Game Critics Awards

We all love lists, especially when they mean something. Today’s list was brought to you by the Game Critics Awards, an independent group of game reviewers from 36 news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times.

Unlike critics of other types of entertainment, game critics have not been rendered redundant in the age of the Internet, where everyone is a critic. This is largely because game journalists have access to “playable” game versions long before the public gets its hands on the title. And because serious gamers devote lots of time researching hot titles to determine what to buy weeks before they even hit store shelves, the opinion of the game critic is even more important.

As a result, game companies often reward developers with bonuses if their games achieve high marks, as tracked by websites such as GameRankings and Metacritic, or win awards. The Game Critics Awards, now in its 10th year, today released its pick of best games from this year’s E3 Media & Business Summit.

Does the list matter? According to UBS Securities analyst Ben Schachter it does. Schachter analyzed sales of the winners from the last nine years and concluded that games that snag the Best Console Game award go on to sell an average of 2.4 million copies, a hit in the world of video games. Best of Show winners, however, are hit or miss when it comes to retail success. Nintendo’s Wii, which won the award in 2006, is the No. 1-selling console. But Nintendo’s GameCube, winner of the award in 2001, flopped.

“Video game quality impacts sales,” Schachter wrote in a note released today.

And now to the list…

…with the name of the developer in parentheses.

— Best of Show: Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks)

— Best Original Game: Mirror’s Edge (DICE)

— Best Console Game: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

— Best PC Game: Spore (Maxis)

— Best Handheld Game: Resistance: Retribution (Bend Studio)

— Best Hardware: Rock Band 2 Ion Drum Rocker Set (Ion Audio)

— Best Action Game: Gears of War 2 (Epic Games)

— Best Action/Adventure Game: Dead Space (Electronic Arts)

— Best Role Playing Game: Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks)

— Best Racing Game: Pure (Black Rock)

— Best Sports Game: Madden NFL 09 (Tiburon)

— Best Fighting Game: Street Fighter IV (Capcom)

— Best Strategy Game: Tom Clancy’s EndWar (Ubisoft)

— Best Social/Casual/Puzzle Game: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

— Best Online Multiplayer: Left 4 Dead (Valve)

A complete list of nominees and winners from past years can be seen here.


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