So, The Game Awards are gaming's biggest award show and the closest thing we have to the Oscars in terms of an American-led prestige award show for video games. Geoff Keighley has done an excellent job running the show since 2014 and manages to outdo himself every time the show comes around.
Before The Game Awards started in 2014, Keighley also helped put on the Spike Game Awards on SpikeTV up until 2012 when television channels were replaced by Youtube and later Twitch. Let's look at the last 10 Game of the Year winners for The Game Awards/Spike Game Awards, ranked.
10 Dragon Age: Inquisition - 2014
Dragon Age: Inquisition, once lauded for its an interesting blend of turn-based and active combat, has become victim to the internet's revisionist history. As of 2019 many industry critics and fans look back on the 3rd entry in the Dragon Age series as a subpar game that won simply due to lack of competition.
If you simply go back and read initial impressions and reviews of the game, you'd see that it was met with positive reception and considered by some as a return to form for the series. Whether you like it or not, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a Game of the Year winner.
9 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - 2009
The Uncharted series by Naughty Dog has always released to great reviews and is beloved by the PlayStation audience, but it always seems to have the misfortune of releasing the same year as another astounding video game experience sees the light of day.
Thankfully in 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves managed to capture the Game of the Year prize at that year's Spike Game Awards, earning a piece of hardware that the franchise deserved. With the future of the franchise, a question mark post-Uncharted 4, what comes next?
8 GTA IV - 2008
In Grand Theft Auto IV players take on the role of Niko Bellic and Eastern European who's trying to find his footing in Liberty City, Rockstar's take on New York City. In 2008 this game established expectations for what fans believed realistic open-world games could be.
Outside of your annoying cousin asking if you'd like to go bowling, the game was the blueprint for what Rockstar would look to for the releases of Red Dead Redemption, GTA V, and Red Dead Redemption 2. Will GTA VI have players returning to Liberty City in the coming years?
7 Red Dead Redemption - 2010
Ever since the wide adoption of the internet, Westerns as a genre in any medium have quickly become obsolete and niche to a point of almost non-existence. Recently there's been a slight resurgence in the streaming space put nothing serious.
That's why when GTA developer Rockstar announced a Western game built with many of the core elements and experience from their Grand Theft Auto series, fans were caught by surprise. Not only did it capture the Game of the Year award in 2010, but it also had a sequel release in 2018, that passed it in every way possible.
6 Overwatch - 2016
For the longest time, it was assumed that any time Blizzard touched a new genre that their take would be polished and likely would quickly ascend to the top of said genre. When Overwatch was announced, a hero-based shooter, that took many of the ideas from multiplayer online battle arena games such as League of Legends or DOTA 2, and mixed it with high-quality first-person shooting mechanics, the world stopped.
Later that year, this well-crafted merging of genres took home Game of the Year at The Game Awards and managed to help spark a whole new genre of games.
5 Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 2011
Despite being the creator of numerous memes and jokes The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was one of the most commercially successful and well-reviewed role-playing games of the last decade. Many people lose sight of what it did for the genre in 2011, as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt set a new standard for the genre 4 years later.
It may come to every platform under the sun, but it's because the game deserves playing by anyone out there. Skyrim managed to open the world of fantasy role-playing games to a general gaming audience and video games are better for it.
4 Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild - 2017
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, once assumed to be a Nintendo Wii U title, then becoming a cross-generational release for Nintendo, delivered a breathtaking and imaginative experience for one of gaming's most storied franchises. When it was first announced that the series was tackling the open-world genre in a major way, many longtime fans were worried it would disrupt what they loved about the series.
It turned out that despite a lack of traditional dungeons, it provided players with a beautiful and freeing take on Link's cyclical destiny.
3 Telltale's The Walking Dead - 2012
Imagine winning a Game of the Year award in 2012 and seeing your company disappear less than 8 years later. That's exactly what happened to Telltale Games in the last year and it was mostly due to poor business management and planning.
Telltale's The Walking Dead introduced the world to Clementine, a young innocent girl just trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. The game focuses on Lee, an older man with a troubled past, acting as a protector of Clementine as they try and find other survivors and a way through the madness.
2 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - 2015
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was one of those special games that not only set a new industry standard for role-playing games as well as pushing its talented development studio, CD Projekt Red, into the spotlight. The Witcher 3 helped the studio gain recognition with console gamers, as the first two games were most beloved by the PC player community.
With their next title, Cyberpunk 2077 set to release on April 16, 2020 CD Projekt Red might have another Game of the Year award headed their way in the next 12-18 months if it lives up to the expectations.
1 God of War - 2018
In 2018, Sony Santa Monica, led by God of War veteran Cory Barlog managed to do the impossible. Not only did they soft-reboot one of gaming's most iconic franchise successfully, but they also fleshed out the main protagonist that had been a one-note punchline for thousands of jokes on the internet.
They turned a character who many felt was unlikable and basic into a father whose journey meant everything to you. Though Red Dead Redemption 2 and Marvel's Spider-Man gave it stiff competition, there's no surprise that 2018's God of War walked away with the Game of the Year award.