Steam Awards 2021 Winners cover

The Steam Awards 2021 Winners Announced

January 3, 2022

By: Robert N. Adams

 
 

The Steam Awards 2021 winners have been announced! The Steam community has come together to pick the best games on the platform... and there are some interesting surprises in this year's results.

Every year, Valve lets players vote on nominees for several categories. Those nominees were subsequently announced at the outset of the Steam Winter Sale 2021. The winners have now been decided -- let's dive in and see who came out on top as the Steam Awards 2021 winners!

 

Steam Awards 2021 Winners slice

Here Are The Steam Awards 2021 Winners

There were a total of 10 categories for this year's awards. Here are your Steam Awards 2021 winners!

 
 

Game of the Year

Maybe it was its immersive gameplay, or its gripping story... its well-crafted characters, immaculate design, or addictive multiplayer. Whatever the reason, the winner of this year's Game of the Year Award is an instant classic.

  • Valheim
  • New World
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Resident Evil Village (Winner)
  • Forza Horizon 5

Resident Evil Village has claimed the crown for Game of the Year. That should come as no surprise to anyone who's played it -- check out our review and you'll see why it's easily one of the best Resident Evil games in recent memory.


VR Game of the Year

The VR Game of the Year isn't merely masquerading as regular reality. This game improves on reality, taking advantage of the medium of VR and pushing the boundaries of the virtual realm.

  • Sniper Elite VR
  • Cooking Simulator VR (Winner)
  • Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond
  • I Expect You to Die 2: The Spy and the Liar
  • Blair Witch: VR Edition

VR games run the gamut and this year's batch of nominees was mostly full of action or suspense. In the end, it seems like a more casual experience won the day: Cooking Simulator VR has claimed the title for VR Game of the Year.

 
 

Labor of Love

This game has been out for a while. The team is well past the debut of their creative baby, but being the good parents they are, these devs continue to nurture and support their creation. This game, to this day, is still getting new content after all these years.

  • Dota 2
  • Terraria (Winner)
  • Rust
  • No Man's Sky
  • Apex Legends

Terraria has won the Labor of Love award this year, beating out some stiff competition from much bigger games. Development has "ended" several times and Re-Logic has nonetheless surprised players with new content every now and again, most recently with its surprising reveal of a crossover with Don't Starve Together.


Better with Friends

There are some games out there that just aren't the same when you play by yourself. Maybe you need to have a friend to watch your back. Maybe you need to have a friend that you can stab in their back. Either way, fun is awaiting those who gather friends together [to] play this game.

  • Valheim
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Halo Infinite
  • It Takes Two (Winner)
  • Crab Game

Some games are better enjoyed with friends and some games outright require it. This year's winner for the Better with Friends category is It Takes Two, a wonderful tale about two estranged parents trying to make their way through a fantastical world and get back to their daughter.


Outstanding Visual Style

Visual style doesn't aspire to real-world graphical fidelity (though a noble goal in itself)… it describes a distinctive look and feel that suffuses an entire game.

  • Psychonauts 2
  • Subnautica: Below Zero
  • Little Nightmares 2
  • Bright Memory Infinite
  • Forza Horizon 5 (Winner)

Forza Horizon 5 has been recognized as the winner of the Outstanding Visual Style category. This game was one of the surprise announcements for 2021 and probably came out much earlier than anyone would have expected, but it's clear that Playground Games has delivered a quality product.


Most Innovative Gameplay

The designers of this game are at the front lines of creative experimentation, bringing a fresh perspective and brain-breaking surprises. This game delighted, inspired[,] and entertained with newness never played before.

  • Inscryption
  • Twelve Minutes
  • Moncage
  • Deathloop (Winner)
  • Loop Hero

Everyu once in a while, a game comes out that tries something new or interesting. This year, Deathloop is one of the Steam Awards 2021 winners recognized for moving the medium forward by claiming the Most Innovative Gameplay award. Make sure to check out our Beginner's Guide to help you get started!

 
 

Best Game You Suck At

This is the game that rewards persistence, and is not for the faint of heart. It's the toughest game we've ever loved.

  • World War Z
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • Nioh 2 (Winner)
  • Age of Empires 4
  • Battlefield 2042

Some games are harder than others, and Nioh 2 has stood at as the winner of the Best Game You Suck At category -- even though its PC port launched with a few problems.


Best Soundtrack

This unsung hero deserves to be recognized for its outstanding musical score. It's the OST with the MOST!

  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Winner)
  • NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139...
  • Persona 5 Strikers
  • Guilty Gear Strive
  • Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy does a lot of things right, but it should come as no surprise that it claimed the crown for the Best Soundtrack category. (Of course, it has a lot of other good things going on, too.)


Outstanding Story-Rich Game

Some days, only a narrative-heavy game will hit the spot, and this one packs a wallop. It's as gripping as any soap opera, and as well-tuned as a prestige-TV screenplay. Bravissimo -- for making us feel things!

  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Winner)
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Days Gone
  • Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

Cyberpunk 2077 has come away as one of the Steam Awards 2021 winners in a somewhat surprising category -- it's been decided as the victor for Outstanding Story-Rich Game. Although CD Projekt Red missed the mark in many places, it nonetheless built a world filled with interesting narratives and wonderfully weird advertisements.


Sit Back and Relax

This game is the antidote to a busy day. It's smooth, it's relaxing, it lets your worries melt away. This game is your moment of zen.

  • Unpacking
  • Potion Craft
  • Farming Simulator 22 (Winner)
  • Townscaper
  • Dorf Romantik

Our final winner of the year is Farming Simulator 22, a game that closed out 2021 with a decently-sized free content update. The Farming Simulator games have been running for a long time and it seems that this year's edition struck a chord with the community.

 
 

And that's it for your Steam Awards 2021 winners! Don't forget, you still have a few days to pick up many of the winners and nominees at a discount as part of the Steam Winter Sale 2021 -- the sale officially ends on January 5, 2021, at 1:00 PM Eastern.

What's your favorite game in the Steam Awards 2021 winners? Who do you think should have won instead? Let us know in the comments below!