Red Dead Redemption 2 screenshot from the PC version

After tallying up all of the votes cast during the most recent winter sale, Valve has now unveiled all of the 2023 Steam Award winners. Much like last year some of the games are truly worthy of their newfound crown, others are a curious yet reasonable choice, while a select few are completely undeserving of the throne and seem to have only gotten there thanks to a collective bout of insanity.

Before I say anything else, allow me to share with you the brief list of categories and their winners:

• Game Of The Year: Baldur's Gate 3
• VR Game Of The Year: Labyrinthine
• Labor Of Love: Red Dead Redemption 2
• Best Game on Steam Deck: Hogwarts Legacy
• Better With Friends: Lethal Company
• Outstanding Visual Style: Atomic Heart
• Most Innovative Gameplay: Starfield
• Best Game You Suck At: Sifu
• Best Soundtrack: The Last of Us Part I
• Outstanding Story-Rich Game: Baldur's Gate 3
• Sit Back And Relax: Dave the diver

To me, the two clear misses are Red Dead Redemption 2 and Starfield. Red Dead Redemption 2 has literally been abandoned by Rockstar since 2021, yet for some reason it ended up winning the award that's specifically there for developers that go above and beyond to support their games. As for Starfield, the reason is simple - it's just another Bethesda game. I don't even have particularly negative feelings towards it like many of the Steam reviews, but calling it innovative, and especially the most innovative game of 2023, is a bit of a joke.

That said, the Steam Awards are essentially a popularity contest where everyone is allowed to vote for anything regardless if they've played the game in question or if they even own the hardware, so this sort of thing is to be expected. Whether it should be structured like this, however, that's a topic for another day.

To end all of this on a positive note, it's also worth mentioning that despite some of the nonsensical results, a bunch of quality games still got another chance at the spotlight. And for an awards 'show' with no stakes or actual prizes, that's pretty much all we can really hope for!