The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a bold stroke for a franchise typically known for tweaking rather than reinventing its iconic gameplay formula. Not since Ocarina of Time has the series morphed its core gameplay mechanics so fundamentally that it redefines what we think of as a LoZ game. Instead of a linearly accessible world locked away by dungeon completion and key items, BotW's Hyrule is a fully open world with hidden secrets and subtle puzzles. The overhaul of the game's dungeon design also compliments the open world concept and allows players to tackle challenges almost entirely how they see fit. It's a seismic shift for Link and friends, but one that manages to both successfully redefine the series while remaining true to its spirit.
Read our review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
NieR: Automata is a game that refuses to rest on its laurels. From its unorthodox storytelling to its varied, high-octane gameplay, NieR: Automata works tirelessly to express Yoko Taro's wildly creative mind; the result is a game that is uncompromising in its vision, yet is still wholly accessible and perhaps most importantly, really fun to play. Despite effortlessly weaving together gameplay and story so that there is never a dull moment in its lengthy campaign, NieR: Automata still has the tact to give enough breathing room for the player to fully appreciate the beautifully desolate ruins of Earth. The entire game is a balancing act done to perfection, firmly cementing itself as one of 2017's greatest moments.
Read our import review of NieR: Automata
Read our domestic review of NieR: Automata
Your voice was clear on this one: NieR beat out Link's latest adventure by almost double the votes, while Breath of the Wild in turn earned twice as many votes as third place. In third, incidentally, were Horizon Zero Dawn and Tales of Berseria, with Horizon narrowly edging out Berseria by 3 votes.