Indie title Minecraft has fended off competition from Portal 2 and LIMBO to win the GameCity prize.
"We're very excited to have won the first GameCity Prize, especially since the nominees contain some of our favourite games recently," said creator Markus Persson, as known as Notch.
"It's a great honour to be compared to those games. Winning this award helps motivate us to try to make Minecraft the best game it can be."
The award, which organisers referred to as the "Turner Prize" of industry awards, was judeged by a panel that included Charlie Higson, Tom Watson MP, Dave Rowntree and actress Frances Barber are all part of the jury.
The ceremony marked the end of the GameCity 6 event on October 29.
"The GameCity Prize, like the GameCity festival, is about exploring and celebrating videogames as being at the vanguard of inclusive, contemporary creative arts," said event director Iain Simmons.
"As an invitation to everyone to explore and express their own creativity, our 2011 winner is a remarkable achievement. I'm thrilled that Minecraft is the recipient of the first GameCity Prize. "
Other nominees included ilomilo, Pokemon Black, Child of Eden, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, LIMBO and Portal 2.
The prize will return next year for GameCity 7.