2017 was a pretty great year for gaming as what has become one of my favorite consoles of all time has released with the Nintendo Switch. I think a lot of people really underestimated how great this piece of technology was and it had some of the most incredible first party titles ever released in my opinion. I love playing this system on my TV and also taking it with me wherever I travel, the only thing I wish it had was even more titles for it.
With all of that said, I have very specific tastes when it comes to video games and I certainly have not played every game released, nor even all of the most popular ones. I’m not expecting my list to pair up much with others out there who get paid for this kind of content and have more time to play games than I do, but this list is very specific to my own personal likes and what games I have been able to play this year. The only criteria I have on this list is that the game was released in 2017 and it’s one I enjoyed.
#10 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)
I realize this game originally came out in 2014 for the Wii U, but it was updated a bit for the Nintendo Switch. I played the game much more on the Switch than I ever did with the Wii U and it just flat out ran better, too. Not to mention the game looks fantastic in 1080p as compared to the 720 it was on the Wii U. I rank it as 10 simply because it was a re-release, but one that I spent a lot of time playing this past year.
#9 Horizon Zero Dawn (Playstation 4)
The only RPG on the PS4 this year that I think was worth playing. It would have been pretty high up on the list but then Breath of the Wild was so much better. After playing that it felt like this game just fell into the same pitfalls we’ve seen with previous RPGs over the last decade, but it’s still a solid game.
#8 Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Nintendo Switch)
This game was a complete surprise to me. The concept looked dumb. I hate the Rabbids and their stupid games. I also really dislike XCom2 which this game is similarly modeled after. The weird thing is though, they made it all work and the game itself is really fun. It does a good job of capturing Mario games while having pretty difficult encounters that aren’t super punishing like they are in XCom2. The presentation and graphics of the game are also super fun and done really well.
#7 Cuphead (PC, Xbox One)
This is probably some of the best art ever done in a video game by an indie artist and it has the style of the old platform games I really enjoy along with the difficulty level of the old retro games. It also is a really great co-op title as well!
#6 Fortnite (PC)
So this game is a bit of a mixed bag. The single player had some true potential. The gameplay was there and the building mechanic was interesting. However, the pay to win system with loot chests and the endless grind was going to really kill this game. And then another development team came in and built the Battle Royale PVP version of the game and made that completely free to play. This mode has been insanely popular in the community and shows how solid the base mechanics of the game were. It’s still considered early access so hoping they can turn around the PVE mode but if not, they still have done a fantastic job with PVP.
#5 Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs – Dungeon Run (PC, Mobile)
Hearthstone is approaching 3 years old and last year I didn’t include any of their expansions in my top 10 list because I didn’t feel it was fair to include them even though it was one of my most played games that year. However, Kobolds and Catacombs is a little bit different because the Hearthstone team released one of their most ambitious single player modes to date. If you’ve never played Hearthstone before, now is the best time in my opinion to get into the game.
In a world where Reddit is whining that the game is too expensive, they’re completely ignoring how Dungeon Run has become one of the best modes to play the game and is 100% free. You don’t need a collection to play it. You don’t need gold or money to start a new game for it. You just open it and play. The new expansion was only released in early December and I probably already have a solid 50+ hours in Dungeon Run and as a player that played primarily ranked, I haven’t looked back since Dungeon Run came out.
#4 Golf Story (Nintendo Switch)
I’m a sucker for old retro style games, especially ones that are 16/32 bit. I also have a soft spot for goofy little sports titles, especially ones that are more about fun mechanics more than realism. Golf Story definitely did not disappoint and was a ton of fun to play. The characters were funny and the game was light hearted. It was also a little challenging in some spots as well. It’s definitely my little title game of the year.
#3 Friday the 13th the Game (PC, Xbox One)
I’m not a fan at all with the horror genre, much less the slasher/gore genre. I had no interest in this game until some friends convinced me to try it out. Turns out this game is an absolute blast when you play it with a bunch of friends, especially if you happen to all be counselors in the same game against Jason. Some of the most fun I’ve had playing online with friends was in this game – unfortunately, playing it alone with a bunch of random people is just the shit show you would imagine it would be.
#2 Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)
Any other year this would have been my #1 game of the year. This is easily one of, if not the best Mario game that has been created. The sandbox mode and finding all the moons is what makes the game feel like the old style N64 and Mario Sunshine games. The new mechanics they added to the game were fantastic and the graphics and little story were great as well. If there’s anything Nintendo knows how to do, it’s how to make a really solid Mario game.
#1 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)
The best Legend of Zelda title to date and the first Zelda title I thoroughly enjoyed since Wind Waker. At first the weapon system was a little jarring with weapons being able to break and you’d have to stop in between a battle to swap out a weapon, but it’s that system that made the game so much fun. The fact that this game was non linear and all about rewarding the player for exploring is what made this game so special. You can play through it multiple times and never feel like you just played the same game again. To me, this was the perfect RPG/Adventure game ever released and it has me really exited about Nintendo’s future if this is what we’re going to start seeing out of them.