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[Up:] neoGAF GOTY 2017 |OT| Voting closed

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Just voted!

  1. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - One of the most revolutionary MP games I have ever played. By far my most played game this year.
  2. Horizon: Zero Dawn - My favorite PS4 exclusive. Aloy quickly became one of my favorite characters and the game is gorgeous.
  3. Super Mario Odyssey - I did not play the Wii Mario Games, but I really enjoyed this one. Collecting moons is very addicting.
  4. South Park: The Fractured But Whole - The gameplay is much better than SoT, but I thought the story was not as good. Still a great game though.
  5. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - Better than UC4 and my 2nd favorite Uncharted. The train level was a nice throwback to UC2.
  6. Cuphead- I still need to beat this game, but the developers deserved a lot of praise for this one. The art direction is obviously great and the game is extremely challenging. Great score too!
  7. Assassin's Creed: Origins - Props to Ubisoft for taking a year off and making Assassin's Creed great again. The Egypt setting did wonders.
  8. Injustice 2 - I love what Ed Boon and co do with fighting games. Huge fan of their work and the best thing to happen to DC in 2017.
  9. Call of Duty: WW2 - Happy that Activision brought back WW2. The MP is fantastic. I was never a fan of AW/IW multiplayer, so this is refreshing.
  10. Snipperclips- Great co op game!



1. Divinity: Original Sin 2
2. Hollow Knight
3. Nier: Automata
4. Nioh

5 would have been RUINER but it wasn't on the list
Top game was Nioh for me. It was like demons souls crossed with ninja gaiden. So basically perfect.

Horizon Zero dawn was a close second.

Good year for PS4 for me.


Neo Member
Persona 5 was hands down the best game I played this year. Probably the best turn based JRPG I've ever played. Super Mario Odyssey, BotW, Nioh, and Divinity Original Sin 2 rounded out the rest of my top 5.

Still a lot of games I have but haven't beaten like Horizon and Nier Automata.


Voted, but had to leave out Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment since I couldn't find it on the list.

1. Breath of the Wild
2. Super Mario Odyssey
3. Persona 5
4. Nier Automata
5. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
6. SteamWorld Dig 2
7. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
8. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
9. Splatoon 2
10. ARMS

Because I couldn't find Specter of Torment on that list, I left it out, everything else went up by one and I added Cuphead onto the end of the list.

2017 really was a fantastic year for games.
Votes submitted! Really nice set-up with the form.

Had to give my #1 spot to Breath of the Wild - that game still blows me away after hundreds of hours played.


Voted! 2017 was an excellent year for gamers, so here's to an even better 2018 :)

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NeoGAF's Chief Barrister
Couldn't meet the minimum criteria, as I've only played one game this year. I did play it to death though. And that's Zelda Breath of the Wild. Loved it to bits. Only stopped because my son took his console back (which is only fair I suppose).



1) Horizon: Zero Dawn
2) Yakuza 0
3) Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
4) Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
5) Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
6) Resident Evil 7
7) Knack 2
8) Little Nightmares
9) Rime
10) Gravity Rush 2


I voted! Excited to see who pulls it off this year. Zelda most likely but I have a feeling there'll be a great variety of games in the top 10.


Alright, got my vote in

Shout out to Blaster Master Zero, Mighty Gunvolt Burst and River City Ransom: Underground. They weren't on the voting list, but I'm okay with just namedropping them here instead.


Voted! I was very surprised Culdcept Revolt and (especially) PUBG had no votes yet. They were both in my top 10. Maybe I misunderstood the "X No Votes", I'll reread the OP.

After a lot of deliberation I was surprised that Dragon Quest Heroes II (for PC) was actually my GOTY 2017. It's the one I had the most fun with and keep coming back to. I haven't finished it yet, but it feels like less of a chore and more of a mindless stress reliever compared to more critically acclaimed games I played.

1. Super Mario Odyssey - [Nintendo Switch] It’s hard to put into words just how amazing it was to play Super Mario Bros.3 when it came out. I would have been happy with more Super Mario Bros.1 style levels, but instead Mario could fly and pick up shells and hit enemies by sliding down hills, and all this other awesome stuff. I was...permanently blown away, to the point where now, as a grown man, the ultimate symbol of power to me is still an overweight Italian man in a full body raccoon outfit. Nothing can top the Tanooki! Mario World was even more amazing, adding dinosaur riding and ghost houses and star road to the mix. Super Mario 64 is a classic that defined all of 3D gaming, Sunshine is beautiful game, Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 have metacritic scores of basically 100...The point is, Mario is like, the essential videogame. And all of my life, his adventures have thrilled and delighted me with beautiful gameplay experiences.

