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foogledricks

Game(s) of the Year Lists

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Bah, they don't have to be games that came out this year.  Just your favorite games you played this year:

1) Divinity Original Sin II

Wow I have not played a game this long since Skyrim!  The turn-based combat is a favorite of mine.  The skills/spells management and level-progression is the best I've used in a long time.  Such a deep and wonderful game.

2) Zelda BOTW

What else could I say that hasn't already been said.  Screw Nintendo for making games that I want to play.

3) SteamWorld Dig 2

A MetroidVania game.  I cannot get enough of this genre!

4) XCom 2

Turn-based for the win!  Love this game.

5) Tetris Ultimate

Multiplayer Tetris is the best family and party game around.  

 

 

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Game of the Year 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch/Wii U)

I admit I was a skeptic before this came out. I know that it featured many big changes for the series, and I worried that Nintendo would alter the formula so much that it wouldn’t feel like Zelda anymore. Instead, we got a game that felt very much like Zelda, only refreshed for a new age.I spent well over 90 hours exploring the land of Hyrule and could have easily played for many more if I didn't have so many other games I wanted to play as well. My only regret is that I played it on Wii U and not on Switch, where I could have not only had a slightly more impressive technical presentation, but enjoyed the benefits of handheld mode. Oh well, that just gives me an excuse to play it again at some point.

 

Runners Up

Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

If Breath of the Wild hadn’t come out in 2017, this would easily have been my GotY. What impresses me most about Horizon Zero Dawn is that it doesn’t feel like the first installment of a new IP. Instead, it delivers all the polish and depth you’d expect from the second or third game in a series, after the developers have had a chance to iterate on their original design and improve the technology driving it all. It’s one of the most beautiful games ever made with a world full of stunning detail at every turn. The characters, lore, and story are all top notch as well. I still can’t believe the makers of Killzone had this in them.

 

Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)

Leave it to Nintendo to make the 3D platformer collect-a-thon genre fresh and exciting again. Stuffed with ideas and things to find, it’s hard to put down, even after defeating Bowser and rescuing Peach (yet again). 

 

 

 

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Wow. I dunno how they pulled this game off, but they did. No other game I can think of has made it so rewarding to explore a world where you know you're probably going to find something. It's one of those games where you're going to do "just one more thing" and that one thing takes hours because you keep getting lured into doing something else along the way. I loved almost everything about this game, except for the fact that real life got in its way and I have yet to finish it.

 

Super Mario Odyssey - It's weird to find a game where you're not sure that you really like it until after you've finished it and you keep playing to see what else it has to offer. Freed from the progression of unlocking new levels and advancing the "story", the game really starts to show it's true self as you hunker down and find all the moons you can. Some are ridiculously easy, and some are.... not. There's something about having the choice to move on, or stay and find every last thing in each level, which makes it feel like an open ended game.

 

The Switch - Ok, it's not a game, but it's pretty much one of the top stories of the year. How Nintendo hit another home run after the disaster that was the Wii U is pretty impressive. Nintendo somehow managed to figure out a way to make a portable/home console hybrid that can work for just about everyone. Just this past month I've been able to play Mario sitting on my couch on the TV, on my couch while something else was on the TV, in bed and on a plane, and I love it for being able to do all that. Doesn't hurt that software support has been pretty good too.

 

Inside - Game wise, it's pretty simplistic. But the look of it, and the feeling it gives you is something that needs to be experienced. I had kinda forgotten about it when making my mental list of games I liked, and then I saw some video somewhere which made me realize this was one of my favorites that I played this year.

 

Obduction - From the makers of Myst. It doesn't really feel all that difference from Myst actually, except that it's just a bit more interactive. It will make you ask yourself "what the hell is going on here" more than a few times, and does a pretty decent job of telling you the world's story and answering that for you. I love adventure games like this, and it fit the bill.

 

Cuphead - Great look. Challenging gameplay. Old school style. Not for everyone, but was great for me.

 

Destiny 2 - I've fallen off this one much faster than the first. The first one perfectly scratched my MMO itch without technically being an MMO, and wrapping it in an amazing shooter. The second refined that, but has stumbled in the scratching the itch department. The campaign is worlds better than the original, there are plenty of quality of life improvements that made sense, and they gave us more to do in the world... but something is missing. The way loot is collected as been simplified way too much, and I don't have anything driving me to keep playing. As such I haven't done the raid, or even a nightfall and I haven't played the game at all in weeks. I still enjoyed my time with it though, will probably return to it, and I hope they make some improvements the way they did with the first.

 

Disappointments

 

The Last Guardian - I wanted to love this game. I wanted to finish it, just so I know I did. But I kind of hated it. Too many times I get into a space where I have no idea where I'm supposed to be going, and am just running around, and once I have to start giving Trico commands which he won't follow, it's just not worth it anymore. I sold my copy recently. I'll probably try it again when I can get it cheap.

