I need to address one thing at the beginning of this list: I didn’t play near enough games in 2017. While I still Played enough to fill out a top 10 list, I feel like I was lacking in some areas. I never got to Prey, which I started the day before writing this list (spoiler alert: it’s real good so far). I also want to check out Nier: Automata and Pyre. That being said, the games I did play in 2017 were all incredible games, and 2017 was truly one of the best years in gaming.
The story for me in 2017 was the resurgence of Nintendo. Every new report I see about how successful the Switch is puts a smile on my face, and they released some damn good games this year. I actually have three Nintendo games on my list this year. I can’t remember the last time I played a Nintendo game before 2017, and this year they put out some incredible games.
Now, onto the list!
10 – F1 2017 (Codemasters) – Formula 1 is quickly becoming one of my favorite sports, and the F1 2017 video game was a great way to spend the offseason. It also helps that I purchased a racing wheel this year, and it takes the game to another level. Codemasters expanded on the career mode quite a bit, and it makes you feel more and more like a F1 driver. Also added this year was more of an emphasis on the reliability of the car, and there is even a massive upgrade tree to improve your car throughout the season. And the 2017 game saw the return of classic F1 cars, which are a blast to drive. Codemasters made an awesome racing game this year with F1 2017.
9 – Heat Signature (Suspicious Developments) – Heat Signature is a game where you play a space bounty hunter, and you take missions to decrease the control a major space corporation has over large areas of space. It’s the closest game I’ve played to feeling like a space rebel, something I’ve always wanted in a game. But instead of getting in ship-to-ship combat, your space craft is tiny enough that you sneak on board larger space crafts to steal items or kill a high profile target. The nature of the game allows for improvisation, and things usually never go to plan. This is a game I want to put way more time into, but for the short amount I have played, I know this is one of my favorite games of 2017.
8 – Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 (Vertigo Gaming) – I love cooking food, and Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 does a great job of replicating the feel of both working in a restaurant and cooking delicious food. The sequel did a lot to change up the gameplay from the first game to keep things fresh, all while adding the ability to customize the look of your restaurant and be a guest cook in other restaurants. The developer continues to update the game with new content, and I’m excited to see what gets added in the future.
7 – Metroid: Samus Returns (Nintendo) – Before playing Metroid: Samus Returns, my only experience with a Metroid game was messing around with Metroid Prime on the GameCube years ago. I sort of had an idea of what to expect going into the game, but playing the game blew away all expectations. I loved Samus evolves through the game with new powers and abilities. By the end of the game, I felt like a badass. It also helps that the game looks awesome on the 3DS. I loved running through the environments, and was pretty impressed with the 3D effects in the game.
6 – Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Larian Studios) – I had never played a game like Divinity before booting up the game, and as I continued to dig into it, I learned that this is a game I’ve always wanted to play, but I didn’t know it existed. I love the freedom you get in the game. It truly feels like anything you do in the world has an impact, and other characters in the world remember it. The game would be higher on my list, but I’ve only put about 20 hours into the game, which is minuscule considering the amount of content in the game. I’ve had a blast playing just through the intro area, and I’m excited to dig more into the game.
5 – Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo) – I played a lot of Mario games growing up, but I never felt like I made any progress, especially in Mario 64, so I don’t have the same nostalgia that people have for 3D Mario games. You don’t need any of that Mario nostalgia to enjoy Mario Odyssey. It has a lot of throwbacks to previous Mario games, while introducing an awesome new mechanic that literally changes how you play. For the first few hours, I kept forgetting about the hat throwing mechanic. I would be stuck on a puzzle, then try throwing my hat at anything, and would discover a new way to approach the puzzle. The game is also gorgeous. It was a ton of fun to play through, and I look forward to finding the rest of the moons.
A quick note before I get into my top four games of 2017. These next four games are truly spectacular, and I feel like the numbering of my final four games changes every day. I had to eventually stop re-ordering the games because I had to finish writing this list. As of now, this is how it stands, but these four games feel interchangeable with each other.
4 – Hollow Knight (Team Cherry) – I was introduced to Hollow Knight with a demo from a Humble Monthly bundle earlier this year. It left a profound impression on me, and I couldn’t wait to dig into the full release. While the demo was a good representation of the final game, I didn’t know how dense and full of character this game would be. It is set up similar to a “metroidvania” type game, where you’re an insect armed with a little needle as protection, and you go exploring an ancient kingdom. While the lore of the world continues to be a mystery, I loved exploring all the different areas, and facing off against all the bosses. It also has a really satisfying ending. It really is a fantastic video game, and I can’t recommend it enough.
3 – Cuphead (StudioMDHR) – My first impression of Cuphead was how gorgeous the animation is in the game. It’s easily one of the best looking games from 2017, but below that is a fantastic boss rush game that will have you pulling your hair out, but every victory is so satisfying. I haven’t touched the game since I finished, but it was all I could think about during the few weeks it took me to get through the game.
2 – Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo) – I don’t have the same love for the Zelda series as a lot of people out there. One goal for 2018 is to get to older games that I missed growing up, and I realized that I played a lot of bad games growing up.
I wish I had that love for Zelda that others have, but you don’t need it for the latest game in the series. I had someone describe the game to me as a “minimalist masterpiece,” and I completely agree with that sentiment. In an age where video games are stuffed full of different mechanics and systems, it is nice to have a game that just tells you to go explore and take down Ganon. It is a game that as you dig more into it, you learn more and more about it.
I have a hard time putting this game down. I love running around, finding shrines, finding random things to do. The world is so full of random things for the player to find, and they never feel forced into the world. I’m glad I am able to experience this game. It’s wonderful.
1 – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames) – This game feels like it was made for me. I love alternate history, first person shooters, some sci-fi elements, an engrossing story, awesome stealth mechanics, and bloody combat in video games. This game has it all. One of the most impressive things about the game is the tonal shift that happens about halfway through the story. It’s awesome how the shift not only applies to the story, but you also feel it in how the game plays.
There are so many memorable moments in the game that it can be hard to remember some of those moments as you continue through the game. After seeing credits, I had to go read a plot synopsis to make sure I was remembering all the events correctly. There were a couple moments where my jaw was on the floor with what was happening in the game. Wolfenstein II will always be a memorable experience for me, and I’m glad to have experienced it this year.
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