It’s been another great year for us gamers and tech enthusiasts. Here at the Global Game Awards 2020 you get the chance to make a difference, voting on your favourite gaming highlights of 2020. In the categories below we have stuffed in everything from games, hardware, console and even best developers, so you can tell the world what made your gaming year in 2020. VOTE NOW and have your say in the 2020 gaming industry recognised Global Game Awards.
Game of the Year
Only the best of the best are nominated for the prestigious Game Debate Global Game Awards Game of The Year title, and there can be only one. We are all looking for that one supreme game that dropped our jaws over the past 12 months. Nominees are usually highly competent in every facet that makes a title brilliant and all of them are video game titans that stand above the rest. These titles reach the lofty heights where the Half-Life and Elder Scrolls of gaming history dwell. They push the industry forward, innovating with rich new features and exceptional gameplay, all the while perfecting mechanics that set the template for every other title to aspire to.
Most Anticipated Game
You don’t need tea leaves or a crystal ball to pick out these plum choices. We’re not even through 2020 yet but we can’t help but look forward to all the gaming gems coming our way over the next year. These choice cuts are the ones that have us slavering in anticipation, eager to get hands-on with their out of reach wares.
Best Digital Sales Platform
While Valve came along and kicked it all off with Steam, we’ve seen PC gaming flourish and encompass many digital sales platforms in recent years. Now when you want to get the best deal on a PC game, you can shop around for the cheapest buy or the greatest offer. All these fantastic storefronts competing with each other means there’s only one winner overall - the PC gamer. Here we celebrate the best of these, serving the gamers with the cheapest deals and the cheeriest smile.
With the Best Indie award we celebrate some of the most creative and forward-thinking talent around, embracing new mechanics, while revitalising the old. These are games developed with a fraction of the budget of the AAA monsters, but are no less enjoyable for it. The indie devs behind them craft personable, unique games that showcase some of the greatest underground talent in the world today. Indie devs often work their magic under considerable pressure, sometimes holding down full-time jobs while ploughing any of their precious time into their own projects. The best of those projects are given pride of place in our Best Indie Award category.
Best Post-Launch Support
Long gone are the days when games were just released. Left to gather dust on store shelves or disappear forever into obscurity. Developers are now keen to play the long game, providing satisfying gaming experiences that can last fans years rather than mere hours. These games are continually updated with new maps, modes and features, existing in a constant state of flux that can keep players hooked, week after week.
As gaming continues to knock on the door of reality we are treated to a steady stream of titles that enable almost realistic gameplay across a variety of real world arenas. Up for this category we could find flight simulators facing off against racing simulators against tank simulators. Gaming allows us to explore passions and pursue very real hobbies and this award category represents the best real world simulations that gaming has to offer. Perfecting these simulations means painstaking research and a meticulous eye for detail by the developers as they rebuild our passions and hobbies for us.
The Multiplayer Online Arena Battle is a highly competitive game genre that has really come into its own over the past five years. Although some classic MOBA titles spearheaded this new frontier of competitive gaming it’s only in recent times that the entire world at some point or another is likely to have encountered this merciless game category. This award is reserved for MOBA titles that are not just brand new but continuing to evolve or managing to maintain the attention of the masses. With the classics still being played as much today as they ever were, if they are good enough then they still have a right to command the prestigious nominee slot. Fast paced, unforgiving, and complex to master, these are all traits attached to these incredible games and only the best reach the nominee status.
Roll your D20s it’s time for the RPG game of the year award. It all sounds so simple but behind the doors these games represent some of the more complex mechanics and plots around, giving us some of the most expansive and varied gaming environments we’ve ever seen. Role-playing is all about immersion, and these games represent some of the deepest, most engrossing experiences available, often involving the player in some of the most grandiose tales of pure fantasy. The roleplaying game mechanic has been with us since the RPG Lord, Gary Gygax, first thought of pen & paper tabletop games with your buddies, and since then leveling up and character development has found its way into a huge proportion of video games.
It’s all about non-stop, sweat inducing, heart pumping, high-octane action in this Award Category. The sort of titles that demand a constant stream of coffee pumped straight into the veins, just to get you focused enough to keep up. The year’s greatest action games are those that left you itching to play “just a bit more” and going toe to toe with some of gaming’s greatest enemies in explosive action-packed battles. Often inspired by some of the classic action hero movies, we may find titles ranging from 3rd person beat-em-ups or possibly action-packed racers through to sci-fi space blasters. Many games fall under this category but only the most innovative, well-paced, and explosive titles are nominated for the Best Action Game Award.
