The Game Awards 2015 has wrapped up for another year, and while the swanky ceremony focuses on honouring triple A titles (and hyping the next cavalcade of big budget releases), there was an astounding amount of independent titles getting some love. Many award categories had a strong indie presence, and some nominees managed to best their big budget counterparts and bring home the bacon. Here’s the inaugural indie winners of The Game Awards 2015.

Her Story was a big winner of the ceremony, taking home two awards out of its four nominations. The game beat competition from other indies Life Is Strange and Tales From The Borderlands to win Best Narrative, and even managed to surmount The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Until Dawn. The star of Her Story, Viva Seifert, also bagged the award for Best Performance for her role as Hannah/Eve, trumping Ashley Burch’s performance as Chloe Price in Life Is Strange. The win is a notable coup for Seifert as, in a category full of polygonal characters, hers is a performance captured by full motion video.

The exquisite Ori and the Blind Forest won a gong from one of its four nominations. It slayed grandiose competition in the Best Art Direction category against Bloodbourne and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The remarkable thing about Ori is that in three of its four nominations, it was the lone indie game pitted against the big guns. That is so badass.

Ubiquitous hit Rocket League took out Best Independent Game over underdog favourite Undertale, and the aforementioned games. As Rocket League has achieved mainstream popularity through Let’s Play videos on YouTube, the win wasn’t a shock, but that’s not to take away from its well deserved bestowal. The game also came out on top in the Best Sports/Racing category.

Games For Change is ostensibly another indie category that celebrates uniqueness, and seeks to showcase games that broaden our perception of what the media can achieve. It was a tough call, with any of the nominated games being worthy recipients (a win for Undertale would have shook things up nicely), but the award went to the time bending saga Life Is Strange.

Fueling the mounting anticipation for its June 2016 release, No Man’s Sky was awarded Most Anticipated Game, above exceedingly hyped titles Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and The Last Guardian.

Here’s the full list of indie related nominations and awards.

 

Best Independent Game

  • Axiom Verge
  • Her Story
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • WINNER: Rocket League
  • Undertale

Best Narrative

  • WINNER: Her Story
  • Life Is Strange
  • Tales From The Borderlands
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Until Dawn

Best Art Direction

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Bloodborne
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • WINNER: Ori and the Blind Forest
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Best Score/Soundtrack

  • Fallout 4
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • WINNER: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Best Performance

  • Ashly Burch as Chloe Price (Life is Strange)
  • Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft (Rise of the Tomb Raider)
  • Doug Cockle as Geralt (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
  • Mark Hamill as The Joker (Batman: Arkham Knight)
  • WINNER: Viva Seifert (Her Story)

Games for Change Award

  • Cibele (Nina Freeman)
  • Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • WINNER: Life Is Strange (DONTNOD Entertainment / Square Enix)
  • Sunset (Tale of Tales)
  • Undertale (tobyfox)

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • WINNER: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider

Best Role Playing Game

  • Bloodborne
  • Fallout 4
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • WINNER: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Undertale

Most Anticipated Game

  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • WINNER: No Man’s Sky
  • Quantum Break
  • The Last Guardian
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End