Top 10 Games of 2017 (Matthew)

So everyone it’s a brand new year and with it we come to reflect on the good and bad times from last year.

This will be the third and final top 10 list to be posted on the site this year as part of the 3 lists promised at the beginning of the year. In this list we’re going to take a look at my personal top 10 games of last year aswell as 4 additional honorable mentions. So without further ado; lets get straight into it;

10. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (PC/PS4/XO/iOS/Android)

So coming in at #10 on my top 10 list and kicking things off is the latest entry in Telltale’s long running; The Walking Dead series. When I first sat down to play this game; I was initially worried considering I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Walking Dead Season 2 (I thought it was okay but nowhere near as good as the first season) however this game started off strong enough to keep me gripped throughout and ultimately was what I wished Season 2 would’ve been like. This game once again takes on the concept of protecting people in a Zombie apocalypse as you control Javi Garcia; A former professional Baseball player who must protect his family when the dead start to rise. Along the way he meets Clementine; Protagonist of the previous season who is more battle-hardened after the events that happened between the seasons. The 2 must team up to fight a new threat when a hostile survivor group called The New Frontier cause unnecessary blood shed between the 2 groups.

Overall, I feel this season is what has really helped to get me excited for The Walking Dead: Final Season since it has restored my hope in this series after Season 2 disappointed me. I’d highly recommend anyone to play this amazing season.

9. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

In at #9 is an incredible new entry in the Uncharted series from Naughty Dog with The Lost Legacy. I think one of the primary reasons I loved this game is because the gameplay is pretty much the same as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (My 2016 GOTY) plus I do feel that Chloe made for a great protagonist however she can never be as good of a protagonist as Nate which let it down by only a very brief margin. I loved what I played of the story so far and the only reason it is so high on the list is because I haven’t actually finished the game just yet. Overall though, I definitely give this a recommendation for all Uncharted fans.

8. Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy (PS4)

Spinning into #8 on my list is the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy. This was hands down one of my more anticipated titles for 2017 and while I did get incredibly frustrated at points; I still loved my time playing these classic games once again. When you play through all 3 games; you can see that the team at Vicarious Visions have lovingly recreated every single inch of coding in the classic Naughty Dog titles and brought a fresh breath of life into the Crash Bandicoot series after a long dormant time away from the gaming nation. Everything from the music to the classic platforming to the upgraded visuals. The Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is just a delight for any Crash Bandicoot fans and has ultimately helped to introduce many new gamers to the world of the orange marsupial that captured the hearts of many PS1 gamers.

Overall, I definitely think this is worth picking up if you are wanting to relive the classic experience or encounter it for the first time and with rumors circulating that Spyro the Dragon is next on the remaster agenda and that a 5 year plan is in place for the Bandicoot; It looks like the Crash craze isn’t gonna die down soon.

7. Sonic Mania (NS/PS4/XO/PC)

Speeding into 7th place at an incredible speed is the incredible Sonic Mania. Sonic Mania is a true love letter to the classic mega drive  Sonic titles bringing back the classic stages that we all know and love such as Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone while putting fresh new spins on them such as adding a boss fight to each level and even making one of these boss fights a game of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine which I found to be such an interesting surprise. I also really liked all of the new stages and the new music which help to make this game have a classical feel.

In my honest opinion; this game is a huge step in the right direction for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and if this is a sign of things to come in the future; then Sonic could still be kicking around for a while yet. This game is made by the fans for the fans which is why the game is incredible.

6. South Park: The Fractured But-Whole (PC/PS4/XO)

Coming in at #6 is the latest game from Trey Parker & Matt Stone with South Park: The Fractured But-Whole. This game was hands down one of the funniest games (if not the funniest) that I played in 2017 bringing back the traditional South Park humor but with a new genre to parody in the form of the now well overused Superhero genre. The thing I loved more than anything in Fractured But-Whole was the new gameplay mechanics which changes the game from a bare bones turn based RPG into a battle grid allowing more freedom of movement and technique to the attacks. I also liked that you could have a party of 4 characters rather than just 2.

