2017 Game Awards Nominees Listed And Here’s Who Should Win
The Game Awards
(Last Updated On: November 16, 2017)

If you follow Geoff Keighley’s annual Game Awards show each year, you would know that the industry comes together to award developers with statues to highlight how much the community and the industry at large appreciates their work. As usual, before the big event in December the nominees for each category are listed, and this year’s picks are about as predictable as you would imagine.

The full list of nominees are available over on the Game Awards website, but here are the important categories:

Game Of The Year

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Persona 5
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn.

For the GOTY category… so long as Horizon or PUBG don’t win, it’s anyone’s game. I would say that Super Mario Odyssey likely deserves it just because the replayability, the amount of content you get and the overall fun factors. A part of me also leans toward The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild because it’s the only game where you can keep coming back to it and discovering something new. There are still people discovering new things and posting them up on YouTube as this is being written, so I think maybe Link and Zelda deserve it because not many games have that level of discoverability tucked away within their gameplay.

Best Game Direction

  • Wolfenstein II
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn.

As far game direction is concerned… I would probably say Super Mario Odyssey or Resident Evil 7. Both games kept you moving along and always seemed to throw something new at you. Breath of the Wild was an expertly directed game, no doubt, but a lot of the loops got pretty repetitive early on, not that it’s a bad thing but I just think that the other two found ways to keep things fresh from start to finish, especially Super Mario Odyssey. Heck even post-credits that game was still introducing new gameplay elements to players, so it should win but it probably won’t because of a certain “muh diversity” game that’s nominated.

Best Narrative

  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • NieR: Automata
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn.

I know for a fact that NieR: Automata has the best narrative out of all of those games and is the only one that deserves hands down to walk away with the award in this category. It’s a complex story that never gets dull and brings out so many different raw emotions from the player, evoking a sense of care, rage, anger, intrigue, and determination unlike any other game in the category. It would be a complete sham if NieR: Automata didn’t win.

But again, there are four other “muh narrative” games on the list that are SocJus darlings, so the one game that absolutely should win because Yoko Taro put his heart and soul into crafting a timeless and engaging masterpiece of thought-provoking material will likely be overlooked for one of the more mundane games on the list because of “muh diversity”.

If there would be a runner-up, though, it would have to be What Remains of Edith Finch, just because it’s rare a game focuses its narrative around the tragedies of one’s own genealogy, which was interesting.

Best Art Direction:

  • Destiny 2
  • Cuphead
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Persona 5
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn

This is a lot harder because I actually think there’s almost a tie between Persona 5 and Cuphead, but I would have to give the edge to Cuphead just because this game is an artistic, timeless gem. A treasure trove of feel-good artistry satiates the experience from start to finish, enveloping gamers in a journey into the history of a long-forgotten art form that’s been replaced with newer, fancier technology.

Studio MDHR poured their hearts and soul into Cuphead; and every single pixel filling out the square inch of each frame within the render is a nostalgic-driven dedication to a bygone era. I honestly couldn’t write passionately enough about how much I enjoyed what Studio MDHR brought to the table with this game.

But given the current crop of “journalists” who propagate the gaming industry and the lackeys who make up for their tens of thousands of followers, I wouldn’t be surprised if they undeservingly voted for Horizon: Zero Dawn

Best Score/Music

  • Destiny 2
  • Cuphead
  • NieR: Automata
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Persona 5

This is a really, really, really tough one. Super Mario Odyssey probably has the very best Super Mario soundtrack of all time. It is a timeless collection of both past and present accomplishments within the Super Mario franchise, encompassing the classic themes from the 1980s all the way up to the more modern vocal renditions originally recorded for Super Mario Odyssey.

However, while Super Mario Odyssey evokes a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for the past, NieR: Automata‘s soundtrack withdrew tears from the most hardened gamers like a sword reaping blood from a stone. It’s a hard soundtrack to listen to without feeling something because there are so many great tracks that not only help tell the game’s story but also help paint a fully realized world through its atmospheric compositions. Few game soundtracks will leave you as touched as NieR’s.

