Plenty of great games have been released this year and the yearly bout of nominations and award winnings are also underway, with the Golden Joystick Awards concluding a few days ago hailing the biggest videogame titles.
The event is one of the oldest running in the industry and is considered by many to be a prime entity to judge what in the industry’s eyes are the best titles of the year based upon numerous aspects such as developmental direction, polish, innovation, sheer dedication and more. Troy Baker was the host after a Live event for the Awards name ever since 2019. With a small music opening, the time came to start announcing the winners.
The nominees for Best Storytelling at The Golden Joystick Awards were Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo, Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, Cosmic Wheel: Sisterhood and Baldur’s Gate 3. Each year as technology advances, the ability to show and experience deeper and more intricate stories is also raised, with many developers showcasing their storytelling prowess through videogames. Being one of the most essential elements, the story of any game is immensely important to players as it directly affects every other quality or aspect of the game.
The winner of Best Storytelling went to Baldur’s Gate 3. Larian Studios did a phenomenal job making the plot flesh out and different with every choosable option, and every single plotline felt polished, depthful and intricate. Congratulations to Larian Studios.
The next award comes for the games that have been out for a while and are still being actively played even now. Many games come with such quality and content that players get hooked and do not lose that sense of magic they get when they play it for the first time. The nominees for this award were Genshin Impact, Naraka Bladepoint, No Man’s Sky, The Sims 4, GTA Online, Fortnite, Warframe, Valorant, Counterstrike 2, Apex Legends, DOTA 2 and Call of Duty, many old titles available in various platforms.
The winner of the Still Playing Award at The Golden Joystick Awards is No Man’s Sky. A beloved title that was polished and refreshed over and over with direct responses to the players who played the game, the game still has many regular players going back and exploring the vast space. Hello Games came to collect their award. They have some pleasant words to say and say they’ve been dedicating themselves to the game for 7 years now, and still not looking for ways to improve and make it better. No Man’s Sky fans can enjoy the moment.
Best Visual Design:
The moment when the screen completely takes people into another world, where the visual beauty of everything in a game completely takes over every other aspect, this next award is for the Best Visual Design that goes to the game with the best look, but more importantly to the developer team that made it so. The nominees for The Golden Joystick Awards were Lies of P, Street Fighter 6, Hi-Fi Rush, Starfield, Viewfinder and Baldur’s Gate 3. Better graphics and better technology give the tools to developers to make completely jaw-dropping visuals.
The winner of the Best Visual Design Award is Baldur’s Gate 3. The game takes its second award at the Golden Joysticks Awards this year, a big achievement. Larian Studios once again make their way to collect their second trophy and give humble words to those who voted for their game for best story and the best look for this year.
Next comes not another award ceremony but a brand new trailer for the upcoming videogame Resistor. It takes 2 minutes to conclude and the next ceremony begins.
Studio of the Year:
This award goes to the best developer studio that proved they did the best work in the gaming industry. The Golden Joystick Awards had EDGE present the Studio of the Year Award and the nominees were Larian Studios, Digital Eclipse, Nintendo EPD, Mimimi Games, Remedy Entertainment and CD Projekt Red. Many great games made by great studios this year.
The award of Studio of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards this year goes to Larian Studios. Baldur’s Gate 3 was a sleeper hit, and one of the best games this year. Larian Studios put all they had to perfect every aspect of the game and Baldur’s Gate 3 truly gives a sense of completion and polish. Three awards now for Larian Studios and their game.
Best Game Expansion:
The next award hails the best new update that is so massive that it cannot just be considered an update or a DLC, but a whole expansion as it complements everything about a game and improves further. The nominees for Best Game Expansion were Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania, PowerWash Simulator DLC, The Case of the Golden Idol Mysteries, The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom, A Little To The Left: Cupboards&Drowers and lastly Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
The winner is Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty by CD Projekt Red. It is a true achievement for the company and the game, especially considering the past 2 years since the game’s controversial release. CD Projekt Red did not falter and dedicated to improving the game for two whole years before adding an expansion. It has paid off as the game now feels like a completely different experience than what it was when it was released, and the newest expansion comes with a great new story with some great new changes and mechanics. The award spells success for the company which now feels redeemed in the eyes of players worldwide that support CD Projekt Red through thick and thin.
