Game of the Year 2017

This year feels like it has been very, very long in terms of gaming and other personal life events.  It’s definitely going to go down in my books as the year that games gave me lots of feels: anger, happiness, anxiety and disgust to name a few.  So, without further adieu, here are my top 10 games for the year 2017:

10.  Destiny 2

While at first it seemed that Destiny 2 was the answer to all our Destiny prayers and complaints, it seems now that we’ve reached the end game loot grind treadmill that maybe our hopes were misplaced and our expectations were a bit too high.  Nonetheless, Destiny 2 shows a lot more polish than its predecessor and is overall an enjoyable experience

9.  What Remains of Edith Finch

In a world where the majority of gaming consists of run and gun games or games that are heavy on action, What Remains of Edith Finch is a nice departure from all of that to tell a nice, yet creepy, narrative about the Finch family and what happened to each of it’s members.  I loved how each family member’s story was told in a different medium and I also loved exploring the Finch family house with its bizarre structure and equally strange decor.  It also didn’t hurt that I was able to complete the game in one sitting either!

8.  Final Fantasy XV

A very polarizing title among the community to say the least, I feel like the long wait for what we got was worth it.  While the end of the story ultimately left me feeling sad and left a few things unresolved, I feel like Square Enix gave us a brilliant masterpiece that they have since beaten like a dead horse.  I appreciate the continued support for the game post launch but I feel like it’s time to move on to the next project!

7.  Batman:  The Enemy Within [Telltale]

Telltale strikes gold yet again with their spin on the Dark Knight.  Season one was a riveting ride from start to finish and thus far season two doesn’t disappoint.  My only real issue with these games is the long wait between episodes and no matter how many times they patch it, the game still thinks I haven’t purchased the season pass.

6.  Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

This game was what sold me on buying a Nintendo Switch.  I loved the idea of Rabbids invading the Mushroom Kingdom and having a new tactical RPG to explore!  The battles are challenging enough with smart A.I. and lots of varied and beautiful environments to explore.  I’m a fan of tactical RPGs so this game was a no brainer day one purchase for me.

5.  Friday the 13th

By far the funniest multiplayer game of the year.  I used to think a 7 vs. 1 game style was not at all balanced and wouldn’t be fun but after several sessions I was proven that it’s not just about playing the game but about how much fun it is to play this with your friends.  The night where I was the last survivor will definitely go down in the history books as one of my most intense games this year.

4.  The Legend of Zelda:  Breath of the Wild

A stark departure from the traditional Zelda formula, Breath of the Wild is a challenging but enjoyable ride from start to finish.  I plan on eventually going back to find all the Shrines and Korok Seeds and maybe even give Master Mode a shot (I doubt I’ll have the patience to complete it) but for now, my Zelda itch has been sufficiently scratched.

3.  Nier: Automata

I really don’t know where to start with this game.  RPGs with multiple endings based on what I did (and didn’t) do in a game have long been a weakness of mine, so this game sounded like something right up my alley.  After a bit of goading from someone special I decided to give it a try and I’m glad I didn’t pass up the chance!  Hopefully someday I’ll have the time to go back and acquire all 26 endings and get the platinum trophy in this amazing game.

2.  Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Sorrowful, terrifying, heartbreaking, breathtaking, amazing, fulfilling…I could go on all day about how great this game is.  Just thinking about poor Senua and the journey that she must take to save her love brings tears to my eyes after all this time.  This is another fantastic journey that I’ll never forget.

1.  Horizon Zero Dawn

The crown jewel in my 2017 games of the year.  Released very early this year, I think at this point almost all but the most diehard fans have forgotten about this game.  The post apocalyptic world that Aloy and company inhabit is one that I enjoyed exploring and the overwhelming sadness of the game’s story will stay with me for a long time to come.

Honorable Mentions

Metroid: Samus Returns – not quite the 2D Metroid game I was hoping for but still an enjoyable game for the most part.

Fragments of Him – all the gaymers on my friends list owe it to themselves to play this game at least once.  Make sure you have a box of tissues handy when you do.

Nex Machina – every now and then I like to indulge in a little arcade shooter action and this release from Housemarque doesn’t disappoint.

Superhot – definitely one of the neatest and most innovative FPS games I’ve played in a long time.  I enjoyed the mix of action and puzzle solving along with the existential strangeness of the “outside world” in the game.  I’m looking forward to giving the VR version a spin in the future.

Soma – definitely a soul crushing experience from start to finish and one that I’ll never forget!  I think after all this time I’m “recovered” from the tragedy that happens in this game but it’s a horrifying experience that I cannot recommend enough.

Games I Championed But Never Got Around To Playing

Prey – I played the demo and loved it and constantly talked about how great it was to everyone and I bought it at launch and even spent the extra cash to get the Best Buy exclusive steelbook aaaaaaaaaaand I never touched it after that.  I’m a bad gamer.  This game is definitely going into rotation sooner than later.