Much like Mortal Kombat can only be held once in a generation (or whenever Netherrealm needs to replenish the coffers), so too can the Genny’s only be held once per console cycle. CheckpointXP brings you the generational game awards, highlighting the best and the worst the generation had to offer. The 8th Generation of game consoles officially began with the WiiU and wrapped up today as the X-Box Series X launched. Without further delay, let’s dive into the game awards.
Best and Worst Game of the Gen
Best – God of War (2018)
Not only was God of War a great title, but it also resurrected a franchise I had written off as gassed. A great story, combined with strong character development and a beautiful world all lend to making this game a masterpiece. All of that before you get to the gameplay, which is crisp, fun, and easy to understand but tough to master. God of War checks all the boxes.
Worst – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 (2015)
And on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, we have THPS 5. A game which all but proved that the franchise is gassed. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater rules the 90’s and remained pretty decent through the 2000s. But this installment, with mediocre graphics, janky controls, and bugs galore pretty much-killed enthusiasm for the franchise. It was awful.
Best and Worst Developer of the Gen
Best – Nintendo
It’s tough for me to declare Nintendo the winner as they had both the best and worst console of the generation. Remember, both the Wii U and the Switch technically fall in the 8th generation. While the Wii U was a colossal failure, the Switch has become one of the most successful systems in history. It singularly revived Nintendo as a brand and brought them back into the good graces of curmudgeons like me. It may not have gotten me to attend rooftop parties, but it did revive my love for handheld gaming. Props Nintendo!
Worst – EA
What game awards list would be complete without giving a lump of coal to EA?! EA has had a bad gen. Not financially mind you, those bastards are rich AF. But in terms of damage done, bad games put out, and all around contempt for the space, EA owns this slot. In this generation, they’ve bought and ruined Bioware. They’ve churned out one decent Star Wars game with an IP that should be golden. They basically single-handedly brought government intervention into gaming with the loot box scandal. Also Origin. ORIGIN. I demand better in the next-gen EA, but I expect worse.
Rookie of the Gen
While the Rookie of the Gen award can go to either a franchise or a developer, this generation’s award has to go to the best new game franchise. In an era of remasters, remakes, and sequels, a new franchise coming along that is actually amazing is a rarity. Horizon Zero Dawn stormed onto the scene in 2017 and blew us away. When the trailer came out, we all just kinda thought ‘huh, robot dinosaurs. How original.’ Turns out, the game was amazing. And with the announcement of a sequel in the works, it officially qualifies as a franchise.
I struggled between this and No Man’s Sky. But whereas No Man’s Sky EVENTUALLY got its act together, Anthem continues to languish and is terrible. Yet another Bioware game with grand ambitions that fell flat in the wake of Andromeda. Anthem was supposed to be Bioware’s big debut of a new IP, and the concept was solid. Basically, you’re Iron Man. But the game didn’t deliver on anything fans of Bioware games expected, instead, playing more like a Borderlands clone. It was buggy as all get out and ultimately: not very fun.
Best Indie Title
Perhaps no genre has been more empowered by the 8th gen than the Indie genre. A number of great titles have dropped over the last 8 years, but none of them shine quite so brightly as Undertale. Toby Fox’s love letter to classic RPGs like Earthbound made us question what a game could be, as well as what our role as the player was. It’s simple, yet fun, combat system made for fun gameplay. However, this game lives and dies by two major things – The characters and the music. The cast of characters is memorable, fun, and charming. The music ranges from comforting to bad-ass, and Toby Fox has shown an incredible musical prowess.
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Runner Up for Game of the Gen
Celeste – Runner Up for Indie Game of the Gen
Sony – Runner up for Best Developer of the Gen
Devolver Digital – Runner up for Rookie of the Gen
We hope you enjoyed the Genny’s! With the 8th generation of consoles behind us, these game awards will have to hold you over until the PS6 gets announced. Or until we get lazy and decide to do Genny’s for other console cycles.
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