Well that ain't stopping now. Mario Odyssey brings back that magic feeling of gleeful, silly fun. Whether you’re escaping a stampeding Tyrannosaurus Rex on a Vespa, or finding treasure on the moon with your trusty space dog companion,
Or using tricky jump moves to boost yourself to that elusive ledge to see what goodies they got up there, being in this game’s world is a constant source of joy. Oh, those beautiful pixel walls, with 8-bit enemies and secret moons stashed inside! Ah, the fun of taking control of a monster and wreaking havoc using his weird powers! mmmm, that delightful midgame musical number that feels like it was added just to make me smile. And smile I did...all the way to my 999th moon.

Life can be pretty bleak these days. So to be playing this pretty game and then suddenly I transform into a zipper, of all things, and I'm feeling a smile spread across my face as I unizip a pattern in the wall and it falls down and becomes a platform I can cross to help me find the treasure I was after... well, that feeling is kind of priceless, you know? Thanks Nintendo.

2. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild - [Nintendo Switch] I don't like massive open world games. It's not the very idea of them. It's because when I do play them I get sucked into them and get all excited. And that leads me to I ultimately get disappointed when the game turns out to feel shallow compared to smaller, more focused games. You know, like Zelda games.

Well it turns out massive open world games don't have to be all game breaking glitches, unfinishable broken quest lines, and copy-paste npcs, They can be just as focused and polished as Zelda games...When they are Zelda games.

Remember how Link was first revealed, with no breasts or hips or anything like that, just his usual pretty boy face, but in a blue shirt
with a pony tail? And half the internet completely lost their minds? "Whhaaaat? Zelda is a guRL now?!??!!" I still don't understand why
anyone ever thought that. But what must it have been like for those players when they donned the Gerudo disguise? "Huhh? Where's
my player character? He was standing right there, but now a guRL appeared!!??! Is this Linkle? What's happening??? Who am I?"

This game is utterly ginormous. I've climbed many mountains, shattered blades in epic duels against Lyonels, met with funny npcs, played golf even. But I'll never forget the first time I disarmed a moblin and saw him look around for a substitute weapon as a trembling bokoblin visibly sweated nearby, and then I laughed as ...the moblin actually picked up the shrieking bokoblin and swung him at me like a cudgel...That was when I knew BotW was something truly special.

Buh-buh-buh bird is the word, lady on the toilet, the bird is the word, frightened little child, the bird is the word

3. Persona 5
- [PS4] I tried really hard not to get too excited for Persona 4 before it came out. I love-love-loved Persona 3, and I didn't want my bad habit of getting overhyped for sequels and expecting too much ruining my experience. I reasoned with myself that now that I'd already seen interesting, beautifully drawn anime characters building social relationships that directly affected addictive jrpg combat, it wouldn't be as amazing to experience that a second time. I convinced myself that the short 2 year gap from 2006 to 2008 wasn't enough time to make a truly great game, and P4's development was being rushed to get it out there before the PS2 died out completely. But even As I told myself these things, I couldn't help but get butterflies of excitement in my stomach as I looked at clips of Japanese Persona 4 gameplay on gametrailers.com...It just looked so good.

Well, the game came out and it was awesome. I somehow loved it even more than Persona 3, which I really wasn't expecting. There were numerous little improvements like more interesting dungeons and enhancements to the combat, but really the core game underneath is ultimately the same. So it's not easy to quantify what makes Persona 4 so unique and special, but the game is more than the sum of its parts. Once you're sucked into that beautiful little country town, you don't wanna leave. You just want Nanako to be your little sister and Dojima to be your dad, and everyone to gather at the polygamous ceremony where you are married to Chie, Yukiko, Naoto and Rise. Wait, did I write that last part or just think it? Well at least it solves the "best waifu" argument.

