Ryan’s Top 13 Games of 2017

Disclaimer: This is my list, I understand your list will be different from mine, and that is great, feel free to discuss yours in the comments on our various social medias.

Every year I like to reflect back on what was great in gaming this year. I’ve done this list for about 3 years now, and I always base it off of the games that I played for the first time during the year. This year is going to be a little bit less of older games this year because 2017 was such an awesome years for games. We got many games that people have been wanting for ages, and of course, Nintendo once again gently reminded us why they are the king of innovation and our childhoods with the release of the Switch, and yes, many games on this list are on the Switch. Particularly

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Nintendo “gently” reminding us

great/annoying about this year, there was a 2 week period where 4 games I was excited for came out, Fire Emblem Warriors, Wolfenstein 2, Mario Odyssey, and Assassins’ Creed: Origins. This period I like to call “Bloody November.” I spent so much money, and had so little time to actually play them all. There could be worse things to complain about though. So without further ado, my Top 13 Games that I played in 2017. Why 13? Because the first year I made this list, I played a lot of good games and wanted to be able to give credit to more than 10.

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  1. Uncharted Series (1-3 Remastered and 4)

I played the first Uncharted game on PS3 last year. I enjoyed it enough but not enough to immediately jump into 2. When I picked up my PS4 on Black Friday later last year, it came with Uncharted 4, and I had heard pretty good things, so I decided to get the HD Collection of 1-3. I replayed 1 to refresh myself on the story (or really lack thereof) and found myself enjoying it so much more the second time due to the fixed cover system and overall improvements. Out of the lot, Uncharted 2 was definitely my favorite. Starting off with the infamous train scene was a great way to show me just how much I was in for, and playing the games one after another flowed so well, even if Nate kept making the same mistakes over and over. Only downside was the controls seemed to change ever so slightly with each subsequent game, but usually for the better, it just took a bit to get adjusted. If you enjoy third person shooters and free climbing, definitely pick up this series. Uncharted 4 has some of the best free climbing and scenery of any series I’ve played.

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  1. Kingdom Hearts 2.8 HD Final Chapter Prologue & Knuckles ft. Dante from the Devil May Cry Series

Even though this is PARTIALLY a re-release, it still makes the list. I’ve been a huge Kingdom Hearts fan for ages now, and finally getting any plot progression is an instant hit for me. Granted, this time, the plot progression was only a 2-3 hour game and a 2 hour movie, but I’ll take it. As much as I liked replaying Dream Drop Distance, I really didn’t because it seemed to just drag on, which is the only reason it didn’t make it higher on this list. 0.2 was very short gameplay/plot wise, but there were enough achievements to keep me busy for a very very long time, and each time I replayed it, I got more excited for Kingdom Hearts 3 (seeing as this was basically a glorified tech demo of it). I also have to give credit to whoever checks continuity, as *SPOILER WARNING* they made double sure to ensure Mickey was shirtless by the time the plot demanded it *END SPOILERS*. Finally, I’ve been playing the mobile game, Kingdom Hearts Union X, since the day it came out (well, until recently but that’s a whole other article in the making, maybe, bother me enough and I’ll do it). The movie, Unchained Back Cover, helped to give backstory on the world as a whole, and explained a few very minor plot elements. My speculation is this is teeing up for whatever comes after the Xehanort Saga finishes, which Nomura said will be with Kingdom Hearts 3. Either way, enjoyed the movie a lot for what it was. As with the rest of the series, for now, until 2018, let the hype train continue on full steam ahead.

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  1. Sonic Mania

Sonic is good again (sorta, see below, but for the purposes of THIS game, yes). The first time I remember going over to my cousin’s house, we played Sonic 2, and I was immediately hooked. Sonic 2 was the game that everyone in elementary school considered to be THE classic Sonic game. Fast forward a few years and a few horrible Sonic 3D games. I stumble across Sonic 2 on the Google Play store, decide to pick it up, immediately fell in love again. I found out the name of the guy who made it was some dude named Christian Whitehead. I said to myself, “They should hire this dude to make a Sonic game, he knows how it’s done.” They listened to me, he and other Sonic fan designers were hired to make Sonic Mania. They absolutely nailed it. It feels like the old Sonic games with just the right amount of 21st Century fixes. If you ever liked Sonic at all, this is worth your Schmeckles.