But then again, there’s Persona 5 and Cuphead. Now this is where it gets tough because there is no soundtrack I’ve listened to from start to finish more often this year than Cuphead. The music is an amalgamation of classic, big band jazz and ragtime soul that just leaves you tapping your feet and whistling along like a kid in a candy store absorbing their favorite song while dispensing a quarter into a bubblegum machine so they can chew along with the beat. Persona 5 went the more bossa-funk route that makes it stand out as a completely original soundtrack among every single other game out there.

It’s a tough call but I think that Cuphead should win, but only by the clippings of a nose’s hair.

 

 

Best Audio Design:

  • Destiny 2
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey

Not really much competition here. Hellblade should take this easy. Regardless of what you think of the game, the story, or the gameplay (or lack thereof), the audio design was absolutely top notch from start to finish. There was always new sounds to hear and experience that helped shape the mood and character development of Senua. Again, regardless of what you think of the story, the audio engineers at Ninja Theory really made sure that the audio alone was a character that helped shape the world of Hellblade.

 

 

Best Performance:

  • Melina Juergens – Hellblade
  • Laura Bailey – Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Claudia Black – Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Brian Bloom – Wolfenstein II
  • Ashly Burch – Horizon: Zero Dawn.

My goodness what awful selections. Burch should automatically be discounted since it sounded like she was speaking through gritted teeth the entire time in Horizon: Zero Dawn. Claudia Black and Laura Bailey were okay, but it’s the equivalent of handing out an award to the summer blockbuster you spent the most popcorn on. The only two real contenders are Melina Juergens and Brian Bloom.

I’m a little torn because while Wolfenstein II was a cringefest, I actually really liked Brian Bloom’s soliloquizes throughout the game, and his introspective self-reflection. It was existential in the most campy way imaginable, but Bloom really dedicated himself to the role and it’s hard to knock the game for that. However, Melina put even more effort into her role given that her expressions and voice acting had to carry majority of the narrative since she was really the only main character who had to perform throughout the game at all times. Regardless of what you thought of the game, Melina never actually took players out of the world of Hellblade and actually did a fantastic job of helping bring the low-budget adventure game to life. So Melina should definitely win here.

 

 

Games For Impact:

  • Please Knock On My Door
  • Night in the Woods
  • Life is Strange: Before The Storm
  • Bury Me, My Love
  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

No one cares. But given how the media is operated by Social Justice Warriors it’ll come down between What Remains of Edith Finch or Hellblade. I imagine they’ll go with Hellblade just because Ninja Theory was virtue signaling heavy to financially support mental illness and all that jazz, so obviously it’s the favorite on odds to win.

 

 

Best Ongoing Game:

  • Warframe
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
  • Overwatch
  • GTA Online
  • Destiny 2
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Well, PUBG just launched this year and doesn’t have much content compared to the others. The most obvious winner better be Warframe. The game added an open-world environment, fishing, vehicular travel, massive new bosses, and a day and night cycle. Out of them all it’s the only game that stepped outside its comfort zone and into a whole new genre.

I know some of you are thinking “But what about Shark Card Simulator Online?” No, just no. Rockstar and Take-Two tried to kill GTA V’s single-player modding scene, and most of the new updates for GTA Online are based on popular GTA IV mods. They couldn’t be lazier if they tried. However, given the SJW-leaning media, expect Overwatch to come away with the undeserving win, even though they ban players who refuse to play anyone other than a straight, white male. I’m not even joking.

 

 

Best Mobile Game:

  • Fire Emblem Heroes
  • Super Mario Run
  • Old Man’s Journey
  • Monument Valley 2
  • Hidden Folks

No one cares but casuals. Next.

 

 

Best Handheld Game

  • Poochy And Yoshi’s Woolly World
  • Monster Hunter Stories
  • Metroid: Samus Returns
  • Ever Oasis
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia

Not a very good selection of titles, but if I had to choose one it would be Metroid: Samus Returns, just because it’s the last good Metroid game since Metroid Prime 3.

