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2017 has been an incredible year for video games. With both major triple A titles and indies showcasing just how far the medium can go, it was a great year to be a gamer. And, much like everybody else, I’d like to share which of those games are my favorites.
Now there’s no way I could have played every single game that came out this year, so I’ll leave a list at the end of this article showing every game that I have played, along with a list of some that I think could have made it on here if I’d had the chance to check them out. And yes, I’ll be making a video for most of the games on this list that I haven’t already covered this year.
With that said, let’s get right into the list. THESE are my Top ten games of 2017!
Let’s start this list off with some games that didn’t quite make the list, but I still highly recommend.
Monument Valley 2 is a mind-bending little puzzle game that’s just as creative and gorgeous as the first. Definitely a game that should be on your smartphone since it shows just how much mobile gaming is capable of.
Nioh is a super fun action game with a deep, complex combat system. I’ll have a full review coming soon, but despite the shortcomings that keep it from making the list, it’s a great game that I can recommend to anyone looking for a challenge.
Doki Doki Literature Club is a fun, visual novel horror game with a few interesting twists. It’s not something I can go much further into without spoiling, but if you wanna check it out, it’s available on Steam for the low low price of absolutely free.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is a fun multiplayer thriller that took the world by storm. It’s a really intense game with both solo and squad matches being awesome to play. Not to mention, Battle Royale is my favorite book of all time, so it gets brownie points for bringing that to life.
With those out of the way, let’s move on to the list, starting with...
I first played Gorogoa at PAX East back in April. It was fun and had me intrigued right up until its release day this December. Gorgeous visuals, mind-bending puzzles, and an interesting story all make for a surprisingly complex game, given that its main mechanic is moving four tiles around.
Yeah, all you do in this game is move tiles around, but it’s how those tiles are presented, finding what lies underneath, and figuring out how everything fits together that make this puzzle game find that perfect balance between challenging and frustrating.
If you haven’t heard of this game and think it looks cool, I highly recommend trying it out. It’s a short, but sweet experience unlike any other.
9. 'Horizon Zero Dawn'
ROBOT. DINOSAURS. Need I say more? Horizon Zero Dawn may not do much in terms of innovation, but when it comes to perfecting the established third person open world formula, it’s at the top of its class.
Following Aloy on her journey to find out her role in a world that looks down on her and figuring out just how this post-apocalyptic world came to be are fascinating and the combat always stays tense. No matter how many times you’ve taken one down, a Thunderjaw is still terrifying.
Gorgeous visuals, gameplay that never ceases to be fun, and a deep and fulfilling story that manages to both satisfy and leave enough questions for a sequel to answer. Definitely a must-have for any PS4 owner.
8. 'Persona 5'
Persona 5 is a game that surprised me this year. I’ve never played any of the Persona games and when I was told this one would take over 80 hours to beat, I figured it would quickly become boring, or at least repetitive.
And yeah, the game has its slow parts towards the middle, but I was surprised to realize after finishing an 85 hour play-through of the game that I still wanted to go back in to play new game plus.
Part of that is because of just how slick everything is. Menus pop and bounce around, and everywhere you look in this game, your eyes are always being assaulted by something moving around.
Even the combat rarely gets stale as it’s always switching things up to keep you on your toes. It can be as deep or as shallow as you like, and you should be able to have fun with it either way.
Gorgeous visuals, an entertaining story, and snappy, tactically challenging combat mechanics come together to make the standout RPG on PS4.
7. 'Resident Evil VII: Biohazard'
I don’t usually like horror. Waiting around for jump scares to happen that only make you jump because of a loud noise is just cheap. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is not your typical horror game.
Many of the scares in this game come from player input. Going through a door to find monsters on the other side, choosing where to hide from daddy Baker, all of it makes the actual jump scares that much more frightening.
The visuals are gorgeously disgusting, the combat is incredibly nerve wracking, and the Bakers are insane and fun to fight against throughout the entire game. Even if you’re not a horror fan, I recommend everyone gives Resident Evil 7, a try.
6. 'Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony'
Visual novels were never really my thing. I’m a slow reader and never really gave them a fair chance. Not to mention many of them are like this…
That all changed this year with the Danganronpa franchise. I played through all three main games and watched the anime and after all of that I can easily say that Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is my favorite of the bunch.
The first and last trials of this game hit a literary high I haven’t seen in games for years, maybe ever. Twists, turns, amazing characters, and the ever present question in the back of your mind of who will be killed off next.
I think this is the last we’ll see of the series, at least for now, but if this truly is the final entry, it’s one the developers should extremely proud of. If you’ve never gotten into the visual novel genre, I’d say the Danganronpa series is the perfect place to start.
5. 'What Remains of Edith Finch'
Every once in a while, a game comes along that redefines just what its genre is capable of. This year, What Remains of Edith Finch did just that for walking simulators.
