Welcome to the Burning Barrel Awards for 2017!

This year, Hank and I decided to do something a bit collaborative for the site in which we came up with a list of categories, chose some personal winners for each category and then decided what compromises we could make to do an official site list up.

So below is the list of winners. Yes, some things are spoilers and yes, the VERY LAST CATEGORY is nothing but a spoiler category so beware.

I highly suggest listening to our deliberations here first:

Burning Barrel Awards 2017 Gaming Deliberations 

So without further ado please enjoy our official list:

The “Irrationally Angry Because of Video Games” Award

Gaming has a certain culture about it. Sometimes it’s annoying. This is the award for the most annoying thing in gaming culture, not so much a “game”.

“Cuphead tutorial stage hijinx” – Paul

“Motherfuckers who knock away the ball in Destiny 2’s Tower” – Hank

Grossest Industry Practice

The “death of single-player”? Loot boxes? Konami? What was the worst instance of business getting in the way of hobby this year?

Loot boxes. Seriously, stop it.


  • WB exploiting DLC sales over executive producer death
  • EA (just in general)

Worst Level/Sequence

You know those awesome set-pieces that get you in the mood to never stop playing? Yeah, this is the opposite of that.

Resident Evil 7’s Tanker Level


  • The Leviathan Raid’s Pleasure Gardens [Destiny 2]
  • Darker Side of the Moon [Super Mario Odyssey]
  • Flying Battery Zone [Sonic Mania]
  • Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1 [Sonic Mania]
  • Grey Prince Zote Boss Fight [Hollow Knight]
  • 2B infected and trying to walk across the city ruins [NieR: Automata]

Worst Game

The game that not only didn’t meet expectations but is barely a product. The exact opposite of what we want. Fuck that thing.

Mass Effect: Andromeda


  • RAID: World War II
  • Friday the 13th
  • Sundered

The Awards

The Glitchy Award

For excellence in being broken as fuck on a technical level.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus


  • PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BattleGrounds
  • Destiny 2

The “Asura’s Wrath” Award

For excellence in spectacle action with emotional impact.

Tekken 7


  • Persona 5
  • NieR: Automata

The “Mass Effect” Award

For being the best Mass Effect in lieu of the trash-fire that was Andromeda.

Horizon: Zero Dawn


  • Persona 5
  • Night in the Woods
  • Pyre

The “MetroidVania” Award

For excellence in backtracking and drip-feeding abilities.

Hollow Knight


  • Metroid: Samus Returns
  • SteamWorld Dig 2
  • Mummy Demastered

Most Hateable Character Award

For perhaps single-handedly ruining any sort of good experience.

The Narrator from Tekken 7


  • Rip Blazkowicz [Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus]
  • Everyone in Ghost Recon Wildlands

Game You Would Hate to Play With Your Parents Award

For being “that” game…

NieR: Automata


  • PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BattleGrounds
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands


Best Music

Best Transition to 8-Bit

You know that moment. It’s like waiting for the bass drop… only the exact opposite!

NieR: Automata


  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Persona 5

Best Track

Single song/track.

Best Soundtrack

Full soundtrack from a video game.



  • NieR: Automata
  • Persona 5
  • Cuphead
  • Shovel Knight: Spectre of Torment

Oldies But Besties

Best Game That Isn’t Actually New
(Best This Shit Again)

Remakes, remasters or a game finally getting an international releases, the best game that was released this year officially but isn’t actually new and people have been playing, possibly for years, before now.

StarCraft Remastered


  • Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Parappa the Rapper Remastered
  • Disney Afternoon Collection

Best Additional Content
(Best More Shit)

Best content that expanded on the original game.

Shovel Knight: Spectre of Torment


  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
  • Resident Evil 7

Best Updated/Supported Game
(Best Same Old Shit)

Best game that continues to hold an audience by updating consistently enough to remind people it exists.

Tabletop Simulator


  • Warframe
  • Killing Floor 2
  • Battlerite
  • 20XX
  • Path of Exile
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • DOTA 2

Player Experience

Best Girl

The most controversial debate on the internet!

