Una opción para comenzar a adquirir cualquier obra cultural es basarse en las opiniones de la gente, otro más acertado es buscar el veredicto de la crítica (entendiéndose "crítica" como ese grupo de personas eruditas y expertas en la materia). Actualmente cualquiera se puede erigir crítico de casi todo, pero en este post voy a hablar de los críticos de verdad: los académicos.

Existen en el Reino Unido unos premios llamados BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts). A muchos os sonarán porque han premiado a lo largo de su existencia muchas series de televisión y películas muy populares. Pero resulta que los señores de la BAFTA, desde 2004, también se liaron la manta a la cabeza premiando videojuegos porque entendieron (antes que muchos otros países) que los videojuegos también son un medio artístico igualmente válido para explicar historias, provocar sensaciones y generar experiencias.

BAFTA Game Awards

Voy a repasar los premios de las pasadas 14 ediciones en orden ascendente. Veréis así una lista de juegos excelentes, en muchos sistemas diferentes, y que todos nos mereceríamos haber probado... pero también veréis cómo se han ido adaptando las categorías de los premios hasta nuestros días (y es muy interesante). En 2004, por ejemplo, se premiaban juegos por plataforma: "Mejor juego de PS2", "Mejor juego de Gamecube", "Mejor juego de Xbox"... hoy eso ya no pasa y creo que es síntoma de madurez.

Vamos al lío, pongo las categorías en inglés tal cual las establece BAFTA:

PREMIOS 2003 (?/2/2004):

  • Action Game: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Adventure Game: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • Animation or Intro: Soulcalibur II
  • Children's Game: Eyetoy: Play
  • Design: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Game Boy Advance Game: Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
  • Game On Any Platform - The Year's Best Game: Call of Duty
  • Gamecube: Metroid Prime
  • Mobile Game: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
  • Multiplayer: Battlefield 1942
  • Original Music: Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
  • PC: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • PS2: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Racing: Project Gotham Racing 2
  • Sound: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Special Award: Chris Deering "El padre de PlayStation"
  • Sports: FIFA 2004
  • Strategy: Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
  • Sunday Times Reader Award For Games: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Technical Achievement: Eyetoy: Play
  • Xbox: Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

PREMIOS DE 2004 (1/3/2005):

  • Action Game: Half-Life 2
  • Animation: Half-Life 2
  • Art Direction: Half-Life 2
  • Audio Achievement: Call Of Duty: Finest Hour
  • Best Game: Half-Life 2
  • Children's: Donkey Konga
  • Gamecube: Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within
  • Handheld: Colin McRae Rally 2005
  • Mobile: Bluetooth ® BiPlanes
  • Online Multiplayer: Half-Life 2
  • Original Music: Hitman: Contracts
  • Originality: SingStar/SingStar Party
  • PC: Half-Life 2
  • PS2: Burnout 3: Takedown
  • Racing: Burnout 3: Takedown
  • Special Award: Sam Houser & Leslie Benzies de Rockstar Games
  • Sports: Pro Evolution Soccer 4
  • Sunday Times Reader Award For Games: Football Manager 2005
  • Technical Direction: Burnout 3: Takedown
  • Xbox: Halo 2

PREMIOS 2006 (5/10/2006):

  • Action and Adventure: Shadow Of The Colossus
  • Artistic Achievement: Shadow Of The Colossus
  • Audio Achievement: Electroplankton
  • Casual and Social: Buzz! The BIG Quiz
  • Character: LocoRoco en LocoRoco
  • Children's: LocoRoco
  • Game: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
  • Gameplay: Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
  • Gamers' Award voted by readers of The Sun: 24: The Mobile Game
  • Innovation: Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain?
  • Multiplayer: Dungeons And Dragons Online: Stormreach
  • Original Score: Tomb Raider: Legend
  • Screenplay: Psychonauts
  • Simulation: The Movies
  • Soundtrack: Guitar Hero
  • Sports: Fight Night Round 3
  • Strategy: Rise And Fall: Civilizations At War
  • Technical Achievement: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

PREMIOS 2007 (23/10/2007):

  • Action and Adventure: Crackdown
  • Artistic Achievement: Okami
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Ragnarawk
  • Best Game: Bioshock
  • Casual: Wii Sports
  • Fellowship: Will Wright cofundador de Maxis y creador de los SimCity
  • Gameplay: Wii Sports
  • Innovation: Wii Sports
  • Multiplayer: Wii Sports
  • Original Score: Okami
  • Sports: Wii Sports
  • Story and Character: God Of War 2
  • Strategy and Simulation: Wii Sports
  • Technical Achievement: God Of War 2
  • PC World Gamers Award: Football Manager 2007
  • Use of Audio: Crackdown

PREMIOS 2008 (10/3/2009):

  • Action and Adventure: Fable II
  • Artistic Achievement: LittleBigPlanet
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Boro-Toro
  • Best Game: Super Mario Galaxy
  • Casual: Boom Blox
  • Fellowship: Nolan Bushnell cofundador de Atari
  • GAME (patrocinador) Award: Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Gameplay: Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Handheld: Professor Layton And the Curious Village
  • Multiplayer: Left 4 Dead
  • Original Score: Dead Space
  • Sports: Race Driver: GRID
  • Story and Character: Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Strategy: Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution
  • Technical Achievement: Spore
  • Use of Audio: Dead Space

