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Posted by staff (203 posts) -

Now we come to the final payoff. This is our final day of deliberations and our final set of categories. We've been through a lot together, and the people here at Giant Bomb hope you've enjoyed our stuff this year. Let's get down to it and clear the slate before we all take on 2018 together.

We also have our last batch of lists from the staff and friends, so check those out, too. Hey, want a video, right here, for you? For free? OK, here it is!

Cool! Here's the final set of Nicolas Cage pictures, which as you know are here to separate you from the winners. Don't scroll down unless you want to see those winners right now!

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Best Super Mario Odyssey Capture


Look, we all saw that E3 trailer and loved the frog and the Hammer Bro and Bullet Bill stuff. None of us predicted that they’d all be overshadowed by a sweet little bird that hops around and stabs things with his beak. It’s weirdly satisfying to jettison enemies off ledges, bounce bombs around, and especially scale walls with this dude. Also, the sound is great when his beak goes into wood. He’s not big and flashy like the T. Rex or other captures in the game, but he’s certainly the one that made us the happiest to control.

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Runners-up:Goomba, Meat

Best Cast of Characters

Night in the Woods

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Night in the Woods might be the best representation of your shitty high school friends in video games ever. Never did I feel more at home then when Mae meets up with Gregg, Bea, and Angus for the first time in years. They go grab some pizza, practice band, and find a disembodied arm and promptly poke it a bunch with a stick. As you progress, you have deeper conversations and get into more serious moments with your crew that delicately touch on topics ranging from mental illness, to sexuality, to crossbows. I felt instantly welcomed back by my friends in Possum Springs, and I felt myself growing with these truly awful teens. Other side characters such as Mae's mom, dad, and a science teacher help make the world feel even more alive. And Gregg rulz, ok?

Runners-up: Pyre, Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator

Worst Game (That We Played)

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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It may be unprecedented in the history of this site for the same game to win both Most Disappointing and Worst Game, but Mass Effect: Andromeda was up to the challenge. With a premise that casts aside nearly all the cool political intrigue and inter-species strife of the Mass Effect universe, a crew of characters largely made up of forgettable clichés, and a story that ultimately reduces down to a generic struggle against some Big Bad Video Game Monsters, Andromeda doesn't come within a galaxy's breadth of recapturing what made the original games so special.

While Andromeda was a vastly disappointing Mass Effect game, it's hardly the worst game ever created. There are a few fleeting moments here and there where you almost see the outlines of a much better game starting to take shape. However, it simply can't be said enough how much the technical failings of this game ruined the experience of playing it. In terms of the number and severity of visible bugs, it's one of the shoddiest big-budget products ever released by a major publisher. Behind-the-scenes reports of the tumult of this game's development may explain its rankness, but they don't excuse it. To go from winning Giant Bomb's 2010 Game of the Year award to "winning" Worst Game in the space of two installments is really something. They killed Mass Effect, and it's not clear when or even if they'll manage to resurrect it.

Runners-up:Drawn to Death, Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back

Best Game

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds means different things to different people. You've got that serious crowd that wants to take it as tactically as possible. At the other end of the spectrum you've got crews of friends who are more interested in goofing around as a unit and getting a kill here and there than figuring out bullet drop. That's kind of the beauty of it right now.

That "something for everyone" approach gives Battlegrounds an extreme pull. It can be your evening hang sesh, where you and your friends hook up on a Discord and talk about the day's happenings while hunting for backpacks, only to get serious in bursts, when the hot moments pop up. That build and release, that sudden tension spike when you roll into your first encounter, gives the entire game weight. And it just ratchets up from there as you get deeper and deeper into a match. Press your luck far enough and you just might win one.

Then there's the solo game, which ends up feeling more serious--at least considering the way most of us seem to play in squads, that is. When you're alone, the whole game feels like a pressure cooker, but the stakes are temporary. Get shot down and you could be back in another match within a few minutes. That quick cycle between matches, combined with your choices about jumping into hot areas or creeping around the outskirts of the action, give you the illusion, at least, of some kind of control. You're the one doing the looting. You're the one doing the shooting. Just keep telling yourself that everything's going to be OK and keep some bandages on-hand.

Then there's the high player count and large maps, which help to give the game a big-scale feel that other popular shooters don't even attempt to match (yet). It manages a neat trick where it somehow makes almost every game you join feel like the most important one you've ever played... yet the penalty for failure is that you just get to start all over again and take another crack at it. No harm, no foul.

It's a fantastic game that generates wild moments and the type of player-created stories that make games different from other mediums. Every story is your own, and every kill feels either like a hard-fought victory or, in the cases where you catch some poor fool slipping, a gift from above. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds brings all of this together under one roof, and it's a tremendous computer game.

Runners-up:The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nier: Automata, Super Mario Odyssey, Cuphead, Destiny 2, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Night in the Woods, Tekken 7, Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator

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#1 Posted by flasaltine (2546 posts) -


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#2 Posted by Dizzyhippos (4625 posts) -

I assumed top 3 would be some combo of BoTW, PubG and mario, Glad to see nier managed to crack that.

