The Game Awards 2021 Nominees: 'Deathloop' and 'Resident Evil: Village' Tipped to Win Big

The nominees for the 2021 Game Awards have been announced, with PS5 exclusives like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Deathloop scoring big.

For those who are unfamiliar with the ceremony, The Game Awards is kind of like the industry's equivalent of the Oscars and the Super Bowl rolled into one. In terms of the former, it is an opportunity to celebrate the best artistic and technical achievements from the past year and to bestow their creators with shinny accolades.

As for the Super Bowl part, the event also happens to be crammed with trailers and sneak peeks for upcoming titles. It'd be like if you were watching the Golden Globes but every so often the ceremony just comes to a halt so that you watch behind-the-scenes footage of an upcoming Marvel movie or something.

Aside from that commercial element, the other thing that distinguishes The Game Awards is that its winners are selected by the public. A jury comprised of media professionals will initially whittle down a shortlist of nominees for each category but, once that line-up has been announced, anybody in the world can vote for their favorites.

Speaking of those categories, there are 30 of them in total (which is quite a few more than the Academy Awards have). These cover various aspects of game design, the best titles in each genre, and even esports. It goes all-in with the latter as well, not only letting you pick your favourite teams and events, but also the best coach.

The 2021 ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 9. You can vote right for your favorites in all 30 categories here.

Who Will Win Big at the Game Awards 2021

Psychonauts 2 PSI King’s Sensorium
"Psychonauts 2" is nomminated for multiple awards, including Game of the Year, Best Narrative and Best Action/ Adventure. Double Fine Productions

It can be difficult to forecast the winners of any awards show, as there are always guaranteed to be upsets and surprises that come totally out of left field.

Yet The Game Awards are especially tricky, given that they are chosen by the general public. There's no exclusive jury or academy members whose voting habits can be easily predicted. Plus, you never know if there's going to be a campaign on social media to get one game trending over the other, or to tactically ruin a rival's chances (particularly when it comes to the raging console war).

For example, last year The Last of Us Part II scooped up the majority of the prizes, despite the fact that it was one of the most divisive pieces of media since The Last Jedi. It's all up completely unpredictable, which is what makes it so exciting.

This year, Deathloop is leading the pack with the most nominations (9 in total) which in any other award ceremony would make it a firm favorite for overall Game of the Year (GOTY). Yet this shortlist was handpicked by a jury, and they won't be the ones selecting the final winners. It's just impossible to know if the average consumer's votes will line up with what the critics are saying.

On that note, another game that has been showered with nominations here is the indie platformer, It Takes Two which is not the kind of release that the public usually chooses as its GOTY. Instead, your best candidate is more likely to be a major blockbuster like Resident Evil Village, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart or Metroid Dread.

When it comes to fields like Game Direction, Art Direction, Audio Design and Narrative, these will often, but not always, go to the same title. This year the strong contenders are Deathloop and Psychonauts 2 (which we did tip as a likely GOTY candidate in our review). Don't discount Returnal either though, as it has a very loyal following and there was a lot of noise on social media about it being snubbed for other major categories.

Returnal Keyart
Some feel that "Returnal" deserved more nominations that it got, but it's still competing in 3 categories. Sony Interactive Entertainment

One contest that will be interesting to see play out is the gender-neutral best performance award. After all, it features two nominees that would be shoe-ins any other year. On one hand you have the extremely popular Giancarlo Esposito in Far Cry 6, but then there is also Maggie Robertson as Lady Dimitrescu in Resident Evil Village, who was basically the internet's obsession for months on end.

Meanwhile, Cyberpunk 2077 has shocked everybody by managing to secure two nominations, despite a disastrous launch in 2020. One of these awards is admittedly for its music (which had nothing to do with the game's technical failings), but it is surprising to see it in the Best Role Playing category.

In terms of esports, it is also interesting to note that DWG KIA are nominated for best team, but that the victors who defeated them in the recent League of Legends World Championship, Edward Gaming, are nowhere to be seen. Perhaps if the jury shortlisted after that tournament occurred the results would be a little different.

Finally, there are all of the genre-specific awards to consider as well. Judging by the response on social media, Forza Horizon 5 seems like the most popular candidate for the Sports/ Racing category, while Kena: Bridge of Spirits has a lot of support in the indie sphere. In general, gamers seem to be happy with anything winning that particular category, as long as it's not 12 Minutes, which lost a lot of people with its late-game twist.

Mercedes-AMG in 'Forza Horizon 5'
"Forza Horizon 5" is a strong candidate for the Best Sports / Racing award. Playground Games

Here are the full nominees for the 2021 Game Awards.

Game of the Year

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

Best Game Direction

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

Best Ongoing

  • Apex Legends
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • FINAL FANTASY XIV Online
  • Fortnite
  • Genshin Impact

Best Indie

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

Best Debut Indie

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

Best Narrative

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

Best Art Direction

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

Best Score and Music

  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Marcin Przybylowicz, Piotr T. Adamczyk, Composers)
  • Deathloop (Tom Salta, Composer)
  • NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 (Keiichi Okabe, Composer)
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Richard Jacques, Composer)
  • The Artful Escape (Johnny Galvatron & Josh Abrahams, Composers)

Best Audio Design

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

Best Performance

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

Games for Impact

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

Best Community Support

  • Apex Legends
  • Destiny 2
  • FINAL FANTASY XIV Online
  • Fortnite
  • No Man's Sky

Best Mobile Game

  • Fantasian
  • Genshin Impact
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift
  • MARVEL Future Revolution
  • Pokemon Unite

Best VR/AR

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

Best Action

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

Best Action/Adventure

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

Best Role Playing

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

Best Fighting

  • 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

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

Best Sports/Racing

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

Best Sim/Strategy

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

Best Multiplayer

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

Most Anticipated

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

Innovation in Accessibility, Presented by Chevrolet

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

Content Creator of the Year

  • Dream
  • Fuslie
  • Gaules
  • Ibai
  • TheGrefg

Best Esports Game

  • Call of Duty
  • CS:GO
  • DOTA2
  • League of Legends
  • Valorant

Best Esports Athlete

  • Chris "Simp" Lehr
  • Heo "ShowMaker" Su
  • Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov
  • Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev
  • Tyson "TenZ" Ngo

Best Esports Team

  • Atlanta FaZe
  • DWG KIA
  • Natus Vincere
  • Sentinels
  • Team Spirit

Best Esports Coach

  • Airat "Silent" Gaziev
  • Andrey "ENGH" Sholokhov
  • Andrii "B1ad3" Horodenskyi
  • James "Crowder" Crowder
  • Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun

Best Esports Event

  • 2021 League of Legends World Championship
  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020
  • The International 2021
  • Valorant Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters
Game Awards Promotional Art
Image shows the promotional art for the 2021 Game Awards. The Game Awards