Overall Game of the Year 2017

Overall Game of the Year 2017 - Article

by Evan Norris , posted on 11 January 2018 / 8,679 Views

With PS4 at the peak of its power, indie developers pushing the envelope, and Nintendo Switch serving notice that it's here to stay, 2017 saw a glut of amazing software. The indie darling Cuphead won the hearts and minds of critics and consumers with its punishing difficulty and Max Fleischer cartoon aesthetic. Horizon: Zero Dawn impressed with gorgeous graphics, intense combat, and a vast open world. The Switch launch title Breath of the Wild proved to be a killer app for Nintendo's upstart hybrid.  Atlus' Persona 5 won over a legion of fans thanks to its impressive art direction, battle system, and story. And finally Super Mario Odyssey, in a year of game-of-the-generation candidates, actually scored the highest. There was no shortage of greatness in 2017.

 

 

The Shortlist:

Cuphead

 Cuphead GOTY


Horizon: Zero Dawn

 Horizon GOTY


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild GOTY


Persona 5

Persona 5 GOTY 

 

Super Mario Odyssey

 Super Mario Odyssey GOTY

 

 


The Runner-Up:


Horizon: Zero Dawn

HZD runner-up

Featuring a charismatic new character, a fascinating mythology and storyline, addictive looting and crafting, and some of the best open-world combat available, Horizon: Zero Dawn represents another terrific first-party exclusive on Sony's juggernaut of a home console. Perhaps Horizon is the future for Guerrilla Games, who had mined everything it could from its Killzone series. If so, the future is bright.

 

 

The Winner:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

 BotW winner

"Maybe, what happened next, was inevitable," says Ralphie in A Christmas Story. From the moment Breath of the Wild hit store shelves in March, and its genius became apparent, its spot at the top of the game of the year award pile was, perhaps, inevitable. Zelda titles are perennial "GOTY" material, but the ways in which Breath of the Wild pushed the series in new directions made its victory all the more likely. Ironically, it was by looking backward in time that the game found the confidence to march forward. It took the open-endedness of the NES classic and married with emergent gameplay and improvisational combat.

As with most games in the long-running franchise, Breath of the Wild achieves greatness not via one monumental mechanic, but through several systems and engines communicating with and responding to each other. Physics, chemistry, artificial intelligence, weapon durability, locomotion, and player choice combine to create a gaming experience for the ages, and this site's pick for the best game of 2017.

Previous Winners:

2016 - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
2015 - Rocket League
2014 - Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
2013 - Super Mario 3D World
2012 - Journey
2011 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2010 - Mass Effect 2
2009 - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
2008 - LittleBigPlanet
2007 - BioShock 


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18 Comments

IkePoR (on 10 January 2018)

That Cuphead is even in the running makes me happy. Congrats to BotW though.


Bristow9091 (on 10 January 2018)

All great games that I'd be happy to see win GOTY, so can't really argue with this decision at all, lol.


Fuchigole (on 10 January 2018)

Congrats to Zelda


Nuvendil (on 10 January 2018)

Darn good list. It's been a quality year, even with EA, Activision, WB, and 2K doing their best to screw it up at the end.


Cloudman (on 10 January 2018)

Not really going to complain about BotW winning. It's definitely a fun and excellent game, though Mario Odyssey feels like a very close 2nd to me. Another excellent game that just had me excited from beginning to end.


Azuren (on 11 January 2018)

I'm actually really glad Odyssey isn't up there. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills, because everyone keeps talking about what an amazing game it is and to me... It just looks like really well-polished boredom.


  • -2
mZuzek (on 11 January 2018)

I must say "boredom" is an adjective I never expected to see applied to Odyssey, but well, to each their own I guess.


  • +6
Azuren (on 11 January 2018)

I just don't get it.


  • -1
Cloudman (on 11 January 2018)

That's fair enough. Not everyone's going to like the same game. Mario Odyssey definitely has its flaws and not everyone will be into that genre.


  • 0
progstarmac (on 11 January 2018)

Very well deceived. A great game with a lot of content. Congratulations.


Ka-pi96 (on 11 January 2018)

Is anybody even surprised? :P


Jumpin (on 11 January 2018)

I wash SHOCKED!


  • 0
Luke888 (on 11 January 2018)

Deserved Win ! My GOTY for shure, still congrats to all the other nominees


DialgaMarine (on 11 January 2018)

Even though HZD is my personal GotY, I respect that Zelda will be it for most people. It's awesome to see a brand new IP already being compared to some of the titans of the industry. Kudos to both Nintendo and Guerila Games.


StreaK (on 11 January 2018)

Well said! 100% agreed. Perhaps the sequel to HZD will make enough innovations to win a GOTY.


