2017 has officially come to a close. Last month, we took a look at games we were excited to play in the new year, but this month I want to stop and take a look back at the year that was 2017. My question for everyone this month is…
What was your 2017 Game of the Year?
Be sure to let us know your answers in the comments here, on Facebook, or Twitter!
Jake Sapir, Editor
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not only my favorite game of 2017, it’s one of my favorite videogames ever. It starts with one of the most open worlds in videogame history: once you gather the basic tools you’ll need in a brief (but still wide open) introductory area, the entire game world is open to you. You can even go straight for the final boss if you really want to. The varied climates and landscapes make this dilapidated version of Hyrule feel like a real world. But this isn’t just any open world game; this is a Zelda game. And with that pedigree comes a charm and level of polish to bring life to this world. The characters and story add a ton of emotion to the proceedings without being too dense. And of course, the puzzles and combat are as impressive as ever. Suffice to say, in my time writing for this site, Breath of the Wild is the first game I’ve rated 10 out of 10.
You can check out Jake’s review of Breath of the Wild HERE.
Alex Southgate, Author
This is a tough one because there have been so many brilliant games this last year. I’m actually going to go for a title that wouldn’t be coming from a genre that’s normally me. My favourite game of the year goes to AER: Memories of Old. Initially I would have put this title into the same pen as games like Firewatch, and although I like the concept, I usually want a bit more action than they offer. The thing about AER, though, is that the story is just so fascinating and the exploration so intriguing that it’s beating virtually anything else that I played in 2017. If you want to play something truly beautiful and immersive you have to give this game a go … plus you can turn into a bird … nuff said in my opinion. If you want a bit more info you can also check out my review; spoiler alert, I gave it a ten, obviously.
That review is HERE.
Monique Sheldrake, Senior Author
My favourite game of 2017, without a doubt, was Yakuza 0. While the release of Persona 5 necessitated leave from work and regular 3am sessions, Yakuza 0 undoubtedly had the better story, was more open for exploration, and while graphics aren’t the most important thing, the facial motion capture was second to none. I’ve never played a game that’s so uniquely enthralling, where it can be so achingly serious and so side-splittingly funny within the space of a few minutes.
Special mention goes to Hollow Knight, which released in early 2017 but I didn’t play or finish until early 2018. It’s undoubtedly the best indie game of 2017.
Garrett Mefford reviewed Yakuza 0 HERE.
Allee McIntyre, Author
I’m going to put my two cents in and say Horizon: Zero Dawn.
It’s exactly what fans of open-world games needed. It truly rejuvenated the atmosphere of exploring within a digital world while also adding a new sensation to the“post-apocalyptic” genre. It’s not your normal zombie or sci-fi type of game. It’s a beautiful mix of survival, new & old age technology, and a crumbled society. It adds the perfect amount of both action and serenity, where you can enjoy a day of strolling through the plains or woods while collecting basic natural elements such as branches, rocks, etc. but you are also brought to the reality that there is more unnatural objects in this world than meets the eye. Plus the storyline is phenomenal; it’s a game that makes you want to search every nook and cranny to make sure you have uncovered every detail to get a sense of the history and story Horizon provides.
Garrett Holton, Author
Heh. Well, I was going to give a good explanation behind my choice which is also Horizon Zero Dawn, but I think Allee said all that needs to be said! Hit the nail right on the head there. One of the greatest and most innovative reinventions of the open-world genre. I go into more detail in my review of the DLC.
Topped off with some amazing story-telling, this game makes its case to be the best game of the year.
That review of the DLC is HERE.
Derek Danielewski, Author
Fortnite. It’s one of those ‘Instant Classic’ games that allows even the most casual gamer to have some fun. Case in point – my wife is not a gamer. She plays Candy Crush or whichever replica of the week is around. But she watched me play, have a lot of fun and decided it looks fun for her. She quickly picked up the controls and is enjoying the odd game.
That said, it’s not just for casual gamers. There are lots of challenges and every match plays out differently with a mix of strategies and innovations from other players all the time. Add in the daily challenges you’re given by the developers and new weapons and game modes on a regular basis and you have an evolving ecosystem to play with.
You can read Derek’s Fortnite review HERE.
