FEATURE: All 50+ of The Game Awards 2020 reveals and highlights ranked.
Updated: Jun 20, 2021
Geoff Keighley's grand celebration of all things games, The Game Awards, are increasingly becoming the gaming event to watch each and every year. With E3 losing steam, COVID altering the way gaming news is delivered, and the promise of flair in The Game Awards presentations, Keighley has created a must-watch show.
This year was no different, with over 50+ reveals, trailers, and moments that I think are worth talking about. While EVERYTHING was hype, I'm here to definitively rank them from least to most exciting and list all the big reveals for all you folks who might have either missed the show or don't care to watch over four hours of trailers.
For easy travel through this beast of a post:
53-37 (The Needs More to Get Me Hype Section)
36-11 (Nate Is Generally Excited About All Of This) Top 10 (The Best of The Best)
GTA Online Trailer: The Cayo Perico Heist
I'm really ready to be done with GTA V, even though I know it's going to be just as prevalent in our lives as Skyrim has been. I hear it's fun, I just can't.
Lyn feat. Persona Music Band performing Last Surprise
Mario Medley feat. the London Philharmonic Orchestra
GOTY Medley feat. the London Philharmonic Orchestra
The music performances at The Game Awards are always the best vibes and they keep finding ways to make them ever better. This time we weren't subjected to any weird random musical performances from bands barely related to gaming and the virtual experience made for much more polished recorded performances. The GOTY medley still gives me chills.
Global Gaming Citizen Spotlights
These Global Gaming Citizen spotlights started a few years back and it's amazing to see The Game Awards (and Facebook Gaming) dedicating a decent chunk of time to the efforts of gamers and developers around the world in making a more positive and diverse gaming community. Shoutouts to Andy Cortez for making an appearance and of course the amazing Kate Sánchez from But Why Tho? The only reason this isn't ranked is because it's kind of weird to rank the efforts of humans creating positive change in the industry against like... a weird new game reveal yanno?
Alright. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO. My definitive ranking of everything shown at The Game Awards.
53. Just Cause Mobile
If you had to ask me what game REALLY didn't need a mobile version... it's Just Cause. It's been just a couple years from the release of Just Cause 4 and I just don't see the audience here. At least they adapted gameplay to mobile, but it doesn't look anything like Just Cause as a result. Really weird.
52. Forza x Cyberpunk DLC
Forza Horizon 4 has had some substantive DLC releases in the past and I really respect them for keeping this game alive as long as they've had. This feels like an easy cash-grab though because it's one car that doesn't necessarily scream Cyberpunk to me and no special races or environments. I'd still check it out though...
51. Season 2 of Rocket League Reveal Trailer
Rocket League will never die. The fun free to play car soccer game lives on and this season is... EDM themed? Neon colors, speaker wheels, and custom music from artists like Kaskade? Don't know the man, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Nothing too exciting here at first glance. Keep on survivin' Rocket League.
50. Warframe x Unreal Tournament DLC
Warframe is right there with Rocket League in its ability to stick with newer and bigger titles year after year. They've made genuine upgrades since its release 2013 and keep finding ways to keep their player base happy. This might not do much for me but I know one Warframe mega-fan was stoked to see some classic Unreal Tournament weapons available. 49. Thunder Tier One Reveal Trailer
This top-down tactical shooter from the PUBG devs looks interesting, but not like it's reinventing the genre. Four player co-op, extra gritty. Extra tactical. Not too mindblowing. I'd give it a shake, though the genre has never quite grabbed me. I like my tactics either completely Starcraft or just full turn-based.
48. Outriders Mantras of Survival Trailer
This ranking is more on the trailer itself. Outriders has always felt a little generic to me, a little like the shooter equivalent of Godfall, and this trailer doesn't do it any favors. A commando voice yellin' at me about how cool the game is and how I need to "shift my mind into a higher gear?" Nah.
