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Golden Joystick Awards 2020: Everything you need to know

(Image credit: Future)

Voting has just opened for the most prestigious Golden Joystick Award trophy of all: Ultimate Game of the Year. You can vote for your ultimate game of 2020 right here in our biggest nominees list ever, spanning 20 games across multiple platforms and genres (including PS5 and Xbox Series X titles). Fall Guys? The Last of Us: Part II? Final VII Remake? Your vote can make the difference. Hurry, though - since voting closes on Friday Nov 20, before our ceremony on November 24.

The rest of the publicly-voted categories in the 38th annual Golden Joystick Awards and now closed, however, and you can check out the list of Golden Joystick Awards 2020 nominations right here. The Golden Joystick Awards are held in special regard because they are voted for by the people who buy and play games. Every year, millions of fans show their support for their favourite games, developers, publishers and personalities of the last 12 months. Now in its 38th year, the Golden Joystick Awards 2020 are confirmed for November 24 with a renewed format and digital focus. The show will be reimagined as a digital broadcast that celebrates the best games of the last 12 months and looks forward to the next generation of consoles and creators. The main public voting in the Golden Joystick Awards 2020 has now closed, but you can learn more details about the judging process - including the creation of our hotly-debated shortlists - below.

When will the Golden Joystick Awards 2020 shortlists be revealed?

Fall Guys

(Image credit: Mediatonic)

The Golden Joystick Awards 2020 shortlists are live right now and if you want to show your appreciation for your favourite games and creators of the last 12 months then all you need to do is follow the link below:

Click to vote in the Golden Joystick Awards 2020!

Publicly voted categories:

  • Best Audio
  • Best Game Community
  • Best Family Game
  • Best Game Expansion
  • Best Gaming Hardware
  • Best Indie Game
  • Best Multiplayer Game
  • Best New / Streamer Broadcaster
  • Best Storytelling
  • Best Visual Design
  • Esports Game of the Year
  • Mobile Game of the Year
  • Most Wanted Game
  • Nintendo Game of the Year
  • Xbox Game of the Year
  • PlayStation Game of the Year
  • PC Game of the Year
  • Still Playing Award
  • Best Studio
  • Ultimate Game of the Year

Critically-chosen categories (selected by our judging panel):

  • Outstanding Contribution
  • Breakthrough Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Critics' Choice Award
  • Best Performer

You can vote for your favourite Xbox, PS4, Switch and PC titles across 20 diverse categories; with unannounced new awards that recognise the changing ways we play games. Below is everything you need to know about the Golden Joystick Awards 2020, along with when they are, how to watch it, and more. 

Why are some categories announced later during the voting process?

(Image credit: CD Projekt)

As with all awards shows, it can be tricky including every great game that came out that year in a public vote… often because these games haven't yet been released when voting begins. With the Golden Joystick Awards taking place in mid-late November (i.e. prime video-game release season), it's sometimes the case that big games aren't eligible for voting since no one in the voting public has played them… yet. As a result, we delay the Ultimate Game of the Year shortlist announcement to allow us to include more games from the key winter release window. Even then, great games can miss out - for example, games that get released on the same day as our show - but we try to include them via our Critics' Choice award, where our panel of journalists are able to assess the game for review in advance.

How do the Golden Joystick Awards shortlists get decided?

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Before voting begins, the Golden Joystick Award shortlists are (fiercely) debated by a panel of journalists from brands including,, Edge magazine, Retro Gamer, and OPM, plus our trusted network of freelance writers. Everyone nominates their favorite games of the last 12 months across 21 public-voted categories, which are assessed and debated until we settle on a final shortlist, with a maximum of 8 games per category. For the first time this year, we invited publishers and developers to nominate their games for consideration by the judging panel. This isn't a guarantee of inclusion, but does guarantee the publisher-nominated game will be considered by the judging panel, eliminating the 'blind spots' that can occur when judging the hundreds, if not thousands, of new game releases each year.

With the shortlists in place, the judges take a back seat, and public voting begins. Your vote can really make the difference, and it's worth noting that some of last year's most keenly-contested categories were won by 20 to 30 votes, which is fine margins when you consider the millions of votes cast each year.

When are the Golden Joystick Awards 2020?

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Golden Joystick Awards 2020 will take place in November 2020 with the final date to be confirmed shortly. This year's show will be a digital event, and not broadcast live from central London like in previous years, for obvious reasons.

Here's a list of the Golden Joystick Awards 2019 winners if you needed reminding of what went down last year, and it's worth pointing out that several categories were too close to call with just 83 votes separating first and second place, just in case you need convincing that your vote does actually count…

What are The Golden Joystick Awards?

Established in 1983, the Golden Joystick Awards are the world's longest-running public-voted games awards, with a star-studded ceremony held in London each year.

Known as the ‘People’s Gaming Awards’, the 2019 edition saw millions of votes cast by gaming fans from all over the world, with Capcom's Resident Evil 2 claiming the coveted ‘Ultimate Game of the Year’ prize. It's your support that make the Golden Joystick Awards so special, as millions give something back to the creators and teams they love.

Over the years, the ceremony has played host to a number of legendary game developers and industry figures, including Hideo Kojima, Ken Levine, the CD Projekt Red team (who snuck a Gold Stick of Joy trophy replica into the Witcher 3) and more. Last year the revered creator of Dark Souls Hidetaka Miyazaki came to the ceremony in person to accept his award, so if you're after a glimpse of gaming's superstar developers you're going to want to tune into the Golden Joystick Awards 2020.

How to watch the Golden Joystick Awards 2020

(Image credit: Nintendo)

To watch the Golden Joystick Awards 2019 all you need to do is tune into the Golden Joystick Awards Twitch channel, or keep your eyes on GamesRadar nearer the event for a special article that'll point you to the stream. Our Twitter account will keep you up to date on when voting goes live, so make sure to check that out - and you can follow the official Golden Joystick Awards facebook page for more info.

How to feature your game in the Golden Joystick Awards 2020

The Golden Joystick Awards 2020 will feature a variety of new game trailers and announcements, in addition to celebrating the best games of the last 12 months. If you'd like your upcoming game to appear in the show, here's how to nominate and take part in the Golden Joystick Awards 2020. Featured slots are limited, but we're looking for cool, exciting games on any platform, from indie to AAA. There will be a number of larger, 2-3 minute trailer slots for major titles and key updates, plus a montage of upcoming games. Our games montage is perfect for smaller studios or indie titles that might deserve a larger spotlight - take a look at the 'One to Watch' clip from our sister show, the Future Games Show, above as an example. The Future Games Show has been delighted to debut a number of exciting games which has dramatically increased their exposure. 

Who are the previous winners of The Golden Joystick Awards?

Golden Joystick Awards 2018

Hidetaka Miyazaki collects the Lifetime Achievement award at the Golden Joystick Awards 2018 (Image credit: Future)

You can check out an exhaustive list of Golden Joystick Awards winners (1983 - 2018) on Wikipedia, spanning classic consoles such as the ZX Spectrum, NES, Sega Genesis and more. If you want to test your video-game knowledge, why not see if you can name all our Ultimate Game of the Year winners in this short video spanning almost 30 years of gaming history?

Be first to hear about the confirmed list of categories and some surprise announcements by following The Golden Joystick Awards Twitter account