Reaction: Looking Back, Xbox Has Had Some Strange GOTY Omissions Over The Years

Yesterday, Geoff Keighley & co. unveiled this year's Game of the Year nominees for The Game Awards 2023 - and we noted that Bethesda's brand-new IP Starfield failed to make the GOTY cut, despite being nominated for Best RPG. This GOTY omission has got folks talking (and us thinking) about Xbox's history with GOTY ceremonies - and how the team seems to miss out most years.

Of course, plenty of recent years were through Xbox's lack of major exclusives - it's no secret that much of the Xbox One generation was barren in terms of big first-party releases. However, to only have 2021's Psychonauts 2 nominated in more than a decade is a little questionable, given the quality of certain Xbox titles compared to their nominees over the years (to be clear, we're talking about the full 'Game of the Year' category here, plenty have been nominated for other awards).

Let's take a look at 2014 for example - the first year of 'The Game Awards' in its current format. Xbox launched Forza Horizon 2 and Sunset Overdrive that year - both of which could have arguably been put up for GOTY. In the end, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls 2, Hearthstone and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor were nominated - with Inquisition taking the crown. Do those two Xbox titles not deserve a spot? We think they do - and you could even throw Titanfall in there as a third-party Xbox exclusive worth nominating that year!

If you go even further back than that, to when The Game Awards was called the 'VGAs', there's another pretty big omission in our book. Gears of War 3 is one of the best games of the Xbox 360 generation for us - an absolute masterclass across all of its mechanics and modes, and the culmination of an amazing trilogy of games. Admittedly, it had some pretty stiff competition in 2011 from Skyrim, Portal 2 and Zelda: Skyward Sword - but we're struggling to see why Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3 deserved a spot above it, to be honest.

Reaction: Looking Back, Xbox Has Had Some Strange GOTY Omissions Over The Years
Image: Gears of War 3, Microsoft

These aren't the only GOTY shouts either - fans have frequently brought up the likes of Ori and the Will of the Wisps and various other Forza Horizon games as worthwhile nominees; but they've just never made the cut. Aside from the aforementioned Psychonauts 2, Xbox's last GOTY nomination was Halo: Reach way back in 2010!

Look, we're not saying that these other nominations and winners don't deserve their places — far from it — we just think there've been quite a few Xbox-shaped gaps over the years that deserved more of a GOTY shout. Anyway, we're hoping that with Xbox's long list of acquisitions in recent years we'll start to see some of the team's big releases make it onto these TGA GOTY lists. And in the meantime, we'll stay salty that the likes of Gears 3, Sunset Overdrive and Starfield weren't up for GOTY consideration.

Are we going crazy here, or should Xbox have had more GOTY nominees over the years? Go ahead and discuss down in the comments section!