47. Scavengers Beta Reveal Trailer
Scavengers has the same problem as Outriders in that seeing this game in motion just doesn't show me anything new and exciting. The bonus here is that Scavengers is announcing a beta launch so unconvinced players like me have a chance to check it out. PvPvE is interesting and something that hasn't been quite mastered yet. I'd be willing to give it a shot!
46. Elder Scrolls Online - Gates of Oblivion Reveal
I played Elder Scrolls Online once with a couple of pals and was mostly impressed by how much it felt like Elder Scrolls proper. MMOs are always just a bit too intimidating though and I didn't stick around long. ESO keeps bringing in bits of the existing lore to keep fans super engaged and I can't strike them for that. Never forget the ESO mega fans at E3 that WOOP it up like no other.
45. Swedish Chef is in Overcooked
Geoff Keighley loves him some Muppets and honestly the bits have been so wholesome and good. This time out, the Swedish Chef himself charmingly accepts an award he didn't win only to reveal he's now a free downloadable chef for Overcooked! It's nothing more than cosmetic but I gotta respect a developer knowing who they are, Keighley keeping Muppets around forever, and the Chef for his excellent aluminum foil work.
44. Microsoft Flight Simulator Xbox Series X Gameplay Reveal
Microsoft Flight Sim was one of the nicer surprises in quality this year and it's coming to consoles next summer. It's a cute trailer that just makes me depressed because I'm stuck in my house.
43. Sea of Solitude Director's Cut Reveal
Sea of Solitude is a game I still really want to get to! And now I might just have to wait for the brand new Director's Cut, just announced at The Game Awards. The Director's Cut brings with it brand new voice work, a rewritten script, photo mode, and gyro support. A more than meets the eye announcement here.
42. Oddworld Soulstorm Trailer
A highly regarded classic PlayStation franchise that just never clicked with me. The new trailer is more of the same, showcasing some of the great cinematics alongside clips of gameplay. This hardcore Lemmings-esque platformer is just the latest in Abe's journey and I'm happy for fans of the franchise.
41. Dragon Age CGI Trailer
Look. This is pretty low on the rankings. I know. This is mostly for my Dragon Age pals who experienced true suffering within seconds of the trailer, as they began to realize they were getting yet another CGI trailer with little to no answers. This game feels pretty far out if two years from announcement we're still just getting CGI trailers and little sense of what it looks like and when it's coming. That said, there were some neat visuals here and it has endless potential as a result of kind of... not showing anything.
40. Myst VR Trailer
Myst is a legendary PC franchise that revolutionized puzzle gaming on PC and its legacy stands tall here in 2020. Oculus surprises with a shadow drop launch (as far as I know) and I'd definitely be interested in checking this out. VR puzzle box games are fantastic and to have Myst return in this way just makes sense. 39. FIST (Forged in Shadow Torch) Game Awards Trailer
Forged in Shadow Torch was revealed earlier this year, highlighted by PlayStation as one of their "Indies." A bunny with a giant iron fist? Sign me up. But......... I played this game during one of the Keighley-sponsored Steam Game Festivals this year and I was really unimpressed. I reserve my final judgment for the full release and I hope it lives up to its potential.
38. Humankind Live Action Trailer
Humankind is Sega's Civilization-like with some real off-the-wall trailers. Last year, it was revealed with a caveman playing piano in a spaceship??? And this year we get a quirky trailer showcasing one players' journey through their own mixed up version of reality and it's all very stylish and fun. ABOLISH CURRENCY AND VIOLENCE FOR WORLD PEACE.
37. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut Trailer
Disco Elysium blew people away last year, winning the most awards at last year's Game Awards and generally being the secret indie hit of 2019. It's back with a director's cut, adding voice acting for every line in the game, a console release, and a few new quests! Annnd... IT'S A FREE UPDATE. All around good vibes.
