It’s that time of year where we start to cast our eyes back over the amazing games released. Then get into Facebook battles and Twitter exchanges arguing which is the best game. Fortunately we have an official award show to take most of the abuse from fans, and with The Game Awards Nominees on the list this year, the debate is going to get feisty! The show kicks off Thursday December 1st and will be live from 8.30PM Eastern Time, that’s 1:30AM for us in the UK.

We’re going to see indie games like Firewatch and Inside go head to head with master franchises like Uncharted 4 and Battlefield One. EA vs Bethesda vs Blizzard with more coming in too as games on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One compete for being game of the year.

It’s basically the gaming Royal Rumble!

Here I’m going to highlight the categories that stand out as the big ones. One factor I am also using here is my own knowledge too. If I haven’t played any of the games in a category chances are its not previewed. There is a full breakdown of every category and nominations at the bottom of the article.

I’ll throw in some trailers and images as we go. Make sure you get commenting with Disqus and Facebook comments too so we know your thoughts.

1BEST ACTION GAME

Description: For the best games in the action genre focused on combat.

Nominees

  • BATTLEFIELD 1 – By DICE/Electronic Arts (Our Review)
  • DOOM – By id Software/Bethesda
  • GEARS OF WAR 4 – By The Coalition/Microsoft Studios (Our Review)
  • OVERWATCH – By Blizzard Entertainment (Our Review)
  • TITANFALL 2 – By Respawn/Electronic Arts (Our Review)

This is a tight category, one that myself and David game talked at length on in the Game N Respawn Podcast this week. Listen to that for more in depth thoughts but this mainly hard due to the games being very strong in their own way.

Battlefield one is a classic shooter for the modern day. Doom is brutal, all action shooting while Gears 4 is a start of a new chapter in the series and flying the 3rd person flag. Overwatch is just incredibly fun to play and wonderfully executed as a multiplayer only game. While Titanfall 2 goes the other way, bringing and amazing campaign from multiplayer only origins.

All are great games here and nothing really jumps out as the outright MUST WIN game for me.

Most likely Winner: This is a tough one but I think Doom may win this one.

Personal Choice: Since I loved it and it has lost ground on sales, I’d like to see Titanfall 2 win here.

2BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME

Description: The best action/adventure games, combining combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

Nominees

  • DISHONORED 2 – By Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks
  • HITMAN – By IO Interactive/Square-Enix
  • HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER – By Heart Machine
  • RATCHET & CLANK – By Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment (Our Review)
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment (Our Review)

I love a good action adventure game and to see this list makes me very happy to be a fan of this genre. There are some amazing games on this list, and while my Dishonored 2 review is still in my backlog (almost there!) it’s a big name to start the list.

But it’s dividing opinion and looking at the others it may have a tough time. Hitman is excellent and the episodic format worked surprisingly well for the title. 8 bit makes a step in here to with the massively popular Hyper Light Drifter that has so much going for it.

Ratchet and Clank is one amazing game too, one of the best this year no question. But Uncharted 4 is arguably one of the best Action Adventure games of all time. I can’t see it not winning.

Most likely Winner: Uncharted 4 for me, even though gameplay wise Dishonored 2 is more progressive.

Personal Choice: I’m torn here because I love Ratchet and Clank and Dishonored 2, but the likely winner is also my choice. Uncharted 4 here for me.

3BEST ROLE PLAYING GAME

Description: The best games designed for rich player character customization and progression, both offline and online, including massively multiplayer.

Nominees

  • DARK SOULS 3 – By From Software/Bandai Namco Entertainment (Our Review)
  • DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED – By Eidos Montréal/Square-Enix
  • THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT – BLOOD AND WINE – By CD Projekt RED
  • WORLD OF WARCRAFT: LEGION – By Blizzard Entertainment
  • XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X – By Monolith Soft/Nintendo (Our Review)

Where the last list excited me, this one massively p****s me off. I’m a bit RPG fan but also a dad with a job. Getting through even one of these games will take months so I tend to leave the to others here on MGL.

David has reviewed a number of these and the stand outs are Dark Souls 3 that was a brutal game but, some people would say Bloodborne was better than. Deus EX Mankind Divided is an excellent game but maybe more action than full RPG. WoW is just an entity like the Borg, every update assimilates a new wave of gamers into it’s collective. While my boy David game is all about Xenoblade Chronicles X.

