The Golden Joystick Award: Be Heard

It's finally here. Participate in the best gaming award ceremony yet.

It’s finally here. Participate in the best gaming award ceremony yet.

The Golden Joystick Award is the Oscars of the gaming industry. For the last 34 years, the Golden Joystick has celebrated the development of video game design and mastery. This year’s awards are going to be epic as several popular games will be vying for the top honor.

Gamers in the industry are being asked to weigh in and decide exactly which game is the best game. It’s time to vote. Here’s a look at the top five categories of 2016:

  1. Best Original Game

This category welcomes the newcomers who have yet to see a sequel. However, their popularity are all the buzz and gamers are flocking to the video games stores to find them.  The games nominated in this category are:


  • Firewatch (Panic Studios)
  • Furi (The Game Bakers)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Inside (Playdeads)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Quantum Break (Microsoft Studios)
  • Soma (Frictional Games)
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division (Ubisoft)
  • The Witness (Thekla Inc.)

This category is comparable to the Best New Artist award at the Grammy’s. Each one of these games garnered popularity over the last year because of their unique design and plotline. For some—determining which one is the best—may be a difficult task.

  1. Best Storytelling

When it comes to video games, the game is only as good as the storyline. The storyline is the backdrop to the design of the game and how it functions.


Gamers should be jumping for joy as some of the top plotlines are up for an award. New friends such as Firewatch and Soma make the cut, and we also see Lara Croft make the list once again. Here’s a look at the full list of nominees:

  • Firewatch (Panic)
  • Oxenfree (Night School Studio)
  • Quantum Break (Microsoft Studios)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix)
  • Soma (Frictional Games)
  • Tales from the Borderlands (Telltale Games)
  • The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (CD Projekt)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Zero Time Dilemma (Aksys Games)

Choosing the game from this category seems like a daunting task—however in comparison some stories are better told than others. Deciphering these top contenders can be a little tricky, especially seeing that each unique plot has provided a different—yet charming—experience for its fans.

  1. Best Visual Design
Stunning visuals for many games made this a heated category.

Stunning visuals for many games made this a heated category.

This category was a hot button topic this year and—at least—eighteen games made the cut. When it comes to the visual design, it’s not about just the aesthetic, but also the appeal. The top candidates of the best visual design Golden Joystick award are:

  • Abzu (505 Games)
  • Battleborn (2K Games)
  • Brutal (Sony)
  • Dark Souls 3 (Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Doom (Bethesda Softworks)
  • Firewatch (Panic)
  • Furi (The Game Bakers)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (Electronic Arts)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix)
  • Soma (Frictional Games)
  • Superhot (Superhot Team)
  • The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (CD Projekt)
  • The Witness (Thekla Inc.)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The best visual design category seems to be long, however, each one of these games deserve to be on what is considered the ‘short list’. The master design quality has forced software and gaming companies to up the ante on their graphics in order to develop a distinction between them and their competitors.

  1. Best Audio

Imagine watching a movie or TV show without sound effects—it would make for a boring experience. From the music to the sound of footsteps, these video games are at the top of their game when it comes to manipulating sound:

  • Amplitude (Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Doom (Bethesda Softworks)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • I Am Setsuna (Square Enix)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (Electronic Arts)
  • Thumper (Drool)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The sound quality of these video game masterpieces has set fans up for an interesting experience. It allows for an in-depth perspective and realistic presence that gives gamers the opportunity to conjure a plan and become game champions.

  1. Best Multi-Player Game

Video games have been known to do three things: Start a friendship, end a friendship or repair a friendship. Either way, multi-player game facets have been a part of the gaming industry for a while.

With the advancement of technology, multi-player games have allowed people to interconnect all over the world. The games that successfully accomplished the idea of virtual human interaction are:

  • Broforce (Devolver Digital)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Activision)
  • Dark Souls 3 (Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • FIFA 17 (EA Sports)
  • Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns (ArenaNet)
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • PES 2017 (Konami)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (Electronic Arts)
  • Street Fighter 5 (Capcom)
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division (Ubisoft)
  • World of Warships (Wargaming)
  • Worms WMD (Team 17)

When it comes to multi-player games, it’s clear that two favorite series made the cut—Halo and Call of Duty. However, some newcomers seem to be edging the competition a bit such as Worms WMD and Overwatch.