Throw away Dickens. Set alight your copy of Tolstoy. Wuthering Heights meet paper shredder. You have no need for these intellectual curios with gaming’s huge advances in storytelling and character development. These are the cream of the crop, the Booker prize for our new interactive age. All of the nominees give us a riveting yarn that had us hooked from the very first page screen, with stories that will live long in our memory. Intriguing plot devices, exceptional character dialogue, twists and turns that all come together to deliver a real contender for the Best Story Award.
Best Fighting Game
This award is the celebration of the games you wouldn’t want to meet down a dark alley. The bare knuckle bruisers that wouldn’t think twice before knocking your block off. Fighting games are a gaming staple, both instantly accessible yet holding perilously deep depths. We’re looking for the best of both worlds, offering countless hours of gameplay for experience fighting game fans, alongside the pick up and play appeal which made the genre so successful.
Click. Click. BOOM. Strategy games are the bedrock of PC gaming, capitalising on the addictive nature of amassing huge armies and wealth, or constructing a sprawling metropolis from the comfort of your own chair. Strategy games run the full gamut from fast combat-focused competitive titles through to the ponderous thinking-man’s city-builders, with everything in-between. Refining what works and expanding on something we have played before only gets a game so far, but nominees for the Best Strategy Award offer you something more.
Best VR Experience
Well we’ve finally made it, the world of virtual reality is now available for our viewing pleasure (and 2007 thought smartphones were cool). When you have the almost infinite possibilities of being able to put people into whatever world you can imagine there is sure to be some amazing virtual encounters out there. Whether breathtakingly beautiful, full-on frightening, ingeniously innovative or just impressively immersive, we have collected what we think have been the best VR experiences this year.
Most Anticipated Hardware
The bits of hardware that keep you up at night are what we’ve reserved for this selection. The tech that make you look wistfully out the window and dream of what could be or smile wryly as you imagine running through fields of flowers on hills into the arms of a new API. Will they be as good as we dream? Who knows? … It’s the future.
Game soundtracks are often cruelly overlooked, but a title’s music and composition can often be the things that really makes or breaks a game’s atmosphere and tone. 2020 has been a pretty standout year when it comes to fabulous musical scores, especially in smaller games. However, a number of them really stood out to us, and difficult as it was to narrow down to just four, here are the games whose music really transported us to another world.
It’s often the publishers that take the lime-light during game launches, after all they’re usually the driving force behind its marketing. But with the Best Developer Award we want to draw the attention back onto those who put the hours into making some truly special experiences for us - whether they be tiny, stunning indie offerings or vast, time-sucking online multiplayer games.
Best Family Game
A game doesn't have to be for adults only or layered with blood and gore to make for a truly spectacular experience. Many times in our gaming lives we will be stunned by the beauty and wonder that can fascinate even the smallest child.This award looks for those titles that can stretch across all ages offering something for even the youngest gamer to enjoy. The category particularly focuses on titles that are playable by children aged 6-12. But parental discretion is always advised even in the games that we select as our nominees.
Combining two of the world's leading entertainments, video games and sports, is as genius as it is obvious, but with critical eyes from both sets of fans watching carefully it means that only the best reach the Best Sports nominees. Digitally recreating the technical subtlety and high impact involved in today’s top sports, these are the titles that bring the world of sport to our living rooms.
Best PC Exclusive
PC gaming. The last bastion for strategy gaming, MOBAs, RPGs, management and more. There are some genres for which only a keyboard and mouse and the unlimited possibilities of PC gaming will suffice. This award celebrates the best that the PC has to offer, the game greats available nowhere else except the humble beige box.
We want more and more control within our games and the Best Management title is the accolade that salutes those games that provide us with an incredible management experience. We are looking for a business simulator or empire manager, where we are able to tweak and pull every button and option that someone in that role might face in real life. Then we sit back and watch our efforts take shape. Replicating a living model in this way is a huge undertaking from the developer and only the best Management Sims find their way into this category. Offering hundreds of hours of game time, building empires and working business strategies within a fully defined game environment is what we looked for and what we get with these fantastic nominees.
In space, no one can hear you vote. Don’t let that stop you though, as these games are the latest and greatest in interstellar travel and all things fantastically futuristic. The nominees considered, will push the boundaries of reality, offering us the chance to embrace incredible wonders from the comfort of our own homes. Boldly they explore the dark frontier of space and push our imaginations to the limits. This genre is one of the most difficult to get right, as the creators of the title have to maintain believability, while still wowing us with stuff that could happen but hasn't.