Going through the house as Edith reliving all of the last moments of her cursed family’s deaths one after another, with each offering a new gameplay mechanic that only serves to enhance the story being told—it’s an amazing experience from start to finish.
If you’re looking for an amazing story with superb voice acting and philosophical ideals with abstract imagery, What Remains of Edith Finch should definitely be on your radar.
Oh Cuphead, how I love you. This game is great. Fun combat, unique bosses, and a challenging experience that’s not nearly as bad as everyone made it out to be, Cuphead is a great experience from start to finish. Except the dragon. Fuck the dragon.
Years of excitement after that first trailer at E3 2014 have all culminated in a game that undoubtedly lives up to the hype, and then some.
And of course I can’t mention this game without talking about one of its biggest selling points—the music! Fun, bouncy, big band tracks, and smooth jazz make every single fight an absolute delight to play.
I guess the visuals are cool, too. If you’re into that sort of thing.
3. 'A Hat In Time'
Numbers two and three were a real toss up for me, so they could really be put here interchangeably, but all I know is that A Hat in Time deserves its high spot on this list.
Everything about this game screams that it was made with love. The callbacks to 3D platformers of days past, the cutesy story and main character, the near-perfect control scheme that allows for free, open movement with a lot of momentum, A Hat in Time has it all.
It’s not just nostalgia that puts this game up here, either. This game wouldn’t be on the list if it were derivative. No, instead A Hat in Time takes all of the elements that made the classic platformers great and improves them to a tee. Even the bits of story are welcome and got me to laugh out loud every so often. How often can you say that?!
I can’t wait to see the future that Gears for Breakfast has in store for this game and just how far they can go in the future. If you haven’t tried this game out and want another 3D platformer fix, A Hat in Time is exactly what you’re looking for.
2. 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'
Revolutionary. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. To describe this game as anything other than incredible would be a disservice.
Open world games typically try to give players a list of objectives or points of interest to ensure that the experience is never boring. Breath of the Wild takes a huge risk by trusting the player’s sense of exploration.
Going from one end of the map to another might result in nothing, but if you stop to take a look around, you’re bound to find something, whether it’s one of the 900 korok seeds, a new shrine to tackle, or just a random event sprinkled throughout the game world.
This has quickly become my favorite game in the Zelda franchise and it’s one I can’t wait to go back and play when I have a chance to try out the DLC. If you want to have a true adventure and explore a unique world just bursting with secrets, you can’t go wrong with this game.
Or you can just wait a few years and try out one of what’s sure to be dozens of games inspired by the open world design of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
1. 'Super Mario Odyssey'
Super Mario 64 is my favorite game of all time. It offers fun and freedom everywhere you look. Every 3D Mario title since has been great, but nothing’s really reached the highs of the original for me. Until now.
Super Mario Odyssey is the game that convinced me to buy a Switch and this game alone makes the console worth the purchase price. Imagination and fun burst out of every piece of this incredible game.
Taking over enemies, using different techniques to cheese through the game only to discover the developers intended for that option—all of it combines to make this the quintessential 3D Mario game.
To be fair, I still love 64 more because of its more focused nature and lack of filler, while Odyssey does have quite a few bits of repetition, but that doesn’t mean that Super Mario Odyssey isn’t just as much as masterpiece as its predecessor.
It doesn’t do much difference; it doesn’t have much innovation, but what it does do is take every element from 3D platformers over the years and polish them to perfection. Beautiful, nostalgic without being exploitative, and most importantly, fun, Super Mario Odyssey is a must play for any Switch owner or gamer in general and my personal game of the year for 2017.
2017 has been an amazing year for gaming. It’s been full of innovation, creativity, and imagination, and I’m super excited to see what 2018 has to bring us. That said, not every game was a winner this year, so if you want to check out my list of the worst games of 2017, I’ll leave a link in the description below. And if you want to see another great year of reviews, dissections, and more gaming goodness (including some of the games on today’s list), I’d love to have you as a subscriber! All that aside, I can’t wait to show you guys what I’ve got in store for next year and, as always, have a mighty nifty 2018!
Here’s a list of games that may have been on the list if I’d had time to play them:
- Assassin's Creed Origins
- Divinity: Original Sin II
- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
- Hollow Knight
- Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
- Nier: Automata
- Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
- Yakuza 0
And here’s a list of every game I played that came out this year from start to finish:
- A Hat In Time
- AER - Memories of Old
- Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back
- Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
- Doki Doki Literature Club
- Gravity Rush 2
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Little Nightmares
- Mirage: Arcane Warfare
- Monument Valley II
- Persona 5
- Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- Rivals of Aether
- Scanner Sombre
- Sonic Forces
- Sonic Mania
- Stick Fight: The Game
- Super Fancy Pants Adventure
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Sword with Sauce
- The First Tree
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- The Sexy Brutale
- Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator
- What Remains of Edith Finch
- Yooka Laylee