I have a hard time believing we are going to get another year like this for a while. Who knows, maybe 2018 will surprise us, but at this point I don’t really need to reiterate that 2017 was fantastic. If I could I would recommend Nintendo for the “game of the year” title but Nintendo isn’t a game so it doesn’t really work like that. Here are my picks for 2017:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
I have to be honest and admit that the only other Zelda title that has managed to hold my interest like Breath Of The Wild was Ocarina of Time. I have played most of the other games in the franchise, but I never finished them or spent much time because I got bored with them so I was not expecting to jump on the hype train surrounding this game when it released. I bought “Breath of the Wild” alongside my purchase of the Switch and was boy did I ever board that train. There really isn’t anything I can say that hasn’t already been said about this game. If you haven’t played it, you need to know that this is quite simply more than enough to justify the purchase of a Switch and that’s to say nothing about the next game on my list.
Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
The way I describe this game to anyone is Super Mario 64 on steroids. This game brings back the nostalgia of that old Nintendo 64 game while piling on different mechanics, great game worlds, fun bosses along with costumes and other fun collectibles. Just when you think you have figured this game out you are able to throw Mario’s magical hat on another enemy and turn into them and learn a new mechanic. The great part is that it never seems difficult to pick up or understand what to do and the game flows seamlessly. This and Breath Of The Wild are the reasons I wish I could just nominate Nintendo because it has been one hell of a year for them.
Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
This game came out early in 2017 and it feels like over time a lot of people may have forgotten about it. The game blends the two worlds of the prehistoric era with futuristic technology beautifully creating an interesting campaign that follows the rise of a motherless woman in a female driven tribal society where not having a mother makes you an outsider. It is a great deviation from a lot of the male driven stories we have in video games. I had the additional pleasure of enjoying the “Frozen Wilds” DLC that adds a lot of great content to the game for a very fair price. If you haven’t played this game you can get both the main game and the DLC for $49.99.
Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PC, XB1)
This is one of those games that came out of nowhere, at least for me. The battle royale genre had been mostly dominated by H1Z1 until PUBG came around. While this genre may be a bit crowded at this time there is no denying the explosion of this game has been surprising. Most of the time this is a game where you run through open fields hoping not to get shot from out of no where while you pray that the next house you run into has some level 3 loot for you to take. However, when this game is at its best is during the adrenaline fueled PVP encounters that gives a rush that I haven’t experienced in any game recently. PSA – Don’t buy this game on XB1 unless you hate yourself.
Ruiner (PC, PS4, XB1)
This is my personal deep pick for the year. Every year there is a game that catches my attention that others may not notices or it just doesn’t have the marketing power of a AAA title. This is a great small budget title that I learned about at PAX that is one of the most interesting twin stick shooters I have had the pleasure of playing. The story is interesting for the short duration of the game (around 6-8 hours) and the RPG elements are fantastic. For the low price of $20, I think this is one of the best values of 2017 and a great game to boot.