Golden Joystick Awards 2022: Everything you need to know

GJA 2022 Logo Dark Background
(Image credit: Future)

Voting for the 40th annual Golden Joystick Awards has now closed. You've cast millions of votes in support of your top games of 2022, and you can join us on November 22 to find our which games have won awards including Best Nintendo Game. Best Performer and the coveted Ultimate Game of the Year.

You can watch the winners revealed live on Tuesday, Nov 22 right here:

Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/goldenjoystickawards
Twitter https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1MYxNgQNmqyKw
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcYAU1c0lMk

You can check out the Ultimate Game of the Year shortlist right here and take a look at the GJA 2022 shortlists to see who has been nominated across 17 categories, including Studio of the Year, Best Early Access Launch and Most Wanted Game. 

You can click the link below to set a YouTube reminder to watch our live show on Tuesday November 22 at 12pm PT / 3pm ET / 8pm GMT.

Click to watch the Golden Joystick Awards 2022 show (opens in new tab)

GJA 2022 UGOTY Shortlist

(Image credit: Future)

The Golden Joystick Awards are held in such special regard because they are voted for by the gaming public - with people casting millions of votes each year in support of their favourite games. We've seen fiercely-competitive categories split by less than a handful of votes, and your support can make all the difference.

2022’s winners will be revealed in a special digital broadcast held on Tuesday, November 22. That’s a lot of 22s…

Read on to find out more about the history of the Golden Joystick Awards, plus more info on this year's categories, hosts and how to watch the live event.

Golden Joystick Awards 2022: The 40th anniversary

GJA 2022 Main Logo

(Image credit: Future)

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the Golden Joystick Awards, as well as the introduction of two new categories, Best Early Access Launch and Best Game Trailer. We’ve also opened up our Most Wanted category to multiple-choice voting, so you’ll be able to choose three of your most anticipated games rather than just one. 

Voting across 17 categories is open now. To allow for more consideration of winter’s key releases, voting for our Ultimate Game of the Year award will open on November 7 and run through til November 11. 

How to watch the Golden Joystick Awards 2022

Best FromSoftware games

(Image credit: From Software)

The Golden Joystick Awards 2022 ceremony will be held on Tuesday, November 22, as part of an online digital showcase streamed across all major social channels. Details on the exact timings across all major time zones are coming soon. 

To watch the Golden Joystick Awards 2022 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.

Golden Joystick Awards 2022 Hosts

Uncharted 4

Our 2021 show was hosted by Nolan North and Emily Rose, the stars of the Uncharted series. (Image credit: Sony)

Our hosts for The Golden Joystick Awards 2022 have not been revealed just yet, but will be in due course, so watch this space!

For our 2021 show celebrating 50 Years of Games, the show was hosted by Emily Rose and Nolan North, best known for their roles as Elena Fisher and Nathan Drake in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted game series. 

Golden Joystick Awards 2022 shortlists and categories

Horizon Forbidden West Aloy Pride inspired face paint

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Publicly voted categories:

Ultimate Game of the Year

  • Immortality
  • Gran Turismo 7
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Teardown
  • Elden Ring
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
  • Neon White
  • God of War Ragnarok
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Bayonetta 3

Best Audio

  • We Are OFK
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3
  • Metal: Hellsinger
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
  • Gran Turismo 7 
  • OlliOlli World

Best Storytelling:

  • IMMORTALITY
  • Return to Monkey Island
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • NORCO
  • I Was A Teenage Exocolonist
  • Wayward Strand

Best Game Community: 

  • Dreams
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • GRID Legends
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Splatoon 3
  • Warframe

Best Game Expansion:

  • Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker
  • Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
  • Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
  • GTA Online: The Contract
  • Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons
  • Total War: Warhammer III - Immortal Empires 

Best Gaming Hardware: 

  • Playdate
  • Steam Deck
  • Analogue Pocket
  • Backbone One: PlayStation Edition
  • Roccat Kone XP
  • WD_Black SN850 NVMe SSD for PS5

Best Indie Game

  • Cult of the Lamb
  • Tunic
  • Rollerdrome
  • Dorfromantik
  • Neon White
  • Teardown

Best Multiplayer Game

  • Elden Ring
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
  • MultiVersus
  • Splatoon 3
  • Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Best Visual Design:

  • Elden Ring
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Cult of the Lamb
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo
  • A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Lost in Play

Most Wanted Game: 

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Assassin’s Creed Mirage
  • Dead Island 2
  • Forspoken
  • Street Fighter 6
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
  • Honkai: Star Rail
  • Starfield
  • Exoprimal
  • Redfall
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Mass Effect
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
  • Hollow Knight: Silksong
  • Kerbal Space Program 2
  • Dead Space

Nintendo Game of the Year:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 
  • Pokémon Legends: Arceus 
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land 
  • Live A Live 
  • Splatoon 3 
  • Nintendo Switch Sports

PC Game of the Year:

  • Neon White 
  • Return to Monkey Island 
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker 
  • Teardown 
  • Total War: Warhammer 3 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters

PlayStation Game of the Year:

  • Gran Turismo 7 
  • Horizon Forbidden West 
  • Stray 
  • Elden Ring 
  • The Last Of Us Part I 
  • Sifu

Xbox Game of the Year: 

  • Halo Infinite 
  • Scorn 
  • Grounded 
  • As Dusk Falls 
  • Sniper Elite 5 
  • Dying Light 2: Stay Human

Still Playing: 

  • Genshin Impact 
  • The Sims 4 
  • Destiny 2 
  • Final Fantasy XIV 
  • Minecraft 
  • Fortnite 
  • Pokémon GO 
  • Apex Legends 
  • Lost Ark 
  • The Elder Scrolls Online

Studio of the Year

  • Roll7 
  • Terrible Toybox 
  • Half Mermaid 
  • FromSoftware Inc. 
  • Interior / Night 
  • Tribute Games

Best Early Access Launch

  • Disney Dreamlight Valley 
  • Slime Rancher 2 
  • Dune: Spice Wars 
  • Core Keeper 
  • Vampire Survivors 
  • Gloomwood

Best Game Trailer

  • The Callisto Protocol The Truth of Black Iron Trailer 
  • Goat Simulator 3 Announcement Trailer
  • skate. Still Working On It Trailer
  • Bloody Hell Hotel Reveal Trailer 
  • Time Flies Announcement Trailer
  • Alan Wake 2 Reveal Trailer

Ultimate Game of the Year:

(Voting opens on November 7)

Critically chosen categories (selected by our judging panel):

  • Breakthrough Award
  • Critics' Choice Award
  • Best Performer

Voting is now open for 17 of the Golden Joystick Awards 2022’s publicly voted categories, and you can access the module and cast your GJA 2022 ballot by heading through the link.

Our Ultimate Game of the Year award voting period will open on November 7 and run through til November 11. 

How do the Golden Joystick Awards shortlists get decided?

Immortality

(Image credit: Half Mermaid)

Before voting begins, the Golden Joystick Award shortlists are (fiercely) debated by a panel of journalists from brands including gamesradar.com, pcgamer.com, Edge magazine, Retro Gamer, Future Games Show and Play magazine, plus our trusted network of freelance writers. Everyone nominates their favourite games of the last 12 months across 18 publicly voted categories, which are assessed and debated until we settle on a final shortlist, with a maximum of six games per category.

We also invite 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 less than a 1% swing, which is fine margins when you consider the millions of votes cast each year.

When are the Golden Joystick Awards 2022?

Hitman 3 tips

(Image credit: IO Interactive)

The Golden Joystick Awards 2022 will take place on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. This year's show will be a digital event.

Here's a list of the Golden Joystick Awards 2021 winners if you need reminding of what went down last year, and it's worth pointing out that several categories were too close to call until the final day of voting. It’s your vote that decides the Golden Joystick Awards - and not, say, the result of some bizarre pact between the lizard people of games media and the industry’s AI overlords - so make sure to have your say when voting opens in early October.

What are The Golden Joystick Awards?

GJA 2019 Yu Suzuki

Yu Suzuki, creator of Out Run and Shenmue, collects a Golden Joystick trophy in 2019 (Image credit: Future)

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.

The 39th Golden Joystick Awards were broadcast on November 23, 2021, and celebrated 50 Years of Games. To commemorate this landmark occasion, two new - and very fiercely-debated - one-off categories were added to our voting system: ‘Ultimate Game of All Time’ and ‘Best Gaming Hardware of All Time’.

Voters had their say on the software and hardware that defined the industry since its commercial birth in 1971 with the launch of the first coin-operated arcade machine, Computer Space. Hidetaka Miyazaki's acclaimed Dark Souls won the Ultimate Game of All Time vote - narrowly edging out seminal shooter Doom.

Best Gaming Hardware Of All Time was won, perhaps less contentiously, by the PC, in a special award accepted by Valve's Gabe Newell.

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’s show was an all-digital affair and was hosted by voice actors Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham, who presented the Best Performance award to Sandra Saad (opens in new tab), who played Kamala Khan in Marvel’s Avengers. Sandra's reaction is a joy to behold.

How to feature your game in the Golden Joystick Awards 2022

The Golden Joystick Awards 2022 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 2022.

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.

To debut a game trailer at the GJAs 2022 to an audience of millions or discover more ways to get your brand involved with our 40th Anniversary celebrations, please contact melissa.makhmaltchi@futurenet.com and tom.parkinson@futurenet.com

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 - 2020) (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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

Freelance writer


Jordan Oloman has hundreds of bylines across outlets like GamesRadar+, PC Gamer, USA Today, The Guardian, The Verge, The Washington Post, and more. Jordan is an experienced freelance writer who can not only dive deep into the biggest video games out there but explore the way they intersect with culture too. Jordan can also be found working behind-the-scenes here at Future Plc, contributing to the organization and execution of the Future Games Show.  

With contributions from