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Game of the Year 2017

2017 was an amazing year for games. My numbered list couldn't be cut down below 16 in good conscience, and I felt like with that number I might as well shout out a couple of trends or themes I appreciated, and that swelled the list to 18, but with about 8 more games listed among those two new entries. It will make more sense when I publish my list. But what is my list?

My Game of the Year list is largely inconsequential. It's a way for me to reflect and collect my thoughts on the games I played in the prior year. It's heavily focused on games that were released in the year in question, but 2017 has really put that to the test. Prior years saw me keep a spot open for Hearthstone because I've continued to play it almost daily since its release in 2014 (and before given its time in closed and open beta). The same goes for iOS title Marvel Puzzle Quest, and both of those games have been the tip of the spear for games that are released and supported continuously with new content and changes to gameplay. PlayerUnknown's BattleGrounds started down that path from Steam's Early Access in 2017 before even being officially released. While it's scheduled to exit Early Access in December, would I not include it on my list because of an arbitrary version number given that it dominated the gaming conversation for a huge chunk of the year and I played a lot of it AND had a ton of fun with it?

While my game of the year list is focused on titles from 2017, it's ultimately MY game of the year list – a reflection on games that were available to be played and that made some kind of a positive impression on me in this year.

What my Game of the Year list isn't in 2017 is comprised of any of the following games. These are games I played some of, but not enough to make a final ranked decision about. This doesn't mean I've finished everything on my GotY list, but I feel like I've played enough to have an informed opinion about it. So here's my partially annotated, unranked list of games that didn't make the cut.

  • What Remains of Edith Finch

  • Torment: Tides of Numenera

  • Cosmic Star Heroine

  • Prey

  • Resident Evil 7

These are all single player titles with play times ranging from a few hours to dozens and dozens of hours. I either didn't have time to start them despite wanting to (Edith Finch, Prey) or started and played just the barest minimum before getting distracted by something even more awesome (Torment, Cosmic Star), or just wimped out because I was too scared to keep playing (RE7)

  • Splatoon 2

  • Mario Kart 8

  • Puyo Puyo Tetris

Three fun Switch games that I just didn't play as much as three other games that did make the list. Fun and nothing at all wrong with them.

  • Halo Wars 2

  • Ghost Recon Wildlands

Tactical military shooter and console-ified real times trategy title that I had a lot of fun with for literally an hour or so each. I suspect Wildlands will get mentioned elsewhere in anotehr contect but wanted to shout it out here too.

  • LA Noire Remastered

  • Final Fantasy XII – The Zodiac Age

Two remasters, one of a PS2 game I never finished and one of an Xbox 360-era title I finished the main story, every side quest, and found like 85% of all dumb collectibles. They both look much better in HD (4k and HDR for LA Noire), but FFXII gets a bit more credit for making some improvements to the older gameplay elements. La Noire is just a visually enhanced version of the previously released game.

  • Gwent

  • Elder Scrolls Legends

Collectible card games in the vein of Heathstone that have both held my attention for periods of time, but never captured my attention the same way. ESL is still installed on my iPad, and both are on my PC (there's no mobile version of Gwent yet).

  • Nier: Automata

I'll be honest, I have zero interest in playing Nier: Automata even though people who I greatly respect have said laudatory things about the themes it explores and the impact it has had on them, but I don't like the look of the action and playing through it seems like a slog. If it ever comes to Playstation Plus or Xbox Games with Gold, MAYBE I'll download it for when I've played through every other game I own.

  • West of Loathing

  • Assassin's Creed: Origins

I lied that this list was unranked. These two are my favorite of the games that didn't make my too big final list, but I haven't played enough of them to, in good faith, put them both anywhere on the list. West of Loathing is a traditional RPG by the people who made the text-heavy Kingdom of Loathing web based multiplayer game. It's quirky, charming, and legitimately funny which is not common in games. The problem is I'm so paranoid about missing something funny or interesting, that I've played for almost 80 minutes and not left the starting tutorial area. I'm reasonably sure the developers would claim there's not an hour's worth of stuff to do or see in the opening area. I just can't get passed my own weird hangup and leave.

