The 2019 Golden Joystick Awards have wrapped up, and as always, some of the results are a bit odd. While the awards were originally only voted on by
the British public, anyone can now vote through the online platform. After the Arcade Awards, it is the second-oldest video game award ceremony.
The categories for the awards are broad and encompass every major aspect of the video game market today. These include categories such as best visual design, best indie game, best storytelling, and ultimate game of the year.
The results are as follows:
- Best Storytelling - Days Gone
- Best Multiplayer Game - Apex Legends
- Still Playing Award - Minecraft
- Best Visual Design - Devil May Cry 5
- Best Indie Game - Outer Wilds
- Esports Game of the Year - Fortnite
- Best Audio - Resident Evil 2
- Best Game Expansion - GTA Online: Diamond Casino Update
- Best VR/AR Game - Beat Saber
- Best Gaming Hardware - Nvidia 20-Series Super Graphics Card
- Best Performer - Logan Marshall-Green
- Studio of the Year - Epic Games
- Best New Streamer/Broadcaster - Ewok
- Breakthrough Award - House House
- Mobile Game of the Year - BTS World
- Outstanding Contribution - Life is Strange
- PC Game of the Year - World of Warcraft Classic
- PlayStation Game of the Year - Days Gone
- Xbox Game of the Year - Gears 5
- Nintendo Game of the Year - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Most Wanted Game - Cyberpunk 2077
- Critics' Choice Award - Control
- Lifetime Achievement - Yu Suzuki
- Ultimate Game of the Year - Resident Evil 2
It can be fascinating to consider the results of the award ceremony in conjunction with other trends that paint a different portrait of a game’s current state. Fortnite is a perfect example here, having won Esports Game of the Year, yet the game is often cited as riddled with balance issues that make it difficult to be a serious esports contender.
From a purely competitive point of view, there are other games that perhaps are more objectively worthy of being labelled the best esports game of the year, however the Golden Joystick Awards are purely based on a popular vote, and so the result is more a reflection of a game’s popularity instead of objective qualifiers.
The only big surprise at the awards ceremony was that the award for PC Game of the Year went to World of Warcraft Classic. Again, this is a good sign of what is currently popular, but to argue that a game released in 2004 deserves the game of the year award in 2019 for what is best described as nostalgia is simply ridiculous.
However, the rest of the chosen games all do have outstanding qualities associated with the category in which they are nominated, and nothing else feels out of place. The full awards ceremony is available for viewing below, and it is great to see the ongoing celebration of the year’s best, or rather, most popular games.
Resident Evil 2 picked up two awards this year, both for Ultimate Game of the Year and for Best Audio. This came as little surprise as a remake of the 1998 game, which itself won game of the year in virtually every gaming magazine or award ceremony at the time, tying only with Metal Gear Solid with the second release of the dual-shock version. Resident Evil 2 has provided a new gold standard for the notion of remaking a game, keeping all the core concepts of the original intact for older players while also adapting gameplay mechanics for a contemporary audience.
Love it or hate it, the Golden Joystick Awards are always an interesting source to discuss what truly makes a game worthy of an award, and how critical and commercial reception may differ with that of popular opinion.