PREMIOS 2009 (19/3/2010):

  • Action and Adventure: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Artistic Achievement: Flower
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Shrunk!
  • Best Game: Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Family and Social: Wii Sports Resort
  • Fellowship: Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, F-Zero...)
  • GAME (patrocinador) Award: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Gameplay: Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Handheld: LittleBigPlanet
  • Multiplayer: Left 4 Dead 2
  • Original Score: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Sports: FIFA 10
  • Story: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Strategy: Empire: Total War
  • Use of Audio: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Use of Online: FIFA 10

PREMIOS 2010 (16/3/2011):

  • Action: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
  • Artistic Achievement: God Of War III
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Twang
  • Best Game: Mass Effect 2
  • Family: Kinect Sports
  • Fellowship: Peter Molyneux (Populous, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, Black & White, Fable...)
  • GAME (patrocinador) Award: Call Of Duty: Black Ops
  • Gameplay: Super Mario Galaxy 2
  • Handheld: Cut The Rope
  • Multiplayer: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • Original Music: Heavy Rain
  • Social Network Game: My Empire
  • Sports: F1 2010
  • Story: Heavy Rain
  • Strategy: Civilization V
  • Technical Innovation: Heavy Rain
  • Use of Audio: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

PREMIOS 2011 (16/3/2012):

  • Action: Batman: Arkham City
  • Artistic Achievement: Rayman Origins
  • Audio Achievement: Battlefield 3
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Tick Tock Toys
  • Best Game: Portal 2
  • Debut Game: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
  • Design: Portal 2
  • Family: LittleBigPlanet 2
  • GAME (patrocinador) Award: Battlefield 3
  • Game Innovation: LittleBigPlanet 2
  • Mobile and Handheld: Peggle HD
  • Online - Browser: Monstermind
  • Online - Multiplayer: Battlefield 3
  • Original Music: LA Noire
  • Performer: Mark Hamill por Batman: Arkham City
  • Special Award: Markus Persson creador de Minecraft
  • Sports/Fitness: Kinect Sports 2
  • Story: Portal 2
  • Strategy: Total War: SHOGUN 2

PREMIOS 2012 (5/3/2013):

  • Action: Far Cry 3
  • Artistic Achievement: Journey
  • Audio Achievement: Journey
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Starcrossed
  • Best Game: Dishonored
  • British Game: The Room
  • Debut Game: The Unfinished Swan
  • Family: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  • Fellowship: Gabe Newell cofundador de Valve Corp., desarrollador de los juegos Half-Life y de la plataforma Steam
  • Game Design: Journey
  • Game Innovation: The Unfinished Swan
  • Mobile & Handheld: The Walking Dead
  • Online - Browser: SongPop
  • Online - Multiplayer: Journey
  • Original Music: Journey
  • Performer: Danny Wallace por su papel como Narrator en Thomas Was Alone
  • Sports/Fitness: New Star Soccer
  • Story: The Walking Dead
  • Strategy: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

PREMIOS 2013 (12/3/2014):

  • Action and Adventure: The Last of Us
  • Artistic Achievement: Tearaway
  • Audio Achievement: The Last of Us
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Size DOES Matter
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Tomatos Role
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: AlienX
  • Best Game: The Last of Us
  • British Game: Grand Theft Auto V
  • Debut Game: Gone Home
  • Family: Tearaway
  • Fellowship: Rockstar Games compañía responsable de la saga GTA
  • Game Design: Grand Theft Auto V
  • Game Innovation: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
  • Mobile & Handheld: Tearaway
  • Multiplayer: Grand Theft Auto V
  • Original Music: BioShock Infinite
  • Performer: Ashley Johnson por su papel como Ellie en The Last of Us
  • Sports: FIFA 14
  • Story: The Last of Us
  • Strategy and Simulation: Papers, Please

PREMIOS 2014 (12/3/2015):

  • Artistic Achievement: Lumino City
  • Audio Achievement: Alien: Isolation
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Chambara
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (10-14 Years Old): Dreams
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (15-18 Years Old): Ouroboros
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (10-14 Years Old): Block
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (15-18 Years Old): Utopia of Rhythm
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Industry Hero: Minecraft
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Mentor: Ray Chambers
  • Best Game: Destiny
  • British Game: Monument Valley
  • Debut Game: Never Alone
  • Family: Minecraft: Console Editions
  • Fellowship: David Braben cofundador de la serie de juegos Elite y de la Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • Game Design: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Game Innovation: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
  • Mobile & Handheld: Monument Valley
  • Multiplayer: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Music: Far Cry 4
  • Original Property: Valiant Hearts
  • Performer: Ashley Johnson por su papel como Ellie en The Last of Us: Left Behind
  • Persistent Game: League of Legends
  • Sports: OlliOlli
  • Story: The Last of Us: Left Behind

