RPGamer 2023 Awards – Best Visuals

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2023 Best Visuals

First Place

Final Fantasy XVI

Second Place

World of Horror

Third Place

Octopath Traveler II

Producer Naoki Yoshida made it known the graphics of Final Fantasy XVI would make full use of the power of the PlayStation 5. He wasn’t wrong. The latest entry in the Final Fantasy series is a technical showcase on-par with some of the best-looking action games ever created. From the characters to some of the locales players visit, the game never fails to impress with a keen attention to detail and focus. It’s clear that every scar on an NPC’s face, every movement of fabric material, and piece of environment crumbling was intentional, and not just tacked on at the last moment.

Final Fantasy XVI’s real graphical flex comes from its sheer amount of spectacle. While we could discuss every single particle effect on display, there are plenty, the grandiose boss battles provide some of the most unique visuals we’ve seen to date. Without spoiling too much, one battle really impressed us where Clive is facing off against a giant enemy and has to dodge while closing the distance, scramble up its arm, and make a jumping attack with ferocity. While the gameplay aspect was more watching a movie than needing to strategize at that point, we couldn’t help but stare on to what can only be described as an anime rendered in beautiful 3D. There are plenty of other similarly high-spectacle moments during the game’s run time that left our mouths agape, which is rare for a group of RPG players who have watched thousands of hours of the weirdest fantasy stuff you can think of. So, you win Yoshi-P — Final Fantasy XVI has earned our top spot for best graphics.



When a game is named World of Horror, one would expect the visuals to fit the scary vibes. This 1-bit horror game offers many memorable looking creature designs, with blood and gore taking centre stage. While clearly drawing visual homage to manga artist Junji Ito, much of the visuals in World of Horror are not for the faint of heart. Even in black-and-white, World of Horror’s visuals are wonderfully detailed, making one’s visit to Shiokawa a memorable one.

Five years after the first Octopath Traveler captivated players with the marvels of HD-2D, Octopath Traveler II shows that the graphical style remains remarkably impressive, with no signs of players becoming fatigued by its allure. It’s hard to point to the sprites, backgrounds, foregrounds, or midgrounds leaving the most lasting impression as they’re all stunning to see individually and amazing to experience together. The visuals exude vitality, particularly when subtle movements, such as those caused by the wind or shifting light patterns, come into play. Each character boasts a unique job outfit, and the meticulous detail of each is prominently displayed through the diverse array of battle animations. Some animations, reserved for specific skills performed by a character with a particular job, offer a glimpse into the scrupulous attention given to these characters and their movements, resulting in a visually stunning experience.


by Andron Smith, Sam Wachter, and Matt Masem