Best Story 2017: What Remains of Edith Finch

Our Best Story award goes to the brilliant What Remains of Edith Finch. Our GOTY awards are determined by the PCG global team, and you can find the rest here.

Samuel Roberts: I went into this expecting another first-person narrative game along the lines of Firewatch or Dear Esther: that I'd be gently moved, and occasionally wowed by pretty things, while nice music played underneath as I explored this big old family home. It's more than that. Without spoiling its secrets, each member of the doomed Finch family has their own story presented in dazzlingly inventive fashion. Edith Finch keeps surprising you, and to me feels like the last word on this kind of game.

Each family member's story is presented in a kind of light minigame format ("narrative Warioware", as coined by Her Story developer Sam Barlow), and this means there's much more in store than just walking and looking. Each room is a total mystery: the colour palette, the imagery and the story waiting inside kept amazing me. 

An accomplished, beautifully placed flight of imagination that raises the bar for linear story games.

Philippa Warr: The thing about Edith Finch is that what remained after I played isn't the story as a whole, it's all these electric jolts of wonder. I remember the fantastical childhood bedroom I'd have given anything for when I was a kid (or a 33-year-old adult), the strangely joyous Fantasia-style bathtime tragedy, the phrases hovering in air, the use of chopping up fish to tell a story about mental health and imagination… Not every vignette is golden, but its high notes are nothing less than virtuosic. 

Andy Kelly: I went into Edith Finch not knowing a thing about it, and by the time the credits were rolling I knew I’d played something really special. The wild, wonderful stories of the eccentric Finch clan are beautifully told, and the anthology structure is perfect for illustrating the distinct personalities of each family member. I found one scene in particular so emotionally destroying that I doubt I could ever bring myself to play it again, but anything that has that kind of impact, game or not, should be celebrated.

Tom Senior: An accomplished, beautifully placed flight of imagination that raises the bar for linear story games. It has been fun to watch this sort of game flourish and grow in the last five years and for me What Remains of Edith Finch represents a peak for the genre. It uses the first-person perspective to move you between bodies, into different mediums, always returning to Edith as she explores her old family home.

Joe Donnelly: Sam's view that Edith Finch feels like the last word on its type is bang on—to the point where I wish it'd launched sooner. The way it relays its wonderfully incongruous mechanics and stories is masterful, and while inspired by a multitude of genre similars it'd surely have been a bigger deal in years gone by. In any event, it's brilliant. 

For more coverage of What Remains of Edith Finch, check out our review from earlier this year.