Assassin's Creed: Origins suffered a bit from a similar problem, plus it was released on the same day as two other games that fared pretty well on my ranked list. The pull of those games plus the knowledge that Origins was a huge game and had 4k and HDR upgrades for the Xbox One X made it easy to set aside until that system launched in mid-November. I've since gone back and played 8-9 hours of the game, but I'm having so much fun exploring the world and doing side quests that I've seen almost nothing of the main story. The year away for the franchise has done it good – the climbing is more puzzle-focused than in recent prior iterations and the addition of an RPG-like loot system freshened up combat for me. I adore what I've played so far but realize I've barely scratched the surface.

List items

  • 2. Super Mario Odyssey and 1. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

    I have a hard time thinking of these games separately because of how complementary they are in broad strokes. It also doesn't hurt that they were released on the same day (October 27th) and were so good and felt so essential that I felt like I couldn't even think about Assassin's Creed: Origins until I had finished both of these games, and I've loved a lot of Assassin's Creed games.

    Super Mario Odyssey is a 3d platformer where our titular hero terrorizes multiple worlds by asking its inhabitants to consider what it means to be "alive" or "conscious" by invading their bodies with the aid of magic hat. Kidding, of course, it's a lighthearted game where Mario's new power is using Cappy, the aforementioned sentient hat, to possess other things in the world (living and not) in order to use those things' means of travel or tools to solve puzzles and reach areas he couldn't have before. This is all done to find Power Moons, some of which are hidden and some of which are out in the open and only hidden behind what creature you need to use to reach them. This is all being done in service of powering up Mario's new ship, the Odyssey, so he can fly after the kidnapped Princess Peach and Bowser to prevent the former's forced marriage to the later. The less said about the story the better, not because it reinforces tired damsel in distress tropes (it does, even if Peach gets a pretty cool "liberated woman who don't need no man" post-credits life), but because it's old and boring. Mario has saved Peach in a million games and will continue to do so as long as Nintendo makes games. Where Odyssey excels is in creating fun worlds to explore where the payer is rewarded for asking "What if I jump here?" Or "Can I use this to get to that and then to here?" The power moons serve as a minor gate to moving from world to world through the story, with seemingly every bit of investigation and exploration resulting in another moon for the player. Odyssey is perfect to fire up for 15 minutes to find a moon or two, or to keep playing for hours because you want o know what's over that hill, or figure out how to get to that rooftop, or find the secret area in this 2d homage to the original Super Mario.

    Where Mario's story feels like a tacked-on afterthought to a brilliantly controlling and joyous game, Wolfenstein's story is THE reason to play it. Mechanically, I felt like Wolfenstein 2 was poor to passible, with bad systems for player feedback in its first-person combat, shooting that was okay but unrewarding thanks to bullet sponge enemies, and stealth sections or options that were terribly designed and implemented to the point of being detrimental from the game as a whole. I realize none of this sounds like a Game of the Year write-up, but my god the story this game tells and world it builds screams "Game of the Year 2017" to me.

    Where Mario was a lighthearted romp, the lighthearted moments in Wolfenstein come from a gallows humor where the world is in tatters. Picking up directly where Wolfenstein: The New Order left off, the Nazis won Word War II and we're in the 1960s where their control has spread to include the United States. The opening twenty minutes or so show a wheelchair bound BJ Blaskowicz fighting Nazis on his formerly secure commandeered U-Boat home, experiencing flashbacks to his childhood with a racist, wife-beating, anti-Semitic, abusive father, and witnessing the execution of a dear friend at the hands of an equally cartoonish Nazi villain. The rest of the game's combat that I denigrated earlier is absolutely worth enduring, even if on the lowest difficulty, to experience the world and character building Machine Games put into The New Colossus. Major and minor characters have conversations in the halls of your U-Boat, the Eva's Hammer, that flesh out their world and experiences under Nazi occupation. Encountering Grace and Horton are more impactful moments for what they say about building resistance movements and the importance of the act of fighting than more bombastic cutscenes that get more attention, like a jail break gone wrong or a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or even a scene somewhere unexpected with THAT Nazi leader and a surprising cameo from a terribly overrated actor.

    2017 has been an amazing year in games and, for many, an absolute trash fire in reality where we have to fight the rising tide of global fascism with marches and calls to elected officials whose loyalty to constituents' wishes vs big money donors is all too clear. Wolfenstein taps into this moment with biting satire – the profile of a "dapper Nazi" and two jackbooted thugs decrying political violence are just two examples where many exist – and a cathartic message that "Things may suck, but you can always find a reason to keep fighting." That's what I'm choosing to take from 2017, and Wolfenstein is the game for its time.