Best VR Game:
The next game comes for VR where the immersive experience takes all senses. Although considered a niche, VR is still popular amongst certain gaming communities and deserves recognition for the dedication of companies to making great VR games. The nominees for Best VR Game at The Golden Joystick Awards were C-smash VRS, Horizon: Call of the Mountain, Synapse, Vertigo 2, F1 23 and The Light Brigade.
The Best VR Game award goes to Horizon: Call of the Mountain. A great achievement by Firesprite who seemingly got denied many awards for their main Horizon Games although many players are big fans and consider both titles great games. Hence this would be a pleasant win for Horizon fans along with the developers.
Best Indie Game:
The next award goes to the independent studio that has made the best game for this year. It is a fairly doable job to get a great game up and running if you have enough funds, space and support, but for Independent studios, the job is fairly hard as they themselves have to manage everything with smaller finances and smaller development teams. The nominees for Best Indie Game were Dave the Diver, a controversial one considering the studio is correlated with a very successful and big company name, yet a worthy contender, Pizza Tower, Cocoon, Sea of Stars, Dredge and Viewfinder.
The winner is Sea of Stars. Sabotage Studio take home the Best Indie Game trophy.
Best Multiplayer Game:
This award goes to the best multiplayer title which brings players together for good or worse. The nominees were Remnant II, Exoprimal, Diablo IV, Street Fighter 6, Mortal Kombat 1 and We Were Here Expeditions: The Friendship.
Mortal Kombat 1 wins it. What better way to get people together than from absolute brutal face-to-face combat? Netherrealm Studios take home the trophy.
A small break follows up for a World Premiere debuting Our Life on Water, an interesting-looking title coming to Steam next year.
Music and sounds are one of the primary senses for players and no game would feel complete without truly breathtaking audio. The nominees for this award were Bombrush Cyberfunk, Final Fantasy XVI, Hi-Fi Rush, Starfield, Stray Gods The Roleplaying Musical and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Final Fantasy XVI takes the trophy home. Square Enix proves they still have what it takes to make a great game with great music and audio.
Best Game Trailer:
Trailers showcase what games have, not considering complete cinematics so the actual content of the game matters here as well. The nominees for the Best Game Trailer at The Golden Joystick Awards were the following:
- Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Libtery Official Cinematic Trailer.
- Alan Wake 2 The Dark Place Trailer.
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Official Trailer 3.
- Baby Steps Reveal Trailer.
- Mortal Kombat 1 It’s In Our Blood Trailer.
- Dave the Diver Accolades Trailer.
The winner is Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Libtery Official Cinematic Trailer. The trailer shows an essential plot that drives the expansion Phantom Liberty to its conclusion and hence gets an award for its look into the latest Cyberpunk expansion. CD Projekt Red took home another award for their Cyberpunk 2077 Expansion.
Streamers’ Choice Award:
This is an award for the game that popular streamers have chosen as the best game that they streamed this year. The names of streamers who voted include JackieGoe, Johroys, Pynappel, Kayworldley, Somarcus and more.
The game chosen by streamers as the best game to stream is Valorant. Riot Games takes the trophy.
Best Game Community:
Games bring people together and make communities. Such communities are what drive the feel of the game whether it’s truly positive and welcoming or whether it’s something that’s not very suitable for all audiences to join. The games whose communities were nominated for this award were Baldur’s Gate 3, Deep Rock Galactic, Dreams, Final Fantasy XIV, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Warframe.
The Baldur’s Gate 3 community gave Larian Studios another win for their newest title. The 4th trophy for Baldur’s Gate 3 at The Golden Joystick Awards.
