Best VR Of 2020 Award Nominations

2020 is nearing its end (seriously, hurry up) and we all know what that means – awards season is upon us. Thus, it’s time for UploadVR’s Best VR Of 2020 nominations!

It’s been a big year for the industry with the launch of major new hardware and huge games and apps that have shifted the landscape considerably. Team Upload battled it out over webchat to come up with 16 categories that we think highlight every facet of the past 12 months of VR. See the full lists below or watch our nominations announcement live from our virtual studio!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=GYXRJVlGnjE%3Ffeature%3Doembed%26%23038%3Bshowinfo%3D0%26%23038%3Brel%3D0%26%23038%3Bmodestbranding%3D1%26%23038%3Biv_load_policy%3D3%26%23038%3Bplaysinline%3D1%26%23038%3Benablejsapi%3D1

We’ll be announcing winners later this month. Until then, make sure to let us know what you think will take home a prize in the comments below!

Most Promising Early Access

Early Access releases remain fertile testing ground for experimental new ideas and bulking up on content before a full release. They can sometimes go astray, but this year’s nominees show you how to do Early Access right.

Zero Caliber
Phasmophobia
Blade & Sorcery
STRIDE
Contagion VR: Outbreak

Most Innovative VR Design

Making VR content is incredibly complicated. It’s hard enough just to get traditional experiences up and running inside a headset. But the following nominees went above and beyond in 2020, with outstanding design that either placed VR’s core tenants right at their heart or embraced experimental new features with fantastic results.

VTOL VR 1.0
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners’ Physics System
Waltz of the Wizard’s Hand-Tracking Update
Hand Space’s Hand-Tracking Experiments
Half-Life: Alyx ‘s Russel Gloves
The Room VR: A Dark Matter
The Under Presents: The Tempest

Most Improved Social Platform

Social VR isn’t just about launching a flashy new platform – what really matters is how you build and sustain that platform once it’s available. This year’s nominees kept us coming back with new features and additions at a time when social VR is perhaps at its most important.

VRChat (new avatar system, visual scripting)
Rec Room (ported to Xbox, visual scripting)
AltSpaceVR (hosted many conferences)
BigScreen (Green Screen)

Best VR For Fitness

Just as with social, fitness-focused VR apps have never been more important. For many, a headset was a primary source of exercise in the middle of the pandemic. This year’s nominees represent the best way to keep fit in VR.

Supernatural
Beat Saber DLC
VRWorkout
Until You Fall
FitXR
OhShape

Most Anticipated Game

2021 brings with it some of VR’s biggest releases yet. At standalone sets in and PC/consoles grow in power, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited for VR next year.

Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife
Maskmaker
Assassin’s Cred & Splinter Cell VR
Low-Fi
Ilysia
Sniper Elite VR

Best Developer

Practically any developer that chooses to work with VR in its nascent stage deserves an award. That’s what makes it so hard to pick just a handful that we think represented the best the industry has to offer in 2020. They may have released an amazing game or continued to support an existing one. Whatever it was, they did it the best.

EA Motive
Skydance Interactive
RUST LTD
MirageSoft
ARVORE

Best Coop Multiplayer

While few of us could meet face-to-face for much of the year, VR allowed us to team up and go on exciting adventures together. This year’s nominees helped keep us close in new ways.

Spaceteam VR
Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale
Star Wars: Squadrons
Real VR Fishing
Path of the Warrior

Best Competitive Multiplayer

But, of course, sometimes we don’t want to team up – we want to compete. Competitive multiplayer saw several huge new contenders this year that we’ll be playing long into 2021.

Star Wars: Squadrons
Population: One
Eleven: Table Tennis VR
Beat Saber
Medal of Honor: Above And Beyond

Best Quest Game/App

You don’t need us to tell you 2020 was huge for Facebook’s standalone headsets. This is where we get to recognize some of the top notch ports that play best on Quest as well as celebrate some of the biggest releases on the platform.

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Population: One
Echo VR
Ghost Giant
Onward
Until You Fall
In Death
Five Nights At Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted

Best PC VR Game/App

PC VR continues to power the most ambitious and visually-rich experiences you can find in VR, with headsets that push the boundaries of the high-end. We’re sure we don’t need to tell you that most of this year’s nominees will be remembered for a long time to come. NOTE: We may update this category to include Microsoft Flight Simulator once we’ve had the chance to play it!

Half-Life: Alyx
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Star Wars: Squadrons
Population: One
Thief Simulator

Best PSVR Game/App

PSVR feels like it’s entering its swansong era as Sony rolls out the PS5. The tech may feel more dated than ever but if there’s one thing that remains true it’s that Sony’s expertise in ecosystem delivered another incredibly strong line-up of content for 2020.

Dreams
Iron Man VR
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Star Wars: Squadrons
Star Wars: Tales From The Galaxy’s Edge
Pixel Ripped 1995

Most Immersive Moment

 

We often call for longer, richer VR games but it’s often true that these experiences are most defined by singular moments of pure, unbridled immersion. The following nominees represent the moments we felt the most ‘there’ in VR this year.

Half-Life: Alyx – Jeff
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Your first zombie kill
Phasmophobia – Your first ghost encounter
Star Wars: Squadrons – The cockpit experience
Eleven: Table Tennis VR – Quest multiplayer
Pixel Ripped 1995 – Avoiding mom
Phantom: Covert Ops – Learning to paddle

Best Experience

Arguably becoming just as important as the gaming scene, VR experiences include any and all content beyond playtime. They might be interactive stories or full-on short films but, one thing’s for sure, they represent some of the best VR content you’ll find today.

Paper Beast
Gloomy Eyes
The Line
The Key
Paper Birds
The Under Presents: The Tempest

Best Hardware

VR continues to close the gap between realities with each iterative hardware release, and 2020 was no different. We saw new, more refined headsets with better displays and more comfortable fits, as well as more powerful machines that will be running the experiences of tomorrow. These are the machines we’ll be using for a while to come.

Oculus Quest 2
HP Reverb G2
Pico Neo 2 Eye
PlayStation 5

Best Game

And here it is. It’s been a fierce competition, but only one game can walk away with the prize for the absolute best VR gaming had to offer.

Half-Life: Alyx
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Population: One
Star Wars: Squadrons
Until You Fall
The Room VR: A Dark Matter

So there you have it, our full list of best VR of 2020 awards!

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