Soapbox: Remakes Like 'Resident Evil 4' Deserve To Be In The GOTY Conversation

At this time of year we're all thinking about our favourite games of 2023 - and it's been a heck of a year this time around! Personally, I haven't quite nailed down my number one spot yet (I'm still playing Alan Wake 2 OK, it's been a busy year cut me some slack), but I've started to see some chatter online about what games should and shouldn't have been considered for GOTY - and it's got me thinking back to Resident Evil 4.

With the amount of 'remakes' that pop up these days it's always a touchy subject when folks start claiming them as potential GOTYs, but they should absolutely be considered - especially when they're as transformative as what Capcom has been putting out recently. To be clear, I can't commit to RE4 being my personal Game of the Year yet, but it's definitely on my shortlist and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

Our resident Las Plagas ass-kicker PJ gave Capcom's latest remake a straight 10/10 back in March, and while my thoughts aren't completely aligned, I can't blame him. The Japanese developer delivered a masterful remake of one of gaming's most iconic survival horror games this year, and that surely qualifies it as a Game of the Year candidate. Expectations were sky-high heading into RE4 Remake too and looking at the reception from both fans and critics alike, Capcom understood the assignment and then some.

Another thing that's worth pointing out here is that this isn't some sort of 'up-res' or low-effort remaster - I could see a case being made for that sort of thing not being GOTY-worthy. RE4 remake is completely rebuilt from top to bottom, featuring new gameplay mechanics, encounter design, levels, visuals, cutscenes, controls - the whole nine yards. It's a remake in the truest sense of the word and that level of endeavour isn't something to be sniffed at.

In the end, RE4 Remake may end up being an unfortunate victim of just how good 2023 has been. There's nothing wrong with that — this year has delivered some incredible games after all — we just hope Capcom's latest RE release isn't pushed aside purely because it's a remake. At least that didn't happen here at Pure Xbox, where you voted it the ninth best game of the year! It's on my current shortlist as well because it's a bloody good video game, and I can't wait to see what else Capcom does with its long-running series in the future. Right, back to Alan Wake 2 I suppose!

Is RE4 Remake on your GOTY shortlist? Tell us if you think it deserves a spot down below.