On paper, 2017 was a pretty great year for video games. It was also kind of an odd one for me. I originally thought I had played a solid number of games and looking back, I did, but I quickly realized that only a handful of those had released in 2017. I actually reviewed more games for GAJ last year than in any year prior, but most of those games came from my backlog. I’d like to give a quick shout out to a few of those games. Uncharted 4, Ys: Memories of Celceta, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, The Evil Within, and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West were all great games I was finally able to finish last year. With all of that out of the way, my actual list will only consist of five games this year. I do want to kick things off by mentioning a few of the games I wasn’t able to get to in 2017, so let’s get started!
2017 Games I Missed Out On
Every year there are always a number of games that I had my eye on and didn’t get to play. So before I get to my list of favorite games from 2017 here are a handful of games that have been pushed onto the dreaded backlog.
Top 5 Games of 2017
Little Nightmares is equal parts charming and disturbing. Playing as a child trying to escape unspeakable horrors aboard a ship is definitely unsettling at times, but it was also a joy to play. It’s a short journey, but one that’s well worth experiencing.
Mass Effect: Andromeda got a ton of flack and I understand most of it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was one of my favorite games from 2017. Across two playthroughs, I put nearly 100 hours into Andromeda. The story and characters were certainly lacking when compared to the original trilogy (still pretty good in comparison to most other games though), but it features my favorite take on combat in the franchise. The ability to tailor combat options to your play style and even change them up on the fly made for some of the most fun gameplay in the Mass Effect series.
If you haven’t heard, Resident Evil 7 was the return to form that many long time fans of the franchise had been waiting years for. Gameplay, story, and horror elements all combine to create one of the best survival horror games in years. With the shift to first-person and what seemed to be a heavy emphasis on VR, I was skeptical that Resident Evil 7 would be much more than a gimmick. Luckily that wasn’t the case. So much so that, while I’m not officially picking a favorite game of the year, if you twisted my arm and forced me to, I’d probably give the nod for Resident Evil 7.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
When The Stick of Truth first released I was pleasantly surprised with just how good it was. While The Fractures But Whole isn’t quite as funny or groundbreaking as its predecessor, it’s still a damn good sequel. With a more strategic combat system and that familiar South Park sense of humor, it’s yet another must play game for any fan of the show.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles was definitely the game that surprised me the most in 2017. It’s an experience that features no combat, no leveling, and no skill trees. Instead Yonder focuses on exploration and discovery. It turned out to be a rather cathartic experience for me and writing this actually has me wanting to revisit the land of Gemea.