The Game Awards 2021: Nominees and Winner Predictions

Games

While The Game Awards are usually pretty hard to predict (especially by awards show standards), this year’s event happens to feature an especially eclectic collection of nominees that could all just as easily walk away with the show’s top prizes.

A combination of delays and strange circumstances deprived this year’s Game Awards show of its most obvious “frontrunners,” which means that we’re all left guessing which of the year’s greatest games will end up being the biggest winners at what is quickly becoming the video game industry’s version of the Academy Awards.

Since only a fool would dare to predict which games are going to come out on top of this very strange year, here are our predictions for the winners of The Game Awards 2021’s biggest categories.

The Game Awards 2021: Game of the Year Nominees and Predictions

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Metroid Dread
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village

This is as unpredictale as a list of GOTY nominees can possibly get, but I think that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart might just survive the voting process. It’s a very good game that doesn’t do a lot to alienate players with different tastes, which might just be enough to ensure it walks away with the show’s top prize

Ad – content continues below

I also think Psychonauts 2 has a very good chance of taking this one home for the same reasons, and Deathloop could very well pull a Sekiro by upsetting a pack of more accessible titles.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Game Direction Nominees and Predictions

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Returnal
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

I’m tempted to go with Returnal here, but since it was strangely overlooked for the GOTY category, I’ll play it a bit safer by guessing that the legendary Tim Schafer walks away with this award that he and the rest of the Psychonauts 2 team very much deserve.

That said, It Takes Two could very well end up “stealing” this award by virtue of Josef Fares’ growing cult of personality (and the fact it’s a really good game).

The Game Awards 2021: Best Narrative Nominees and Predictions

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Psychonauts 2

Again, all of these top-tier award predictions are tough to make given how close the candidates are to each other in terms of viability, but I think that, much like the Game Direction award, this one either goes to It Takes Two or Psychonauts 2.

I’ll give the slight edge to It Takes Two in this particular category, but those two games could easily end up swapping those two awards (with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy being a notable dark horse contender for the Best Narrative award).

The Game Awards 2021: Best Performance Nominees and Predictions

  • Erika Mori (Alex Chen/Life is Strange: True Colors)
  • Giancarlo Esposito (Antón Castillo/Far Cry 6)
  • Jason Kelly (Colt Vahn/Deathloop)
  • Maggie Robertson (Alcina Dimitrescu/Resident Evil Village)
  • Ozioma Akagha (Julianna Blake/Deathloop)

I think there’s (sadly) a very good chance that Deathloop ends up missing out on a few of this show’s bigger awards, but this is one category where I feel like one of that game’s two nominees has a pretty good chance of securing a well-deserved victory.

Ad – content continues below

I’ll give the slight edge to Ozioma Akagha over Jason Kelly for the sake of making predictions, but unless Giancarlo Esposito’s popularity overcomes Far Cry 6‘s problems, I think one of the Deathloop actors takes this award home.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Multiplayer Nominees and Predictions

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Knockout City
  • It Takes Two
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • New World
  • Valheim

This is a very strange category that Halo Infinite would probably win in a landslide if it was eligible, but I’ll give the slight edge to what should be one of this year’s biggest Game Awards winners, It Takes Two. It might “only” be a co-op game, but I’d argue it’s the only essential experience in this group.

Back 4 Blood or Valheim could end up “stealing” this award, but this is just an odd collection of nominees.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Ongoing Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Apex Legends
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • Genshin Impact
  • Fortnite

None of the games in this category enjoyed a bigger year than Final Fantasy 14.

In 2021, FF 14 took the MMORPG crown from World of Warcraft (at least spiritually) and continued to make good on its developers’ promise of delivering an incredible, fan-driven MMO experience. The early buzz around the upcoming Endwalker expansion is also quite good.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Art Direction Nominees and Predictions

  • Deathloop
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • The Artful Escape

It’s tempting to go with one of the “bigger” names in this category, but I truly think that The Artful Escape is one of those slight outsiders that may very well end up upsetting its more popular competition.

Ad – content continues below

The Artful Escape isn’t just one of the most underrated games of 2021; it’s a visually stunning adventure that will leave you wondering how anyone possibly came up with any of it.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Score & Music Nominees and Predictions

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Deathloop
  • Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Artful Escape

You know, Cyberpunk 2077 actually has a pretty good chance of winning this category, but since the controversy surrounding that game hasn’t really cooled yet, I’ll guess that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy gets a deserved win here.

