Over the next ten days, Hardcore Gamer will be revealing its Best of 2017 Awards leading up to our Game of the Year. Today we present you with the Best Action Game, RPG, Shooter, Platformer and Strategy Game.
It isn’t the biggest shocker that something Platinum Games developed ends up being the year’s best action game, given their previous track record. The shocker here with NieR: Automata, though, is seeing just how much variety they can handle when it comes to action with sacrificing quality. This is a game that combines hack-and-slash combat, 2D platforming, shoot-’em-ups, bullet hell mechanics and massive boss battles, among many other things, and never drops he ball at any time. Even the little details such as surfing on sand dunes and hunting animals in a ruined city are vastly appreciated. With a wide amount of gameplay, a wide amount of things to do and find in the game’s open world, and a terrific story tying everything together, NieR: Automata easily cements itself as the year’s best action game.
|The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild||Horizon Zero Dawn||Resident Evil 7 biohazard||Assassin’s Creed: Origins|
This was a difficult year choosing who would win best Role Playing Game. Against tough competition such as Divinity: Original Sin II and Nioh, just to name a couple, Persona 5 was able to shatter expectations and come out on top. This is a game that has been highly anticipated for years now, and rightfully so as Atlus has been able to deliver with every entry in the long-running franchise. It has mostly eclipsed the Shin Megami Tensei mainline series now, which is what Persona initially spun off of way back when. 2017 was the year for Persona 5, bringing a 100+ hour journey to the masses. There was concern that releasing it near another massive RPG (Mass Effect: Andromeda) would be cause for concern, but thankfully that was far from the case. This is a highly-stylized and incredibly-addicting game that had us coming back for a second and third playthrough. Even with a number of heavy hitters this year, there was no RPG that was able to outshine this surprisingly dark yet greatly inspiring adventure as it deserves to be at the top.
|Nioh||South Park The Fractured But Whole||Divinity: Original Sin II||Pyre|
Call of Duty: WWII was exactly what fans had been clamoring for after several years of present day or future games in the franchise and thankfully Sledgehammer Games delivered. Sledgehammer didn’t re-invent the wheel with WWII, but what they did do is deliver a solid shooter in practically every measurable way chock full of content. The campaign was an emotional ride with fantastic performances from Hollywood actors, multiplayer boasted well-designed maps excellently emphasizing boots on the ground action and the game was gorgeous to boot. It’s not clear yet when Activision will once again return to the era, but one thing is for sure: we’ll be there with bells on.
|Splatoon 2||Ghost Recon Wildlands||Raw Data||Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus|
Mario has always been the face of classic platformers and it’s no more apparent than in his latest entry on Switch with Super Mario Odyssey. With the help of his new companion Cappy, Mario sets off on a worldwide journey to rescue Princess Peach from a wedding only Bowser is excited for. Mario uses his new partner to unlock the ability to control enemies, reach higher places and move more fluidly than any 3D Mario before it. Each kingdom Mario visits with its own fitting theme and so much to see, some puzzles requiring the most precise of Mario’s move set in order to fully conquer them and get over 500 moons waiting to be uncovered. Super Mario Odyssey’s smooth moves don’t fail to disappoint, and whether trying to do impossible jumps or just be a little flashy on the way to the next moon, there was nothing Mario couldn’t do to impress with his classically-improved platforming skills.
|Cuphead||Sonic Mania||SteamWorld Dig 2||Hollow Knight|
Mario snagging the best strategy award is somewhat unexpected, but anyone who’s played Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle shouldn’t be too surprised. Underneath the cute exterior is an XCOM-inspired title that demands a strategic mind, especially as the player progresses deeper into the game. The mischievous rival rabbids work surprisingly well as an organized front and the boss battles in particular will require a player to bring their A game. Being able to formulate effective combat strategy is essential, but with each playable character possessing different skills and abilities there is no shortage of potential approaches to achieving victory and experimenting with different party combinations and abilities is half the fun. The combat system is intuitive and easy to learn but intricate enough where it can’t be mastered overnight, making it accessible but challenging for gamers of all ages and skill levels.
|Tooth and Tail||Total War: Warhammer II||Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia||Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III|