This post doesn’t need much of an intro. These are our picks for the best that 2017 had to offer in the world of gaming. If you haven’t yet, be sure to look over our nominees before browsing through our winners!
Without further ado, let’s dive in. Here are the winners of the 2017 Obilisk Awards!
Game of the Year
Winner: Persona 5!
Winning Game of the Year is always something to be extremely proud of. It’s the highest honor, after all. But in a year like 2017, with so many spectacular titles, it’s particularly special. And while this award could honestly have gone to any of our nominees, we felt that Persona 5 deserved it most.
Fans of the series had waited nearly a decade for this game. Many had grown impatient, and most were anxious to see if the 5th installment in the series would meet their expectations. Fortunately, ATLUS absolutely delivered, meeting all expectations and then some.
Persona 5 is a true masterpiece. It’s one of the most polished and stylish games that has ever been made, with visuals and music that will continue to impress you all throughout the 100+ hour experience. It tells an enthralling and riveting story based around some truly lovable and memorable characters. It features deep and rewarding turn-based combat, and seemingly endless fun to be had as you explore the streets (and palaces) of Tokyo with your friends.
If you haven’t played this incredible game, you’re missing out. It’s one of the all-time greatest JRPGs, and for us, it’s 2017’s Game of the Year.
Best Art Direction
This likely won’t come as a surprise to most of you. Our pick for Best Art Direction is Cuphead!
While this game is undoubtedly a terrific platformer, it’s main selling point is its art. Through countless hours of hard work, the talented folks at Studio MDHR have somehow managed to create a game that looks just like a 1930s cartoon. Every level features stunning scenes with lively characters and vibrant, alluring artwork. If you’re someone that appreciates eye candy, this is the game for you!
Winner: NieR: Automata!
NieR: Automata is a game that isn’t afraid of telling a complex and philosophical story — something we don’t see very often in the world of video games. And that’s exactly why it’s our pick for Best Narrative.
Without getting into spoilers, all that needs to be said is that Nier: Automata tells its story in an extremely unique way, and that it will stop you in your tracks many times over. Sometimes you’ll stop just to think, racking your brain to try and make sense of what you’ve just witnessed or learned. Other times you’ll stop simply because you’re too overwhelmed by emotion to continue. Either way, NieR: Automata is a halting and haunting experience. It’s a story that will stay with you for a long, long time.
Winner: Persona 5!
We’ve been treated to some fantastic music this year, but Persona 5’s is a cut above the rest, and it’s receiving our award for Best Soundtrack.
From the smooth jazz heard in Beneath the Mask on a rainy day, to the bombastic combat anthem we’re treated to with Last Surprise, Persona 5 never ceases to bless our ears with fitting and incredibly catchy music. What more needs to be said?
Other than, of course… “You’ll never see it coming!”
Best Audio Design
Winner: Resident Evil 7!
Horror games rely heavily on excellent audio design to build suspense and fear in players. Resident Evil 7 did a particularly exceptional job with this, and it’s receiving our award for Best Audio Design.
While you might not particularly enjoy the sounds this game presents you with, there’s no denying that they’re extremely well done. Resident Evil 7 wouldn’t be half the game it is without all the painfully crisp and clear crunching, squishing, crawling, and groaning we hear all throughout the chilling experience.
Best Creative Vision
When it comes to originality, Cuphead clearly stands out. That’s why it’s our pick for Best Creative Vision.
Studio MDHR set out years ago to create something that the game industry had quite literally never seen, as no game had ever featured visuals like those seen in Cuphead. Simply trying to imagine how they managed to create a game that looks just like a 1930s cartoon is mind-boggling. The creative process behind the creation of this game was an extremely unique one, and that’s why Cuphead deserves this award.
Winner: Persona 5!
Once again, this award could have gone to any of the candidates, and once again, Persona 5 is the title that’s receiving it.
