Games I Finished in 2017

Arranged in the order I beat them. At the end of the year, I will rank them from best to worst.

List items

  • 7/22/2017

    5/5 - To say a game revolutionizes a genre seems both trite and over reactionary, but I feel like Breath of the Wild really redefined how I look at open world games. Breath of the Wild presented a world that was ingeniously designed, fun to traverse, and packed to the brim with secrets to discover. The word "masterpiece" shouldn't be thrown around lightly, but I think Breath of the Wild is deserving of such praise.

  • 11/15/2017

    5/5 - The most remarkable aspect of this game is how deftly it treads the line between the serious and the absurd. Similar to the first game, the cutscenes are incredibly well acted and voiced, and that helped give the story a level of weight and impact a game this funny and ridiculous shouldn't have. I think the Hitler sequence perfectly captures the essence of this game: hilarious, poignant, absurd, disturbing, violent, unforgettable.

  • 5/18/2017

    5/5 - The heart and soul of Persona 5 lies in its audiovisual presentation. The style and flair this game exudes is off the charts, and I was still listening to its insanely catchy soundtrack months after I finished the game. Combat was the best in the series, fusion became more streamlined, and the S-links had plenty of interesting storylines. But I think the main story thread goes off the rails near the end, and the totality of the narrative doesn't quite match up to the excellent murder mystery plot of Persona 4.

  • 1/15/2017

    5/5 - No other game keeps me playing hours and hours on end quite like XCOM. The moment to moment turn based gameplay is as engaging as ever, but it's really the base management part of the game that keeps me coming back. Every time I think I'm going to stop playing, it ends up like this: "Oh, the workshop is going to be done soon. Guess I could fast forward time for just a little bit... Whoops, there goes 6 hours."

  • 11/23/2017

    5/5 - The New Donk City festival is such a sublime moment that perfectly summarizes why this game is so good: Super Mario Odyssey feels like a celebration of all things Mario. From the music that plays when you do the RC minigame to the secret world that unlocks after you complete the main story, Super Mario Odyssey somehow manages to pull off fan service without feeling like it's pandering to the audience.

  • 12/26/2017

    5/5 - No game has ever charmed me more while simultaneously infuriating me until I want to snap my controller in half quite like Cuphead. Graphics obviously aren't everything, but when a visual aesthetic is this cohesive and dazzling, it can almost be enough to carry the game on its own. Thankfully, the airtight controls coupled with its parry system made actually playing the game fun as well. The designs of the bosses were joyously creative, and the way they had multiples stages to them meant that I felt like I was making progress slowly but surely, even if I was dying to that same goddamn green dragon over and over again.

  • 1/1/2017

    5/5 - The quintessential "I'm stuck on a puzzle so I'll come back in a few weeks, and then solve the puzzle instantly" game. I don't know what it is; maybe coming back after such a long time helps you forget about all of your preconceptions about how a puzzle should be beat, and you approach it with fresh ideas and perspectives. The mark of an excellent puzzle game is when it makes the player feel like a goddamn genius each time they solve a puzzle. And man, did I feel like the smartest person alive throughout this entire game.

  • 11/25/2017

    4/5 - The way Tacoma told its narrative through the interactive videos was extremely clever. Rewinding and fast forwarding at my leisure to see how the different character interactions inevitably wound up tangled together was fascinating to see unravel. This game actually made me feel a bit voyeuristic and invasive at times, as it felt like I was witnessing very personal aspects of their lives no one else should see, but that just proves that the game did an outstanding job at creating characters that felt real and believable.

  • 4/5 - Not only is the actual fighting in Injustice 2 fun as hell, but the story mode in this game is better than the DC movies themselves. And I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the gear systems, as tricking out your characters and making them look unique were great ways to keep me invested in the game.

  • 11/12/2017

    4/5 - The reason why Supergiant Games is one of my favorite developers is because you don’t know what to expect from them. A visual novel interspersed with a 3 on 3 sports game is the last thing I would expect from the creators of Bastion and Transistor, but here we are.

  • 3/5 - I just don’t think these types of games are for me. I can clearly see why people love these games and go back to them over and over, but for me, I beat the campaign exactly once, and never go back to it again. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time with Destiny 2; it’s just that I have absolutely no desire to continue playing after finishing the main story missions.

  • 12/17/2017

    3/5 - This game being this low on this list is criminal, I know. I can already hear your cries of outrage from here. But this game simply didn’t click with me. I know the main draw of this game is the story and characters, but when the combat feels this clunky, it makes trying to see the next story beat a chore. Everything surrounding the narrative felt like a slog, and it brought down the entire experience as a result, even though this game had some of the coolest moments of the year.

  • 1/3/2017

    3/5 - This game was a pretty big disappointment after how much I loved 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward. Part of that is because the novelty of the series had worn off for me at this point. I already knew going in there were going to branching paths, time travel, etc. And on top of that, I just don’t think the characters and the situations they were put in were as compelling as the first two games.

  • 7/30/2017

    2/5 - It was painfully obvious this was a remake of a game made in 1992. There was absolutely no variety in the mission design, as it felt like every mission was “Defeat X Number of Bad Dudes.” The game lacked the character relationship aspect that was one of my favorite features of the recent Fire Emblem games, and the story basically had every single overused anime trope known in existence. Top to bottom, it just felt like a dated game that had not been properly updated to meet the standards of a modern Fire Emblem game.