Welcome to the third annual Golden Buddha Video Game Awards hosted by Team EB. This year was exciting but different for Team EB. We saw another staffer graduate to the Big Leagues with Zach Bennet following Ray Porreca to Destructoid, and we also lost a few staffers to attrition. The core group remains though, so we did our best as a skeleton crew to keep EB on top of the latest video game stories and reviews from 2017.
While we don’t have nearly as large of a team as we did when the Golden Buddhas first started, we were able to debate out our choices for a plethora of gaming categories, which you can check out below. We tried to keep the winners from 2017’s list of new releases, but a few categories did leave the door open for non-2017 games, so be prepared for an old game or two to grace these awards.
Here’s to putting 2017 to bed and looking forward to the new games slated for 2018!
Best Action-Adventure Game
Horizon Zero Dawn
Guerrilla Games’ new IP definitely didn’t disappoint this year, so in a category that was mostly defined by sequels or remasters, it made sense that Horizon took the top honors.
RPG of the Year
Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It’s pretty much a guarantee that a new Zelda game will win at least one award, so while it isn’t a full on RPG, it’s open world setting and gameplay allowed it to take this category in 2017.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Maybe if Destiny 2 didn’t shit the bed with its unbalanced updates and lackluster expansion it would have taken this award, because it does at least feature amazing FPS gameplay, but Wolfenstein 2’s batshit insane cutscenes and water cooler moments definitely helped it to stand out from the other new FPS games this year.
Best Third-person Shooter
Gears 4 Xbox One X Enhanced Edition
This category was lacking in 2017, but thanks to the Xbox One X Enhanced update for Gears of War 4, which added 4K visuals and plenty of new graphical polish, we decided it was a viable selection for this category again in 2017.
Best Fighting/Sports Game
NeathRealm and fighting games go hand-in-hand, so naturally Injustice 2 takes this award with zero debate.
Best Racing Game
This genre was light, but definitely had one of this year’s best games in Forza 7, which also takes this award. In terms of racing games, there was no better title than Forza 7 this year.
Best Handheld Game
Fire Emblem Warriors
This category gave us fits, because there were a limited amount of new handheld games this year worthy of this category. When it came down to it we decided to give the award to Fire Emblem Warriors.
Gears of War 4 Xbox One X Enhanced Edition
This category was affected by the arrival of the Xbox One X console, which allowed developers to release enhanced versions of their games to take full advantage of its power. One of these games was Gears of War 4, which is the best example of how good games can look on the Xbox One X, so it easily had the best visuals of the season.
What Remains of Edith Finch
When it comes to brilliant video game writing there’s no better example this year than What Remains of Edith Finch, which I must add is my personal favorite game of 2017. If you haven’t played this game and are in need of an emotional experience, do it, do it now.
Cuphead may have taken years to come out, but when it finally released this year it took gamers by storm thanks to its brutal but addicting challenge, and as we have decided, its amazing soundtrack.
Best New IP
Horizon Zero Dawn
In this age of gaming getting new IP in the AAA space is becoming a struggle thanks to remasters and sequels, so it should be no surprise that Horizon Zero Dawn took this award in 2017.
Best Sony Exclusive
Horizon Zero Dawn
Does this even need explaining?
Best Microsoft Exclusive
Microsoft blew its load on a new console this year, so it’s exclusives lineup was rather weak, but thanks to its addicting challenge, Cuphead took home the title of best MS game of 2017.
Best Nintendo Exclusive
Super Mario Odyssey
In a year that saw two new entries in gaming’s most storied franchises, it was hard to choose a winner for this category. While a few of us preferred the new Zelda, others opted for Super Mario Odyssey, which I do think is Nintendo’s best game in quite some time.
Sure we could have gone with a time honored character like Link or Mario, but how could we pass up a brand new character from a brand new franchise, which has already taken home multiple Golden Buddhas.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
This RE game had the added bonus of supporting VR, which made the experience even more visceral and frightening than ever before. This title, especially in VR, is not for the weak of heart, which is why we gave it the nod for this category in 2017.
Best HD Remaster
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Remastered releases are commonplace these days in gaming, but this one in particular stood out in 2017 thanks to the massive visual upgrades to the iconic Crash Bandicoot titles from the PS1 days. This insane remaster job is why Crash’s trilogy took home the trophy for this category.
In terms of Indie games on big platforms, there is no other choice than Cuphead.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
If you loved classic turn-based RPGs and also like the Battle Chasers franchise, Nightwar is a fantastic nostalgic experience that RPG purists will enjoy.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
If this category were up to me only, it would got to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes every year, but alas, EB isn’t a dictatorship, so the team opted for Nintendo’s latest foray into mobile gaming on phones – Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
GAME OF THE MOTHER FUCKING YEAR
Horizon Zero Dawn
Yes, we keep it classy here at EB, so our GOTMFY goes to Horizon Zero Dawn! Just play it, you’ll see.
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