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The 2018 Game Award Nominees Are Here, Highlighting a Strong Year for Gaming

The 2018 Game Award Nominees Are Here, Highlighting a Strong Year for Gaming

The 2018 Game Award nominees have been announced, with many of the big AAA titles leading the way and showing off a strong year for gaming.  

By most quantifiable milestones, it’s been a good year for gaming. There’s a smattering of new hardware on the way (and more teased for the future), new entries to major franchises, a new wave of nostalgia-fueled re-releases, and more. A few of the biggest games of the year haven’t even been released yet, and it’s still it’s a hugely successful year.

To honor the best of the year (and kick off an endless series of arguments over the most overlooked titles), the 2018 Video Game Award nominees have been announced. And it may be one of the most competitive shows in years… or not.

On paper, Red Dead Redemption 2 is probably the clear favorite across the board. It melted in the mouths of critics and kicked sand in the face of most entertainment launches with a “so much money it’s just a statistic” three-day debut total of more than $725 million. Selling well is not a guarantee of award glory, but mixed with the incredible praise it has received, the Game of the Year award winner is probably a lock – even though there is some stiff competition.

Rockstar’s game was nominated eight times (including one for Roger Clark’s turn as Arthur Morgan). Don’t be surprised to see Red Dead 2 run away with several awards, but it’s highly unlikely that there will be a clean sweep with so many other major releases this year.

It was just a few months ago that people were heaping praise on the new God of War, and Marvel’s Spider-Man is still making some waves. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is being hailed by many as the best entry in one of the best series in recent years, while Monster Hunter: World was a phenomenon when it was released and helped launch a big screen adaptation. The indie game Celeste also managed to stand out against a crowded field, so it is definitely doing something right – and those are just the Game of the Year nominees.

Check out the nominees below. We unofficially broke them into two types: categories (including Game of the Year, Best Action Game, Best RPG, etc.,) and technical/personal (Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Esports player, etc.). The 2018 Video Game Awards winners will be announced during a live show on December 6 at 5:30 pm PST, which will be streamed around the world on several platforms.

The 2018 Game Award nominees are below.

The 2018 Game Award Nominees Are Here, Highlighting a Strong Year for Gaming

Game Of The Year

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

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Celeste
  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Action Game

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

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Dead Cells
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken
  • Far Cry 5
  • Mega Man 11

Best Action/Adventure Game

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

  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Best Family Game

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

  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • Nintendo Labo
  • Overcooked 2
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas
  • Super Mario Party

Best Fighting Game

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

  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Soul Calibur VI
  • Street Fighter V Arcade Edition

Best Independent Game

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

  • Celeste
  • Dead Cells
  • Intro the Breach
  • Return of the Obra Dinn
  • The Messenger

Best Mobile Game

For the best game playable on a dedicated mobile device.

  • Donut County
  • Florence
  • Fortnite
  • PUBG MOBILE
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones

Best Role Playing Game

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

  • Dragon Quest XI
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Ni no Kuni II
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Best VR/AR Game

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

  • ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission
  • Beat Saber
  • Firewall Zero Hour
  • Moss
  • Tetris Effect

Best Art Direction

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

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • God of War
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Return of the Obra Dinn

Best Audio Design

Recognizing the best in-game audio and sound design.

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Esports Player

The eSports player judged to be the most outstanding performer in 2018, irrespective of game.

  • SonicFox
  • Tokido
  • Uzi
  • s1mple
  • JjoNak

Best Game Direction

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

  • A Way Out
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Narrative

For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • Detroit: Become Human
  • God of War
  • Life is Strange 2: Episode 1
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Ongoing Game

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

  • Destiny 2: Forsaken
  • Fortnite
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Overwatch
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Best Performance

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

  • Bryan Dechart as Connor, Detroit: Become Human
  • Christopher Judge as Kratos, God of War
  • Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption II
  • Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker, Marvel’s Spider-Man

Best Score/Music

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

  • Celeste
  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Games For Impact

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

  • 11-11 Memories Retold
  • Celeste
  • Florence
  • Life is Strange 2
  • The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories

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Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.