It’s Almost Game of the Year Time, Are You Ready?

It's November. Which means the spooky fun of Halloween season—watching scary movies, getting costumes together, generally enjoying the fall—is over, and it's time to prepare for the next season.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I have been thinking about this a fair bit this past week. Mainly because I think my top ten list could be all Switch games. Which if you had told me was the case at the start of the year, I would have said you were crazy. Heck I didn’t think back in January that there would even be ten released games that I would want to play. They have absolutely smashed it this year.

I think this is a going to be a very contentious year. Every singly time a big game came out this year I always felt, “This is GOTY obviously” and another release just overtakes it. PUBG, Persona, Nier, Wolfenstein 2, Super Mario Odyssey…I just have no idea which one is going to clinch it. There’s also been some great indies this year although I don’t think there has been anything as strong as Undertale or Papers Please.

It’ll be a tough one to actually make a top 10 for those who do that.

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I haven’t played a lot of games from this year BUT I hope Gravity Rush 2 at least gets a mention in these discussions despite all of it’s flaws. That game feels like it was forgotten way too quickly. It is a very charming game & I hope they get to do more with that series because it is an interesting world & the cast is simply great.

Also I still can’t get over Nier: Automata.


I hope people remember that Pyre happened. That game was beautiful and well written and super fun!


[The Hollow Knight Fan Has Logged On]

Hello Danielle, yes please play more Hollow Knight, it’s very good, trust me.

But real talk, I think I’ve already settled my GOTY list, surprisingly - I don’t see anything that I think would get on there that I missed or is coming in the next two months.

And if my little spiel at the top of this post didn’t give it away, yes, I think Hollow Knight is by far the best game released this year - its sense of charm and wonder and pure mechanical brilliance make it probably the best metroidvania to have been made since Symphony of the Night and I hope it gets all the accolades it deserves because it’s a real shame that most major game outlets have passed it by.


oh noooo

(Nier Automata and Wolfenstein 2 are my clear #1 and #2 at the moment, I’ve also really liked Pyre, Night in the Woods, Everything, Hellblade and Prey, in some order)

Yakuza 0, Destiny 2, Pyre, Splatoon 2 are all games that I’ve finished which will likely feature. I suspect Fire Emblem Heroes will squeeze in there somewhere as something which has been a constant in my daily life for months now. I’m about to wrap up Yakuza Kiwami, but then I’ve got Mario + Rabbids and Persona 5 to finish, and NieR, Breath of the Wild, Heat Signature, Horizon and more to get to.

November is definitely when I kick out of “just playing whatever is new or takes my fancy at the time” mode and more into “I need to get as many of these games done as possible ahead of GotY considerations.” Story games tend to get priority there, because I know that podcasts I listen to will (reasonably) go into heavy spoilers. But I’ll try to crank through as much as I can.

Thankfully I’m about done with Destiny 2 until the DLC, having maxed out all 3 characters on PS4 and levelled my PC warlock about as much as I can consistently (I might put in a couple of hours a week going forward to keep topping her up). I reckon I can actually get through most of these games.

Honestly I wish I could apply my brain mode from end-of-year to the rest of the year, as I tend to put off finishing stuff and fiddle around instead of actually wrapping things up. Still, I love this time of year for the slightly hectic rush to get through everything!

2017 has been an incredible years for games it seems and i’m curious to hear the discussion, but at the same time my goty is set in stone in such a way that my brain got broken wrt being able to hear any kind of criticism of it without immediately getting annoyed, which i recognize as a personal problem. hopefully i can calm down enough to listen to giantbomb’s goty podcasts because those are always fun

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I feel like I’ve played some incredible games this year with a few major exceptions on the Switch. I was working and making good money and then suddenly my wife was also working and making good money! Wow! I’m gonna totally buy a switch and Zelda and Mario and it’s gonna be grand. I just have to get through the review period at work so I can focus. Ok so now I’m in the final stage of the review…not looking good. Make a deal with my wife that if I make it through the review (failing meant termination - don’t worry, not a predator, just a bad fit) I can buy a Switch bundle. Awesome. Well, ok the review is going badly. Boss yelled at me. Very confusing. Feel like things are slipping away. Therapist says to resign, wife says to resign, parents and friends say to resign. Situation becoming very toxic! I should resign. Tomorrow is my last day. No Switch for me. Maybe one day. Back to paycheck to paycheck. I heard Starbucks is hiring.

I always listen to the Giant Bomb podcasts, really looking forward to having Abby and Ben as a part of those this year, but I know that one game is going to have to be a sacrificial lamb. There’s no way I can afford/find the time to beat both Nier and Wolfenstein before my willpower caves and I listen to them, so one of them will be getting spoiled. Probably Nier if I had to guess.

Other than that, I’ve been pretty good this year with getting in to games I really wanted to play, but I’ve also gotten more selective just because I’ve got so much less free time. I really hope RE7 doesn’t get lost in the shuffle because I really enjoyed that game but it came out so early that I can easily see it getting past everyone save maybe Patrick.