PREMIOS 2015 (7/4/2016):

  • AMD eSports Audience: SMITE
  • Artistic Achievement: Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Audio Achievement: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: SUNDOWN
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (15-18 Years Old): YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (10-14 Years Old): Apocalypse Alpha
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (15-18 Years Old): Spectrum
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Industry Hero: Media Molecule desarrolladora de LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway, Dreams...
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Mentor: Michael Warburton
  • Best Game: Fallout 4
  • British Game: Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Debut Game: Her Story
  • Family: Rocket League
  • Fellowship: John Carmack cofundador de id Software y principal programador de Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D...
  • Game Design: Bloodborne
  • Game Innovation: Her Story
  • Mobile & Handheld: Her Story
  • Multiplayer: Rocket League
  • Music: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  • Original Property: Until Dawn
  • Performer: Merle Dandridge por su papel como Kate Collins en Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  • Persistent Game: Prison Architect
  • Special Award: Amy Hennig guionista de series como Uncharted y Jak and Daxter.
  • Sports: Rocket League
  • Story: Life is Strange

PREMIOS 2016 (6/4/2017):

  • AMD eSports Audience: Clash Royale
  • Artistic Achievement: Inside
  • Audio Achievement: The Last Guardian
  • BAFTA Ones To Watch Award: Among the Stones
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (10-14 Years Old): TorchLighter
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (15-18 Years Old): Guzzlesarus's Culinary Capers
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (10-14 Years Old): CyberPNK
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (15-18 Years Old): Fractured Minds
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Industry Hero: Unity Technologies desarrolladora de software famosa por su motor de juego Unity
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Mentor: Dave Chilver
  • Best Game: Uncharted 4
  • British Game: Overcooked
  • Debut Game: Firewatch
  • Evolving Game: Rocket League
  • Family: Overcooked
  • Game Design: Inside
  • Game Innovation: That Dragon Cancer
  • Mobile: Pokemon Go
  • Multiplayer: Overwatch
  • Music: Virginia
  • Narrative: Inside
  • Original Property: Inside
  • Performer: Cissy Jones por el papel de Delilah en Firewatch
  • Special Award: Brenda Romero diseñadora de series como Wizardry y Jagged Alliance. Autora del libro Sex in Videogames
  • Special Award: Riot Games desarrolladora de League of Legends

PREMIOS 2017 (12/4/2018):

  • Artistic Achievement: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Audio Achievement: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (10-14 Years Old): Trapped
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (15-18 Years Old): Tea & Tartlets
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (10-14 Years Old): Maggie
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (15-18 Years Old): Super Boson
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Mentor: Adam Syrop
  • Best Game: What Remains of Edith Finch
  • British Game: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Debut Game: Gorogoa
  • Evolving Game: Overwatch
  • Family: Super Mario Odyssey
  • Fellowship: Tim Schafer diseñador de Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts...
  • Game Beyond Entertainment: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Game Design: Super Mario Odyssey
  • Game Innovation: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Mobile Game: Golf Clash
  • Multiplayer: Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • Music: Cuphead
  • Narrative: Night in the Woods
  • Original Property: Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Performer: Melina Juergens por el papel de Senua en Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Special Award: Nolan North actor de voz que interpreta a Nathan Drake en la saga Uncharted

PREMIOS 2018 (4/4/2019):

  • Artistic Achievement: Return of the Obra Dinn
  • Audio Achievement: God of War
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (10-14 Years Old): I Seek Death
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Concept (15-18 Years Old): Creatively Bankrupt
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (10-14 Years Old): LASERASE: Demolition in the future
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Game Making (15-18 Years Old): Wip
  • BAFTA Young Game Designers: Mentor: Matthew Applegate
  • Best Game: God of War
  • British Game: Forza Horizon 4
  • Debut Game: Yoku's Island Express
  • EE Mobile Game of the Year: Old School Runescape
  • Evolving Game: Fortnite
  • Family: Nintendo Labo
  • Game Beyond Entertainment: My Child Lebensborn
  • Game Design: Return of the Obra Dinn
  • Game Innovation: Nintendo Labo
  • Mobile Game: Florence
  • Multiplayer: A Way Out
  • Music: God of War
  • Narrative: God of War
  • Original Property: Into the Breach
  • Performer: Jeremy Davies por el papel de The Stranger en God of War
  • Special Award: Epic Games desarrolladora de las sagas Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, Gears of War y del videojuego Fortnite. También del motor Unreal Engine y del servicio Epic Games Store

Si el COVID-19 no lo impide, la decimosexta edición de los BAFTA Games Awards se celebraran dentro de una semana (con el ya anunciado Fellowship para Hideo Kojima). Podéis consultar los candidatos de todas las categorías en este enlace. Todos son juegos muy interesantes también. Si habéis repasado la lista conmigo y los candidatos de 2019 seguro que habéis descubierto algún juego para probar, o alguna categoría que conecta directamente con vuestros gustos. Sirva este post para eso y para agradecer el gran trabajo realizado durante todas las ediciones.