My Top 5 Games of 2017

This year was too good of a year for video games. Between new IPs, returning classics, and enhanced sequels, there were so many games from this year that I have yet to actually play. For the games I was able to play, however, I wanted to rank my top 5 favorites. Similar to my top 10 list from last year, I’ll be counting any game that I finished this year. Feel free to share your picks as well!

5. The Stanley Parable
While a short experience, The Stanley Parable is an example of the types of stories that can only be told through video games. I loved figuring out new ways to interact with the narrator and discovering the game’s numerous endings, as well as going out of my way to find secrets, only to have my mind read and contemplate why I was even looking for said secrets.

4. Splatoon 2
Splatoon 2 is a severely flawed game, but I cannot deny that when it works, it is an absolute blast to play. The easy learning curve and emphasis on player contribution makes for an experience that can be enjoyed by casual and hardcore players alike. It ultimately is just an enhancement of the first Splatoon, but I’ve racked up almost 100 hours in it, so it’s clearly doing something right.

3. Grand Theft Auto V
Shooting my friends dead in the streets is a fun time.

2. Super Mario Odyssey
With the amount of games in my backlog, I usually try not to explore worlds to thoroughly; I simply don’t have the time. With Mario Odyssey, this thought process of mine was reversed; I spent hours upon end just exploring the game’s various landscapes, even if I knew there was nothing new to collect. This game not only presents a huge open world, but actually encourages the player to explore every nook and cranny. In addition, the Capture mechanic is super fun to play around with, and the co-op mode is by far the best out of any other 3D Mario in my opinion, with several laughs being shared among friends as we made new discoveries using our combined efforts.

1. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
After playing through Super Mystery Dungeon last year, I decided to go back and play what many fans refer to as the best installment in the series. While I still can’t decide if I agree with that statement, I can certainly understand the reasoning behind it. This game is an absolute storytelling masterpiece. The characters are extremely well-written, the soundtrack is phenomenal, the artwork is gorgeous, and the plot is full of twists and turns that leave you on edge. This is the most immersed I’ve ever been in a video game; I felt tingling joy when I helped characters accomplish their goals, seething hatred towards the many antagonists, and absolute heartbreak during the tragic ending sequence. This game demonstrates the power of this medium; mere pixels and text can pull us into worlds and make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Experiences like these remind me why I chose to pursue game development as a career; video games allow for a deep level of immersion that simply isn’t possible with other types of media.


I was about to make a post like this, but instead I’ll just add a little reply! But with a twist. Instead of listing any well-known good games, I’d like to list off my top 14 games I’ve played over the past year, with the criteria that they’re all slightly lesser-known weird games, for example I won’t mention Cuphead or whatever.

So, henceforth, my top 14 (in order) favourite lesser-known or slightly obscure games that I discovered in 2017 which some people may have overlooked:

  1. Rain World (*my favourite game of 2017)
  2. Wuppo
  3. The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human
  4. Stephen’s Sausage Roll
  5. Tormentor X Punisher
  6. A Bastard’s Tale
  7. Lithium: Inmate 39
  8. Gloom
  9. Mu Cartographer
  10. Teleglitch
  11. Razenroth
  12. Chantelise
  13. The Shrouded Isle
  14. Towerclimb
  1. FTL - the game is strategy roguelike with randomly generated map and awesome pixel art ships. Knowledge of story events and possible outcomes is more important than battle skill - choices matter more than in a lot of “RPG’s”. I like to come back to FTL between other games.
  2. Hook/Zenge/klocki - relaxing puzzle games with pastel graphic and calming sounds.
  3. Cities in motion 2 - I’m Master of Architectural Engeenering and Urban Planning - and I hate Video Games about it! Try to explain customers that AutoCad is not The Sims. But I found this game challenging.
  4. Pokemon Go - I joined a group of adult players and we’re callling each other for raids with Messenger :slight_smile: It’s nice to go for a walk after job.
  5. Dropsy - I hate clowns. HATE. But I liked this adventure game, because it’s about dealing with sadness and it tells story without words.

I actually tried joining a group for raids over summer, but it was too hectic for me to keep up with.

Bloodborne and more Bloodborne. Can’t get enough.

