The Top 10 Games of 2017

I’m just copying and pasting what I wrote on Twitter so that there’s something for people on Facebook to read.

10. Night in the Woods


I have yet to finish this game. Mostly because it resonates so strongly with me that I have to take breaks. That feeling a testament to its writing and character, and is a must play.

9. Pyre


Supergiant does it again with a magnificent tale where its themes of loss work directly into the gameplay. It has one of the strongest soundtracks in gaming, delivering one of the most powerful moments I’ve experienced all year.

8. Hollow Knight

hollow knight

2017 was an amazing year for video game soundtracks and Hollow Knight is a big reason for that. Alongside that is a wonderfully crafted art style, accompanied by gameplay that mixes Dark Souls, Zelda, and Castlevania.

7. Persona 5

persona 5

Persona 5 has a lot of issues. The third act is horribly paced, and its treatment of certain issues is BAD. Even so, there’s an amazing sense of style, punctuated by a jazzy soundtrack, and filled with fun characters that I genuinely felt friendships with.

6. Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

wolf 2.jpg

No game has been more aware of when it’s coming out than Wolfenstein. It’s story will be timeless due to the current political climate. It goes places games are terrified of going and nails the landing. I only wish it was a bit more fun to play.

5. Resident Evil 7

res 7

More of an evolution of the form instead of a return to it. Resident Evil 7 takes the first person perspective and uses it to great advantage while blending in a sense of old school Resident Evil.

4. Battle Chef Brigade


Easily the best surprise of the year. It doesn’t stick the landing, but the first four chapters of the game are some of the most pleasant I’ve played in a long time. Its characters are charming, the art is adorable, and it’s more fun than you’d think.

3. Horizon Zero Dawn


I loved this world. It was so much fun to explore and see the combination of high science fiction robots and low end tech. It was a beautiful looking game with one of the best written stories this year.

2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds


Easily the most fun I’ve had in a multiplayer game in years. This game has made me laugh like I never have before. This game has made me feel fear and anxiety like I never have before. No other game has left me shaking after winning a round.

1. Nier: Automata


Despite its shoddy combat, Nier uses its mechanics to compliment its themes and story in ways games have never considered. It feels like all aspects were thought of in order to create a clear, concise work of art. It also has the best soundtrack of 2017.

Honorable Mention: Tekken 7


I would have EASILY had this game on my top 10 if I played it before submitting my list for the end of year. Tekken 7 honors its 20+ year history with a fun, but heartfelt story that does its best to bring its Shakespearean tale to a close.


Pandemic Legacy

The title is literally that simple. We’ll be taking a break from game of the year awards for a moment. Mostly because I was lazy and haven’t written anything about the first half of my top ten list.

Our board state by the end of the game.

Six months ago, or more – I can’t remember and I’m too lazy to check – I wrote about an awesome board game called Risk Legacy. It played like Risk but the game built on itself over the course of fifteen games. When you met certain conditions you would open up packs of cards or new board pieces. I played with the same four people over several months and in that time we changed the “world”… for worse. The planet in that game became a living nightmare.

But on last Tuesday, my friends and I started up another legacy game: Pandemic.

For those not in the know, Pandemic is a cooperative game where four players work together to cure the world of four diseases. The more they spread, the worse things get, and if there are too many outbreaks then you lose. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the bare bones explanation.

The biggest difference between this game and Risk Legacy – besides being cooperative over competitive – is that no matter what you’ll always be unlocking new things. The game plays out over the course of an in game year. Each month could contain up to two games – depending on if you win the first game in the month. If you do, jump to the next one. If not, you get a second chance to repair the damage.

We were on a hot streak for the first three games and in the end that made us a little cocky. We got brutalized in April and that taught us a harsh lesson. One we wound up learning several times over in the course of the summer months and a few of the fall ones.

The game had reached a point where one of the viruses had mutated and calling containing that a struggle would be an understatement. But we trucked along nonetheless. This was made easier by the fact that whether we won or lost, we got to upgrade the board and continue to unlock new content.

This helped a lot on our second day of playing, in which we spent at least twelve hours finishing the last eight months of the year. It was easy to keep going when each game held the chance to unlock new mechanics and cards for us to play with. More than Risk Legacy, Pandemic wanted to tell a story. So win or lose, we would be along for the ride.

By the end of the game, we’d sussed out a traitor, became resistance members against a military dictatorship, cured a zombie epidemic, and saved the world. At the end of the game you’re given a card to read and depending on your end game score, you get a certain ending.

There are five endings that range from “the world is over” to “you saved the world with ease!”. We landed just below the very best ending. We didn’t solve all the world’s problems swiftly and with ease, but we kicked ass and made sure that “our faces would be on money for centuries to come”. Or something like that.

The picture you’ll see at the top of this post is our board state at the end of the very last game. One day I’ll remember to take a snapshot at the end of each game so there’s a slideshow of progression. But for now enjoy the picture of the planet after fighting a year’s worth of battles against zombies.

And for god’s sake we need to build some better ways to get from Africa to South America >_> Oh and split up East Asia into a peninsula or something because our zombie plague spread like wild fire over there. Just look at Shanghai as a prime example.

This version of Pandemic Legacy was also billed as “Season One”. What that will mean in the grand scheme of things, I have no idea. But I’m excited for the potential!

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