The Who’s Who of 2016

This year, there has been an unprecedented amount of newcomers that have earned a coveted spot in an array of categories. The following games continue to garner popularity and are racking up Golden Joystick nominations:

Gamers get voting to make sure your title makes the cut!

Gamers get voting to make sure your title makes the cut!

Firewatch

One of the hottest games of the season, Firewatch continues to mesmerize its fans and critics. With its exceptionally couture design and compelling narrative, Firewatch’s popularity is surely going to convince its creator, Panic, to consider making a sequel.

Furi

Another newcomer, Furi, is racking up nominations this award season. Since its July 5th debut, Furi has become a powerhouse in software developer, The Great Baker’s collection of goodies. It’s detailed visual effects and elite design has allowed Furi to become fan favorite.

Overwatch

An interesting concept with a wide circuit space, Overwatch is climbing its way through the ranks of the gaming industry. With a captivating concept, consistent storyline, it’s no wonder this game has become a fan favorite. It also offers gamers an initial twelve maps and 21-character initiative which can make the expedition that much more compelling.

And the Winner Is?

Well, that’s hard to say and really the only way to find out is if everyone takes the opportunity to vote. But here are a few predictions some may be able to get behind:

Best Original Game

Based on several reviews, it looks like Firewatch may be the top contender—however it has some tough competition. Furi and Overwatch may be a honing in on the number two spot with Tom Clancy’s Division rounding the top three. But at this point it’s anything is possible.

Best Storytelling

Firewatch may have a chance, but it’s going to be hard to compete with the beloved Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider series. There is also a good chance that The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine is a strong possibility, along with Microsoft’s Quantum Break.

Best Visual Design

This is going to be a tough one to crack, especially when you have Rise of the Tomb Raider vying for that top spot. Newcomers such as Overwatch, Firewatch, Furi, and Soma all have out of this world graphics that can give Square Enix’s popular game a good run for its money.

Best Audio

This category is going to see major competition between Star Wars Battlefront, I Am Setsuna, Fallout, and Amplitude. It will be interesting to see where people’s loyalties will lie and which one of these games will come out on top.

Best Multi-Player Game

The winner of this category will be interesting to see. Nobody does a multi-player facet like the top-three games duking it out for this coveted award—Call of Duty, Halo, and Street Fighter. Newcomer Overwatch may be fighting a close second along with FIFA 17, and Dark Souls 3.

The Tom Clancy series may have the opportunity to edge out the competition as it has two games in this category—The Division and Rainbow Six Siege.

Innovation of the Year

Although not in the top 5 category list, it is still worth an honorable mention. This year’s nominees is a mixture between video game software and hardware, some of those nominees are:

  • Guitar Hero Live
  • HTC Vive
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Pokémon Go
  • Playstation VR

There has been backlash for adding Pokémon Go to the list. Regardless, this category is unpredictable and surely going to liven up the gaming industry.

The Golden Joystick Recap

When it comes to this year’s Golden Joystick awards, they got it right. It also helped not limiting the number of nominees in a category because it gave gamers and gurus the opportunity to be heard. It also gave software companies the ability to showcase their work and get a feel for the consumer consensus on their products.

Predicting the winners—well that’s just an educated guess. However, determining the winner means that gamers, critics, and consumers alike have to actually go and vote for their favorite video game.

Kyle Aken

Kyle Aken

I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, and have spent the majority of my time on this planet with my head buried in a notebook. Since I was 6, I have been doing everything from scribbling comics, to writing screenplays, and novels. I have a passion for the written word, so much so that it seems that writing chose me more than the other way around.

Sometimes I'm not really even sure if it's me doing the writing, or I am just a channel for the stories themselves. Either way, I hope you enjoy both this work, and the many works to come, and remember, yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, but today is a gift, that's why we call it the present.
Kyle Aken

Disclaimer:

Product Information Only

This website and its content (including links to other websites) are presented in general form and are provided for informational purposes only.

TechnologyPep.com does not sell any products on this site and, to the maximum extent permitted by law, excludes all liability and makes no warranties or representations that the products written about on this site are fit for any particular purpose, or are suitable for any particular use or by any particular person.

TechnologyPep.com is not responsible for the practices of owners of other websites and makes no representations or warranties about the products available for sale on those other sites.

Please check product content information carefully before purchasing any product on another site via a link provided on this site or otherwise.