Merry Christmas everyone! I know it’s just a touch early, but I can’t help it! Christmas is tomorrow! To be honest, I’ve been really looking forward to writing this list, but I made myself wait on it because I couldn’t think of a better occasion to celebrate the best experiences to be had this year. There’s one more list yet to write before 2017 concludes and the Listmas season ends, but this is my favorite list of the year! Now even though these are all recent games, you don’t need to worry about spoilers. Regardless of what I think about spoilers, I’m not about to do anything that could possibly ruin some 2017’s greatest gems. So go ahead, read on!
At first I thought making my top pick was going to be difficult, but as soon as I started trying to think about what that pick would be, only one game came to mind. Yep, Nier: Automata is my absolute favorite game of 2017. Super Mario Odyssey came close, but even though it’s an outright fantastic game (more on that in a sec’), it just had to be Nier. I guess you could say it was always going to be Nier. I loved every bit of this game. The fast-paced mix of beat-em-up and bullet-hell-shooter gameplay. The rewarding exploration. The deep level of character customization. It was all great. What really put it over the top for me though was that it, a game, actually managed to get to me. I mean I can get a bit emotional when it comes to games, but something about the story and struggles of 2B, 9S and A2 struck a chord in me like no other game has before or since. If you have any interest whatsoever in it (heck even if you don’t), do yourself a favor and play this game. It’s just that good!
Super Mario Odyssey
I’ve enjoyed every main entry in the Mario franchise. Yep, even Super Mario Sunshine (though I really don’t understand why people dislike it so much.) Yet, even though every Mario game has been good up to this point, I was still skeptical about Super Mario Odyssey going into it. I couldn’t possibly imagine how making Mario open-world could work. But it not only worked, it succeeded on a level that I didn’t was possible. Super Mario Odyssey might as well already be considered a classic as far as I’m concerned. It’s a game that’s overflowing with charm to enjoy, secrets to find, challenges to overcome and the most diverse list of abilities that I’ve ever seen in any game. This game is a Mario fan’s dream come true and solid proof that Nintendo can still take even their most tried and true series to even greater heights.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Persona 5 as much as I did. I got into it because I enjoy JRPGs and was intrigued by its loud and downright gorgeous style, not because I was expecting to find a new favorite. And yet, that’s exactly what happened. Before I knew it, I was fully invested in exploring the metaverse, maintaining a healthy student life, and thoroughly enjoying the cast of characters surrounding Joker. I probably shouldn’t say anymore because I’ll be too tempted to dive into everything I love about it. Regardless, this game deserves every bit of praise it’s gotten and is a must-play for any RPG fan.
I’m genuinely confused by the general opinion of Prey. I mean does it really matter that we got this instead of a sequel to a game that not very many people played? Is being derivative really that bad? Anyway, Prey makes my list because it managed to scratch an itch that hasn’t gotten any attention since BioShock 2 or Dishonored 1. I loved the powers got to play around with. I loved being able to piece together the story of Talos 1 and its crew through all the little notes and communications scattered about. I love that I had good reason to sneak around for much of the game and that sneaking often resulted in finding secrets due to always looking for alternate routes and trying to use the GLOO gun in creative ways. Oh and I absolutely love the GLOO gun. It’s one of the most innovative tools/weapons to come out of gaming since the gravity gun. Basically, this is something for players who love games like BioShock, Deus Ex and Dishonored. It’s got all the fun of exploration without the absolutely gigantic directionless environments that often come with it. Don’t believe all the naysayers, this one is absolutely worth a try!
It’s finally here you guys! It’s the Sonic game that finally made Sonic feel fun and fresh again! Everything about this game screams classic Sonic fun, but still somehow manages to introduce new mechanics to the ol’ blue blur formula that we’ve never seen before. This is what happens when you let passionate and competent fans have a turn behind the wheel. Take notes Sega! Advancement is about building on what works, not constantly throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks!
Honorable Mention – Pyre
As much as I love Supergiant’s games, I just wasn’t able to spend much time with this one. Still, it gets an honorable mention for its lovely art style, compelling story and characters that manage to have distinct personalities even though they’re all technically interchangeable. I can’t comment too much on the gameplay. It worked well enough, but it wasn’t on the same level as Bastion or Transistor for me. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent game from and excellent developer and it deserves as much recognition as it can get.
Well that’s that. Those were my top picks for 2017 and you can bet they’re all on the ol’ replay list just waiting for their chance to shine again! All that’s left is to ring in the new year with the list of games I’m most looking forward to in 2018. Until then, I just want to wish you all a Merry Christmas!
What were your top picks for 2017? What was the one thing about your 2017 favorites that made them so special to you?
Lede image captured by Hatmonster