10 // Assassin’s Creed: Origins
It’s no secret the Assassin’s Creed games have been lackluster as of late. So when this year’s Origins was launched after a year free of full Assassin’s Creed titles, the expectations were high … and were more than met. I’ve loved exploring a fully realized version of ancient Egypt. It’s apparent that a lot of love went into making this game and I hope it continues in the future.
9 // Cuphead
I never actually played Cuphead, but I’ve watched quite a bit of it played and I feel it deserves a place on any Top 10 list. The level of artistry involved in this game should serve as an inspiration for game developers for years to come.
8 // Sniper Elite 4
The Sniper Elite games have always felt like they were missing something … and the fourth installment was the answer. The more open levels of the game introduced a level of strategy and skill that felt great. I especially enjoyed playing on hardcore mode, even if it meant I searched the entirety of a level before finally stumbling on the objective.
7 // Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
I’ve always loved the Uncharted series. With The Lost Legacy, Naughty Dog proved two things: The series can easily live on beyond Nathan Drake and the Uncharted experience can be tightened into a game shorter than 10 hours. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a prime example of how a cinematic game experience can also be extremely fun.
6 // Nier: Automata
I’ve not made it entirely through all the many playthroughs, but the tight gameplay and interesting world combined with some innovative features (such as the soundtrack seamlessly shifting between normal and 8-bit versions at strategic times) make this game a memorable and enjoyable experience.
5 // Divinity: Original Sin 2
Though I’ve not played this one as much as I’ve wanted, it’s great to see this kind of RPG back in the limelight. The number of options available to the player in an intricately crafted world is astounding, further compounded by an excellent multiplayer mode.
4 // Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Despite WB’s attempts to monetize the crap out of this game, I had a lot of fun running around in the world Monolith created. The dynamic storytelling in this game makes for an enjoyable and unique player experience that’s not been replicated yet in any other game.
3 // PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds
Maybe it’s not the most original idea, but PUBG bottles the lightning of game such as Rust and DayZ and channels it into a refined, addictive experience. The tension and adrenaline contained within nearly every match is an achievement in game development.
2 // The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The sense of adventure in Breath of the Wild is unmatched in any other game. Exploring the world is a treat. Most mechanics seem either deliberately placed or deliberately not so. I have some issues with BotW, but its charm is undeniable.
1 // Horizon: Zero Dawn
I love the setting for this game and all the great creative work that went into creating the world, but this game has easily brought me the most enjoyment in 2017. The robot-monster hunting is downright addictive and every time I stand over the debris-strewn battlefield next to the lifeless body of a thunderjaw, it feels great.
Though an obvious rip off of the Dark Souls formula, The Surge was great fun and had a cool world to explore.
Though it didn’t receive a lot of attention, Absolver was a fun game with a surprising amount of depth. It also showed that a pretty game didn’t need to be graphically demanding.
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
Continuing the trend of showing the world that old franchises can be made relevant even today, The New Colossus displayed some fun, shoot-em-up mechanics and impressive storytelling methods.
While no VR games are quite worthy of mentioning on a Top 10 list yet, Superhot VR is an incredible experience that shows off what is possible with Virtual Reality systems without having to solve issues such as locomotion.