  • 0
captain carot (on 11 January 2018)

Really loved BotW, only the weapons broke to quick. I think i'll buy it again for Switch, something i usually don't.


Johnw1104 (on 11 January 2018)

Poor Odyssey wound up with fairly few awards as BotW sponged them all up lol... I personally think Odyssey was BotW's equal.


Azuren (on 11 January 2018)

I strongly disagree.


  • -2
Johnw1104 (on 11 January 2018)

k


  • 0
AlfredoTurkey (on 11 January 2018)

I'd dock Odyssey 3 points just for being easier than a fifth avenue hooker. It makes the Yoshi games look like Ninja Gaiden.


  • 0
Flilix (on 11 January 2018)

I actually found it quite challenging.


  • 0
Johnw1104 (on 11 January 2018)

If you're mostly interested in just beating the game with minimal stars, it's pretty darn easy. If you become obsessed and try to get most or all of them (I wound up getting all but the jump rope/volleyball ones lol), though, there's definitely a lot of fun challenge to be had in the game.

Most importantly, though, the game never feels like a chore, and the simple act of moving around is a fun experience. That's quite a rarity.


  • 0
AlfredoTurkey (on 11 January 2018)

I'm not into 100% anything. I'm not a completionist. My goal when playing any game is beating it. If it's an older game from the arcade era like say, Galaga, my goal is to beat the high score or achieve one. So when I played Odyssey and blew through it like it was a V-Tech game, I was totally upset and felt ripped off.

Mario has always been my favorite Nintendo IP but no longer. It seems aimed at casuals and little kids now.


  • +1
Flilix (on 11 January 2018)

Maybe you just got better at gaming? I died dozens of times (maybe even hundreds) during the main game.


  • 0
AlfredoTurkey (on 11 January 2018)

I'm sure I am but other games like Zelda were still challenging enough for me to not blow through them so easily. I just think they've made a creative decision to make Mario easy. Because, when you look at SM64, it's a lot harder than Odyssey... even today, even for me. And when you compare say, SMB3? It's even more obvious that there was an intentional shift away from difficulty.


  • +2
Flilix (on 11 January 2018)

Yeah that's true. The old Mario's were really hard sometimes.
I found BotW easier than Odyssey though.


  • -1
StreaK (on 11 January 2018)

Well, at least Mario wins in sales, I guess.


  • 0
Ultrashroomz (on 10 January 2018)

Persona 5 should've been runner-up at least IMO. Congrats to Zelda though, beautiful game.


Bristow9091 (on 10 January 2018)

Of course you'd say that lol :P I still need to play it at some point, I mean, I own it so that's a start, and I'm thinking of mixing my backlog up and playing games in the order I want to instead of prioritising older games first, that way I'll get to it quicker, might be done by Christmas ;)


  • 0
Johnw1104 (on 11 January 2018)

I don't think Persona 5 is quite mainstream enough to garner the votes. I've only heard great things about it... definitely intend to give it a try eventually, but I wonder if some people saw the visuals and the "5" without having previously played a Persona and were turned off to it. I certainly assumed it wouldn't appeal to me until everyone started raving about it here.


  • 0
Azuren (on 11 January 2018)

1.3m+ titles across two platforms sounds mainstream enough to me.


  • -2
Johnw1104 (on 11 January 2018)

When I speak to my console-bound friends who keep mostly to those games most would call "mainstream" (shooters, sports, and a few RPGs), every one of them would know of Mario and Zelda. If I asked them about Persona, I really doubt any would know of it as I've never seen any of them playing it. If it sold 1.3 million so far that is indeed a decent number, but it's in the ballpark of what Bayonetta 2 sold as a Wii U exclusive.

Comparing it to the other games on this list, Cuphead appears to have doubled that in around a month, Horizon is closing in on 4 million, BotW is approaching 6 million across both platforms, and Odyssey has in under three months sold about as much as Persona 5 in Japan alone, and as of a month ago it has cleared 5 million total.

Obviously Persona 5 is not some niche, little-known game like some of the PC games I like to play, but it did not have the advantage of being instantly recognizable to many (if not most) of the gaming community. It was certainly the least played of any of the games on this list, and that can't have helped its cause.


  • +4
  • -8
pikashoe (on 11 January 2018)

Oh god are you seriously using the word normie, get back to 4chan.


  • +1
CaptainExplosion (on 11 January 2018)

Hooray for Breath of The Wild, Nintendo has done it again!! :D


Dgc1808 (on 11 January 2018)

Saw that coming. 2nd place is a nice surprise though.


Jranation (on 10 January 2018)

Another win for Zelda!


