Game of the Year 2017

2017 has been a great year for video games. Whether or not your personal life, or the world at large, had a good year is obviously a bit harder for me to judge. What I do know is: If you needed to escape from reality, 2017 gave you plenty of options to do so.

It's been hard for me to select just 10 games so as usual I would like to name some honorable mentions. WipEout Omega Collection, Everybody's Golf, Crash Bandicoot: The N'sane Trilogy, NieR: Automata, Cities Skyline: PlayStation 4 Edition, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Cuphead, Metroid: Samus Returns, Assassin's Creed: Origins, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Windjammers, Pyre, Sonic Mania, Yakuza 0 and Tour de France 2017.

Of course there was also a few disappointments. Yooka-Laylee didn't quite do it for me, Mass Effect: Andromeda was a train wreck, and then there was the whole Star Wars Battlefront II debacle. To me, the biggest disappointment must be Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. The sequel to my game of the year 2014 and I barely played it. It didn't grab me at all, and it felt very plain and just....meh.

When we closed the book on 2016, we were also looking at 2017 to be the year VR had to prove itself worthy of out attention. I think we saw some great VR games, but we're still far away from fully realising the potential of that technology. Resident Evil VII is amazing to play in VR, but besides that it was still mostly smaller games and "experiences" we could enjoy with the different VR headsets. I still haven't given up on VR, but I don't think we'll see another big jump in the quality of games until the next generation of headsets and hardware.

I also want to specifically mention Horizon: Zero Dawn and Persona 5. Those two were the closest to reach the top 10, but in the end I never really felt the need to go back and finish these games. Persona 5 is a game I will eventually go back to. It is a very good JRPG, but it isn't Persona 4. The characters in 5 isn't nearly as interesting, but the story isn't bad and it's still a fantastic game. Horizon just sort of lost me along the way. It's beatiful and has a lot of good things going for it. Ultimately though, Zelda came out at the same time and I was enjoying that game a lot more.

With that out of the way, here are my ten favorite games of 2017!

List items

  • Did I mention that the Switch killed it this year? Super Mario Odyssey is everything I've wanted in a new Mario game since Super Mario 64. Sure, it plays with nostalgia a bit too much, and gets a lot of easy points from me that way. I don't really care though, I've been smiling most of the time I've been playing this gem.

    To be fair, I don't know if this actually is the best game of the year. What I do know is, that it's probably the most consistently entertaining game. I was rarely bored or annoyed by anything. You could say it plays a bit safe, but sometimes that's absolutely ok.

    Especially after a few Mario games that has experimenting with the formula a bit. It actually feels pretty good to come "home" to a good old fashioned 3D Mario platformer. Cappy is a fun new gimmick for this game, and if you don't enjoy watching a Goomba wearing Mario's hat and moustache, you don't have a soul.

    This game is essential if you own a Switch. Is it better than Super Mario 3D World? Is it better than Super Mario Galaxy? Is it better than Super Mario 64? I honestly don't know if it is, but I know it's definitely just as good. It's the game that made me the most happy this year, and it turned me into a ten year old kid again after you "beat" the game. I don't experience that too often, and that tells me that this game is something very special. It's Nintendo at their best, and when Nintendo is at their best, you can't beat them. Super Mario Odyssey is my game of the year 2017!

  • Are you sure I mentioned that I think the Switch had a good first year? Well, it even had a good launch day. At least with this game. Maybe the four other launch games weren't excactly of the same quality, but you really didn't need another game the first month or so.

    Breath of the Wild finally tried something new with the Zelda franchise. Inspired by open world RPGs like Skyrim, BotW dumps you into a huge world, and just lets you figure out what to do yourself.

    It can be a bit daunting at first, but once you explore Hyrule and start to find shrines, the game slowly but surely opens up to you. No matter how you feel about this Zelda game, it can't be denied that Nintendo needed to try something new. I defintely think this new direction works, even though it's a bit annoying that weapons break. Luckily you're always close to a new sword or wooden bat to defend yourself with.

    Running around and seeing the sights of Hyrule is a joy (unless it rains and you can't climb). There's always something new to stumble upon, and the shrines are, usually, fun and clever puzzles.

    The reason I don't put it at my top spot, is because of the few frustrating aspects of the game. Overall though, I can't say a lot of negative things about BotW. It's an essential game to own, and to have it on the go on the Switch is even more breathtaking.

  • I love Destiny. It's just that simple. The first Destiny was a very flawed game, but I loved it anyway. It's probably my most played PS4 game. It makes sense that I was looking forward to Destiny 2 then. Would Bungie manage to fix the problems of the first one?

    Weeeeeeell....maybe not....and if they did, they created new problems. All of this still doesn't really mean a lot to me. I love Destiny 2, and I expect I'll play this just as much as the original. The shooting still feels oh so good, and Destiny 2 has improved the variety of the missions. The story was also told a lot better, although still not even close to the standards of Halo.

    Destiny 2 still don't realise the full potential of the original vision for Destiny, but that's ok. It's a step closer and who knows how Destiny 2 will look one year from now. The Taken King changed the original Destiny a lot, and I assume Destiny 2 will recieve a similar expansion. Until then, it's still a fantastic shooter to play with your friends and even alone. Maybe Destiny 3 will eventually be the Destiny game that takes my game of the year, but Destiny 2 will most likely be the game I've played the most of 2017...and 2018....and 2019...

