It’s that time of the year again. And while The Game Awards are always sure to please, we thought we’d share our top picks of the year.
The games chosen were all first nominated by the writers at Dot Esports. The most popular nominations were then voted upon to determine the winner.
Some big titles came out in 2021, including Halo Infinite, Resident Evil Village, and unexpected favorites like It Takes Two and Kena: Bridge of Spirits. The pandemic forced a lot of developers to push their games to late 2021 or 2022, so although there are a lot of good games nominated for the 2021 awards, 2022 also looks promising for game releases.
The Game Awards nominations have 30 categories, but we’ve slimmed that down to just the ones that encompass the heart of gaming. Here are the best games (and esports athlete and team) of the year, according to Dot Esports.
Game of the Year
Tied: Resident Evil Village and It Takes Two
The results for Game of the Year were tied according to our writers. Both Resident Evil Village and It Takes Two received the most votes. Both games were highly regarded, although Resident Evil Village had more hype for it coming out than It Takes Two did.
Best Game Direction
Winner: It Takes Two
It Takes Two was one of the biggest multiplayer games of the year and all who played it gave it great reviews. The Steam store cites over 50,000 positive reviews. What’s most unique about this game is that only one person has to buy it and the second player uses a buddy pass copy of the game.
Best Art Direction
Winner: Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Purchased on either the PlayStation store or the Epic Launcher, Kena: Bridge of Spirits graced the screens of players worldwide and left us in awe of its beauty. The landscape is beautiful and the characters are cute Disney-like characters, including cute little creatures called Rot. They’re so cute, you can’t help but want to squeeze one.
Winner: Final Fantasy 14 Online
Fans were so excited to get their hands on Endwalker, the new expansion for this game, that being stuck in a queue is being regarded as a savage raid due to such high queue times. Regardless of the errors that people are getting in queues, this 2013 game is more popular than ever and has one of the best communities in gaming.
Best Mobile Game
Winner: Pokémon UNITE
When Nintendo released details about a Pokémon MOBA, fans of the franchise were left scratching their heads. But it turns out that Pokémon UNITE was an instant hit for those who love MOBAs. The game came out on mobile devices shortly after it came out on the Switch and has been popular ever since.
Winner: Halo Infinite
Although the campaign has only been out for a day, Dot Esports writers have gathered many a night to play the multiplayer version of the game—and they’re having an absolute blast with it. Now that the campaign is out, many people are starting to get their hands on it, and early reviews are promising that the campaign lives up to fans’ expectations.
Winner: Mario Party Superstars
Mario Party Superstars is the latest in a much-beloved franchise of Mario Party games—and it doesn’t disappoint, either. The gameplay is fun and engaging for any age group and it’s a great way for parents to play games with their children.
Winner: Halo Infinite
As previously stated, Dot Esports has been having a blast with the multiplayer mode of Halo Infinite since it released as a surprise in late November. It’s already even started going down the competitive route with the revival of the Halo Championship Series, which has drawn some big names in esports.
Most Anticipated Game
Winner: Elden Ring
This action role-playing game is highly anticipated by fans of Dark Souls and BloodBorne. Many are hoping to get a better look at the game tonight at The Game Awards. The initial release date was supposed to be this November, but the game is now set to come out on Feb. 25, 2022.
Best Esports Game
With VCT Champions still underway, there was a lot to love for VALORANT esports this year. Although the pandemic caused quite a bit of trouble for Riot, its events still went on as planned and fans got to watch some great competitions, even if North America exited Champions a bit early.
Best Esports Athlete
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev is often heralded as one of the best CS:GO players in the world. He has an incredibly long history in the esport and has been with Natus Vincere since 2016. A quick glance at the results section on his Liquipedia page will show you just how much of a force he is since there are a lot of first-place finishes.
Best Esports Team
Unfortunately for Cloud9, its VALORANT team lost to Team Liquid at VCT Champions. But at least the organization’s League of Legends roster made it to the knockout stage of the 2021 World Championship. The org’s next venture is in Halo. C9 was one of the first teams to announce it’d have a Halo team and got a skin in Halo Infinite.
Best Game You Suck At
Winner: League of Legends
The winner of this category was overwhelmingly League of Legends. MOBAs are an easy to learn and hard to master game that many people struggle with. As it turns out, about 60 percent of our voters also struggle with it.
Worst Game of the Year
Loser: New World
Unfortunately for New World, the bugs that plagued the game were patched fairly quickly, but those patches brought new game-breaking bugs. Players could only take so much of it before they abandoned the game. Although the developers seem to finally be getting the game back on track, it’s far too late for a lot of the player base.