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Golden Joystick Awards 2021: Winners revealed on November 23

GJA 2021 50YOG
(Image credit: Future)

Voting has now ended for the ‘50 Years of Games’ categories in the Golden Joystick Awards 2021. The competition was hotly-contested for Ultimate Game of All Time and Best Gaming Hardware of All Time, with one major title making a surprise surge to compete for our most significant award in GJA's history. Which classic video-game did you choose as your most significant of all time? The winner will be revealed in our live show on November 23, which will be hosted by Nolan North and Emily Rose of Uncharted fame, plus feature exclusive game trailers, a special pre-show documentary celebrating 50 Years of Games, and many more surprises. You can find more info through the link above.

Set a reminder to watch the Golden Joystick Awards (opens in new tab)

Voting for the core Golden Joystick Awards 2021 categories like Best Indie Game, Still Playing and Ultimate Game of the Year ran between October 19 and November 5 and has now closed ahead of the main event on November 23. Join us on Twitch (opens in new tab), YouTube and all major streaming platforms to see your winners revealed.

How did we decide the 50 Years of Games categories?

For Ultimate Game of All Time, we had to narrow the 1.1 million or so games released in the last 50 years into a voting shortlist of 20 titles. We did this by creating a long list of several hundred titles using existing best of all time lists from Edge Magazine and Retro Gamer magazine, plus the addition of every Ultimate Game of the Year winner from the Golden Joystick Awards (established 1983). This long list was then put to a panel of industry judges who created the shortlist of 20 you can see through the voting module. You can read more about the Ultimate Game of All Time shortlist criteria and judging on gamesradar.com.

For Best Gaming Hardware of All Time, we assembled a shortlist of 20 key hardware releases using a judging panel from Retro Gamer magazine, the world's leading retro gaming publication, and Edge Magazine, which has reported on the 'future of interactive entertainment' since 1993. The current generation of consoles have been omitted from the voting shortlist on account of being 'live' releases, which are ever-evolving via firmware updates and new peripherals. Furthermore, in the case of PS5 and Xbox Series X / S, the hardware has been in market for barely a year, and still not in wide retail circulation. 

How to claim your free gaming ebook worth up to $8.99 / £8.99

GJA 2021 Free eBooks

(Image credit: Future)

Once you've finished voting, you'll be invited to share your email address with some familiar marketing options. We'll be in touch shortly via email to offer you a free gaming ebook worth up to £8.99 / $8.99 which is compatible with Apple and Android devices and web browsers. The titles include:

  • Retro Gamer Book of Arcade Classics
  • Ultimate Retro PC Gamer Collection
  • 100 Nintendo Games To Play Before You Die
  • 100 PlayStation Games To Play Before You Die
  • Greatest Gaming Icons

That's it! Simply complete the voting form, share your email address, and we'll be in touch soon to offer you a selection of ebooks.

Golden Joystick Awards 2021 eligibility for nominations

Last year's Golden Joystick Awards was our first all-digital show, and we're making the viewing experience even slicker this year by trimming down the number of awards and nominees, giving us more time to focus on incredible people and stories of the last 12 months. Naturally, this has made judging even harder, and the award shortlists you see above were hotly-debated by a panel of journalists from our leading gaming brands including GamesRadar, PC Gamer, Play Magazine, Edge Magazine, Retro Gamer and the Future Games Show.

To be eligible for nomination, a game must have been released between Nov 20th, 2020 (when last year's Ultimate Game of the Year vote closed) and the present day. In exceptional cases, upcoming games that are due be released during the Golden Joystick Awards' voting window, from Tuesday Oct 19 to Friday November 5th, will be considered by our judges for addition to the voting shortlists after they have been released, reviewed and debated. Games released after public voting closes on Nov 5th, but before the show is broadcast on Nov 23, will be eligible for our Critics' Choice award, selected by our panel of judges.

What we can't stress enough, is that the Golden Joystick Awards are the people's gaming awards, chosen entirely by your votes. Last year, some categories were decided by less than 100 votes, and we can't emphasise enough how much your support can make a difference to your favourite games and developers.

We look forward to seeing you all on November 23rd when we reveal the winners.

Stay tuned for announcements about hosts, exclusive trailers and more surprises

Follow @gamesradar or @GoldenJoysticks (opens in new tab) on Twitter for more announcements about new categories, exclusive trailers and our special guest hosts. The Golden Joystick Awards 2021 will be an all-digital show that awards the best games of the last 12 months, celebrating the next generation of consoles and supporting the next-generation of creators. We look forward to seeing you on November 23!

Sam Loveridge
Sam Loveridge

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for over seven years, and for GamesRadar, she is in charge of reviews, best lists, and the overall running of the site and its staff. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles!