2017 is finally coming to a close. While overall 2017 has been… tumultuous to say the least, in the world of video games, it has been a pretty incredible year. Nintendo finally got its groove back, and in the most epic way possible. Long awaited sequels such as Persona 5 dazzled (although some fizzled sadly) and we saw the birth of great new IPs like Horizon Zero Dawn. And you also had surprise hits like NieR: Automata and Mario + Rabbids fill out the spaces in-between.
Over the course of the last month, we’ve awarded nearly 30 “Best Of” awards for 2017, which is a lot. If you’re interested in seeing who won each and every award, no matter how big or small, you can check that out right here. Each of the winners were voted on by our editors, and the award post collaboratively put together by members of our team.
One game though dominated each and won every award it was nominated for (except one!), and that was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Not only did it win our coveted Game of the Year award for 2017, it also won four others, only losing out to Persona 5 for Best Art Direction and Soundtrack. TLOZ: Breath of the Wild had some competition for our GOTY award though. We also had two runner-ups, and two honorable mentions that gave TLOZ: Breath of the Wild a run for its money: Persona 5, Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon Zero Dawn, NieR: Automata, and Assassin’s Creed Origins.
So let’s take one more trip down memory lane before we leave 2017, and revisit some of the best games of this great, great year for gaming.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Reviews Editor Zhiqing Wan: “There’s an undeniable sense of wonder and adventure present in Breath of the Wild that’s matched by no other game out this year. With the latest iteration in the Legend of Zelda series, Nintendo has produced a game that feels truly magical every step of the way.”
Editor in Chief Ed McGlone: “Persona 5 continues the series’ tradition of excellent character-driven, story-heavy games that are a roller-coaster of emotions full of twists, turns, and pancakes… Come for all of that good stuff, but stay for the groovy tunes, slick art design, and to be an informed debater on who the best girl is. The answer is Futaba by the way. Sorry Makoto fans, not sorry.”
Super Mario Odyssey
Editor in Chief Ed McGlone: “I’ll raise my hand for being concerned about that when I first heard about it. I wanted Super Mario 64-2, and this [Cappy] sounded like a gimmick that would turn it [Mario] into something unfamiliar. I couldn’t have been more wrong, though. It’s definitely not Super Mario 64-2, but it turned out that it didn’t need to be to be another legendary 3D collect-a-thon Mario game. Super Mario Odyssey is its own thing, and it’s among the best games of 2017.”
Horizon Zero Dawn
Guides Editor Chris Jecks: “With a memorable protagonist like Aloy at the helm of this new IP, Guerrilla Games have an incredibly promising series on their hands. If you’ve got a PS4 and don’t own this yet, treat yourself before the year ends. You won’t regret it.”
Reviews Editor Zhiqing Wan: “Without a doubt, this is one of the most innovative, evocative, and self-assured games we’ve seen in years, and for that, it deserves recognition as one of the best games of 2017.”
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assistant Editor Alex Gibson: “Ubisoft has clearly taken the extra time between releases to study popular game mechanics and carefully fit them suitably to Assassin’s Creed. It’s still the series we know and love, but it’s now got a healthy dose of Dark Souls, The Witcher 3, and Far Cry. As a result, Assassin’s Creed has never felt better to play, and it’s also never felt more relevant. We can’t wait to see where the series goes next.”
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Reviews Editor Zhiqing Wan: “The drastically different combat system was also a pleasant surprise, with Shadows of Valentia adopting a stats-based system that makes much more sense than the weapon triangle we saw in Awakening and Fates. Shadows of Valentia doesn’t pull any punches, both in story and in difficulty, and we love it all the more for exactly that.”
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Assistant Editor Tom Hopkins: “However, no matter how good the gameplay is, it is the narrative and characters that make Wolfenstein II special. Not only do some of the most memorable scenes from gaming in 2017 come from The New Colossus but its cast of characters is fantastic.”
Night in the Woods
Guides Editor Chris Jecks: “Night in the Woods is the most charming and beautifully-written experience I’ve played all year. Its characters are deep and sincere, its story’s mysterious twist helps to move things along during the slower stages, and its filled with humorous little moments you won’t forget.”
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Founder & Publisher Yamilia Avendano: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is yet another awesome strategy game that Ubisoft put out this year, and our choice for the best one this year. It took the XCOM style of gameplay and brought with it a world of wonder and color and rabbids. Look, any game that gave us Rabbid Peach should be game of the year contender automatically, but in this case, Mario + Rabbids legitimately is an awesome strategy game.
Forza Motorsport 7
Assistant Editor Tom Hopkins: “With the strength of the core games and the quality of its open world spin-off, Horizon, the Xbox exclusive Forza series will continue to dominate the genre for years to come.”
Editor in Chief Ed McGlone: “Destiny 2’s raid on the Leviathan is an unmatched experience, especially in the realm of FPSs. More so than any other raid Bungie has put together to-date, Destiny 2’s first requires extreme levels of team coordination in each phase leading up to the final battle with Calus. Just one weak link in your fireteam and you could be in for hours of frustration. As a result, finally clearing the raid is among the most satisfying gameplay experiences this year.”
Call of Duty: WWII
Assistant Editor Tom Hopkins: “As the sales numbers show, Call of Duty: WWII continues the series’ streak of being top of the pile when it comes to multiplayer experiences.”
Resident Evil 7
Assistant Editor Tom Hopkins: “When you’re faced by members of the Baker family, such as when you’re around the kitchen table early in the game, your character begins to breath heavily and that fear is transferred to you. The enemies are menacing and the combat is tough, but it is the detailed setting and creepy atmosphere that make Resident Evil 7 the best VR game of 2017.”
Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy
Editor in Chief Ed McGlone: “Listen, my future kids aren’t going to be allowed to get a PlayStation 7, Xbox One vs. 100, or whatever until they can prove to me they can handle the classics first. Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy might just be what I have them play through to test their might and prove their worth.”