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#3 Posted by AWKWARDL0SER (120 posts) -

Mass Effect wins worst game for a buggy launch(despite being a very good game and running really well on PC at least) but PUBG wins GotY?

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#4 Posted by Noelle808 (203 posts) -

I was really pulling for Nier, but a Yoko Taro-ass Yoko Taro game having a wide enough support to crack the top 3 is still pretty amazing, honestly.

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#5 Posted by Ronald (1548 posts) -

Great 5 days of way too much content. I'm going to be spending all weekend catching up on everything. Thank you, everyone!

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#6 Posted by flynnneary (95 posts) -

wow no yakuza 0 huh? pretty big surprise for me with getting tekken on there, will be interesting to listen to!

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#7 Edited by GrayFox666 (151 posts) -

@awkwardl0ser: I strongly disagree with Andromeda being a good game, but it is probably not the worst game.

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#8 Posted by ShaunK (1660 posts) -

@awkwardl0ser: PUBG is poorly optimized, but I never ran into any actual bugs or glitches with it. I think it plays pretty poorly but it's a very fun game.

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#9 Posted by Nadril (648 posts) -

In before drama about PUBG winning. (honestly I don't even like the game much but it was obvious it would win).

Glad to see Nier make it into the top 3 though.

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#10 Posted by simkas (636 posts) -

Mass Effect wins worst game for a buggy launch(despite being a very good game and running really well on PC at least) but PUBG wins GotY?

No, Mass Effect wins worst game for being a bad game. Did you not even bother reading the article?

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#11 Posted by jlaue317 (19 posts) -

PubG just isn't my thing. I understand the appeal and I have loved the Murder Island content. I really dig most of the list though. I look forward to fully listening to the podcast later. Fucking awesome year.

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#12 Posted by AshuraZro (22 posts) -

What a phenomenal year for games. Hope we get at least half as many great titles next year!

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#13 Posted by AdamALC (284 posts) -
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#14 Edited by walruspete (9 posts) -

@awkwardl0ser: Clearly the staff doesn't agree with you that it was "a very good game"

I don't know if I'd have given it worst game, but it's a bad game that took a huge steaming dump on a beloved franchise, so I understand why they did. Andromeda was bad enough that I didn't put it on my personal list even though I played fewer than 10 new games this year.

edit: what actually seems crazy is Horizon not making the list. Didn't finish it myself, but everyone on staff who played it when it came out seemed to like it an awful lot.

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#15 Posted by Ben_H (4187 posts) -

I don't necessarily agree with the top couple games on the list, but that's ok! I'm thankful for all the end of year content again. Thanks everyone!

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#16 Posted by AMyggen (7738 posts) -

@awkwardl0ser: They've been clear about not liking the core game, regardless of bugs. And I agree, it's above all a really poorly written game imo.

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#17 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

3rd year of best streaming game winning GOTY. That's officially a trend.

Which, I mean, come on... we all knew PUBG was going to win for months now.

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#18 Posted by DonChipotle (3521 posts) -

I really wish I lived in the same world where a completely average game like Andromeda gets the title of Worst Game.

Horizon going from a 5 star game to not even on the list seems crazy. I can't believe Dream Daddy cracked a top 20 let alone a top 10 but then I guess there's no accounting for taste! Boom, sneak diss.

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#19 Posted by Assirra (517 posts) -

Anyone that remotely followed the site for the last 6months even occasionally knew PUBG would win.

Nothing but praise during the podcasts, even its own series of videos.

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#21 Posted by Solh0und (2170 posts) -

Mass Effect Andromeda manages to snag most disappointing and worst game. Ouch.

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#22 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (1635 posts) -

Woowee, I did not see this coming after Nier won 4 of the (good) daily awards, and was rated highly on most of the staffs GOTY lists.

Now, I really like PUBG, but.. I'm kinda' bummed. PUBG really seemed like the safe choice they'd settle on just to appease each and all simply due to how popular it is. Guess I'm heading into that video discussion, looking out for Alex swinging wildly for truth, love and android booty.

Great GOTY content this year all around however!

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#23 Posted by ewokfuzzynuttz (4 posts) -

@shaunk: as someone who put a ton of hours in pubg I've had some pretty game breaking bugs in my high end system. That being said some of my best moments with friends were in that game

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#24 Posted by Randomize (15 posts) -

Cheap Cheap was ROBBED!

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#25 Posted by kblosnack (355 posts) -

So, Nier won, right?


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#26 Posted by Frybird (253 posts) -

I'll stop complaining about the GOTY choice since i already did (it is really bad, but unsurprisng)



make it "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PC)"

The game is garbage in it's current form on Xbox One and you know it

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#27 Edited by Chicken008 (1146 posts) -

Generic shooter 4067, yay.
It's clear not everyone likes Battlegrounds, but everyone likes Mario yet it didn't win?

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#28 Posted by ewokfuzzynuttz (4 posts) -

@awkwardl0ser: mass effect is a triple A game that should not have been as buggy as it was pubg was in early access and they kept their word. Pubg is a lot more optimized now it's released

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#29 Posted by MagusMaleficus (1288 posts) -

And the winner for least-surprising and most-telegraphed GOTY goes to...

