2017 has been a great year for gaming, but more surprisingly a consistent one. Usually, the best games typically come out at the end of the year, but 2017 has had phenomenal games throughout the year. The year kicked off with strong exclusives titles such as the highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn and concluded with other GOTY contenders like Super Mario Odyssey and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Night in the Woods, Cuphead, and What Remains of Edin Fitch were amongst some of the best indie games in recent years. Picking my favorite games this year was especially difficult as there are plenty of titles I had to leave off the list, but these are my top 5 games of 2017.
Favorite Game Released Before 2017, Played in 2017: XCOM 2
XCOM 2 came out in late 2016 and while I was a fan of 2012's reboot XCOM: Enemy Unknown, I never got a chance to sit down and play the sequel. To my delight, I finally got a chance to play it and it was fantastic. XCOM 2 builds on the turn-based system and immense strategy by adding new features such as procedurally generated maps, new classes, and a new concealment mechanic. By far my favorite feature of the game is the permadeath. Permadeath adds another layer to an already intense game and made me think about every move carefully.
2017 Honorable Mentions
Nier: Automata, Horizon Zero Dawn, Prey, Resident Evil 7, Evil Within 2
Top 5 Games of 2017
Nioh is a game that really stood out to me this year, and honestly surprised me. With the success of the Souls series, there are a good number of games that copy the mechanics of Souls, but ultimately the game feels unoriginal like The Surge and Lords of the Fallen. That was what I expected from Nioh, but Team Ninja did a stellar job in using Souls mechanics in unique ways. I also appreciated the narrative as well as the Japanase lore and the robust combat system.
4. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Danganronpa V3 wraps up the series (we think) in a great way. While the game didn't change too much from what the series has been doing for years, it was near impossible for me to put it down. I quickly got engrossed in the story and charismatic characters. The plethora of end game content was also one of my favorite parts of the game. This is a series I highly recommend any visual novel fan to play
3. Assassin's Creed: Origins
I didn't know what to expect when I first saw Origins. I've played all of the Assassin's Creed games, but I wasn't a fan of all of them especially as of late. With that said, Origins is simply a fantastic game. Ubisoft's year off seems to have paid dividends for them as Origins is unquestionably my favorite Assassin's Creed game since Brotherhood and Black Flag. Egypt looks stunning from start to finish and is a joy to explore. More impressive however is the revamped combat system and RPG mechanics that are a significant upgrade from previous entries as well as a more simplified focused story.
2. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
There is something I'm starting to realize about Bethesda Softworks published games; they are really good. Doom and Dishonored 2 were great last year for id Software and Arkane Studios respectively, and this year Machine Games continued that success with their sequel Wolfenstein 2. B.J. Blazkowicz and co. continues their resistance against the Nazis and it was a delight to playthrough. The character performances and voice acting were among the best this year. I love the "old school" feel of the game, as well as the difficulty of it. The game also performs very well and has plenty of end-game content that is a blast to play through.
1. Persona 5
There's not much more I can say about Persona 5 that hasn't already been said. There isn't a such thing as a perfect game, but Persona 5 is as close as I could imagine to perfection. Whether it's the super-stylish jazzy soundtrack, the wonderful cast of characters, fine-tuned combat system, immersive story or unique art-style, just about everything stands in this game. Persona 5 is not only my game of the year for 2017,but also one of my favorite JRPG's of all time.
Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @jsparis09