Cala Maria


  • Senua [Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice]
  • Makoto [Persona 5]
  • Tae Takemi [Persona 5]
  • Sandra [Pyre]
  • Aloy [Horizon: Zero Dawn]
  • Kazumi Mishima [Tekken 7]
  • Bea [Night in the Woods]

Best Mount

Because running on your own two legs is for chumps! Unless your legs are a mount?

The Moose [NieR: Automata]


  • Link’s Motorcycle [Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild]
  • The T-Rex [Super Mario Odyssey]
  • Bowser [Super Mario Odyssey]
  • Broadhead [Horizon: Zero Dawn]
  • Lord of the Mountain [Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild]
  • Jaxi [Super Mario Odyssey]
  • Camels [Assassin’s Creed: Origins]
  • Panzerhund [Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus]
  • Mona [Persona 5]
  • Goblin Throne [Battlerite]
  • Golden Lunar Rooster [Heroes of the Storm]

Best Menu/UI

There’s nothing quite like a nice menu.

NieR: Automata


  • Persona 5
  • Destiny 2

Best Skybox

Sometimes you just stop and look at the sky… this is the prettiest one this year.

Star Wars: BattleFront II


  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Destiny 2

Best Photo Mode

A picture is worth a thousand words. This was the best in-game way to take them!

Super Mario Odyssey


  • Final Fantasy XV / No Man’s Sky
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

Best Level/Sequence Design

That part that was just so satisfying in how it was put together, it was a stand-out.

Ending E [NieR: Automata]


  • The Gauntlet in the Leviathan Raid [Destiny 2]
  • The White Palace [Hollow Knight]
  • The Epilogue [Pyre]
  • The first Chosen encounter [XCOM 2: War of the Chosen]
  • The audition [Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus]
  • Dr. Kahl’s Robot fight [Cuphead]
  • King Dice encounter [Cuphead ]
  • The cannery story [What Remains of Edith Finch]

Best Level/Sequence Aesthetic

That part that was just breathtakingly beautiful or cool looking.

The Almighty mission in Destiny 2


  • Jacking into people’s brains in Observer
  • Fenrir boss fight in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Cauldron Sigma from Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Cala Maria in Cuphead

Best Extra Shit to Read

Whether it be loose collectibles, an in-game book or weapon descriptions, the best supplemental reading material within a game.



  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus’ Alternate history
  • NieR: Automata’s weapon stories and email messages
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn logs
  • Observer tenant notes and computer documents/emails

Best Use of a Slime as a Main Protagonist in a 2D Platformer

This whole category just exists to give Slime-San a platform for recognition. Because we can do that.



Games I Didnt Play Myself

We all have that one or two games that we experienced solely through someone else. Whether it be watching a YouTube series or livestream, this is the best game you didn’t play yourself.

Nidhogg 2


  • Night in the Woods (Paul)
  • Little Nightmares (Hank)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Hank)
  • Get Even (Hank)

Better With Friends

Most things are better with friends, right? Well, this is the one game this year that was made better by being multiplayer.

Divinity Original Sin 2


  • PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BattleGrounds
  • Destiny 2
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Fan Art Community of the Year

All popular things received fan art. This is the game that inspired the most and best fan art of the year!

NieR: Automata


  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Cuphead
  • Hollow Knight

SPOILERS: The “I Probably Could Have Just Told You About This” Award

The best moment in gaming this year that would NOT have lost any impact hearing it from someone else first.

You fight Ganon [Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild]


  • Cappy controls Bowser [Super Mario Odyssey]
  • Mario fights a dragon [Super Mario Odyssey]
  • Mushroom Kingdom [Super Mario Odyssey]
  • Peach w/ shotgun [Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle]
  • Opera singer boss [Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle]
  • The horror comic-book part [What Remains of Edith Finch]
  • Chris Redfield is back [Resident Evil 7]

SPOILERS: The “I Can’t Tell You About This” Award

The best moment in gaming this year that would have legitimately been better if you didn’t read about it from some asshole on Twitter.

B.J. gets his head cut oFF [Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus]


  • The audition with Hitler [Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus]
  • 2B is actually 2E [NieR: Automata]
  • Path C & D [NieR: Automata]
  • What the Zero Dawn is [Horizon: Zero Dawn]
  • The Narrator [Pyre]
  • Who the Hollow Knight is [Hollow Knight]