Best of 2017

This year is really tough. Each of the games in the top 4 are absolutely incredible. Four games that feel like they should be GOTY, no contest. But there is a contest, so what can I say? A lot, actually. Tried to be concise.

List items

  • The Mario team's 20 years of 3D Platformer experience really shows in this game. They learned all the right lessons from just about every 3D Platformer from Banjo-Kazooie to 3D World. For me the hard part isn't figuring out where Mario Odyssey stands on this list, but where it stands in my top 5 of all time. Easy pick for number 1.

  • Persona 5 replaced the Maze Screensaver Dungeons with Paper Mario style Dungeons. It also overhauled Social Links (now called Confidants) by adding dozens of profoundly useful bonuses that blew me away more often than not. Between those two things, the myriad of other improvements and the "make Bad Actors confess" fantasy, I found Persona 5 to be incredibly hard to put down. Even when I was in New Game Plus 150 hours in. Gotta be #2.

  • NieR is a weird game. The combat is simple but really satisfying once you get the hang of dodging at just the right time. The audio queue is chef kiss. The plot and writing is... a lot, but also really funny, goofy and memorable. It's a very lovable game with a ton of amazing moments and cinematic flair. Only complaint I have is that Route B is a little disappointing. Kind of makes you want to stop. I think that's the thing that puts it at #3.

  • It's an incredible world to discover, the tools at your disposal are few but really well used and the way systems interact is really something. The dungeons are also very good, having an incredible conceit (so good!), incredibly useful abilities, and a brilliant reformulation of the old dungeon style which is more compact and backtrack free. Only major issue is that replaying some of it in Hard Mode I had no fun at all. Replay value, that's why it's at #4. Was a hard call.

  • I love the way this game has you start new characters all the time. Gives me an opportunity to play different, roleplay a bit. "This character never kills." "This character always steals ships, then rams them into the target's ship to do assassinations." "This character has 5 knives which they throw!" I played a ton of this game and it never got old. Any other year it'd be around #3. Alas.

  • V3 probably had the most impact of any game this year. It's most heart wrenching moments made me hurt real bad, it's most goofy ass twists made me laugh super hard. It's just really well executed and I think the best of the series. To be sure, I was super bummed about a certain decision they made, but wow does it belong in this list.

  • This is a first for me, a game I didn't play myself but totally could've being in the list. Only watched Dan play it in Beast in the East. Still I think it fits. It's a super charming and funny game with many of the best moments of the year. Real cool dude stuff.

  • Speaking of best moments of the year, Edith Finch is a short game full of some of the best moments of the year. Plus setting a Gone Home-like in a Weasley-ass house is fucking brilliant.

  • A really good slow burn that's super relatable. I did have some issues with the load times, the amount of plain platforming and an audio issue I got on the Xbox One version, but goddamn it. The setting, story, characters and themes are going to stick with me and I think that it hangs on this list because of that.

  • I think this game plays better than any Smash Game. It's really fast, really fun, each character has really great mechanics built into them, it's a fantastic time waster for me that I've gone back to alot. It'd be a lot higher on this list, except I got the Xbox Version which launched 4 months behind PC and is currently over 2 months behind PC. I'm dying to play the 2 new characters from October, holy shit. Don't be like me, avoid the Xbox One version.