It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And no, I’m not talking about hoards of ravaged shoppers stabbing each other for next-gen consoles. Tonight marks another installment of Spike’s Annual VGX Awards — or, as I like the affectionately call them — The Grand Theft Troy Baker Awards. This years award show is all about the gamers, as Spike has taken to transforming the show into the complete package for the core community. Not only will we be seeing the famed awards handed out, but we’ll also be witness to more exclusive content, world premieres, and a plethora of appearances from the industry’s head honchos.

Of course, what we really care about most is arguing with anyone who will listen over our picks for each category, including Game of the Year, Studio of the Year, and Best Voice Actor/Actress. Because we’re all opinionated, special little snowflakes, I’ve teamed up with one of our newest resident writers, Anthony, to discuss our picks for a selection of categories.

Game of the Year


Bioshock Infinite (2k Games/Irrational Games)
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games/Rockstar North)
Super Mario World 3D (Nintento)
The Last of Us (Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog)
Tomb Raider (Square Enix/ Crystal Dynamics)

As much as I’d like to see Bioshock Infinite win, I’ll probably hand this one to The Last of Us. The game captivated gamers around the world with its dynamic gameplay, stunning graphics, and emotional tugs on our faint little hearts. Joel and Ellie are such iconic characters, and the storyline made us blubber like tiny humans — and don’t lie, I know you cried. Truthfully, I’m pretty pumped to see all of these games in this prized category, especially Tomb Raider. Croft’s origin story was fantastically done, and the voice acting on part of Camilla Luddington was outstanding.

When I asked Anthony about his pick, here’s what he had to say: “As much as my head is telling me that GTA V will be crowned the winner here  due to the ridiculous amount of units sold in that first week, I have to go with my heart, and my personal favorite game of the year; The Last Of Us. I think that GTA’s slow start with their online service, as well as the many bugs that it had, will keep TLOU crowned the game of the year.”

Studio of the Year

Irrational Games
Naughty Dog
Rockstar North
The Fullbright Company

For me, it’s a close race between Irrational and Naughty Dog. Both studies released some seriously massive and impressive games this year — Irrational with Bioshock Infinite and Naughty Dog with TLOU. Although GTA V was a huge success as far as sales go, Rockstar North just doesn’t have anything else to show for their studio at the moment. My heart is telling me to go with Irrational, and that’s who I’d like to see win this round. It’s a studio that’s acquired critical acclaim since their founding in ’97, and they never cease to release some seriously impressive stuff – not to mention Ken Levine is a key member. I mean, what else is there?

Anthony shared some different thoughts: “I mean, they’re my game of the year, so they have to be my studio of the year too. Naughty Dog just delivered way too much this year with The Last Of Us to not win Studio of the Year. With the upcoming DLC already announced, not to mention the next game in the Uncharted series, it was just too good of a year for Naughty Dog.

Best Shooter

Battlefield 4 (Electronic Arts/DICE)
Bioshock Infinite (2k Games/Irrational Games)
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Activision/Infinity Ward)
Metro: Last Light (Deep Silver/4A Games)

I’ll be forthcoming with this — never in a million years would I choose a Call of Duty game for best shooter. Bioshock Infinite was one of the best games I’ve played in the past year, but it simply can’t compete with the following that Battlefield has. The multiplayer mechanics are superb, giving players more options to command their squads and customize their soldiers. Also, the addition of more destructive maps makes Battlefield the true choice for best shooter. While Metro: Last Light is a seriously fantastic game, it just doesn’t have the same credibility that EA and DICE carry with it.

Anthony has forsaken me with his choice: “Let’s be honest here, this is a contest between Call of Duty and Battlefield. the shooter category? i understand why, but it is a bit out of its league here. Although I personally don’t like either of the big FPS’ this year, I would have to say Call of Duty takes this one.”