Best Mobile Game
Mobile gaming doesn’t always have the best reputation, thanks in part to a flood of microtransaction-ridden titles and the innumerable clones out there. However, the mobile sector is still packed with passionate developers producing well thought out, fabulous games to while away our time on long journeys. In this category, we’ve looked at the best of the collective app stores for some truly stand-out titles.
This generation has seen a seismic shift from traditional expansion packs to bite-sized downloadable content. Seldom does a game get released now without a flurry of additional content following swiftly behind, and it’s become harder than ever to know which bits will be worth buying. Fortunately there are still titles that manage to stand out from the crowd, with huge fully fledged expansions that almost feel like new titles in their own right. These are the titles where you just can’t get enough, taking the dynamics of a beloved title and expanding on it in new and compelling ways.
Gaming is all about entertainment and this category focuses on the lighter side of life, humour. The nominees for the Funniest Game Award are titles that made us smirk and titter, tickled our funny bones or just kept us smiling the whole way through whatever fantastical nonsense the game presented. Humour can be found in the strangest of places sometimes, and it takes an excellent writer to create a genuinely amusing game. We are looking for vibrant amusing characters or a witty script and story that works within the boundaries of the genre.
Best Free 2 Play
Free To Play is a controversial payment structure, largely because it is so readily exploited by the greedier publishers and developers. But when F2P is done right, it can be something wonderful; a completely free experience that developers are motivated to spend time and money on honing and improving in order to make money from the title. This means that whilst some games might disappear in the annals of time, Free To Play titles tend to retain their popularity. Often competitive online games, these F2P titles stand out not only for their outstanding game design but also their long-term development.
An ever-popular genre, these Best Shooter nominees have done that magical bit extra to distance themselves from the chasing pack, putting you in creative situations through which you have to make like Arnie and decimate the opposition.
Best Gamers Case
The place our beloved computer components call home.This award goes to the case that rock our senses with how they look or tantalise our minds with ingenious design approaches. The case might be the pinnacle of sci-fi styling or understatedly simple; it could be large enough to house a fleet of components or tiny and discreet. Whatever its design it will fill its case requirements to perfection.
Enter the masters of the winding saga. These titles take the player to far off exotic lands, where they can explore, discover and resolve mysteries, usually involving a rubber chicken. Many titles have an element of this category within them, from platformers to text-only games through to fully fledged open worlds, but only the greatest manage to harness the perfect pace of adventure through a game’s unfolding. The Best Adventure award stands out as one of the most richly awarded game accolades, only going to those titles that truly capture our imagination and hold our hands as we journey across the reaches of possibility.
Best Horror Game
You’ve sat through four Paranormal Activities and barely batted an eyelid and you watched Saw for breakfast while chowing down on your cornflakes, but these games came along and the living daylights are now scared from your very being. The best horror games teeter on the brink between intense and unplayable, waiting to push you into the abyss, challenging your sanity and testing your metal. Only the hardiest of gamers can play any of these alone, with the lights turned out and an immersive headset on.
Admittedly, we take a bit of artistic licence when we say that a lot of these things we’re giving awards to this year are essential, but the CPU is literally one of the be all and end alls of any PC. Without one you’ve got yourself a very expensive metal box and with one you can have one of the best rigs going. Which is why we must group together and honour those CPUS that have blown us away this year. Whether through the sheer calculative power they hold, the mind-bogglingly innovative technology they’ve used or just a great price for what you get, these are our top picks for this year’s CPUs.
Laptops come in all sizes, offering a dizzying amount of variety in performance and cost. This can sometimes leave the consumer lost. The nominees for the Best Laptop Award are those awesome gaming laptops that shine out across a sea of similar products. They will be laptops that push the gamer’s sweet spot by balancing cost and performance, flexibility and luxury, style and of course exceptional gaming experiences. They may have brilliant speakers or be bundled with lightning fast memory and a perfectly matched motherboard, possibly the top end mobile GPU for a mid-range price, but whatever these nominees have done to get our attention they represent the best in portable gaming, making it the exciting option it is today and for that we gamers salute them.
Best Graphics Hardware
So as we’re sure you can guess, this is often a bit of a two horse race between the two kings of the hill, AMD and Nvidia. Never before has this rivalry been more apparent than this year though, with the emergence of the Red Rebellion and the Radeon Revolution, challenging the well cemented bourgeois that is Nvidia with affordable high performing hardware, something not soon to be forgotten. So to break down this hell of a year, we’ve trawled through all the cards that this year gave us, and trust us there's been some crackers, so we can present to you which cards we thought really shone this year, whether back breaking performance or amazing bang for your buck, they’re all here.
