Many believe that The Game Awards’ battle for GOTY will come down to Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok, and while there are a few caveats to this argument, it would seem that Elden Ring already has the upper hand. The biggest caveat ahead of this December 2022 event is that God of War Ragnarok is not out yet. It should make the cut-off before any nominations are announced, but many believe it will be great because the prior game was great. This logic, however common, also led to many believing Cyberpunk 2077 would be a GOTY contender because The Witcher 3 won it too.
That’s not to compare God of War Ragnarok to Cyberpunk 2077 of course, and with everything revealed so far, predicting God of War Ragnarok will be a GOTY contender is by no means illogical. It’s just a caveat to the conversation. However, Elden Ring has the upper hand going into The Game Awards and will likely see the FromSoftware Souls title take GOTY, as well as other categories, away from its competitors, including God of War Ragnarok. God of War 2018 and Sekiro Shadows Die Twice have both previously won this award, but the context here is a little different than in those years.
Elden Ring Has Dominated the Gaming Industry in 2022
GOTY, at The Game Awards, is given to a “game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.” These were the very fields Elden Ring was praised for, with its accessible approach to a difficult genre, its inspiring take on open-world games, and its perplexing but creative lore. But beyond just that, it’s a safe bet Elden Ring will see other nominations for aspects like art direction, roleplaying game, soundtrack, game direction, and many more. It’s not uncommon to see one title sweep these categories and claim numerous awards, like The Last of Us 2 did at The Game Awards 2020, but Elden Ring is a shoo-in for these categories and is likely to win as many of them.
God of War Ragnarok is coming in hot off the 2018 game, which means many will be looking at how it improves over the sequel. The narrative is promising, new God of War Ragnarok combat details are enticing, and with the pedigree of Santa Monica, it releasing in November and making it into The Game Awards is not just likely, it’s bound to happen. It’s no secret that the fall is the busiest season in the gaming industry, and God of War Ragnarok is likely going to power through many other titles. Releasing in November means God of War Ragnarok will be fresher on the mind than many other titles, which bodes well for its own awards compared to some titles, but not compared to Elden Ring.
At Least Two Great Games Will Battle It Out for GOTY at The Game Awards
God of War Ragnarok can be the game of the fall, even if that is still just a bet at this phase, but this award is for Game of the Year. And Elden Ring has broken sales records, inspired fans, brought more into the Soulsborne genre, and otherwise dominated conversations for weeks and months on end. There’s no “time or influence” qualifier for The Game Awards’ GOTY and there shouldn’t be, as games like God of War Ragnarok and many others will offer quality experiences at the tail end of the year, but that’s something hard to ignore too.
God of War Ragnarok seems destined to be a great game, and it’s likely that the story of Kratos and Atreus will touch as many fans’ hearts as the first title. One could argue that, if it’s as good as fans hope, TGA should consider giving away two GOTY Awards for the first time ever. That’s not going to happen though, and the committee will have to pick between several games, likely including Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok. And Elden Ring is not something that can be ignored–it remains to be seen how it all plays out, but betting on Elden Ring winning GOTY is not a bad decision.
Elden Ring is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.