You can't explain a game as special as Persona 4. It just had a magic, golden aura. The consequence of this, of course, was that playing through it got me intensely, extremely, unhealthily hyped for Persona 5. I remember being in awe, daydreaming about what Atlus could do with the power of the Playstation 3, and how they were gonna blow everyone away when the game finally came out in 2011 or so. What a dumbass I was! 9 freakin' years of hype passed before Persona 4 finally got its sequel, with Atlus faithful like myself foaming at the mouth long before the game was anywhere near its release date. Was there any chance P5 could live up to the hype? Did it have what it takes to be worthy of P4's "Golden" standard?

In many ways, P5 surpasses P4.

Katsura Hashino returns as director and he wouldn't stand for anything being done the way it was before just because it was already excellent. The battle system is overhauled greatly while still keeping the "1 more turn!" mechanic at its core. The dungeons are even better and much more intertwined with the story than ever before, and the range of fun "normal life" activities you can do that have an impact on your dungeon crawling experience is impressive. I've only got good things to say about the gameplay side of the experience.

The soundtrack is phenomenal. Obviously Shoji Meguro was already operating at genius level as a composer back when he scored P3, but I feel like he's only grown and expanded his range and talent in the many years we waited for P5. And As for the art side of things, well...Back in the P3/P4 days, I would say Shigenori Soejima's character designs and illustrations were the best in the entire videogaming world. No one could create such beautiful, interesting characters with such impressively expressive faces full of personality and charm. But now? Looking at P5, I'd say his art direction is...the single greatest standout achievement in thousands of years of recorded human history. There's so much beauty and style on display here I don't know where to begin describing it. Everything from the jaw dropping menu designs to the cute little phone avatars that accompany each character's text messages is heartwarmingly beautiful. If you've been to Japan, obviously it's amazing to see how they portray things like Shibuya and the train platforms in P5, but even something like a rundown old alleyway just has so much character and personality that for a moment it can transport you there to have a short, bittersweet Japanese holiday in your mind's eye. And of course, whether it's bad guys, bros or babes, Soejima is STILL the best character designer in the business. Which of these amazing ladies will give a Chie Satonaka-like kick to the door of your heart and reign supreme as the best character in P5? Well, we'll get to that a little later. Right now I want to complain about stuff.

This is a masterpiece of a game, it really is. But...It's not quite everything I hoped for. And I was hoping for a lot over those 9 years, let me tell you. There is a weak part of the P5 experience that keeps it from being the game of the year, and it's the localization of the game. Now I don't want to go so far as to say that it's bad. Some of it is great. But Parts of it are bad. And those parts really tarnished my experience. I want to love the P5 crew like I do my P3/P4 posse but instead I just like them a lot because there's a barrier between us where sometimes I have no idea what in the actual fuck they're talking about.

There's a lot of weirdly structured sentences that don't read anything at all like how a human speaks. There's a lot of times when characters have a lot to say about what they're going through, but instead they just yell and swear a lot. There's also times where something crucial is going on and characters talk around it while also not saying anything with any substance off-topic either. Here's an example of a specific localization problem that I decided to keep in my memory bank at a point when the translation was really frustrating me. There's a scene where the phantom thieves are at a festival. They're all mad at Goro Akechi. I think he ate something that was too spicy and as he walks away, Ann says "There he goes, waddling like a comedian." Now, I almost get it. There's some meaning there, right on the edge of my understanding. Maybe she's referring to a specific Japanese comedian, and the way he walks has something to do with maybe something like Akechi going to the bathroom because he didn't like what he ate? There's something there, but where I come from comedians don't waddle, so Ann is almost talking gibberish. There's too many moments like this in the game.

And can I just say I hate the way character's names are pronounced in this game? Actors all speak in a thick American accent until they have to say someone's name, at which point they put on an asian sounding accent - just for the name - before immediately going back to their American accent. It sounds FRICKIN' CRAZY. What's wrong with the way names were spoken in P3 and P4?

That's a lot of complaining for game that I consider a favourite of mine. So let's end on a more positive note. Past Persona games have some amazing characters like the Husky voiced Mitsuru Senpai or the irresistably charming tomboy, Chie-chan. But who should your character date in P5? The straight laced honors student with a hidden cute side, Makoto? The okaku neet, Futaba? The weirdly enchanting Shogi pro, Hifumi Togo? I was shocked to realize that the secret best character in P5 is actually none other than...

