Hi everyone, and I bring you a special weekend post of my top games of 2017. The end of the year is upon us, and as we all finalize and decide how and who we’ll spend our new years, we also take the time to look back and recollect our favourite games from this year. The year of 2017 held some great gems for gamers, from the larger AAA offerings to the smaller indie gems.
Even though this years game releases offered a huge amount of quantity, surprisingly the quality of games delivered did not disappoint. Also, with Nintendo’s new console, the Switch making it’s way into the forefront, the year has also brought us new a fun ways to play games in a small form factor.
I look back at 2017 and am glad I got to experience the games I did. Even though my list is not a typical top 10 by any means, and there will be notable omissions given time constraints and just not having all the consoles available, I still find it to be a decent representation of what I experienced and felt stood out for me.
Below I have rounded up my top nine game of 2017. Why nine? Well, simply because I can’t justify adding a tenth game I really felt that should be on here that I personally played. That being said, let’s jump right into it and see what we got!
#9 – Cosmic Star Heroine
Zeboyd games released their Chrono Trigger influenced JRPG hit Cosmic Star Heroine this year. If you’ve already read my review, you’ll know that I absolutely adored this game. It has a great combat system, which is a must for any JRPG game. It featured a great cast of likeable and charming characters all accompanied with some hilariously written dialogue. Although it’s story wasn’t deep, it was nice playing a JRPG that didn’t take itself so seriously, and was an experience that could be experience in a short amount of time. Not only this, the game is structured in such a way that you’ll never be stuck grinding to level up or waste time doing those menial things that we often criticize JRPGs for. Oh, and let’s not forget, the sound track absolutely rocks!
#8 – Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Now I bought this game a little after it’s release, but it only made it’s way to my list just recently. Even though I’m not entirely finished, I’m close enough to the end that I can easily say this is one of my memorable games of the year. This was the game that no one thought would have been as good as it was. But here it came turning heads all over the internet clamoring about its greatness. People were always skeptical about the Rabbids, but I always loved them, and thought they’d fit in with Mario nicely. It may look childish and quirky, which it definitely is, but the game is incredibly deep with it’s combat and upgrade system. It’s boss battles are challenging, enjoyable and downright hilarious. Even outside of the battles, the sheer fun I’ve had just exploring and seeing the Rabbids doing what Rabbids do made me feel like I’m touring some whacky theme park.
#7 – Metroid: Samus Returns
Our favourite galactic bounty hunter makes her triumphant return in the much anticipated and much needed, Metroid: Samus Returns. I went very in depth in my review why a remake of Metroid II was indeed very special to me. That being said, this is not just a remake of the original Metroid II, but a re-imagining of what that game was. It gave the game a sleek new 3D look with an awesome 3D effect that begs to be played on max, but also took what didn’t work in the original title, but in a way perfected it. The controls have been revamped and Samus has never been more fun to control as everything feels very snappy, and Samus is agile and packs a punch. The combat is fun and rewarding, but also challenging and enemies and bosses should never be taken lightly. The game nails the classic feeling of isolation that Metroid games are known for. From start to finish, this is a joy to play, and holds some fun surprises along the way as you discover and map out the vast caverns of SR388. A great reason to dust of the 3DS this year.
#6 – Rakuen
This was a game that probably went under many peoples radars, but I had the pleasure of reviewing this gem. Rakuen is a game that tells a story about an ailing boy, who inspired by a story his mother reads him, embarks on a journey to reach the magical paradise called Rakuen. The game deals with many hard hitting issues as you help the games many characters overcome their internal struggles. The game not only drives home the lessons of regret, death and many other topics, but presents the bond between the boy and his mother in a way I’ve seen no other game do. The love between the two is very touching, and rest assured, the game brought many tears to my eyes. It’s a game that strictly focuses on it’s story, and has no combat at all, but cleverly uses puzzles in forms of the games challenges, that serve in their way of having dungeons similar to that of Zelda. The game was created by a small team, most notably Laura Shigihara, and features beautiful 2D top down graphics, but an epic sound track as well. The game is absolutely charming and I recommend anyone who loves an emotional story driven game to check it out.
