The business days of Gamescom just ended, closing the three day-long marathon in which media outlets from all over the world scramble to see as many games as possible.
It’s also the time in which the (subjectively) best games of about a million categories get those prized littloe stickers testifying their excellence.
This time around we came with our own stickers, and below you can find a list of those games that made the cut.
This year we saw a really rich line-up of games, even if the absence of big new reveals from Sony could be felt. That said, there was plenty to enjoy, as you can see below.
You may also notice that a game winning the overall “Game of the Show” awards might not get the award for its genre. That’s because the big prize goes to the title that made the biggest overall impression, but we didn’t see enough of its genre’s specific elements for the genre-focused prize. It got plenty awards anyway.
Remember that this kind of award is mostly subjective. It’s perfectly ok to disagree with us. We can still be friends.
But without further ado, you I leave you with the list (and yes, that’s my “trade show running on fumes” face. I’m a wreck, I know).
Game of the Show: Scalebound
It looked impressive on the big screen at Microsoft’s press conference, but when I saw it played in front of my eyes behind closed doors, I was blown away.
The gaming industry seems to have trouble doing dragon-focused games right. Scalebound seems to be a radical exception to that rule.
Best PS4 Game: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Hideo Kojima’s latest labor of love is as dark as it is whimsical. It ping-pongs in a lovely way between taking itself seriously and not doing it at all, in perfect Hideo Kojima style.
No matter what’s written (or not written) on the box. This is a Hideo Kojima game, and it has the full potential to be the best of them all.
Best Xbox One Game: Scalebound
Would you have ever expected to see a Japanese game win a Best Xbox One award? This one just did, and with flying colors.
Best PC Game: Star Citizen
Chris Roberts and his team aren’t just breaking new ground in technology with graphics, but also with gameplay. For years I’ve dreamed to see multiple human-controlled crewmen moving independently inside a starship flying among the stars. Yesterdat I saw just that. I almost cried with joy. You might not realize it, but it’s a big deal.
Best Wii U Game: Xenoblade Chronicles X
If being a Xeno game wasn’t enough, Xenoblade Chronicles X brings some much needed RPG goodness to the Wii U, and it does so with a topping of mecha, and one of the most beautiful game worlds ever created.
Best PS Vita Game: Forma.8
Futuridium developer MixedBag may be small (only five developers), but it’s extremely creative. Forma.8 is an absolutely adorable game.
Its main character might just be a black sphere with two bright eyes, but he (it?) makes you smile every time you see it.
Best 3DS Game: Rodea The Sky Soldier
We waited for a long time for Rodea The Sky Soldier, and Yuji Naka’s latest creation Oozes charm. It’s colorful, unique, and a whole lot of fun.
Best First Party Game: Scalebound
Considering Microsoft Studios’ involvement, we considered Scalebound a first party-like game, and among the category, it’s definitely the one that made the biggest impact.
Best Shooter Game: Star Wars: Battlefront
Not only it oozes Star Wars spirit from every pixel, but it’s even a hell of a lot of fun to play. It also looks awesome to boot.
The newly announced “Fighter Squadron” mode is one of the most epic things I played at Gamescom.
Best Adventure (or Action-Adventure) Game: Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
This genre had the most pitched competition, with many great candidates, all worthy of the award. Mirror’s Edge inched over the rest for its sleek and clean visuals and fast gameplay that flows like silk.
Best RPG: Final Fantasy XV
The new trailer brought tears to my eyes, with how it conveyed strong emotions with very few words. What we saw during the Active Time Report looked absolutely impressive, and Hajime Tabata’s team definitely seems ready to revolutionize the Final Fantasy franchise.
All we need now is a release date.
Best Racing Game: Forza Motorsport 6
Turn 10’s latest labor of love has the potential to be the best, by far. Driving in the rain is full of tension due to the traitorous puddles, and speeding along in the night is scary as hell, as it should be.
Add to that the fact that the game is the very definition of sleek, and the driving model feels massively improved since Forza 5, and you have a winner.
Best Sports Game: Blood Bowl 2
You didn’t see this coming, did you? The second installment of the Blood Bowl franchise makes it up in spades with charisma and strategic depth for what it lacks in action.
It has two teams running around with a ball, so it’s a sports game, and this time around, it’s the best.
Best Strategy Game: Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence
The Nobunaga no Yabou series is finally coming west, and it comes with an extremely deep strategy gameplay that fans of the genre will love.
War, diplomacy and castle-building are all interconnected in a great way to create a package that has few rivals.
Best Platformer: Unravel
Unravel is an adorable game with an adorable protagonist, but don’t let Yarnie distract you, the gameplay is fully capable to engross and charm, just as much as the main character.
Best Indie Game: Forma.8
Forma.8 is slow paced, it encourages you to think and explore in an experience that it’s almost meditative. Three minutes in, I was already hooked, and I still am.
Biggest Shocker: Scalebound
This is the award for the biggest surprise. We knew Scalebound was coming, but we did not know how it was coming.
Many expected Devil May Cry with dragons. Well, sorry buddies, but this is much better. Dragons done right, baby! What’s not to love?