The Game Awards is an annual ceremony that celebrates and honors the achievements done within the video game industry. It’s a time where both gamers and game developers come together to give awards, make announcements, and remember everything that happened in the industry that year.
A few weeks before the ceremony, video game nominees for each category are revealed. There are multiple categories, like “Best Multiplayer Game,” “Best Indie Game,” and “Best Art Direction.” However, the most pristine award is “Game of the Year.” The choosing of winners is done by voting. While 90% of voting is done within a voting jury, 10% of votes are taken from the public.
After weeks of anticipation, on December 10th, 2020, the winners of each category are shown off. This ceremony took place a little differently than in previous years; normally, the ceremony would take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angles, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it took place via a virtual live-stream.
This article will showcase the winners of each category, a brief description of that game, and also mention the other contenders for that category that didn’t win. Here are 2020’s video game winners:
The Last of Us: Part II
Categories: Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Audio Design, Innovation in Accessibility, Best Action/Adventure
Publisher: Naughty Dog/SIE
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Description: You play as two characters that have to survive in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie, who seeks revenge after suffering a tragedy and Abby, a soldier who has a connection with a cult. In this third person, action adventure game, these two characters must survive the former U.S. against mutated monsters and corrupted humans. This game takes place five years after the events in The Last of Us (2013). This game is rated Mature for players who are 17 or older.
Ghost of Tsushima
Categories: Best Art Direction
Publisher: Sucker Punch Productions/SIE
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Description: You follow Jin Sakai, who is a samurai on an important quest to protect the lands of Tsushima Island during the Mongol invasions in Japan. Explore this visually impressive open world and do combat against intimidating foes. This game is rated Mature for player who are 17 or older.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Categories: Best Score and Music, Best Role Playing
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Description: This is a remake of the beloved and iconic PlayStation classic, Final Fantasy VII (1997). It is set in a dystopian metropolis called Midgar. You play as Cloud Strife, who joins an eco-terrorist group that tries to stop the mega corporation, Shinra from using the planet as an energy source. Explore this unique world and battle in classic turn-based combat. This game is rated Teen for players who are 13 or older.
Tell Me Why
Categories: Games for Impact
Publisher: Dontnod Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios
Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Description: In the year 2005, you play as Tyler Ronan in the Alaskan town of Delos Crossing. Tyler confesses that he murdered his mother in self-defense and is sent to the Fireweed Juvenile Center. Ten years later, he leaves the Juvenile Center and learns things about himself that he never knew. Revisit parts of Tyler’s old home and experience memories from his past and make decisions that will impact the game’s outcome. This game is rated Mature for players that are 17 or older.
No Man’s Sky
Categories: Best Ongoing
Publisher: Hello Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, Microsoft Windows, Android
Description: In this exploration survival game, explore an open world universe and see a variety of planets with different forms of floras and faunas. See different alien species and engage in either combat or trade in the planetary systems. This game is rated Teen for players who are 13 or older.
Categories: Best Indie, Best Action
Publisher: Super Giant Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
Description: You play as Zagreus, who is the son of the Greek God of the Underworld, Hades. Zagreus attempts to escape the Underworld in order to reach Mount Olympus. Many Olympians bestows gifts to Zagreus to aid him in his journey. The player must go through a random series of rooms that are filled with enemies. Use weapons, dash powers, and magic to hack and slash your way past the monsters of the Underworld. This game is rate Teen for players 13 years or older.
Categories: Best Mobile Game, Best Multiplayer
Publisher: InnerSloth LLC
Platforms: iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows
Description: You are set in a space-themed setting and the player will be assigned to two roles. A Crewmate and an Imposter. The goal is for the Crewmates to identify and eliminate the Imposter. Crewmates will be completing tasks around the map to help identify the Imposter. While the Crewmates are doing that, the Imposter will attempt to sabotage the Crewmates’ progress and eliminate them first. This game is rated 10+ for players that are 10 years or older.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Categories: Best Community Support
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Android
Description: In this platformer battle royale game, 60 players, represented b jellybean shaped avatars, race through a chaotic obstacle course. Players will jump, grab, climb, and dive their way through the course to get to the end. This is considered a battle royale game as you can push and stop players around you. Last person standing wins! This game is rated E for everyone.
Categories: Best VR/AR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality)
Publisher: Valve Corporation
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Description: Taking place between the events of Half-Life (1998) and Half-Life 2 (2004), you play as Alyx Vance, who is one a mission to secure a super weapon from the alien, Combine. Being a virtual reality game, you’re able to interact with your environment and fight enemies from your point of view. Many elements from previous Half-Life games return, like physics puzzles, exploration, combat, and having a survival horror tone. This game is rated Mature for players who are 17 or older.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
Categories: Best Fighting
Publisher: Netherrealm Studios/WB Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, Microsoft Windows
Description: In this 2.5D fighting game, play as a variety of interesting characters, each with their own unique moves and attacks. During these battles, you can perform ultimate moves, like Fatalities, Brutalities, Stage Fatalities, Friendships, and Quitalities. There are also new moves like Fatal Blows and Krushing Blows. This game is rated Mature for players that are 17 or older.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Categories: Best Family
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Description: In this life-simulation game, you play as your customizable avatar who moves to a deserted island through the help of Tom Nook. Here, you are able to develop your island by creating towns, craft items, and building up a community. This game is great during the current COVID-19 pandemic as it allows you to live life and feel joy during a time where that is difficult to do in real life. This game is rated E for everyone.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Categories: Best Simulation/Strategy
Publisher: Asobo Studios/Xbox Game Studios
Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Description: This simulation game allows you to enjoy the majestic views of Earth from the sky. Thanks to it’s rendering techniques and it’s usage of Microsoft’s Azure’s AI, it is able to simulate real-world data and present them very accurately to how they are in real life. This game is the safest way to travel and explore the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. This game is rated E for Everyone.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
Categories: Best Sports/Racing
Publisher: Vicarious Visions/Activision
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Description: In the remasters of the first two games in the extremely popular Tony Hawk’s series, you are able to enjoy the fun of skateboarding from a third-person view. Do flips, grinds, and aerials and execute radical tricks to earn more points. Any skateboarder will enjoy this game! This game is rated Teen for players who are 13 or older.
Categories: Best Debut Game
Publisher: Kinetic Games
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Description: In this survival horror game, you play as a member of a group of urban ghost hunters. Your team was contacted about paranormal activities in multiple abandoned areas, like schools, prisons, and hospitals. The player will search these areas to find more information about these ghosts and will be able to contact the other members through a voice chat. Will you learn more about the after-life or will you lose our life? This game is rated Mature for players 17 or older.
League of Legends
Categories: Best Esports Game
Publisher: Riot Games
Description: In this online game, there are two teams, each with five players. Each team must defend their own bases on the map. The characters that players will play as each have unique abilities and different ways of interacting with the map. This game was released back in 2009, but it’s major presence in the E-sports competitive scene allowed it to be the best E-sports game of 2020. This game is rated Teen for players who are 13 or older.
Game of the Year Contenders: Doom Eternal, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades, Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Best Game Direction Contenders: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades, Half-Life: Alyx
Best Narrative Contenders: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades
Best Art Direction Contenders: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, The Last of Us: Part II
Best Score and Music Contenders: Doom Eternal, Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, The Last of Us: Part II
Best Audio Design Contenders: Doom Eternal, Half-Life: Alyx, Ghost of Tsushima, Resident Evil 3
Games for Impact Contenders: If Found…, Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition, Spiritfarer, Through the Darkest of Times
Best Ongoing Contenders: Apex Legends, Destiny 2, Call of Duty Warzone, Fortnite
Best Indie Contenders: Carrion, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Spelunky 2, Spiritfarer
Best Mobile Game Contenders: Call of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact, Legends of Runeterra, Pokemon Cafe Mix
Best Community Support Contenders: Apex Legends, Destiny 2, Fortnite, No Man’s Sky
Best VR/AR Contenders: Dreams, Marvel’s Iron Man VR, Star Wars: Squadrons, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
Innovation in Accessibility Contenders: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Grounded, HyperDot, Watch Dogs Legion
Best Action Contenders: Doom Eternal, Half-Life Alyx, Nioh 2, Streets of Rage 4
Best Action/Adventure Contenders: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ghost of Tsushima, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Best Role Playing Contenders: Genshin Impact, Persona 5 Royal, Wasteland 3, Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Best Fighting Contenders: Granblue Fantasy: Versus, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows, Under Night in Birth-EXE: Late[CL-R]
Best Family Contenders: Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, Minecraft Dungeons, Paper Mario: The Origami King
Best Sim/Strategy Contenders: Crusader Kings III, Desperados III, Gears Tactics, Xcom: Chimera Squad
Best Sports/Racing Contenders: Dirt 5, F1 2020, FIFA 21, NBA 2K21,
Best Multiplayer Contenders: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Valorant
Best Debut Game Contenders: Carrion, Mortal Shell, Raji: An Ancient Epic, Roki
Best Esports Game Contenders: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Valorant