Game Of The Year 2017 – Best Action Adventure

Every time we come to consider the action adventure genre, we’re always caught out by just how broad and all-encompassing the genre description is. You have the likes of Uncharted going up against the latest Assassin’s Creed, you’ve got the tense stamina-based combat of Nioh competing with the equally tense and fraught Resident Evil, and so on.

Naturally that makes it one of the most hotly contested genres and one that’s so often leads directly into the final deliberations for the overall Game of the Year. This year’s discussion boiled down to two main contenders, two platform exclusives, but as close as the vote was, we have to choose a winner.

There’s still time to vote for your Game of the Year in our community poll!

With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo graced not one, but two generations of home console with one of the finest video games of all time. Through the series’ 31 years, it’s had many moments that have defined the series, but none have been quite as bold as this.

With Eiji Aonuma at the helm, Breath of the Wild started anew. A huge and freeform open world of Hyrule lies before you to explore however you see fit, taking on the Divine Beast temples, tackling puzzling and challenging Shrines as you come across them, while combat has borrowed from the stamina-led style of the Souls-like genre of action RPG.

It’s outstanding as it blends new ideas with the familiarity of the Zelda universe, likely setting the course for the series’ future. If you own a Nintendo Switch or a Wii U, this is practically essential.

Horizon Zero Dawn – Runner Up

For Guerrilla Games to step away from the first person shooter genre was a bold decision, but it’s one that paid dividends, resulting in the fantastic open world action adventure of Horizon Zero Dawn. From Aloy, its great new heroine, to the intriguing post-apocalyptic setting it’s no wonder that it struck a chord with PlayStation owners this year.

At its core are the tense and fraught battles with the machines that now roam the world. The way that you have to hunt these mechanical beasts with primitive bow and arrow or grappling hook is especially compelling, meaning that you’re always walking a fine line between being the hunter and the hunted.

It also helps that Horizon is a truly gorgeous game, and it’s incredible just how much Guerrilla were able to draw out of the base PlayStation 4, not to mention what it can do on PlayStation 4 Pro.

Understandably, this game ran Breath of the Wild pretty close, as perhaps the best and most memorable exclusive on PlayStation 4 this year.

Yakuza 0 – Runner Up

Yakuza 0 is both a great new entry for fans of the series, as well as being the perfect entry point to the Yakuza franchise. Yakuza 0 draws you into a serious Japanese crime drama, with characters that exude criminality in style and a tense and dramatic story that will shock you. With that alone Yakuza 0 was already a contender in this category, but then you have the other side of the coin.

Mixed with the harsh realities of Yakuza life are the weird and entertaining side quests and activities. The game has a side mission where you discuss tax with someone and it somehow manages to be one of the most memorable side missions I’ve played – there’s literally nothing else to it. Another mission has you pretend to be a girl’s boyfriend and attempt to impress her father. Again, memorable because of how bizarrely fun it is.

The world of Yakuza 0 itself is fascinating to wander through despite its small size, because you never know what event will pop up next for its two excellent lead characters, Kiryu and Majima. Yakuza is a series that has been around for a while now, but Yakuza 0 is the game that has the ability to open the franchise up to a wider audience.

Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • NieR: Automata
  • Prey
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

With such a broad genre and category on offer, I’m sure you’ve got plenty of standout action adventure games from your year of gaming. Sound off below about what you’ve played.

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  1. H:ZD turned up in my xmas pressies so i’m looking forward to checking out Aloy’s adventure.

  2. Personally I struggled with how much Zelda deviated from the original formula, but as a game in of itself it is a deserving winner. Both Horizon and Yakuza are high up in my to play list!

  3. I’ve put 70 hours into Zelda and only beaten one of the five main boss battles.

    By far the most fun I’ve had in a game since Uncharted 2 and the most free to mess around I’ve felt since Skyrim.

    I love it.

    Horizon Complete Edition was a Christmas present, hoping I get a chance to sit down and get a good taste of it before heading back to work next week!

  4. Zelda is near perfect, great choice guys. Definitely my favourite game of the year, I’m not a huge Zelda fan but ended up totally absorbed by BotW, it’s a truly charming and beautiful mix of old and new and for me justified getting a Switch.
    Horizon is also near perfect, a gorgeous looking and compelling sci-fi epic, also heaps and heaps of fun. Hopefully it goes down in history as the PS4’s flagship game.
    Being a fussy pedant who hates day one patches these two games made me very happy, two epics whose v1.0 will be perfectly playable in decades to come, spot on!

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