Welcome to 1Pvs2P.com's Game of the Year 2017 Awards!
Join us this month as we debate special category awards, unveil our Editors' Choice picks for the year, and announce our consensus Game of the Year on January 1, 2018. Scroll down for the results of our GOTY 2017 deliberations from podcast episodes 92-94.
This post will be updated as our weekly podcast episodes are released, so bookmark this page and check back later as we announce more awards.
Congratulations and special thanks to all the creative minds behind our award-winning video games of 2017! Our show couldn't be possible without your time, passion, and dedication to your craft.
At the very end of our Top 10 Editors' Choice lists on Week 3 of the Game of the Year deliberations podcast, we came to a consensus: Super Mario Odyssey is 2017's game of the year. Mario's latest world-spanning adventure is colorful, cohesive, and most importantly, a pure joy to play. Jumping as Mario here feels rewarding against the backdrops of New Donk City, the Luncheon Kingdom, the Moon, and many others. With Cappy, possessing everything from Goombas to Cheep Cheeps is a great twist on puzzle solving and maneuvering in these environments. Importantly, Super Mario Odyssey sends up Mario's nostalgic legacy without pandering exclusively to it; the game even balks at some traditional Mario conventions in a way that feels like an evolution. This is the accessible Mario game for the next generation of gamers, and an absolute must-own for Nintendo Switch owners. As 2017’s Game of the Year, Super Mario Odyssey is game design at its finest, which is considerable given the competition it stacked up against.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Click a game then hover over (or tap · button on mobile site) to read more about our Editors' Choice award winners of 2017.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) reinvigorated multiplayer shooters, early access games, and Esports in a way nobody could have seen coming. The tension of dropping onto an island, scrounging for weapons, and surviving against 99 other players as the playable map shrinks over time to come out on top was unlike any other experience in games this year. The Best Surprises in games are the ones worth copying, and if PUBG's shocking success is any indication, the Battle Royale-esque mechanics are going to influence future multiplayer shooters for years to come. Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Battle Chef Brigade
Endless Space 2
Cuphead's visuals rank among one of the most unique and handcrafted art styles we've seen in video games to date. Inspired by 1920s-era cartoons, the game's bosses, levels, and designs animate well and capture the vibe the developers were going for. It's easily Cuphead's strongest element, and the one that had us stunned while struggling against its frenetic and demanding gameplay. What a knockout!
Horizon: Zero Dawn
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Four Last Things
Super Mario Odyssey
Star Wars Battlefront II
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Among game franchises that have a massive following, you don't get more disappointing missteps than Mass Effect: Andromeda. The game's messy development resulted in one of the most anodyne and boring takes on science fiction concepts. Even EA shelved the game's DLC plans after disappointing player feedback and sales, a level of restraint we don't often see from one of gaming's biggest publishers. From its poor level and combat encounters to its forgettable characters and story, there is very little to like in Andromeda's new universe. Worse, it strings you along with side quests and plotlines you think are going somewhere, ultimately to only underwhelm you once you reach their predictable conclusions. Andromeda is a galactic waste of time not worth finishing.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite
Super Bomberman R
Agents of Mayhem
Bubsy: Return of the Woolies
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Star Wars Battlefront II
There's no better swan song to the 3DS than Metroid: Samus Returns. A reimagining of the underrated Metroid II on Game Boy, developer MercurySteam has delivered a fantastic game that is better than it has any right to be. By giving Samus a melee counter, layering stylish art, and leveraging clever Metroidvania map design, it stands as the best mobile/handheld game this year and possibly one of the better adventures in the Metroid pantheon. Hopefully the game's critical reception means we'll see more from gaming's best bounty hunter.
Monument Valley 2
Million Onion Hotel
Fire Emblem Heroes
Dynasty Warriors Unleashed
Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Reigns: Her Majesty
It's somehow fitting that the Best New Character this year made us feel the most human: the philosophical, peace-loving robot Pascal from Nier: Automata. Pascal's introduction challenges one of Nier's core plot conceits that robots are evil. You ally with Pascal and his villagers to get to the bottom of why the other robots are malfunctioning, and unintentionally bring the world's violence to his doorstep. Forced to defend the homeland, Pascal realizes (perhaps too late) that peace cannot exist without defensive action, in one of this year's most empowering and emotional character beats. We'll never forget Pascal or his humanity, even if he chooses to forget what has come to pass.
Makoto (Persona 5)
Hestu (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
Marina (Splatoon 2)
Rabbid Peach (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle)
Failsafe (Destiny 2)
Shriv (Star Wars Battlefront II)
Sigrun Engel (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus)
Fane (Divinity: Original Sin II)
Grace Walker (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus)
We could devote an entire category to the many jaw-dropping moments in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, but the Best Gameplay Moment belongs to The Audition scene. As BJ Blaskowicz, you infiltrate a Nazi base on Venus by auditioning to portray BJ Blaskowicz in the Nazis' newest propaganda film while in disguise of another actor. The Nazis need this film to succeed, and none other than Adolf Hitler shows up to ensure that the actor selected has the right chops. Here, Hitler comes off as unhinged, deranged, creepy, and weird: an exaggerated caricature compared to the actual history. However, it leaves you with the impression that the Nazi leader is really just an old, sickly auteur with a violent and fascist bent, which is not far from the truth. Video games with Nazis as the antagonists often avoid depicting Hitler, but Wolfenstein II goes there and then some in this scene, which we encourage you to see for yourself.