  • See above.

  • It's hard to ignore a game that's sold 24 million copies and dethroned DOTA 2 as Steam's most concurrently played game. Those two facts would have probably placed PUBG on my Game of the Year list alone, but the fact that I had a blast playing and watching PUBG meant that I couldn't justify it being any lower than 3 on this year's list. And I have such strong feelings about my numbers 1 and 2 games that I can't see anything else having been released that would have topped this.

    By now, if you follow games, you know PUBG is a Battle Royale/Hunger Games inspired multiplayer game where 100 players are thrown onto a plane, parachute out over an island, and then scavenge for weapons, armor, and other helpful equipment in an attempt to be the last man or woman standing. In addition to other humans, there are occasional bomb zones that can kill you, and a creeping blue wall of electricity pushing the action towards a more and more constrained circle. I'm terrible at multiplayer shooters, but something about PUBG hooked me. There's never been a multiplayer game like this where I both went into each round expecting to die quickly but walked out of every round, regardless of how I did, tense. I wanted to do well, didn't expect to, but the uncertainty of every encounter just ratcheted the adrenaline up a notch. This is also one of a few games I've enjoyed watching as much as playing, thanks largely to Giant Bomb's regular Murder Island feature. It's a game where watching people play well is as rewarding as watching a squad bumble around on the outskirts of the map, struggle to find weapons or vehicles, and then die due the blue wall. Some of that probably has to do with the squads I was watching, but I still had a hell of a time with PUBG in 2017. And for the record: Solo 5th with one kill once, 5th with 0 kills once, and I doubt I'll ever top either of those rounds. Although it won't be for trying.

  • Night in the Woods can best be described, in terms of gameplay, as a combination 2d walking simulator and adventure game with some slight branching paths. I realize this might not be everyone's bag, but this speaks to me. It also has anthropomorphic animals as its characters in a really unique animation style that makes looking at it for 10-12 hours pleasant. There are some light puzzle elements that were frustrating because I tried to play them on a new, improperly calibrated tv, so the truth is that's on me. These sections also involved finding ghostly musicians who ended up playing a more chill Golgo Bordello-style track in each segment that made it all worth it. All these elements would add up to a game that probably struggled to crack my top 10 this year.

    Where Night in the Woods becomes something special is in its treatment of the three main characters, its environment, and the secondary characters. Set in a dying rust belt town, Night in the Woods tells a story centered on Mae – a recent college dropout returned home – and her friends Greg – a loveable burnout – and Bea – an ambitious woman pushed into the family-owned retail business by financial realities. How these three interact in this dying town makes up the core of the game, and I found it all too easy to see myself or parts of myself or alternative versions of myself in each of these main characters, especially having grown up in a dying rust belt town. Even the secondary characters interactions have some weight behind them, from the genuine love and warmth I felt from Mae's mother that was tinged with some serious conflict at time to the two...let's say "yokels" who stand outside a bar and trade empty platitudes about the local sports (I assumed football? I don't recall know if it was ever spelled out) team. Even those two characters, who do nothing else, have a bit of an arc between them.

    I think it's unfair to say Night in the Woods has "a message," and more accurate to say it has multiple messages. You may click with some and not others, all of them, or absolutely none of them. For me, a LOT of Night in the Woods hit home. I don't know if I'll ever pick it up and play it again to see paths I didn't take, but what I did see is going to stick with me if I never launch it again.

  • Heat Signature has a simple but effective elevator pitch: Hotline Miami's top down look and combat, but in space in the future and with the ability to pause at any moment to get your bearings and plot your kick-ass next move. This is all enabled by standard weapons of combat like wrenches, swords, and various guns, but also with items that let you teleport (yourself or enemies) or hack electronic systems and turrets or even turn shielded enemies' weapons against them by making sure those shields reflect bullets fired from inside them instead of out. There's a satisfying story and strategy layer that sits above all of this, but the draw is really figuring out if you can stealth your way through a ship, get the cargo you came to steal or hostage you came to rescue, and then escape unseen...or knock out every bastard in your way including the ship's captain and fly his own vessel back to your home. There's even a set of tactical considerations in planning your mission loadout – do you take a grenade launcher to deal with armored enemies you know will be on the ship you're infiltrating, or do you go for the bonus objective of not killing any enemies? Or maybe you don't care about the no killing bonus but don't have a grenade launcher to deal with those armored enemies, so you take a teleporter who can launch enemies into space, and a shotgun that can't pierce their armor but sure as hell can blow up explosive canisters, sending them and you into space where they'll suffocate but you can maneuver your transport pod to pick you up, return you to the enemy ship, and carry on with your mission. I feel like Heat Signature is a game I can play for years and never begin to scratch the surface of what it allows with systems and weapons interaction because I’m just not that creative.