The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine is interesting, its an expansion but it’s massive and an amazing game. Tough call.

Most likely Winner: I think Dark Souls 3 might be close on this but The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine might take it.

Personal Choice: For my good friend David, and recognizing the underdog I would love to see Xenoblade Chronicles X win this one.

4BEST FAMILY GAME

Description: Best game appropriate for family play, including toys-to-life, rhythm/music/dance, and other genres. 

Nominees

  • DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS – By Square Enix (Our Review)
  • LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – By TT Fusion/WBIE
  • POKEMON GO – By Niantic
  • RATCHET & CLANK – By Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment (Our Review)
  • SKYLANDERS: IMAGINATORS – By Toy for Bob/Activision

As I stated earlier, I’m a gamer dad so family games do get some action in my house. LEGO always goes down well with the grown ups and little ones and The Force Awakens is a fantastic game that deservedly lives on this list.

Dragon Quest builders is a monster of a game that took over reviewer David Game’s life for a few weeks. It has it’s flaws though. Skylanders is always a lot of fun when additions come along. But the two big players here are Ratchet and Clank then Pokemon Go.

Most likely Winner: After it’s sensational rise and takeover of the world for a time, even getting people walking places and everything. Pokemon Go should win this I think.

Personal Choice: Again, gotta shout out to Ratchet and Clank but being single players it’s for one member of the family at once.

5BEST SPORTS/RACING GAME

Description: For traditional and non-traditional sports and racing games.

Nominees

  • FIFA 17 – By EA Canada/EA Sports (Our Review)
  • FORZA HORIZON 3 – By Playground Games/Microsoft Studios
  • MLB THE SHOW 16 – By SCE San Diego Studio/SIE
  • NBA 2K17 – By Visual Concepts/2K Sports
  • PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2017 – By PES Productions/Konami (Our Review)

I love my football (I’m English so the one with the round ball you actually kick with your feet most of the time). So here I am looking to see if one of PES 2017 or FIFA 17 can win this one. But there is some competition here in Forza Horizon 3 that delivered one of the best racing expereinces of this generation of games.

NBA 2K17 is a great series and always captures the NBA wonderfully well and delivering on a number of modes. MLB is hugely popular but does not translate too well with us across the pond types unfortunately.

Most likely Winner: Forza Horizon 3 as too damn good not to win this one, this is from a non-racing fan too.

Personal Choice: I want to see PES win this one, the best football gamer of the year for me and done without the advantages FIFA has.

6BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME

Description: For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences. 

Nominees

  • BATTLEFIELD 1 – By DICE/Electronic Arts (Our Review)
  • GEARS OF WAR 4 – By The Coalition/Microsoft Studios (Our Review)
  • OVERCOOKED – By Ghost Town Games/Team 17
  • OVERWATCH – By Blizzard Entertainment (Our Review)
  • RAINBOW SIX SIEGE – By Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
  • TITANFALL 2 – By Respawn/Electronic Arts (Our Review)

We get to look at some Multiplayer games now and interestingly there are some multiplayer only games on this list that are fantastic. Plus Gears 4 is back up which is wonderful to see as a big fan of the game back on the 360. This new game really did deliver on MP and is a competitor here for sure.

Battlefield 1 is an amazing game, a classic shooter that fits so well in the modern day. The multiplayer is intense, vast and very addictive while Titanfall 2 is one of the best shooters this year in all departments.

While I have not experienced Overcooked first hand, people love it I know, Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch are big players here. Rainbow Six has seen it’s community grow massively. But Overwatch has received some of the best reviews around and is very much loved.

Most likely Winner: Got to go Overwatch here.

Personal Choice: Got to agree with myself and say Overwatch here too!

7BEST NARRATIVE

Description: For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

Nominees

  • FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • INSIDE – By PlayDead
  • MAFIA III – By Hanger 13/2K (Our Review)
  • OXENFREE – By Night School Studio
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment (Our Review)

More Uncharted 4 and a game that deserves its place here and then some. But what could stop it? Mafia 3 was not the best game in any regard for gameplay but in terms of its story and characters it’s remarkable.

