As 2017 is coming to a close, everyone’s reflecting on the past year. While the world may slowly be destroying itself, it’s been a pretty good year for video games. But, I unfortunately was not able to play all the video games released, or all that I wanted to play. So, what were my favorite video games of this past year?
10. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Switch)
I was honestly surprised that I liked this game, mostly because of the Rabbids. I, unlike most, was okay with the idea of Mario characters having guns, but I was much less enthusiastic when I heard that Mario was going to crossover with the Rabbids. But somehow, with all the hurdles this game had to get through, it was actually pretty good. The game was fun, engaging, looked great, and definitely sounded great thanks to Grant Kirkhope.
9. Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 (Switch)
Now, I’m always a sucker for Lego games, considering my first video game was Lego Star Wars. But, the Lego games always deliver on solid gameplay and a fun story. But there’s a big reason Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 is so great, it’s chock full of references. You get characters like Maestro from Future Imperfect, and references to tons of different timelines and planets such as the Noir Manhattan or Sakar. Not only is it fun with the different levels in familiar locations, but the array of different characters shows the care put into this game.
8. Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox One)
Now, I’m not denying the terrible way micro transactions were forced into this game, but if you look past that, or just look at the game itself, you can see all the care that was put into the game. But I wasn’t looking for a solid online multiplayer experience, I was looking for a solid single player experience, and boy does Battlefront II deliver. There are tons of different maps from across the three generations of movies, as well as additional heroes to the ones from the previous games, although a few were taken out (Rest in piece Nien Nunb.) So, if you can get past the not so great online of the game, Battlefront II is actually pretty good.
7. Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)
After 13 years, we finally got a new side scrolling Metroid game. Granted, it was a remake of Metroid II, but it is still great. After such a long wait, expectations were high, and Samus Returns cleared all of them. It’s a great remake of a not so great game, and it adds enough new things to keep it feeling interesting, challenging, and fresh.
6. Splatoon 2 (Switch)
While the original Splatoon was a great game, it had the misfortune of being released on the failing Wii U. However, the sequel was released on the Switch with a much wider audience, and is a better game than the original. With fixes to problems, a better single player campaign, new maps, new weapons, and new game modes, the sequel easily surpasses the original and is great to show new players the ropes. The biggest problem is that it wasn’t called Spla2n.
5. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch)
Shovel Knight was great when it first released, and each subsequent campaign has really helped to make the game even better. 2017’s campaign was for Specter Knight, and, in my opinion, was better than the Plague Knight campaign. It gave us more insight into the past of Specter Knight, and helped to build the world of Shovel Knight showing the past actions of characters you meet in the other campaigns. Another thing that made me love it was its early release with the Nintendo Switch, and it was one of the two games that I played when the Switch first released.
4. Cuphead (Xbox One)
Cuphead was the most difficult game I played in 2017, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. In fact, quite the contrary. Between the great visuals that go back to cartoons of the 1930's and music and the level design that always worked and was intuitive, I don’t know what may favorite part about the game was. It was just an overall great experience, although I did not get to play the multiplayer, even though it is something the game encourages. But, even with that handicap I had a great time with this great game.
3. Sonic Mania (Switch)
Sonic the Hedgehog has always been one of my favorite video game series, but it hasn’t been doing so great in recent years. So, when Sonic Mania released this year and was absolutely incredible, I was very happy to say the least. It has tons of great remixed old stages, and the new ones are some of my favorites. The gameplay also feels familiar without just being the same as Sonic 3. My biggest problem is that there weren’t many new stages, which I thought were really great.
2. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
Nintendo’s mascot made his debut on the Switch in Super Mario Odyssey, and boy was it a great game. Not only was it a true 3D platformer in the style of Super Mario 64, but it also brought tons of new and crazy ideas into the Mario series. From how insanely acrobatic Mario is to the different worlds that you can explore, and finally knowing what its like to play as famous Mario enemies, Super Mario Odyssey is a joy to play from beginning to end. And, while I won’t spoil it, I just have to say the final boss fight is probably one of my favorite fights in the entire Mario series. So, now that this is number two, it’s obvious what number one is.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild (Switch)
Yes, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is my, and most other people’s, favorite game of 2017. It was the launch title for the Nintendo Switch, which caused me to sink a lot of time into it before any other great games were released. It’s a great game for so many reasons, more than I can even say, but it’s best quality is how open it is. Now, open world games are nothing new, but we haven’t had an open world Zelda ever. The sheer amount of depth put into any one area can keep you engaged with it for hours at a time, with tons of secrets and hidden items to spice things up. While the story wasn’t the greatest, it did what it needed to, which was get us comfortable with this new world we get to play in. I can’t do this game justice by just telling you what makes it great, that’s something you need to experience for yourself.
So, those were my favorite games of 2017! It was a great year in gaming no matter which system you love playing on the most. Now, we may be saying goodbye to 2017, but that means we get to say hello to 2018 and all the great things it brings along. Here’s hoping that the games will be as good as they were this year, if not better!