RPGamer 2023 Awards – Best Voice Acting

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2023 Best Voice Acting

First Place

Baldur's Gate III

Second Place

Final Fantasy XVI

Third Place

Like a Dragon: The Man Who Erased His Name

Surprise, sur-Minthara-flirting-prise. Baldur’s Gate III is a highly ambitious RPG, made even more ambitious by the sheer scale of voice acting contained within. With nearly two million spoken words, it would have been easy for the quality to drop off somewhere, but that wasn’t the case. Whether it was a town crier telling everyone about the latest crimes we committed or a companion finally confessing their love for us, every performance felt fitting for the world and endearing. Even with big names attached like J.K. Simmons, the companion character voice actors still stole the show.

We particularly found the more intimate moments shared with Astarion, voiced by Neil Newbon, and Karlach, voiced by Samantha Béart, to be not only compelling but genuinely endearing. What sets these performances apart from the others in our list is the sheer range of performances for every single companion character. As each goes through their respective arcs, their voices quiver, become softer as they understand more, or become more resolved as the player encourages them. This range makes them feel more alive and makes us want to get to know them better rather than treat them like disposable fodder. We’d be remiss not to mention the narrator who pulls the digital D&D experience together.



The world of Final Fantasy XVI is a harsh one, and many of its inhabitants are understandably jaded. However, despite the jadedness, the portrayals of each and every character is packed with emotion as the war-ravaged land grows increasingly chaotic. Every character has moments of wistfulness, hope, and joy that pitch with the essence of fear and anger that the world consistently provokes. As Valisthea is brought to the brink it is through the performance of every character that makes it feel real through each cadence, personality quirk, and nuance that they all bring to the world. Special credit must go to Ben Starr, making Clive an incredibly identifiable and personable protagonist with his incredibly emotional performance, as well as Ralph Ineson, who makes for arguably the most memorable Cid in the series so far.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name provides players with an insight into what Kazuma Kiryu was up to after the events of Yakuza 6 heading up to Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Similar to recent entries in the series, RGG Studio included Japanese and English voiceovers, with the Japanese voice acting remaining incredible. Kiryu’s long-time voice actor, Takaya Kuroda, leads the cast with a stellar performance. There’s one particularly touching moment near the end of the game where he brings depth and vulnerability to Kiryu that made us tear up more than once. After so many games of stoic manliness, it was surprising to hear how much emotion he could have. His performance, alongside a well-rounded supporting cast, cements Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name on our list of best voice acting.


by Andron Smith and Ryan Costa