Mega Ran is an American rapper, producer, and podcast host. In 2017, he released his ninth solo album, Extra Credit, and survived for nearly 15 minutes in League of Heels' PAX Rumble. You can follow him on Twitter at @megaran.
I have to start this off by saying that since I spent about ⅓ of 2017 on the road, I gave extra special consideration to games that were made with gamers like me in mind: folks who get one to three hours per day to play a game, tops, and a bonus if it can be taken on the go. I also have to say off the bat that I was so impressed with what Nintendo’s been able to accomplish this year, from classic remakes to incredible new sequels. PS4 also held it down, and the indies came through big time this year. Most of the games we were stoked about three-to-four years ago finally dropped and didn't disappoint.
Without any further adieu, here are my top 10 games of 2017.
This game kinda makes me upset, because it’s literally the game that Mighty No. 9 should have and could have been. Big, bright retro style characters and backgrounds, smooth 60FPS performance, fun gameplay and tight platforming. I had a ball with this one. Can’t beat it for the price.
9. Sonic Mania
This was so nice I bought it twice. It reminded me of sitting in front of my Sega Genesis, booting up Sonic and playing for hours. So fun, so fast, so great. Level design wasn’t the best, so I found myself stopping a few times to get my bearings, but the game was an unexpected and welcome hit.
8. Tekken 7
I still feel like the Tekken series peaked at 3, but this is the most fun I’ve had with one since then. I love the classic combos, juggles, and specials, but as a single player guy most times, I really appreciated the story mode and unlockables for each character. That kept me playing more than I usually would.
SCARY. AS. HELL. I really didn’t know what to expect from this year’s Resident Evil installment, but I have to say I was absolutely shocked. From the massive open world feel of the game, the immersive atmosphere, sick sound effects, and deranged characters and plot, this game took me to a place I never knew I could get to. There were a few times where I legit had to pause the game and walk away for a sec to get my bearings. The game had enough of an effect on me that I even wrote a song about it with IGN’s Brian Altano. I’ve never tried the VR version of this and I never will. It’s just too intense.
GORGEOUS...and BRUTAL. Years in the making, and worth the wait in every way possible. When I first played this game a few years ago at PAX, the word was that the game would be comprised of all boss fights, yet as the time went on they thankfully expanded this beautifully painful game into full platforming levels as well. The perfectly drawn characters and backgrounds are just so pretty that stopping to enjoy them will often get you killed. I almost broke a few controllers on this game, but that’s how it’s supposed to be.
As a HUGE wrestling fan (Peep our podcast Mat Mania every week), I was so stoked about a new version of the best wrestling game ever made coming to Steam. I spent a ridiculous amount of time customizing characters, moves, arenas, and even referees. The action is fast yet so realistically paced, I have just as much fun watching a CPU vs CPU fight as I do playing. So much fun.
4. Destiny 2
I put in a lot of time on the first Destiny, and I really have to say they fixed everything that I didn’t like about the first. There’s never a dull moment, and always something to do, unlock or find. I’ve spent hours looking for new weapons and areas. I haven’t hopped on the new DLC yet but I’m looking forward to it
This game was all the fun I wanted in a Mario game, and was so well executed, I couldn’t believe it. When I played a brief moment of the game at E3, they drop you in at New Donk City, and I had no clue what the game would be about. But I got into it immediately. As an old school gamer, I’ve bashed most 3D iterations of Mario, because they just didn’t feel right to me...wonky camera angles, slippery controls... But they got it right on this one. The game is so fun that you never want it to end… and even when it does, there’s hundreds of moons to find. My only complaint is the overall lack of challenge. In a different year, it’d be my game of the year.
I was so stoked to see a new and original IP out there among all the sequels this year, and Horizon didn’t disappoint. Super cool combat, a great lead character, a huge world, awesome gameplay mechanics. Everything I loved about Uncharted, without everything I didn’t like. It just feels so rewarding, I really think this game will change how open world games are created. If I had put more time in on it, it’d probably be number one. Which, after much debate, is...
Game of the...decade? Well, maybe at least a half-decade. Some small framerate issues notwithstanding, BOTW is beautiful. There are times when I'll just go to the top of a hill to get a good look at the amazing scenery. The combat is fun, the secrets are challenging (but not frustrating), the characters are smooth and bright, the cooking is addictive, the music’s awesome. It’s a darn near perfect game, and in a really great year for gaming, it’s my top dog.