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.
2017 is arguably one of the best years not only in gaming, but for the eighth generation of consoles. Although I personally felt that the first and fourth quarters were stronger than the second and third quarters, nevertheless, throughout the year we have consistently received hit titles from various developers across all gaming systems, with the Nintendo Switch being one of my most favorite pieces of hardware released this year, right behind Elgato’s 4K60 Pro capture card. That being said, now is the time that I personally reflect on my ten games that have earned my admiration this year.
When compiling this list, I found it extremely challenging to figure out with games deserved the utmost praise from myself. So when narrowing down my top choices, I felt it was fair to remove games that were ports, therefore games such as L.A. Noire and Worms W.M.D. on the Switch and Okami HD (despite you all knowing how I feel about this game) I felt were a bit of a copout for me to place on this list, especially when there were an abundance of games released this year that have earned my undivided attention. Without further ado, here are my top 10 games of 2017.
10. The Evil Within 2
A sequel to one of my favorite games of 2014, The Evil Within 2 is an excellent sequel. While I would not consider it to be as terrifying as its predecessor, I can honestly say that I felt the sequel to be a satisfying in more ways than one. While two other Bethesda games were ranked higher than this one, there is no denying that this game still deserved a spot on this list.
The first game in the series had gamers either loving it or hating it, with some of its biggest criticism being the hard-to-follow narrative and the aspect ratio, just to name a few. However, while some people still criticized the story and its characters, I can wholeheartedly say that I got exactly what I wanted with The Evil Within 2 – a compelling story as Sebastian searches for his daughter, and more refined gameplay. Although this game has several blemishes, which holds it back from being one of the greatest games of this year, The Evil Within 2 hits enough of the right spots to deserve a place on my list.
Check out DualShockers’ The Evil Within 2 review.
9. Hover: Revolt of Gamers
Back in late 2001, my mother purchased an original Xbox for my household and with it came a copy of Jet Set Radio Future, and I instantly fell in love with the game. With many of Sega’s IP not seeing the light of day, with the Jet Set Radio series being one of them, earlier this year indie developers Midgar Studio and Fusty Game created a spiritual successor to the franchise titled Hover: Revolt of Gamers and it peaked my interest.
Before I joined this site, I had the chance to receive an early copy of this game and I was not disappointed. Hover: Revolt of Gamers offers a vast open-world that encourages you to explore, as well as fast-paced parkour gameplay – essentially it’s Jet Set Radio meets Mirror’s Edge. In a time where spiritual successors begin to appear more and more, Hover: Revolt of Gamers is one spiritual successor that is worth your time and money.
8. L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files
Okay, so I know I mentioned that I would not be adding ports to this list. However, L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files is not a just a VR port of L.A. Noire. The VR Case Files offers seven of the original, self-contained cases from the original game. However, unlike other video game ports released this year, Rockstar Games has rebuilt these cases from the ground up.
L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files is more than just a remake of L.A. Noire, rather than a port in many ways. L.A. Noire was never made with virtual reality in mind, but the developers have put a lot of time to ensure this game felt like a made-for-VR game.
Check out DualShockers’ L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files review.
7. Forza Motorsport 7
While I prefer the Forza Horizon series more over the Motorsport series, 2015’s Forza Motorsport 6 was a fantastic racing game. So going into 2017, I knew that Turn 10 Studios had big shoes to fill, and the development team has managed to tweak a near-perfect racing series and has provided one of the best sim-racing experiences this year.
Forza Motorsport 7 introduced over 700 cars, including some which have been brought over from the critically-acclaimed Forza Horizon 3. On top of that, the level of customization, from dynamic weather to modifying the physical appearance of your racer, left me speechless.
Check out DualShockers’ Forza Motorsport 7 review.
6. Sonic Mania
Sonic the Hedgehog series has seen more lows than highs going into 2017, so last year when I heard about Sonic Mania and how the game was going to be a 2D side-scrolling platformer (courtesy of a group of fans turned developers), I was excited. Sonic Mania was arguably one of the best Sonic games I have played this generation and is on my list of favorite Sonic games of all time.