But the indie titles here are the underdogs you’d like to see maybe sneak this one. Inside is incredible and certainly many people’s pick for game of the year. Firewatch was massive too with people loving it everywhere. Not to mention the incredibly rich and stylish OXENFREE.

Can they do it?

Most likely Winner: Actually, yes I think Inside might win this (find out why later).

Personal Choice: Of the game’s I’ve finished I’d side with Uncharted 4 here personally.

8BEST PERFORMANCE

Description: Award to an individual for voice-over acting, motion and/or performance capture.

Nominees

  • ALEX HERNANDEZ AS LINCOLN CLAY, MAFIA III – By Hanger 13/2K (Our Review)
  • CISSY JONES AS DELILAH, FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • EMILY ROSE AS ELENA, UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive (Our Review)
  • NOLAN NORTH AS NATHAN DRAKE, UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive (Our Review)
  • RICH SOMMER AS HENRY, FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • TROY BAKER AS SAM DRAKE, UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive (Our Review)

Voice acting is getting incredible in games now, and this might not be a popular opinion to hold but Call of Duty Infinite Warfare may have won this had it not released too late. Maybe next year.

Here we have a list dominated by Uncharted 4 but there is more to look at since Alex Hernandez was outstanding in Mafia 3 and both actors in Firewatch were amazing too. But you’d think one of the Uncharted cast will win this but which one. Personally they were all wonderful in their roles but the Drake brothers stand out for me.

Most likely Winner: Nolan North for Nathan Drake, he has literally been Nate for years and may never be him again. Got to win this for me.

Personal Choice: As above, but I can see why people would go for Troy Baker as he was exceptional too.

9MOST ANTICIPATED GAME

Description: Recognizing an upcoming game that has shown significant ambition and promise in moving the gaming medium forward. Must be announced and scheduled for release after 12/1/16.

  • GOD OF WAR – By Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment (More Info)
  • HORIZON: ZERO DAWN – By Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment (More Info)
  • MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA – By Bioware/EA (More Info)
  • RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 – By Rockstar Games (More Info)
  • THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD – By Nintendo

Taking a break to look ahead we look into 2017 and the games coming up. You can vote for these too on the official site. But what to choose.

The Nintendo Switch made a big impression and people, like us here at MGL, are very excited to see more on this console. So The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild has some more hype around it and Nintendo Fans will be voting here.

Sony fans will be smashing in vote for God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn and, to be honest, both look outstanding. Mass Effect Andromeda is getting some gameplay at the event and will also be a hot favourite. Red Dead Redemption 2 is made by Rockstar Games however, and they don’t make bad titles!

Most likely Winner: Tough one, I think Horizon And Red Dead will be tight but the latter may take it.

Personal Choice: Mass Effect Andromeda for this Sci-Fi lover! But then, Horizon is looking incredible too!

10GAME OF THE YEAR

Recognizing a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

  • DOOM – id Software/Bethesda
  • INSIDE – PlayDead
  • OVERWATCH – Blizzard Entertainment (Our Review)
  • TITANFALL 2 – Respawn/Electronic Arts (Our Review)
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment (Our Review)

The big one and the reason earlier I said Inside may win the best narrative award. The game is amazing but it might have quite the challenge to dislodge the favourite here but it does deserve an award. Doom is brutal and all action, Overwatch the exceptional multiplayer game of the year.

Titanfall 2 proved Respawn could do an amazing campaign and bring it is MP too. But when you consider the entire package, the quality of everything in the game. Uncharted 4 is the favourite here.

Most likely Winner: Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End

Personal Choice: As above!

Well thats what I think of all this anyway, as I said at the start of the article. David Game and I have been Podcasting On This and have spoken a bit about it all too.

For now though you can leave your thoughts at the end of the article using Disqus or Facebook and let us know who you think will win. We’ll have all the results from The Game Awards on MGL following the event on December 1, 2016.

Go over the page for a full list of the Categories and Nominees for the event, including those I missed out.