Ending E (Nier: Automata)
Majima's Jazzy Tutorial (Yakuza 0)
Getting a Chicken Dinner (PUBG)
Pascal's Last Stand (Nier: Automata)
The Fourth Fight With Kuze (Yakuza 0)
Walking in to the Mansion (Resident Evil 7: Biohazard)
Climbing & Overriding a Tallneck (Horizon: Zero Dawn)
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Miniboss (Sonic Mania)
Possessing Bowser (Super Mario Odyssey)
Visiting Mushroom Kingdom (Super Mario Odyssey)
The Return to the Blazkowicz Farm (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus)
The Execution (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus)
Drinking Hooch With Horton (Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus)
Stealing Futaba's Heart (Persona 5)
The Calus Reveal (Destiny 2)
Heihachi's Last Stand (Tekken 7)
Conquering a Boss that Seemed Impossible Before (Cuphead)
Flying through the Death Star Wreckage (Star Wars Battlefront II)
The acid jazz stylings of Persona 5's soundtrack crowned it the Best Music we heard in games of 2017. The entire 110-track album is fantastic, but we specifically wanted to call out Last Surprise, the game's battle theme, for being catchy and fun. Somehow composer Shoji Meguro has evolved his excellent Persona 4 music by combining heavy synth sound, danceable percussion, and rocking guitar riffs in Persona 5 that makes the Phantom Thieves' adventures pop as much as the game's art style. Even the quieter moments of the game's plot are punctuated by melancholy tunes that make everyday Tokyo life seem extraordinary. You'll never see it coming.
Birth of a Wish (Become God Vocals) (Nier: Automata)
Studiopolis Zone Act 1 (Lights, Camera, Action!) (Sonic Mania)
Cosmic Hero (Nex Machina)
Peach's Castle (Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle)
Jump Up, Super Star! (Super Mario Odyssey)
The public's fervor and outrage around video game loot boxes hit a tipping point this year, making it the Biggest News Story. Here's just a small sampling of loot box-related messes: Forza 7 progression hampered by one-time use consumables that were previously toggles they sold, Shadow of War's final act hiding the real ending behind a grind that encourages loot box purchases, Destiny 2's obfuscation of their experience system to juice bright engram sales, and the most egregious, trapping Star Wars Battlefront II's multiplayer perks and character unlocks behind an ill-conceived economy. The conversation around loot boxes generated controversy, multiple corporate apologies, overnight changes in shareholder value of publisher stocks, and talk of government regulation because of their predatory nature. Not since golden horse armor has the video game industry taken arms against a business practice that will almost assuredly continue to be implemented and talked about in ways players can't even fathom. We expect for this story to continue to happen well into 2018.
Xbox One X is Announced and Released
Nintendo Recovers Financially with Switch Release
NES Classic is Released
Japanese Games Make a Critical Comeback
Gamestop's Circle of Life Sales Program is Exposed
Oculus Loses The Lawsuit Against Zenimax Over VR Tech
Square Enix Dumps IO, IO Saves Hitman By Going Independent
E3 2017 Opens to Public
EA Acquires Titanfall Developer Respawn
Nintendo Shuts Down Miiverse
This year, it's hard to separate the most reported-on news from the Worst Trend, but the story-in-parallel happening with loot box outrage is that these microtransactions are generating a lot of money for game companies, meaning there's more of a financial incentive for games to have them in the future. Grand Theft Auto Online and NBA 2K18’s MyPlayer have mined cash for publisher Take-Two, accounting for 42 percent of the company’s revenue over the last financial quarter. Despite EA's microtransaction poster child in Star Wars Battlefront II, EA has vowed more "recurrent consumer spending" will be implemented in their games. Activision was granted a patent for matchmaking that is designed to encourage consumer spending. On the PC, microtransactions are a $22 billion line item, expected to grow by $3 billion by 2022. More microtransactions potentially being added to games is the worst trend of 2017, and if they continue to financially succeed, gamers and consumers are going to be fleeced for years to come.
Misleading Marketing of Early Access Games (Fortnite, PUBG "exclusive" console versions)
Microsoft's First Party Development Continues to Flounder
Long-Dead IP Being Revived Because There Are No New Ideas
VR Software Fails to Reach Critical Mass
Nostalgic Microconsoles (SNES Classic, AtariBox, Sega Genesis Flashback, C64 Mini)
Nintendo's Ongoing Supply Shortages (NES Classic, Amiibo, SNES Classic, Nintendo Switch)
Loot Boxes in Full-Price AAA Games (Injustice 2, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Forza Motorsport 7, Star Wars Battlefront 2)
Toxicity in Games Continues to Persist (Destiny 2 "Kek" Item, PewDiePie loses Disney deal over antisemitism, Blizzard Finally Addresses Reporting System, Sexual Harassment)
Games Copy PUBG with Battle Royale Modes (GTA Online, Fortnite, Counter-Strike)