...The starving artist, Yusuke Kitagawa! When I first encountered Yusuke, his long face, intense expression and gloomy voice made it immediately clear what type of character he was. "Oh, It's a boring serious guy who keeps everyone from having fun." that's what I thought. And that's also who Yusuke thinks he is too. But we're both wrong, because he's a total weirdo who defies categorization! It might seem a bit subtle at first. Like he will be participating in conversation where he's actually talking about something completely different from everybody else. But before long he will be researching the wrong topic in preparation for a mission, promising to visit you if you only install a little bitty air-conditioning unit in your place, and stopping people from eating their lobster dinner because he thinks the lobsters have transcended food and become "art." All done with the pretentious voice of the an overly serious student. His indescribable strangeness makes him the most fun companion to be with in Persona 5! Congratulations, Yusuke!

4. Divinity: Original Sin 2 - [PC] You gotta be kidding me that this game is only number 4. Another masterpiece to toss on the pile in the ridiculous haul that is 2017 game releases, I guess. This title takes the dangerously addictive, endlessly enjoyable turn based combat from Divinity: Original Sin 1 and, quite frankly, nerfs it into oblivion. And rightly so, too! As fun as all the cool stuff you could do with spells and the environment in D:OS was, it was ridiculously overpowered to the point of being broken. But like, in a really fun way. So is it still fun now that the game has been rebalanced to be challenging even when you understand the depth of the combat mechanics? I'm gonna say...yes. I'm not sure if it's more fun than when it was broken, but this is still a highly enjoyable turn based battle system. And Larian Studios have upped their game in other areas like storytelling and world building. If you haven't played it for some reason, don't miss out on this amazing game - and make sure you get the "Pet Pal" talent. Some of the funniest quests and dialogue come from talking to animals.

5. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - [3DS] This is a refreshingly different Fire Emblem. Like a lot of people, I loved Fire Emblem: Awakening. But playing Fire Emblem: Fates, which is just like FE: Awakening only not as good, I realized something. I don't want Fire Emblem to become like this! I don't want character building, dating and baby making (not the fun part) to become so prominent that good old fashioned turned based combat is no longer the central focus. Well, that's not the case in Echoes. But neither is it the case that this is a straight forward Fire Emblem in the classic style... echoes adds a lot of new features and the game is all the better for it.

Firstly, world exploration. When you visit towns and castles you can look around their taverns and cellars to find loot, meet characters, get quests... Even though it's usually only presented in a visual novel style, it adds a lot of flavour and immersion to the world of Valentia. But there are also dungeon areas that you can explore in full 3D, and I liked this quite a bit - I really hope it's something they dive deeper into in the future. trekking deep into a dungeon and finding a rare weapon you've never seen before is extremely satisfying in this game. And that's because of another mechanic added to Echoes: weapon arts. It works like Final Fantasy IX, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions to use a more recent example. When characters keep using a weapon, it gradually teaches them a special skill they can unleash in combat. Weapons feel like a precious resource for me in this game in way they haven't felt in a Fire Emblem game for a long time, and I'm loving it.

Here's an example of a weapon feeling important that's also a good example of the game feeling more focused on strategic combat. Early on in the game (hard difficulty) there is a mission where my ragtag group of soldiers went up against a large cavalry force. I was getting wrecked. They were heavily armoured and had great movement, while my low level losers had not much of anything, though one did have a "ridersbane," a special lance that does extra damage to cavalry. After failing and restarting the battle multiple times, I came up with a change of tack. I lined up my soldiers on the best defensive turf I could find, with the one using the ridersbane on the far left. After their cavalry broke on my forces, I had that soldier use his ridersbane to do a good chunk of damage on the cavalier in front of him. Then I had the soldier to his right swap weapons with that first soldier and this second soldier immediately attacked the cavalier in front of him with the ridersbane in the same turn. And so on down the line until 5 of my characters had used the one ridersbane to do effective damage and against heavily armoured opponents in a single turn. Then my mage and archer came forward and finished a few of them off and I was able to take care of the remnants in the next turn with nobody dying and forcing me to restart. It was a bit of a weird solution but I like that the game forced me to come up with a special strategy to get through that situation.

So yeah, I liked this one a lot and I hope the Switch Fire Emblem is doing something along these lines. 8-4 Play did another great localization job with Echoes too. Did I mention that 99.9999% of the dialogue is voiced? It's pretty amazing.