  • Destiny 2 occupies a weird place, where it will probably have a place on this list for many years as one of those "live games: I mentioned all the way back in item #17, like 2,100 words ago. For many players, the original Destiny launched to great hype, disappointed, and rallied thanks to post-launch support from developer Bungie. I had a different experience, being excited at the launch as many but quickly realizing my own worsening chronic health condition made playing a game where you are always online and can't pause in the middle of a battle a non-starter. To be fair, this is also a problem for other groups of people like "parents" and "non-crazy people," but it forced me to reevaluate what kinds of games I could play and what experiences like this, which seemed to becoming more normalized, meant for me.

    Destiny 2 launched almost a year after I underwent surgery to correct that health problem. What Destiny 2 really is, when viewed with a harsh critical eye, is a mediocre story with a loot grinding treadmill enabled through various types of events that can be done solo or with groups designed to keep that treadmill moving, all supported by some beautiful graphics and tight first-person shooting combat. With the game's first expansion just launched, there's still some unrest in the community about high-level post-game content, but for someone like me who wants to play for a few hours a week, get my few high level guaranteed gear drops, and check in after the weekly reset – it's fine. The fact that I can put in hours grinding for an exotic gun or armor piece means more to me than the frustration of never finding it, or finding it a day before everyone can just buy it from the weekend exotic item vendor. What elevates this for me over games I LOVED like Tacoma and XCOM: WotC is what Destiny 2 represents in terms of the ability to experience a game like this without fear or anxiety beyond my control.

  • 7. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

    A brief history lesson – X-COM was a 90s PC game that I played for hours with my friend Kyle. It had a turn-based strategy layer where you tried to guide a squad of soldiers in repelling an alien invasion. IT was hard. X-COM 2: Terror from the Deep was that game's sequel, set underwater. In 2012, Firaxis, the people behind the Civilization games, resurrected the franchise as XCOM: Enemy Unknown and it was very well received. The released an expansion pack named XCOM: Enemy Within which was good and added missions and maps and some new enemy types and new solider types for your squad, a new enemy faction, and new story missions. It was generally well received too. XCOM 2 was released in February of 2016 and made some more incremental upgrades – new soldier and enemy types, a brand-new campaign story where humans lost the first XCOM war and you are now overseeing a human resistance, and some new mechanics around squad concealment and mission/campaign timers. It was, again, generally well received but my impression of it and its reception was along the lines of "This feels like another expansion pack." That's a bit unfair, as a lot changed, but it didn't have the feel of drastic change.

    This year's XCOM 2 expansion, War of the Chosen, feels revolutionary. I hopped back in after not having played much (at all, maybe?) since the winter of 2016. War of the Chosen doesn't just add new factions and soldier types for both you and your opponents, but deep stories around them and systems upon systems upon systems that govern how you and your soldiers interact with the world, prioritize missions, and generally think about and play the game. I was enjoying myself with it but feeling a little overwhelmed, so I did a quick Google search for expansion-specific info and tips. I found one key video from that spelled out 112 new things from this expansion. War of the Chosen launches as its own executable. For my money, War of the Chosen is XCOM 3 and may be the game on this list I come back to the most often from this list. Enabling that is the ability to create a character pool, ensuring my new recruits are named after friends, family, and people I follow in the gaming industry. There's a certain satisfaction above and beyond just finishing a mission when you're able to bring home your best friend, cigarette and all, and his clutch grenade landed the final blow on the final enemy, or destroyed that alien's cover to allow someone else to take a better shot.

