Welcome to Steve’s Best Ten Video Games of 2017. If you’re looking for some other content from our Game of the Year you can click on some options below:
A Personal Note:
On a personal note, this has been a year of a lot of ups and downs. Mainly downs, if I was being completely frank. But the three men who wrote their lists and help contribute to these Game of the Year discussions are truly amazing people. They sacrifice time in busy lives to help record podcasts and support events and are solid faithful friends. I am truly thankful for them.
As for the people who continue to visit the website, come to events and listen to podcasts, I am also thankful. This year hasn’t been filled with an abundance of content as real life and study has gotten in the way but still, people come back. I could make some vain promise of a year brimming with new and plentiful content, but hey let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Anyways onto my ten best video games of 2017
Honourable Mentions for Best Video Games of 2017:
Nioh, Prey, Tacoma
Steve’s Top Ten Video Games of 2017
10. A Night in The Woods:
This seemingly cutesy animal adventure game is deceptive in its simplicity. On the surface, it’s a mystery about the strange underbelly of your hometown after returning home. It’s filled with quirky and indeed loveable characters. It also delves into the heart of whether you can actually return home after being away and how we awkwardly deal with mental illness. It overstays its welcome for a long time but rewards the complete playthrough.
9. Super Mario Odyssey
It’s becoming quite plain to me that the older I got the worse I get at video games that require any skills. It’s quite possible this is the fading of hand-eye co-ordination but more than likely a lack of time to become actually better at them. This is true of platforming games and makes them truly frustrating. Super Mario Odyssey manages to present moments of bite-sized joy as you catch each moon into highly digestible ways that make it fun to play but also easy to succeed at. It’s still a Mario game but it’s a very well done one that benefits from the Switch’s particular brand of gaming.
8. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
I for one have never actually gotten bored with the world of Assassin’s Creed and with the exception of Unity and Some of the 2D platformers have enjoyed my time with their historical setting while never being completely in love with them. Yet they had become familiar in the way they played and with a year off AC: Origins takes the time to bring us to Ancient Egypt and reinvents combat, introduces gear and a new progression. It at times can be slow but also an extremely satisfying game
7. Persona 5
The Persona hype train is probably something you’re aware of and most of what people say about it is true from its Super style and complicated relationship building they are often the best and last bastion of JRPGs. Persona 5 is not the strongest entry in the series but it’s still a really quality product. I spent almost 100 hours with Persona 5 and while parts of it were a chore, others were a true celebration of joy.
6. Yakuza 0
SEGA struggle to get things right and have been that way for the longest time. Yet something that keeps delivering in both absurdity and action is the Yakuza series. A prequel to the series it takes place in the Eighties and has all the kitsch and absurdity of that era. It’s melodramatic crime sage also is fun to watch.
5. Resident Evil 7
One of the great turnarounds this year was Resident Evil 7. Terrifying fun is all that really needs to be said about it. The horror is intense, gross and scary. It’s more a roller coaster ride and less a survival horror game. But its light puzzle solving, and atmosphere only starts to go off the rails as they try an tie the lore back to the Resident Evil series and this only happens towards the end.
4. Horizon: Zero Dawn
No one really expected Guerrilla games to do anything other than bleak futuristic military shooters for the foreseeable future. Yet the post-apocalyptic world of Alloy is anything but bleak, filled with beauty and mechanical terror alike. It bears similarities to numerous games but streamlines their systems of note is its crafting which never feels like a job. Overall the story drives it to a fascinating end even if does take a while to get there.
3. What Remains of Edith Finch
Opposite to the previous entry is the efficient but beautiful What Remains of Edith Finch. Returning to your childhood home, you interact with the memories of the occupants of a unique and structurally unsound house. It tells stories of death both tragic and magical but its conclusion to the mystery is most heartbreaking of all.
2. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
It probably surprises no one that Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is on my list. What might be surprising however is how relevant it is in 2017. We live in a world that has allowed the rise of Neo-Nazi’s voices in Western democracy again and it’s a scary thing how they have survived under the guise of freedom of speech. Wolfenstein 2 simply says how our response should be, Nazis are evil. Their gameplay response of killing them might be a bit too far but it is a video game. As a game, this is a standard and sometimes frustrating corridor shooter in between some of the most brilliant and mind-blowing story moments in video games bar none. The fact that is both absurd and emotionally engaging is the balancing act that means it earns its place high on my list.
1. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade speaks to what Video Games achieve that movies and other mediums cannot. It places the player inside the head of Senua, a woman who has already suffered from schizophrenia and, yet the loss of her lover takes her over a cliff of full-blown psychoses. Set within the world of ancient mythology she goes on a journey to the underworld to save her lover’s soul. It’s beautifully performed in motion capture and the audio experience so immersive. It’s ultimately why we come to games, for immersion. Hellblade is unique amongst experiences and it why it’s my top video game of 2017.