In a year that was otherwise garbage (for a number of reasons), 2017 was an exceptional year for videogames. An absolutely insane number of games showed up this year, and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to love them all. Some games I’ve played only a little and can’t consider as a contender, or just games I never had a moment to play. Before we get to the Top 5 games of my 2017, here are 5 of the games I didn’t get to but will absolutely play play in the future:
Games which missed the deadine
5) Floor Kids
I have played this. A breakdancing rhythm game that takes the focus away from extreme challenge, and instead emphasizes extreme expression. I smile every time I play. Expect more coverage on this indie gem in the new year.
This came out nearly in sync with the writing of this article. I haven’t had much time to play yet, but know this: I love Advance Wars with a burning passion. The turn based GBA game consumed my childhood. This game is the closest thing we have been to an Advance Wars type turn based strategy game in a long time. I’m sold already.
Any other year, Nier would have been at the top of my radar. It’s a Sci-fi Action RPG that has deep messages in the story. Post-apocalyptic warfare between Man and Machine. Questioning the humanity of AI in a beautiful story with liquid action combat. How I missed this game is still a mystery, but I’m stoked it exists.
2)Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon is the unfortunate victim of existing in the same world as Zelda. I only recently got around to starting once I was FINALLY free of Breath of the Wild’s seemingly endless grasp. What I have seen of the game so far shows a Zelda-esque style game, but it has robot dinosaurs. It’s without question the most beautiful console game I’ve ever seen.
1)Night In the Woods
I’ve been meaning to get to Night In The Woods for sometime. As has become the thought process for many games these days. I’m convinced that the game will play better on Switch. So I held out. Just as I was about to cave and buy the game, it was strongly hinted that the game will indeed see the light of day on Switch.
Night in the Woods is one of those rare games that garners critical acclaim from nearly anyone who gazes upon it. A side scrolling adventure that rings close to home to millenials just trying to figure out their place in the world. I expect it to resonate with me as strongly as everyone else who has played.
Guess I’ll keep waiting on it for now.
With that said, here are the games I consider to be the
Absolute Best Games Of 2017:
I could write something like “Well, I love this game because that style of animation is my favorite…”, but honestly, that style of animation is EVERYONE’S favorite. No, what makes Cuphead great is the crystal clear impression that it’s a labor of love. Games like Cuphead simply don’t get made. Every moment in the game is hand drawn, every sequence was built outside of a computer, then put into a computer, then through science magic, allows you to move the characters on screen without the fabric of space-time tearing and destroying everything we know. Cuphead is hands down the most beautiful 2D game I’ve ever seen, and having seen the labor that went into its creation, it’s not hard to see why.
The “boss rush” formula upon which the levels are built was unexpected, but in the long run, it came as a benefit to Cuphead. Rather than a traditional side scrolling shooter, the focus is on a series of maddeningly hard boss battles. The result is repeatedly dying and trying to figure out where you went wrong. It also reminds me of one of my absolute favorite games ever made, Spelunky. Sure, it’s difficult to the point of inducing rage, but despite that, mistakes always feel acceptable. When you mess up, it’s clear that you’re the one at fault rather than the game. Because of this, the trial and error success structure of gives you a feeling of triumph. You’re slowly climbing a mountain and reaching the top feels fabulous.
Cuphead may have been delayed more times than I can count, but the end product was worth the wait.
4) The Beyond Good And Evil 2 Reveal Trailer
“But Tristan, you can’t consider a trailer your game of the year.”
Shut your stupid mouth, I’m about to do just that.
If game of the year is celebrating the best moments in videogames, seeing this trailer was an unparalleled moment of joy in my life. The original Beyond Good and Evil is one of my favorite games of all time. The dark history of the sequel’s existence had convinced me, without question, that it would never see the light of day.
Now, imagine — It’s been 14 years since you first played one of the best games ever made. It’s been 9 years since you were teased with the existence of a sequel. After that tease, obscure darkness covered the project and it was seldom spoken of. Hope was lost, and that excitement has been dormant and building for nearly a decade.
E3 2017 rolls around, and not only does Ubisoft decide to show that the sequel exists, they make it their “one more thing” moment of their entire event.
Yes. I’m excited.
The first game was an odyssey that explored topics simply unheard of in games back then. Uncovering conspiracies that your own Government is supporting the slave trade of your own people?
The early moments we have seen of the game seem to be suggesting the game will be different, but it also appears that Ubisoft is shaping it into a game that has been tailor made for people like me. A free roaming universe. An epic tale uncovered by exploring. A galaxy full of adventure, tales of comradery. Oh, and there are spaceships that can jump to warp speed.
You know what? This will probably make my list next year too, and you can’t tell me otherwise.
3) Super Mario Odyssey
They’ve done it again! Nintendo doing what they do best. An Italian (former) plumber, with nothing but a gimmick and a world full of original content to explore. It’s been a while since a Mario game gave us the sandbox format we’ve longed for, but the return couldn’t have been any more perfect. Beautiful environments paired with an extreme profusion of things to collect make for the perfect 3D Mario experience. Very rarely do sequels capture the same feelings you had when you were younger, but playing this game is full of nostalgic moments, sounds, and feelings that brought me back to the first time I played Mario 64 on a demo stand in Walmart. Honestly, there were many moments in this game where I feel like Nintendo made a deal with the devil. After the failure of the WiiU, they needed a knockout system seller; Odyssey is just that. You’ll lose yourself in how much this game has to offer, just ask Will. It’s just THAT good.
2) Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
I didn’t play as much of this game as I should have this year, but much like my game of the year, PUBG is simply awe inspiring. It’s not terribly original, having been the spawn of numerous other games trying to go for the same “Battle Royale” format. But it succeeds where those games fall short by giving you an incredibly detailed world, absolute freedom of control, and a shooting experience that, even in its early access phase, rivals the best AAA titles. While the game demands victory by being the last man standing, how you achieve that goal is completely up to the player, and EVERY person plays different. That’s great thing about this game is the way it encourages your own playstyle rather than trying to conform you to just going with the same flow as everyone else. The biggest factor of this game’s success if how much of a phenomenon it has become on the internet. People have been able to build entire careers just playing this game, which to me is a testament to exactly why this game is such a success. When you have a game that is as fun to watch as it is to play, you know you have something special.
1) Breath of the Wild
I expected to fall in love with the Zelda game that had been in production so long it nearly skipped an entire console. I expected it to fill a void that only Zelda games have ever been able to do for me. I never in a million years expected that the Zelda we got would sweep me off my feet so hard. Sure, I play through Zelda games at least twice a year. But Breath of the Wild took my time and didn’t give it back. Well over 200 hours of my life were spent in Hyrule in 2017, and not a second of that journey feels wasted. You could consider the culprit to be a honeymooning lust for the release of the Nintendo Switch, but that wouldn’t be the entire story. Sure, the new found ease of taking a console Zelda wherever I went enabled me to enjoy the game more, but this game, numerous times, stops you dead in your tracks just so you can take in how beautifully flawless the experience is. Breath of the Wild shook up the Zelda formula. It breathed new life into what some would consider a “tired” franchise. Most important to me, it was finally a console Zelda that gave me the same thing A Link To The Past gave when I first played that — a sense of adventure. Unlike every other open world game in 2017, littered with waypoints and menial goals to try and methodically take up as much time as possible, Breath of the Wild gives you a blank slate and says, “Here — you write this story, there’s nothing to stop you.” Between the challenging combat, absolute freedom of exploration, and for the very first time, a princess that feels like less of a victim and more of a partner, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game that everybody should experience. It’s not just my game of the year for 2017. It’s very possibly the best game I’ve ever played.