Best Action-Adventure Game

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal)
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games/Rockstar North)
The Last of Us (Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog)
Tomb Raider (Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics)
I’m going to have to say that Tomb Raider has my pick for this category. It’s a true action-adventure game, complete with full exploration, a plethora of collectibles and upgrades, and the story line was spot-on with emotional and moral pulls. Graphically, it’s a stunning game, and the voice work by Camilla Luddington brings a much-needed, fresh take to Lara Croft.
At last, Antony finally can agree with me: “As much as I want The Last Of Us to win, Tomb Raider has to be the best action-adventure. Way more collectibles, the ability to explore anywhere you want, plus the awesome story has it as my vote.”

Best Xbox Game

Bioshock Infinite (2k Games/Irrational Games)
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (505 Games/Starbreeze)
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games/Rockstar North)
Tomb Raider (Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics)

Okay, now’s the time for Bioshock Infinite to truly shine. Apart from having one of the most mind-blowing story lines of the year, the voice work, graphics, and mechanics were all on-par with gaming excellence. Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth were dynamic, 3-dimensional characters that were relatable and real, and Songbird, one of the games antagonists, was one of the most eerily creative I’ve seen in quite some time. Irrational really pulled out all the stops for this game, and made it for one of the most impressive entries in a stunning series of games.

Anthony had similar thoughts: “Bioshock, hands down. Amazing story, amazing characters, preeeetty good DLC (I really hope Part 2 is great), this all this game needs is an amazing set of voice actors playing the lead roles. Oh…it has that too?! And he’s nominated for TWO awards?!”

Best PlayStation Game

Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games/Rockstar North)
Rayman Legends (Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montpellier)
The Last of Us (Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog)
Tomb Raider (Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics)

I feel as if I really don’t need to argue this: The Last of Us is my clear-cut choice. If it’s up for game of the year, then it’s definitely a serious contender in this category. Joel and Ellie stole our hearts, and now they’re here to steal all the awards.

Anthony has this to say; “The Last Of Us. No contest.”

Best Voice Actor


Troy Baker as Joel (The Last of Us)
Troy Baker as Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite)
Steve Ogg as Trevor Phillips (Grand Theft Auto V)
Willem Dafoe as Nathan Dawkins (Beyond: Two Souls)

Although Troy Baker has already been announced as the winner for his portrayal of Joel, I wouldn’t have picked anything different. The raw emotion Baker put into Joel’s character is unmatched by anything else, and it will be for quite some time. Baker has an impressive list of credits, including Hamill’s Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Like, ever.

Anthony shared some similar thoughts: “Pick your poison. Bioshock, or The Last Of Us. Either way, its Troy Baker. Though, I do have a sweet spot in my heart for Steven Ogg. Trevor is just too great.”

Best Voice Actress

Ashley Johnson as Ellie (The Last of Us)
Courtnee Draper as Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite)
Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
Ellen Paige as Jodie Holmes (Beyond: Two Souls)

Ashley Johnson took this award home, and it’s well deserved. She brought real life to Ellie’s character, mixing raw emotion and a child-like sense of wonder and innocence. And, on the drop of a dime, Ellie could turn into the most mature being on the face of the clicker-filled earth. As much as I would have liked to see Draper win this as well, I’ll sleep well as night knowing Johnson earned it.

Antony had this to say: “A real close one between Ashley Johsnon (Ellie in TLOU) and Courtnee Draper (Elizabeth, Bioshock), but I think Ashley takes this one. I felt way more invested in Ellie’s character then I did Elizabeths.”


While there are a plethora of other categories included in this years VGX awards, these are probably some of the most prestigious. Of course, VGX isn’t just about pretentious awards and awkward speeches. This year, we’ll be seeing more exclusives and world premieres than ever. Already confirmed are exclusives looks at Thief, A Tomb Raider announcement, a nintendo game demo from Reggie himself, a looks at Quantum Break, and an exclusive Destiny premier.

