The online gambling world is a massive industry worldwide and probably one of the most competitive digital markets around. With tons of content released each year at online gambling sites, picking a game as a new player can soon become an overwhelming task.
Of course, some of the more prominent industry leaders tend to set the trends, but with the advances in technology of late, even the smaller companies can punch way above their weight.
Every now and then, one gaming studio pushes the envelope just that little bit further than their competitors to introduce a game that stands a class apart from the rest. These innovative marvels demand royal mention and their providers deserve praise. It is here that the industry’s gaming awards associations play their part in giving credit, where it is due.
The three foremost gaming awards organisations in the iGaming market are the EGR (eGaming Review) Awards, the IGA (International Gaming Awards), and the Global Gaming Awards (GGA).
Should a game provider or casino operator walk away with an acknowledgement of excellence from any of these icons, you can assume that they have dared to venture into the realms of cutting-edge development, service, and innovation.
Remembering the Remarkable
In an attempt to remember the best entertainment the online casino industry has brought our way, we’ve gathered a list of the most remarkable award-winning games to feature on our desktops and mobile phones in the past 20 years.
The following games have proven to be leaders in their time, many of which have received legendary status in the industry and are still widely played today.
✓ King Kong Cash by Atronic (IGA Slot Game of 2008)
King Kong Cash deserves an honourable mention here. The game was a VLT phenomenon that boasted new and innovative concepts within the branded slot genre.
It was trendy on European casino floors thanks to its 4-level progressive jackpot and a free spin round that were based off scenes from the iconic 2005 King Kong movie. While Altonic no longer exists, their legacy was carried on by GTECH, which is now an IGT subsidiary.
✓ Book of Ra by Novamatic (IGA Slot Game of 2009)
This Egyptian-themed game is probably the most popular title of its genre. It has inspired so many copycat versions over the years, such as Book of Dead by Play’n GO. Even so, players keep flocking back to the original.
It won its award based off the back of its fabulous Scatter/Wild symbol, which when triggering the free spin bonus, selects a random symbol to become a special expanding icon for that feature round.
Each time a symbol lands on the reels and can complete a winning combo, it will expand to cover its reel, thereby providing more winning chances. Combine that bonus round with a Gamble Feature, and Scatter wins, and you have a recipe for success.
✓ Big Bad Wolf by Quickspin (EGR Game of the Year 2013)
Quickspin rose to the occasion in 2013 with this title. It has since become their flagship game, having won the EGR award based on the fantastic visual design and animated involvement from the characters on screen. It truly is a stunning sight.
Based on the story of the Three Little Pigs, this title offers a flurry of features, including Big Bad Wolf Free Spins, where the K-9 foe attempts to blow down your house. Most notable, however, is the cascading/tumbling reel feature after every win. While many slots use this mechanic today, it was a new concept back in 2013.
✓ Immersive Roulette by Evolution Gaming (EGR Game of the Year 2014)
Live Dealer casino games only gained traction around 2009, with the growing momentum of Evolution Gaming. The introduction of Immersive Roulette celebrates one of their award-winning milestones, and it has redefined the immersive quality and innovation of Live Casino games forever.
Unlike their other standard Roulette game versions at the time, this one uses multiple close-up camera angles to immerse the player into every action taking place in a single game round.
This was an innovative feature unheard of in the gaming world at the time. Not only is each movement captured, but it is rendered in High Definition for the clearest shots around.
✓ Spinata Grande by NetEnt (EGR Game of the Year 2015)
NetEnt needs no introduction to online casino gaming enthusiasts. This beautiful Mexican-themed game got the attention of millions of players around the globe in 2015 and continues to thrill gamblers today.
The awesome soundtracks, effects, and animations are very engaging. It truly feels like you are standing on a dusty road in a Mexican village playing for money. The dogs barking, passers-by whistling, sounds of pick-up trucks driving by, and the guitar playing the distance are fully immersive
Of course, true to NetEnt’s style, the visuals are not the only award-worthy detail. The features are harnessing too. These include Colossal Symbol wins, a Mini-Slot feature, and Free Spins. Just like a pinata, this game contains many surprises when opened.
