What a fucking incredible year for video games. I feel like this year more than ever, studios decided to take bigger risks with their projects which resulted in the medium growing as a whole. If that is anything to go off of, 2018 is going to be something special.
This list is broken into three parts. The first includes games that I wish I spent more time with during 2017 along with games I still need to start. The second includes 'Honorable Mentions'; in other words, games that would most likely be in my final list if I had played them more. The final part is my top five, culminating in my personal game of the year.
Let's begin, shall we?
The Ones That Got Away
Call of Duty: WWII
I don't buy Call of Duty games. On the odd occasion that I do, I only play through the single player campaign and then never touch the game again. With CoD: WWII, I bought it for the multiplayer and have yet to touch the single player campaign. Yes, I know it is good. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy the multiplayer. I will eventually get to the single player campaign but until then, I have other games to play.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Speaking of other games to play, I have yet to press start on this one and I am beating myself up about it. I was hoping I would have the time to play through this before the years end but it turns out life gets in the way of video games. I will play this eventually. All I know is, 2018 will be the year of the 2017 backlog. At least until something else new comes along...
Night in the Woods
Yet another game with rave reviews that I have yet to start playing. Based off everything that I have heard about it, I know it is one that I will enjoy when I take the time to play it. The more games I place on this part of the list, the more disappointed I am in myself for not finding the time to play these games. Well, the disappointment train rolls on as there are more games to add!
Alright, in my defense, I bought this one late in the year. I am worried that this will be the game that forever sits on the digital shelf, forever neglected. Maybe 2018 will make me change my mind on that.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck I need to finish this one. I was late to the party on the reboot of Wolfenstein and I still haven't touched The Old Blood. I know this game is fantastic, I just need to finish it.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Minish Cap is my favorite Zelda game of all time. It also happens to be the second Zelda game I have ever completed (the other being A Link to the Past). Yeah, I never completed Ocarina of Time. Yeah, that game did not age well. I got off topic. What I am trying to say is, I don't finish Zelda games very often. Based off the time I have had with Breath of the Wild (Wii U and Switch), I know why it is considered, in many people's eyes, game of the year. For me? I will let you know in five years when I finally finish it (or I won't).
Super Mario Odyssey
Yeah yeah yeah, I get it. "But Josh, if Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey aren't in your top five, let alone Game of the Year, then what the fuck is?!" Look, I believe I have played enough of this game (currently at the Luncheon Kingdom) to have a well rounded opinion on the game, and it is damn good. But that is why my list is of the top five games that I have actually completed throughout the year and that I think stand above the rest. Maybe if I have finished this by the end of the year, my opinion would be different. But I didn't and that is okay because I am taking my damn time with this gem and will continue to cherish every moment at my own pace.
Forza Motorsport 7
Another year, another Forza. Another year, another personal Game of the Year list with another Forza in the top... WAIT A MINUTE! WHAT'S THIS?! IT ISN'T IN MY TOP FIVE?! Nope, it isn't. While this may be the best racing game that released this year, and while I did enjoy the hell out of it, it does not belong in my top five. You will soon see why.
The Top Five
Well you made it this far into the post and you must be wondering to yourself... "Josh, what the fuck did you even complete this year let alone think belong in your top five?!" Well congratulations, it is time for the big ones. Ladies and gentlemen, my top five games of 2017 in numerical order...
#5 - Destiny 2
I am going to get a lot of shit for this being in my top five, especially considering the other games mentioned above. Let me just say this. I LOVED the first Destiny, issues and all. I LOVED it even more when they made all of the quality of life changes with The Taken King expansion. Destiny 2 is more Destiny, all the while looking better and containing an actual story and all of the quality of life changes to make it more of an enjoyable experience for those who don't have a ton of time to devote to one game. Yeah, Bungie needs to stop fucking things up with the communication and changes to the game. Doesn't mean the game is any less fun. If you want a better explanation, read what Greg Miller had to say in his list. Sums it up pretty well.
#4 - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Uncharted 4 was my game of the year for 2016. The Lost Legacy is pretty much more of the same. Now don't let that statement fool you as this standalone Uncharted is still one of the best games of the year. The story, the characters, the world, the multiplayer. All of it is still top notch and still breathtaking. Wait, did I mention the multiplayer already? Oh, I did? Well either way, people still play it and it is still fucking fantastic.
#3 - Horizon: Zero Dawn
You know what? Yeah, the combat is clunky at times and the story falls flat every once in a while but damn is this game something special. Coming from a developer who exclusively created first person shooters in gray and brown hues, Horizon: Zero Dawn is a treat for the eyes. The story and characters are also a complete 180 from what we have come to expect from the Killzone developer as in, they are actually engaging and memorable. I have yet to finish the expansion but that is fine. It will give me an excuse to dive back into this world in 2018 and just get lost in its wonders. Guerrilla Games, bravo.
#2 What Remains of Edith Finch
It is two hours long. Buy it. Play it. You don't actually think I am going to sit here and tell you about what happens in this TWO HOUR experience, do you?! Fuck no! Just go play it. Alright you want a tease? Fine. In ONE scenario in this game you play as a person who plays as another person who plays a game within the game and then something happens. Then you cry. Yeah, just go play it.
#1 - Nier: Automata
This game is fucking bonkers in all of the right ways. The story, the characters, the music, the combat, ALL OF IT! At first, I didn't even think about picking this game up. It wasn't until I watched Cody (Excessive Profanity) on Twitch play the game and then saw this scene that I was immediately interested. Many hours and endings (there are 26 in total) later, I'm so glad I took a chance on this. Nier: Automata takes so many conventional gaming tropes and turns them on their head, thus creating something wholly unique while still feeling familiar. If I try and explain the story or how the game plays, I would just end up causing more confusion and that is far from what I hope to accomplish with this description. I think everyone who is a fan of video games should take the time to play through this. I'm afraid that not enough people will take the chance on this game and give it the attention it deserves.
I said it once, I will say it again... 2017 was an incredible year for video games. Here is to 2018.
- Joshua aka JKFire