2017 has been an outstanding year for video games. We’ve had incredible sequels to some of our favorite series (Mario, Zelda, Resident Evil), amazing new IP (Horizon:Zero Dawn, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Hellblade) and imaginative indie games (Cuphead, Night in the Woods, Tacoma). Singling out our favorite games of the year has been tough, but having a wealth of great games to choose from isn’t a terrible problem to have.
This year we’ve expanded on our Game of the Year coverage by inviting some of our friends to share their picks with you and by also handing out some “special” new awards for games that stood out over the past 12 months. So you can read all of that right here and next week we’ll be back with our own picks for our top 3 games of the year. Enjoy!
Friends of Mega Dads Game of the Year Awards
Ben Bertoli (Author, 101 Video Games to Play Before Your Grow Up)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild- ” There were a lot of well-developed and exciting games released in 2017. It was an excellent year, with just about every title on my radar living up to the hype. But Breath of the Wild went above and beyond. I was anticipating another solid Zelda outing, with more of the same dungeons, combat, and collectibles fans know and love. I wasn’t expecting a game that was so non-linear and creative that I would be playing it for literally hundreds of hours. Breath of the Wild stands as a game that somehow managed to push the Zelda franchise to new heights, and I thoroughly enjoyed climbing there (when it wasn’t raining).”
Taylor Kurosaki (Narrative Director, Infinity Ward)
Destiny 2 – “My game of the year for 2017 is Destiny 2. Bungie have created a universe that blends sci-fi and fantasy with the feel and scale of Halo: Combat Evolved and it rules. Who wants to be a hoverbike-riding, medieval, space knight with a sniper rifle? Me, and all my friends. Destiny is like heroine, it’s got me enjoying RPG progression, MMO/co-op play, and even competitive multiplayer. I’m hooked.”
Raheem “Mega Ran” Jarbo (Musician, Extra Credit)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – “Game of the….decade! Well, maybe at least half decade. Some small frame rate issues notwithstanding, BOTW is…just beautiful. There are times I just go to the top of a hill just to get a really good look at the amazing scenery. The combat is fun, the secrets are challenging but not frustrating, the characters are smooth and bright, the cooking is addictive, the music’s awesome. It’s a darn near perfect game, and in a really great year for gaming, it’s my top dog.”
Wouter McDutch aka The Hashtagonist (Freelance Writer)
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – “While some might frown upon remasters making it into GOTY lists, I do not play by these rules. Especially not when such a game is actually one of the best games ever made. I am of course talking about “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen”.
Never have I played a game that felt as if it was created specifically for me. The combat, the world and the at first glance bizarre storyline all hit the exact right notes that made me pour over 200 hours in this 60 hour-long game. This game is so much fun, that after I popped my Platinum trophy, I felt sad that it was done. Before I logged of, I ran my character to a beach with a view near her home town and needed to take a moment to say goodbye. What a fantastic game.”
Mike Futter (Author, The GameDev Business Handbook)
Super Mario Odyssey – “This was a year of redemption for Nintendo’s home console business. The Nintendo Switch brings together the best of the company’s handheld knowledge, the lessons of two unsteady generations, and a history of uncontainable joy in-game design. Nothing better embodies the Switch’s inaugural year success than Super Mario Odyssey. While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild deserves credit for its scope and ambition, it’s Mario who reminds us of the joy bursting out of Nintendo consoles. With engaging puzzles, clever nods to the franchise’s history, delightful settings, and a wonderful new Cap-panion, Super Mario Odyssey wins the year for reminding me that games are supposed to be fun. Thanks for making me smile, Nintendo.”
Dean Takahashi (Journalist, GamesBeat)
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – “Hellblade captures the journey of its main character, Senua, into madness. The Celtic warrior struggles with inner demons as she goes on a quest to save her beloved from the mythical Norse underworld. It is a terrifying game, thanks in no small part to the screams of Melina Juergens, who played the role of Senua and won an acting award for her first-ever acting role. I liked how everything came together in Hellblade to support the idea of getting the gamer to empathize with Senua in her psychosis, a mental illness condition where she sees things that other people can’t see. It didn’t just tell you a story like a “walking simulator.” It lets you walk in her shoes. Four years in the making at an indie studio, the game was funded in part by biomedical research charity Wellcome Trust, which gave Ninja Theory a $395,000 grant to do research on mental illness. That was money well spent, and gamers are the beneficiaries.”
Mega Dads Bonus Awards
Hottest Dad of the Year: Mat (Dream Daddy)
Let’s be real here for a moment. Yes, Craig is pretty ripped and Robert has that bad boy thing going for him, but we all know that there is really only one choice when it comes to finding true love in the cul-de-sac and it’s Mat. He pretty much has it all. He’s smart, he’s into music, and he makes the best terrible dad jokes. Finding the right hot dad to help me raise my teenage daughter isn’t a task to be taken lightly, and Mat was the choice all along.
Game Most Likely To Make You Poop In Your Pants: Resident Evil 7
Early on in my play through of Resident Evil 7, I wasn’t sure how far I would get with the game. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because I was having a difficult time getting very far due to being scared out of my damn mind. I tried to play the game like a tough guy (at night, lights out, headphones on) but after a few nights I had to give in and turn on all of the lights like a little sissy boy. Those first few hours are some of the most tense and terrifying I’ve ever played and it helped to cement the game as one of the best games of the year and one of the best entries in the series.
Best Binge-Drinking Cat: Mae Borowski
While many games this year side-stepped expectations and provided unique character moments, it was hard to find a more standout character experience in 2018 than Night in the Woods. The protagonist, Mae Borowski, persistently charms the player with her shenanigans throughout this off-key adventure. From beating an elderly women’s broken furnace with a baseball bat, to stealing belt buckles from the mall, to projectile-vomiting after a night of binge-drinking at a party in the woods, Mae was one of the most fun characters we played as all year.
Best Game to say “F*** You, 2017”: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Wolfenstein inadvertently provided us with the most therapeutic relief for the shit-storm that was 2017 by letting us empty countless rounds into nazi scumbags. The only thing that could have made it more satisfying is if there was a cheat code that allowed you to equip the enemy with khakis and tiki torches. We’ve got our fingers crossed that we get a DLC pack that lets us go on a mission to Breitbart offices to fire RPGs at Mecha-Bannon.
Most Awkward Mini Game Collection: 1 2 Switch
For a game that was billed as being silly fun for the entire family, this Nintendo Switch launch title was filled with an absurd amount of masturbatory and fellatio themed content. Whether you’re milking a cow, shaking a bottle of champagne, or eating as many virtual….. sandwiches as you can, the game never ceases to make you feel uncomfortable while you play. Also, the game’s insistence that you maintain eye contact throughout most of the mini games ensures that you’ll wish you had just brought Mario Kart to this party.
Thank you to all of our friends for sharing their GOTY picks with us! Make sure to check back on Thursday, January 4th for Part Two of our GOTY coverage which includes our own picks for the Top 3 video games of 2017!