36. Scarlet Nexus Game Awards Trailer
ANIME. VERSUS. NATURE. FIGHT. We get a little more story this time out in Microsoft's exclusive anime joint and it all looks REAL good. I really just need to see an extended gameplay session to see how it all comes together. We're officially in the "Nate's generally interested in this" territory of the list though, so yeah. The Game Awards were good.
35. Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Season 1 Reveal Trailer
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War was criticized for not having nearly enough content available at launch, so getting a trailer out as soon as possible to detail what new stuff folks can expect was a great idea. I'm most interested in the new Warzone map that looks TINY compared to the original one. The worst part of a Battle Royale is the stretches of time where you're just wandering alone down empty streets hoping to run into... literally anyone. So shrinking it down to provide close quarters chaos for everyone? Hella.
34. Loop Hero Reveal Trailer
Devolver had their fun during The Game Awards pre-show announcing the Game of the Year 2021... and it was Loop Hero! Gotta love a surprise game reveal and Devolver always publishes good stuff. Loop Hero has you building a path ahead of your hero of monsters, buildings and more. Deckbuilder? Turn based RPG? Alright.
33. Hood: Outlaws and Legends Release Date Reveal Trailer
A medieval heist four player co-op game sounds amazing, but between this and the initial reveal trailer, I still don't really know how the game is meant to work. It has some stylish takedowns and a few quick shots of actual gameplay annnd... I'm still confused. Regardless, this has a ton of potential. A lot of the game reminded me of AC Valhalla. Blame that on the 100 hours I just spent with it.
32. Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Gameplay Reveal Trailer
Elite Dangerous has been giving me the eyes from across the room for some time now, pretty much since I grabbed myself a VR headset. And now you can get out of your ship and walk around places? ... hey how you doin' Elite Dangerous? 😳
31. Century: Ages of Ashes Reveal Trailer
DRAGON GAME. BASICALLY PANZER DRAGOON MULTIPLAYER COMBAT GAME? It looks real pretty, capes blowin' in the wind and dragons goin' zoom. And it's coming very soon in February 2021. I'm definitely intrigued. Curious about the longevity. DRAGON REDEMPTION BAYBEE.
30. Ruined King: A League of Legends Story Gameplay Trailer
League of Legends is blowing their universe up. From K-pop groups taking the world by storm to brand new singleplayer experiences, League of Legends is trying to be a brand for ALL. Ruined King pulled my interest more than I expected with its clean art-style and turn-based lane combat. You have my attention LoL. Maybe be a little less toxic at the workplace and you might have a new customer, Riot Games.
29. Game Pass Mega Trailer
Game Pass just keeps adding value with 27 titles announced either coming soon or out now on the service. Xbox may not be blowing next-gen up with some hot new releases but they are definitely fulfilling the Netflix of games we've all dreamed of. The biggest excitement for me here was the reveal that basically ALL YAKUZA GAMES are going to be on the service by the time the year's up. Very neat.
28. Crimson Desert Gameplay Reveal Trailer
This game was apparently revealed sometime last year. Even so, this South Korean MMO is leaving me conflicted. Made by the developers of the popular Black Desert Online, it continues that game's pedigree by promising super pretty graphics. There's a graininess present here and a drab emptiness that kind of downplays some of the nicest elements on display. It looks promising and will inevitably find an audience if Black Desert Online is any example.
27. Master Chief Fornite Reveal Trailer & Blood Gulch Map Reveal & Darryl Dixon and Michonne Fornite Reveal Trailer
Fortnite had a pretty big night and is approaching Smash levels of crossover. It's Smash for the general mainstream audience who loves The Walking Dead and John Wick and flossing. It's so hard because I love a lot of what Fortnite's doing and I think it gets way too much shit from Gamers™ when its just doing the weirdest best stuff it can. Granted, they also copyrighted dances from Black creatives and have generally done some really weird legal stuff. IN OTHER NEWS, I CAN HAVE KRATOS AND MASTER CHIEF BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF NORMAN REEDUS SO...