 

 

Best VR/AR Game:

  • Superhot VR
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew
  • Lone Echo / Echo Arena
  • Farpoint
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

The only replayable game on the list is Superhot VR. The rest just weren’t very engaging for long play sessions, and none are particularly worth replaying just for the sake of VR. Lone Echo isn’t a real game and neither is Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Resident Evil 7 is better all the way around without a VR headset, and Farpoint gets more repetitive than CNN’s Twitter feed whenever Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump perform tandem sneezes.

 


Best Action Game:

  • Prey
  • Nioh
  • Destiny 2
  • Cuphead
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Obviously the only worthy entry on the list is Cuphead.

 

 

Best Action-Adventure Game:

  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyessy
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn

It’s a tough call between Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There wasn’t quite as much discovery in Super Mario Odyssey as there was in Breath of the Wild. The game’s maps were also a lot more contained and focused on what you had to achieve, where-as with The Legend of Zelda it was all about encouraging gamers to explore, find secrets, travel, and experiment. For that reason I think that Eiji Aonuma and the rest of the crew deserve to win the award for best action-adventure game.

 

 

Best Role-Playing Game:

  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • NieR: Automata
  • Persona 5

I know a lot of people really like Persona 5 and would want it to win, but the game’s linearity felt more like a kinetic visual novel at times and less like an actual role-playing game. As a pure RPG I think Divinity: Original Sin 2 and South Park had the most role-playing elements out of the five, and Divinity most certainly hearkened back more toward the classic CRPG designs than any of the other titles.

However, it’s hard for me to stop thinking about Final Fantasy XV. The ending to that game is still being widely discussed to this day, and it was such a sad, long, and depressing journey. I know it’s an unpopular choice, and most PCMR will be angry, but I actually think Final Fantasy XV deserves to take it. It’s a mess at times and the story becomes somewhat disjointed near the end, but it’s also like looking at a Bugatti engaged in a slow motion car wreck after slamming into a train at 200mph; you can’t stop looking and it’s as fascinating as it is tragic.

 

 

Best Fighting Game:

  • Tekken 7
  • Nidhogg 2
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
  • Injustice 2
  • ARMS

This is a tough category. I had the most physical fun with ARMS, but I really liked the replayability and gear system of Injustice 2. However, Tekken 7 was the only game on the list that really took the fighting serious from top to bottom. There’s a deep meta-game when it comes to the player skill in Tekken 7, and the better that players get the more fun it is to both watch and play the game. I don’t think Tekken 7 wins by a large margin, but it just edges out Injustice 2 because it’s slightly more forgiving for player-manuals and creating counter-techs in tough spots, which isn’t really possible in Injustice 2 unless you stack certain skills using the gear.

 

 

Best Family Game:

  • Splatoon 2
  • Sonic Mania
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
  • Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo is bound to take this category. I would say Mario Kart 8: Deluxe deserves the win just because of all the different ways to play the game both locally and online. Sonic Mania is a fantastic game but it’s kind of dumb that you have to buy a separate controller just to play the two-player mode.

 

 

Best Strategy Game:

  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
  • Tooth and Tail
  • Total War: Warhammer II
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Well this is a no-brainer. Total War: Warhammer II takes this one easy. The others just aren’t anywhere near as fleshed out or as visually engaging or as dynamic. Halo Wars 2 has the best villain out of them all but the story is kind of trash. Tooth and Tail is too small, and Mario + Rabbids is way too restricted. XCOM 2 is okay, but Total War: Warhammer II is just a massive game, sporting fantastic visuals with a lot of content and so many different varieties, setups and options that it completely dwarfs all the other games on the list.

 

 

Best Sports/Racing Game:

  • Project CARS 2
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
  • NBA 2K18
  • GT Sport
  • Forza Motorsport 7
  • FIFA 18

“Wrath of the microtransactions” is what this category should be called. None of them deserve it, to be honest. But if I had to choose one it would be Project CARS 2.

 

 

Best Multiplayer Game:

  • Fortnite
  • Call of Duty: World War II
  • Splatoon 2
  • Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
  • Destiny 2
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

There’s only one game on the list that sold more than 20 million copies on a single platform and obviously the game that has been breaking all sorts of records should be the winner. I think the numbers speak for themselves.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.