11All The Categories and Nominees

GAME OF THE YEAR

Recognizing a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

  • DOOM – id Software/Bethesda
  • INSIDE – PlayDead
  • OVERWATCH – Blizzard Entertainment
  • TITANFALL 2 – Respawn/Electronic Arts
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

BEST STUDIO/GAME DIRECTION

Recognizing a game studio for outstanding creative vision and innovation in game direction and design.

  • BLIZZARD – For Overwatch
  • DICE – For Battlefield 1
  • ID SOFTWARE – For DOOM
  • NAUGHTY DOG – For Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • RESPAWN – For Titanfall 2

BEST NARRATIVE

For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • INSIDE – By PlayDead
  • MAFIA III – By Hanger 13/2K
  • OXENFREE – By Night School Studio
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

BEST ART DIRECTION

For outstanding creative and technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

  • ABZU – By Giant Squid/505
  • FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • INSIDE – By PlayDead
  • OVERWATCH – By Blizzard Entertainment
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

BEST MUSIC/SOUND DESIGN

For outstanding audio, inclusive of score, original song, licensed soundtrack and sound design.

  • BATTLEFIELD 1 – By DICE/Electronic Arts
  • DOOM – By id Software/Bethesda
  • INSIDE – By PlayDead
  • REZ INFINITE – By Enhance Games
  • THUMPER – By Drool

BEST PERFORMANCE

Award to an individual for voice-over acting, motion and/or performance capture.

  • ALEX HERNANDEZ AS LINCOLN CLAY, MAFIA III – By Hanger 13/2K
  • CISSY JONES AS DELILAH, FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • EMILY ROSE AS ELENA, UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive
  • NOLAN NORTH AS NATHAN DRAKE, UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive
  • RICH SOMMER AS HENRY, FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • TROY BAKER AS SAM DRAKE, UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive

GAMES FOR IMPACT AWARD

For a though provoking game with a profound pro-social meaning or message.

  • 1979 REVOLUTION – By iNK Stories
  • BLOCK’HOOD – By Plethora Project/Devolver Digital
  • ORWELL – By Osmotic Studios/Surprise Attack
  • SEA HERO QUEST – By Glitchers
  • THAT DRAGON, CANCER – By Numinous Games

BEST INDEPENDENT GAME

For outstanding creative and technical achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

  • FIREWATCH – By Campo Santo
  • HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER – By Heart Machine
  • INSIDE – By PlayDead
  • STARDEW VALLEY – By ConcernedApe/Chucklefish Games
  • THE WITNESS – By Thelka, Inc.

BEST MOBILE/HANDHELD GAME

For the best game playable on portables devices, including mobile phones and dedicated gaming handhelds.

  • CLASH ROYALE – By Supercell
  • FIRE EMBLEM FATES – By Intelligent Systems/Nintendo
  • MONSTER HUNTER GENERATIONS – By Capcom
  • POKEMON GO – By Niantic
  • SEVERED – By Drinkbox Studios

BEST VR GAME

For the best game experience playable in virtual reality.

  • BATMAN: ARKHAM VR – By Rocksteady Studios/WBIE
  • EVE VALKYRIE – By CCP Games
  • JOB SIMULATOR – By Owlchemy Labs
  • REZ INFINITE – By Enhance Games
  • THUMPER – By Drool

BEST ACTION GAME

For the best games in the action genre focused on combat.

  • BATTLEFIELD 1 – By DICE/Electronic Arts
  • DOOM – By id Software/Bethesda
  • GEARS OF WAR 4 – By The Coalition/Microsoft Studios
  • OVERWATCH – By Blizzard Entertainment
  • TITANFALL 2 – By Respawn/Electronic Arts

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME

The best action/adventure games, combining combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

  • DISHONORED 2 – By Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks
  • HITMAN – By IO Interactive/Square-Enix
  • HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER – By Heart Machine
  • RATCHET & CLANK – By Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END – By Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

BEST ROLE PLAYING GAME

The best games designed for rich player character customization and progression, both offline and online, including massively multiplayer.

  • DARK SOULS 3 – By FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED – By Eidos Montréal/Square-Enix
  • THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT — BLOOD AND WINE – By CD Projekt RED
  • WORLD OF WARCRAFT: LEGION – By Blizzard Entertainment
  • XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X – By Monolith Soft/Nintendo

BEST FIGHTING GAME

For a game designed primarily around head-to-head combat.