26. Fall Guys Season 3 Reveal Trailer
Fall Guys took the world by storm this year and they're keeping the content train going. After Season 2 hit just two months ago, Season 3 is here with the holly jolly vibes. Honestly, this trailer just put me in the perfect holiday mood and is just a great time. Keep doin' what you're doin' Fall Guys, because it generally makes me happy. (Except maybe stop calling obstacles stuff like Big Honkus and Lil Bonkus.)
25. Among Us Airship Map Reveal Trailer
Among Us has had a meteoric rise just like Fall Guys and it only gets the edge because I'm more likely to play this at launch with pals than I am Fall Guys. A brand new map is appreciated as the game only features three and I'm sick of all my friends knowing the secret strats on each one of them after hours of play. There's some cool stuff going on here this time with more maneuverability options and the ability to choose where you end up after meetings. Can't wait to check it out. (Also lmao there was a Geoff Keighley mask drop during the show and that's fantastic.)
24. Super Meat Boy Forever Release Date Trailer
This two button runner style sequel to the platforming classic Super Meat Boy felt like it'd never come out. After a reveal three years ago and multiple gameplay videos that made it look... finished, folks started to wonder if this game would ever see the light of day. Consider me surprised when a random trailer showed up during one of the show's commercial breaks and finally gave us a release date. AND IT'S JUST A FEW WEEKS AWAY. Let's jam out on some incredibly hard platforming.
23. Medal of Honor Above and Beyond Launch Trailer
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond was the much talked about Respawn VR title. Considering their pedigree (they created one of the best single player shooter campaigns in Titanfall 2), Respawn making a VR game is way exciting. We're going back to World War 2 and this feels like the most involved WW2 shooter in quite some time. The theater room with videos from real-life veterans is a nice touch and I'm definitely curious to check this one out. (lmao it's like 300 GB though so like what the hell)
22. VIN DIESEL IS IN ARK 2 & LITERALLY EVERYONE IS IN THE ARK ANIMATED SERIES
Look. There's a lot going on here. Ark Survival Evolved was a game where you could create the weirdest looking characters, poop on command, and ride dinos. It was an incredibly janky open world survival game with large multiplayer servers that somehow gained the BIGGEST following. Even with that in mind, I never would have thought these devs had the cash to not only pull Vin Diesel for a game but Russell Crowe, David Tennant, Elliot Page, Jeffrey Wright, Gerard Butler, and Michelle Yeoh in the animated series? IS ARK A BIG DEAL NOW? CAN I MAKE VIN DIESEL POOP ON COMMAND? Only time will tell. 21. Shady Part of Me Launch Trailer (Shadow Drop)
We always love a shadow drop, especially when the title is shadow-based. Shady Part of Me dropped suddenly during The Game Awards Pre-Show and looks like a lovely puzzle platformer. It's 100% a Nate game and its ranking reflects that combined with the nature of its sudden release.
20. Warhammer Darktide Gameplay Trailer
Warhammer Darktide continues Fatshark's domination of the void created by Left 4 Dead's jolly four player co-op vibes (though this isn't the best L4D-like in the show, keep an eye out later in the list). After back to back critically acclaimed releases Warhammer Vermintide 1 and 2, Fatshark makes things a little grittier and a little more shooty rather than stabby. The game looks wonderful and the blood splatters are top-notch. Looks incredibly fun.
19. Ghosts and Goblins Resurrection Announcement Trailer and Capcom Arcade Stadium Announcement Trailer
Capcom and Nintendo have cozied up a bit in the last few years and 2021 looks even more exciting for that partnership. Ghosts n' Goblins is back with an... interesting looking remake. Get ready for tons of difficult platforming and death. And on top of that, a free Capcom Arcade release is coming to Switch alongside it. Being able to play the classic and this remake back to back is pretty neat and with all the talk about game preservation happening lately, I'm all for it.
18. Endless Dungeon Reveal Trailer
Endless Dungeon may sound familiar to some as part of the Endless Universe (Endless Space, Endless Legend). They're ditching the more impenetrable 4X universe of resource trading and diplomacy battling for more traditional dungeon-crawling gameplay with this release. The trailer is incredibly polished and is the second best band singing moment of the show and I honestly can't wait to check it out.
17. Monster Hunter Rise Game Awards Trailer
Monster Hunter Rise feels like the perfect middle ground between the 3DS releases and the high fidelity Monster Hunter World on PS4 and Xbox One. The Japanese aesthetic is super rad and I still can't get over the dog companions you can get. A demo is coming in January and I know tons of folks can't wait for Rise.
16. Evil Dead: The Game Reveal Trailer
Evil Dead is a franchise that I literally haven't touched, like at all. I recognize its horror-comedy legacy and love Bruce Campbell, so I need to make time for it. This is yet another four player co-op game that just looks super fun. It captures the cheese, it captures the gore, it captures Bruce Campbell. Love it.
15. Sean Murray's Acceptance Speech for Best Ongoing Game and Among Us Devs Acceptance Speeches Make Me Cry
Look, I know these aren't games, but I've been a fan of No Man's Sky since it launched and Sean Murray has been through the ringer. His genuine surprise and happiness in winning this award was a highlight moment for me. In the same vein, watching a team of four tearfully accept a Best Multiplayer award over giants like Call of Duty is just... that's video games man. video games are goood.
14. Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139 Gameplay Trailer
It took me quite some time to get into Nier Automata. When I finally did, I fell hard. Yoko Taro is a weirdo with some wild ideas and I remember trying the original back on PS3. It's back with all the lessons learned from Automata and it looks better than ever. Definitely one of my most anticipated games of 2021.
13. Road 96 Reveal Trailer
Yet another game revealed during a random commercial break, Road 96 is the procedurally generated narrative game of my dreams. You're making your way out of a shitty country, finding out who to trust and who to ditch, and all of it is randomized? Sign me up right now. Road trip games are taking over, baby.
12. Perfect Dark Reveal Trailer
If there's a beloved franchise that needs a second chance at its second chance of life, it's Perfect Dark. Perfect Dark Zero was its first revival back with the launch of the Xbox 360 and it kind of stunk up the place, upsetting past fans and newcomers alike. Microsoft needs some exciting exclusives and Perfect Dark could certainly be that. 11. The Callisto Protocol Reveal Trailer
When I first watched this reveal I wasn't super excited. A CGI trailer that's super dark and doesn't show too much? Sci-fi horror is sorely missing from the gaming world and yet, it still didn't pull me in. ... until it clicked and I was reminded this is the game from the Dead Space guru himself, Glen Schofield. Dead Space is one of the few horror games that I fell in love with and the franchise died way too early. The promise of something even close to similar is enough to have me jumping out of my seat.
10. Evil West Reveal Trailer
Probably a surprise entry in my Top 10. Evil West right out of the gate had me convinced we were finally getting a follow up to the extremely underrated Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. I was wrong, but a cowboy blasting away demons and monsters with flair? And a trailer that hints at a similar flow-based combo fightin' gameplay style? It's basically Call of Juarez: Gunslinger 2 and I'm here for it.
9. Back 4 Blood Gameplay Reveal and CGI Trailer
HERE'S THE LEFT 4 DEAD I WAS WAITING FOR. Literally. Turtle Rock is back from their Evolve field trip and back to doing what they're best at. Making Left 4 Dead. The former L4D devs are back in a big way with more zombie killing. Scale is wild here with basically three or four tiers of weird worm zombies coming at you at any given time. It just all looks so good and I can't wait to get my hands on this.
