The Game Awards 2021: Date, times, how to watch, nominees and more

The Game Awards 2021 Trophy
(Image credit: The Game Awards)

The Game Awards 2021 are kicking off to celebrate the best games of 2021, with host Geoff Keighley offering everything from Game of the Year contenders and world premieres to celebrity guests like Keanu Reeves. Oh, and we can expect "four or five things" as big as Elden Ring to be revealed during the show.

Taking place on December 9, Keighly's Game Awards 2021 will take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The good news is you don't need any special invite to watch it live, as fans can tune in to the live stream for free. There's good reason to check it out, as brand-new and hugely anticipated PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC games will be unveiled. 

Spilling the beans on what to expect on USA Today (opens in new tab) (via Techradar), Keighley stated: "This year? Oh, God, there are probably four or five things of that level." This was in relation to the big Elden Ring reveal during this year's Summer Game Fest, but apparently, the host also expects around 40 to 50 new games to be announced. A better look at Breath of the Wild 2? A sneak peek at Starfield or The Elder Scrolls 6? Only time will tell.

Whatever games will be announced, we do know Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix Resurrections will be part of the show, along with Reggie Fils-Aime, Giancarlo Esposito, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Ming-Na Wen, JackSepticEye, Donald Mustard and more. Plus, musical performances from Sting, Imagine Dragons and The Game Awards Orchestra.

Check out where to watch The Game Awards 2021 and all the nominees below. 

How to watch The Game Awards 2021

The Game Awards 2021 is taking place on Thursday, December 9 from 8pm EST, with the show scheduled to go on until 11pm. In the UK, the show will kick off on Friday, December 10 at 1am GMT.

There are plenty of places to watch the official livestream, including on The Game Awards 2021's official website. However, fans can also catch the show over on YouTube, Twitch channel, Twitter page, TikTok page, or Facebook page. Check out the youTube video below for the full livestream of the event once it kicks off. 

The Game Awards 2021 nominees 

This year's Game Awards is jam-packed with an exciting list of contenders across multiple categories, but all eyes are on the Game of the Year award. There are six games nominated to be crowned 2021's best game of the year, with each being nominated for multiple awards. This includes Deathloop (nine nominations), Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (six nominations), It Takes Two (five nominations), Psychonauts 2 (five nominations), Resident Evil Village (four nominations), and Metroid Dread (two nominations).

Check out the full list and each category below. Plus, December 7 is your last chance to vote for your favourite games, so head over to The Game Awards website cast your vote. 

The Game Awards 2021: Game of the Year

  • Deathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/Electronic Arts)
  • Metroid Dread (MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine Productions/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Resident Evil Village (Capcom)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Game Direction

  • Deathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/Electronic Arts)
  • Returnal (Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine Productions/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Narrative

  • Deathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/Electronic Arts)
  • Life is Strange: True Colors (Deck Nine/Square Enix)
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)
  • Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine Productions/Xbox Game Studios)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Art Direction

  • The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur/Annapurna)
  • Deathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab)
  • Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine Productions/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Score and Music

  • The Artful Escape (Johnny Galvatron & Josh Abrahams, Composers)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Marcin Przybylowicz, Piotr T. Adamczyk, Composers)
  • Deathloop (Tom Salta, Composer)
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Richard Jacques, Composer)
  • NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 (Keiichi Okabe, Composer)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Audio Design

  • Deathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Forza Horizon 5 (Playground Games/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Resident Evil Village (Capcom)
  • Returnal (Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Performance

  • Erika Mori as Alex Chen, Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Anton Castillo, Far Cry 6
  • Jason E. Kelley as Colt Vahn, Deathloop
  • Maggie Robertson as Lady Dimitrescu, Resident Evil Village
  • Ozioma Akagha as Julianna Blake, Deathloop

The Game Awards 2021: Games for Impact

  • Before Your Eyes (GoodbyeWorld Games/Skybound Games)
  • Boyfriend Dungeon (Kitfox Games)
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Greg Lobanow, Alexis dean-Jones, Lena Raine, Madeline Berger, A Shell in the Pit/Finji)
  • Life is Strange: True Colors (Deck Nine/Square Enix)
  • No Longer Home (Humble Grove, Hana Lee, Cel Davison, Adrienne Lombardo, Eli Rainsberry/Fellow Traveler)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Ongoing

  • Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online (Square Enix)
  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • Genshin Impact (Mihoyo)
  • Call of Duty: Warzone (Infinity Ward, Raven Software/Activision)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Indie

