The 10 Games That Came Out In 2017 That I Played and Then Ranked!

Ahhhh, 2017. SOME might say, there's never been a bette-alright, look...I actually spent this year playing a LOT of games that came out last year, so with that in mind, here are my Honorable Mentions for 2017's 2016's Games of the Year:

  • Overwatch- Seriously: every time I think I'm out, they PULL me back in. Moira really did that for me this time around, one hand giving life, the other death and the game giving me a support character other than Lucio I feel great using.
  • Darkest Dungeon- The Crimson Court is one of my favorite pieces of DLC of all time, introducing a new dungeon, a new gameplay mechanic, and a new victi-errrrrm-EXPLORER to join my menagerie of PERFECTLY well-adjusted perverts, thieves, and zealots. And that's just ONE person.
  • XCOM2- The hype is as real as I've ever seen: War of the Chosen makes XCOM2 a better game than XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Giving new maps, new mechanics, new enemies, new...things that MAAAAAAAAYBE should have come with the base game, but let's not get into that, let's get into the fact that XCOM2 would be on my list proper if it hadn't come out last year.
  • Marvel Heroes: Omega: I'm not even sure this game counts as having come out this year, and I say that as someone who played it on PC as well, but...oh my beautiful, Diablo-inspired, loot-based, character-class, run-based Marvel Comics RPG...my perfect idle-hands-keep-busy-while-I-watch-Red Letter Media, Rifftrax or Giant Bomb content...oh my darling, it was too soon. You shouldn't have had to go out like this...with your unique characters, gloriously obscure skins, and actually not-terrible-free-to-play hooks...oh, we should have been playing you into 2020 at LEAST. But hey, at least I'm apparently getting a tip jar refund!
  • Stardew Valley: This didn't originally appear on my list, not because I don't think it belonged, but because it's become such a part of my daily routine that I completely forgot it only came out a year ago. Unless I am falling down exhausted, I will play at least one day of this game to finish a day of my actual life. And that usually becomes two...which becomes three...I've already restarted it once for fun, and I cannot recommend it enough if you're looking for a game to unwind with. Don't worry about optimizing, don't worry about getting everything done in a given day, Stardew Valley's entire premise and reason for being is to be enjoyed as pure leisure.

Oh, and I was ludicrously disappointed with Ni-Oh because I...I just couldn't GET it. I wanted to so bad after hearing all the glorious hype and all the people I respect going nuts for it. I love Bloodborne, I've beaten Demon's Souls AND Dark Souls, but just SOMETHING about Ni-Oh I can't get into...

And For Honor. I love-love-love-LOVED this game when it launched. I was playing with friends, we were talking about mains and classes and progression and then...oh look, the host left, so we ALL got kicked. Oh look, 3 AI partners. Oh look. This person has equipment that gives him 50% armor break and 50% better defense, so when he attacks me and I block, I still take a ton of damage, and when I attack him and he DOESN'T block, he takes barely any...that's well-balanced and not at ALL incentivizing me to buy a loot box or six. And no, I don't care if it's been fixed, and I don't care if equipment didn't factor into 1v1 duels: I want to play group games and not have to worry about that kind of crap. Not the kind of game I'd expect from a dev with THAT beard and THAT sword.

List items

  • It’s rare, in this day and age, that a piece of media can really move the needle on my reactions. I don’t mean I’m hard to affect emotionally, but to get beyond a clinical appreciation tinged with feelings, a game has to do something truly incredible. This game not only did that, it did it no fewer than four times. Or five...this game might not be the tightest, most precise shooter and it may make you toss the controller against the wall in frustration (or just...ya know, turn down the difficulty. It’s okay. Nobody knows but you), it’s also the game that made me actually stand up and cheer. It made me fist pump, I gasped, I heard all the talk and STILL didn’t see any of the “big” moments coming. I also found I got used to the combat about halfway through and was doing just fine by the end, though part of that features into the story and what you acquire. A necessary, modern game and one of the first, at least at this budget, that isn’t afraid to shy away from its source material.

    Oh and so far: the DLC is awesome.

  • SuperGiant Games has always made incredible worlds, even when I didn’t fully get invested in them like with Transistor. Pyre was something I didn’t understand despite it being described numerous times, but the first instance I played it, everything clicked into place and made sense. Some of the most compelling and amazingly likable characters, and a storyline that will make you very suddenly question your decisions, this weird combination visual novel/sports game does just about everything right. And it’s married to one of the most compelling, visually and auditory arresting gameplay mechanics I’ve ever played when you finally take to the field, your every triumph and failure narrated by THAT GUY from Supergiant Games.

  • I have certainly enjoyed past Yakuza games. I played up until...whichever one it was that had your character training pro wrestlers to improve their lives. I’ve always enjoyed them, but I’ve never sunk into one like I did with Yakuza 0. And like Wolfenstein II, it’s a game that plays with incredible tonal shifts. One moment you’re singing, AND BECOMING, a karaoke song, or winning a chicken that is also an accountant through bowling and the next...the next you’re hearing a harrowing tale about a woman surviving human trafficking...but because it relegates most of the serious stuff to the main story, and the goofy stuff to the side, it never feels disingenuous. You know when you move along the main story, you’re getting serious. When you’re managing a hostess club, it’s gonna get silly. And the two protagonists get fleshed out, both in themselves and their relationships with others, in shocking and surprising ways. I got INCREDIBLY emotionally invested in these two by the end, so much so that I’ll buy any remake they put out after this just to get caught up.

  • You’ll never see it comin’. Persona 4 is a site favorite AND favorite of mine, and with good reason. The very first game to spawn the question, “WHEN NEXT ENDURANCE RUN?!” still endures with titles like Persona 4: Golden, but 5 endeavors to do something else, and that’s make a great videogame. The actual part where you’re playing the videogame fills in a lot of the character and storyline gaps that might be a bit disappointing to fans who remember previous series’ entries having superior plots or characters (except Makoto, who rides a nuclear motorcycle persona and battles with her FISTS, she is the BEST, FIGHT ME!) and delivers on actually being a great game to PLAY. The characters and plot aren’t bad, either, Ryuji is a more nuanced character than Yusuke’s cloying sidekick archetype, for instance, and even non-party Social Links serve an in-dungeon use, so you don’t JUST prioritize party members. And that beautiful, bluesy-jazzy-soundtrack-YOUNEVERSEEITCOMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN’!!!

  • Videogames, and media in general, really don’t do great with depictions of mental illness. Whether they’re treated as a superpower, a burden, or the ever popular “obstacle to overcome with willpower and good ol’ GUSTO!” it can be hard to see yourself reflected in the characters that are supposed to share traits with you. And then along comes Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and I’m not going to say it’s perfect, but it is very, very close and deals with mental illness in ways both interesting and accurate that I haven’t seen in any media. Including very recent research that plays directly into the game’s amazing and heartfelt ending. At the perfect price for what it sets out to achieve, its ambition never outstrips its grasp, and the near one-woman show is perfectly pulled off by a performance I hope we haven’t seen the last of.

  • Another site favorite (particularly of the late, great Ryan Davis, for whom an in-game burger STILL bears the name) and managing to get a cult following, Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 is everything a sequel should be. At least...it became that after a free patch added back in a couple of minor things I felt were lacking in the initial game (menu rot and Buzz buffs and debuffs, most notably), but now the package is complete and is absolutely hilarious to boot. From emails about failed Kickstarters (or whatever the tongue-in-cheek version of this universe is) to the slow realization that the entire game is post-apocalyptic, there’s a lot of little things to love in a game where the gameplay absolutely delivers. It’s precise, it’s quick and it’s perfect in...BITE-sized portions...see? BITE-sized...cause it’s FOOD. And-WAIT! Come back, there’s still so much more list!

  • Despite what David Cage might tell you, the question of “is a machine with consciousness a person?” is well-worn territory. Much like the zombie, the notion of a sentient artificial intelligence has been run around the park so much that you just think you’re sick of it. You think that until something comes along and makes you completely question all of your assumptions. Another game that places story above gameplay, Nier Automata takes the usual questions of “what is consciousness? What is it to be human?” and challenges the player with multiple endings, numerous perspectives and...suicidial robots chanting “WE SHALL BE AS GODS” as they hurl themselves into molten metal because you’ve killed their god??

    And then watch as it all unwinds in subsequent playthroughs that I won’t get into here, but what I WILL say is that some incredibly annoying open-world limitations that seem JUST SO ARBITRARY didn’t stop me from enjoying this glorious, unique, unexpected game from an auteur I suppose I’ll be keeping an eye on.

  • Imagine being the mayor of Innsmouth...if that means nothing to you: imagine you’re on an island surrounded by mist and fog, completely cut off from the outside world, and there’s an insane cult dedicated to an unknowable, ancient god in the village. And now imagine your job isn’t to ferret out and destroy that cult, but to make sure its will be done. Shrouded Isle is a lot like Darkest Dungeon, another favorite of mine, but it takes out the combat, and it becomes a pure stress/meter management game with some absolutely gorgeous art and sound design and some of the most, honestly, harrowing and horrifying endings of any game I’ve ever played. One of them, I kid you not,[SPOOOOOOOOILEEEEEEER FOR ONE BAD ENDING OUT OF AT LEAST FIVE!!!]

    happens if your town lacks religious fervor by the game’s end. Your character gathers everyone in front of the church and then IMMOLATES HIMSELF TO STOKE THEIR FERVOR BACK! AND IT DOESN’T WORK!!!

  • A videogame has a much, much, much, much, MUCH better storyline regarding the source material than the movies that supposedly represent it. That would almost be enough to have this on the list, the story mode of this game is incredible and an amazing follow-up to the first Injustice, but almost everything this game does was amazing. From having a loot system that truly felt like you didn’t need to use real-word currency nor even really engage with to remain competitive, to Arcade Mode endings that made sense as glorious What-Ifs, to great online and Tower modes, if you don’t care about the elite scene, Injustice 2 is still an incredible buy.

  • I didn’t play the first Nidhogg, but I jumped RIGHT into this one and loved the emphasis on the new weapons and what strategies they brought in, adored the map selection and how each one seemed competitive and...absolutely hated how the online on the PS4 dried up after 2-3 weeks. Yes, sadly, this fell victim to the Divekick Curse: being an awesomely original, weird take on the fighting game genre that just couldn’t sustain an online presence. I wish it had, there’s one HELLUVA game in it, even still.