I finally got around to writing my game of the year awards! There are a ton of different categories and I’ve chosen the games that I think stood above the rest in their categories.
Best Shooter – Mass Effect Andromeda
I considered Wolfenstein 2 for this award, but I enjoyed the gunplay in Andromeda more than Wolfenstein. Wolfenstein has the better story, but Mass Effect: Andromeda has the better gameplay and I can’t think of a shooter that I put more hours in last year than this one. Getting lost in the world of Andromeda was a real treat for me. It’s no mystery that I love the Mass Effect series. It’s tied as my favorite series of all time with The Elder Scrolls and I think Mass Effect: Andromeda is a damn good game.
Best Action – Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Andromeda may be the best shooter, but when it comes to nonstop fist-pounding action nothing tops Wolfenstein 2! B.J. Blazkowitcz returns as the main protagonist and goes on another Nazi killing spree. The big difference is that it takes place in America this time. The level design isn’t as strong as the previous game, but if you’re looking for a great FPS action game look no further than here. This game is gory, has a fantastic story, and will keep you entertained for hours.
Best RPG – Divinity: Original Sin 2
This was a no-brainer for me. No RPG came close to the excellence of this game last year. The amount of freedom that this game gives the player is amazing. Combat can be incredibly easy or incredibly hard depending on how you approach each situation. Is fire blocking your path? Cast a rain spell and put it out, but beware of all of the smoke you just created by doing that. How about summoning a tornado to blow the smoke away? That worked perfectly, but now there’s a huge cliff that you couldn’t see because of the smoke. It’s easy… just grow some wings and fly over it. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is amazing. I can’t list all of the different things you can do in this game. It’ll take forever and I would never be able to finish this post if I did. The lore, story, characters, and gameplay is fantastic. There’s no hand-holding here. You’ll be using your brain to try and figure some of the quests out and it’ll take you awhile (unless you Google it). The main campaign isn’t even all this game has going for it. How does multiplayer sound? You can play the entire game with friends, but be warned… only one of you can become Divine…
Best Horror – Little Nightmares
Little Nightmares is a short game that kept me on the edge of my seat for the 4 hours that it took me to complete it. It’s an amazing little game and it left its’ mark on me. I often think about the experience I had in this game. There are no guns, over the top monsters, or jump scares here. It’s pure horror and it’s finest and the ending left me wanting more. Little Nightmares is really short but totally worth playing and it easily earned the award for the best horror game.
Best Platformer – Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is so freaking good. It’s taken me back to the good old days of awesome Metroidvania titles like Castlevania. I love the dark aesthetic, enemy design, gameplay, soundtrack, lore, and everything in between. Hollow Knight didn’t get much coverage when it released because it dropped around some pretty heavy hitters, but it’s absolutely worth playing through. It’s a fantastic game that I can’t stop playing.
Best Fighter – For Honor
For Honor gets a lot of flack, but it’s actually a really good fighting game. It’s easy to complain about getting ganked, pushed off a cliff, and dying from higher leveled players, but, honestly, you just need to git gud at it. Once I learned how to play this game I could easily hold my own against 3, sometimes 4, people until my partners arrived to back me up. Now that the game has dedicated servers the biggest problem many people had with the game has been fixed. For Honor rewards you for playing it. The more you play the better you’ll get. I had a lot of fun with For Honor last year and hopefully, Ubisoft continues to support the game this year. For Honor is a unique fighting game with awesome gameplay and it easily won the award for best fighter.
Best Multiplayer – Ghost Recon: Wildlands
This game is actually pretty boring to play by yourself, but when you play the game with a group of friends it’s fantastic. I had so much fun playing this with Lunaliah. We got into all sorts of trouble. I can’t tell you how many times I was about to assassinate this dude and my wife thought it would be a good idea to blow something up and get us both caught and killed by the enemy. This game is fun and can be played in various different ways. The open world is beautifully crafted by Ubisoft and I love the realistic gameplay too. One or two bullets will drop just about anyone in realism mode and that goes the same for you too. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is the best multiplayer game of 2017.
Best MMO – The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind
The Morrowind expansion added a lot to ESO last year. Zenimax recreated Vvardenfell, gave us a new class, and all sorts of interesting quests to complete in ESO. This game has grown a lot. I used to hate it, but it’s been improved a lot since its release and it’s my go-to MMO now. I’m really excited to see what else Zenimax has in store for us this year. This MMO is helping me get my Elder Scrolls fix while I wait for part VI to release. Hopefully, I’ll still be somewhat young by the time it gets here :).
Best New IP – Elex
Elex released to mixed reviews. I didn’t give it a glowing score either, but I really like this game. Piranha Bytes knows how to design an open world game. I loved the three different factions and how each of them played completely different than each other. The gameplay does bring the game down, but I’ve come to expect that from Piranha Bytes games. I can’t think of a new IP that I enjoyed more than Elex last year.
