Top 5: Favorite Games Played in 2017

Though both Listmas and 2017 are over, it doesn’t mean that I can’t still reflect on the recently-passed year in list form. As low as the year might have been generally, it was a high point for me with games, particularly games that had been sitting in my backlog. True that I spent much of the of the year replaying a number of key (ahem, BioWare) titles, but I also found time to sink my teeth into titles that, while not new, were new to me. So off we go here with five of my favorite not-new games that I played last year, presented here in “award” form, just for fun!


The award for most enjoyable game involving radioactive scorpions (:::shivers:::) goes to…

Fallout: New Vegas!

Of all the games I spent time with last year, Fallout: New Vegas turned out to be the most enjoyable and engrossing of them all. Something about traveling the open emptiness of the game’s desert wasteland just clicked, and its story played out so beautifully, romantically almost. Well…morbidly romantic, if you will. Even after the passage of many months, I still think about the ending I got and how I might have changed it. (And might still, should I choose to replay it at some point.) Fallout: New Vegas worked, and it worked well. Though I’ve only dipped my toe into the questionable waters of the Fallout universe, I’m glad that this entry only made me want to really dive in.


The award for “I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying!” goes to…

Shadow of the Colossus!

Shadow of the Colossus was a tremendous game in multiple ways. In two words, it was tremendously frustrating. For me, anyway. I wouldn’t call it a difficult game, per se, but as fans know, each colossus required a certain amount of deft and patience, neither of which I have, ever, when playing most games. But despite this, I kept coming back for more, coming back to slowly but surely uncover bits of the story of Wander and Mono and Agro. Only in the eleventh hour did tremendous frustration turn to tremendous reward, unexpectedly so in one of the most emotional moments I’ve ever had with a game. It still makes me…oh shut up. I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying!


The award for one twist to rule them all goes to…

Bioshock!

I still cannot get over just what a masterpiece Bioshock is…or how long it took me to finally realize it! Not only did it present me, the player, with a unique way of fighting my way through the twisted, broken world of Rapture, but it game me a story with a plot twist that had me totally floored. Not only was it’s revelation brilliant, but the way it was revealed resonated with a strange sense of tact, as well as cleverness. And it changed the way I had viewed everything about the game up to that point. Bravo, Bioshock. Bra-vo.


The award for “I need a bigger gun oh wait I think I have one” goes to…

Borderlands 2!

I like to think that I have good times with most games. But something about Borderlands 2’s devil-may-care attitude turned a good time into a totally freakin’ awesome time! I mean, I had a great time in the game over and over and over again, no matter how many time I revisited a stage or died or found myself retreading a beaten path. Every time I fired up the game, I knew I’d be in for something new, whether it was a new stage, a new challenge, new loot, or some new discovery. The game felt expansive and endless, as if I thought I could find every last box of goodies and yet still find another one hiding around an unseen corner. Oh, and that story. Handsome Jack’s tragic tale was one for the ages.


And finally, the award for the best use of spirit mediums in a court room goes to…
Phoenic Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations!

This past year, I dove head first into the wild world of Phoenix Wright, and I came out a believer. A believer in visual novel games. A believer in storytelling with craft. A believer that game characters could be more than tired tropes. I chose the third game in the series here because, while the first two were no slouches (the original game contains my favorite soundtrack of them all), the third game presented a story told in a unique and captivating way. In fact, I didn’t even realize that I was following a cohesive story until the game’s final trial. Once it became clear to me that Trials and Tribulations presented more than just an “ending” the Phoenix Wright’s own tale, I knew that the game was something unforgettable.


What are some of the best games you played from your backlog last year?

Lede image taken by cary.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Liked your list – Shadow of the Colossus definitely rewards you once you realize exactly what’s going on. It’s a gut punch!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cary says:

      Thanks much. 😊 I understand so much better now why Shadow of the Colossus is such a beloved game. Doesn’t make me want to revisit it any time soon, but I get it. I definitely get it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kariyanine says:

    Some of my favorites from my backlog this year were:

    Injustice: Gods Among Us – I’m not a big fighting game guy but I liked the interesting approach to story in a fighting game, even if it was a bit goofy from time to time.

    Steamworld Dig – I’ve had this on my 3DS since it came out originally but it wasn’t until SWD2 came out that I finally decided to sit down and give it a go. I rebought it on the XB1 and wow, what a joy to play.

    Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island – Wow, just wow. I’m not sure why it took me so long to recognize how awesome this title is. It looks great, sounds great, and most importantly, plays great.

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – I don’t necessarily think that Zelda II is a great game but it is super fascinating and I’m quite happy to say that I’ve played and finished this Zelda game.

    Super Princess Peach – The last game I finished in 2017 and while I’m ashamed to say that I stayed away from it for years because of its cover art. I’m glad I finally added it to my too play list and that a friend coaxed me in to playing it by relaying how much fun he was having with his replay of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cary says:

      That’s a great selection of games to get through! Well, I can say that of them all except Super Princess Peach – never heard of it, but my interest is peached…I mean, peaked. 🙂 Had no idea that Peach had her own game.

      The first Injustice is sitting my my backlog as well. I’ve played a little of it, but not enough to understand how things in the game play out (for myself, that is. With all the Injustice 2 news of late, it’s hard to NOT know about the games.) I really like fighting games, though I can get a little particular about control schemes. Anyway, it seems like one that’s worth playing at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hundstrasse says:

    Excellent list! New Vegas, Bioshock, and Shadow of the Colossus are some of my favourites. I actually retackled Bioshock last year… I’d almost forgotten how good it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Thanks! I would really like to get to Bioshock’s first sequel at some point this year, but whether I actually do or not remains to be seen. Just recalling it here made me think that I simply must. Then, recalling my IRL schedule made me think otherwise. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    For some, 2017 is gaming was all about robot dinosaurs, Mario’s haberdashery escapades, and having a cup for a head. For me, it was mostly about playing a grand game of “clearing out the backlog.” In this Virtual Bastion post, I counted off five fav games that made the grade.

    Like

  5. Yay, backlog destruction! That’s a great list, man. Congrats on putting a dent in your list. Of the games not released in 2017, my 5 favorite backlog completions last year were Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Syberia, Metal Gear Rising, Binary Domain, and Beyond Good & Evil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Ooo, you got through a ton of great games, yourself! There’s nothing like the feeling of finally putting to rest games that have been nagging at you for awhile.

      Like

  6. Red Metal says:

    A lot of people heap tons of praise onto the walking simulator, but I don’t think there’s a single thing the genre does that isn’t usually done better in a well-made visual novel. The Ace Attorney franchise has been amazingly consistent in terms of quality. Indeed, I intend to review every game in the series I’ve played this year, including the one you’ve talked about. I’ll say more when I get to them, but all I can say right now is that with the third installment completed, you’re only just getting started.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      I shall have to keep an eye out for your post! While I’m taking a break from all things Phoenix Wright at the moment, I do intend to pick up with the series again. I remain in awe of just how meaty and complete the storytelling in the games is. Sure, the stories and characters are wacky, but the storytelling is so, so solid that the over-the-top scenarios don’t feel so over-the-top. In fact, they’ve really made me start questioning what I thought was good storytelling in much larger and fancier games. I’d have never thought that such motivation would come from a visual novel game, let alone one that involves lawyers and courtrooms.

      Liked by 1 person

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