The Digital Fix Gaming’s Game of the Year Awards 2020 – The Winners

Life changed for all of us when the pandemic hit and the world around us shut down. There was a lot of uncertainty and a lot of worries, but through it all, we had some exceptional games. These games gave us something to focus on, a way to escape our troubles when troubles, a way to pass our spare time when all we had was spare time. It is only right that we celebrate the exceptional accomplishments in a truly unique year in gaming. The votes have been counted and we now have our winners for the best games of the year.

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who voted. We had hundreds of votes logged and we truly appreciate everyone who helped shape these awards, choosing some definitive winners and some surprisingly close calls. This was all possible thanks to you. Thank you for voting, thank you for reading, thank you for everything.

PlayStation Game of the Year

Nominees: The Last of Us: Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Demon’s Souls, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Winner: The Last of Us: Part II

The clear winner with 71.8% of all the votes, there was no other game this year that better defined what the PS4 brought to the gaming world: Unique, emotionally gripping single-player experiences.

Xbox Game of the Year

Nominees: Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Tell Me Why, Battletoads, Call of the Sea, Gears Tactics

Winner: Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Another major leader with 79.8% of the votes. While the Xbox seriously lagged behind its Sony competitor for great exclusives, Ori and the Will of the Wisps stood head and shoulders above the pack with its stunning designs, intricate and challenging gameplay, and beautifully told story.

Switch Game of the Year

Nominees: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Hades, Paper Mario: The Origami King, Filament

Winner: Hades

Hades surprisingly took the award from what we all assumed would be the clear favourite, Animal Crossing, but Hades was every bit the brilliant experience unique to Switch owners while PlayStation and Xbox owners look on with envy.

Indie Game of the Year

Nominees: Hades, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Filament, Spiritfarer, Phasmophobia

Winner: Hades

While Hades pulled off a surprise upset in the Switch Game of the Year category, it was the clear winner for Indie Game of the Year with a staggering 81.5% of the votes, obliterating some major indie phenomenons like Fall Guys and Phasmophobia.

VR/AR Game of the Year

Nominees: Half-Life: Alyx, Star Wars: Squadrons, Budget Cuts, Iron Man VR, Pixel Ripped 1995

Winner: Half-Life: Alyx

Valve’s return to the Half-Life universe won a competitive category here with 52% of the votes. Even from the outside, it was clear this title was trying to push the limits of what VR could do as a storytelling and world-building tool, much in the same way the original Half-Life games did with the FPS genre.

Action/Adventure Game of the Year

Nominees: DOOM: Eternal, Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us: Part II

Winner: The Last of Us: Part II

Naughty Dog’s violent, gruelling masterpiece came out on top of a highly competitive category here – going up against a bona fide genre classic like DOOM and some other major winners in these awards like Hades and Ori – with 48.2% of the total votes. The intensity of The Last of Us: Part II resonated with enough gamers to leave a bruise.

Racing/Sports Game of the Year

Nominees: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, Dirt 5, F1 2020, Football Manager 2021, MLB The Show 20

Winner: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2

The acclaimed remaster of the game-changing, cultural juggernaut skating games won Racing/Sports Game of the Year, proving the classic formula still works all these decades later.

Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year

Nominees: Gears Tactics, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Crusader Kings 3, Per Aspera

Winner: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Nintendo’s beloved, cutesy life sim was a major part of many gamer’s lives during the early months of this turbulent, nightmarish pandemic year. This game allowed players around the world to go outside and frolic on the grass, chase bugs, have steady jobs and pay their bills. Things that weren’t always guaranteed in real life.

This was a very, very competitive category though so clearly people were also missing shooting locusts, flying planes, murdering political rivals and colonising distant planets. Takes all sorts, I guess.

RPG Game of the Year

Nominees: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Persona 5 Royal, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition, Genshin Impact

Winner: Final Fantasy VII Remake

Remaking a genre-defining classic was a risky proposition but Square Enix produced a dense, expanded new spin on the old classic with some highly ambitious storytelling and deep, complex gaming systems. They made something iconic feel fresh and new, which is not easy. Hopefully, fans aren’t waiting forever for the next instalment in this series.

Multiplayer Game of the Year

Nominees: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Valorant, Legends of Runeterra, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Winner: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Few multiplayer games this year managed to capture the imaginations (and free-time) of so many gamers like this bonkers spin on the battle royale genre. Even after endless hours poured into this silly game, the entertainment value has not diminished. It is just flat out funny to see dozens of beans falling over, that will never change.

