Game of the Year 2017

Needless to say, 2017 was an incredible year for gaming. Nintendo has come back in full force with an exciting new console and 2 of the best iterations of their best series. Sony had some other great exclusives too, thanks to the huge increase of incredible Japanese games this year. Caught up on a lot of great games that I have missed out in the past, like Danganronpa 2, 999, Batman Arkham Knight, Fire Emblem Fates, and continued with my Overwatch obsession. Honorary mentions to these great games for being close but not making the cut or not having time to get to them yet even though I want to: South Park The Fractured But Whole, Nier Automata, Metroid: Samus Returns, Wolfenstein 2, and Assassin's Creed Origins.

List items

  • If you told me a game where I had to read would be my GOTY in the year of our lord and saviour 2017, I would say you are crazy. Yes, Danganronpa isn't the most gameplay driven game, but it is an experience that can only be had because it is a game. Being in control makes this game more compelling than just watching the story unfold. The story in this game is beyond words. There were 3 separate moments where I felt my heart physically in pain because of how full of despair they were. A strong beginning twist that is a big "F YOU" to the player (in the best MGS 2 way), with an even GREATER ending twist that feels right with the world of the game (that gives the ending of MGS2 and Nier Automata for most meta endings). Some really strong characters (especially Kokichi) that make you feel very connected to this world. It speaks volumes of this game that even months after beating this game, I still regularly think of this ending and the whole Danganronpa universe.

  • Just an incredible, fun action movie of a game. This was my first Yakuza game and after hearing a lot of positive buzz about this one, I finally jumped in. The characters are batshit crazy, and really made me want to continue with this series.

  • Persona 4 is my second favorite game of all time. I eat, breath, and sleep Persona. Persona 5 has been my most anticipated game ever since it was first announced. To me, Persona 5 met my expectations. A great world with some great characters and a fun story. The changes that they made to the combat and gameplay were very meaningful, lending itself to be an overall better "game" than the others.

  • After watching a lot of the Giant Beasters play through Super Mario Sunshine, I became extremely hungry for a new Mario platformer. I own the two Galaxy games, but never got around to playing them since I just couldn't muster up going back to the Wii. And the 3D land games are nice, but they don't hold a candle up to 64. I played a ton of this game, getting every moon. This to me is the perfect example of seeing something in the distance and wanting to explore it (even more than BOTW). A great playing Mario game that kept me engaged to collect every single thing.

  • This game had no right to be this good. What started out as a joke turned into a charming great adventure. The strategy aspects had a lot of smart decisions that I would love to see implemented in other games of the genre. Perhaps it goes on for a little longer than it needs to, and doesn't have a lot of variety, but it is a very fresh concept that I look forward to the future of. Also Grant Kirkhope!

  • Breath of the Wild has one of the most engaging, smartest worlds of any game. It has an attention to detail that is not seen in any other open world game. Sure, the combat isn't exactly first in class, and there are times where the world feels a little too open and I am just running for 5 minutes not doing anything, but that is just par for the course for open world games, love it or hate it.

  • Cuphead at first glance is such an easy sell. All you need to do is look at the art once and know what there is to love about it. But I would not just rank it high based on art and music alone. The gameplay is very fun but difficult in the Souls sense that you have to learn to be patient. While it is perhaps a little thin on content, every part that was there was polished incredibly well to deliver a great experience.

  • It is impossible to talk about Nioh without bringing up my favorite game of all time, Dark Souls. Nioh wears it's inspiration with pride, but has a lot of flaws. It reuses the same enemies (that you see all of after the third level). Some bosses feel artificially harder in the sense they just gave them too much health. The game is naturally really dark making it hard to see. But while it has these faults along with others, it has such strong gameplay roots that drew me in to thinking about it a lot this year, and wanting some more great Souls-like experiences.

  • Splatoon 2 is very similar to the first title, and while I didn't play as much of this as I initially thought I would, I loved a lot of it and wanted to go back to it for more. The new modes are fun and the new additions to the mulitplayer are a fresh change.

  • Maybe it is a little cheap putting 2 Yakuza games on my list, but this year was very strong for Yakuza and is on my list for game series I am looking forward to diving in. Another fun, action movie game that continued the great story of Kiryu. I look forward to Yakuza Kiwami 2 being on my list next year :).