Daniel’s Top 10 Games of 2017

Another year gone, another load of games that I didn’t get to play. But, for the ones I did, here is my ranking of the top 10 games for 2017.

10. South Park: The Fractured But Whole

The Fractured But Whole is everything I love about South Park: it’s funny, offensive to every and all groups, clever, stupid, weird, and wonderful. While I found the game’s opening slow and its combat initially oversimplified, the gameplay and the story eventually open up to reveal set pieces and situations that could not be found in any other game.

9. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

2017 is the year where the popularity of battle-royale games spiked like none other thanks to PUBG and its incredibly tense and enjoyable games where 100 people land on an island and fight it out until one winner remains. While frustrating server issues and other glitches limited my enjoyment of PUBG, the matches I did play delivered an experience unlike any other in gaming.

8. Fortnite: Battle Royale

Okay, so I just finished stating that PUBG delivers a unique experience and then here I follow it up with a game that copied PUBG’s battle royale mode, with Fortnite. However, Fortnite is different in many ways: it’s quicker, less intense, and being able to build structures can lead to some really interesting gun fights. PUBG may be the better game overall, but Fortnite is better executed.

7. Divinity: Original Sin 2

A four player co-op game with a massive world to explore and dozens upon dozens of abilities to acquire? Sign me up! Original Sin 2 is a fantastic game, littered with quests to complete and battles that require teamwork and strategy. Just don’t steal an apple from anyone. The guards really don’t like that.

6. Yakuza 0

By the time December rolls around, I’ve forgotten what happened in November let alone the past January. But I will have to go back to the start of the year to talk about Yakuza 0, a brilliant game that didn’t really get the recognition it deserved. It’s mostly a beat-em-up action game, but it’s also hilarious, sweet, and always surprising. There are a few moments in Yakuza 0 that I will remember for a long time and I respect the game’s developers greatly for creating such a strange and polished title.

5. Golf Story

I remember when I was young, I played a lot of Flash games on the internet. Golf in particular was a lot of fun. The Switch’s Golf Story takes those free golf games and peppers them with gameplay systems that give the player a ton of control over their shots. The world’s characters are great too and the different quests you get along the way mix up the basic golf formula. The word charming is perfect for Golf Story.

4. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

I love XCOM, so I was glad to find out that the gameplay in Kingdom Battle borrows heavily from the strategy title. However, Kingdom Battle also does some things differently. It makes movement easier but also more deadly – for your allies and enemies – and trades drama for laughs. Every aspect of the title is as polished as any other Nintendo title out there while the challenge that XCOM is known for remains in place.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

There aren’t many games that do the whole “sandbox” idea well. Sure, a lot of games are open world, but very few allow you to interact with the world, its characters, and its items in interesting ways. Breath of the Wild may do it better than any other game. On a certain island, I sneaked down a hill and peered at a few enemies, an exploding barrel lifted above my head. My plan was to throw it in the middle of them. The barrel rolled down the hill, over a bump I didn’t see, and smashed into a tree next to the enemies. I cursed my luck, but then the tree lit on fire, fell down on two of the enemies, killing them. Little moments like this add up to make Breath of the Wild one of my favourite games of the year.

2. Super Mario Odyssey

I love Odyssey because the developers took relatively small playable areas and crammed hundreds of collectibles inside. I also love Odyssey because there is a surprisingly deep control system that allows Mario to get into all sorts of interesting places. But the reason I really loved Mario Odyssey was because it was extremely fun. The music, the art, the world – everything was a blast to experience.

1. Persona 5

Persona 5 delivers on every single aspect of a video game. The game is an incredibly well put together collection of interacting systems. It ties together likeable characters, builds a believable world, and delivers gameplay that remains fun even 80 hours in. There is also a uniqueness to Persona 5’s structure and its world that makes it feel fresh and interesting. You can check out my review of the game here.

Thanks for reading and happy 2017!

Daniel Podborochynski

A Canadian who loves video games, soccer, sandwiches, reading, cats, dogs, Aphex Twin, bike rides, Fallout, Daft Punk, barbecue, and beer.

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