  • 12 Minutes (Luis Antonio/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Death’s Door (Acid Nerve/Devolver Digital)
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab)
  • Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games/Devolver Digital)
  • Loop Hero (Four Quarters/Devolver Digital)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Mobile Game

  • Fantasian (Mistwalker)
  • Genshin Impact (Mihoyo)
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift (Riot Games)
  • Marvel Future Revolution (Netmarble)
  • Pokémon Unite (TiMi Studios/The Pokémon Company)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Community Support

  • Apex Legends (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie)
  • Final Fantasy 14 (Square Enix)
  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

The Game Awards 2021: Innovation in Accessibility

  • Far Cry 6 (Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft)
  • Forza Horizon 5 (Playground Games/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • The Vale: Shadow of the Crown (Creative Bytes Studios/Falling Squirrel)

The Game Awards 2021: Best VR/AR

  • Hitman 3 (IO Interactive)
  • I Expect You to Die 2 (Schell Games)
  • Lone Echo 2 (Ready at Dawn/Oculus Studios)
  • Resident Evil 4 (Armature Studio, Capcom/Oculus Studios)
  • Sniper Elite VR (Coatsink, Just Add Water/Rebellion Developments)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Action Game

  • Back 4 Blood (Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Games)
  • Chivalry 2 (Torn Banner Studios/Tripwire Interactive)
  • Deathloop (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Far Cry 6 (Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft)
  • Returnal (Housemarque/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Action / Adventure

  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)
  • Metroid Dread (MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine Productions/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Resident Evil Village (Capcom)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Role Playing

  • Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
  • Monster Hunter Rise (Capcom)
  • Scarlet Nexus (Bandai Namco)
  • Shin Megami Tensei 5 (Atlus/Sega)
  • Tales of Arise (Bandai Namco)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Fighting

  • Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Hinokami Chronicles (CyberConnect2/Sega)
  • Guilty Gear Strive (Arc System Works)
  • Melty Blood: Type Lumina (French-Bread/Delightworks)
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (Ludosity, Fair Play Labs/GameMill)
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown (Sega)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Family

  • It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/Electronic Arts)
  • Mario Party Superstars (NDcube/Nintendo)
  • New Pokémon Snap (Bandai Namco/The Pokémon Company/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (Nintendo)
  • WarioWare: Get It Together! (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Sim / Strategy

  • Age of Empires 4 (Relic Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination (Rebellion Developments)
  • Humankind (Amplitude Studios/Sega)
  • Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games/Devolver Digital)
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Sports / Racing

  • F1 2021 (Codemasters/EA Sports)
  • FIFA 22 (EA Vancouver/EA Sports)
  • Forza Horizon 5 (Playground Games/Xbox Game Studios)
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed (Milestone)
  • Riders Republic (Ubisoft Annecy/Ubisoft)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Multiplayer

  • Back 4 Blood (Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Games)
  • Knockout City (Velan Studios/Electronic Arts)
  • It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios/Electronic Arts)
  • Monster Hunter Rise (Capcom)
  • New World (Amazon Games)
  • Valheim (Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Studios)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Debut Indie

  • The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur/Annapurna)
  • The Forgotten City (Modern Storyteller/Dear Villagers)
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Ember Lab)
  • Sable (Shedworks/Raw Fury)
  • Valheim (Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Studios)

The Game Awards 2021: Most Anticipated Game

  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)
  • God of War Ragnarok (SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Untitled sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  • Starfield (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Esports Games

  • Call of Duty (Activision)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
  • Dota 2 (Valve)
  • League of Legends (Riot Games)
  • Valorant (Riot Games)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Esports Athlete

  • Chris “Simp” Lehr
  • Heo “ShowMaker” Su
  • Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
  • Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
  • Tyson “TenZ” Ngo

The Game Awards 2021: Best Esports Team

  • Atlanta FaZe (Call of Duty)
  • DWG KIA (League of Legends)
  • Natus Vincere (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
  • Sentinels (Valorant)
  • Team Spirit (DOTA 2)

The Game Awards 2021: Best Esports Coach

  • Airat “Silent” Gaziev
  • Andrey “ENGH” Sholokhov
  • Andrii “B1ad3” Horodenskyi
  • James “Crowder” Crowder
  • Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun

The Game Awards 2021: Best Esports Event

  • 2021 League of Legends World Championship
  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021 (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
  • PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020
  • The International 2021 (DOTA 2)
  • Valorant Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.