SXSW Gaming Awards

Started in 2014, the SXSW Gaming Awards is our way of showing that we admire and respect the hard work it takes to harness the magic of creating games, the passion you have behind it and the persistent drive that keeps you going until the end. On this very same note, we implore our judges to have this very same viewpoint to evaluate unbiasedly. Every project should be celebrated and respected, but these are the best of the best that capture each category in its fullest meaning.

Congratulations to all of the 2015 Finalists! Join us at the 2015 Gaming Awards Ceremony when we announce the winners!

2015 Gaming Hosts Janet Varney and Markiplier Photos courtesy of talent

Event details:

Co-Emcees: Janet Varney and Markiplier
When: 7:00–9:00pm on Saturday, March 14, 2015
Where: ACL Live at the Moody Theater

2015 SXSW GAMING AWARDS FINALISTS

Video Game of the Year

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies gaming excellence.

  • Bayonetta 2 – Nintendo/Platinum Games
  • Dark Souls II – Bandai Namco Games/From Software
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Shovel Knight – Yacht Club Games

Mobile Game of the Year

Awarded to the best mobile game that exemplifies excellence.

  • Bravely Default – Nintendo/Square Enix
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard Entertainment
  • Monument Valley – ustwo
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS – Nintendo
  • Threes – Sirvo

Table Top Game of the Year

Awarded to the best table top game that exemplifies excellence.

  • Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games
  • Five Tribes – Days of Wonder
  • King of New York – IELLO
  • Sheriff of Nottingham – Arcane Wonders
  • Star Realms – White Wizard Games

Excellence in Gameplay

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in gameplay mechanics.

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Nidhogg – Messhof
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment

Excellence in Art

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in artistic style.

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil/Stoic Studio
  • Child of Light – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Monument Valley – ustwo
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games

Excellence in Animation

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in animation.

  • Assassin’s Creed Unity – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • inFAMOUS: Second Son – Sony Computer Entertainment/Sucker Punch Productions
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment

Excellence in Technical Achievement

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in technical achievement.

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Destiny – Activision/Bungie
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Sunset Overdrive – Microsoft Studios/Insomniac Games

Excellence in Visual Achievement

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies stunning visuals.

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Far Cry 4 – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Monument Valley – ustwo
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – The Astronauts

Excellence in Narrative

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in game narrative.

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil/Stoic Studio
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montpellier
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – Bethesda Softworks/MachineGames

Excellence in Design and Direction

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in design and direction.

  • Dark Souls II – Bandai Namco Games/From Software
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Sunset Overdrive – Microsoft Studios/Insomniac Games
  • The Talos Principle – Devolver Digital/Croteam

Excellence in SFX

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in game sound effects.

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Activision/Sledgehammer Games
  • The Evil Within – Bethesda Softworks/Tango Gameworks
  • Far Cry 4 – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment

Excellence in Musical Score

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it is used to progress the narrative of a game.

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil/Stoic Studio
  • Destiny – Activision/Bungie
  • Child of Light – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montpellier

Excellence in Multiplayer

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in multiplayer gaming.


  • Destiny – Activision/Bungie
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Activision/Sledgehammer Games
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment
  • Towerfall Ascension – Matt Makes Games

Excellence in Convergence

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in the crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports and more.

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Disney Infinity 2.0 – Disney Interactive Studios/Avalanche Software
  • FIFA 15 – EA Sports/EA Canada
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth – Ubisoft/Obsidian Entertainment
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games

Most Valuable Character

Awarded to the best game character that left an overwhelming impression.

  • Bigby Wolf (The Wolf Among Us) – Telltale Games
  • Ellie (The Last of Us: Left Behind) – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog
  • The Goat (Goat Simulator) – Coffee Stain Studios
  • Octodad (Octodad: Dadliest Catch) – Young Horses
  • Red (Transistor) – Supergiant Games

Most Valuable Esports Team

Awarded to the professional team that excelled in performance and provided the most valuable impact in its competitive scene(s).

  • Alliance
  • Cloud9
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
  • SK Gaming

Most Valuable Online Channel

Awarded to the gaming-related channel that consistently entertains and keeps us watching with its humor, stories, special effects and more.

  • Cynical Brit
  • Rooster Teeth
  • SMOSH Games
  • TheSyndicateProject
  • VanossGaming

Most Valuable Add-On Content

Awarded to the best additional content or DLC that added even more value to a great game making the experience that much better.

  • Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Series – 2K Games/Irrational Games
  • Dark Souls II: Crown of the King Series – Bandai Namco Games/From Software
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Blizzard Entertainment
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog
  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor – Blizzard Entertainment

Most Anticipated Crowdfunded Game

Awarded to the most highly-anticipated crowdfunded game, through such platforms as Kickstarter, Early Access, Indiegogo, that lived up to expectations or has yet to grace our collections.

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil
  • Divinity: Original Sin – Larian Studios
  • Shovel Knight – Yacht Club Games
  • Star Citizen – Cloud Imperium Games
  • Wasteland 2 – inXile Entertainment

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award

Awarded to the best game that most challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character or gameplay.

  • Goat Simulator – Coffee Stain Studios
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog
  • Never Alone – E-Line Media/Upper One Games
  • This War of Mine – 11 bit studios
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montpellier

Gamer’s Voice

Awarded to the favorite game in the Indie Corner as decided exclusively by gamers on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor

  • Apotheon – Alientrap Games
  • Armikrog – Pencil Test Studios
  • Assault Android Cactus – Witch Beam
  • Cadence – Made With Monster Love
  • Children of Morta – Dead Mage
  • Chroma Squad – Behold Studios
  • Darkest Dungeon – Red Hook Studios
  • Extreme Exorcism – Golden Ruby Games
  • Gemini – Echostone Games
  • Grow – CriKeT Games
  • Hyper Light Drifter – Heart Machine
  • Ice-Bound – Down to the Wire
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – Steel Crate Games
  • Lurking – DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore
  • Noct- c3sk
  • Nom Nom Galaxy – Q-Games
  • Nova-111 – Funktronic Labs
  • Push Me Pull You – House House
  • ROCKETSROCKETSROCKETS – Radial Games
  • Salt and Sanctuary – Ska Studios
  • SoundSelf – Robin Arnott
  • SpeedRunners – tinyBuild Games
  • Stardust Vanguards – Zanrai Interactive
  • That Dragon, Cancer – Numinous Games
  • The Escapists – Team17 Digital
  • The Flame in the Flood – The Molasses Flood
  • White Night – Osome Studio
  • XING: The Land Beyond – White Lotus Interactive
  • Yomi’s Gate – Spriteborne
  • Zombie Night Terror – Jerome Levet

Thanks to our official Sponsors
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Contact Info:

For more information on our SXSW Gaming Awards, reach out to gamingawards@sxsw.com.

For all press requests, please contact Kelly Krause.

For all general SXSW Gaming inquiries, please contact us at gaming@sxsw.com.

To learn about additional ways to be involved with SXSW Gaming, check out our Gaming Expo and our Geek Stage.


2014 SXSW Gaming Awards Highlights Include: The co-emcees for the 2014 SXSW Gaming Awards ceremony were some of the most popular figures on YouTube, iJustine and SMOSH. The Awards also featured brand new videos from Rooster Teeth, WrentheReaper, Code Monkeys, and a very special video from SMOSH. We were also extremely happy to welcome a new and never before seen performance by Cirque du Soleil.

Check out the winners from the 2014 SXSW Gaming Awards to see all the amazing games honored.