DualShockers’ Game of the Year 2017 Countdown: Michael’s Top 10
In the leadup to DualShockers' Game of the Year Awards, Staff Writer Michael Ruiz shares his personal top 10 games for 2017.
As 2017 comes to a close, DualShockers and our staff are reflecting on this year’s batch of games for our official Game of the Year awards. In the lead up to the New Year’s Day reveal, each member of the staff will give their personal top 10 games they played this year.
I’m not sure if I’m experiencing a sort of recency bias, but 2017 has arguably been the best year for gamers this generation.
Admittedly, I have not put enough time into some of the greats mentioned in previous lists like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Horizon Zero Dawn, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds — which I plan to during my time off. That being said, here are the games I felt deserved the most praise in 2017.
10. Assassin’s Creed Origins
Ubisoft’s brief hiatus from one of its most popular franchises seems to have paid off. Assassin’s Creed Origins may not change the game, but it has certainly re-sparked my interest in the long running series.
While it hardly strays from the formula the series is known for, Assassin’s Creed Origins‘ characters and ancient Egypt location is what sets this title apart from the rest. After finishing the noticeably long intro and learning more about the game’s protagonist, Bayek, he quickly became my favorite assassin from the series.
9. Fire Pro Wrestling World
I am an unabashed professional wrestling fan; I wear a t-shirt of my favorite heels and babyfaces everyday and watch NJPW and WWE’s events daily. It is my favorite entertainment avenue next to video games. As such, some would believe that WWE 2K18 would have taken a spot on this list. It may have — despite some of its problems — if Fire Pro Wrestling World did not officially release a few days ago.
Spike Chunsoft’s arcade-style wrestling game is a visual aid for your wildest pro wrestling dreams. Its incredibly robust character customization options allows you to create your favorite grapplers, high flyers, and technicians right down to their finisher. This facet alongside some fun (and somewhat difficult) gameplay makes Fire Pro Wrestling World a must-play for pro wrestling fans like me.
8. Subsurface Circular
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout 2017 is to respect my time. With so many fantastic games out this past year, many of them required an excess amount of time I simply did not have (with some exceptions). However, there have been a number of titles that did respect my time; Subsurface Circular is the epitome of that statement.
Lasting a whopping two hours, developer Mike Bithell’s latest game tells the tale about a detective named Tek investigating the disappearances of a number of its android companions within the game’s titular subway system. The sci-fi text-based adventure is a great modern interpretation of the genre that is short and sweet.
7. Nex Machina
Housemarque is known for creating expertly designed arcade-style games. Previously released titles like Dead Nation and Super Stardust Delta exemplify this notion. I thought Resogun was the company’s magnum opus until I played Nex Machina.
I had previously played Nex Machina at PlayStation Experience 2016 and was blown away by it. Fast-forward six months later, and those feelings are still present. It is like a modern version of Robotron: 2084 — which makes sense considering Eugene Jarvis’ involvement with the game.
Nex Machina is a tour de force in raw gameplay and a sweet swan song to the Housemarque we know and love.
Check out DualShockers‘ Nex Machina review.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo has had a fantastic year since the Nintendo Switch released in March. Alongside it is arguably the best launch title in Nintendo history, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
What makes Breath of the Wild so revolutionary is how it rewards players with experimenting with the game’s logic. The example I always bring up was the time I found myself in an area too cold for Link to explore without specific equipment. This is going to sound simple, but my first thought was “what will make my surroundings hot?” Torches were that answer for me, and it worked as a temporary solution.
Moments just like that occur regularly as you play through Link’s latest adventure. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most rewarding experience you will play on a Nintendo Switch…and the Wii U.
5. Persona 5
Whenever I discuss the quality of a game, the first fact I bring up is its soundtrack. I feel that without the proper music, the emotions the developers set out to portray are extinguished. This is not the case for Persona 5. The JRPG undoubtedly has the best soundtrack of the year.
Right as the main menu appears and the smooth jazz commences, I knew the music would be great. It wasn’t until I fought Komoshida and discovered the game’s boss music and its opening guitar riff did I know this had to be on my top ten.
Joking aside, Persona 5 does have a brilliant soundtrack and awesome gameplay mechanics that got me into a genre that I usually throw to the wayside.
Check out DualShockers’ Persona 5 review.
4. Emily is Away Too
There are two emotional roller coaster on this list. The first — or second if we’re going by rank — is Emily is Away Too.
My experience with the text-based adventure is an interesting one. As I booted up the nostalgic period piece, my friend looked over my shoulder asking me what was wrong. He saw how physically distraught I was as I tried to repair my relationships with Evelyn and Emily. Moments later, he installed the game and we started comparing our experiences.
I kid you not, my friend noticed me writing this section and started playing the game. Emily is Away Too is an immersive experience unlike any other game I’ve played this year.
3. Super Mario Odyssey
Honestly, I was down on Mario’s return to 3D platforming. I did not understand why everyone was giving Super Mario Odyssey the scores they did. However, after I completed New Donk City and experienced the rest of the game’s craziness, I understand why everyone loved it.
The Super Mario series has been fairly conventional until Super Mario Odyssey. There were points in the game where I legitimately questioned whether or not it was a Mario game (for those who played, you’ll know what section I’m talking about). Without spoiling anything, the phrase “what the hell?” is the best way I can describe this adventure.
2. What Remains of Edith Finch
If “emotional rollercoaster of the year” was a category on our Game of the Year feature, What Remains of Edith Finch would win that category easily.
Without going too deep into spoiler territory, but there is a moment where you play as a baby in a bathtub. In the moments that followed, I legitimately cried. I don’t know if it’s my aspirations of becoming a father or the fact that I live with an 8-month old currently, but it hit me on an emotional level that no other game has this year.
The other stories told throughout What Remains of Edith Finch are just as effective; each moment is simultaneously filled with excitement and dread. Its impressive storytelling is a good enough reason to check out Giant Sparrow’s latest release.
Check out DualShockers’ What Remains of Edith Finch review.
1. Tekken 7
By no means do I consider myself a good fighting game player; sure, I have picked up every title featured at EVO, but I’ve never been competitive in any of those games. Tekken 7 changed that as I found myself not only enjoying myself, but dominating the competition as my boy Hwoarang.
Sure, Bandai Namco’s fighter has a nonsensical campaign, but everything else about it is fantastic. I have never put effort into learning a game’s meta, but Tekken 7 changed that. I’ve watched a number of videos to help me progress and be competitive in a space that I normally find myself find myself fall out of fairly quickly.
Something about Tekken 7 clicked with me; I’m not quite sure if it’s the game’s mechanics or the Bullet Club shirts you can equip onto your favorite fighters, but it has become the game I always come back to. Win or lose, Tekken 7 has put a smile on my face that few games have.
Check out DualShockers‘ Tekken 7 review.
Check out the other DualShockers’ staff Top 10s and our official Game of the Year Awards:
- December 21: Lou Contaldi, Editor in Chief
- December 22: Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor
- December 23: Giuseppe Nelva, Executive News Editor
- December 24: Michael Ruiz, Staff Writer
- December 25: Tomas Franzese, Staff Writer
- December 26: Tanner Pierce, Staff Writer
- December 27: Azario Lopez, Staff Writer
- December 28: Jordan Boyd, Staff Writer
- December 29: Logan Moore, Staff Writer
- December 30: Noah Buttner, Staff Writer
- December 31: Taylor Lyles, Staff Writer
- January 1: DualShockers Game of the Year 2017 Awards