Persona 5 is a rather unique RPG. So much of it consists of you simply playing through a year in the life of a high school student, and much of what you do isn’t all that peculiar. You go to school, you study, you work a part-time job, you spend time with your friends, and so on. What’s incredible is that the game makes even the most mundane things engaging and relevant. Answering questions in class has never been more fun as you hope to guess right and increase your Knowledge stat by a point or two.
Add on an unforgettable cast of characters that you build relationships with, an incredible setting in the form of Tokyo, a complex and engrossing story, and strategic combat based around items and abilities and you’ve got everything needed for a fantastic role-playing experience.
Best Multiplayer Game
Overwatch may not have come out this year, but its continuity and ongoing relevance in the industry make it a game that must be considered for any Best Multiplayer award. And, as it happens, we think it’s the multiplayer title that’s most deserving of the award this year.
In an increasingly saturated market that seems to have an intriguing new multiplayer game to play every other month, Overwatch consistently manages to sit at the top. And with the constant addition of new heroes and maps, the game is only growing in popularity as it offers more and more addicting, competitive action.
Best Action Game
Winner: NieR: Automata!
While its narrative is arguably its strongest aspect, NieR: Automata’s action-packed gameplay is nothing to scoff at, either. It’s so good, in fact, that it’s our pick for 2017’s Best Action Game.
NieR features several gameplay styles, all of which are fast-paced and action-focused. The most prominent among them is the standard 3rd-person gameplay, where you dash around, slicing and shooting your way through the game’s many various enemies. You’ll also frequently be faced with epic set pieces where you’ll fight massive, terrifying enemies.
The fast-paced combat coupled with the game’s momentous soundtrack make for some of the most exhilarating and intense gameplay 2017 has to offer. Platinum Games have definitely succeeded in making an excellent action game with NieR: Automata.
Best Fighting Game
Winner: Injustice 2!
While the likes of Tekken 7 or ARMS are also worthy of our Best Fighting Game award, we’ve decided that Injustice 2 deserves it most.
NetherRealm Studios, the team behind Mortal Kombat X, have created an incredible fighting game in Injustice 2. The game features an exciting (and steadily growing) set of playable characters from the DC universe, and actually has a surprisingly good story mode as well as several other worthwhile game modes. Its fast, “in your face” gameplay can be difficult to get the hang of, but also extremely rewarding if mastered. And, above all, the game’s presentation is fantastic. The look of the characters and their super moves is spectacular, and makes winning a fight that much more satisfying.
Best Sports/Racing Game
Winner: FIFA 18!
It’s admittedly difficult to compare sports/racing games, but for us, FIFA 18 is the best of the bunch this year.
FIFA 18 may not add much to the franchise, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an incredible soccer sim. You’d be hard-pressed to think of any game that better captures the feeling of a sport. From the look of the players to the atmosphere of the stadiums, it’s all on point. And the gameplay is great as well, even if PES 18 does have a bit of an advantage in that area.
Best Indie Game
This won’t come as much of a surprise at this point, but yes, our pick for Best Indie Game this year is Cuphead!
There isn’t much about what makes this gem great that hasn’t already been said. If you’d like to read more about why this game is a must-play, check out our review!
Most Anticipated Game
Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2
We’ve got some huge titles from several beloved franchises/studios to look forward to next year. It’s certainly a good time to be a gamer! However, the game we’re most excited for is Red Dead Redemption 2.
We’ve talked quite a bit about the trailers we’ve seen from Red Dead Redemption 2 as well as what to expect of the sequel. It’s shaping up to be an excellent followup to one of the greatest video games ever made, and we can’t wait to learn more about it in the coming months!
And there you have it! Those are the winners of the 2017 Obilisk Awards. This has been one of the best years in gaming in recent memory — arguably even of all time. It’s been a joy for all of us to write about the games we love so much throughout the year, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our award choices.
We’d love to hear from you guys too! What are your personal picks for the various categories? Feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like to share!