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Nadia's 10 Favorite Games of 2017: Honoring the Heroes Who Swing Swords (and the Heroines Who Swing Pick-Axes)

Waaay too many RPGs this year. Just kidding. Hook 'em all to my veins.

Opinion by Nadia Oxford, .

Once again, here we are. It's the time of year when we validate one another with our Game of the Year picks.

USgamer will publish a collective list soon enough, but in the meantime, each of us plans to run down our Top 10 games of 2017. Barring Tom, whose single Game of the Year choice is FIFA 18. I hear he's going to marry FIFA 18 and they're going to kiss 100 times.

Let's skip ahead to my picks for 2017. Warning: Reading this list may expose you to RPG radiation. Protect yourself accordingly. I recommend aviator's goggles and belts.

    1) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    2) Persona 5
    3) Super Mario Odyssey
    4) Steamworld Dig 2
    5) Xenoblade Chronicles 2
    6) Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
    7) Night in the Woods
    8) Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth
    9) Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
    10) Metroid: Samus Returns

Is my #1 pick too predictable? Yeah, I guess so. I'm sorry. Thing is, returning to Breath of the Wild to play its DLC reminded me of how good this game is, even if its DLC content is a bit flaccid. It's just solid. It's so well-built, and all its parts move together in a delightful dance.

Could Breath of the Wild stand to be improved? Of course. In a perfect world, the next Zelda game will have Breath of the Wild's rock-solid foundation and Xenoblade Chronicles 2's energy. I believe Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is more exciting than Breath of the Wild, personally, but it makes a bunch of weird and tedious choices with its maps and menus (both are kind of vital to the RPG experience, you know?).

Bow down to the, bow down to the king.

Speaking of RPGs, if you're a fan of the genre, don't overlook Ys VIII. I had a good time adventuring with Adol Christin, but it's hard to go wrong with the red-headed swordsman. Persona 5 kept me engrossed from start to finish, but it's also 100+ hours. If you want something that you can clean up in a weekend (but is still a pleasure to replay repeatedly), check out the moody, mysterious, and often hilarious Night in the Woods. The incredible Super Mario Odyssey is another game you can technically mop up in a few days, but if you want to get every Power Moon, it'll take you much longer.

Finally, Steamworld Dig 2 improves over its predecessor in every way imaginable (if you even can imagine that), and I thoroughly enjoyed Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS. Oh, and Etrian Odyssey got its claws into me with Etrian Odyssey V, which pairs very well with Sisters of Mercy and a bit of Fireball whisky-infused hot chocolate. Highly recommended.

Overall: A superb year for games. 11/10.

Elsewhere on the site you can find the best PS4 Games of 2017, best Xbox One games of 2017, the best Switch games of 2017, and the best PC games of 2017.

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Comments 17

  • Avatar for guillermojiménez88 #1 guillermojiménez88 8 months ago
    Great to see some love for Metroid: Samus Returns. (Nevermind you wrote the name wrong.)

    My favorite game of the year so far.
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #2 nadiaoxford 8 months ago
    @guillermojiménez88 I swear that's the most confusingly-named game since Diddy's Kong Quest.
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #3 Tetragrammaton 8 months ago
    I finished XB2 last night and I'm probably going to rant about it here and on the other sites where I have accounts, but I feel the same way about it that I feel about BotW: great game, mehhhhhh finale. The moment to moment gameplay--running, jumping, battling, party building--is wonderful in that Xenoblade fashion. The characters are lots of fun, the locations are breathtaking and the music, oh god the music.

    But it doesn't quite manage to close the loop at the last moment. The lead-up to the endgame was spectacular, but the last boss wasn't great (I won because my dodge tank dodged an instant-kill on my fourth attempt :/) and the denouement is kinda non-existent.

    And where's the romantic build-up?! If they'd nailed that it would have been my GOTY, easily. As-is, BOTW holds the crown it's worn since day 1. tl;dr your list is my list except I've swapped in Pokemon and DivOS (despite not finishing it :X).Edited December 2017 by Tetragrammaton
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #4 chaoticBeat 8 months ago
    Great picks! The only game on that list that I finished was Steamworld Dig 2. I loved every second of it and the jump in quality over Dig 1 makes me feel hyped for whenever they get around to Heist 2!
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #5 SatelliteOfLove 8 months ago
    The power of Etrian Goodness is discovered yet again! *is killed by yet another fucked up ambush*
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #6 riderkicker 8 months ago
    Your top three games are what I am either playing or beaten, so I have to agree. Breath of the Wild is growing on me!
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  • Avatar for Drachmalius #7 Drachmalius 8 months ago
    well, 3 of those are on my list. Many of them I haven't played. I've admittedly been shying away from a lot of long RPGs in favor of shorter experiences. They all seem like solid choices though.
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  • Avatar for AstroDemon #8 AstroDemon 8 months ago
    @nadiaoxford Great list, although generally different than mine, but that's what makes this year such a good year for games! I would like to play Ys VIII sometime soon. It seems like to me that this was one of the most unnoticed great RPGs of the year, maybe even to the extent that Torment: Tides of Numenera was unnoticed. I also need to play more Etrian Odyssey V because I love a good dungeon crawl too!
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #9 NiceGuyNeon 8 months ago
    People who list Breath of the Wild at the top are people I trust.
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  • Avatar for LunarFlame17 #10 LunarFlame17 8 months ago
    This list has me convinced that Nadia is the Canadian female version of me. Every game I’ve played on this list I loved, and every game I didn’t play I REALLY want to play.
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  • Avatar for Nuclear-Vomit #11 Nuclear-Vomit 8 months ago
    I'm still 90 hrs in Personal 5.
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #12 VotesForCows 8 months ago
    I haven't played any of these, but FFXII is next up after I finish Dragons Dogma (again)!
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  • Avatar for moochan #13 moochan 8 months ago
    Caty is going to murder you for not putting Nier on the list. Anyways there really was too many good games this year to just make a whole top 10 list. And I'm not that big into rankings in general but always great to see games few people talk about making the list to get the word out there. Like Etrian Odyssey and Ys 8 (stopped after they talked about redoing the localization and will start again when that comes out).
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  • Avatar for pdubb #14 pdubb 8 months ago
    I've found that mixing fireball with EO always ends poorly for me and my party about 2 hours later.

    For some reason that's usually when bad decisions start that end very poorly for my party. "Eh, I can take that guy!!!"

    Good on you for having the tolerance of queens Nadia.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #15 Thusian 8 months ago
    Nintendo Fangirl supreme ;)
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #16 Flipsider99 8 months ago
    You know, this is a good list... I especially enjoyed that you put an Etrian Odyssey and Ys game on here!

    Still when I look at lists like these, I can't help but think: here's a person who hasn't play NieR Automata and really needs too!
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  • Avatar for Luna-Moth #17 Luna-Moth 8 months ago
    Your tastes are a lot like mine when it comes to video games!
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