Now don’t fret. I know you all were awaiting my Game of the Year article since I was the only one here brave enough to stand up to Pure PlayStation’s tyrannical editor, Chris Harding, and his hate for Horizon: Zero Dawn. I took the fight to my opinion piece articles as well as his own Game of the Year article, which you should go and read. Not only will you see his viewpoint is showing signs of ludicrousness, but the fires of rebellion are taking flight in the comments! The war will never be over until he recants his sins towards the beautiful goddess that is Guerrilla’s masterpiece. Stand tall brothers and sisters and we will win! However, you want to know more about the man leading this resistance and his gaming experiences in 2017. After all, how can you get behind me unless you read a cliché top ten article detailing the hierarchy of what I really enjoyed this past year. The results below may surprise you though – Aloy we love you – or not.
#10 – Destiny 2 Barely squeaking it into this list is Bungie’s sequel for its latest IP. I wasn’t even planning on buying Destiny 2 as the first title hurt me in ways very few video games have and left an extremely bad taste in my mouth. But being pushed over the edge by friends, I took a chance and spent sixty dollars once more on the series. What we got was a massively reformed shooter/MMO experience that delivered in nearly every aspect where the first game hilariously failed. There was an interesting enough story, worlds had been crafted expertly with care, and the sheer amount of things to do for the first fifty hours would keep any gamer happily busy. It’s just a shame that the feeling of being in an ever evolving universe still has a nice chunk of repetition to it once you eventually have done everything.
#9 – Lawbreakers
Man the first few weeks of Lawbreakers were some of the best multiplayer, shooting, action adventures in my entire history of gaming. You can even read more in detail about it here. Very few shooters captivated me like Boss Key’s lone creation. Everything about the multiplayer screamed near perfection from the maps, gameplay, and mechanics. As a competitive gamer this title offered some of the best head to head moments and brought about a sense of shooter joy I haven’t experienced in a long time. That’s not even mentioning that you can borderline fly, unbelievably well, which scratches the itch for anyone who’s dreamed of that power. It’s just a shame that the overpowered Gunslinger class wasn’t properly fixed and the player base was criminally absent.
#8 – Kingdom Hearts 2.8 But Kyle, you love this series with all your heart?! So much so you’ll probably cry when Kingdom Hearts 3 releases! Why isn’t this higher?! Well, it wouldn’t have even made this list if it wasn’t for Aqua in the 0.2 segment. Controlling one of the most powerful keyblade wielders in existence for a completely new journey, and on current generation hardware no less, was a magical spectacle. Finally, the pessimist in me lessened after years of not seeing a true Kingdom Hearts console sequel. If the long-awaited, sequential third game in the series is anything like what we saw here, the trek may just be worth the wait. Plus, you get a handheld port in Dream Drop Distance that felt like it belonged on the PS4.
#7 – Night in the Woods This one came completely out of left field for me and to this day I can’t remember why I decided to buy it. Night in the Woods is probably the most relatable and believable piece of entertainment that takes place in a normal world. Well except for the anthropomorphic animals in place of humans that is. This game builds up its characters and moments like very few works of art can. The journey of self-discovery is appropriately told, the dramatic moments will make the hardest ass take pause, and the dialogue pours off the page so well you’ll forget it’s not being delivered through voice acting. The daily grind from day-to-day may turn a few people away, but this title is something everyone should at least try to experience. You won’t be walking away without your mind feeling weighted.
#6 – Uncharted The Lost Legacy Naughty Dog, ‘nuff said. Since 2007, and arguably since they existed, everything this captivating developer touches becomes gold. A sequel spin-off is no different even if Nathan Drake is nowhere to be found. Fan favorite, Chloe, and latest addition, Nadine, hold down their own adventure without breaking a sweat. Although you can technically see them do that since Naughty Dog paid attention to every painstaking detail. This time the treasure hunt may not be a world trotting adventure, but the graphics, platforming, and good ol’ Uncharted gameplay make this a must buy for any PlayStation 4 owner. Between you and me though Naughty Dog, please stop making boring and pace breaking, open world levels.
#5 – Assassin’s Creed Origins The halfway point is met with a series that includes one of my favorite, fictional characters of all time. However, by that logic one can surmise that this franchise includes one of the worst games of all time in Unity. That entry being the reason Syndicate was skipped entirely. Boy am I glad that Ubisoft picked themselves up and dusted themselves off with Assassin’s Creed Origins. We were once again put in the shoes of a main character we cared about and wanted to see his tale of bloody revenge play out. Not only that, but the deserts of Egypt surprisingly provided us with a large and beautiful open world no one was expecting. My review even mentioned equaling Horizon Zero Dawn in beauty. Not least of all expanded yet familiar gameplay made this title a wonderful return to form.
