We are seven months into 2017, and currently the clear-cut winner for game of the year is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. No other game this year has received such universal acclaim from critics and fans alike. Zelda is currently sitting at an insanely high score on Metacritic of 97. It has received more perfect scores from critics than any game in recent memory. So with more than half the year gone, is there any game that can unseat Zelda for GOTY? Let’s take a look at the upcoming releases.

[Everyone has their own personal game of the year. In this article, I am mainly going to predict what game/games will give Zelda a run for its money at the Game Awards – taking place this year on December 7th.]

First off, this holiday season for game releases does seem to be weaker compared to the past few. That automatically lends itself to Zelda’s favor. In the next six months, there don’t seem to be any heavy hitters to compete with Zelda, what we have instead are the franchises you’d expect. With Star Wars Battlefront, Call of Duty, all the sports titles, Assassin’s Creed, Destiny, Crackdown, Wolfenstein etc. Most of these games will, at least, be good, but just being honest here: none of these titles will win game of the year. So, what could unseat Zelda then?

Out of all the games that have come out this year and will come out this holiday season, only a couple come to mind that even have the possibility of competing. Those titles are, Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Super Mario Odyssey, Middle Earth: Shadow of War and Horizon Zero Dawn.

Let’s start with Uncharted: Lost Legacy, even though it’s just a $40 title, you can never count out Naughty Dog. They are one of the best, if not the best developer currently in the business. Coming off as a game of the year winner and contender with The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, it would not surprise me to see them hit another home run with Uncharted: Lost Legacy.

Next up we have Super Mario Odyssey. Might Nintendo be competing with themselves for game of the year? They could well be. This Mario title looks absolutely fantastic so far, and it looks like it’s a fresh new experience that all Mario fans alike have been waiting for.

zelda review
Good luck…

Thirdly, and probably the biggest underdog in this competitor’s group, is Shadow of War. This is the sequel to the Lord of the Rings game called Shadow of Mordor, that blew everyone away in 2014. It brought a brand new open world experience to the franchise and had a very new inventive game mechanic called the “Nemesis System.” Well, it’s been three years since Shadow of Mordor was released and now Shadow of War is coming. If Monolith can improve on everything from the first game and fix its few faults, then we could have a major contender on our hands.

Lastly, we have the only title that has been officially released so far, and that’s the brilliant Horizon: Zero Dawn. This new IP from Guerrilla Studios blew people away when it came out earlier this year. It’s currently sitting pretty at 89% on Metacritic. Also, coincidence or not, it’s actually a very similar game to Zelda, and both have been compared with each other since they launched.

I personally don’t believe any game will be able to beat Zelda this year. We will find out if I’m right, or completely wrong, when the Game Awards air on December 7th. But, I’m curious… do you guys agree with me that Zelda is the runaway favorite? Or is there another title that’s going to take home the award? Let me know in the comments down below!

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5 Comments »

  1. So far I feel BOTW is the favourite, but I’ll hold my breath until Mario Odyssey comes out myself. That’s the one game I see being able to compete. They seem to be basing the whole go everywhere, anywhere, anytime thing from BOTW.

    BOTW was so special I found because it invoked a certain curiously while playing about it’s world and the things that could happen or be done. I see Mario being the only game that could provide that given it’s loose sandbox style approach.

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  2. I think a big reason for the success of Breath of the Wild was that it changed something. It changed a series that has been holding to a specific formula for many installments. A series beloved by most who grew up with Nintendo. So I think that changing up the expectation is the only way a game is going to topple Breath of the Wild. It could be something unique in the indie space like a new Undertale or maybe like you said Super Mario Odyssey which looks to change up the Mario dynamic yet again.

    Even this year there have been games that either helped to perfect a formula or changed it up. Resident Evil VII, Persona 5, Nier: Automata, are I think good examples of that trend. I think there is still enough time to be surprised by this year…but so far Breath of the Wild seems to stand at the top of the pyramid for me. Unless my fanboy tendencies make me just go gaga over Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.

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  3. Personally, I’ve only played Zelda Breath of the Wild once and, while good, I don’t really feel like going back to is a priority for me. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it, at least not that I found in the half hour I was on it, but it certainly didn’t grab like it has everyone else. I suspect you may be right that Zelda will take the title though. It seems to be near universally loved, and it’ll truly take a herculean effort to topple it at this point.

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    • Well that’s your problem. A half an hour is nowhere close to long enough to even begin to appreciate the title!

      I had a similar experience the first time, and quite honestly I initially thought the game was put together well, but a bit… Meh. It just didn’t capture my attention.
      However, I had only played for about an hour and hadn’t even gotten past the part with the old man.

      A couple weeks later I decided to give it another go, and this time I stuck with it, and boy am I ever glad I did!! It takes a couple hours to really get into the good stuff, but now botw is at the top of my list of number one favorite games to play.

      Trust me when I say you should give it another change, but realize it’s an epic Zelda quest and it takes a little while to get into the good stuff. You aren’t likely to be disappointed.

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