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#30 Posted by Colonel_Pockets (1315 posts) -

There it is.

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#31 Edited by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

Personally this hasn't been a very good gaming year for me because I don't have a gaming PC or a switch. Can't think of a single game I played that didn't have some sort of major issue... Well, except re7. That game is pretty awesome.

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#32 Posted by Efesell (4478 posts) -

Mass Effect and not Bubsy huh.

Well, it’s y’alls site I guess.

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#33 Posted by Supercancer (188 posts) -

And the winner for least-surprising and most-telegraphed GOTY goes to...

Saints Row: The Third? Jeff, what did you do?

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#34 Posted by MagusMaleficus (1288 posts) -

@do_the_manta_ray: To be fair, their lists are for them as a group, not to appease us. That being said, if they *did* want to appease us, based on the comments here and elsewhere...they fucked up lol.

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#35 Posted by GrayFox666 (151 posts) -

I like that PUBG won, but I am sure I am going to be in the minority looking at where these comments are at

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#36 Edited by nfugitt (16 posts) -

The winner of the 2017 Phantom Pain Award is Breath of the Wild!! Congratulations Nintendo!!!

On all seriousness, it’s just a list. And it’s Giant Bomb’s list. The best game of the year for Giant Bomb was the game they played repeatedly on their site and they loved, just like 2016 and 2015 (albeit 2016 being a legitimate contender in my worthless opinion). I’m glad people I like enjoyed themselves with PUBG as much as they did. I didn’t, but nothing is gospel. All hail PUBG.

PS. Horizon really got fucked by releasing so early in the year. Recency bias is a bitch.

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#37 Edited by Aistan (222 posts) -

There's no universe in which I will possibly think that Andromeda was a worse game than Drawn to Death, Bubsy, Beat Cop, etc. All of those games were terrible. Andromeda had problems at launch that were then mainly fixed a week or two later.

Sure it should have been a contender, but winning? No, that's completely ridiculous.

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#38 Posted by Milkman (19286 posts) -

My top five games of the year are probably Horizon, Pyre, Night in the Woods, Yakuza 0 and Sonic Mania. So, uh, I guess me and GB see things pretty differently nowadays.

The rest of them I get not making it but Horizon not even being in the top 10 seems kind of crazy.

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#39 Posted by ottoman673 (1269 posts) -

I'm very surprised that Dream Daddy is in the top 10.

Wow. Haven't listened yet but I'm not sure how to feel about a (very average!) visual novel being one of the 10 best games of this year, let alone any other. Especially over things like Horizon, Observer, and Nioh.

What a weird time to be alive.

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#40 Posted by MosesWalker (112 posts) -

Congrats to PUBG for over coming the odds of being an early access game with loot boxes and winning GOTY. Well deserved.

Cool to see Nier: Automata in the top 3.

Surprised that Zelda surpassed Mario.

No Horizon or Yakuza 0? I don't think you guys liked those games as much as you proclaimed.

Overall GOTY feels like it should reflect the opinions of the entire site and I think this list does a good job of that. Well done, Giant Bomb. See you all in the new year.

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#41 Posted by mscott7426 (43 posts) -

Glad Pubg won.

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#43 Edited by Dastardry (122 posts) -

Gee, how come Abby's and Jason's pity slots are 9 and 10 but Brad's is 6th?

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#44 Posted by Dray2k (884 posts) -
Loading Video...

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#45 Edited by GiantSlayer007 (1 posts) -

Even though I ended up putting Horizon in my personal Top 10, currently listening to the deliberations I can understand it not being here. Its definitely one of those amazing games that’s great on the moment but on a crazy year like this, it’s weird how there were things that didn’t quite stick with me also. Just remember liking and platinuming it, but don’t ask me about moments. Crazy.

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#46 Posted by plethomacademia (20 posts) -

@simkas said:

@awkwardl0ser said:

Mass Effect wins worst game for a buggy launch(despite being a very good game and running really well on PC at least) but PUBG wins GotY?

No, Mass Effect wins worst game for being a bad game. Did you not even bother reading the article?

I mean, you didn't, because it very clearly states: "However, it simply can't be said enough how much the technical failings of this game ruined the experience of playing it. In terms of the number and severity of visible bugs, it's one of the shoddiest big-budget products ever released by a major publisher."

You can argue like others did above that major publisher != early access, but they definitely said it was about bugginess. If you're gonna snark about reading, at least do it yourself.

It was a mediocre game, but they seem to have just conflated disappointing and bad in this case.

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#47 Posted by Mikemcn (8577 posts) -

PubG is a damn good choice and game!

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#49 Posted by Mystyr_E (1475 posts) -

I think Nier/Zelda are pretty much the Bayonetta 2 to PUBG's SoM as in "the real game of the year was snobbed". Dream Daddy is on (with repeated arguments of "it's so good though") despite having other VN's doing what it's doing but better, Destiny 2, a game somehow worse than Destiny 1 is here instead of Nioh, Yakuza, P5, Horizon.

I get it's a staff list but lawd, man.