Kat’s Top 10 of 2017
2017 has been a pretty good year for video games for me, starting with Horizon: Zero Dawn in February and currently with me completing Pokemon Sun in less than a week (I named him Nebby and he shall be mine and he shall be my Nebby). Below is a list of my personal top ten games of 2017, which includes two games I enjoyed watching immensely but didn’t play and one game that technically didn’t come out this year but was re-released as a collector’s edition and I love it so it’s here.
We start with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard at number 10, because I don’t play horror games but I enjoy watching other people play horror games and I very much enjoyed watching my favourite LPer get his pants scared off and creeped off by this game. I’ve watched several and played a couple of RE games, and I think that Biohazard is a refreshing reboot to the series. It’s tense, it’s gross, it’s creepy and it’s spooky and did a very good job of reinforcing my desire to never go into a Southern bayou ever.
Cuphead is another game I didn’t play because 1) I was too broke to buy it and 2) my threshold for frustration in video games is very low and I don’t have the money to replace my TV. That being said, I love watching other people get annoyed enough to break their TVs. Gameplay aside, I’m a sucker for Cuphead’s retro art style and soundtrack. It’s authentic to old Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons and has a wide variety of modes that help offer replayability. If you can stand a game that’s like Dark Souls, hidden behind a cheery cartoon exterior.
8. Tekken 7
I played more fighting games when I was a kid than I do now, mostly because my neighbour had them and I would go play at his house. Out of all the ones I played, the franchises I liked most were Soulcalibur and Tekken. Now, I don’t own Tekken 7, but there’s an arcade by my house with Tekken 7 machines and I have spent a fair amount of money there getting the crap beaten out of me and beating the crap out of other people. I’ll never be as into nailing the perfect combo as a hardcore brawler game player would be, but Tekken 7 is just as satisfying as I remember the earlier games being.
7. The Long Dark
Something I do play a lot of is survival games, and The Long Dark hits all my buttons. While I don’t particularly care for the story mode, despite being interested for its release, I have lost many hours in the frozen Canadian wilds, and the last time I played I was doing great and then I got mauled by a bear and it was terrifying and then I died and had to start over and unless I’m playing on peaceful mode that’s my TLD experience in a nutshell. It’s a brilliant example of the survival genre, boiling it down to its simplest elements. No zombies this time, only Mother Nature. And very angry bears.
6. Assassins’s Creed Origins
I will admit that I have not yet finished Assassin’s Creed Origins. It is a very large game. A very large, very pretty game that I enjoy immensely but also sometimes get lost in. But hey, what can I say? The first thing I did when I got Unity was climb Notre Dame, and the first chance I got in Origins I climbed a pyramid. For a history buff like me, the AC games scratch a particular itch, without me having to turn to grand strategy games like Crusader Kings or Total War. I love being able to glide around with Senu. I love galloping through the sand on horseback. I love climbing ancient wonders, some of which no longer exist. AC: Origins is a new take on an immensely popular franchise, but still keeps enough of the AC spirit to make a familiar and comforting experience.
5. Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Life is Strange holds a special place in my heart. In lieu of a season two, Before the Storm is filling the requisite hole in my soul. I think it’s an important look into Chloe’s psyche and her relationships with the people around her, most importantly her mother, David, and Rachel Amber. Having played the first game, it hits me particularly hard, knowing what I do about Rachel’s fate, and the choices I am making in this game only make it worse. The final episode of Chloe’s story only just released, and I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but I know that once I’m done there’s a good chance that I’m going to be sitting at my computer in tears.
4. Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy
Onto less serious games, the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy came out over the summer, which I had preordered, and my girlfriend and I immediately dove in. We both played the original Crash games when we were kids, and I have fond memories of Warped especially, which I got 100% completion at some point. You would think that being an older, more experienced gamer would mean that I could fly through old platformer levels and boss fights that I could do when I was eight years old. That is a lie. I have died many, many times and yet I keep going back for more. It’s a treat to see levels I remember so well redone in HD. Now all I need is a remake of Spyro and I can die a happy girl…
3. Stardew Valley
Taking the third spot is Stardew Valley, which I’m including because a new edition was released this year and in my book that makes it eligible for a 2017 game. SV is quite possibly the most relaxing game I have ever played, and that includes Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, which SV draws from, as well as Terraria. I never thought I could get so much into farming. I’m not a city girl, but I’m not a rural girl either, but in today’s world, I can understand the appeal, and it’s honestly something I yearn for. If I’m upset, I play Stardew Valley. If I’m angry, or tired, or sad I play Stardew Valley. If I just want a relaxing gaming session, I play Stardew Valley. And I will continue to play Stardew Valley when I feel or want any of those things, and they’re going to be adding in co-op and multiplayer soon, which just gives me even more reason to play.
2. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Number two is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. I love just about everything in this game. I love the character design, the sound design, the setting, the story, but above that, I love the issues that it addresses. I don’t suffer from psychosis, as Senua does, but I do have depression, anxiety and PTSD, which she is also portrayed to have. I cannot stress how important it is to have games that depict mental illness and also make an effort to educate other people about those illnesses. The amount of research that went into this game was insane, and it’s hard to miss the care that went into crafting it. It’s also important to mention that this game falls into a new category of independent AAA games; AAA quality titles at an affordable price tag. Everything about Senua is groundbreaking, important and well-done.
1. Horizon: Zero Dawn
It was difficult to choose between Horizon: Zero Dawn and Senua for my top spot, but ultimately HZD won. After all, this is the game that I specifically bought a PS4 for. It’s a brand new IP in a strange, new but also recognizable world, with a protagonist who only has one goal in mind and screw anyone who gets in her way. It’s also full of funny and interesting characters. Also there’s horse robots. And adorable raptor robots. And giant giraffe robots that you can climb except they’re moving and it’s a little mini puzzle and if I said everything I like about this game then I would be here all week so instead I’ll just say this: it’s fantastic, it’s my GOTY, and if you haven’t played it yet then GO PLAY IT.