2017 Video Game of the Year Odds

Still from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Photo Credit: Nintendo

Picking the video game of the year in 2017 is like playing Cuphead on Xbox: there’s lots to like, but it’s so damn hard to win.

As we enter awards season, all kinds of games from myriad categories are receiving well-deserved accolades, but the Holy Grail of awards that every developer is searching for is the highly coveted “Game of the Year,” particularly the one handed out by IGN.

While picking just one game is a near impossible task every year, 2017 feels uniquely arduous. We have received a plethora of fantastic games over the last 12 months. At this point, though, it appears to be the year of Nintendo. Not only did it release the Switch console to rave reviews, but it did a masterful job of bringing on games that have gotten people excited about the company again, and the Game of the Year award could wind-up being a two-kart Mario race between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.

Zelda and Mario will be challenged by the likes of Divinity: Original Sin II, Persona 5, and Horizon Dawn, all quality games in their own right which scored high on Metacritic (high 80s to mid-90s). At this point, though, they remain underdogs to the two huge Nintendo titles for IGN’s coveted Game of the Year accolade. Meanwhile, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBGS) found early success, but has been terribly glitchy and likely won’t knock off the more polished titles.

Below are the nine games in the mix for IGN’s Game of the Year award, along with their odds of winning the coveted prize.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 3/2

Metacritic Score: 97
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Is this the greatest Nintendo game ever made? Quite possibly. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a fun and exhilarating game that boasts one of the biggest open-worlds we have ever explored. The game offers something to old and new players alike with fantastic gameplay and soundtrack. This is truly a one of a kind experience and a masterpiece of a game with “instant classic” written all over it. It’s the odds-on favorite to win Game of the Year at many different awards shows.

Super Mario Odyssey: 2/1

Metacritic Score: 96
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Odyssey is 1(b) as far as greatest games of 2017 and could easily give Link a run for his Rupees. This game delivers in a big way with a mix of nostalgia plus new and unexpected mechanics. Games are meant to be fun, and no matter how much Mario evolves, the fun factor only increases.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: 9/1

Metacritic Score: (yet to be scored)
Platform: Microsoft Windows

If you are into survival shooters then PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is something you should definitely pick up. Similar to other games like Dayz, or the Japanese movie Battle Royale, players are dropped on a remote island where they must scavenge for weapons and then kill or be killed. This was an Early Access game (players could try it out as the game was still being developed) and there have been some glitches, but it was also one of the most popular titles of the year; it has already sold over twenty million copies and held a peak concurrent player count of over two million.

Persona 5: 19/1

Metacritic Score: 93
Platform: Playstation 4

If you’re in the market for a great Japanese role-playing game (JRPG), then Persona 5 is for you. The game delivers on so many different levels. Not only does it have a highly detailed and gorgeous aesthetic, but it provides you with 100 hours of gameplay in its sprawling dungeon design, which should keep you busy for at least a few weeks. Persona 5 has taken the JRPG genre and turned it on its head.

Horizon Zero Dawn: 19/1

Metacritic Score: 89
Platform: Playstation 4

Once this game gets its robotic dinosaur hooks into you, good luck putting it down. Horizon Zero Dawn is a unique action/role-playing game that delivers a flexible combat style along with a story that will touch you in a profound way. You play as Aloy, a girl who lives in a primitive, machine-infested world where she must battle robotic monsters and solve an overarching mystery. It is easily one of the best games of the year and something you should have in your collection.

Divinity: Original Sin II: 50/1

Metacritic Score: 93
Platform: Microsoft Windows

This has to be the king of RPG games this year, if not the last decade. Divinity: Original Sin II tells a phenomenal story that will keep you engaged as you either talk or battle your way out of predicaments. It is incredibly detailed and gives you the flexibility to explore and engage however you feel. But know that you’ll be rewarded or punished for every decision you make. If you were a fan of the old RPG Baldur’s Gate 2, you will love this game.

Destiny 2: 50/1

Metacritic Score: 88
Platform: Microsoft Windows/PlayStation 4/Xbox One

It’s not enough to just run around shooting at random targets. Destiny 2 takes the co-op shooter to a whole new level. Not only does it tell a great story, but this sequel delivers fantastic gameplay, graphics, and rewards that will keep you playing for hours. It’s easily one of the most addicting games of 2017.

Cuphead: 100/1

Metacritic Score: 88
Platform: Microsoft Windows/Xbox One

One of the most gorgeous games of the year is also one of the infuriating to play. Cuphead really makes you work and earn your rewards. Even though this is one of the best games of 2017, it is not for everyone. It was clearly made for people who enjoy throwing their Xbox controller in disgust.

Nier: Automata: 100/1

Metacritic Score: 88
Platform: Playstation 4

If there was an award for most creative, or just downright weird, Nier: Automata would win hands down. Given that players will go from battling a transformer to riding a moose in order to escape killer robots, it’s hard to pinpoint what genre this game falls in. Is it an RPG? Yes. Is it a hack and slash? Yes. Is it a shooter? A brawler? A text adventure? Yes to all, and that’s what makes this game so incredible; it changes up its style without a moment’s notice. Sure, things get weird, but this game keeps you on your toes and will remain in your memory banks well after you complete it.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus: 150/1

Metacritic Score: 88
Platform: Microsoft Windows/PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch

Wolfenstein II, which allows a single player to mow down Nazis in spectacular and violent fashion, came out at a perfect time. However, this shooter is more than just blood splatter. It also contains some fantastic character work, including a memorable baddie in General Engel. If you are someone who watches too much news and needs a way to unleash, give Wolfenstein II a go and collect your Nazi scalps.

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