Long before the universally-positive reviews for Super Mario Odyssey began to land, the debate was already raging among gamers: will Mario's latest adventure be a Game of the Year candidate?
Well, the post-release consensus seems to confirm that, yes, it is, but is it really worthy of being popularly deemed 2017's best video game outright?
Now, before we go any further, there's no argument here that Super Mario Odyssey is indeed an excellent game and perhaps even one of the mustachioed plumber's greatest adventures to date, but it sure ain't perfect either.
With the game's honeymoon period beginning to wear off, it would be silly to gloss over Odyssey's flaws, which collectively hold it back from being the Game of the Year in what's arguably been the best year that the medium has ever seen.
There's no shame in Mario falling a little short of the year's other masterpieces, and just because it isn't quite Game of the Year-worthy, that does nothing to take away from what a marvellous achievement it is for Nintendo.
But seriously, with some critical distance away from the game, there's at least a handful of other titles arguably more deserving of the award...
Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes).
General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.