Ho ho ho! Oh, how tempted I am to give this to Rainbow Six Siege again. Credit where it’s due, Ubisoft has done an amazing job at keeping players engaged in its traditionally untraditional online shooter, and one year later Rainbow Six Siege is still near the top of my multiplayer pile, wedged somewhere in between this autumn’s greats.
If we’re playing by the rules, though (and I guess we probably should when it comes to this serious video games business), it’s impossible for me not to award my Game of the Year to The Last Guardian.
As my fondness for The Notebook will tell you, I’m a sucker for tales of love and companionship, and there is no greater video game story of friendship than Ueda’s latest. Like everyone else I had my concerns – development issues like that rarely result in a true classic. But the final product is a game worthy of being remembered alongside video gaming’s greats; a powerful story of two unexpected friends forming an unbreakable bond and setting out on an emotionally arresting journey through a landscape steeped in mystery. It’s a game I can see myself returning to time and time again (one that I will undoubtedly be excited to replay when it’s remastered for PS5), and a new benchmark for AI companions. The Fable 2 dog has nothing on Trico.
Coming close, though, is BT, the robot companion in Titanfall 2’s surprisingly excellent campaign. Of the three shooters released this autumn (and let’s not forget I love them all), Titanfall 2 is the one that’s managed to keep its hooks in the most. Again, no real surprise – the original Titanfall was my GOTY 2014 after all – but the combination of an inventive, winning campaign and stupidly fast-paced multiplayer makes it stand out amongst the crowd. It’s a close runner-up to TLG, although it was a tough one to call: you’ll still see me jumping into Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare regularly throughout 2017 as well.
My final runner-up is… well, I can’t actually decide. I’m split down the middle between Inside and DOOM, both entirely different games, but both excellent in their own ways. And whenever I think about Overwatch, I think about all the good times I’ve had playing it and how I wish I’d been able to dedicate more time to it. Hitman and Dark Souls 3 are great as well, as is DiRT Rally console and Forza Horizon 3. And I’ll probably love XCOM 2, Paper Mario: Colour Splash and Gears of War 4 as well, even though I haven’t gotten round to playing any of them yet.
It’s been a fantastic year for games, then, even if the rest of it has been spectacularly awful. Hopefully next year can keep up the quality on the games front, too, and with two new consoles – Switch and Scorpio – and titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda, Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil 7, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, South Park: TFBW and (oh my gosh) Sonic Mania, it’s already looking promising.
While we’re talking about 2017, though, it’s with great sadness to say that this will likely be the last post you read from me on VideoGamer. I’ve had a wonderful four years here, but I’m leaving over Christmas to begin a new chapter next year. I can’t thank you all enough for your kindness, support, nonsense and laughter – I couldn’t have wished for a better community, and I’m grateful for having the opportunity to have worked with such great friends. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have, too.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an amazing new year.