The year of 2017 has come and gone and with it many excellent games. Over the past month, I’ve recapped six of the best games I played released in 2017. Going through the games of last year, some stood out as great, but not superb enough to warrant a top spot for the year. Also, last year I didn’t just play new games, but also ones released earlier. I didn’t find it appropriate to include these in a true Game of the Year post, but here are a few others video games that stood out to me in 2017.
~ Overwatch ~
I didn’t do a top games segment in 2016 but if I had Overwatch would definitely have been on the list. The wonderfully designed characters, stages, and team based combat are still so addictive I found myself playing it literally throughout the entirety of 2017. Seriously. Even as I’m writing this Laura is playing it behind me on PC! Aside from the game being great, the real reason I kept coming back was a steady stream of free content. New characters, maps, events, loot boxes, and so much more kept me popping that disc back in to the PS4 to play with my friends. And it looks like 2018 is showing no signs of stopping that!
~ The Jack Box Party Packs ~
Released yearly since 2014, the Jack Box Party Packs are tiny collections of games you play on your mobile phone with friends. The fourth one released in 2017, but my friend group had been playing the prior three pretty much all year. Whenever there was a large group of people over at our place and we needed something to do, Jack Box was the way to go. It makes it easy to incorporate large groups of players, and the games are genuinely fun. Well, some of them are at least. I think 2017 will be remembered as the year we all loved-but-then-played-so-much-of-we-got-sick-of-it Tee K.O. And I still like good ol’ fashioned trivia, so Trivia Murder Party was a winner too. Seriously though, if you’re looking for a game to play with friends, especially a lot of them, look no further.
~ Final Fantasy XV ~
For as much of an RPG fan I am, it took me nearly a year to pick up Final Fantasy XV. And man, I was missing out. Granted, there were plenty of other RPGs to tide me over (Persona 5), but FF15 is just great. I’m still playing it every now and then, but running around with Noctis and friends started to become one of the best things about a series I would normally call linear. The free roaming aspect of FF15 took some getting used too, and the combat was different for sure, but overall it is an absolutely solid video game and one any RPG fan, especially JRPG fans, can enjoy. The bromance between Noctis, Gladio, Prompto, and Ignis is corny at first, but as you progress and learn about the characters they start to become grounded and you find yourself actually caring about their lives. It doesn’t hurt how pretty the game looks, either! And I mean, come on… it’s Final Fantasy on PlayStation 4!
~ Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ~
The surprise game of the year for just about everyone has to be the Switch’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. When it was first announced I, like literally every other game playing human on the planet, thought this was going to be a lame crossover between the two franchises. But what we ended up getting was a strategy RPG not so unlike Ubisoft’s own XCOM featuring Super Mario characters and settings mixed with the Rabbids odd sense of humor. Somehow that incredibly unlikely mashup worked. Though I never did beat it, Kingdom Battle was great fun, and an out of left field surprise for the Switch!
~ Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor ~
Released way back in 2014, the open world fantasy game in the Lord of the Rings setting didn’t come across my console until a ridiculously good sale. It was worth the wait. Shadow of Mordor was grand in storytelling, and wonderful in execution. The variety of events and missions, the story of Talion and Celebrimbor, and RPG mechanics, and the setting all combined to make a stellar video game. Even to this day the Nemesis system stands out as one of the coolest innovations the genre has seen in years. While it did get stuck to many of the icon-heavy open world map cliches, it can be somewhat excused for being three years old and releasing when those troupes weren’t yet troupes. The sequel, Shadow of War, released in 2017 to good reviews. Perhaps I’ll get around to playing that one in a couple more years as well.
So there we have it, the other games that shaped up my 2017. What were your favorite video games of the past year? Did you play anything that you enjoyed that didn’t released last year? Sometimes those are the best experiences I have! Let me know what you’ve enjoyed, and here’s to another year in gaming!