For such a crazy dumpster fire of a year, 2017 was surprisingly good for games. I couldn't play everything I wanted, by virtue of not having a Nintendo Switch (and actually wanting a Nintendo Switch), but what I did play I, for the most part, enjoyed.
Favorite Game Released Before 2017, Played in 2017: World of Warcraft: Legion
Gods, I played a lot of WoW this year. Watching Blizzard work through a very successful expansion after the hellscape that was Warlords of Draenor was a master's class in iteration. We now know what the future holds for the next expansion, the curiously named Battle for Azeroth (I mean, haven't we been fighting over the planet for the past 14 years?), and for once, I am looking forward to seeing what else they Blizzard has in store, rather then cursing the days until I would be forced to dive back in just to check out the new stuff.
2017 Honorable Mentions
Dead by Daylight, Cuphead, Fortnite: Battle Royale (Side note: I have actually played none of these, but I watch a lot of streamers and these were my favorite games to watch streamed. Shoutouts to Admiral Bahroo, TheMexicanRunner, and Darkness429 for making my time not gaming super enjoyable)
Top 5 Games of 2017
5. Middle Earth: Shadow of War
So, this certainly went places. Minus points for a poorly implemented and unneeded loot box system, Talion's return to the endless wasteland of Mordor was more at war with itself then the armies of Orcs, but damn does that loop of picking an orc, meeting an orc, and slicing said orc from chin to toe never get old.
4. The Walking Dead: Season 3
Clementine's back where she belongs: a side character we can watch grow and react to the terrible things in the world. Season 3 was kind of a return to form for Telltale after a disappointing 2nd season, and moving the focus from Clem as the player to Javier and Family was both inspired and needed. We've already received word that Season 4 will be the end, so here's to heading into that darkness one more time.
3. Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court
Darkest Dungeon wormed its way into the darkness of my soul last year, but its expansion, starring MOSQUITO VAMPIRES, consumed a good portion of my summer. Ever a close mix of terror and pure rage, the new area, the Crimson Court, was exactly the kind of expansion a game like this was waiting for.
2. Total War: Warhammer 2
90+ hours so far, and while my Lizardmen army did eventually conquer their half of the world and save the nexus from collapse, it's the Dwarves, brought in by the fantastic Mortal Empires DLC, that once again stole my show. A sequel that builds and betters everything that was great about the first game while also adding a campaign mode incorporating everything from the first game is more then anyone had any right to ask for.
1. Horizon: Zero Dawn
Robot Dinosaurs. Rampant AI. A Bad-Ass A#1 Archer with time on her hands and questions in her heart. A fantastic world that used to be ours until it wasn't, and somehow, through everything that happened, may just be ours again. There's so much that can be said about Horizon: Zero Dawn, so much that has been said, that I don't feel I need to go there. This game is a tour de force, a true classic, and I can't wait for the eventual sequel that takes us even further down the rabbit hole of our eventual technocollapse and our hoped return to something close to normal. And if not that, I'll take the chance to take down more dinos like Oliver Queen.
Reviewer and Editor for Darkstation by day, probably not the best superhero by night. I mean, look at that costume. EEK!