That game’s soundtrack is incredible on its own, but it’s the way it enhances the gameplay that makes it such an irreplaceable part of the experience.

Read more

The Game Awards 2021: Best Audio Design Nominees and Predictions

  • Deathloop
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Returnal

Despite the fact that Returnal was ignored elsewhere (or perhaps because of it), I think that one of 2021’s absolute best games ends up securing this historically tough-to-predict technical award.

While good audio design can mean different things to different critics, Returnal‘s complex blend of audio concepts could elevate it over some considerable competition.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Independent Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Death’s Door
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Inscryption
  • Loop Hero
  • Twelve Minutes

I’m genuinely not sure how this stacked category is going to play out, but Loop Hero certainly stands out to me as the one nominee that would be the toughest to argue against. It’s a brilliant game that people have been passionately discussing since it was released earlier this year.

Ad – content continues below

Having said that, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is definitely a strong contender in this category.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Action Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Chivalry II
  • Deathloop
  • Far Cry 6
  • Returnal

This is most likely a battle between Deathloop and Returnal, and the only reason I’m giving Deathloop the nod is that “figuring out” the action is just such a larger part of that game’s experience.

I’d be genuinely stunned if any of the other candidates won this award, but I suppose Back 4 Blood would be the leading outsider in this particular category.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Action/Adventure Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Metroid Dread
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Psychonauts 2

The Action/Adventure category is typically either used to set up the eventual game of the year winner or to award another game that will just miss out on the show’s biggest prize.

I think that the latter scenario happens this year. Resident Evil Village could absolutely end up winning GOTY, but it definitely has a good chance of taking home the Action/Adventure prize.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Role-Playing Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Shin Megami Tensei V
  • Tales of Arise

I can’t imagine that Cyberpunk 2077 has any chance of winning this award, so that leaves us with a three-way battle between Scarlet Nexus, Monster Hunter Rise, and Tales of Arise.

Ad – content continues below

That being the case, I’m going with my personal preference by suggesting that Tales of Arise ends up surviving what could be the show’s most unpredictable and chaotic genre category.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Fighting Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles
  • Guilty Gear -Strive-
  • Melty Blood: Type Lumina
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
  • Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown

This isn’t the most stacked fighting game category we’ve seen in recent years, but there are some genuinely good dark horse candidates among the nominees.

That said, this feels like Guilty Gear‘s category to lose. It’s certainly the best of the more notable nominees, so I think its name value helps elevate it over the closest competition.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Family Game Nominees and Predictions

  • It Takes Two
  • Mario Party Superstars
  • New Pokémon Snap
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
  • Warioware: Get It Together!

While I will admit that I think It Takes Two is a bit of an odd choice for this particular category (it’s pretty complicated and goes to some dark places), it does feel like the “best” overall game among these nominees.

If the voters go with something a little more family-friendly, then Mario Party Superstars or New Pokémon Snap could very well grab a win here.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Sim/Strategy Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Age of Empires IV
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination
  • Humankind
  • Inscryption
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator

This is another case where I have a few questions about Microsoft Flight Simulator‘s placement in this particular category (it was originally released for PC last year) but ultimately think that it might be the most popular and best all-around nominee.

Ad – content continues below

Age of Empires IV and Evil Genius 2: World Domination are the other interesting candidates in this category, and while I think the latter game is better, the former probably grabs the win if it doesn’t go to Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The Game Awards 2021: Best Sports/Racing Game Nominees and Predictions

  • F1 2021
  • FIFA 2022
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Riders Republic

Forza Horizon 5 may have been denied the GOTY nomination that it deserved, but there’s really no way that it loses this particular category.

Seriously, I’d give every other nominee in this category a combined 0.001% chance of beating Forza Horizon 5 (and some of them are actually quite good).

The Game Awards 2021: Most Anticipated Game Nominees and Predictions

  • Elden Ring
  • God of War Ragnarok
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • The Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Starfield

I think that this is really a race between Elden Ring, Breath of the Wild, and God of War. While the latter two games are absolutely strong candidates in their own right, Elden Ring is so closely tied to The Game Awards at this point that I wouldn’t dare deny its chances.

If Elden Ring is too close to release to get the win, then I think God of War Ragnarok ends up taking this one home.

Ad – content continues below

Articles You May Like

Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 18 Review: Sneak Attack
Peacemaker | Vigilante Teaser | HBO Max
Fringe: Best Episode Watch Order for Beginners and Binge-Watching Guide
Michael Cassutt guests on ZNation Season 5 Episode 1 Review & After Show
Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 3 Review: The Streets of Mos Espa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *