Let’s start with the games that didn’t make the list.
Night in the Woods
A game that came out earlier in the year, but I played the week of Christmas. I started this game aware of all the hype around it and I made up mind to hate it. I played the game dutifully and begrudgingly, but from the moment I saw the credits I have not stopped thinking about it. Particularly a conversation Mae has with Angus under the stars. It’s gonna stay with me a while.
For me, this game is all about the art, it’s gorgeous. BUT, that’s where my love affair ends with Cuphead. It’s too freaking hard and I’m man enough to admit it and content enough with admiring this game from afar. Beautiful, but brutal, tis my brief fling with this old-timey, boss-battle barrage.
What Remains of Edith Finch
My wife and I sat down to consume this unexpected journey on New Year’s Eve. The two hour game propelled us into the new year feeling melancholy at best. I cried at Benjamin Button when my wife was pregnant with our first child, if I had played this game at that time in my life, I would’ve cried some more.
Battle Chef Brigade
A game that I spent too little time with in 2017, but I plan to spend a lot more with in 2018. It’s a great Switch game, with a premise I won’t attempt to explain here. If you even kinda like puzzle games, you should really give Battle Chef Brigade a chance.
Yet another game I spent a shameful short amount of time with. If Hotline Miami and FTL had a super rad baby, it would be this game. It deserved better from me.
My Top 10 Games of 2017
10 // Nidhogg 2
Weird name, great game. I had never played a Nidhogg game until our 24-hour Extra Life stream and I feel like it really stole the show. From its unique, yet stellar art style, to the tense one-on-one battles, I keep coming back to this game for some short bursts of fun.
09 // Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
The award for average shooter goes to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus! This game would be much higher on my list if the gameplay had been better. The story on the other hand, I don’t think I enjoyed any other game’s narrative as much as this over-top, Grind House-esq masterpiece.
08 // HQ Trivia
Why is this number eight on my list? Three reasons; It’s on my phone, I play it almost everyday, and last but definitely not least, Scott Rogowsky.
07 // Horizon: Zero Dawn
An unexpected follow-up to Killzone, Guerrilla Game’s Horizon: Zero Dawn is a true accomplishment. A vast, beautiful world, a compelling story, and awesome robot dinosaurs waiting to be murdered. Bouncing between this and Zelda: BOTW was a mistake, but I regret nothing. I don’t really platinum games, but if I did, I would’ve platinum’d this one REAL HARD!
06 // Super Mario Odyssey
Be still my beating heart. Is it 1996? Is Nintendo taking advantage of my nostalgia for Super Mario 64, or is this really the best Mario game ever made? This has been a great year for Nintendo and their franchises. Let’s hope Odyssey is just the beginning.
05 // Assassin’s Creed Origins
If you would’ve told me an Assassin’s Creed game would be anywhere near my top 10 games of 2017, I’d have told you to go home, Ubisoft, you’re drunk. They took a year off and it shows. Origins is an open-world orgy for anyone who enjoys doing open-world-y things. You play as an Egyptian beat cop and the fun don’t stop.
04 // Resident Evil 7
Here’s another example of a franchise that was overhauled. Resident Evil 7 requires diaper wearing and I can’t say I enjoyed fudging Pampers quite as much as I did with this master-craft, nightmare fuel. The game felt mysterious and authentic. It felt exactly like you stumbled across that creepy farmhouse from all the best horror flicks.
03 // Steam World Dig 2
Here’s an example of a game that I probably wouldn’t have played if it hadn’t been released on the Nintendo Switch. Steam World Dig 2 is just pleasant. It’s a joy to play and almost therapeutic. It’s a great downtime game and quickly became one of my favorite experiences of the year.
02 // Breath of the Wild
There was a lot of speculation if Nintendo could pull it off. Release a mainline Zelda game and launch on a new platform that is both a home and mobile console. Breath of the Wild is dream that I didn’t want to wake up from. Hyrule never felt so much like home. I love playing with the systems that Nintendo so elegantly implemented into this game that none of us deserved. I almost don’t want to return to this game in fear that it would soil my memories of its glory.
01 // PUBG
MY PALMS ARE SWEATING. MY HEART IS POUNDING. The terror of hiding in a bathtub, waiting for my life to be taken. No other game as given me such an enjoyable sense of dread. The highs are the highest and the lows are crushing, but Battlegrounds is the game I kept coming back to. The game that no one knew they wanted, stole my heart (and probably shaved some actual years off my life) this year.