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Just wanted to say Bloodborne and couple times in a Bloodborne-related message in reply to another Bloodborne-related post. It’s such a good. I’ve still been trying to chip away at my BL4 playthough this year, it’s a big struggle though. Brutal. Much more difficult compared to SL1 in DS1 or DS3.

Also, I forgot to mention in my list:

  • Hollow Knight (it’s a well-known game by now, but still, I played the hell out of it and I absolutely adore it, would be in my top 2 or 3 for 2017).
  • Devil Daggers (I didn’t discover it this year, but I’ve put more time into this game than anything else, and I keep playing it obsessively for tens of hours, even spent an unmentionable amount of money on a new mouse just to try to slightly improve my aim :sweat:)

You’re killing me @AlexGarbus. I had lists of games (favourite released in 2017 and favourite played in 2017) ready to post and you had to drop it down to five games this year, didn’t you? Now what will I do?? Lol!

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Top 5 Top 10 Lists

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Grand Winner:

  1. GTA San Andreas (Notoriety Award. Historical Context Award. Influence nominee)

Top 5
2. shenmue (Imagination Award. Immersion Award, and will share the Best of Developer Award with…
3. Snatcher (Best of Developer Award, Best of the genre Award, Maybe even a Best of Cyberpunk Nominee)
4. Persona 4 (Anime award. Best anime/VG hybrdization. Creative mix of genre and design)
5. metal gear solid (Atmosphere Award, Influence Award, historical context nominee. )

The Next Lucky contestant(s):
6. blade runner (Best VG adaption Award. Best of developer nominee)
7. paper mario (Best of genre Nominee. New idea nominee)
8. Ico (Minimal Award. new idea nominee)
9. Doom (Stimpack award! revitalize a dying genre, lol)
10. Fallout 4 (Bang for the bottlecaps award. immersion honorable mention. XD)

Last year was mostly dedicated to Skyrim. This year was mostly dedicated to cleaning up a lot of backlog and old games that i wanted to play and a good chunk of it saddled to fallout 4 (still not done yet lol)

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I’ve only played GTA V, but San Andreas is the next in the franchise I wanna play.


As with last year this is a tough list to compile. There were some great games released this year, and a whole slew of them I haven’t even had a chance to play yet. But among the games released in 2017 that I did play, there were some real gems. Enough that I don’t think I can limit it to a list of five. So, like last year here is my top ten (yup, not five) favourites released in 2017 (in no particular order…except for one).

Game of the Year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: I seldom ever declare any game my favourite game, or the best game I’ve played. I find that concept troubling because it asks me to ascribe objective qualities to something I think is largely about experience, and I find it incredibly difficult to rank experiences. I try to look at my enjoyment of a game independent of other game, and reflect on how it affected me as I played it rather than how it affected me in comparison to other games. While this is not always easy, I find it easier than ranking my experiences. So declaring a GotY is usually not the type of thing I like to do. And going into 2017 if there was any game I thought would be GotY, it was Mass Effect: Andromeda. But this year there was another experience that simply overwhelmed me ever moment I was immersed in it. Breath of the Wild is a magical game, a game that made me relive the kind of wonder and awe that I experienced the first time I played a video game. Is it a perfect game? No. I know I am guilty of defending systems like weapon durability in the game, but I do recognize that there are shortcomings. However, those shortcomings are completely washed away by the continue sense of discovery and amazement I experienced while playing. The sense of real discovery I have experienced in few other games. The sense that I really could do just about anything I want, because all of it is completely possible.

The remaining games on the list are not ranked.

  • Gorogoa: Gorogoa is a game that has been on my most anticipated list for a while now. I had seen illustrations from the game prior to release and was excited for the release. Gorogoa sneaked in right at the tail end of the year to make it onto this list. Experientially it may be the only game that rivals Breath of the Wild for pure sense of awe and discovery. Obviously it is structurally very different, and far more linear, but Gorogoa still produces that immense sense of satisfaction associated with discovering something new, especially a new path. Gorogoa is a beautiful game, and one I know I will revisit.

  • Rime: I played Rime shortly after completing the Last Guardian, as I imagine a lot of other people did. I think there was a great deal of comparison to both The Last Guardian and Breath of the Wild, with many people writing Rime off as a poor derivative. I, however enjoyed Rime quite a great deal. I find both the art style and the story told quite appealing. It has a very simple story, one based on the main emotional states experienced in the grieving process. I think the game did an exceptional job weaving the experience of grief into the structure of the game, allowing environments and puzzles to mirror the various emotions.

  • What Remains of Edith Finch: This is quite possibly the most compelling game I played this year from a creative perspective. The disparate game styles and tones that weaved together to tell a history of the Finch family was like nothing else I played this year. Barbara Finch’s Dreadful Stories sequence is likely my favourite singe gaming moment of 2017. If you’ve played it you’ll likely know why.

  • Blackwood Crossing: This was one emotionally draining game. the game resonated with me on several levels. Blackwood Crossing contains a simple yet deeply impact story that is told beautifully through a dreamlike narrative.

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Yup, it’s on here. Of course it is, It’s me, and at least a handful of you have even heard my defence of the game on the Grouvecast. It’s no secret that I love Mass Effect, and that that love extends to the new game. I played Andromeda twice back-to-back at release. I even played through some of the buggier moments. Despite flaws in the game, I still fell in love with the crew. I had goosebumps all through the final chapter. I am dying for more stories from Andromeda, and I hope the current Mass Effect hiatus doesn’t become a permanent one. Here’s also hopin Bioware can somehow reroute the direction EA seems to be forcign them down (Anthem has me a bit worried in that respect).

  • Night in the Woods I was excited for Night in Woods for some time and it definitely didn’t disappoint. A number of the themes resonated strongly with me and I love the art and storytelling. Night in the Woods also kicked off an excellent year in gaming with it, BotW and ME: Andromeda all dropping within weeks of each other.

  • AER: Memories of Old another game on my anticipated list that squeaked into my list of favourite games at the tail end of the year. AER conveys a sense of freedom through the game’s flight mechanics that I’ve seldom felt in games. A little bit like Journey with limitless flight. The art style is another winner and I immensely enjoyed simply flying around the world.

  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider this is an odd one. While I have enjoyed the Dishonored series the games have never topped my favourites list. Mechanically they are heaps of fun, but narratively I find them weak. Strangely Death of the Outsider appealed to me in a way that the first two did not. Perhaps because it was shorter, and thus a tighter story with less superfluous elements. Or perhaps I simply enjoyed Billy Lurk’s story more than the stories of Corvo and Emily. Ultimately I had more fun playing and then replaying Death of the Outsider (and then replaying some more).

  • Hob: 2017 was a year filled with releases that had been on my radar for some time. Hob is another of those. The game sadly suffered from some performance issues at release but the game was enjoyable enough that I was able to largely ignore that. Hob is a gorgeous isometric action adventure game set in a stunning world that melds nature and machinery. The story is entirely told through visuals, including hieroglyphic style images in historical archives scattered around the world. The hack-and-slash elements are very satisfying, as is the platforming (despite some early issues with camera perspective, which have since been largely corrected).

Honourable mentions

  • Monument Valley: superb followup to the original mobile game.
  • KAMI 2: a very enjoyable mobile game to play while commuting.
  • Hidden Folks: an adorable and enjoyable hidden object game. If the genre is up your alley, this is the must play game of the year.
  • Little Nightmares: this definitely should have made the list of top ten released this year, possibly bumping something else. However, my partner and I are playing it together and we haven’t quite finished and we also want to complete the DLC. So Little Nightmares might make it on my list next year.
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Now for the best games I played in 2017, released in any year (except 2017, as with last year I will leave out games last year to avoid crossover with my previous list). This was exceptionally difficult this year. I played a significant number of excellent games this year so this was a difficult list to make. As a result I’ve cheated a bit and made a slightly larger honourable mentions list at the end.

Game of the Year: Bloodborne: it’s a good thing I make two of these lists. It saves me from having to put my two favourite games of the year against each other. Save by the technicality of release year :wink: As I mentioned when discussing Breath of the Wild on my previous list, I seldom feel strongly enough to declare game favourites. But like Breath of the Wild, Bloodborne blew me away. Right from the start everything about the game clicked. Every death was a humbling experience. Every win was well earned victory. Bloodborne tweaked the Dark Souls formula in ways that highly appeal to me and I absolutely devoured the game.

Now for the rest (in no particular order):

  • Bound: performance art in video game form, Bound is utterly captivating. I was enamoured with the ability to dance and interact with the environments. The game uses dance and performance to articulate a story of family breakdown and loss, which I found to be a compelling idea.
  • Salt and Sanctuary: 2D Bloodborne. What’s not to like? I played Salt and Sanctuary after completing Bloodborne and I was quite satisfied with the way it translated the ideas from the latter into a 2D space.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: arguably Rose of the Tomb Raider has a less interesting story than its predecessor, but I still enjoyed it. However the action is near perfect. While many games stuff open world game full of busy-work, that inevitably grows tedious, I felt thoroughly engaged with every task in Rise of the Tomb Raider. I felt compelled to complete everything, not because I’d receive some sort of achievement, but because every task was enjoyable. I was impressed with the way that Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix designed a game that kept me fully enthralled no matter the task.
  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture: exceptionally beautiful and moving game with a score that might be my favourite of the year. I hope that the temporary closure of The Chinese Room is indeed temporary and that we see games from them in future.
  • Alien: Isolation: I have very mixed feelings about Alien: Isolation, but ultimately I still
    Gave it four stars. Despite its failings it was an experience I couldn’t tear myself away from.
  • Alone With You: a very pretty game about relationships and artificial intelligence. It reminds me a bit of old Lucas Arts or Sierra point-and-click games but with a little less humour and more poignance.
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: a great end to a great series (I know the Lost Legacy is the true finale, but I’m considering the main games starring Nathan Drake). I know some people felt the game overstayed it’s welcome, but I thoroughly loved the story and its pacing. Nolan North and Troy Baker also have great chemistry, and I enjoyed their portrayal of two brothers.
  • Axiom Verge: I already loved the Axiom Verge soundtrack at least a full year prior to playing the game. Finally playing the game was even better than anything that excellent soundtrack had prepared me for. Dare I say, I might even enjoy Axiom Verge more than most instalments of the game to which it pays homage.
  • Never Alone: a very moving game that pulls from the oral tradition and storytelling of the Iñupiaq people. The game does a beautiful job at telling the story of a young girl and her Arctic Fox companion. I love the attempt to translate indigenous story telling into a modern media form and the fact that, in addition to the main story, the game provides multiple vignettes that provide additional information about Iñupiaq people and culture.

Honourable mentions

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: this doesn’t make the main list because I’ve played it prior to this year. But the fact that I squeezed in two 120 hour play throughs while I was waiting for the release of Breath of the Wild and Mass Effect: Andromeda means the game deserves some recognition. And it remains one of my absolute favourite BioWare games to this day.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD: another game that I have played previously, and also played while waiting for Breath of the Wild to drop. The Wind Walker remains both one of the best games ever made and my favourite 3D Zelda game after Breath of the Wild.
  • Attack the Light: a very enjoyable mobile RPG game staring the main characters of Steven Universe. I’m looking forward to playing the sequel, Save the Light.
  • Starwhal: some of the most fun playing a co-op game this year came thanks to Starwhal. It’s a ridiculously great multiplayer game, where ridiculous is a prime descriptor.
  • Screencheat: another bonkers multiplayer game that had us laughing while we tried to gun down each other’s invisible avatars.
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War: a very poignant game that explores the history and lives of the First World War. A must play for anyone that enjoys history or personal stories.
  • The Last Guardian and Inside: I counted both of these games in my best of 2016 last year because I made the list a bit after New Years. Technically though I played them in 2017. But since I already gave them spots on my favourites in 2016 I’m not going to duplicate them in the top ten above. Simpler this way.

Game of the year that actually came out this year for me is Cuphead by default because I played nothing else, well I guess Horizon but that was half a year ago and haven’t played it since.

Game of the year that actually came out this year, for me, was Monster Hunter Stories. Absolutely loved it. And still because the post-game experience is HUGE.

But my list is going to be my top 5 games I played this year because I’ve been playing a load of old ones. I’m going to rank them based on how I felt when playing them, rather than retrospectively trying to rank them against each other. In no particular order, then:

Monster Hunter Stories

A Pokémon game in the Monster Hunter universe. Silly, twee, simplistic? Possibly. Fun? Definitely. The combat was written off as “rock paper scissors”, and the very first fight it might be, but there’s so much more than that. The story is great, the characters are great, the gameplay is great, the balance of grinding and achievement is great - nothing worse than grinding forever to see any boost at all. And considering it’s on 3DS, the graphics are great too.

Majora’s Mask 3D

The best Zelda game bar none, says me. An absolutely magical experience. Loved the time travel mechanic, loved the story, and the levels were just right. The amount of stuff to see and do and keep track of and talk to and collect is huge. So many secrets, so many side-quests. An absolute masterpiece. Even if the “elegy of emptiness” Link statuette gives me nightmares to this day.

Ocarina Of Time 3D

The grandaddy of all 3D Zelda games, and probably not the best by a huge margin. But it’s just so much fun to play. Maybe it’s because it was the first Zelda game I played that meant everything seemed fresh and new and exciting? Possibly. But I loved it. And only Majora’s Mask knocked it off top spot for me.


A pretty old game that is apparently not as good as Okami. I don’t care. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the controls were solid even playing it on the 3DS analog circle pad when it was designed for original DS, and even the graphics were just right for the gameplay. Add an interesting and very well executed touchscreen mechanic in the form of the celestial brush and it’s definitely a winner.

Hey! Pikmin

Loads of people hated this. It’s not a “proper” Pikmin game. It’s a 2D side-scrolling platform puzzler that incidentally has Pikmin in it. But actually, that’s OK. It does the job. It’s fun to play, utterly whimsical, and not too taxing. It’s just a really fun game to play through and enjoy.

Honourable mentions go to:

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga & Bowser’s Minions

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Not quite enough to topple the giants above, but a really fun game.

Shovel Knight

I thought this might end up in my top 5, but I think the other games on there just felt more fun at the time, and most had a lot more depth. Still, as 16-bit-inspired platformers go, it’s probably the best there is.

Ever Oasis

What do you get if you cross Zelda with Fantasy Life with Harvest Moon? Ever Oasis. Maybe it bit off more than it could chew because some parts of it felt half-baked, but what was there was fun and charming and a joy to play through. Just don’t ever mention the post-game stuff. As far as I’m concerned there are only 30 residents, ok?

Fantasy Life

Currently sitting pretty at the top spot of number of hours played on my 3DS, this is one massive game. So much to do! So much to collect, so much to create! So many skills that can be combined in so many ways! Downsides are: way too chatty. Annoying guide character (Flutter). Once you’ve mastered (or legended, or deitied) 4 or 5 lives there just doesn’t seem to be any huge reason to do the rest. And starting a brand new life as a tailor, say, when you are already a god-like mercenary just feels like too much of a step back. And also being so good at mercenarying means you’re absolutely loaded all the time and have 6 houses so even the grind of the first few lives can be skipped by just buying your way through them. Strong game that loses its way.

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in no particular order:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I finished my second playthrough this year and it was just as good as 2016.

Horizon: Zero Dawn
Open world done right with just the right amount of busy-work and a focus on story telling. Also the combat is actual fun. Further, this is a truly impressive game from a technical standpoint. I started The Frozen Wilds a few days ago and I have a great time so far.

Love the gameplay, love the music. This is one simple idea executed exceptionally well.

Tetris in all of its forms
I’m addicted.

Life is Strange
Great story, interesting mechanics and an amazing soundtrack.

And also:
Wolfenstein: The new Order + The Old Blood
Forza 7
Uncharted 4

My 5 games of the year (specifically, released this year):

1. Horizon Zero Dawn
2. Cuphead
3. What Remains of Edith Finch
4. Night in the Woods
5. Pyre

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10. Night in the woods - Meow
9. PUBG - I hate that i love this game
8. Antihero - Great digital board game
7. Life is strange: Before the storm - Yeah, it’s better than the first one
6. Dex - Open world-ish 2d cyberpunk game
5. Rainbow Six: Siege - A more fun CS:GO
4. Vanquish - Action movie made into a game
3. Cuphead - so surprsing
2. Transistor - Best soundtrack ever
1. Pyre - Visual novel sports game. nuf said.

Yes, i do not own any console currently.