2018 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners Announced

Brendan Greene - PLAYERUNKNOWN

The fifth-annual SXSW Gaming Awards sponsored by IGN, Onion Creek, and Muxy, and hosted by Alanah Pearce and Rich Campbell, closed out the 2018 SXSW Gaming Festival to thunderous applause. With a night full of surprises, we’re proud to share who our final 24 award winners were for this year’s main event.

Award winner highlights for the 2018 SXSW Gaming Awards included Video Game of the Year winner The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo); Mobile Game of the Year winner Fire Emblem Heroes (Nintendo); Tabletop Game of the Year winner Gloomhaven (Cephalofair Games); VR Game of the Year winner Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom); and Esports and Trending Game of the Year winner PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG Corporation).

2018 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners

Excellence in SFX: Super Mario Odyssey
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects.

Excellence in Musical Score: NieR: Automata
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.

Excellence in Technical Achievement: NieR: Automata
Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming.

Excellence in Visual Achievement: Horizon Zero Dawn
Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals.

Excellence in Animation: Cuphead
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animations.

Excellence in Art: Cuphead
Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style.

Excellence in Convergence: Star Wars Battlefront II
Awarded to the game that excels in crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports and more.

Excellence in Multiplayer: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.

Most Promising New Intellectual Property: Horizon Zero Dawn
Awarded to a new property that risked creating something fresh and that excelled within its genre or category for the year.

Most Fulfilling Community-Funded Game: Night in the Woods
Awarded to the game that was primarily produced via crowdfunding platforms and had excelled beyond the expectations set before it.

Excellence in Gameplay: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics.

Excellence in Design: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution.

Excellence in Narrative: What Remains of Edith Finch
Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award: Doki Doki Literature Club
Awarded to the game that best challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay.

Gamer’s Voice Mobile Game: Tiny Bubbles
Awarded to the best indie mobile game as voted by SXSW Gaming attendees.

Gamer’s Voice Tabletop Game: Sol: Last Days of a Star
Awarded to the best indie tabletop game as voted by SXSW Gaming attendees.

Gamer’s Voice Virtual Reality Game: SUPERHOTVR
Awarded to the best indie virtual reality game as voted by SXSW Gaming attendees.

Gamer’s Voice Video Game: Battlesloths 2025: The Great Pizza Wars
Awarded to the best indie video game as voted by SXSW Gaming attendees.

Trending Game of the Year: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
Awarded to the game that consistently entertained and kept us watching on social platforms with its humor, stories, and more.

Esports Game of the Year: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
Awarded to the online game that has the best competitive scene, or potential to grow one, and most entertainment value.

VR Game of the Year: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.

Tabletop Game of the Year: Gloomhaven
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.

Mobile Game of the Year: Fire Emblem Heroes
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device.

Video Game of the Year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.

Brendan Greene aka PLAYERUNKNOWN with Gaming Awards – Photo by Amanda Stronza

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Estevan Aviles

Gaming Festival Programming Specialist

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