Game Awards 2019 Winners

The Game Awards 2019 are happening in December. Here are the nominees for Game of the Year and our predictions for who wins...

Game Awards 2019 Nominees: Death Stranding

The Game Awards is the video game industry’s biggest celebration of the year, honoring the latest and greatest in gaming. The 2019 ceremony has come and gone, and we finally know which games are going down as the very best of the year.

The 2019 Game of the Year nominees were ControlDeath Stranding, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Resident Evil 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and The Outer Worlds. Other games with at least 3 nominations included Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Disco Elysium, Final Fantasy XIV, Fortnite, Gris, Outer Wilds, and Sayonara Wild Hearts.

You can see of all of the winners below. Winners are highlighted in RED!

Game of the Year

Control (Remedy/505 Games)

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Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Bandai-Namco/Sora/Nintendo)

Resident Evil 2 (Capcom/Capcom)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (From Software/Activision)

The Outer Worlds (Obsidian/Private Division)

Our Prediction:

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Death Stranding snagged quite a few nominations for a game released so close to this particular awards show, so we’re favoring it highly throughout this list in terms of likely winners. At the very least, we think it’s the runaway favorite for this category, even if it’s not actually the best game of the year. 

Assuming Death Stranding doesn’t win, Control and Resident Evil 2 are the most likely upset candidates. The Outer Worlds, Sekiro, and Super Smash Bros. all feel like slightly longer shots, a little too niche to take the top prize, but we certainly think they’re all worthy of being in the discussion for the best games of the year. 

Best Game Direction

Control (Remedy/505 Games)

Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)

Resident Evil 2 (Capcom/Capcom)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (From Software/Activision)

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Outer Wilds (Mobius Digital/Annapurna)

Our Prediction:

Once again, this feels like Death Stranding‘s category to lose. Hideo Kojima has positioned himself as one of the few high-profile “auteurs” in AAA gaming, and Death Stranding is most certainly the product of his unique vision (for all the good and bad that entails). We think he gets the win, and we think he deserves it for this particular category. 

Outer Wilds is a fascinating upset candidate, but we’re not entirely sure that “direction” in the traditional sense of that term is really what makes that game great. Given the nature of this particular award, then, we’d give slightly higher upset odds to the brilliant Control

Best Narrative

A Plague Tale: Innocence (Asobo/Focus Home)

Control (Remedy/505)

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Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)

Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)

The Outer Worlds (Obsidian/Private Division)

Our Prediction:

This is undoubtedly the toughest major category to predict this year. 

Our bold guess of the night is that Death Stranding doesn’t walk away with this one. Its story is interesting, but the game’s narrative as it’s written may actually be one of the weaker elements of the experience. That leaves us looking at the other candidates in this category. 

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A Plague Tale: Innocence certainly deserves its nomination, but it lacks the momentum of some of the other nominees. Disco Elysium offers one of the most complex, mature, and dark stories of the year, but the truth of the matter is that indies traditionally struggle in this (and other high-profile) categories at this particular show. 

That leaves us with Control and The Outer Worlds. Both deserve the award, but we’re willing to bet that this is where Control walks away with a very well-deserved win after potentially being snubbed elsewhere. 

Best Art Direction

Control (Remedy/505)

Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)

Gris (Nomada Studio/Devolver)

Sayonara Wild Hearts (Simogo/Annapurna)

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (From Software/Activision)

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Grezzo/Nintendo)

Our Prediction:

This is a bizarre category that is once again highlighted by the presence of two of the highest-profile games of this particular awards show: Control and Death Stranding. While there’s a chance that both games could sneak away with the win, we’d sooner bet on one of the smaller nominees to walk away with an award. 

Gris feels like the favorite here. It has the most obviously beautiful and unique art style, and its low-profile nature means that it likely would have never received a nomination here unless it was a strong candidate. 

Best Score/Music

Cadence of Hyrule (Brace Yourself Games/Nintendo)

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Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)

Devil May Cry 5 (Capcom)

Kingdom Hearts III (Square Enix)

Sayonara Wild Hearts (Simogo/Annapurna)

Our Prediction:

This category isn’t nearly as stacked as it was last year when Celeste, God of War, and Red Dead Redemption 2 were all top-tier candidates. Honestly, we’d be shocked if either Death Stranding or Devil May Cry 5 doesn’t walk away with the win. 

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Of those two games, Death Stranding feels like the stronger overall candidate. Devil May Cry 5‘s metal themes represent a refreshing change of pace from the “typical” gaming soundtrack selections, but Death Stranding‘s use of licensed and original music in a large-world setting reminds us of the 2018 winner in this category, Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Audio Design

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)

Control (Remedy/505)

Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)

Gears 5 (The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)

Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (From Software/Activision)

Our Prediction:

We’d be fine with any of these games walking away with the win here as each of them represents a significant technological accomplishment in this particular field. However, we think that this is Control‘s award to lose. Not only is its audio design technically brilliant, but the nature of the game’s story and gameplay (which sees you deal with the consequences of interdimensional tampering) means that the title’s brilliant audio design is more apparent throughout the experience. Who could forget the endless chanting that echoes through the hallways of the Oldest House?

Best Performance

Ashly Burch as Parvati Holcomb, The Outer Worlds

Courtney Hope as Jesse Faden, Control

Laura Bailey as Kait Diaz, Gears 5

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Mads Mikkelsen as Cliff, Death Stranding

Matthew Porretta as Dr. Casper Darling, Control

Norman Reedus as Sam Porter Bridges, Death Stranding

Our Prediction:

If we were actually betting on these categories, we’d put money on Mads Mikkelsen. We spoke before about how it feels like Death Stranding is entering this awards show with certain advantages, and Mads Mikkelsen is a high-profile (and beloved) film and television actor, which is something that major game award shows have traditionally put a lot of stock in. 

However, we also think that Ashly Burch and Courtney Hope are strong candidates. Hope might have the slight advantage due to her leading performance, but Burch drew accolades across the board for her performance as The Outer Worlds‘ most beloved companion.

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Games for Impact

Concrete Genie (Pixelopus/SIE)

Gris (Nomada Studio/Devolver)

Kind Words (Popcannibal)

Life is Strange 2 (Dontnod/Square Enix)

Sea of Solitude (Jo-Mei Games/EA)

Our Prediction:

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We don’t think any game is entering this category with a notable advantage, which means that it’s a true award show toss-up. However, the smart money is on Gris. It’s a thematically complicated and artistically beautiful story about a young woman’s journey through incredible circumstances, and a deserving candidate that also received some love elsewhere in these nominations. 

Best Ongoing Game

Apex Legends (Respawn)

Destiny 2 (Bungie)

Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)

Fortnite (Epic Games)

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

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Let’s break these down a bit, shall we? 

Our Prediction:

Apex Legends actually dropped in popularity as the year went on, so we don’t think it gets the win. Destiny 2 is in a bit of a strange state at the moment, so it probably won’t walk away with the award, either. Rainbow Six Siege and Final Fantasy XIV are certainly worthy candidates, but we’ve seen them lose this particular category before. 

That leaves us with the most likely winner, Fortnite. In Epic’s defense, Fortnite has enjoyed a prolific year of constant content updates, so we feel like it’s fairly deserving of the win in this instance.

Best Independent Game

Baba Is You (Hempuli)

Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)

Katana ZERO (Askiisoft/Devoler)

Outer Wilds (Mobius Digital/Annapurna)

Untitled Goose Game (House House/Panic)

Our Prediction:

This is an absolutely loaded category that only features one nominee (Katana ZERO) that doesn’t feel like a true contender. Considering that many people felt like Outer Wilds was snubbed for a GOTY nomination, though, we think it gets the win here.

Untitled Goose Game is actually an interesting dark horse candidate, and Baba is You and Disco Elysium also deserve the award despite the fact that they likely don’t have the momentum and hype of some of the other games on this list. 

Best Mobile Game

Call of Duty: Mobile (TiMi Studios/Activision)

GRINDSTONE (Capybara Games)

Sayonara Wild Hearts (Simogo/Annapurna)

Sky: Children of Light (Thatgamecompany)

What the Golf? (Tribland)

Our Prediction:

Call of Duty: Mobile is the most high-profile nominee on this list, but we think the win goes to GRINDSTONE. The game is one-part strategy, one-part action, one-part puzzle game, and 100% addictive. It’s by far the best game in the Apple Arcade lineup, and it’s honestly worthy of consideration for GOTY honors (even if it’s not on that particular shortlist). 

Best Community Support

Apex Legends (Respawn/EA)

Destiny 2 (Bungie)

Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)

Fortnite (Epic Games)

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Our Prediction:

We’re not entirely sure we understand the criteria for this game considering that the nominees are exactly the same as the ones in the Best Ongoing Game category. It honestly feels superfluous. 

Unless this is an excuse to give Fortnite two awards this year as opposed to its usual one, we think that Final Fantasy XIV or Destiny 2 might actually snag the win here due to the fact that each title enjoyed a significant overhaul that was driven (in part) by community feedback. 

Best VR/AR Game

Asgard’s Wrath (Sanzaru Games/Oculus Studios)

Blood & Truth (SIE London Studio/SIE)

Beat Saber (Beat Games)

No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Trover Saves the Universe (Squanch Games)

Our Prediction:

There’s really no debate here. Unless something truly shocking happens, the brilliant Beat Saber will win for its simple VR-fueled rhythm gameplay.

Best Action Game

Apex Legends (Respawn/EA)

Astral Chain (Platinum Games/Nintendo)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)

Devil May Cry 5 (Capcom/Capcom)

Gears 5 (The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)

Metro Exodus (4A Games/Deep Silver)

Our Prediction:

This is kind of an interesting category that highlights a few titles that aren’t getting love elsewhere. We don’t think Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will get the win, but it’s almost always in the discussion. Devil May Cry 5 feels like a likely (and deserving) candidate, but our hearts actually go out to Astral Chain in this instance. It didn’t get nearly the love that it deserved at launch, but it might just be the Switch’s best action game and one of the most underrated major titles of 2019. 

Best Action/Adventure Game

Borderlands 3 (Gearbox/2K)

Control (Remedy/505 Games)

Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/SIE)

Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Grezzo/Nintendo)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (From Software/Activision)

Our Prediction:

Again, this feels like a slightly superfluous category, but we’ll move on. 

Control will probably take the win here as it will likely lose the GOTY award to Death Stranding. We could honestly see Sekiro also getting the win for that same reason, but Control certainly feels like the other (deserving) darling of this show. 

Best RPG

Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)

Final Fantasy XIV (Square Enix)

Kingdom Hearts III (Square Enix)

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (Capcom)

The Outer Worlds (Obsidian/Private Division) 

Our Prediction:

The Outer Worlds is more than a pseudo-sequel to Fallout: New Vegas. It’s a brilliantly written, well-designed game in its own right that stands as one of Obsidian’s most complete RPGs in years. It’s a game for “pure” RPG fans, but it makes smart concessions that open its best features to those who don’t typically fall for this style of game. There’s no doubt that The Outer Worlds will win this category.

Best Fighting Game

Dead or Alive 6 (Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo)

Jump Force (Spike Chunsoft/Bandai Namco)

Mortal Kombat 11 (NetherRealm/WBIE)

Samurai Showdown (SNK/Athlon)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Bandai Namco/Sora/Nintendo)

Our Prediction:

In a year without Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 11 would probably grab the win. However, the allure of Nintendo’s fighting title is just too strong. To be fair, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a great game that also feels like a celebration of the Smash Bros. franchise until this point. It’s the almost guaranteed winner of this category. 

Best Family Game

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Next Level Games/Nintendo)

Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Bandai Namco/Sora/Nintendo)

Yoshi’s Crafted World (Good-Feel/Nintendo)

Our Prediction:

Here’s another category that is much, much tougher to predict than it may initially appear. 

Ring Fit Adventure and Yoshi’s Crafted World feel like the odd ones out, so we’ll eliminate them now. Smash Bros. is brilliant, but it’s well-represented elsewhere and also honestly feels like slightly less of a “family” game. That leaves us with Super Mario Maker 2 and Luigi’s Mansion 3. Of those two, we’d lean towards Luigi’s Mansion 3 for its great co-op gameplay, friendly design, and wonderful visuals. 

Best Strategy Game

Age of Wonders: Planetfall (Triumph Studios/Paradox)

Anno 1800 (Blue Byte/Ubisoft)

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Intelligent Systems/Koei Tecmo/Nintendo)

Total War: Three Kingdoms (Creative Assembly/Sega)

Tropico 6 (Limbic Entertainment/Kalypso Media)

Wargroove (Chucklefish)

Our Prediction:

We’re going to assume that They Are Billions missed the cut here due to its strange Early Access release structure. In any case, the most likely candidates are Anno 1880 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Honestly, games like Anno are rarely represented at The Game Awards, but even if they were, Fire Emblem‘s advancements of the franchise’s most notable mechanics make it a worthwhile and strong contender for this award. 

Best Sports/Racing Game

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (Beenox/Activision)

DiRT Rally 2.0 (Codemasters)

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 (PES Productions/Konami)

F1 2019 (Codemasters)

FIFA 20 (EA Sports)

Our Prediction:

*Looks at candidates*

*Flips coin*

*Shrugs*

FIFA 20

Best Multiplayer Game

Apex Legends (Respawn/EA)

Borderlands 3 (Gearbox/2K)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision)

Tetris 99 (Arika/Nintendo)

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft)

Our Prediction:

Once again, the name brand appeal of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is likely too strong to ignore. We’re also not sure why Fortnite wasn’t nominated, but its absence opens the door for Modern Warfare or, possibly, Apex Legends to win. 

However, Tetris 99 is a pretty compelling dark horse candidate that just may surprise everyone en route to a victory. Don’t be too shocked if it snags enough votes. 

Fresh Indie Game Presented by Subway

ZA/UM for Disco Elysium

Nomada Studio for Gris

DeadToast Entertainment for My Friend Pedro

Mobius Digital for Outer Wilds

Mega Crit for Slay the Spire

House House for Untitled Goose Game

Our Prediction:

We can’t wait for a future in which every award at this show is branded, but if you ignore that glaring advertisement, you’ll find that this is actually one of the most competitive categories in the show. 

Our best guess is that Outer Wilds ends up grabbing another win here, but Slay the Spire, Gris, and Disco Elysium are all incredibly strong candidates that also appear elsewhere in this show. Honestly, Untitled Goose Game might also have the meme momentum needed to get a win. 

Content Creator of the Year

Courage – Jack Dunlop

Dr. Lupo – Benjamin Lupo

Ewok – Soleil Wheeler

Grefg – David Martínez

Shroud – Michael Grzesiek

Our Prediction:

To be honest, this writer is only really familiar with Shroud, so I’m going with him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s popular, entertaining, and really, really good at video games.

Best Esports Game

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)

DOTA2 (Valve)

Fortnite (Epic Games)

League of Legends (Riot Games)

Overwatch (Blizzard)

Our Prediction:

The Overwatch League fell off a bit in 2019, so Overwatch probably won’t walk away with the win here. Fortnite had another successful year, but we don’t know if it has the global esports clout of some of the other titles on this list. 

As such, we’ll go with Counter-Strike: Global Offensiveas the slightly surprising winner. The CS: GO scene remains lively, and the game’s largest competitive events still draw millions of viewers on Twitch and other platforms. 

Best Esports Player

Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf (Immortals, Fortnite)

Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok (SK Telecom, League of Legends)

Luka ‘Perkz’ Perkovic

Our Prediction:

*Looks at candidates*

*Flips coin*

*Shrugs*

FIFA 20

Best Esports Team

Astralis (CS:GO)

G2 Esports (LOL)

OG (DOTA2)

San Francisco Shock (OWL)

Team Liquid (CS:GO)

Best Esports Event

2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals

EVO 2019

Fortnite World Cup

IEM Katowice 2019

League of Legends World Championship 2019

The International 2019

Best Esports Coach

Eric ‘adreN’ Hoag (Team Liquid, CS:GO)

Nu-ri ‘Cain’ Jang (Team Liquid, LOL)

Fabian ‘GrabbZ’ Lohmann (G2 Esports, LOL)

Kim ‘Kkoma’ Jeong-gyun (SK Telecom T1, LOL)

Titouan ‘Sockshka’ Merloz (OG, DOTA2)

Danny ‘Zonic’ Sørensen (Astralis, CSGO)

Best Esports Host

Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere

Alex “Machine” Richardson

Paul “Redeye” Chaloner

Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez

Duan “Candice” Yu-Shuang

John Saavedra is Games Editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9.

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014