6. Dark Souls III: the Ringed City - [PS4] I. AM. A. SOUL. MAN. So of course I'm delighted to see a super solid bit of DLC that adds a nice chunky helping of bosses and weapons to this already excellent game. And they did take a few steps to try and address some of the multiplayer issues I complained about in my voting post from last year, so that's nice.

Dammit Sega! When you bring the Dynamite Dux into it, don't you know how that toys with my feelings?

7. Sonic Mania - [Nintendo Switch] The beautiful blue beast is back! Sonic the hedgehog was on the cover of the first gaming magazine I ever purchased when I was 11 years old. I saw this cool looking, spikey blue dude and immediately knew I just had to play his game. Then I did, and from the moment I ran through my first checkerboard patterned vertical loop with that beautiful green hill zone music playing in the background, I was completely in love. Sonic was my hero and I drew comics about him, made up lyrics to the music in his games, and just generally hero worshipped the thorny blue one.

Smash cut to modern times. If I was on my daily commute to work, and I saw Sonic bleeding out in the street, I would walk right past him and pretend not to notice. And if it's been a particularly hard week... I might even give him a kick. Seriously, you guys...FUCK SONIC. What has it been, a hundred terrible games in a row? Just die Sonic! Why are you still a thing? Why is there all this pregnant sonic deviant art, and Ugandan Knuckles virtual reality gangs, when his games are so terrible? Can't Sonic just fade from memory if his games are this tragically awful?

Well I guess the sun even shines on a hog's ass some days, because they actually made another great sonic game. I don't know what to do...Should I even be happy? I mean, it feels like the goodwill from this game just gives Sega a free pass to make another hundred bad Sonic games! And isn't it kind of cheating, to include the good levels from his old games as Act 1 of a zone and then remix the level into something new for Act 2? Well, whatever. I can't deny that this is great game. Congratulations Sega... I guess.

8. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony - [PS Vita] Rise and shine, ursine! It’s my 3rd rodeo with everyone’s favourite scarebear. If you don’t know the drill, a psychotic robot bear traps high schoolers in a killing game where they can escape by murdering each other. There’s crazy death scenes, courtroom intrigue, funny dialogue, and plenty of surprises. Every Danganronpa I start off underwhelmed by the production values and thinking the characters seem boring. But each game the characters prove to be hilariously weird and they win me over. It's also a ton of fun solving each game's crazy "whodunnit" murder mysteries.

9. Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap
- [Nintendo Switch] This game (aka Wonderboy III for the Sega Master System) is a beloved classic from my childhood and the first “Metroidvania” I ever played. By which I mean it is the first platformer I played where power-ups made exploration and backtracking meaningful and rewarding. It also had beautiful, colourful graphics and music that I to this day treasure in my heart. It’s always bothered me that Megaman, Zelda and various other NES classics have bands playing these sweet covers of their music while Wonderboy III, a Master system game, is overlooked. I want to hear metal covers, acoustic versions and orchestral suites showcasing all the amazing music from Wonderboy III. Come on, people! These 8-bit hits are lit!

At I least now I finally get to hear some new takes on Wonderboy III’s music in this remaster. They did a good job, and the smooth 2D visuals are great too. That said I’m very happy about the retro display options that let me transport myself back to my childhood instantly at any time during gameplay with the mere checking of a box. Unfortunately, the game underneath must have aged terribly, right? Nuh-uh! Everything is very tight: the combat, the backtracking, the secrets, Wonderboy’s powers...the way everything fits together in this game feels just right. So I guess it’s not just a beloved classic. It’s a beloved timeless classic.

10. Golf Story
- [Nintendo Switch] What a pleasant surprise this was. I didn’t expect to be solving a locked mansion werewolf mystery when I started playing a golf game with 16-Bit era inspired graphics, but I guess I don’t expect a lot of things. I’ve heard people complain that the rpg elements in this game are too light. It’s true that there isn’t much there in terms of character customization and the like, but remember the title of the game isn’t “Golf RPG,” it’s “Golf Story.” And I think the story is actually pretty strong, with fun characters and great gags. I especially liked Lara and coach.

Well, that's it. Dark Souls III: The Ringed City was not listed as option on the form so I included my 11th game on that list, which was Metroid: Samus Returns. Man, What an insane year for gaming. Maybe spread things out a little more next time, publishers.

My 2016 Neogaf GotY Voting Thread Post
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