Who doesn’t like a nice list? Well, I have a doozy for you, loaded with the most incredibly niche games imaginable, that make up my personal Game of the Year awards! Actually that’s a complete lie, this is all big-name stuff on here.
We’ve probably said it in about a dozen articles this GotY week, but 2017 was a watershed year for games. There were multiple titles of note each and every month (well, most months) and the Holidays were seriously loaded for bear.
As is the trend with me in particular though, I certainly didn’t get to play everything that I wanted. Actually, a good number of the games I was excited about fell through the cracks. And I might as well count titles like Wolfenstein: The New Colossus in there too, since I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with it as I would have liked.
That’s typical though, and it’s an excessively common affliction these days among the gaming public. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t put together a mean top five for the year. Even leaving out games that I don’t feel I played for long enough, what I did get into last year is more than enough. That’s just the kind of year 2017 was.
Let’s kick things off with number five on my list:
5.) Call of Duty: WWII (Multi, but I played it on PS4)
Call of Duty: WWII takes the franchise back to its glory days, when it was set in World War II. The result of this shift away from the futuristic is a gritty, action-packed game with an actual decent story. Yes, WWII still has a bunch of cringe-worthy moments, and the huge, over the top set pieces have little to no impact at this point, but this is still a quality FPS, that sets the series “right”. More like this Activision.
4.) Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy (PS4)
Aside from getting a wholly new Crash game to play with (still waiting), the N.Sane Trilogy was just about as good as I could have hoped.
This was more of a total conversion (remember that term?) or a remake than anything else, and man was it good. The N.Sane Trilogy re-created the three original Crash games as though they were brand new, with spectacular results. Terrific gameplay, excellent graphics, and a surprising amount of difficulty make this a set of platformers you won’t soon put down.
3.) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)
WHAT?! Breath of the Wild is number three?!?!
Yes, it is. Stop. This is my personal top five remember? It doesn’t represent BG’s overall GotY’s. If you forget, that honor was already doled out and the winner was indeed Breath.
So why is it number three on my list? That’s easy, it’s because the game is just too big for my tastes. I like having a lot to do, totally I do, but I also like to finish games, and titles like this and Skyrim are simply too time-consuming for me to do that and get in all the other titles I want to explore. My ideal Zelda game is more along the lines of Link to the Past. Tightly crafted and just lengthy enough. But that’s me. And even so, I can’t deny how absolutely incredible this game is, which is why it landed this high on my charts.
2.) Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Nintendo Switch)
How could a turn-based Mario game, one that has players taking cover and shooting “guns”, possibly be fun? While I was optimistic about Kingdom Battle, that was more or less what I was thinking as I wished the Switch’s first Mario-starring title was, well, an actual Mario title.
But here’s the thing – this game is really, really good. I’d actually say “great”. The humor from both series’ is present and accounted for in a world that’s gorgeously rendered on Nintendo’s new hardware. And the gameplay? That “turn-based strategy” play? It’s fantastic. So fantastic that I actually want to see more of it on Switch. And this is coming from someone who’s not a fan of the genre. I loved this game and played the heck out of it, from start to finish…
1.) Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)
…but not as much as I played this one.
There were actually a good many things that annoyed me about Super Mario Odyssey. Right from the first trailer, I hated New Donk City. After playing, I understood it a little better, but honestly, I still don’t care for it. Also after playing, I can firmly say that I don’t like the possession mechanic taking the place of traditional Mario power-ups. I also miss the staple Mario baddies, of which there aren’t too many in this game.
But even so, Super Mario Odyssey is so much fun that it almost negates all of my complaints. The game is just great, and once again represents Nintendo’s incredible ability to play with their biggest IP’s, and shake up their formulas.
I’m not sure I’d really want to play another Odyssey, and if you ask me, I’ll probably say I don’t. I’ll probably tell you that I want a more “standard” Mario game for the plumber’s next adventure on the Switch. But honestly, there wasn’t a game in 2017 that I had a better time with, and that has to count for something.
So those are my top five. One interesting thing about the above, is that even though I’m mainly an Xbox One gamer, I pretty much played everything of note on my Switch and PS4 last year. Oh, and the Switch was –far and away– my most played console.
Just a few “honorable mentions” too, for games that I really wanted to get more into, but didn’t get the chance. So I have to mention Injustice 2, Cuphead, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.
Hopefully, they will all get more of a shot as I wade through the relatively lifeless (for me anyway) first months of 2018. Now where’s my controller…