The Game Awards – aka the Oscars for the videogame industry – has just wrapped up, and it featured some unexpected announcements, some huge wins for our favourite games and a first look at some already-announced titles.
While it’s been a bit of a tricky year for the gaming industry, with console manufacturers struggling against the continued chip shortage, we’ve still seen some incredible next-gen titles bounce into existence. It Takes Two had an extremely successful night, picking up the highest honour – game of the year – as well as trophies for best family game and best multiplayer game.
But it wasn’t the only title that did well. Forza Horizon 5 also had a whale of a night, winning in the categories of best sports/racing, innovation in accessibility and best audio design. And as we’ve come to expect from the Game Awards, we also got several peeks at new titles and exclusive trailers, as well as some exciting announcements from studios like Monolith and Rocksteady Games.
We were treated to a first-look teaser trailer for the upcoming Halo TV series, the announcement of Wonder Woman, and we can’t forget that long-awaited trailer for Alan Wake 2. There were also musical performances from Imagine Dragons and Sting, while Keanu Reeves showing off the Matrix Awakens experience was a particular highlight.
Want to find out who else won this year? Keep on scrolling. We’ve rounded up all the winners and where you can pick up the best games of the year below.
'It Takes Two’
- Awarded: Original property, multiplayer
- Available on: PS5, PS4, Xbox series X, Xbox series S, Xbox One, PC
It Takes Two is one of the surprise highlights of 2021, taking the top prize at the Game Awards in 2021. It’s a lovingly detailed co-op platformer designed to be played locally or online via a free “friend pass”. You control a couple who, while navigating through a difficult divorce, are transformed into a pair of tiny dolls who must set out on an adventure to return to their human form. Players take control of each partner and must combine their skills to overcome great obstacles such as talking squirrels, an astronaut baboon and their own relationship woes.
- Awarded: Best game, audio achievement, music, performer in a leading role
- Available on: PS5
As a roguelike, where levels are randomly generated, players take control of Selene as she crashes her spaceship on the planet Atropos. Every time she dies, time loops back to the point of impact and she must find a way to survive long enough and escape the planet.
The latest update, titled “Ascension” was released in March 2022 and adds online co-op and a new endless mode brilliantly named “Tower of Sisyphus” so it’s an excellent time to pick it up if you haven’t had a chance to play the game of the year.
‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy'
Awarded: Best narrative game
Available on: PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Xbox series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC
Developed by Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is an action-adventure title that is separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the game, you tear through the cosmos as Star-Lord, shooting off element blasters and taking down opponents with jet boot-powered dropkicks, tag-teaming with the rest of the Guardians to defeat some baddies.
Buy now on PC £39.52, Steampowered.com
Buy now on Nintendo Switch £44.95, Nintendo.com
Buy now on Xbox series X/S £69.99, Currys.co.uk
Buy now on PS5 £47.99, Amazon.co.uk
‘Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart'
- Awarded: Animation, technical achievement
- Available on: PS5
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart wastes no time in throwing the duo back into the fray in a dimension-hopping adventure to stop Dr Nefarious from destroying the fabric of time and space. The run-and-gun platforming action has changed very little since its first outing which is what makes Rift Apart feel so special in an age of hyper-realistic blockbusters.
With a wildly creative arsenal of new weapons and gorgeous graphics, Rift Apart is a powerful return to form and one of the Playstation 5’s best exclusive titles.
‘Forza Horizon 5'
- Awarded: Best British game
- Available on: Xbox One/Xbox series X/S, PC
Forza Horizon 5 just wants you to have a good time. From its lush jungles to arid sandstorms, this fictional depiction of Mexico plays host to the Horizon Festival, where racers all over the world come to drive cars and drive them fast. With over 550 vehicles to choose from to race across 11 unique biomes, there is plenty of driving to be had across dynamic courses that make Horizon’s world feel truly alive.
‘Resident Evil Village'
Awarded: Best performance
Available on: PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Xbox series X/S, PC
The latest entry in the long-running survival horror series, Resident Evil Village further departs from its old-school zombie heritage and continues in the vein of the immersive, first-person horror experience that made Resident Evil 7 such a huge success. “The ever-present threat of the game’s nightmarish cast of vampires, werewolves and monsters that resemble the contents of a butcher’s wheelie bin make for a claustrophobic and thrilling adventure,” our writer said in their review of the game.