Best Early Access
Early Access is a harsh environment, where games are sent out into the wild, often in extremely early states, ready to be ravaged by the gaming masses. This award celebrates the cream of the crop, the bravest of the brave, those Early Access titles which are showing incredible levels of promise even at this early stage. Not only does Early Access offer developers to the chance to seek additional funding, but it also gives gamers the chance to get in on a project from the ground floor, perhaps even influencing key decisions and shaping the final product.
Best Console of 2020
It’s been an absolutely monstrous battle between the consoles this year, slogging it out for your gaming pleasure, with all of them throwing out exclusive after exclusive in an attempt to take over your living rooms. This award celebrates the games consoles which have been the greatest experience over the past 12 months, knocking it out the park with unmissable exclusives, incredible third-party support and a range of updates to ensure that they are the best places to game.
Let loose the dogs of war! These are the best games that let you go head to head or fight side by side in multiplayer arenas. Whether it's spewing forth hot lead at one another or wishing this car had a seventh gear, these are the ones that got your adrenaline pumping and unleashed your competitive urges. Regardless of when they launched, these are the games that have been swallowing up your time like nobody’s business, as you desperately try to inch up that scoreboard.
This award is looking at games and hardware in our industry that break the ways of old apart and bring us an innovative change to what we're used to. Not content to follow the reliable formula, sometimes something can really shine through because it tries something different. It might not be perfect this time around, but this award heralds the attempts as much as the successes. Without innovation the industry would become boring fast and we must pat on the back all of those who try.
Mobos are the body of the PC and allow data to flow around the various hardware components. We all how hectic it can get when splicing together the parts of your rig, so this award will go to those motherboards that provide excellent build quality, using premium components, while also offering an array of component placement options to accommodate our varied build needs. We are not looking for motherboards that have necessarily been released during the last year mind but ones that are available during this last year.
Best Handheld Gaming Phone
Every year we get a wider selection of phones to choose from and every year we tell you what we think’s hot and what's not. From gaming capabilities to just plain awesome features, big screens to being able to drop your phone in a pond, we cover it all here at Games Debate, so we can give you the best selection of 2020.
The range of monitors nowadays is incomprehensibly big, with everyone and their grans making one. Here we are looking at what pushes the tech boundary in visual output, be it screen width, pixel definition, contrast, dots per inch, curved screens, wide screens, adaptable screens and so on. Gaming evolves rapidly and so do the monitors on which we view their gloriousness on. And as always, having a fantastic refresh rate is all well and good, but will my 64-inch 4k screen break my bank account? All is taken into account.
For exceptional accuracy and to compliment your lightning quick reactions you need the best gaming mouse around. These are the industry’s hottest offerings in the mouse world this year, optimised for gaming to ensure nothing stands between you and victory. From DPI switching to ergonomics and tracking technology, the best mice are customisable in any way you can think of and are essential to getting you to the very top of your game.
Resolutely old-school in design, the humble platformer has been an industry stalwart synonymous with fun, pick up and play gameplay. The best platformers of the year combined classic gameplay with innovative new features and slick mechanics that made them a true joy to play. Level design and excellently implemented physics showcase the best the genre has to offer, serving up fresh ideas and situations at an exhilarating pace.
To get a game out the door takes a lot of organisation and often a huge amount of backing. This is where the publishers turn up. Orchestrating the release or taking a risk on a new IP is no easy task. The Best Publisher award is set aside for those companies who put the gamer first, where they strive hard to support the ongoing health of the industry, release games that are good value for their price tag or maybe invest in top quality aftermarket support for. They may champion struggling genres or release free expansions.
As a wise man once said, two heads are better than one, and that’s never been more appropriate than in the world of co-operative gaming. Whether you’re saving the planet or just having a race, getting another player involved is always instantly more fun. Co-op gaming has a strong place in many gamers’ hearts and as online gaming becomes easier, this Award category helps us find the gems that let us play and share our gaming experiences with our friends.
Best Racing Game
Participating in adrenaline fueled competition on a race track is not always possible, especially when you think of the multi million dollar equipment required for Formula One. So the world of racing games is a much needed way for us to get into the cockpit of a souped up sports car or on the back of a motorbike. The Best Racing Award does not require a track race, but it definitely looks for games that bring the fast paced thrill of competitive racing to our driving-gloved gaming mitts. These nominees will give us a good reason to break out our steering wheels, flight sticks or joypads and offer the rush of a racing simulation brought to life.
Gaming continues to mature at an incredible rate. The titles we loved just a decade ago have rapidly aged as developers learn new tricks, both in terms of gameplay and visuals. Whatever happens though, these are still fantastic games, and it’s great when new life can be breathed into them thanks to a loving remaster. Some are necessary, some aren’t, but we believe these are the best of the bunch this year.
