The 2019 Steam Awards let the community decide on the games they loved this year. The voting was open to all Steam members for a month. 4+ million gamers cast more than 35 million votes for their favourite games in eight varied categories.
Outstanding Visual Style – Gris developed by Spanish indie dev Nomada Studio and published by Devolver Digital. A magical no-dialog story with an unique art style and a minimalist approach to game design, this game won hearts for its emotionally charged narrative.
Other Nominees – Total War: Three Kingdoms, Astroneer, Katana Zero, Subnautica: Below Zero
Best Game You Suck At – Mortal Kombat 11 developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. This brutal 2.5D fighting game received favourable reviews due to its story mode but faced some flak due to its microtransactions.
Other Nominees – Mordhau, Code Vein, Hunt: Showdown, Remnant: From The Ashes
Outstanding Story-Rich Game – A Plague Tale: Innocence developed by Asobo Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive. This unique survival puzzler moved quite a few gamers with its interesting take on the Black Plague and the narrative adventure of siblings Amicia and Hugo.
Other Nominees – Disco Elysium, Far Cry New Dawn, Gears 5, GreedFall
Most Innovative Gameplay – My Friend Pedro developed by DeadToast Entertainment. Another winner by publisher Devolver Digital, this game is a stylistic shoot ’em up which involves an acrobatic protagonist, the ability to slow time and ricochet bullets.
Other Nominees – Baba Is You, Slay The Spire, Oxygen: Not Included, Planet Zoo
Better With Friends – DayZ developed and published by Bohemia Interactive. In development since 2012, this game has had it rough – just like the hardcore survival genre it kickstarted. This game came out of Early Access in late 2018 and right now even has a seperate paid DLC map called Livonia.
Other Nominees – Risk Of Rain 2, Dota Underlords, Age Of Empires II: Definitive Edition, Ring Of Elysium
Labor Of Love – Grand Theft Auto V developed by Rockstar North. Rockstar Games magnum opus started off in the last gen console cycle, and kept upgrading itself to the current gen and then landed on PC in 2015. The Grand Theft Auto Online component of this game still receives sizeable regular updates to keep players hooked – the latest one being The Diamond Casino Heist.
Other Nominees – Warframe, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2
VR Game Of The Year – Beat Saber developed by Beat Games. This studio was recently acquired by Oculus Studios, Facebook’s VR gaming group. This VR rhythm game has the player slicing and dicing blocks to the beats of dance music. It has received paid DLC packs from bands such as Green Day, Panic! At The Disco and Imagine Dragons.
Other Nominees – Blade And Sorcery, GORN, Borderlands 2 VR, Five Nights At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted
Game Of The Year – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice developed by FromSoftware and published by Activision. Deviating from the Souls game mechanics the studio is famous for, Sekiro launched to universal acclaim. Loved by critics and gamers alike, this game follows the adventure of a fallen ninja hellbent on revenge in feudal Japan. It also won the Game Of The Year and the Best Action/Adventure Game at The Game Awards 2019 hosted by Geoff Keighley. Check out our review of Sekiro by Caleb Wysor who gave the game an almost-perfect 9!
Other Nominees – Resident Evil 2/Biohazard RE:2, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Destiny 2, Devil May Cry 5
Notable PC games missing from the nominee list were Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (Battle.net exclusive), Control, Outer Wilds (Epic timed exclusive) and The Outer Worlds (Epic and Microsoft Store timed exclusive). Current Origin exclusive games like Apex Legends and Battlefield V will soon become available on Steam after a breakthrough partnership between EA Games and Valve back in October 2019.