Garett Mefford, Author
It’s a tough call, but I would say Wolfenstein 2 The New Colossus is my favorite of the year. It’s one of those games that goes full tilt right off the bat and doesn’t slow down till the credits roll. Wolfenstein had so many fantastic cinematic set pieces and gameplay moments that made it a can’t miss experience in 2017; it’s hard to choose just one that puts it over the top and it’s even harder to talk about them for fear of spoiling how genuinely shocking they can be. Wolfenstein 2 takes a lot of risks and expands the Wolfenstein world in interesting new ways that make it hard for the inevitable follow-up to close out the trilogy.
Mike Husted, Author
My game of the year is Breath of the Wild, without a doubt. It’s nice to have a new take on a classic series.
Joel Campos, Author
My Game of the Year is a controversial one. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is mine for sure. With its full 1.0 release, I finally feel comfortable saying this. It has made me literally shake at the end of a match as my heart beats faster and faster as I get closer to that “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.” No game has made me feel this way before and with the constant updates on both the PC and Xbox One versions of the game it can only get better from here.
You can check out my PUBG review HERE.
Derek Bartnett, Senior Author
Add me as a second to the PUBG train. That game has made me feel things I have not felt in a long time playing a videogame. The gameplay hooks are really smart and addictive. It’s no surprise why every multiplayer game is looking to add a Battlegrounds mode (Fortnite, Paladins). I challenge anyone to get to top 5 of a match and not feel the overwhelming sense of dread and fear that even the best horror videogames can’t reproduce. I am so excited to see where this game goes in the future.
John Hansen, Author
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is my game of the year. It is by far the greatest open world game I can say I have played. Never before has exploring an area and being side tracked by something that was not an objective taken a hold of me as much as when I played this gem. The DLC’s disappointed me a little bit, but I will never forget the pure feeling of adventure I felt when playing this game the first time.
Honorable mention to Cuphead. Such a great passion project from Studio MDHR and in my opinion the best Xbox game to come out in 2017 (yes, I know it did not have much competition). My review for that is HERE.
Brian Corliss, Author
I remember calling my family and neighbor down to the basement where a wee Brian was running down the crumbling ledges and burning down hallways of Hyrule Castle, before slaying Ganon with the Biggoron Sword ’cause I didn’t give a darn hoot about being a purist back then and using the Blade of Evil’s Bane. The final strike, Zelda’s light, swelling music and the retrospection through your entire journey; a groundbreaking moment in little Brian’s life. Ocarina of Time meant a lot for millions of people, there is hardly anything unique about me telling you that one of the (the!) best games of all time came out at an opportune moment to change my life. The singular moment, however, can still resonate in myself, the emotions that I felt, the calling my family down like a doofus, the tradition I set to beat it at least once a year. It is a snapshot in time that has carried meaning to this day. But it’s only present in me as a snapshot, it’s time has past and I can now only remember words that express how I felt then. The smile and joy I have, is knowing what words fit into the emotions that describe myself then, same as you would describe any warm memory.
When in Breath of the Wild‘s Hyrule; calming floating around the sky from snow covered mountain peak to a humid marsh; sprinting for protection from a lightning storm; the feeling of serenity and happiness blending with excitement and curiosity that I felt as a kid running from the Kokiri Forest to Lon Lon Ranch, and beyond it, Hyrule Castle. Add in about a dozen game mechanics that flip the series and challenges a veteran’s preconceived notions of what they would be getting into, and to knock it so far out of the damn park is incredible. A literal sandbox in your literal hands. The story is fine, but it is essentially the same as every other Zelda game. What it does best is to extract the pure essence of all your nostalgia and to drip itself along, transmutating it from a snapshot of a memory to a tangible feeling, to a sobering emotion. Link reliving memories from 100 years before could be the metaphor for millions of Zelda fans. Breath of the Wild is a portal to a romance that seems silly to consider when someone thinks of a “simple game.” Maybe it is a simple game, hell maybe they all are and this is just bloated word vomit. But for myself, never have I experienced such a lightning bolt of pure happiness and retrospection in any single form of any single medium.
Alyssa Vaughn, Author
My favorite game of the year was Doki Doki Literature Club. I had no idea where this game was going and even though I ended up retreading a lot of ground, I was intrigued the entire time. The big twists were freaky, but what really made the game for me were the tiny details: the little glitches, the slight changes to the dialogue, wondering if something out of the corner of your eye had moved or changed without you noticing. Doki Doki did some amazing storytelling with some really simple gameplay, and I think that Team Salvato has really ensured that the next project they release will get a LOT of attention.