Shhhh, people are sleeping. For those of us that know the best way to solve a problem is not brute force, or those of us who know everyone doesn’t have to be dead for you to succeed, or even those who just like pretending they’re a sneaky sneaky snake, there is of course stealth games. A favourite genre for many, stealth games require as much skill as foreplanning and are not for those who want a game to roll over and play dead. Whether through ingenious AI, awesome abilities or just the sheer amount of choice of options you have at your fingertips, these are our best stealth games of this year.
Real gamers do not overlook the impact a brilliant gaming audio experience will offer to their games. Cowering behind a crumbling rocky wall as bullets whizz overhead, fragments of exploded rock crashing down around you, the ping as your comrades’ clips empty or the roar of your car’s engine as you rev on the start line, the screech of rubber as it burns when you tear away, the hurtling crush of metal on metal as you come to blows on the first bend, it makes our ears tremble at just the thought. Gaming headsets take the best games in the world, and they make them even better, drawing you in with astonishing 3D sound that helps you feel the full force of your gaming experience. These are the headsets that have brought gaming alive this year.
They have been known to drive grown men to tears by their beauty. Their exquisite attention to detail has brought millions flocking to bask in their brilliance. No, it’s not the Mona Lisa, it’s of course the GGA’s Best Visuals Award nominees. These games are on another level when it comes to polygon crunching gorgeousness, delivering some of the finest visual experiences ever dreamed of in video game land.
Best PC Builder US
Here is our selection of our favourite PC builders from over the pond. Whether through excellent service, incredible prices or just sheer mind-boggling performance, these are the guys we think make the best rigs so you don't have to.
Best Gaming Keyboard
A key piece of kit for any gamer worth their salt and oh so important to your gaming performance, a good keyboard is an essential part of anyone’s PC inventory. The Best gaming keyboard award will go to the keyboard that has made the furthest strides in usability, innovation and flexibility, while keeping its products cost effective and accessible to the masses.
It might read like an Early Access award but the truth is that the burgeoning survival genre is easily one of the most ambitious out there, and all of the titles recognised here are continuing to expand on an already mind blowing concept. In an age of handholding and mollycoddling, there’s something formidable about being plonked in the middle of nowhere and left to fend for yourself, gathering supplies and crafting weapons and defences, scratching the Neanderthal itch.
Best Original Game
Sequels are all well and good but there really is nothing that gets the pulse racing faster than the thought of something entirely new. In the age of sequels these are becoming an increasingly rare treat, but here we celebrate some of the best original games keeping things fresh. While these don’t have to be from new franchises they are all entirely new series, doing something radically different from what’s gone before.
Best PC Builder EU
There can be only one! Which are the guys that you think get you the best rig? Whether through amazing customer support, bargain prices or just the innovation they can cram inside a metallic box, which team will give you the very best machine that you can your hands on? It’s up to you to make the call.
Best Battle Royale
The remit of our Best Battle Royale award is pretty simple, this is a vote for the best game that drops a bunch of players into an arena and challenges them to be the last one standing. The battle royale genre has ballooned in popularity of late, and this award celebrates the best of the best in this hotly competed category.
Best Open World
Every year the benchmarks for gaming get pushed further and the big hitters in the industry are now at the stage where they have to create entire worlds for a player to roam around in at their own pace. The Best Open World Award nominees are those titles that set those benchmarks. Developers build breathing worlds for the gamer to skip merrily through, but it is only the best that allow the gamer to bounce along with a rocket launcher in hand and a complete world of possibilities resting on their trigger finger. Mastering this field means keeping the player entertained whenever they want, without railroading them into a story arch they cannot escape, while simultaneously providing them with entertaining, relevant options whenever they so wish. No easy feat, but the year’s nominees manage to walk that ground comfortably.
Best VR Headset
It’s been a long time since the days of the Virtual Boy and wow, have we come a long way. We live in a pinch-me-to-wake-me-up world of VR that the days of dial up internet could only dream of, but which is the best gateway into jaw-dropping digital worlds? From small beginnings we’ve now got a fantastic choice of headsets, each bringing fundamentally different ways to play games than we’ve ever experienced before.
Best Gaming Hardware Manufacturer
This award is one of the most sought after accolades in the gaming hardware industry. You can't fake technological advancement and you can't feign exceptional standards, they either deliver the gaming goods or they disappear trying. This highly competitive technology market is where the gaming consumer gets the last vote and we are one of the most selective and vocal communities across the net.