  • The game studio that made Gone Home is back with their sophomore effort and made another game similar to Gone Home. As opposed to Gone Home's early 90s Pacific Northwest setting, Tacoma is set on space station Tacoma, allowing for a slightly less linear experience. You play as a contractor sent by the Venturis Corporation to retrieve AI data the physical core of the station's AI after some kind of accident. During your time on the station, you can use your own AR interface to relive the last days of the station crew and piece together what happened before they went missing. These AR scenes play out across constrained spaces, but with different crew members interacting at the same time in different areas; the station engineer and botanist may be having a conversation in the rec room while the administrator dictates a letter back to Venturis in her office and three others are planning the evening's dinner. You're free to pause, rewind, and fast forward these conversations and move about with the participants as you see fit. Not only do you pick up bits and pieces of the main mystery, but your freedom allows you to rifle through these people's lives and find out who was in love with whom, who missed a long-deceased sister, and who was working every connection he had left to find another job – any other job – away from the station. It was one of these "optional" areas where I turned on a character's radio and heard the song "Driving" by Floating Room which may end up as my favorite song of 2017. It's a wonderful song on its own, and also perfectly placed by the folks at Fullbright in this place and this moment. It was these quiet moments I enjoyed the most, although the strong cyberpunk narrative spoke to me as well. Tacoma didn't have the same personal level impact as Gone Home, but I think its overall message hits harder and shows a novel approach to storytelling in games.

  • If I was surprised that Persona 5 and Pyre were so low on my Game of the Year list, I'm honestly stunned The Legend of Zelda isn't my Game of the Year. It's an incredible game, breaking conventions that have been part of the series since it debuted in the 80s. Nintendo, for all their failures to adopt modern conventions in online account structures and old game sales and cross generation purchase support, have made what may be the first true next generation open world game. Systems layer upon systems in a way that interact smartly and naturally and encourage exploration and experimentation. Shrines dotted throughout the world provide for bite sized chunks of gameplay and also invite hours of exploration to keep finding more. The gripe that sticks with me, and it's an intensely personal one, is that I HATE weapon durability, which is implemented here in a way that encourages weapon experimentation. Despite the best possible use of this type of system, I still hate it.

  • Persona 5 might be the game I've played the most, with over 100 hours logged in one playthrough. There's a part of me that wants to go back and see sidequests I missed, take different paths with party member affinity, and just spend more time in this world. The problems are there are too many good games, and the story is split between meaningful allegory for free-thinking and control and what can be generously called "complete anime bullshit." This isn't a surprise – it's exactly what you sign up for when starting a Persona game. The game does have an undeniably sense of style in its look and sound, meaning I'm sure I'll come back to it someday.

  • Supergiant Games has made three games, and I've loved each one more than the last. Bastion's story was fantastic with lauded twin stick shooter gameplay that didn't connect with me. Transistor moved more towards tactical gameplay and retained the writing I loved from Bastion. Pyre finally mixes an engaging, moving, meaningful story about relationships and redemption with gameplay that works beyond its elevator pitch of "Blitzball from Final Fantasy VII with three characters." Each character you recruit brings new tactical options, opens up the story, and challenges you to find new ways to maximize your team's abilities. Pyre not making my top 10 games of the year is a testament to how amazing 2017 was that a game I loved this much has an eleven next to its name.

  • This mobile gem is the result of someone who grew up on Where's Waldo taking advantage of the technology available today and making a deviously difficult version of that game that uses the interactivity of modern touchscreens. I feel like this is one game where the less said the better, except to say that you should fight the urge to move on from one area until you've found everything in one place. It's the most rewarding mobile experience I had this year.

  • It's been a long time since we had a good golf game – EA's golf series was in decline before Tiger Woods's...troubles...and has never really recovered. The Golf Club and its sequel have tried to be the realistic golf replacement people are looking for. But what if we didn't really want realistic golf, but old school three click meters in a 16-bit style reminiscent of JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Earthbound? The golfing is passable, the story is a little cliché for a 16-bit style RPG, and the characters and quests are nothing special. Altogether, it all combines to be more than the sum of its parts. This may be due to the initial dearth of games on the Switch, but I enjoyed my time with it nonetheless.

  • Injustice 2 is a better Justice League story than the Justice League movie. NetherRealm, makers of Mortal Kombat and the series' previous entry, Injustice: Gods Among Us, goes back to the well of DC characters split along the lines of totalitarian prick Superman and brutal, anything goes resistance leader Batman again, plus they added collectible loot with cosmetic changes and stat bonuses that can push you to trying a new style or enhance the way you already play. As some who is terrible at fighting games, the story was fun and the rotating challenge towers gave me enough reasons to keep coming bac k for a while, earning more loot to spec out my Batman, Robin, Harley Quinn, Robin, or Supergirl the way I wanted.