Best Gaming Hardware:
Nominees for Best Gaming Hardware for 2023 were Playstation VR 2, Turtle Beach Stealth Pro Headset, Alienware Curved QO Oled Gaming Monitor, Nitro Deck, Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 and Samsung 990 Pro.
PlayStation VR 2 wins Best Gaming Hardware for 2023’s Golden Joystick Awards.
Another World Premiere showcases Robots at Midnight afterwards.
The next award comes for the game that truly made a big impact this year and made some outstanding noise. The choice goes to Cocoon which truly stood out with its innovative gameplay and style. Geometric Interactive take the trophy home.
This one comes from the critics that from their perspective is the best piece of code in the form of a videogame this year. The winner is Alan Wake 2. Remedy Entertainment snatched an award for the popular Alan Wake title.
Best Lead Performer:
This award goes out to the main face of this year’s games who has truly gone above and beyond to deliver a great experience to viewers and players. The nominees were the following:
- Ben Starr – Clive Rosfield, Final Fantasy XVI.
- Cameron Monaghan – Cal Kestis, Star Wars: Jedi Survivor.
- Ilkka Villi/ Matthew Porretto – Alan Wake, Alan Wake II.
- Yuri Lowenthal – Peter Parker, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
- Ellise Chappell – Kathy Johanson, Deliver us Mars.
- Melanie Liburd – Saga Anderson, Alan Wake 2.
- Nadji Jeter – Miles Morales, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Ben Starr takes the Best Lead Performer Award home for Final Fantasy XVI.
Best Supporting Performer:
Supporting Performers come as essential as main leads and hold their own through performances in video games. The nominees for Best Support Performer were the following:
- Laura Bailey – Mary Jane, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
- Neil Newbon – Astarion, Baldur’s Gate 3.
- Cissy Jones – Andreja, Starfield.
- Amelia Tyler – Narrator, Baldur’s Gate 3.
- Ralph Ineson – Cidolfus Telamon, Final Fantasy XVI.
- Patricia Summersett – Princess Zelda, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
- Idris Elba – Solomon Reed, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
The award goes to Neil Newbon. Baldur’s Gate 3 takes almost the whole show home. 5th award was secured by Larian Studios at the event.
Nintendo Game of the Year:
The console-specific award ceremony begins and first up is Nintendo. Pikmin 4, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Fire Emblem: Engage, Metroid Prime Remastered, Octopath Traveller II and Fae Farm were the Nintendo title nominees.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom wins Nintendo Game of the Year.
PC Game of the Year:
Nominees of PC Game of the Year were Baldur’s Gate 3, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, System Shock, Diablo IV, Tchio, and Dave the Diver.
Baldur’s Gate 3 once again wins and Larian Studios picks up their 6th trophy at The Golden Joystick Awards.
Xbox Game of the Year:
Starfield wins Xbox Game of the Year. Bethesda takes the trophy home for Microsoft.
PlayStation Game of the Year:
Resident Evil 4 Remake takes it home for PlayStation.
Most Wanted Game:
Nominees for the Most Wanted Game included Death Stranding 2, Star Wars Outlaws, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Tekken 8, Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, Hades II, Fable, Hollow Knight: Silk Song, Everywhere, Frostpunk 2, Ark 2, Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater, Persona 3 Reload, Bulwark: Falconeer Chronicles, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Pacific Dive, Black Myth: Wukong, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden and finally Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth wins Most Wanted Game.
And so the Golden Joystick Awards reaches its conclusion for the final award, The Ultimate Game of the Year.
Golden Joysticks Awards Ultimate Game of the Year:
For the final five games nominated for the Ultimate Game of the Year, fifth place was Final Fantasy XVI. Number four was Resident Evil 4. Number three has Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Number two had The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
First place and the winner of the Ultimate Game of the Year at The Golden Joystick Awards is Baldur’s Gate 3. Larian Studios takes home a total of 7 awards including the GOTY.
To another great year of great video games. Check out the Golden Joystick Awards’ Twitter/X for more.