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It’s gonna be tough to narrow it down, there’s so many games this year that are potential GOTY contenders for me: Breath of the Wild, Rakuen, Butterfly Soup, NieR: Automata, What Remains of Edith Finch, Night in the Woods, Tacoma, Pyre, Open Sorcery, Danganronpa V3, Doki Doki Literature Club, and Super Mario Odyssey were all fantastic.

No I am not ready, thank you very much.

There’s been way too many games that I’ve wanted to check out this year that I still haven’t made the time for, and it makes me sad. On that list includes Prey, Nier: Automata, Danganronpa V3, Tacoma, Pyre, and Wolfenstein II, to name a handful.

From what I have played, I dunno. I’ve still got a way to go on it, but Etrian Odyssey V is probably up there. That’s probably just a “me” thing since I’ve probably said that about every mainline entry in the series since EO2. I just really like that series, y’all. Only other ones I would consider above it would be Breath of the Wild and PUBG at this point. Both games do feel pretty special, at least.

My list as of now is

NieR: Automata
Persona 5
Breath of the Wild
Night in the Woods
Hollow Knight
Doki Doki Literature Club
Super Mario Odyssey
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
Horizon Zero Dawn

My list may change when I get the change to get some other top games like New Colossus, Tacoma, and more but I can safely say Nier is my Game of the year.

I do want to say to not just @danielle but for everyone, Nier is the one to get to the end (In it case the 4 endings) and not just stop in the middle. Same with Doki Doki Literature Club for those who are looking into it.


I hope that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice gets a look in, as I loved that game on so many levels. My main problem, though, is just not enough time and/or money to get and try all the games I want this year. Just got Assassin’s Creed Origins and having fun (although nervous my CPU is going to melt if I play too much), but Wolfenstein New Colossus and NieR: Automata are still sitting at the top of my wishlist so I can’t honestly make a decision without having played them.

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100% behind Super Mario Odyssey. As dazzlingly cool as Persona 5 was, as aesthetically gorgeous as Pyre is, and as much of a groundbreaking experience Breath of the Wild is in totally reinventing its series formula…Mario Odyssey is as close to perfect as the series has ever been. The mechanical depth and close attention to detail of Super Mario Sunshine, with the focus on a cohesive big-picture experience of a Mario Galaxy or 3D World. I haven’t enjoyed a game as much in years.

Nier is okay. It’s fascinating in terms of its narrative and theming (I’m literally wearing a t-shirt for it right at this moment), but it’s kind of messy and one of those cult hits that will likely have more value over time.

Don’t know if it’s anyones’ speed but Opus Magnum is probably the best game Zachtronics has put out

If all y’all play only one game other than Nier Automata this year…well, arguably it should be Breath of the Wild just because no one’s going to stop gushing about it.

But for a game as a sum experience, I haven’t experienced a more consistently beautiful, engaging, and complete an example of the craft than Pyre so far in 2017. It’s a genuine masterpiece. Had it come out in another year or era that wasn’t so fucking flooded with tremendous indie and mid-tier titles (say, 2011, when Bastion was enough to make big waves) I have to imagine it’d be setting the scene on fire.

In a lot of ways Pyre feels like a western “answer” to all the classic character-driven Japanese strategy RPG franchises like Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea et al re the party dynamics and the effects of your strategic choices on character narrative and vice versa. At least insofar as everything but the battles are concerned (which are absolutely not turn-based strategy but a blast for anyone who likes the sound of 16 bit-era arcade sports games fused with real-time fantasy combat).

Greg Kasavin’s writing and worldbuilding are so good. Jen Zee’s art is so fucking good - hands down the most visually absorbing game of the year for me, with all due awe to Cuphead. The interface is a goddamn dream, borrowing the best bits of diagetic interaction from adventure games and a world map movement system reminiscent of a light take on Oregon Trail or the Banner Saga. It’s hard to describe but even just clicking around menus in Pyre feels good for reasons other than it just looking amazing all the time. The level of polish down to the tiniest detail is astounding, especially for a team of Supergiant’s size.

Narratively there’s a lot of interesting shit going on - certainly more interesting than your standard save-the-world fare. The plot’s on the simple side (at least at first) but where the game shines is in its personalities and - without getting into spoilers - the impact of your choices on your party both strategically and in the way their individual stories play out and the way those two things feed back into each other.

Anyway. I think Nier Automata is easily the most “important” title of the year in terms of interesting things done with the medium, and it’s probably my actual GOTY, but I can’t honestly say I’ve enjoyed anything in 2017 more wholeheartedly than Pyre.


I’ve been playing PLUNKBAT almost exclusively so it might be a bit of a one horse race for me. Tacoma was great. DOOM was very good. Was drowned out a bit by the rest of the year but Diaries of a spaceport janitor was uniquely interesting before my save broke

My top 4 is currently

  1. Wolfenstein 2
  2. Hellblade
  3. XCOM War of the Chosen
    (now I don’t own a switch if I did I’m fairly certain Mario Odyssey would be 1 or 2 on it.)