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2017 Steam Award winners include PUBG, Cuphead & Witcher

We’ve already seen which games sold best on Steam last year, but a perhaps more meaningful insight into movin’ and a-shakin’ in PC-land is the games that people feel warmest and snuggliest about. To that end, Valve have announced the winners of the 2017 Steam Awards, a fully community-voted affair which names the most-loved games across categories including best post-launch support, most player agency, exceeding pre-release expectations and most head-messing-with. Vintage cartoon-themed reflex-tester Cuphead leads the charge with two gongs, but ol’ Plunkbat and The Witcher series also do rather well – as do a host of other games from 2017’s great and good.

Full winners and runners-up below, with links to our previous coverage of each game if you’re so-minded. Plus: I reveal which game I’d have gone for in each category.

The “Choices Matter” Award:

(for the game with the most player agency)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Runners-up: Divinity: Original Sin II; Life Is Strange: Before The Storm; Dishonored 2; The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

My personal pick: Yeah, agreed

The “Mom’s Spaghetti” Award:

(for the most intense game)

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Runners-up: Resident Evil 7; Alien: Isolation; Outlast 2, The Evil Within 2

My personal pick: Resi 7, or at least the first half thereof.

The “Labor of Love” Award:

(the game with the best post-launch support and new content

Warframe

Runners-up: Team Fortress 2; Path Of Exile; Crusader Kings II; Titan Quest: Anniversary Edition

My personal pick Maybe Titan Quest? It is genuinely impressive how new life has been wrung out of such an old ARPG.

The “Suspension of Disbelief” Award:

(the game that most successfully makes a ridiculous concept work)

Rocket League

Runners-up: Saints Row IV; South Park: The Fractured But Whole; Goat Simulator; Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

My pick: Can’t argue with that one

The “The World Is Grim Enough Let’s Just All Get Along” Award:

(best non-violent game)

Stardew Valley

Runners-up: Cities: Skylines; To The Moon; ABZU; Slime Rancher

My pick: ABZU. It does have a wee bit of indirect violence in it, but otherwise it is an incomparably calming and beautiful thing.

The “No Apologies” Award:

(the loved despite great flaws prize)

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut

Runners-up: Rust; Mount & Blade: Warband; HuniePop; Gothic II: Gold Edition

My pick: Oh, Gothic. There’s a game with spirit.

The “Defies Description” Award:

(the most ‘what even is this?’ game)

Garry’s Mod

Runners-up: The Stanley Parable; Doki Doki Literature Club; Antichamber; Pony Island

My pick: Pony Island, and the many secrets thereof.

The “Cry Havoc And Let Slip The Dogs Of War” Award:

(the most joyfully chaotic game)

Just Cause 3

Runners-up: Middle-earth: Shadow Of War; Total War: Warhammer II; Broforce; Red Faction Guerrilla Steam Edition

My pick: Agreed again

The “Haunts My Dreams” Award:

(the game you’re most obsessed with)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Runners-up: Dark Souls III; Sid Meier’s Civilization VI; Dota 2; Factorio

My pick: Factorio is the game which most took over my entire mind when I played it.

The “Soul Of Vitruvius” Award:

(most visually-impressive character)

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Runners-up: NieR: Automata; Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice; I Am Bread; Bayonetta

My pick: Hellblade is an extraordinary sight, innit?

The “Whoooaaaaaaa, Dude! 2.0” Award:

(head-fuckiest game)
The Evil Within 2

Runners-up:
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number; Antichamber; Luna; CPU Invaders

My pick: Too many I’ve not played there, so I’ll sit this one out. [The Evil Within 2’s not a BAD pick, but it’s not particularly surprising that a sequel to a game about actual mental landscapes collapsing messes with your head a bit -Adam.]

The “Best Soundtrack” Award:

(you can work this one out for yourself)

Cuphead

Runners-up: NieR: Automata; Undertale; Transistor; Crypt of the NecroDancer

My pick: NecroDancer, less in terms of the music itself, and more in terms of how profoundly it melds with the game as a whole.

The “Even Better Than I Expected” Award:

(most exceeded expectations)

Cuphead

Runners-up: Assassin’s Creed Origins; Call of Duty: WWII; Hollow Knight; Sonic Mania

My pick: Oranges!

If you find yourself disagreeing with a whole bunch of the above winners, perhaps you’ll find something more to your taste in RPS’ own best PC games of 2017 picks. Or, if you prefer your games to be more legendary, here are our best PC games of all time. OR if you’re looking for things to be excited about rather than things you already know about, here our are picks for the best PC games of 2018.

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Who am I?

Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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