I will admit that I did have a few problems with the game which ultimately leads to it just being outside of my top 5. For starters, the game felt a lot shorter to me and in addition to this also had less unique enemies when compared to it’s predecessor. I also felt that while they got most of the humor spot on and it was probably a lot more cruder than the first game; it ultimately failed to be as funny as the first game. My final 2 problems with this game is that unlike the first game which had some pretty difficult points; I felt this game was way too easier and even on the hardest difficulty was really easy; the other problem was that the story ending was pretty bad and the overall villain of the game was one of my most hated and unfunny South Park characters which I didn’t like at all. Overall though, I do highly recommend playing this game; especially since the price has dropped since launch.

5. Life is Strange: Before the Storm (PC/PS4/XO)

Coming in at 5th place on my list is the prequel series to the Square Enix episodic title; Life is Strange. Before the Storm is a very interesting series that follows Chloe just before the events of Life is Strange as she tries to cope with all of the hardships that life has dealt her from the death of her father to her best friend Max leaving Arcadia Bay. In the midst of all this upset; Chloe meets fellow student Rachel Amber and the 2 start to form a special friendship that will ultimately shape the events to come in Life is Strange. One of the many things that I loved about this game was that it got me to actually care about Chloe as a character since in the original game she was probably my least favorite character apart from Nathan.

Before the Storm is full of many other delightful things such as a wonderful story, phenomenal music choices and possibly the most interesting thing to come out of all this is the Backchat feature which allows you to accurately use Chloe’s attitude and sass to convince NPC’s to do what Chloe wants. Overall, I loved every second of this game and it has left me wanting more Life is Strange.

4. The Evil Within 2 (PC/PS4/XO)

In at 4th place is The Evil Within 2 which surprised me in many different ways. While many gamers didn’t like the story in this incredible horror sequel; I really liked that it was a more simplistic story with a set goal rather than a convoluted story that messes with the mind. In terms of gameplay; I did really like the open world-ish aspect to this title since it gave you a lot more room to plan out attacks strategically and ultimately get the high ground in dangerous situations. The music in the game was also really great with the sound effects being incredibly eerie (especially during the missions with the wraith that insta-kills you). The visuals are also improved heavily in the sequel with a lot of replay value aswell however the free first person mode that was added into the game this year just doesn’t feel right; so while I highly recommend everyone to play this game; play it in third person rather than the new first person mode.

3. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)

Coming in at third place is the new IP from Guerilla Games; Horizon: Zero Dawn. Straight away from the moment I jumped into this world; I could tell that it was going to be among my top 5 games for the year. Horizon: Zero Dawn has such an interesting story that combines tribal warfare with that of gigantic robots and on many occasions I’ve stated it’s like Terminator meets Jurassic Park. I loved the character of Aloy and seeing her constant struggle against all the different tribes who treat her like an outcast while trying to save the lives of everyone is powerful and a true tale that makes you question humanity.

The gameplay in Horizon: Zero Dawn is phenomenal with open world gameplay and smooth, fast paced gameplay that allows you to utilize the environment to your full advantage while also earning experience and leveling up your skills through a skill tree that allows you to do many things from detecting weak points on robots easier to overriding them and using certain ones as vehicles. The game has a perfect balance in difficulty between easy parts and some bits that may be a little bit more challenging for casual gamers. The voice acting and music are also incredible and the visuals are vivid and colorful. All in all, A must own game for any PS4 owner.

2. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (PC/PS4/XO)

The runner up for my favorite game of 2017 hands down belongs to Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. This game struck a chord with me from the moment I played it and for a long time I thought it would be my game of the year (until I played the game at #1). As I said in my review for it at the beginning of 2017; The idea to change the camera angle from over the shoulder to first person gave this series the long awaited fresh coat of paint the series has needed since 2012 bringing back what made the series great in the first place which was the horror aspect.