✓ Jurassic Park by Microgaming (GGA Digital Product of the Year 2015)
The Steven Spielberg movie is a cult classic that has driven the franchise to produce a series of great films based on its storyline. Trust Microgaming to bring it alive on the gambling screen and scoop up the accolades at the same time!
All your favourite cast members and dinosaurs are available in full view for you to see. You can relive the cinematics of the movie through the energetic soundtrack and vivid visuals presented in the game. As you play, the screen moves through the forest in search of wild and dangerous sights with winning combo animations bringing each dinosaur alive.
The game is no slouch in the bonus game department either, which may have been a real catalyst in the decision-making process for the award. There are 5 distinct free spin rounds based on 5 different dinosaurs from the movie. They all provide free games with different add-on modifiers, such as Wild Reels, Multiplier Wilds, Running Wilds, Mystery Multipliers, and Winning Wilds. Welcome to Jurassic Park!
✓ Guns ‘n Roses by NetEnt (EGR Game of the Year 2016)
Arguably one of the best rock bands in history is immortalised on the reels of this slot by NetEnt.
Yes, there are tremendous features when playing Guns ‘n Roses, such as Appetite for Destruction Wilds, Legend Spins, Solo Multiplier, Encore Free Spins, and a Crowd Pleaser Bonus. But we all know why this game won the game of the year award in 2016 – BECAUSE THE SOUNDTRACK ROCKS!
Set before a stage, while you roll the reels, you can select one of 5 of the band’s best songs to play along with you. Once a track is done, and your foot tapping has warmed up, or your air guitar is in tune, you can select another song to rock along to. You simply won’t want to stop playing until you have heard all the jams. Enjoy songs like Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child of Mine, Paradise City, November Rain, and Chinese Democracy.
Here is one hint if you are going to give it a go – wear headphones and crank up the volume!
✓ Wild Toro by Elk Studios (EGR Game of the Year 2017)
Elk Studios turns the brutal sport of bullfighting on its head in this humorous and quirky slot game. That’s right, in this game the bull always wins, which is probably why it has so many fans and walked away with the game of the year award only 3 years ago.
Designed with real Spanish flavour, the game transports you across Europe to enjoy the bull defeat the matador in a flurry of features. These include Walking Wilds, Extra Wilds, and bonus Re-spins of the reels.
The mix of authentic sounds and visuals combined with a great maths model and feature selection made this game the winning contender in its class and a firm favourite in the Elk Studios library to this day.
✓ Lighting Roulette by Evolution Gaming (EGR Game of the Year 2018)
Innovations in Live Dealer gaming has dominated the online industry in the last few years. Lightning Roulette has seen great success since its introduction to the market because it combines the table gaming world with RNG jackpot entertainment.
No longer is 35:1 the best reward for a straight-up bet. If the lightning selects the winning number prior to the spin, and your chips are in place, you could be looking at rewards of between 50x and 500x your stake in prizes. This unique concept is a crowd favourite, earning it the game award by EGR in 2018.
✓ Monopoly Live by Evolution Gaming (IGA Game of the Year 2020)
Everyone’s favourite Hasbro board game, Monopoly, came to the Live Casino world thanks to a partnership between the game maker and Evolution Gaming. The new gambling variant is a remake of the famous Dreamcatcher wheel game with unique Monopoly game elements.
This innovation combines the two worlds of live game action and augmented reality to produce something that players had never seen before. It is evident by Evolution’s actions, that boldness and chance-taking can lead to significant payoffs, as this game scooped up the International Gaming Award in 2020.
Ponder the Pedigree
For the ultimate in online casino action, we recommend that you revisit some of these iconic game selections to remind yourself of what true ingenuity and quality is like on the market.
Feel free to play some of these titles at one of our Gambler’s Pick partner casinos for a safe and secure gaming experience.