We’ll also see some cool stuff from South Park: The Stick of Truth, Broken Age, and Dying Light. But hell, that’s not all! Included in all of this are 3 secret world premiers. What will they be? Your guess is as good as mine. Personally, I’m hoping to see some Dragon Age: Inquisition material, along with some Witcher 3 goodies. I’m hoping that we’ll also see a teaser for the recently announced Uncharted 4. Also, bonus points if we can see The Division or The Order: 1886. It’s anybody’s guess!

Here’s a look at the complete schedule for this years VGX Awards, which can also be found on the VGX website:


Get an exclusive look at Thief – The VGX Preshow kicks off with a trip to Eidos Montreal to get a look at the next installment of the Thief franchise.

Hour #1

  • VGX Start – The big show kicks off as hosts Joel McHale and Geoff Keighley take us through what kind of surprises are in store at VGX.
  • Our first secret world premiere – We cant divulge all of our secrets, but trust us, you’re going to love this one.
  • Smosh reveals the future of video games – What will video games be like in the future? The game at Smosh reveal all at VGX.
  • Tomb Raider announcement – Get a Tomb Raider announcement, exclusively at VGX.
  • Lara Croft in the flesh – Camilla Luddington, the voice behind Lara Croft, appears at VGX.
  • The Vector Monkey finds a home – We’re revealing the winner of either Best Action Adventure or Best Sports Game categories. You tell us which you want to see.
  • Reggie takes the stage – Nintendo of America’s fearless leader, Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage for a demo.
  • Another Vector Monkey is awarded – VGX honours another of this year’s best games.
  • Quantum Break revealed – VGX is the only place you can get a look into the world of Remedy’s next epic title.
  • Get even more Quantum Break – Remedy’s Oskari Hakkien stops by VGX to take you deeper into Quantum Break.
  • Bonus world premiere – Another surprise Bonus World Premiere.

Hour #2

  • South Park and the Stick of Truth – Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny set out on their most epic journey ever.
  • Game of the Year Award – The creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, award this year’s top honours.
  • Mega 64 – Rocco and Shawn thought we left some awards out, so they filled in some of the gaps.
  • Destiny arrives at VGX – Bungies latest title shines in this exclusive premiere.
  • VICE’s Motherboard takes on Donkey Kong – Go behind the scenes and see the biggest rivalry this year’s Donkey Kong world championships.
  • A new look at Broken Age – Double Fine’s Tim Schafer helps pull back the curtain on his next creation.
  • Rooster Teeth present the pick for Cameo of the Year – You’re never going to guess who wins.
  • World premieres as chosen by you – You tell us which world premiere you want to see next: Tom Clancy’s The Division or The Withcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Who will be crowned best indie game? – Find out which little studio takes home the big award.
  • Secret world premiere #2 – Another all-new game, brought to you by VGX.

Hour #3

  • Zombies infect VGX – See if you can survive this demo of Dying Light.
  • VGX welcomes PEWDIEPEW – One of YouTube’s biggest names visits VGX.
  • Thief steals the show – Get an exclusive world premiere for the latest entry in this beloved franchise.
  • You choose the award – We’re revealing the winner of either Best Shooter or Studio of the Year categiories. You tell us which you want to see.
  • We name the character of the year – You voted, now find out who you chose as your Character of the Year.
  • Another awesome world premiere – We’ve got some of this year’s biggest trailers – only at VGX.
  • One final VGX award – You decide which award you want to see handed out.
  • Titanfall world premiere – VGX welcomes Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella for an exclusive look at one of next year’s biggest games.
  • Rockstar rocks the house – An exclusive one night only performance of the music of Grand Theft Auto V


For more on the VGX Awards, tune into Spike and watch the action unfold! Root for your favorite, scream at all the awesome world premiers, and prepare to argue with a majority of the gaming community. Good luck, all.

And, as always — thanks for reading, nerds.

About The Author

Emily is a writer, designer, and professional sassmaster with roots in Georgia. When she's not selling her soul to the writing gods, she's researching new topics, kayaking, and annoying the general population. She one day dreams of ruling the Seven Kingdoms, and can often be found arguing with herself in the third person.

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