Joel's Top 5 Games of 2017

Although 2017 will probably not be looked at fondly by most for its political and social turmoil, it sure was an amazing year for video games to come in and provide an incredible escape from it all. All three major platforms had an amazing year and one that I think when we look back on in a decade will go down as one of the best years in video games ever. 


Favorite Game Released Before 2017, Played in 2017: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

I was one of the few in this industry that purchased a Wii U on day one. Sadly that console didn't live up to expectations. But it did have one of my favorite Mario Kart games of all time. That same game (with its DLC) was re-released this year on the Switch and I've fallen in love again. Easily one of the best games I played this year. 


2017 Honorable Mentions

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Madden NFL 18, Injustice 2, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War


Top 5 Games of 2017

5. NBA 2K18

I will not deny that NBA 2K18 has its fair share of issues. I'm not a fan of how 2K Sports has increased the grind in this years game. I also don't have DJ (the main character in this years story mode) or his story or any of the supporting characters. And yet the open playground of NBA 2K18 has captivated me. At the time of this writing, I've played nearly an entire season and don't see stopping anytime soon. NBA 2K18 continues as one of the best sports franchises of all time. 

4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I'm both shocked and happy to have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on my top five games of the year. Going into the year I was still pretty skeptical on whether or not Nintendo was going to be successful with their first Zelda game for the Nintendo Switch. And after a couple of hours of Breath of the Wild, I thought it would be my #1 game of the year. Although I loved the 20+ hours I put into the game over 2017 I never was compelled to finish it, finding that I enjoyed getting lost in the world more then I did actually playing the game.

3. Super Mario Odyssey

I have a hot and cold relationship with Mario. I loved everything up until Super Mario World. And then I never got into Super Mario 64, Sunshine or Galaxy 1 & 2. But my love for the franchise came back with Super Mario 3D World for the Nintendo Wii U and continues with Super Mario Odyssey. I had over 24 hours of time in airplanes in November of 2017 and I spent the majority of that loving life while playing one of the best games of the year Super Mario Odyssey. 

2. Assassin's Creed: Origins

I feel as though I should preface this by saying that I love the Assassin's Creed franchise. Its a franchise that outside of Unity has brought me more joy then probably any other franchise in the last decade. I came to Assassin's Creed: Origins a month after release and I have to say that I've been absolutely blown away with this game. Sure it's big. Sure it's gorgeous. But its also such an amazing experience. It has great characters, great stories, and a compelling through-line that has made it one of the gams of 2017 that I will be thinking about replaying in 2018, 2019, and maybe even 2020. 

1. Horizon: Zero Dawn

I reviewed Horizon: Zero Dawn and I was wrong. I scored it a 4/5 and I was wrong. I replayed the game over the summer of 2017 after blitzing the game in a week to review it and on my second playthrough, I realized that I had missed it in my first take on the game. I've been reviewing games for a long time (over fifteen years) and I don't often disagree with reviews I've written. But after spending nearly 50 hours with the game in a second playthrough I fell in love with Horizon: Zero Dawn in a way I just didn't connect with it at first. I love Aloy, I think she's a great character. I fell in love with the systems of Horizon: Zero Dawn far more then I did originally as well. And although it didn't necessarily bring new to open world games it capitalized on a number of great systems that combined to make it my favorite game of 2017. 


I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.