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  1. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

This was a great year to be a Fire Emblem fan. We got this game, a future title for the Switch announced, a mobile game (which was kinda… ok), and a Warriors spinoff for the Switch. Echoes is a remake of the old NES title, Fire Emblem Gaiden, the 2nd in the series. I was surprised to find they didn’t change the core mechanics all that much, leaving in much of the old style of gameplay, which was a refreshing change… or throwback… not really sure there, it’s new for most of us. I was a little skeptical of this game at first because I did not like Shadow Dragon, the remake of the original game, at all. I was pleasantly surprised and could not put this game down once I started it. Taking away the shipping mechanic honestly made the progression a lot faster, as I wasn’t spending endless amounts of time with a spreadsheet calculating how to make the best offspring, which pulled away from my overall enjoyment of Fates last year. Other than that, adding the dungeoneering and simultaneous split story definitely was my favorite part of this game. If I got tired of playing one group, I would switch to the other. Echoes is definitely the best Fire Emblem title since Awakening.

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  1. Metroid: Samus Returns

If there were a series that I’d want another entry for more than Kingdom Hearts, it would definitely have to be Metroid. Myself, along with every other Metroid fan have been wanting a new title since… well the last title, which was Other M, and that was…. *shudders*. On my list last year was the fan made Metroid 2 remake, and hearing that Nintendo was making their own made me really excited and really skeptical at the same time. I really enjoyed the fan made Metroid 2, and this one had its own merits as well. I was pleasantly surprised at how different Nintendo’s remake was compared to the fan one, and enjoyed both of them in different ways. I played thru 3 runs of this game, each a harder difficulty than the last, and it was certainly one of the more challenging Nintendo games in recent times at parts, which is great for me since Nintendo hasn’t been particularly challenging in a long time. It also gave me hope for the future of the series, not even considering that Metroid Prime 4 got announced shortly before this did at E3, because of the post credits scene showing the X parasite. If they remake Fusion after the success (I think) of this one I’ll be happy.

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  1. Waifu Warriors 2 Fire Emblem Warriors

I put roughly 250 hours into Hyrule Warriors back in 2014. When the announcement of a new Warriors title came with the launch conference for the Switch, I was sold. I was even more sold when I saw Fire Emblem. I knew immediately that this would be a perfect fit for the franchise. I’ve already put 100 hours into this game, and fully intend to go back for more after I finish the other games that made up Bloody November, especially when the DLC comes out. My only “complaint”, if you could call it that, about Fire Emblem as a whole, has been that you don’t actually play as the characters, you just tell them what to do. Being able to physically control so many of my favorite characters was an incredible experience, especially after not being able to play as Chrom in Smash. Seriously Nintendo, LUCINA? The only thing stopping this from being higher on this list is the fairly repetitive/grindy nature of Warriors games as a whole. This is definitely not a title for everyone, but for those who love Fire Emblem and hack and slashes, it is a great title.

May 21st, 2014 @ 23:45:55

  1. Wolfenstein Reboot

My dad told me a long time ago that when my mom was pregnant with me, that they’d sit together while he’d play Wolfenstein 3D on our old as dirt PC. So you might call Wolfenstein the first franchise I ever experienced. During the Steam Summer Sale this year, I decided to pick up the newer Wolfenstein titles. I’ve never played a game that so perfectly balanced the old feel of a franchise with updated graphics and controls. Wolfenstein: The New Order and Old Blood feel exactly like an old Wolfenstein title, just in 3D and with a pretty great story. I particularly loved that it included a remake of the first level of Wolfenstein 3D, with modern controls. When New Colossus came out this year as part of Bloody November, I was almost hesitant to pick it up because of how many games I had recently bought, but I decided since that weekend I was doing Extra

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#shamelessselfplug

Life to go ahead and pull the trigger because I wasn’t going to want to play the same game for 24 straight hours. New Colossus feels just as great as the others, and the story is just as outlandish and fun. I’m glad that Bethesda was left in charge of the DOS classics, because with these and DOOM, they have done an incredible job so far.

 

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  1. Cuphead

Probably the most unexpected hit for me this year. I had heard about this game a few years back, but kept hearing about delays so I had forgotten about it until hearing it was finally happening. When it finally came out, I heard so much great press, that I had to give it a shot, which I did on my friend’s PC, and then promptly logged into Steam on my phone and bought my own copy. Boss rush games are always fun, and cut out the usually unnecessary strolls down the yellow brick road, where that shouldn’t be the focus. Even more astonishing, Cuphead is completely hand drawn, and it shows. You can feel the love poured into every detail of this game, from the old timey soundtrack to the grain effect constantly present. Now, this game is not for the faint of heart. Legend, and the internet, has it, there was a game reviewer who had difficulty getting through the tutorial of this game. To be fair though, the game is not THAT hard, but it is a challenge once you get out of the tutorial. You will die, a lot, but you will want to keep going because each encounter is so fast, you’ll reach the trouble phase within 2 minutes, so the drive to keep trying

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TL;DR

never goes away. I had never felt so accomplished after completing this game. I still have to go back and do hard mode, but between having other games to play, and the fear of what that even means has stopped me so far. If you want a challenge and a trip to the good ol’ days as our Grandparents called them, give this game a look.