Zkuq (on 10 January 2018)

Wait, Mario wasn't the runner-up? I'm surprised.


mZuzek (on 10 January 2018)

Probably a case of differing fanbases. Nintendo fans would gravitate towards Zelda, Sony fans would gravitate towards Horizon - in fact Horizon has won more GOTY awards than Odyssey in general, despite Odyssey having a considerably better critical reception. Either way, it's great to see so many great games from different companies in a single year (let's not forget Persona 5 too).


  • +11
AlfredoTurkey (on 10 January 2018)

You can't have TWO Nintendo games finishing 1 and 2. That would be a shit storm of epic proportions.


  • -1
ROCKY223 (on 11 January 2018)

Tbt breath of the wild is starting to feel a bit overrated to me. I love this game, its amazing but GOTY?Theres no other game that deserves GOTY more than persona 5 and if you haven't played it, then you don't know what I am talking about.Its a game i never expected to love as much as i did.Already gone through to 2 playthroughs and yet soon enough i'll play it again n again, its that good.Theres not one complaint i have with this game, not even a nitpick. This game re-ignited my love for jrpgs and atlus.Its my favourite game on ps4 and also my favourite game of this generation.


LimaBean01 (on 11 January 2018)

I've played both and BOTW is far and away my GOTY. People have different opinions :)


  • +3
ROCKY223 (on 11 January 2018)

Thats fine.Ive played both as well and persona 5 is my fav of this year


  • 0
StokedUp (on 11 January 2018)

Don't sure why you're getting down votes for stating your personal opinion. Still need to play p5. Definitely will buy it soon.


  • 0
ROCKY223 (on 11 January 2018)

Im gonna assume Nintendo fans.You should totally play it.Ive played through it twice already and im going to play it again.It deserves all the spotlight botw got and every award


  • 0
Hynad (on 11 January 2018)

I played both BOTW and P5, and I didn't think P5 was nearly as “OMG amazing” as other people say. I was left womdering what the heck the game did to make so many people praise it like crazy.


  • +2
ROCKY223 (on 12 January 2018)

Then maybe you don't enjoy jrpgs I believe it's literally one of the finest jrpgs ever made


  • 0
LimaBean01 (on 12 January 2018)

I've played both and BOTW is far and away my GOTY. People have different opinions :)


  • 0
LimaBean01 (on 12 January 2018)

Woops, dont know why that sent again lol...


  • 0
Hynad (on 12 January 2018)

Some of my favourite games of all time are Final Fantasy IV, VI and Dragon Quest VIII. Just saying.


  • 0
Hynad (on 12 January 2018)

I very much enjoy the battle system and the characters of Persona 5.
My issues with the game are the restrictive nature of the gameplay. You can't do whatever you want, when you eant to do it. And the progression gets repetitive very fast. I get that it “simulates” the day to day life of a student, but that's simply mot fun after the 100th day of doing the same routine over and over again.

The writing was quite good though.

It's a food game in my book. Just not an amazing one to me the way it is for you and the other praising it.


  • 0
Hynad (on 12 January 2018)

Typos galore. Viva typing on a cell phone....


  • 0
ROCKY223 (on 12 January 2018)

Well that's you've opinion.From my two playthroughs I Seriously Couldnt find anything Thats bad or eve underdeveloped.My biggest problem with breath of the wild was the story.Everything else Is nearly flawless but the story is just not there.I know there motive was for everyone to have There own adventure But it didn't click with me. Still though I enjoyed it, i just don't feel like it's a masterpiece


  • 0
ROCKY223 (on 12 January 2018)

Well that's you've opinion.From my two playthroughs I Seriously Couldnt find anything Thats bad or eve underdeveloped.My biggest problem with breath of the wild was the story.Everything else Is nearly flawless but the story is just not there.I know there motive was for everyone to have There own adventure But it didn't click with me. Still though I enjoyed it, i just don't feel like it's a masterpiece


  • -1
SecondWar (on 12 January 2018)

Not sure why you got so many down votes for stating what made a certain game your personal GOTY


  • 0
ROCKY223 (on 12 January 2018)

Its probably nintendo fans. People can't handle opinions


  • 0
Azuren (on 11 January 2018)

Of course Zelda won, but why Horizon for runner-up? I mean, I get not picking Odyssey (fanbase retaliation for having Nintendo games in the #1 and #2 slots), but Horizon? If you wanted to pander to other fanbases, why not something with a higher critical reception? Like, I dunno... Persona 5?


DialgaMarine (on 11 January 2018)

Maybe because Horizon was a genuinely good game, just as deserving of recognition?


  • +4
Azuren (on 11 January 2018)

No, that can't be it.


  • -3