Year Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Games of 2017
The video game community always talks about years ending in "7" as being fantastic for classic games, and 2017 was no slouch. This year we had great games on every platform there is, so no one was left out of the magic. Let's take a look at some of our faves.
Matt's Top Five:
I’m not from a small town, nor did I live near any woods, yet Night in the Woods resonated with me in a way that few video games have. The characters in the game, including protagonist Mae, are stuck in their twenty-something lives in a way that reminded of my own experiences. That feeling of stagnation is broken up by realistic shenanigans with your friends that at first seem frivolous but lead to a chilling discovery. The game has much to say about friendship, family, and even our political future, and it was a fun ride to share with my animal pals.
Mobile games! They exist. In fact, you probably have a few on your phone. I rarely care about them for more than a week, but Solitarica is something special. The game combines tri-peaks style solitaire with turn-based RPG combat, which is a PB&J-variety pairing that works. I even spent money on the expansion, which has provided even more hours of entertainment.
When I purchased a PS4 Pro last January, I knew that Zero Dawn was on the… horizon, but I still couldn’t believe my eyes when I fired it up. It’s not only a graphical showcase, but also an extremely well-made open-world adventure. The stealth is fun, the combat has a kick, and it refines and simplifies the clutter that other games in the genre are full of. I didn’t play a whole lot of it, but got to see the story play out during Mike’s playthrough, and it’s no slouch when it comes to story either. Even though it got eclipsed by Zelda this year, PS4 owners would be remiss to skip it.
I used to say I didn’t understand baseball; I assumed it was simple, slow, and boring. Playing The Show made me sit down and learn the sport and its nuance, and now I see why it can be so compelling. Oh, and the game is a ton of fun and looks beautiful, which helps. It provided hours of fun for both Mike and I as we smashed them out of the park with Someone Awesome.
Remember Disc Jam? Yeah, it feels like it’s been forever since that game was released, but it’s still a blast to play. I loved feeling like a boss tossing aces at my rivals, and the endless customization options, earned from winnings, made each win feel even better. It also brought back something I missed from previous game generations: Couch co-op. Teaming up with Mike to beat strangers online was a ton of fun.
Mike's Top Five:
This game was on everyone’s radar except for mine. When the trailer first came out for this game I said it was not for me and I did not understand the concept. That all changed when I played this game and beat it within a week. The gameplay, story, and excellent world-building was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Not only has this game exceeded all expectations, but they came out with an expansion in the same year and several updates to boot. I look forward to what else Guerilla Games has in store for this game.
I only arrived at this game by accident and I could not have been happier with this purchase. What Remains of Edith Finch is a story driven game that has you exploring the Finch house and slowly revealing the fate of the Finch family. It is quite easily the most interesting game of the year that doesn’t involve any combat or other characters for that matter. A rather deep and thought provoking story that makes you, a points, scream at the game for making you do things you would never want to know.
A return to the series brings about new rosters and a new game play mechanic… Story Mode. This new mode is great for both fans old and new of the series as it gives you a look into being a better player and teaches you to read coverage and improve your Madden game. Not only that, but the very easy to use Madden Ultimate Team and daily challenges make this a game to consistently go back to on a weekly basis. Add to those classic modes of franchise, coaches, and owner modes, you have a complete Madden experience that you have to own.
In terms of games that just blow you away on concept and sheer volume, this game is by far and away leading that pack. In a world where the Nazis won World War II, this Wolfenstein sequel takes place on American soil where we get to drive out the Nazis with big guns and even bigger explosions. This game is sheer ridiculousness and that's what makes it awesome, in fact, it may just be too over the top and walks that fine line between 70s action film and unapologetic fan fiction.
This once-free game is so much fun and so innovative as it combines tennis and Frisbee into one completely new game. Yes, it is as much fun as that sounds and it gets better as this is one of the few games out there that you can play co-op on the couch. There is still online play and you can co-op online you can enjoy, as well as a reward system for more customization that isn’t hid behind a pay wall. Each game is fast and enjoyable with the only drawback being the lack of players.