I had a much easier time than usual picking my 10 favorite games of 2017. It certainly helps that most of my favorite genres and creators were represented this year.
Japan wound up owning my Top 10 list this year. Out of my favorites, only PUBG, Divinity Original Sin 2, and Metroid: Samus Returns come from western developers. Suffice it to say it's been a good year for Japanese gaming.
- NieR Automata
- The Legend of the Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Persona 5
- Metroid: Samus Returns
- Divinity Original Sin 2
- Puyo Puyo Tetris
- Sonic Mania
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2
You may notice that I've omitted my customary sports game pick this year. That's because I'm taking a bit of a break from the grind of NHL, FIFA, Madden, and the like. Also, most of those games are flawed in some way, which makes it hard for me to put them over... say... Metroid: Samus Returns. Sorry, Tom.
If you had asked me what my favorite game would be going into 2017, I would have put good money on Persona 5. Instead, PUBG, Breath of the Wild, and NieR: Automata were the real revelations of 2017 for me.
NieR: Automata was an example of what can happen when you pair the quirky brilliance of Yoko Taro with a studio like Platinum. Like the rest of his oeuvre, it's stirring and bleak in equal measure, with its themes being hammered home by multiple (increasingly weird) endings. In my heart, I think Breath of the Wild is the better game, but NieR Automata is the one I admire the most.
The rest are all notable in some way: PUBG is a watershed release for shooters. Super Mario Odyssey is a brilliant tribute to all things Mario. Metroid: Samus Returns is the remake Metroid 2 deserves. And Puyo Puyo Tetris... well, if you're looking for something to play with the family over Christmas, try four-player swap mode. It's insane.
It will truthfully be tough for 2018 to top 2017. So many of my most anticipated games were released this year. But I look forward to seeing what my favorite developers have up their sleeves as we roll into another new year.