Skip to main content

We ranked every Game of the Year from The Game Awards

For the last ten years, TGA's Game of the Year award has been hotly contested
  • Author:
  • Updated:

The Game Awards are set to start streaming later today, and one of the most hotly contested awards in the show is the coveted Game of the Year award, given to the game that’s widely recognised as the best game to release in that year.

Over the last ten years, the competition for the top award in Geoff Keighley’s premier awards show has been tight, with some major upsets and frankly strange decisions at times. With this year’s show almost upon us, we at GLHF decided to put our heads together and rank every game from the last ten years that’s won the Game of the Year award, from worst to best.

10. Overwatch (2016)

Runners-up: Doom, Inside, Titanfall 2, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

There’s no denying that Overwatch had a massive cultural impact, but really? Game of the year? In a year that also had the incredible Doom reboot and Titanfall 2, one of the best shooters of all time, that seems almost impossible. But that’s exactly what happened.

Overwatch rode high for a few years, even picking up a few awards in subsequent years for best ongoing game before being put on hold and subsequently replaced by Overwatch 2, which everybody agrees kind of sucks in comparison. It was fun while it lasted, but it probably wasn’t the best game of 2016.

9. Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)

Runners-up: Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls 2, Hearthstone, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Yeah, okay, 2014 was a bit of a stinker when it came to big games. Dark Souls 2 is fine, but it’s probably the weakest in the series, and while we all love Bayonetta 2, it’s not exactly setting the world on fire in any aspect. Hearthstone was a good card battler, but it was a little while before it really started to get good, so the whole year was a bit of a wash, honestly.

Dragon Age: Inquisition being here isn’t the worst thing that could have happened, it’s a decent enough game with some fun romance options, and fans absolutely love it. Looking at some of the other games that were included, yeah, it’s probably the best game of 2014. That’s just a low bar.

8. It Takes Two (2021)

Runners-up: Deathloop, Metroid Dread, Psychonauts 2, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Resident Evil Village

It Takes Two May and Cody as dolls

It Takes Two was a lovely co-op game.

We love it when smaller games get a spotlight in these kinds of awards, and It Takes Two was definitely a great game. But man, Metroid Dread was really dang good, Psychonauts 2 was a trip, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was a nice way to return to a beloved series. And that’s to say nothing of Resident Evil Village and its very tall lady.

It Takes Two definitely deserves its win, we’re not trying to take that away from it at all. But it was a very tight competition, and just about every other game deserved it just as much, maybe even a little bit more for some of them (looking at you, Metroid).

7. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (2019)

Runners-up: Control, Death Stranding, Resident Evil 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Outer Worlds

FromSoftware has won GOTY twice, and has been nominated for four years overall in the last decade. The studio is known for its world-class action RPGs, and Sekiro is no different, putting an interesting twist on the genre that FromSoft itself helped pioneer.

Is it the best game of the year? That’s debatable. Smash Ultimate was pretty great, and people certainly lost their minds of Death Stranding and RE2 Remake. For our money, we think the other FromSoft GOTY winner is much more deserving, as you’ll see.

6. God of War (2018)

Runners-up: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Celeste, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Monster Hunter: World, Red Dead Redemption 2

God of War is possibly the most triple-A game ever to have tripled some As, so of course it ended up winning. That’s not to say it’s bad, in fact it’s quite the opposite, it’s just a bit of a bland pick in a year filled with absolute bangers.

Celeste deserved it, as did Monster Hunter World and Spider-Man, and even Red Dead 2 could have justifiably taken the crown. God of War is a fine enough pick, it was just outshone by almost every other competitor in our opinion.

5: The Last of Us Part 2 (2020)

Runners-up: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Doom Eternal, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, Hades

The Last of Us 2 kissing scene.

The Last of Us Part 2 is more than just a zombie game.

Hey, speaking of very triple-A games, here’s TLOU2. It was a fantastic game, no doubt about it, willing to take some absolutely massive swings at expectations and turning everything on its head.

Honestly, the only real competitor here is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a game so huge that just about every brand on the planet was getting in on the action. It might not have been the best game of the year, but it was certainly the most important in a year filled with really bad stuff.

4. Elden Ring (2022)

Runners-up: A Plague Tale: Requiem, God of War Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, Stray, Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 deserved last year’s GOTY award, but I’ll reluctantly admit that Elden Ring is absolutely worthy of it too. It’s probably the best FromSoftware game to date, proving that the tried and true Souls formula can be adapted to true open world design.

It was still tough as nails, but with more options, more tools, and more spells at your disposal, Elden Ring was one of the most approachable FromSoft games to date, and it deserves credit for that.

3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

Runners-up: Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Super Mario Maker

The Witcher series has been pottering around for a long while now, but the world really stood up and paid attention when The Witcher 3 dropped. Since then, it’s been included in just about every “best games of all time” list, and for good reason.

It’s got great characters, incredible combat, a bunch of free post-launch content, and a story so good it even spawned a TV series. 2015 had some good games, but The Witcher 3 is undoubtedly the best.

2. Baldur’s Gate 3 (2023)

Runners-up: Alan Wake 2, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Bros. Wonder

What other game has this?

What other game has this?

But wait, 2023’s GOTY award hasn’t been awarded yet. You’re right, it hasn’t. But we feel very confident that Baldur’s Gate 3 will take the crown, and even if it doesn’t, it’ll be GOTY in our hearts.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is simply phenomenal, taking everything about the D&D experience and somehow implementing all of it in a video game. Tears of the Kingdom could take it – it’s also incredible – but we’re pretty confident on this one.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Runners-up: Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Super Mario Odyssey

2017 had some straight bangers, but none banged as hard or as loud as Breath of the Wild. We’re still seeing the ripples of this monumental achievement in almost every open world game that gets released today, it was truly genre defining.

Of all the games on this list, Breath of the Wild is by far the most deserving of its crown. It’s just incredible, from start to finish and every moment in between. Poor Persona 5 though.