Best Male Character – B.J. Blazkowicz
B.J. was just awesome from start to finish in The New Colossus. He showed me that he was more than just a Nazi killing machine. He has character and he loves Anya and he’ll do anything to make sure that his kids are born in a Nazi-free America. He went from a broken man in a wheelchair to the B.J. Blazkowicz that I grew up playing as in the classic Wolfenstein games. I love what MachineGames has done with this series and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
Best Female Character – Irene Engel
She’s crazy, murders people for fun, and will probably kill her own child to keep her appearance. Irene Engel is one of those villains that you just love to hate. She’s not a good person and the entire time I played I was hoping she would get hit by a bus or something. I felt bad for her daughter, but she totally deserved the way she was treated by everyone else. I don’t know where I would place Irene Engel on my top 10 antagonists of all time, but she would definitely be somewhere on the list.
Best Story – Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
What else can I say about this game? The New Colossus told one dark story that never let up. Irene Engel is one sadistic villain that continued her evil ways in the sequel, B.J Blazkowicz is a beaten up hero on his last legs, and resistance is on the brink of destruction… until B.J. starts killing Nazis again. I loved every moment of the story and I can’t wait for the sequel to finish things off.
Best World Design – Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Ubisoft knocked it out the park last year with multiple game releases. All of them were good and I think Assassin’s Creed: Origins stood above all other open world games last year in terms of design. Ubisoft recreated ancient Egypt and took Assassin’s Creed in a brave new direction. Assassin’s Creed: Origins is beautifully designed and it really shows the talent that the developers of Ubisoft has for creating these gigantic open world games. I never considered myself an Assassin’s Creed fan. Origins changed that for me and I can’t wait to see what the future has for this series. Just don’t make them yearly releases again…
Best DLC – The Elder Scrolls Online – Morrowind
Morrowind was fantastic. I’m glad Zenimax went with their own ideas instead of trying to live up to the legend of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I enjoyed traveling through Vvardanfell, getting to know Vivec (again), and playing through this expansion with my wife. Morrowind was the expansion that I looked forward to the most last year and I’m glad that it didn’t disappoint.
Best Comeback Game – Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Ubisoft went back to the drawing board after two straight mediocre Assassin’s Creed games. The series future was in doubt and Ubisoft delivered something great to us. I really enjoyed roaming around Egypt and getting to know the best Assassin in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Assassin’s Creed came back with a bang and it’s made me a fan of the series. I prefer my Assassin’s Creed games like this and hopefully, Ubisoft continues to improve future installments and gives us something unforgettable.
Best Developer – Larian Studios
Larian Studios created an instant classic with Divinity: Original Sin 2. It’s the best game they’ve ever made and is one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life. This game is filled with interesting things to do. It’s creative, tells a good story, and is a major step up from the first Original Sin game. I never expected the sequel to be this good. Larian Studios has earned this award from me.
Innovative Game of The Year – Divinity: Original Sin 2
The amount of freedom this game offers the player is insane. What more can I say about it? I’ve already written about it multiple times. I’m in love with this game. I’ve put well over 100 hours into it and I plan on playing it a lot more. This game changed the way I look at CRPGs. I don’t have to deal with shitty gameplay in a CRPG anymore. I don’t know how future CRPGs will compare to this one.
Underrated Game of The Year – Mass Effect: Andromeda
I can still remember all the shit I had to go through for liking Mass Effect: Andromeda. People made fun of me big time for liking this game. The facial animations controversy, “shitty” story, and “dull” characters ruined Mass Effect, right? Nope. Not to me anyway. Mass Effect: Andromeda is a great game that I’ve put 120 hours in. The main campaign took me 85 hours to complete and I sunk a bunch of hours into the multiplayer too. People jumped on the hate train and bashed this game so hard that EA pulled support from it. The Mass Effect series future is in doubt now and we may never get another game in my favorite series of all time (tied with Elder Scrolls).
Game of The Year – Divinity: Original Sin 2
No game came close to the excellence of Divinity: Original Sin 2. I know you’re probably tired of reading about this game by now, but I can’t help it. It’s that damn good. This game is like a great tabletop RPG. You have so many ways to complete your objective and I love that I can choose to work with my friends or go my own way and reap the rewards for myself. I love the lore, gameplay, and characters that I got to know on my long journey. As soon as I was done with this game I started another playthrough. It’s rare when I do that. I usually take a break and back months later, but I immediately jumped back into this game with a different build and started playing it again. I wanted to see the different choices I could make and I wanted to get to know the companions that I didn’t take with me on my journey to become the next divine. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is fantastic and it rewarded me with unique loot, story segments, moments that I’ll never forget and that’s why it is my game of the year.
I usually do these post with a guest blogger, but I changed the way I write my yearly game of the year awards. Instead of just having pictures of my (and whoever helps me) favorite games I wanted to go into detail and, as you can see, it’s pretty long. What are your favorite games from 2017?