Below you’ll find my list of video games that didn’t make my top 10 this year. Mainly because I didn’t finish them and I like to reserve full judgment on a game until I see the credits. With more play time I’d easily consider any of these games in my top 10. However, you never know if a video game maintains its quality to the end. That said read on to see my honorable mentions for 2017!
Monument Valley 2 (iOS)
A great follow up to the first Monument Valley. I’m about 10 levels in and Monument Valley 2 keeps getting better. It doesn’t break much new ground, but the inclusion of a second character to solve puzzles adds a lot. Once I’m finished I hope Ustwo adds more free DLC levels to extend the experience like they did with the first game.
Ever Oasis (3DS)
For more detailed analysis of what I thought of this game check out my “The Winter of Old JRPGs” blog post. But if you’re short on time, Ever Oasis makes for a nice relaxing game if you enjoyed Secret of Mana or Zelda. Its got problems, but I admired its characters. And its Zelda-esque design and Animal Crossing style town simulation kept me playing.
Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
I played 10 hours of Horizon Zero Dawn and I loved it. It’s a looker with stunning graphics that make jaws drop. The arrow combat with robots feels tough but never unfair. It offers a huge world to get lost in and Aloy rocks as a strong female protagonist. Can’t wait to go back once I get a 4K HDR TV.
Nier: Automata (PS4)
Nier: Automata. What an amazing game! This weird Japanese android action game deserves all the praise it got. Seriously, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I’ve beaten it twice and finished half the side quests, but not even close to seeing the true ending. While Bayonetta remains Platinum’s peak, Nier: Automata makes for a close second. And outside of Prey, it packs this year’s best soundtrack.
Super Mario: Odyssey (Switch)
Besides finishing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild there’s no other game from 2017 I want to play more. I played about 90 minutes and Super Mario Odyssey and it already feels like it lives up to Super Mario 64. New sidekick Cappy allows for new power-ups not possible in any Mario game. Nintendo’s constant need to innovate shows why Mario remains the king of platforms. With a constant surplus of fresh ideas in each entry Mario always leaves its peers in the dust.
What impresses me most about SMO? Mario remains easy to pick up and play today as he does since his introduction in Donkey Kong back in 1985. Just a few months ago I watched my Dad play it. And I’m always amazed how Nintendo designs their game with such depth. But never alienate casual players.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
An easy pick for game of the year, but alas I didn’t get around to finishing it. Even though I’ve finished every mainline Zelda. However, I wanted to save Link’s biggest adventure for a less busy time of the year like summer. Plus, although Zelda in handheld mode looks great this game like Mario benefits from a big screen.
While I remain skeptical that Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda game ever made. That honor goes to a Link to the Past. I’m impressed Nintendo took an enormous risk with its most treasured franchise. Which resulted in them giving us a Zelda game unlike any other.
Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)
Not since the GameCube days do we see Nintendo’s three biggest franchise release all in one year. It’s good to see Samus Aran back. Who unfortunately doesn’t get to share the limelight as often as Link and Mario.
While this game isn’t developed by Nintendo and based on a weak entry in the franchise I’m having a blast playing it. I bought this day one. And I hope the sales encourage Nintendo to gives us even more remakes. Super Metroid, please!
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS Vita)
My first Ys game and I’m already very impressed. While the story and characters so far seem pretty boring. The real-time combat feels solid and I love using the dodge move to deal more damage. Also, I find it impressive that the game takes place on one large island. Which grows more expansive the farther you progress. An interesting diversion from most JRPGS. Which tend to focus on taking you to different towns and dungeons constantly. Only a few hours in but looking forward to playing more.
Forza Motorsport 7 (Xbox One X)
The game I’m proudest to own alongside my shiny new Xbox One X. Seriously, this game looks spectacular. Even without HDR! And like Horizon Zero Dawn I’m looking forward to playing this again once I get a new TV that does the game justice.
THE GAME I WANT TO PLAY THE MOST
I’m a huge Persona fan. But I’m intimidated by Persona 5’s 100+hours commitment. So I’m saving it for later once I finish Horizon Zero Dawn, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. In the meantime, I’m playing Persona 3: Portable and Persona Q on the go to get my Persona fix.
There you have it. My favorite games of 2017. I look forward to seeing if 2018 can match 2017’s incredible variety and quality of games.