The story for Resident Evil VII was rather simplistic but at the same time it was that of a basic B-movie horror plot (Another thing the series is famed for). The first person perspective added a whole new layer of Atmosphere to the game and made it harder to detect enemies ultimately leading to much better scares. The characters of the Baker family were phenomenal antagonists with the standouts easily belonging to Jack & Lucas. Depending on which mode you played on; Ammunition was made scarce and the game had a focus on item management. Every single of aspect of this game was perfect and the only reason it’s not my game of the year is because I found number 1 was better in every way but still if this is a sign of the future for Resident Evil; then we could be seeing some incredible things in the future.

Honorable Mentions:

Friday The 13th: The Game (PC/PS4/XO)

So the first of my honorable mentions hands down goes to Friday the 13th: The Game which while it’s not the best game ever made; I’ve had hours upon hours of countless fun with this game. The different Jasons and counsellors add to new styles of gameplay and different tactics which you should take in order to either survive the night or murder your victims. I was also a big fan of how they used the music from the actual movies to indicate when Jason is chasing somebody aswell as the inclusion of Tommy Jarvis; The iconic hero of the series. All in all, While I do still recommend people to wait for it to go down in price; it is a game I can recommend to people if they just want some mindless fun.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins (PS4/XO/PC)

Next in my honorable mentions list is a game that only just barely missed the top 10 which is Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Playing AC Origins as a fan of the other entries in the series felt like such a long needed breath of fresh air for the series which had been away for 2 years. The whole open world of Ancient Egypt was such a fun setting to be able to explore and Bayek made for such a likable and interesting character (While he didn’t live up to Ezio or Edward).  The gameplay in many ways felt like a more RPG/Parkour focused version of Horizon: Zero Dawn and along with all the other things that I loved about the game such as the gear system and the long awaited return of a Modern Day Protagonist in third person perspective made this game particularly memorable for me and I can’t wait to see which direction Ubisoft takes the franchise in next.

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4/PS Vita/PC)

My final honorable mention goes to the wacky yet wonderful world of Danganronpa. Since I was only introduced to this series last year and since I played both the previous entries prior to Killing Harmony; I found it amazing to see just how far the series had come since it’s last installment. The characters in Killing Harmony were just as interesting and complex as the characters in the previous games but the big selling point to me was all the different new gameplay features introduced such as being able to Lie during class trials in order to uncover the truth, the new mini-games and the large open hub world for the character to explore. In addition to this, the game did something I honestly didn’t expect to happen within the earlier moments of the game which I’m not mentioning due to spoilers but needless to say it surprised me. If it’s true the way the marketing was setting this up; then it was a nice final entry to the Danganronpa series.

1. Persona 5 (PS4/PS3)

So we finally arrive here at my 2017 Game of the Year and to be honest; there hasn’t been an easier choice for me to make than choosing Persona 5. So after hearing about how amazing the Persona series was; I finally decided to check out the series with the most recent entry and I was captivated by this game from the moment I started playing it. There is so many things that I could honestly type about why Persona 5 easily got my game of the year (will type it in a lot more detail in a review later this year)  but for now I’ll give you a basic abridged version. The first thing that really struck a chord with me was the music. As soon as you jump into that world; you’re instantly taken aback by the phenomenal score by Shoji Meguro that includes incredible pieces of music like Life Will Change, Blooming Villain and Wake Up Get Up Get Out There. The story is incredible and while I’m not going to go into details due to potential spoilers; it definitely has enough twists and turns to keep you playing to find out more.

The voice cast do a phenomenal job of getting you invested in all these characters from the main protagonists (The Phantom Thieves) to all of the side characters who they come across on their Heists and even the antagonists who want to stop at nothing to bring you down. Each world is unique with their own puzzles that await you with the gameplay being the perfect cross between a turn based JRPG and a student simulator. The final thing I will mention about Persona 5 is that in terms of its art pallet and visual style; I have honestly never seen a game on the same parallel as it. This game not only got me into the Persona series (Playing through Persona 4 Golden right now) but it has also struck a chord with me so much so that it sits pretty in my top 5 games of all time. Highly recommend this game to anyone who owns a PS4 or PS3.

So what do you think? Do you agree with any of my choices? Is there something you liked that I didn’t mention? Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and if you liked this article be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

Article by Matthew McNamee

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