  • KILLER INSTINCT SEASON 3 – By Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft Studios
  • KING OF FIGHTERS XIV – By SNK/Atlus USA
  • POKKEN TOURNAMENT – By Bandai Namco Studios/The Pokemon Co.
  • STREET FIGHTER V – By Capcom

BEST FAMILY GAME

Best game appropriate for family play, including toys-to-life, rhythm/music/dance, and other genres. 

  • DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS – By Square Enix
  • LEGO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – By TT Fusion/WBIE
  • POKEMON GO – By Niantic
  • RATCHET & CLANK – By Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • SKYLANDERS: IMAGINATORS – By Toy for Bob/Activision

BEST STRATEGY GAME

Best game focused on real time or turn-based strategy gameplay.

  • CIVILIZATION VI – By Firaxis Games/2K
  • FIRE EMBLEM FATES – By Intelligent Systems/Nintendo
  • THE BANNER SAGA 2 – By Stoic Studio/Versus Evil
  • TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER – By Creative Assembly/Sega
  • XCOM 2 – By Firaxis Games/2K

BEST SPORTS/RACING GAME

For traditional and non-traditional sports and racing games.

  • FIFA 17 – By EA Canada/EA Sports
  • FORZA HORIZON 3 – By Playground Games/Microsoft Studios
  • MLB THE SHOW 16 – By SCE San Diego Studio/SIE
  • NBA 2K17 – By Visual Concepts/2K Sports
  • PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2017 – By PES Productions/Konami

BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME

For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences. 

  • BATTLEFIELD 1 – By DICE/Electronic Arts
  • GEARS OF WAR 4 – By The Coalition/Microsoft Studios
  • OVERCOOKED – By Ghost Town Games/Team 17
  • OVERWATCH – By Blizzard Entertainment
  • RAINBOW SIX SIEGE – By Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
  • TITANFALL 2 – By Respawn/Electronic Arts

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME

Recognizing an upcoming game that has shown significant ambition and promise in moving the gaming medium forward. Must be announced and scheduled for release after 12/1/16.

  • GOD OF WAR – By Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • HORIZON: ZERO DAWN – By Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA – By Bioware/EA
  • RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 – By Rockstar Games
  • THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD –By Nintendo

Fan’s Choice

BEST ESPORTS PLAYER

The eSports player judged to be the most outstanding performer in 2016, irrespective of game.

  • FAKER – [Lee Sang-hyeok] SK Telecom T1, League of Legends
  • COLDZERA – [Marcelo David] SK Gaming, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • BYUN–HYUN WOO – Starcraft 2
  • INFILTRATION – [Lee Seon-woo] Team Razer, Street Fighter V
  • HUNGRYBOX – [Juan Debiedma] Team Liquid, Super Smash Bros.

BEST ESPORTS TEAM

The eSports team organization judged to be the most outstanding for performance in 2016, irrespective of game.

  • SK TELECOM T1 – Game: League of Legends
  • WINGS GAMING – Game: DOTA2
  • SK GAMING
  • ROX TIGERS – Game: League of Legends
  • CLOUD9

BEST ESPORTS GAME

The eSports game that has demonstrated creative and technical excellence in 2016 with the best gameplay, community support and content updates.

  • COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE – By Valve
  • DOTA2 – By Valve
  • LEAGUE OF LEGENDS – By Riot
  • OVERWATCH – By Blizzard Entertainment
  • STREET FIGHTER V – By Capcom

TRENDING GAMER

For a streamer/influencer/media member who has made an important impact on the industry in 2016.

  • ANGRYJOESHOW
  • BOOGIE2988
  • DANNY O’DWYER
  • JACKSEPTICEYE
  • LIRIK

BEST FAN CREATION

For fan-created content, such as MODs, fan films, and other player content.

  • BRUTAL DOOM 64
  • ENDERAL: THE SHARDS OF ORDER
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Rossco is the co-founder of MGL and loves a game with a good single player story. His nickname "Respawn Rossco" comes from his inability to play online shooters, yet he continues to try! His articles are all about enjoying gaming no matter the format you play, he updates MGL daily with news, reviews and in-depth articles.

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