#5 – Splatoon 2
Splatoon 2 was a game I approached with great caution. I historically haven’t done well with online multiplayer shooters. I’ve always found they’ve segregated me into my own special bubble that made me feel like I could not be as good as other players out there. Well, after reading all the praise about Splatoon 2, I finally dipped in and haven’t looked back. The game had me hooked and every match I felt like I was always contributing to my team. Whether it was getting splats, or simply painting the ground all sorts of different colours, I felt like I actually made a difference. With it’s greast Splatfest events that bring the community together and the vast amount of customization you can do for your characters, there’s much to strive to in it’s online components, that I never felt the need to dive deep into it’s single player campaign, which says alot for me. Each match was followed by me saying “One more match!”, and it’s that addictive element of Splatoon 2 that puts it on my top games of 2017.
#4 – Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey marked a return to the Mario series for me. Since Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy just didn’t do it for me. Mario Odyssey looked to bring back the huge open worlds of Super Mario 64, and then some. The inclusion of Cappy to take control of the many enemies in the game turned out to be a great addition and offered so much variation to the gameplay. No longer are you just controlling Mario, but you’ll take the form of a tank, a Goomba, Bullet Bill, and so much more. What makes Super Mario Odyssey special is how much charm the game emits. From all the characters you meet, to witnessing the spectacles of New Donk City, the game always managed to put a smile on my face and made me look forward to what was around every corner. The game ends on an incredibly high note, and I can’t wait to continue collecting moons until I’ve found every last one.
#3 – Stardew Valley
Coming out for the Switch this year, Stardew Valley gets an exception as one of my top games of 2017. Although the game came out originally in 2016, the game never felt quite at home on PC for me. After losing tons of hours into game likes Animal Crossing on the DS and Harvest Moon on the GBA back in the day, Stardew Valley could really only work for me if it was portable. I wondered for so long why this never came to the 3DS, but alas, it’s now on the Switch, and it’s perfect. This being the first time I played, this game brings me everything I loved about the original Harvest Moon, and then some. From the retro pixelated visuals, the the season changing songs, to the abundant cast of characters and the endless amount of things to do at your own leisure, Stardew Valley almost feels like the perfect game. It’s easy to get lost and sink in a ton of hours into it, as you keep pressing on day by day to see what you can do, and what secrets you can uncover. This game has kept me up quite late at night due to it’s addictive nature of just needing to play one more day.
#2 – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a special game, and you can read my thoughts on why in my review. Hellblade tells the story of Senua, a Nordic warrior who wants to save the soul of a loved one. As she travels through the hellish underworld, her reality is blurred by her psychotic manifestations making this game like no other. Ninja Theory aimed to make an indie type AAA game, something that looked and sounded like a AAA game, but came from a smaller studio. Something that was short and sweet and didn’t have to be hundreds of hours long. Hellblade achieved just that, and to this day, is easily one of my favourite gaming experiences of all time. It’s combat is stellar, it’s graphics are beautiful, it’s got some terrifying bosses, and the game constantly throws you into some horrifying situations. The game always manages to make you feel uneasy and really creeped me out at times without relying and cheap scare tactics or anything of that nature. It is psychologically a ride that everyone should experience.
#1 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
What else is there to really be said about Breath of the Wild that already hasn’t been said? I’ve already talked about it to death on my blog, including in my review. It’s already won so many accolades, including it’s recent game of the year award at the Video Game Awards. The game is truly special in how it not only provided a huge sand box type world to get lost in, but really captured a child like curiousity that no game has managed to do for me in quite some time. It almost made me feel like I was playing an open world game again for the first time, as I learned about the world by simply experiencing and seeing things for myself. It was amazing how simple things in this game made my jaw drop and teem with excitement as I made discoveries I felt only I new about. Its world is also unmatched in my opinion, as it has a very special deliberate hand crafted feel and nothing ever feels random or out of place. Despite it’s vast size, this version of Hyrule is incredibly easy to navigate as the land has many unique land marks to help give away where you are, or where you need to go. It’s one of those games that make you discard your map and keep your eyes on what really matters. It’s also a game that’s made me learn a lesson about just dealing with whatever situation you are facing. Whether you’ve broken all your weapons, or you’ve fallen from the tallest mountain as you watch all your climbing progress whither away, there’s always a way to climb yourself out of a whole and come out on top in Breath of the Wild. This is why it is my top game of 2017.
Hoped you enjoyed my list of top games of 2017. Are any of these games in your list of best games this year? Or are there other games you think should be here? Let’s get chattin’ in the comments!