The Golden Joystick Awards (also known as the People’s Gaming Awards) call themselves the world’s “Most Popular Videogame Awards” and the Guinness Book of Records agrees. Unlike the Oscars, where winners are selected by industry insiders, the Golden Joystick Awards are voted on by the general gaming public. This year, over 1.5 million fans placed their votes for the games that they felt were most deserving.
There are 16 gaming categories that run the gamut from fighting games (Street Fighter IV), to Racing games (Forza Motorsport 3), to sports games (FIFA ’10). This year, a “downloadable” section was added and PopCap’s “Plants vs. Zombies” took home the top prize.
The big winner, reported by the BBC, earning the coveted “Ultimate Game of the Year” award was BioWare’s Mass Effect 2. The game is novel in that players can import their saved game from the original, and choices that were made in the previous installment have effects on the new game. Some are subtle, such as how someone reacts to your character based on how you treated them in the previous game. Others are more impactful, such as relationships between your character and the person you “romanced” in the original.
The game also won the award for best Role Playing Game, beating out Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition and Final Fantasy XIII.
Previous winners of this award include Fallout 3, Call of Duty 4, Guitar Hero 2, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.