Cameron Smith has taken out his second Dally M medal 11 years after his first, one of three gongs the Storm skipper took during the lavish awards ceremony.
Smith (33 points) was a runaway winner ahead of fellow grand finalist and Cowboy Michael Morgan (25 points), and St George Illawarra playmaker Gareth Widdop (24).
Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary and Cronulla captain Paul Gallen finished equal fourth on 22 points.
Smith also took out captain of the year and hooker of the year honours on a triumphant night at The Star casino.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy took out the coach of the year, while Billy Slater was named fullback of the year to cap a big evening for the minor premiers.
Suliasi Vunivalu was also honoured as the game's top tryscorer for the second year in a row.
Smith was one of the shortest-priced favourites in Dally M history. He now has the chance to compile the greatest season by an individual in rugby league history.
With the Dally M medal, a State of Origin series and a minor premiership already in his keeping, the 34-year-old has the opportunity add a grand final ring, the Clive Churchill Medal, the Golden Boot and a World Cup to his collection.
While some have come close, no player has ever enjoyed such an unprecedented level of success in the one season. Barely a week goes by without Smith breaking a record or notching another milestone.
The veteran rake recently overtook Lockyer for most NRL games and surpassed his mark for most wins at premiership level.
He is contracted for next year but has indicated he could play on into 2019, raising the prospect of becoming the first man to break the 400-game mark.
The Storm are the favourites to take out the grand final against North Queensland, with most betting agencies installing Smith as the Clive Churchill medal favourite.
Smith's second Dally M was the first under a revised voting process including a new panel after the NRL took over the awards from News Corp. Several new awards were handed out, with Penrith's Reagan Campbell-Gillard tackle out interchange player of the year, while Parramatta's Nathan Brown took out tackle of the year.
It was a good night for Canberra's outside backs. Jordan Rapana was named winger of the year, while Nick Cotric took out rookie of the year honours.
Morgan was named the halfback of the year after taking his game to a new level in the absence of Thurston, while Cowboys teammate Kyle Feldt scored the best try of the season.
Parramatta's Clint Gutherson won the Provan Summons People's Choice award , while Simaima Taufa was the female player of the year.
Full list of winners:
Dally M Player of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
Captain of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
Coach of the Year: Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm)
Peter Moore Award for Rookie of the Year: Nick Cotric (Canberra Raiders)
Fullback of the Year: Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
Winger of the Year: Jordan Rapana (Canberra Raiders)
Centre of the Year: Dylan Walker (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
Five-eighth of the Year: Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Halfback of the Year: Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys)
Lock of the Year: Paul Gallen (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Second-rower of the Year: Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)
Prop of the Year: Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
Hooker of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
Interchange Player of the Year: Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Penrith Panthers)
Tackle of the Year: Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels)
Try of the Year: Kyle Feldt (North Queensland Cowboys)
Top Points Scorer: Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
Top Try Scorer: Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm)
Provan Summons People's Choice Medal: Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)
Holden Cup Player of the Year: Jake Clifford (North Queensland Cowboys)
Female Player of the Year: Simaima Taufa
Peter Frilingos Headline Moment: Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)