Predicting the Game of the Year Nominees at The Game Awards 2020

Prior to The Game Awards announcing which titles will be in contention for GOTY at this year's show, we're here to tell you what you should expect.

November 17, 2020

Whether you enjoy the show or not, The Game Awards has essentially become the games industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, Grammys, or Emmys. Even though every other publication around the globe (including us here at DualShockers) ends up handing out annualized “Best Of” awards of their own, Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards is the showcase that catches the attention of the most people each year.

On the eve of this year’s nominees being announced for the 2020 edition of The Game Awards, I thought it might be fun to try and read the tea leaves and predict what the six choices are that we’ll see selected for the show’s biggest honor: Game of the Year. While these are just my own guesses, I feel like they’ll prove to be pretty spot-on once Keighley and crew reveal the official list.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

In a year that has largely been so awful around the world, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been that blanket of warmth, comfort, and joy that many have surely needed. The latest iteration of the long-running series couldn’t have hit at a more perfect time when it launched back in March and the enjoyment that many fans around the globe have derived from it hasn’t gone away since then.

With Nintendo continuing to support New Horizons on a routine basis in the months following its release, Animal Crossing is likely the one new title that many haven’t stopped playing in 2020. That speaks volumes in its own right and makes it a worthy nominee at this year’s event.

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Half-Life: Alyx

It has been said for years that virtual reality, while really cool in practice, still lacked a killer app. Well, it seems Valve heard those complaints and decided to bring Half-Life out of retirement to show everyone what the space really needed.

Half-Life: Alyx doesn’t mark just the return of a beloved franchise, it’s likely the most impressive, immersive, and groundbreaking VR title we’ve seen so far. Even though it has likely been experienced by fewer players overall than any other game on this list, it’s hard to deny that Half-Life: Alyx isn’t the shot in the arm that the VR industry needed. Whether or not a VR game is able to win GOTY outright remains to be seen, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if we see this one nominated.

The Last of Us Part II

Love it or loathe it, you probably need to accept that Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II is a virtual lock to be in contention for Game of the Year at The Game Awards. Not only does it stand as one of the year’s highest-rated games, but it’s also a technical achievement for the PS4 and the games industry as a whole. Not to mention, it boasts some of the most impressive accessibility functions in any video game ever created.

While you might not disagree with all of its narrative choices, not seeing The Last of Us Part II in the running for GOTY would be far more shocking than if it does get nominated. Prepare yourself for the inevitable.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Yeah, I know, it’s baffling that a well-received remake of one of the most beloved games of all-time would end up appearing on this list. Who could have expected that?

In all sincerity, Final Fantasy VII Remake is likely the year’s most stand-out RPG and meaningfully found a way to not only expand on the game’s original story, but also injected it with enough new content to keep longtime fans intrigued. Even though it took a long time to finally hit store shelves after its first announcement all those years ago at E3, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a game that will surely get a chance to win the honor of best game released in 2020 at The Game Awards.


Hades has quickly become this year’s indie darling. Supergiant Games’ latest title had been in early access for a while prior to its launch earlier this year, but once the full 1.0 version went live, many started to realize just how darn good this roguelike really is. I mean, heck, it stands as one of the only 10/10 scores we gave here at DualShockers in 2020.

Despite not having the IP pull that Half-LifeThe Last of Us, or Final Fantasy does, it’s hard to deny that Hades isn’t worthy of a spot here among these other potential nominees. And if you don’t believe me, the game’s aggregate score over on Metacritic should say enough.

Fall Guys

This sixth and final nominee was hard for me to pick, but I landed on Fall Guys as what I expect to be the last game chosen. In terms of sheer popularity, it’s hard to match what Fall Guys was able to do when it released over the summer. Within mere days, this new take on the battle royale genre went from being virtually an unknown quantity to then being played by what felt like everyone in the world.

While I’m unsure if it will end up taking home the biggest honor at The Game Awards, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Mediatonic’s mega-popular release get some love with a nomination at the very least.

As mentioned, the official nominees for Game of the Year and every other category at The Game Awards will be announced tomorrow on November 18. As for this year’s event itself, it’s set to take place early next month on December 10.

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Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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