Best Ongoing Game

Nominees: Among Us, Fortnite, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, League of Legends, World of Warcraft

Winner: Among Us

No other game this year brought people together (or tore them apart) the way Among Us did. A game that was released in 2018 suddenly found a new lease of life in 2020 during the global lockdown, becoming a smash hit on Twitch. Among Us is a game so basic that it could run on a potato but the core hook is so compelling and entertaining that it trounced massive AAA franchise’s like Fortnite, League of Legends, and World of Warcraft in this category with 61.5% of the total votes.

Performance of the Year

Nominees: Laura Bailey (Abby, The Last of Us: Part II), Ashley Johnson (Ellie, The Last of Us: Part II), Logan Cunningham (Various, Hades), Abigail Turner (Juniper, Filament), August Aidan Black (Tyler Ronan, Tell Me Why)

Winner: Laura Bailey

A controversial character to some, Laura Bailey’s Abby is actually one of Naughty Dog’s most compelling and nuanced protagonists to date – a considerable feat for that studio – and managed to narrowly squeak ahead of fan-favourite Ashley Johnson as Ellie for the award.

Best Audio

Nominees: Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us: Part II, DOOM: Eternal, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Hades

Winner: The Last of Us: Part II

From the haunting strains of Gustavo Santaolalla to the nerve-shredding combat music from Mac Quayle, right down to the immersive ambient sound of a ruined world, every aspect of The Last of Us: Part II’s soundscape pulled the gamer into the drama. The sound of whistling has never been more terrifying.

Best Narrative/Story

Nominees: The Last of Us: Part II, Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Tell Me Why, Final Fantasy VII Remake

Winner: The Last of Us: Part II

Another decisive win for The Last of Us: Part II with 74.1% of the votes. No other story this year left as profound a mark on those who played it; a story full of shocking acts, audacious narrative risks, and profound humanity. Nothing else comes close.

Best Art Direction

Nominees: The Last of Us: Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Final Fantasy VII Remake

Winner: Hades

The beautiful level designs and dynamic characters in Hades ensured the indie hit beat some truly stunning titles. It is a testament to how good the art direction of Hades was that it could top some of the absolute best AAA games of the year.

Best Accessibility

Nominees: Watch Dogs: Legion, The Last of Us: Part II, Phasmophobia, Overcooked: All You Can Eat, Immortals: Fenyx Rising

Winner: The Last of Us: Part II

There really was no other possible winner. The Last of Us: Part II set the bar for accessibility options in gaming with a wealth of customisable settings that cover colourblind settings, text to speech translations for in-world text, options to accommodate motion sickness, visual guides to make the game easier to navigate, right down to in-depth difficulty sliders. Everything about the Last of Us 2 experience is adjustable to suit every gamer.

Best Content Creator

Nominees: Alanah Pearce, NoClip, TripleJump, BedBananas, Welyn

Winner: TripleJump

YouTube channel TripleJump were hit by the pandemic just like everyone else, being forced to work from home away from their office with sister channel Cultaholic Wrestling. Many of their flagship shows had to go on hiatus or change dramatically to suit the new normal, it was a major hit for a channel that was still trying to find its audience.

Thankfully, the TripleJump team rose to the occasion producing brilliant quality weekly content on their channel as well as frequent live streams on Twitch and YouTube. Ensuring fans around the world had some irreverent gaming entertainment during a particularly tough year is why they deservingly win Content Creator of the Year.

Game of the Year

Nominees: The Last of Us: Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, DOOM: Eternal, Filament, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Winner: The Last of Us: Part II

Winning six other categories, the most of the entire awards, The Last of Us: Part II was the clear favourite for GOTY this year with 70.5% of the total votes here. No other game resonated with gamers the way The Last of Us: Part II did, giving us an emotionally taxing and thematically rich story, and a mechanically perfect gameplay experience – truly showing Naughty Dog had evolved as developers and storytellers.

During a truly demanding year, a violent post-apocalyptic drama like this felt like a daunting prospect. It would be understandable if players rejected the game entirely but The Last of Us: Part II was a game fuelled by empathy. It asked us to make peace with our anger, accept our hurt, and try to understand each other a little more. In reality, it was the definitive game of 2020.

andrewshaw andrewshaw

Updated: Dec 31, 2020


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