Games of the year: 2017

Typically, around this time every year, I try to put together a list of the best games I completed over the past twelve months. This year was a big one for me and my family so, naturally, I didn’t have nearly enough time to play or finish all the games I had wanted to.

So, this year, I’m going to be making a couple different categories for a couple reasons. First, so that I can still include the titles I admittedly wasn’t able to beat but would still recommend, and second, to shake things up a bit from the usual format.

Enjoy.

ONES THAT GOT AWAY
The games that were left unplayed in 2017

Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)

The game has garnered a ton of praise from everyone who has played it and I find that hardly surprising. This post-apocalyptic open-world action game looks amazing and I’d expect nothing less from the developer of the Killzone series.

Nier: Automata (Multi)

While I played very little of the original Nier back on PS3, something about the art style of this game and the amazing action sequences in the trailers really got me interested. Given that it’s a game by Square Enix, there’s undoubtably many hours of entertainment available in this one.

THE LEFTOVERS
2017 Game(s) left started but unfinished

Destiny 2 (PC)

While I never had any particular issues with the original game, the story was a little lacking to say the least. In Destiny 2, that’s changed. The game begins with an epic battle that sets the stage for the rest of the campaign as much as possible in a multiplayer game like this. The combat is tight and fun, the environments, characters, and audio are exactly what you’d expect from a game by Bungie.

Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)

I’ve never been much of a Mario fan but there’s something about Odyssey that brings me back to the Nintendo 64 game, which I loved when I was younger. The game looks incredible, and the incredibly addictive mechanic of hunting down moons to power your ship will keep people entertained for hours, even long after the game’s ending.

MOST DISAPPOINTING
Game(s) that didn’t quite deliver

Mass Effect: Andromeda (PS4)

I’m a huge fan of the Mass Effect series, which made the disappointing story and technical issues really difficult to handle. While I’ve certainly played worse games and was still able to enjoy the game overall, this next chapter in Bioware’s sci-fi epic was a pretty huge dud.

Walking Dead: A New Frontier (PC)

While this game was technically released at the tail end of last year, the finale wasn’t available until 2018. In shifting the focus of the story away from longtime protagonist Clementine, the season seemed to wander and lack a reason to really root for or even tolerate many of the new characters. Graphically, it’s the best yet, but that will only get you so far.

RUNNER(S) UP
Game(s) that didn’t quite make the cut

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)

So, don’t hate me, but I really didn’t enjoy my time in Hyrule. I found the stamina system and weapons system incredibly frustrating, to the point where I wasn’t able to really enjoy the combat or climbing sequences. That said, the world itself is gorgeous, enemies are well designed. Graphically and technically, this is exactly what the series needed, it just wasn’t for me.

GAMES OF THE YEAR
The best, most enjoyable game(s) of 2017

3.) RUINER (PC)

As I said when I played the game initially, RUINER is all about the style. The cyberpunk look, feel, and atmosphere is off the charts. The player controls a robotic assassin called “Puppy” who sets out to destroy Heaven, a heartless corporation, only to find a much more personal objective in the later parts of the game.

The game is challenging, similar to what I experiences in games like Hotline Miami, which makes it incredibly satisfying to defeat waves of enemies and move on. The isometric view wasn’t without a few small hiccups but the controls hang together nicely enough that it doesn’t hamper the experience.

RUINER is a solid game without a massive price tag and it’s something I’d recommend to people looking for a challenging top-down shooter on PC.

2.) Resident Evil 7 (PS4)

I’ve been a fan of the Resident Evil series since the second game back in 1998. To say that it’s had some up and downs would be a massive understatement. Resident Evil 7 redeems it in almost every single way.

The story is fairly simple from the outside, the main character, Ethan, is looking for his missing wife who has gone in the swamps of Louisiana. From there, Ethan is thrown into a family reunion from hell that is unlike anything longtime Resident Evil players have ever seen.

The game looks visually incredible, handles like a dream, and is legitimately terrifying, which is something I haven’t been able to say since the original games back on PlayStation.

1.) Prey (PC)

I remember back to when the original concept for Prey 2 was announced and thinking it looked really neat. The concept was simple. A handful of people were onboard an airplane and suddenly the plane is attacked by aliens. That game never materialized and, instead, we got an entirely new game simply title Prey. Looking back, I’m glad we didn’t get the other one.

In Prey, you play as Morgan Yu, a scientist who is given an opportunity by his brother at a strange research company. At one point, there is an incident that brings about an alien infection that threatens the entire planet. It might sound a little generic but I’m intentionally avoiding some pretty serious (and mind-bending) twists.

Arcane, the game’s developer, is known for their work on the Dishonored franchise. Their experience with the first-person genre is on display in this game as the combat on PC is very fluid and allows for quick transitions through your weapons or change over to a new ability if needed. Unlike other FPS games, Prey really requires you to plan out your attacks and potentially avoid attacks rather running head-on into them. It feels like a shooter with a brain, instead of another mindless run-n-gun. The inventory and crafting system adds an interesting element to the game, being able to break down objects into elements and use them to craft new guns, ammo, and more.

I should include an asterisk on my Prey as I originally played it on PS4 and really disliked the game because of the controls. When I revisited it on PC a couple months later, it felt like a completely different game.

LOOKING AHEAD
Most anticipated game(s) for 2018

Spider-Man (PS4)

I’m really not sure what to expect from this but it’s made by Insomniac and features my favourite superhero so it’s sort of a mandatory purchase. It doesn’t hurt that the footage and screenshots we’ve seen so far look really, really exciting.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Multi)

I’m not sure how much actually needs to said about this one. Everyone and their dog will play it, and it’ll likely be amazing. The original Red Dead Redemption (or second, if you count Revolver) is an absolute gem from start to finish. I can’t wait to return to the west and learn more about what Dutch and the gang had been up to prior to the original game.

If you’ve got your own list of games you loved this year or maybe a couple you’re especially looking forward to, let me know. I’m always looking for more things to add to my ever-expanding backlog of things to play.

Previous Years:
2015 | 2016

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