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?).
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.