 

South Park: The Fractured But Whole - This might not be entirely fair, as it's release was close to Mario, and as such I haven't fully played it yet. The first though, was my favorite game of that year. I loved being sucked into the world of South Park. I loved how clever the game was while referencing the show through all 20ish seasons. I loved the jabs it took at the games industry and social media. I also thought it was pretty fun to play. This one tries to do all that again, but has lost the fun. The battles feel cumbersome, the pacing feels dreadfully slow, and the jokes don't feel as fresh. Kinda like the show lately I guess.

 

Horizon: Zero Dawn - I'm only disappointed that this game came out the same week as Zelda and that I haven't had time to play it for more than an hour.

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No Switch here, so nothing from that on my list.

 

Horizon: Zero Dawn - A beautifully rendered world, great gameplay, and most surprising for me, a touching story.  My favorite surprise of the year - the KillZone games never didn't much at all for me, so I was shocked that they made something so different.

 

Assassin's Creed Origins - It may be the best AC title yet (hard to take off my rose-colored glasses when it comes to the Ezio trilogy).  I liked Syndicate, but the extra year of polish really shows here.

 

Uncharted: Lost Legacy - Short and sweet, but so much fun.  The pairing of Chloe and Nadine was brilliant.

 

Overwatch - I played a few of the free trials.  It was ok, but I didn't get how this was a GOTY last year.  Then it clicked.  Once you play enough with each of the characters, you understand just how every game plays out in so many different ways because of the matchups and it just doesn't get old.  Even if it threatens to, they add new characters, maps, special events or rebalance so regularly that it's always fresh.

 

Prey - Why they named this after the horrible 360 game when there's no connection whatsoever is beyond me.  A next-gen Half-Life that lets you solve problems in lots of different, interesting ways - it deserved more love than it got.

 

Wolfenstein II - Haven't finished it (probably about 2/3 of the way through), but an amazing follow-up which doubles down on the story.

 

Playstation VR - Not a game, but I waited a year because I had been burned by the PS Move and the Kinect, and I wanted to make sure it was worth it (and would be supported).  With the price drop and a lot more games, it is *so* worth it.  So worth it that I've almost upgraded to a PS Pro just for the VR improvement.

 

 

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1) Super Mario Odyssey - nothing else came close for me. I really loved the inventiveness, the challenge, the sheer depth and celebration of Mario’s history. I didn’t enjoy anything like I did Mario.

 

2) Persona 5 - I usually get one big-ass JRPG playthrough a year and this would be the one for this year. Fantastic cast, great plot, amazing music, and the combat system was fantastic. Even the menus are a work of art.

 

3) Mario + Rabbids - XCOM plus Rabbids is the Mario game I never knew I wanted. There needs to be a sequel like yesterday.

 

4) Final Fantasy XIV - this was the year I tried to get into Elite and ended up stumbling back into my straight MMO addiction. FFXIV is the best MMO I played since WoW and in many ways I like it better. The story incorporated FF lore and your player character in fun ways and there are endless amounts of side things to spend time on. And I haven’t even started on the expansions, which are apparently even better.

 

5) Zelda: Breath of the Wild - This would likely be higher but I ended up distracted by other games and not getting back to it. I may start fresh in the new year.

 

6) Resident Evil 7 - I was and am a monstrous fan of the first four games and the series roared back to life with this one. One of the year’s best surprises, it was a delight from start to finish.

 

7) Uncharted: Lost Legacy - this was a blast. A shorter Uncharted without Nate that lost none of what the series does so well despite that. Fun game, great cast, the kind of mayhem infused climax that I love in these games.

 

The Left Behind - The games that would probably be on this list but I simply didn’t have time to play them as much as I wanted (or at all): Fire Emblem, Prey, AC: Origins, Samus Returns, XCOM2: War of the Chosen, Wolfenstein II, etc.

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  1. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - Easily my favorite MP game of all time. Every match feels different. The amount of tension in a solo match is 2nd to none. Squads are super fun and can be quite hilarious. Duos are my favorite way to play though. You get a large amount of the tension from Solo play and get to experience with a friend.
  2. Super Mario Odyssey - It has been a long time since I played a game that had me smiling the entire time. All of the outfits are great and the Bowser stuff is so so good. The soundtrack is the best Mario Soundtrack ever, IMO. The switching to 8-bit music is quite good, which was also well done in my #4 game.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - BOTW comes close to surpassing a Link to the Past as my favorite Zelda. This may just be the best open world to explore in a game. The shrines are all Super Fun and the final battle with Ganon, while easy, was super epic.
  4. Nier: Automata - The gameplay in Nier is fine. Nothing great, nothing bad. The story and characters are where this really shines. The story goes places that I was not expecting. 
  5. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - I enjoyed this more than Uncharted 4. I love the banter between Chloe and Nadine. Naughty Dog also does not wear out its welcome by making the game 10 hours too long like they did with UC4. Lost Legacy focuses more on exploration and less on the terrible gunplay of the Uncharted series. Also, being able to make Chloe do that dumbass face in photo mode is god tier.

