The Game Awards 2019 nominees were recently announced, with the award show set to take place on December 12. It's then when a panel comprised of various video game media outlets will vote on the best games of the year in a variety of categories. Like any big awards show, there are some notable snubs when it comes to The Game Awards 2019 nominees, with some highly-praised games seemingly looked over.
This year, there are some especially glaring omissions from certain categories, as some of the top-rated games aren't even being considered for Game of the Year, instead put aside in favor of games that weren't as highly-praised. This is a product of the nomination process, which is similar to the voting process. A jury comprised of media outlets and game journalists select the nominees, but even so, some fans have been surprised by some of the missing games.
Game of the Year Nominees
Before we can get into the snubbed games, it's necessary to list the games that have been nominated for Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2019. They are as follows:
Resident Evil 2
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The Outer Worlds
It's worth noting that out of all of the nominees, only three of the games achieved a 90 or better review score average from game critics, with those being Resident Evil 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The other game to get a 90 average in 2019, indie hit Disco Elysium, failed to secure a Game of the Year nomination.
While not all of its games have been hits, Platinum Games has typically delivered critically-acclaimed games like Bayonetta and NieR: Automata. The Nintendo Switch-exclusive game Astral Chain from Platinum continued the company's hot streak, delivering a game that managed to earn an 87 average with critics and has quickly become one of the Switch's most-praised games. Despite Astral Chain having stronger reviews than three of the Game of the Year nominees, the game is only nominated for a single award at The Game Awards 2019, and that's for Best Action Game.
Devil May Cry 5
Perhaps the most glaring omission for the entire Game Awards 2019 nominees list is Capcom's Devil May Cry 5. Devil May Cry 5 is one of the top-rated games of the year, earning widespread praise from critics and fans alike. When the game released to such high scores, there were many that hailed it as an early Game of the Year contender. Devil May Cry 5 has secured nominations for Action Game of the Year, as well as Best Score/Music, so it may still come away a winner in some categories, though its absence from the Game of the Year nominees is still puzzling.
First-Party Nintendo Games
Nintendo in general appears to be getting overlooked at The Game Awards 2019, with no Nintendo games up for Game of the Year besides Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which technically released in 2018. One could argue that perhaps Nintendo didn't have any games that were good enough for Game of the Year consideration, but it had a number of critically-acclaimed games release on the Switch this year, with multiple games standing as some of the highest-rated of all of 2019. This includes the likes of Super Mario Maker 2, Luigi's Mansion 3, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses may be the most surprising Nintendo game missing from The Game Awards 2019 Game of the Year list, and the game itself is only nominated for a single award - Best Strategy Game. This has taken some fans by surprise, with many arguing that the game should be considered for other categories. Fire Emblem: Three Houses has an 89 average critic rating at the time of this writing, making it one of the top 10 highest rated games of the year, so it's understandably confusing for fans that it's only nominated for a single award at The Game Awards 2019.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
It's possible that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was left off The Game Awards 2019 nominees list because the game released on November 15, which means it may have released too late for many of the jury members to have even played it. Even so, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order not being a nominee for at least some of the categories is a bit strange, as some would argue that Cameron Monaghan's performance as Cal Kestis should at least be nominated for an award. If this is a situation where Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order simply released too late in the year to be eligible for The Game Awards, then we might see it nominated with next year's batch of games, similarly to how Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is being considered at this year's show despite having released originally in 2018.