The Game Awards 2021 nominations led by PS5 exclusives

Deathloop and Ratchet & Clank scoop the most nominations at The Game Awards 2021 – read the full list here.

The Game Awards nominations were revealed last night, letting us know which titles are up with a chance of snagging a coveted trophy when the full show takes place this December. 

While every announcement of award show nominees is bound to spark discussion for the games that were snubbed, it was the included titles that caused quite the stir. When it comes to the games that were celebrated, PlayStation exclusives Deathloop and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart led the pack. Both secured one of the six Game of the Year nomination slots, joining Metroid Dread, It Takes Two, Psychonauts 2, and Resident Evil Village. 

The game awards 2021 nominations categories voting
© The Game Awards

Deathloop managed to bag an impressive total of nine nominations, including Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Art Direction, Best Score & Music, Best Audio Design, and Best Action Game. It’s two leading stars Jason E. Kelley, and Ozioama Akagha were also both highlighted in the Best Performance category. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, meanwhile, received six nominations, with Hazelight Studios’ It Takes Two following close behind at five nominations.

Naturally, the nominations couldn’t go with a few unusual omissions and choices. Despite heavy criticism over its poor state at launch, Cyberpunk 2077 found itself nominated for Best Score/Music and Best RPG. Meanwhile, the highly acclaimed Chicory: A Colorful Tale was absent from the Best Indie Game category, which managed to find room for the star-studded narrative experience of 12 Minutes.

We’ve listed the full run of Games Awards nominations below for you to scan through for yourself. The show is due to take place on December 9 at the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles. Expect plenty of reveals and trailers alongside the awards themselves.

The Games Awards nominations

Game of the Year

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

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

Best Game Direction

Awarded for outstanding creative vision and innovation in game direction and design.

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

Best Narrative

For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

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

Best Art Direction

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

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

Best Score and Music

For outstanding music, inclusive of score, original song and/or licensed soundtrack.

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

Best Audio Design

Recognizing the best in-game audio and sound design.

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

Best Performance

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

  • Erika Mori as Alex Chen in Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Anton Castillo in Far Cry 6
  • Jason Kelley as Colt Vahn in Deathloop
  • Maggie Robertson as Lady Dimitrescu in Resident Evil Village
  • Ozioma Akagha as Julianna Blake in Deathloop

Games For Impact

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

  • Before Your Eyes
  • Boyfriend Dungeon
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • No Longer Home

Best Ongoing

Awarded to a game for outstanding development of ongoing content that evolves the player experience over time.

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

Best Indie

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

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

Best Mobile Game

For the best game playable on a mobile device.

  • Fantasian
  • Genshin Impact
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift
  • Marvel Future Revolution
  • Pokémon Unite

Best Community Support

Recognizing a game for outstanding community support, transparency and responsiveness, inclusive of social media activity and game updates/patches.

  • Apex Legends
  • Destiny 2
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online
  • Fortnite
  • No Man’s Sky

Innovation in Accessibility

Recognizing software and/or hardware that is pushing the medium forward by adding features, technology and content to help games be played and enjoyed by an even wider audience.

  • Far Cry 6
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • The Vale: Shadow of the Crown

Best VR/AR

For the best game experience playable in virtual or augmented reality, irrespective of platform.

  • Hitman 3
  • I Expect You To Die 2
  • Lone Echo 2
  • Resident Evil 4 VR
  • Sniper Elite VR

Best Action Game

For the best game in the action genre focused primarily on combat.

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Chivalry 2
  • Deathloop
  • Far Cry 6
  • Returnal

Best Action/Adventure

For the best action/adventure game, combining combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

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

Best Role Playing

For the best game designed with rich player character customization and progression, including massively multiplayer experiences.

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Shin Megami Tensei 5
  • Tales of Arise

Best Fighting

For the best game designed primarily around head-to-head combat.

  • Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba The Hinokami Chronicles
  • Guilty Gear Strive
  • Melty Blood: Type Lumina
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown

Best Family

For the best game appropriate for family play, irrespective of genre or platform.

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

Best Sim/Strategy

Best game focused on real time or turn-based simulation or strategy gameplay, irrespective of platform.

  • Age of Empires 4
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination
  • Humankind
  • Inscryption
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator

Best Sports/Racing

For the best traditional and non-traditional sports and racing game.

  • F1 2021
  • FIFA 22
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed
  • Riders Republic

Best Multiplayer

For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences, irrespective of game genre or platform.

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

Content Creator of the Year

For a streamer or content creator who has made an important and positive impact on the community in 2021.

  • Dream
  • Fuslie
  • Gaules
  • Ibai
  • Grefg

Best Debut Indie

For the best debut game created by a new independent studio.

  • The Artful Escape
  • The Forgotten City
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Sable
  • Valheim

Most Anticipated Game

Recognizing an announced game that has demonstrably illustrated potential to push the gaming medium forward.

  • Elden Ring
  • God of War Ragnarok
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
  • Starfield

Best Esports Game

For the game that has delivered the best overall esports experience to players (inclusive of tournaments, community support and content updates), irrespective of genre or platform.

  • Call of Duty
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  • Dota 2
  • League of Legends
  • Valorant

Best Esports Athlete

The esports athlete judged to be the most outstanding for performance and conduct in 2021, irrespective of game.

  • Chris “Simp” Lehr
  • Heo “Showmaker” Su
  • Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
  • Oleksandr “S1mple” Kostyliev
  • Tyson “Tenz” Ngo

Best Esports Team

Recognizing a specific esports team (not the full organization) judged the most outstanding for performance and conduct in 2021.

  • Atlanta Faze (Call of Duty)
  • DWG KIA (League of Legends)
  • Natus Vincere (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
  • Sentinels (Valorant)
  • Team Spirit (Dota 2)

Best Esports Coach

The esports coach judged to be the most outstanding for performance and conduct in 2021.

  • Airat “Silent” Gaziev
  • Andrey “Engh” Sholokhov
  • Andrii “B1ad3” Horodenskyi
  • James “Crowder” Crowder
  • Kim “Kkoma” Jeong-Gyun

Best Esports Event

Recognizing an event (across single or multiple days) that delivered a best-of-class experience for participants and the broadcast audience.

  • 2021 League of Legends World Championship
  • The International 2021
  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020
  • Valorant Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters

Those are all The Game Awards 2021 nominations and categories. You can head over to the website to vote on your top picks, with the community’s choice having an impact on the overall results. The Game Awards 2021 will take place December 9, streamed from the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles. We’ll be recapping all the biggest news from the event, so check back with us after the show to catch up on everything you missed.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at, or catch him on Twitter.


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