6-10 coming soon.

 

 -Dean-

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If I ranked my top games for 2017, I'd be too busy going over minor points rather than coming out and saying why I enjoyed the game.  So here's my list of best of games rather than by ranking.  

 

Horizon Zero Dawn:  This is easily the most surprising game for me because I had paid very little attention during its announcement and subsequent launch.  But since I get the vast majority of my gaming news/impressions from this site, I noticed a lot of people enjoying the game.  I gave it a go, and it's easily one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time.  It gets a lot right on first impression and keeps it that way which is a rarity for entertainment media.  It checkmarks a lot of things that are part and parcel of my favorite games:  lore that's tied into gameplay, beautiful graphics, great quality of gaming life, open world worth exploring, great difficulty curve, etc.  If there was a drawback to this game, and this is a real nit pick at this point, it's that I don't have a PS4 Pro, and every time I play this game I feel like I'm on the runway at O'Hare or Atlanta's airport.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:  I have to diverge a bit from Dean and say that I think this has surpassed A Link To The Past as my favorite Zelda of all time.  This is odd considering I still felt Zelda franchise fatigue after finishing this game.  My Zelda fatigue was at its highest during Twilight Princess.  I purchased Skyward Sword, but I never got around to playing it.  But because this game changed so much to the formula in terms of gameplay, it felt like revisiting an old, close friend who has something new to reveal.  It's definitely a love letter to the fans of the franchise considering all the things you can discover that relate to games past.  Combat is a lot more satisfying now, and the myriad of Youtube videos proves people are finding ingenious and fun things to do in the world at large.  I do miss themed dungeons.  Which brings me back to my point about Zelda fatigue.  A lot of it stems from the lore of the series.  I really hope we get a game much like BOTW, but instead of just changing gameplay, change the story up a lot as well.  Play as Zelda or even *gasp*... play as Ganon.

 

Super Mario Odyssey: In terms of the Mario franchise, I would pick three games that epitomize the joy of playing a Mario game.  That would be Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, and this one.  Don't get me wrong, I loved Super Mario Sunshine for its crazy mechanic and difficulty, Super Mario 3D World was a fun return to the playstyle diversity of Super Mario 2, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 was just more of SMG.  SMO felt like all of those things, but it also felt like being a kid again except this time I'm a much older adult who can appreciate the love, thought, and care that went into designing this game.  And I love the costumes.

 

Resident Evil VII:  I remember enjoying it, but not much beyond that.  I love the return to the "mansion", nonsensical puzzles, scarcity of ammo, the cheap jump scares, etc.  But I feel like it could've been better.  Not that I can think of anything overtly wrong with it, but just better.

 

The Evil Within 2:  Just loved it.  It's essentially a very well-done open world Resident Evil.  I personally feel like it improves and fixes a lot of the things I had minor issues with The Evil Within.

 

Dark Souls 3 The Ringed City DLC:  Not quite the fond farewell I was hoping for, but a very fun jaunt nonetheless.  It gave me my favorite armor set from Dark Souls 2 back at least.  Sexy sexy Desert Pyromancer.  My favorite Dark Souls fight in the entire series with Slave Knight Gael.

 

Golf Story:  I liked this one, but I'm so busy with my completionist run of BOTW.

 

Not 2017 Games, But I played Them Noneheless

 

Wolfenstein: The New Order:  Dabbled in it a bit, but will return to it once I finish everything else.

The Witcher:  I can't wait to get to 2012 and 2015 gaming for this series.

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I have only played some video games this year, so I will also include some of my favorite Board Games as well. Just new stuff to me for the year

 

Video Games

Horizon Zero Dawn- I love this game, I really need to finish it when I have some quiet time.

 

Clash Royale- I have been very addicted to this game for months. Just enough free stuff to keep me playing for who knows how long

 

Wolfenstein 1-  Finally nice to have the series back on track

 

Call of Duty WWII- I dropped off 4 games ago, but was really excited to play the WWII setting again. Solid Single player, and the game is gorgeous in 4k.  Hope they do another one like this, or at least do something Modern again

 

Board Games

 

Ethnos- Game that we probably played the most this year. Area Control by way of making sets of different cards

 

Star Wars Rebellion- Star Wars in a Box is the only description it needs. My favorite two player game

 

Godfather Corleone's Empire- Interesting take on area control with the Godfather theme. We have played it with 3, 4, and 5 players and strategy's are much different depending on the number of players. Hoping for an expansion for more variety of stuff. 

 

The Captain is Dead- Pandemic with a Star Trek Theme

 

 

 

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