The Golden Joystick Awards wants you to pick the greatest ever game and piece of hardware...


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In brief: It’s a question many gamers are asked, and most have a different answer: what is the greatest game of all time? It’s a conundrum that this year’s Golden Joystick Awards will answer, as decided by the voting public, and you can also vote for the greatest piece of hardware ever made.

Voting for the various Golden Joystick Awards 2021 categories finished last week, but you can still vote for the ultimate game of all time and best gaming hardware of all time over at GamesRadar. In the case of the former, there is estimated to be around 1.1 million games released over the last five decades, so a voting shortlist was created using existing 'best of all time' lists from Edge Magazine and Retro Gamer magazine, along with every Ultimate Game of the Year winner from previous Golden Joystick shows, which began in 1983.

Here’s the full list of Ultimate Game Of All Time contenders:

  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Dark Souls
  • Doom (1993)
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Half-Life 2
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Minecraft
  • Pac-Man
  • Pokémon Go
  • Portal
  • SimCity (1989)
  • Street Fighter 2
  • Space Invaders
  • Super Mario 64
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Super Mario Kart
  • The Last of Us
  • Tetris
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Everyone has their own opinion, of course—this writer would have picked The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt had it been included. The list contains some important titles from video game history, including the three best-sellers of all time: Minecraft, GTA V, and Tetris, in that order. From the options available, I’m torn between Doom (1993) and Half-Life 2, but it’s hard to ignore the cultural impact of games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders.

In addition to the ultimate game, voters also get to pick the best piece of gaming hardware of all time from this list:

  • Amiga 500
  • Atari 2600
  • Commodore 64
  • Dreamcast
  • Game Boy
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Gamecube
  • Nintendo 64
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • PC
  • PlayStation
  • PlayStation 2
  • PlayStation 4
  • Sega Mega Drive
  • Sega Saturn
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Wii
  • Xbox 360
  • ZX Spectrum

Again, this is all very subjective; most readers, myself included, will likely pick the PC, though there are plenty of greats to choose from (learn more about the history of the Amiga and Commodore in this feature). The PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling console of all time, and many will argue over whether it was the Atari 2600 or Nintendo Entertainment System that really helped bring gaming to the masses.

What would be your pick for the ultimate game and greatest piece of hardware? Let us know in the comments below.

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Posts: 302   +206
HL2 and The Last of Us.

PC + Amiga 500 with PS3/4 close.

Weird list tho... I'd take Bloodborne over any Dark Souls game.


Posts: 6,295   +7,225
Minecraft is the number one selling game of all time... eclipsing GTA5 by more than 83,000,000 and Tetris by more than 138,000,000.


Posts: 319   +210
Interesting questions but really hard to say based on these lists. I'd agree that the PC has become the best gaming hardware out there. Consoles are all good, don't take my comment as a slam against consoles, but the PC does it all. Play a game, write a resume, surf the web and so on.

That said, you cannot deny the importance of handheld devices like GameBoy which made good mobile gaming possible. Others improved upon that later on but I feel like GB really started something with handhelds that no one has come close to repeating. I'd have to say the Mario games were really important and, perhaps, some of the greatest games of their time (also Zelda).

For games, it's harder. You cannot deny the impact of games like Space Invaders, PacMan, and Tetris. But, greatest games of all time? Not really. And what about games like WoW, EverQuest, Ultima Online? To me, these are great games because they opened up the idea of online gaming with large groups of people.

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,206   +2,609
TechSpot Elite
None of the games listed are anything that I would call "The Ultimate Game". I guess that Dark Souls would be my choice from that list. The thing is, you can't have an all-time "Ultimate Game" because games are products of their times and the tech available.

If I had to pick a game that was more amazing in its time than any other, it would be the original Starflight. That game was so ground-breaking that I've never seen anything like it. Released in 1986, it was a space exploration/combat game that had 270 unique star systems (with 800 unique planets, including Earth), 11 races (+2 non-extant races) with their own unique ship designs and communications (plus an encounter with the USS Enterprise but it doesn't talk to you), shields, armour, lasers, missiles, cloaking devies (and a whole bunch of other goodies) sunk into an incredibly immersive story with a neverending list of things to do in-game.

The whole game was only 720kB in size and fit on two 5¼" floppies or a single 3.5" disk. To this day, I do not know how they did it but that game is still widely-known today, 35 years after its initial release. To me, that makes it the ultimate game.


Posts: 17   +25
The greatest game of all time (going by the number of awards it won year on year for years is Half Life (not HL2)
HL1 (and now Black Mesa) is the only game I fully replay all the way through every year without fail since it was released.
I've not done that with any other game I own/have owned (not even HL2)


Posts: 1,191   +1,851
TechSpot Elite
Pokémon Go? Really?

I mean, World of Warcraft deserves a nomination lightyears before Pokémon Go or Breath of the Wild.

Come on now, cater to the good games, not the kids in the last decade.

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,112   +2,520
TechSpot Elite
Console gamers should appreciate the Famicom/NES as it saved consoles from being a historical footnote after Atari let anyone make games in a free-for all. Which resulted in a market flooded with crap that imploded on itself.

Nintendo held their developers to actual standards when allowing games to be made for it and thus had far fewer clunkers to clutter up the shelves with.

How odd. A closed system worked better where a completely open one didn't. Boy, there's no way that could ever happen again...


Posts: 66   +87
Weirdly limited game list.

From that game list…HL2 is a solid pick.
Alt: Ultima series (if I had to pick one then Ultima 3/4/5 would be a coin toss)

Hardware: PC.
Alt: I could make an argument for Amiga 500 or Xbox 360.


Posts: 890   +739
TechSpot Elite
I put Doom and HL2, a) for how good they are and b) for their cultural significance, and same for PS2 / Wii, PS2 I think was a real golden era of gaming for good and bad games, and what some devs managed to squeeze out of that console is nothing short of impressive. The Wii as well had a huge cultural impact on gaming, everyone and their gran had played Nintendo Wii.

I'm a massive PC fanboy but because buying a 'PC' isn't a thing in the same way as console and has no set hardware I just don't think you can even vote for it.