Buy now on Xbox series X/S £29, Amazon.co.uk
Buy now on PC £24.99, Steampowered.com
Buy now on PS4/PS5 £39.54, Amazon.co.uk
‘Life is Strange: True Colors'
Awarded: Games for impact
Available on: PS4/PS5, Xbox One, PC
In the sequel to Life is Strange you play as Alex Chen, a character who has suppressed her ability to experience, absorb and manipulate the emotions of others. When her brother dies in a so-called accident, she finds herself having to embrace her volatile power to find the truth – and uncover the dark secrets buried by a small town.
Buy now on Nintendo Switch £49.99, Amazon.co.uk
Buy now on Xbox One £42.82, Amazon.co.uk
Buy now on PS4/PS5 £35.95, Amazon.co.uk
‘Final Fantasy XIV'
Awarded: Best on-going game, best community support
Available on: PS4/PS5, PC, Mac
Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online RPG, where you’ll team up with thousands of others to quest, conquer dungeons and take down ferocious monsters in the sprawling fantastical realm of Eorzea. Final Fantasy XIV won best on-going game and best community support. Take that, World of Warcraft.
Buy now From £7.69 per month, Finalfantasyxiv.com
‘Kena: Bridge of Spirits'
Awarded: Best indie game
Available on: PS4/PS5
Kena: Bridge of Spirits was one of the first games announced for the PS5 and is the very first game to come from studio Ember Labs. It’s a story-driven action-adventure title, where players take control of the titular Kena, a spirit guide who helps the deceased move on to the spirit world. Aside from using her staff to battle enemies, Kena can recruit creatures known as the Rot to aid her in her quest.
‘Resident Evil 4 VR'
Awarded: Best VR/AR game
Available on: Oculus Quest
Resident Evil Village wasn’t the only game to win a trophy at the Game Awards this year, Resident Evil 4 also picked up the gong for best VR/AR game. In this all-new version, you step into the shoes of special agent Leon S Kennedy on his mission to rescue the US president’s daughter who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult.
Awarded: Best action game
Available on: PS5
Although the first major PS5 exclusive divided opinion at launch, Housemarque’s sci-fi shooter has still managed to win best action game at the Game Awards. In our review of the game, our writer said that Returnal “is an obscenely difficult ‘roguelike’ (a sub-genre of RPGs in which levels are randomly generated and dying sends you right back to the very beginning of the game) with a steep learning curve that frustrates even experienced players”, but if you can get through it, “what awaits you is a stunning alien world, sharp combat mechanics and an immersive and rewarding plot”.
Awarded: Best action/adventure game
Available on: Nintendo Switch
The sequel to Metroid Fusion – which launched in 2002 for the GameBoy Advance – Metroid Dread is the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game ever made, and now it’s the best action-adventure game of the year. “It’s a masterclass of level design, a side-scrolling platformer swimming in intricate detail and featuring reaction-testing combat and the best boss fights the classic series has ever seen,” our writer said in their review of the game.
‘Tales of Arise'
Awarded: Best RPG
Available on: PS4/PS5, Xbox One, PC
The latest addition to the Tales RPGfranchise was only released two months ago and it’s already got a Game Awards trophy under its belt. Featuring an all-new battle system and a fresh cast of characters, Tales of Arise can be experienced in full HD on the PS5 and is powered by Unreal Engine 4. For 300 years, Rena has ruled over Dahna, pillaging the planet of its resources and stripping people of their freedoms. You play as Alphen and Shionne, two characters ready to change their fate.
Buy now on PC £48.74, Steampowered.com
Buy now on Xbox One £41.95, Amazon.co.uk
Buy now on PS4/PS5 £43.85, Amazon.co.uk
‘Guilty Gear Strive’
Awarded: Best fighting game
Available on: PS4/PS5, PC
Gear Strive is the latest game in the Guilty Gear series, but this one is dedicated to those who enjoy fighting games. There is a whole new cast of lively characters, but all your old favourites are here as well. Plus it also includes a story mode, featuring a soundtrack scored by Daisuke Ishiwatari to boot.
Buy now on PC £35.74, Steampowered.com
Buy now on PS4/PS5 £40.13, Amazon.co.uk
'Age of Empires IV’
Awarded: Best simulation/strategy game
Available on: PC
One of the most well-known and most-loved real-time strategy games is back with Age of Empires IV, sweeping up the best simulation/strategy game award. Age of Empires IV places you in the middle of the most important, epic, historical battles that have shaped the world. The latest addition brings onboard 4K visuals for a new generation.
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