 

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  1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Every so often, my friend Tyler will message me telling me about this great new game that a bunch of our friends decided to play. Usually the games are pretty ok, but the game he told me about this year was exceptionally fun for everyone. I’ve never actually had faith in an Early Access game before this one. I was initially hesitant to buy it due to my horrible luck with Early Access, but even at the start, the game felt complete. It’s always great to see a game you love go from something good to something incredible. The game is not at all easy to git gud at, but it is worth the effort. It’s not often I enjoy battle royale games, but it can have a ton of fun moments. I’ve had so much fun messing around with friends and messing with other people. One of my favorite moments from playing was when I was incredibly under armed, and heard a guy pull up on a bike. I assumed he knew I was there and was coming to get me. Turns out he didn’t, and just went into another building. I knew I needed to get out of there as I was separated from my partner, so I stole his bike. I’ve never heard a more unholy sound out of my speakers than from bike guy’s microphone mixed with my teammate dying laughing as I beeline towards him while being shot at by an angry competitor. Here’s hoping this game keeps growing, and here’s hoping it growing doesn’t cause the players to become cancerous.

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  1. Metal Gear Solid V

As hard as ranking the entire list was this year, the top 4 were especially hard. All of these games are interchangeable and the games I put easily the most time into this year. This particular game was my FIRST game of 2017. On a whim at the tail end of the Winter Sale at the start of the year, I decided to get the Metal Gear Solid V 2 Pack, which came with both Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain. I had tried to play the older Metal Gear games in the past, but couldn’t really get into it. On the recommendation of a friend, I decided to give it a shot regardless, as he said story isn’t super important in this one. I immediately fell in love with this game. It’s one of the games that made me rediscover my love for single player games. I’ve never played a stealth game that had a sandbox world before, and it works so much better than you’d expect on paper. Missions are replayable, as you’ll continue to get better and better at the game and be able to complete more objectives in subsequent tries. Within 2 weeks of starting to play, I had already sunk over 100 hours into this game. Sad to know that this will probably be the last quality Metal Gear Solid title, as Kojima has separated from Konami in a nasty divorce you might remember from 2015.

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  1. Super Mario Odyssey

Mario is BACK! It’s been 7 years since we had a proper 3D mario game come out. That is definitely too long. This being the launch year of the Switch, it’s only fitting that we get a game with Nintendo’s golden boy. Besides being a new Mario game, it’s one of the biggest deviations from any 3D Mario we’ve seen in the past. It’s not the formula we’ve grown to know: Hop into a world, go get a star, hop out. The formula has become much less linear: Hop into a world, go get as many moons as you care to, hop out, travel directly to another one with no overworld in between. Mario also has dabbled in witchcraft since his last title, allowing his hat to possess things. You can be a frog, you can be a goombas, you can be a rocket, you can be a ROCK. The possibilities are ENDLESS! (Well not endless, I think there’s roughly 70 things you can take over). Most 3D Mario games in the past have required you to get about 60% of the total stars, which is usually 120, in order to complete the game. This game only requires you to get roughly 30% of the total moons out of a total of 900. It’s a much bigger scale, with much bigger stakes (and steaks too, there’s literally a food world), and much more challenge than many of the previous games. There are so many things about this game that don’t make it a traditional Mario game, but that is what makes this one of the BEST Mario games.

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  1. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’d like to amend my earlier statement. This being the launch year of the Switch, it’s only fitting that we get games with BOTH of Nintendo’s golden boys. As long as it’s been since we’ve gotten a 3D Mario game, it’s been even LONGER since a 3D Zelda game came out. With both this and Mario, I can safely say Nintendo has finally realized it’s ok to stop playing things safe. Like Odyssey, Breath of the Wild is a complete departure from any

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You try telling me this is not best girl

traditional Zelda game we’ve gotten in the past, and it’s incredible as a result. Although the story leaves much to be desired, it has some of the best characters even with how little you actually see them, and for the record, Paya is best girl, yes Michael, Paya. With the DLC now released as well, the game has easily over 200+ hours of content. From exploring the vast world in any way you desire, to dressing up like Lady Link and strolling through the desert, to shield surfing down the tallest mountain on the map, there is no limit to what this game can offer you. It is only bested by one other game this year.