    Superman is still a prick.

  • Ubisoft created the Rabbids to be the Minions, those ubiquitous, irritating yellow creatures, before the Minions were an afterthought in a bad kids' movie. Mixing them up in a world with Nintendo's beloved characters from the Mushroom Kingdom seemed like a weird decision for Nintendo...and it seemed even weirded when it was revealed to be an XCOM-style turn based tactical strategy game where Mario gets a blaster and Luigi gets a sniper rifle. Again, it shouldn't work, but "Mario in a simplified XCOM game" is pretty great. The turn-based challenges mix mobility options with those XCOM tactics in a simplified manner to be more of a puzzle game, where there's a right answer to how to complete the scenario with your tools the "right" way. Exploring the overworld and finding alternate paths and collectibles is fun, but the whole game sticks around just a biiiiiiiit too long to be considered exceptional.

  • Guerrilla Games, makers of the PlayStation exclusive first-person shooter series Killzone, made an open world game. I was never a big fan of Killzone, and the thought of the same people used to making a corridor shooter set on futuristic alien worlds making a third-person open world game set in a more natural, "futuristic native" setting with bows and arrows and spears and robot dinosaurs...I was not sure this would be up my alley. Not only does the game run well and look gorgeous, but the story of Aloy and her society and how the world they inhabit became what it is (with robot dinosaurs!) is pretty great. There's a bit here that seems to familiar, like stealth in tall grass being overpowered. I also found the combat to be rote, repetitive, and challenging more in its pacing than its design, but the characterization of Aloy and the people in her world is fantastic.

  • 17. Live Games (Hearthstone/Elder Scrolls Online/Marvel Puzzle Quest/Typeshift/Hitman/The Division)

    The way we play games has changed phenomenally in the past few years, and there may be no more vicious fight coming than the fight for player retention by making your game "sticky." I have played Hearthstone almost every day since it was in beta, and the just-launched Kobolds and Catacombs expansion introduces a new single player mode that has me playing even more often than I anticipated it would. I have played Marvel Puzzle Quest every day for over 960 days. Elder Scrolls Online launched a few years ago and took some time to find its footing, but multiple content updates and refinements made it a game I played for several months and have every intention of playing more of for the foreseeable future. The same goes for The Division. Typeshift is another mobile game like MPQ, with daily challenges and multiple post-launch updates. Hitman launched last year and was damn near my Game of the Year, and got another mini-campaign late in this year after the developer, IO Interactive, worked out ownership of the IP after a split from their publisher and former owner, Square Enix. Season 2 is slated for 2018 and I couldn't be more excited. As long as game makers and publishers find a way to provide meaningful updates, both free and paid, there's no reason to write off games released in prior years as meaningless in the current conversation.

  • 18. Sports Games I Enjoyed (Madden NFL 18, MLB The Show 17, and Fire Pro World Wrestling)

    I play sports games every year, and Madden 18 and MLB The Show 17 stand out for making their card collection-based modes not just palatable, but actually engaging for someone who plays primarily single player games. Both made the expected forward progress in terms of visual fidelity and gameplay improvements. Madden 18's Madden Ultimate Team has slowly evolved into THE reason I play the game, collecting players from card packs to earn in-game currency to buy more card packs to get better players and on and on into infinity. The number and types of quests (called "Challenges") is greatly improved, and ranges from single play quests to completing one drive to playing a full game. It's the perfect way to kill a few minutes or an hour and feel in either case like you're making progress and improving. MLB The Show 17 comes almost as far with its Diamond Dynasty mode, improving on the "Conquest" mode and having more ways to collect and improve on the players in your binder.

    Also on my annual play list are the WWE games from 2k. These are bad games – they play poorly, don't look good, and haven't improved in at least 7 years. Fire Pro World Wrestling, a Japanese-developed game in Early Access on Steam, eschews any professional wrestling league licensing to focus on 16-bit style gameplay and customization. The inclusion of Steam Workshop support means a dedicated community has already sprung up around the game to fill the gap from not having any license to create literally thousands of custom characters that not only look like their real-world counterparts, but behave as them too thanks to deep move set and logic customization.