The Steam Awards: Red Dead Redemption 2 is 2020's game of the year


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In brief: Critics and consumers don't always agree when it comes to the year's best games, but as the platform's users choose the Steam Awards, they're a good indication of which titles are loved by the public. In Valve's latest event, Red Dead Redemption 2 won both the Game of The Year and Outstanding Story-Rich Game categories.

Although released in December 2019, Red Dead Redemption 2 made the cut as the 2020 Steam Awards nominations begin in November. It was up against some tough competition: Fall Guys, one of Steam's most popular games of the year; Hades, which many expected to win; Death Stranding, PC Gamer's Best Game of 2020; and Doom Eternal.

Red Dead Redemption 2 also beat the likes of Detroit: Become Human and Horizon Zero Dawn to take the Outstanding Story-Rich Game award.

Elsewhere, the Labor of Love category, highlighting long-running games that continue to receive support from devs, was won by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Death Stranding won Most Innovative Gameplay, and Doom Eternal took the Best Soundtrack award.

Probably the least-surprising result came in the VR Game of the Year category, won by Half-Life: Alyx. Despite requiring a virtual reality headset, Alyx was one of Steam's best-selling new games as measured by gross revenue this year.

Steam Awards winners and nominees:

Game of the Year:

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2

Nominees: Hades, DOOM Eternal, Fall Guys, Death Stranding

VR Game of the Year

Winner: Half-Life: Alyx

Nominees: Phasmophobia, The Room VR: A Dark Matter, Thief Simulator VR, Star Wars Squadrons

Labor of Love

Winner: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Nominees: Among Us, Terraria, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, No Man's Sky

Better With Friends

Winner: Fall Guys

Nominees: Sea of Thieves, Borderlands 3, Deep Rock Galactic, Risk of Rain 2

Most Innovative Gameplay

Winner: Death Stranding

Nominees: Control, Superliminal, Noita, Teardown

Outstanding Story-Rich Game

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2

Nominees: Detroit: Become Human, Mafia Definitive Edition, Metro Exodus, Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Game You Suck At

Winner: Apex Legends

Nominees: Crusader Kings 3, Ghostrunner, FIFA 21, GTFO

Outstanding Visual Style

Winner: Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Nominees: Battlefield 5, There is No Game, Marvel's Avengers, Black Mesa

Best Soundtrack

Winner: DOOM Eternal

Nominees: Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Helltaker, Need for Speed Heat, Persona 4 Golden

Sit Back and Relax

Winner: The Sims 4

Nominees: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Satisfactory, Untitled Goose Game, Factorio

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Posts: 406   +352
Yeah, it is one of the best games ever. The amount of detail in this game is just...amazing. Cyberpunk in comparison is a joke.


Posts: 16   +25
My choices were Death Stranding, HL Alyx, No Man's Sky, Sea of Thieves, Superliminal, Detroit, Ghostrunner, Ori, Halo, and Flight Sim. Absolutely not satisfied with the outcome, but oh well.

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,488   +1,704
TechSpot Elite
It's kinda hard to say because it's so subjective so I mostly say what big-name games definitely AREN'T the Game of the Year because it's easier. Two big-name games that WON'T be Game of the Year are:

1.) Godfall (Visually stunning but otherwise, kinda dull)
2.) Cyberpunk 2077 (No game is good when it's broken)

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,860   +2,057
TechSpot Elite
Lulz, I've only played more than one game in the Labor of Love and Better with Friends sections, and none in most sections. IMO, Sea of Thieves > Fall Guys because it's co-op. And No Man's Sky > Terraria, though neither won.

It's weird as I like Terraria-type games but for some reason I just can't wrap my head around the gameplay. I think it's the interface just doesn't make sense to me as I hated No Man's Sky early on because of the interface, but I restarted it after a few of the significant game revamps and additions and it makes more sense now.


Posts: 527   +360
Red Dead Redemption 2 fell far short in my opinion; the story was forgettable and the gameplay itself lacked innovation. It certainly did not match the first game in terms of overall hook factor for me. As with many modern games; great graphics but hollow on the inside.


Posts: 3,320   +2,068
I was really looking forward to RDR2, but gave up after about 15 hours of game play. And that's pretty unusual for me. Once I start a game, it's extremely rare for me to not finish it. I just thought it was tedious, and at times unforgiving. Once you had a bounty on you (or several bounties) - often for doing some innocuous task like helping a stranger - all you could do from that point is run from the posses, eventually end up being cornered and killed and losing half your stuff. Maybe I'll try again some day...

MS Flight Simulator is my winner for the year. With Assassin's Creed: Valhalla a close second.