8. Returnal Gameplay Reveal Trailer
Housemarque famously said "arcade is dead" after their specialized arcade focus resulted in commercial dud after commercial dud. It's a shame because Housemarque made some amazing games in their time and a big part of that was their dedication to the arcade genre. So mark me surprised when their big PS5 game, Returnal, turns out to honor their bullet hell-y roots while embracing the trendiest parts of the gaming industry (third person shooters and roguelikes). This looks beautiful, it looks incredibly difficult, and I can't wait to grind out runs. And it's so so close.
7. Mass Effect CGI Reveal Trailer
Mass Effect is BACK. And it's returning to the trilogy's roots while maintaining Andromeda's lore as well. I love Mass Effect so goddamn much and this would be infinitely higher... except Bioware. Seeing how long Dragon Age fans have been strung along since the newest title's reveal in 2018, I can only imagine what kind of wait we're in store for here. Bioware really needs to time their announces a bit better... for the sake of this fan at least. STILL. MASS EFFECT. LIARA. N7. HERE WE GO.
6. Open Roads Reveal Trailer
I told you road trip games were taking over. Open Roads comes from the Gone Home and Tacoma devs, Fullbright, and they're bringing the thunder for their third game. Keri Russell and Kaitlyn Dever voice the two leads, they've got an incredibly beautiful art style that blends CGI and hand-drawn art, and a story that promises a grandma jewel thief? Hell yeah.
5. Season Reveal Trailer
Season continues the road trip vibes, this time with a bike! The game is described as a "bicycle road trip game in which you play a young person from a remote village coming into the wider world to record and document culture before a mysterious cataclysm washes everything away." The game looks beautiful, is all about cultural preservation, and is the apocalyptic release we all need after 2020.
4. Smash Bros Ultimate - Sephiroth Character Reveal Trailer
Sephiroth really got people going huh? The One-Winged Angel kills Mario, slashes a Pokemon and Bayonetta at the same time, and lights the internet on fire with a shirtless alternate costume. Sakurai and his team really know how to craft extremely hype moments in these character reveal trailers and nothing will match the chills I got when the big angry blob got cut in half and the music kicked in.
3. OFK Band Reveal Trailer
Leave it to Geoff Keighley to have a band world premiere in a gaming conference that blows us out of the water. First of all, shoutout to the great Black Trans Lives Matter shirt worn by the lead singer. And shoutout to the genuinely amazing music on display here. OFK is actually going to be the focus of an interactive series coming from the co-designer of Hyper Light Drifter. If it was just a new K/DA esque digital band, I would have been happy, but give me a game centered around this band's life and I'm all in.
2. It Takes Two Gameplay Reveal Trailer
It Takes Two is the latest game from auteur Josef Fares, the developer behind such hits as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out. Dedicating their time to local co-op experiences, Hazelight has found a way to continue innovating on the formula and that's on full display with their latest release, It Takes Two. A couple has turned into a pair of dolls and after some relationship troubles, they need to come together to figure out what's going on to get their lives back. There's no describing what you do in this game because you do a little bit of everything. The trailer is incredibly charming and goofy, showcasing the breadth of all that you can do in this weird puppet world.
1. Tchia Reveal Trailer
(Weirdly enough the only official channel hosting this trailer was Stadia so... weird...)
Tchia was DONE DIRTY BY THE GAME AWARDS. Relegated to the pre-show, Tchia is a brand new open world game that feels like it blends together elements of Breath of the Wild, Spider-Man, and Super Mario Odyssey. It looks incredibly beautiful, allows you to play as a crab with a flower in its hair, and to strum a ukulele. The game is inspired by and developed by a team in New Caledonia, a French island territory in the South Pacific. As a Filipino-American, any islander representation in games makes my heart happy. If there's any game I want folks to take away from the event, it's Tchia. TCHIA FOREVER.
And that's all 53 reveals ranked from The Game Awards. Video games are so exciting. Video games are good. And I can't wait to check out pretty much everything listed here. For continued coverage on all these games and more, don't forget to keep your eyes on the site!