently of one another, allowing you to see what Alan’s up to in the Dark Place and then switch to Saga in the “real world”. It’s a plot that’s gripping throughout, and with its inventive ways, goes down as one of the most unique takes on how to tell a story in games.

Gold Trophy: Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

Game of the Year: Best PS5, PS4 Story Game of 2023 4

The Yakuza / Like a Dragon series has been focusing on newcomer Ichiban Kasuga for a little while now, so as veteran protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is set to return in 2024’s Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, what’s he been up to in the time since The Song of Life? You’ll find your answer in Like a Dragon Gaiden, a sort of side game designed to fill in the blanks. Let that optional nature take nothing away from what is an essential and emotional story for franchise fans, though.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll remain gripped through a roughly 12-hour narrative that documents the highs and lows of Kiryu’s retreat into hiding as his own death is faked. One that’ll seriously pluck on your heartstrings, it all comes together for a final chapter that won’t leave a dry eye in the building. This is why the Yakuza / Like a Dragon series really is one of the best.

Platinum Trophy: Baldur’s Gate 3

Game of the Year: Best PS5, PS4 Story Game of 2023 5

The main objective of Baldur’s Gate 3 is actually a very simple one: remove the parasite a Mind Flayer placed inside your head at the start of the game. Otherwise, you’ll turn into one. This goal is just the very tip of quite possibly the biggest iceberg in all of gaming, though, as the RPG out of Larian Studios bundles in 100+ hours of exceptional storytelling that puts most of the genre to shame. The adventure finally fulfils the promise of an experience that actually reacts to your decisions and changes the narrative accordingly, with so many branches you can take and so many endings you can conclude your story with. Perfect for repeat playthroughs as there’s just so much to see and do, Baldur’s Gate 3 tells the best story of all: your own.