I really only play indie games now, and I don’t have a modern console. I don’t play FPS (other than Killing Floor 2) or really even 3rd person games due to increasing motion sickness issues. I think my days of playing overhyped, overbudgeted $59.99 multi-platform titles are largely over now, for better or worse.
So my tastes are esoteric.
On Steam I nominated for Game of the Year Pathway, which is essentially pixelized Indiana Jones meets mini turn-based tactical strategy battles, with a wide variety of characters and abilities. The tiny German dev team has really worked hard on addressing criticism and complaints about the game’s early builds and it’s made a remarkable player reviews turnaround from mixed to “Overwhelmingly Positive.”
It’s obviously not going to win anything like that a field of mega million dollar budget gorillas, but it did win a story-focused award at a games show in Europe.
For Best Visuals (but I’d consider a GOTY nomination too) I’d nominated on Steam – technically still in early access but already quite polished – the fabulous pinball game Demon’s Tilt (now also out on PS4 and Switch I believe):
I’m also belatedly – because initially I found the game Just Too Darn Tough – enjoying the roguelite isometric, pixelized ARGP Children of Morta. It tends to get imho incorrectly categorized as “another Diablo game,” when the controls are really more twin-stick shooter with Ranged characters, more brawler with Melee types.
Features beautiful artwork, animations and music, and challenging combat on procedurally generated levels, although the caves the first few levels can feel tiresome. All the characters eventually have some degree of synergy with each other in terms of passive skills and bonuses, so it rewards putting some play time into all characters. Although the “corruption” gameplay mechanic, which essentially penalizes you for doing too well with a given character, is a sore spot for some.