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  1. Persona 5

I’m sure you never saw it coming, but let’s have this be my last surprise. So many people told me I was crazy for making this my Game of the Year and to go with an old favorite IP, but if you hold on life won’t change. I told them you had to have the willpower to see what’s beneath the mask and really appreciate this game and who knows, you never know where the whims of fate may lead us. We could argue forever, but let’s not do that today. Earlier this summer after finally graduating college, I had nothing but time. There

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Me IRL

was a period of roughly 3 days where I did nothing but sit down in my desk chair playing this game while only taking breaks to eat ramen. I was living the true NEET life. It was ENTIRELY worth it as I managed to finish the game during this time. As you might be able to tell, the soundtrack is incredible, and all of the lines are quotable. Within the first few encounters, I was already jamming along to the battle music, which is my favorite of any of the Persona games so far. Recently, I had gotten bored with turn based RPGs, but Persona 5 managed to make the genre feel fresh again. Persona recruitment was much better than the random card game from 3 and 4. You can actually see who you are recruiting, because you’re fighting them. All of the social links, oh sorry, CONFIDANTS (I prefer social links) were amazing this time around, all of the characters were interesting and had great stories, there wasn’t a single one I was ever bored with, and for the record Makoto is best girl, no contest. Now, when I first played this game, I didn’t have any cats, so I thought it was ridiculous that anyone would let their cat dictate their schedule as to when they wake up and go out. Last month, when I moved to my new place with 2 cats, I learned it isn’t the most outlandish thing to come out of that game. I could go on and on about all of the things I love about this game, but you’ve probably listened to me enough by this point. Combat is great, party members are great, story is great, what more could you really want out of a game? After waiting for years for this game, finally getting it made it my 2017 Game of the Year.

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Honorable Mentions:

Horizon Zero Dawn

Great, open world, action, adventure game. Came out roughly the same time as Breath of the Wild. The games are fundamentally similar in the regard that you go around an open world jumping around and crafting a lot of things. Story in this game was definitely better, but likely due to the fact I played Zelda first, this fell short of making the list; however it is still highly recommended if you have a PS4.

Spectre of Torment

Part 3 of the Shovel Knight Treasure Trove finally came. I decided against putting this on the list because it is technically an expansion of a game that was on the list last year. This time you play as Spectre Knight, and the story is a prequel to the main story. Definitely fun and worth your time.

Splatoon 2

As much as Nintendo reminded us they are the still the king of innovation, they also reminded us they are still the knave of online. Splatoon 2 was a great follow up to the Wii U game, but Nintendo still has no idea how to do online well. Playing with friends is a chore, and the weapons are fairly unbalanced, and you are required to grind a lot to get new modes. That being said, the new additions are incredibly fun and worth getting if you own a Switch, it’s just not list worthy this year.

ARMS

Nintendo hasn’t taken many risks with new IPs lately. Seeing ARMS was definitely a refreshing change of pace, and was a great game to utilize the quirks of the Switch. Honestly, not worth a full price tag, but fun to play with friends and fun in general. But again like Splatoon, has issues with online. Seriously, if they intend on charging for online, it best be done right.

Hollow Knight

I’ve been a huge fan of Metroidvania games for ages. I like the concept behind Dark Souls as well, boss rush, exploratory, etc. Putting them together was a great combination and a wonderful experience. Great game, definitely was a top contender for the list, but just short of making it as there were so many great games that I played this year.

Prey

Ask Tori, I hate horror. The entire time during her horror panel at Triad last year I had my nose burrowed in my Switch (I went to support her because I’m a good friend dammit). But from what I played of Prey, it is a ton of fun and enough to make me put aside my fear of horror.


Now, as great as most of this year was for games, there were a few black sheep that tarnished an otherwise perfect year.

Horrible Mentions:

Battlefront 2

June 2017 – Oh man, this game looks great! Story mode, more maps, they actually seemed to listen to the fans this time. But… This is EA, they’ll find some way to mess it up.

November 2017- They found a way to mess it up.

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My face upon hearing microtransactions

Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon

The game came out a year ago. A YEAR. It’s completely unjustifiable to charge full price for a remake that came out such a short time ago. Should’ve waited a year and released this game as the initial Sun and Moon.

Sonic Forces

They made me think Sonic could be good again. I trusted them, and they let me down. You can’t even play as COLDSTEEL. If that was a thing the game could’ve been passable.


Final note about this year, so many games have been remade. We had a lot of original games, but we also had so many games come out AGAIN.

Comeback Kings:

  • Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5
  • Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age
  • Okami HD
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare HD
  • Megaman Legacy Collection 1 and 2
  • Mario Kart 8 DX
  • Pokken Tournament DX
  • Skyrim on Switch
  • Crash NSane Trilogy

All of these are worth picking up as they are a lot of fun. Skyrim is still great, albeit the most dead horse to have ever been beaten.


2017 was an incredible year for gaming. I am looking forward to what 2018 has in store, article on THAT soon to follow. What were some of your favorite games of 2017? Let me know I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time~

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