  • I think I've said it already, but Nintendo's 2017 was pretty good. 2016 consisted pretty much of a few decent 3DS games, and then silenty killing off the Wii U. The Switch has been the ultimate comeback. Within the first 9 months we've seen more great games for that thing, than we could've wished for. Sure, some of them were ports of Wii U games, but that didn't make any difference. They were still good games, but now they were also portable.

    One of my favorite Wii U games didn't get a port. Instead it got a sequel, and I'm not complaining. Splatoon 2 is one the games I've put most hours into this year. It's pretty much the same game as the original. It has new maps, a new mode and a new single player campaign but most importantly, it has the same addictive gameplay.

    There really isn't much to say about Splatoon 2. I still appreciate how the game doesn't focus too much on who splatted the most opponents or who has the highest score. It's all a team effort. The controls are still great, I love how it feels to swim through your paint and surprise attack an opponent. I love how quickly you can get into a game. It's the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater approach. Quick rounds, and short load times between matches. It makes it perfect for both short bursts and longer sessions.

    Together with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it's Nintendo best online multiplayer offering. If you own a Switch you should at least give Splatoon 2 a try.

  • This was the second game I bought in 2017 (the first was Gravity Rush 2, if you must know), and it did set my expectations for the rest of this year pretty high.

    Let's get something out of the way immediately. This game is not a perfect game. Far from it. The story kind of crumbles under itself about 2/3 into the game, and the gameplay also goes a bit back to the trigger happy action movie style of 5 and 6.

    Until then though, you've played the best Resident Evil game since 4 and that helps you accept the anti-climactic final part of the game. The characters you meet on your way a scary, and the mansion is creepy as it should be. Capcom really nailed the atmosphere of the original games, and that alone is worth celebrating.

    The first person view also helps making it feel different from the last few games, and if you have the option, it's worth playing in VR. It really does add to the experience in REVII, and it's a must have if you own a PSVR headset.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like it didn't sell as well as 5 and 6 did. Hopefully the positive reviews, and word of mouth from us who played it, won't make Capcom ditch survival horror games. We don't need another Resident Evil 6!

  • I miss Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain for the PS2. I didn't play a lot of games online on PS2, because it was just easier on the Xbox. SF was worth the trouble. One of my friends and I played that game night and day back when it was released.

    Since then I've been looking for a fun third-person co-op shooter, but none has ever recaptured the magic of Syphon Filter for me. Until this year, where the lastest Ghost Recon game found it's way to store shelves.

    The game itself isn't really anything spectacular. The shooting is fine, without being amazing. The driving physics are horrible and the missions are usually a bit repetitive. If you can get a group of three friends to join you, none of this matters though.

    It's just a perfect game to play, while chatting with your friends and have a good time. If you're looking for a good co-op game, I highly recomming Ghost Recon: Wildlands!

  • After waiting for years after the Japanese arcade release, it would be tough for Tekken 7 to live up to my expectations. I'm happy to say it was everything I had hoped for and more.

    The story mode is fun, although not nearly as well made as Mortal Kombat's. The fighting feels amazing, and takes me back to the first three games. The games everyone could jump into and have a good time. It seems like Tekken lost that from 4 and onward. At the same time it still has depth, so hardcore fighting game players can also enjoy Tekken 7.

    Tekken 7 is essential for everyone who was disappointed by Street Fighter V, but still wants a fighting game to play with their friends. The tension and drama the game builds during a match is fantastic. Especially when both players goes for the final hit, the camera zooms in and everything moves in slow motion. It's just a slick, extremely well-made and fun game to play.

  • Wolfenstein II is insane. That's the first word I think of, when I think of this game. Not so much the actual gameplay. The shooting might actually be the weakest part of the game. Unless you play on the easiest difficulty, it can also be extremely frustrating.

    So what's it doing here on my list? Well, this game has a lot of moments that are hard to forget. These moments can both be quiet heartfelt moments between the characters, but the most memorable are the ones where the game goes 100% all in on absurdity.

    It's a shame the game itself isn't the best to play but the world, story and crazy moments make up for it. You owe to yourself, to at least give it a try.

  • After Uncharted 4 I was 100% sure I wouldn't be interested in more Uncharted. I still picked up The Lost Legacy, but was surprised how much I liked it.

    First off, the game is a shorter and much more focused experience. All the other Uncharted games felt three hours too long. Not this one. The chemestry between Chloe and Nadine is also great, and all the lines are well written. The story itself is about the usual ancient treasure hunt, but the characters carry this game.

    Even the gameplay feels a bit more fresh, especially with a small open world section. Shooting is just like the other Uncharted games, and make no mistake about it, at it's core it still plays like Uncharted 4. It's just a damn good Uncharted game, and I would love to see another game with Chloe and Nadine.

  • It's hard to talk about 2017, and not mention PUBG. It's best days may still be ahead of it, but the game sure got off to a great start this year.

    To some it may be the game of the year, but not for me. It's still a bit too limited in scope. It's pretty much just a single game mode and something I'll play in short 30 minute bursts. What's there is fun though, and feels like no other online shooter.

    If you're tired of Call of Duty and Battlefield, you should definitely give PUBG a chance. The thrill of killing someone, after hiding for a long time is hard to find somewhere else.