#4 – South Park The Fractured But Whole Being a huge South Park fan, I was probably going to enjoy South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and by extension The Stick of Truth, even if it was bad. What I didn’t expect was for Ubisoft to cram in even more jokes, better gameplay mechanics, and spot on South Park love than the expertly made predecessor. Even on the merits of being an RPG this game delivers on every aspect minus open world exploration. Stated plainly, if you’re looking for a great title that pokes fun at the meta of the genre, Fractured Butthole is right up your alley.
#3 – Prey
I’ll be honest here. The only reason I was even remotely interested in Prey was thanks to its developer being Arkane Studios. I have had no previous experience with the series and wouldn’t be able to tell you much about it. What I can tell you is 2017’s Prey was an amazing time for me thanks to the freedom and diversity of everything. The contracting amnesia and not trusting anything story line isn’t exactly original, but exploring the Talos-1 space station was second best to only one other title. I loved just hacking and looting everything I could in order to grow stronger against the mysterious Typhon threat. Then there was the myriad of ways to play the title itself through different playstyles and possibilities. Not only were they all fun, but the level design assured gamers there would always be a way to progress where you needed to go. You never had to be afraid to play Prey however you wanted. That is until you realize what exactly is going on and may come to regret every decision you ever made as Morgan Yu.
#2 – Resident Evil 7
Ooh wee was this the sleeper release this year. After the awful and pathetic entertainment attempt that was Resident Evil 6, most had assumed the storied franchise was all but dead. Instead of dying like a limp dog however, Capcom rose through the doubt and produced one of the series’ best earlier this year. The Baker house and surrounding properties is one of the few habitats that I hope I never have the pleasure of visiting in-person. Horror and sheer unexpectancy will continually keep you on your toes as you look for your girlfriend and survive the grotesque scares. I wasn’t lying when I said not once did I feel ready or prepared to take on what’s next in my Resident Evil 7 review. Instead of paralysing you though this title offers one of the best survival horror experiences in the history of gaming.
#1 – Horizon Zero Dawn
Ok. Seriously slap yourself if you thought number one was going to anything different. I was fully expecting Horizon Zero Dawn to be a great game based off all the pre-release footage and gameplay. What I wasn’t expecting was to be taken on the journey of my life. Guerrilla crafted something here that is on par with The Last of Us in terms of excellence and Kingdom Hearts in terms of life changing. Every single moment controlling Aloy through this post post-apocalyptic world was pure ecstasy – from battling robot dinosaurs to discovering why the world had gone belly up. There’s just no way to express how caught off guard I was with the grandeur here. Or as my wife put it, “I didn’t hear a peep from you when you were actively playing Horizon.” If someone pointed a gun at your head and said to name any great video game, take comfort in the fact that Horizon Zero Dawn would help you live with flying colors.
Farpoint – This sci-fi, PSVR shooter captivated me in an alien world with hostiles everywhere. The game isn’t perfect by any means, but the aim controller gameplay mixed with actual science spoke to the nerd with good reflexes in me. This was the first virtual reality title that made me fear for my life and give it my all to help the main characters.
Sparc – Another PSVR game that spoke to the athlete in me. This borderline dodgeball title is as simple as can be, yet will provide hours of entertainment just trying to peg people with a ball while preventing them from doing the very same. If only there was a bigger community and more content. Then this could very well kickstart a VR esport craze.
Nier Automata – I wanted to absolutely love this game. The wife loved it, our own Hannah listed it as her game of the year, and the reviews had me hyped, even if I just finished it a few days ago in a handful of sittings. The truth is Nier Automata just didn’t mesh well with me. The constant point of view and genre flipping were nice, but unnecessary in my opinion. Especially so with the first two playthroughs and the monotony they bring. However, the gameplay kept me interested until the “third playthrough,” or when things actually get interesting. I can’t say it helped the title make my list, as the damage was already done by this point, except the feeling of empathy and thought towards 2B and 9S still hasn’t receded.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm – This mini-prequel series is a must play for anyone who bought the original five episodes. The time travel shtick is replaced by intense and deep dialogue challenges for our heroine Chloe and doesn’t miss a beat with the tone of this franchise. Even the dialogue and character interactions may be better than what came before. Plus, seeing Chloe, before Max came along, and actually meeting THE Rachel Amber was a delight. However, be warned that the bittersweet story of the series proper isn’t gone. Things will get depressing and shocking before you know it.