World of Warcraft Classic is The Golden Joystick PC Game of the Year for 2019. Released in August, Blizzard's old-school MMO managed to recapture its audience’s imagination in a way that PC gaming has almost never seen before. After more than a decade of expansions, updates, and storytelling that sometimes rent its entire world asunder, Blizzard rolled the clock back 15 years to recreate an experience that otherwise might have been lost to the history books.
What followed seemed to surpass even Blizzard’s expectations, and hordes of eager fans wrestled with hours-long queues to make their return to Azeroth. While some raced to level 60 and raid boss glory, others were content to take their time, but the sense of community that poured out of even those first few days were able to recapture the original magic of the developer’s iconic MMORPG. World of Warcraft has won plenty of Golden Joysticks Awards in its time, but to keep a game thriving for years and then change the game again so many years later is something very few other developers could ever do.
Here is the full list of The Golden Joystick's nominees for 2019's PC Game of the Year, with WoW Classic at the top but otherwise listed in no particular order:
- World of Warcraft Classic, Blizzard Entertainment
- Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Paradox Interactive/Triumph Studios
- Anno 1800, Ubisoft/Ubisoft Blue Byte
- Dicey Dungeons, Terry Cavanaugh
- F1 2019, Codemasters
- Heaven’s Vault, Inkle
- Slay the Spire, Humble Bundle, MegaCrit
- Sunless Skies, Failbetter Games
- TeamFight Tactics, Riot Games
- Total War: Three Kingdoms, SEGA, Creative Assembl
As you can see, the nominees in this category were as diverse as the platform that plays host to them. Classic genres like Anno 1800’s city builders and Age of Wonders: Planetfall’s 4X strategy found themselves competing with emerging formats thanks to Slay the Spire’s roguelike deckbuilding and Teamfight Tactics’ autobattler. Global developers like Riot Games and Ubisoft sat alongside indie teams like Inkle (Heaven’s Vault) and Terry Cavanaugh (Dicey Dungeons).
But after more than a decade of expansions, updates, and storytelling that sometimes rent its entire world asunder, Blizzard rolled the clock back 15 years. In doing so it recreated an experience that otherwise might have been lost and making World of Warcraft history in the process.