Sonic Mania is a colorful and vibrant platformer that takes me back to the Genesis days. Although I started out playing Sonic when he made his jump into 3D with Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, over the years I have grown to love both the 2D Sonic titles and (a selection of) 3D installments. Sonic Mania is a fantastic title that has helped reignite 2D Sonic entries and I hope to see more games like this from these talented group of individuals.
Check out DualShockers’ Sonic Mania review.
5. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
For nearly 25 years, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz has been slaying Nazis left and right, but ever since MachineGames rebooted the series back with 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, this series has found a new calling. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is just what I was looking for.
The New Colossus also provides gamers with more insight on Mr. Blazkowicz as well as a compelling story, hectic and adrenaline-induced gunplay, the ability to choose your playthrough, and more. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a work of art. In a world where first-person shooter games are becoming more focused on online multiplayer, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus stands out from the rest and is the living proof that single-player games in that genre are not dying.
Check out DualShockers’ Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus review.
4. Super Mario Odyssey
The Nintendo Switch had a bit of a slow start at the beginning of this year, but as the year progressed, it became a solid contender in the console wars. While I was interested in putting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on my Top 10 list, it all came down to which game that I played the most, and to be honest, I liked Super Mario Odyssey more than Breath of the Wild.
Super Mario 64 was one of the first Mario games I played and I have been itching for Nintendo to make another game with that type of playstyle, and Super Mario Odyssey has satisfied my wishes in every way possible. Thanks to its beautiful graphics, interesting level design, the ability to choose how your adventure progresses, and the new possession mechanic, Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most original games out there and is a system-selling exclusive that every Nintendo Switch owner needs to own.
Check out DualShockers’ Super Mario Odyssey review.
When Cuphead was revealed at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in 2014, it stuck out from all the other games revealed at E3 that year. I was immediately attracted to the game due to its aesthetic taking inspiration from cartoons from the 1930s and after three years of waiting, this beautiful little game has finally arrived.
There is no denying that this game is hard, but I would not go as far as saying that it is the 2D equivalent of Dark Souls, because it isn’t. That being said, the game is more of a trial-and-error type experience and while I have had my fair share of raging at the game, it was always rewarding to finally beat that boss that was giving you such a hard time. As someone who loves run ‘n gun games and sidescrollers such as the Mega Man and Metal Slug, Cuphead deserves all the praise its receiving and it is an Xbox One exclusive that PlayStation 4 owners should be extremely jealous of.
Check out DualShockers’ Cuphead review.
2. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is one of the most raunchy games of this year, and I love it. A sequel to 2014’s South Park: The Stick of Truth, The Fractured But Whole is one of the most addicting games I have played this year. Although I loved The Stick of Truth, I did not think that any sequel to this game could top it, but I am glad that I was wrong.
The new features such as Coonstagram and even doing small sidequests such as collecting Yaoi pictures helped immerse me into one of my favorite fictional worlds. Sure, these things may be deemed small and insignificant to some, but it’s the little things in The Fractured But Whole that I found the most rewarding. Fans of the long-running TV show must pick this title up; you will not be disappointed.
Check out DualShockers’ South Park: The Fractured But Whole review.
Bethesda has been on their A-game this year. From porting over The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim onto the Nintendo Switch, to making VR ports of three of their most popular games, as well as sequels to The Evil Within and Wolfenstein, this Maryland-based company has delivered so many great titles this year, and the 2017 reboot of Prey is one of them.
Prey takes much of its inspiration from popular sci-fi horror films such the Alien franchise as well as popular shooters like BioShock, Dead Space, and System Shock series, and it works great. Although it takes inspiration from many movies and games, Prey has more than enough substance to stand on its own two feet.
The survival-horror genre has become oversaturated, with most of the games in the genre focusing more on action rather than the principle of a “true” survival-horror game. Instead of constant action, Prey offers a sense of suspense: you’re alone on a big space station, which is infested with an alien race, ammo is far and few between, and danger can lurk behind every corner.
Whenever people think of a great horror game this year, they think of Resident Evil VII: biohazard. Do not get me wrong, that is a great game. But something that Prey did that Resident Evil VII could not do was provide a sense of fear when I played and at times, I felt like I was in a horror movie when playing the game. Prey is a distinctive title that offers an ominous atmosphere, great audio design, and solid gameplay.
Check out DualShockers’ Prey 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