Top Ten Games of 2017 (Opinion - Jesse J)

2017 has been one of the best years in gaming ever. This year was a treasure trove of amazing updates to the gaming industry. We received two new consoles in the form of the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox One X bring us the most versatile and most powerful console's respectively. Whether we want to game in full 4K on Xbox One X or exploring Hyrule on the go with Switch, we were able to do so. Both these consoles broke many records, as well as brought us many amazing groundbreaking games. Other amazing changes like Xbox Game Pass, aka "Netflix for Games", and Geforce Now for high end pc stream gaming on low end Macs and PC's, both arrived bringing us a good peak at the future of subscription based gaming. Plus with the rise of VR has given us another glimpse into the future with more amazing AAA VR releases and announcements. Just to showcase how much 2017 was such a great year, there are some honorable mentions that I suspect many will have on their top ten lists. Some may eventually be added to my list of favorites. There are so many great games this year, that an entire runner up list exists. They were mostly left off because I have either yet to fully experience them to my satisfaction to rank them or haven't played them yet at all; however, they may be on other Game Infinite members' lists at the end of this article.

-Persona 5

-Destiny 2

-Evil Within 2

-Resident Evil 7: Biohazard


-Xenoblade 2

-Dishonored 2

-Divinity: Original Sin II


-Player Unknown Battlegrounds There are also two games from 2017 that DESERVE to be on the list, and I wish they were. In fact both of them had the potential to be GOTY material. They failed to make the list for real life business reasons that negatively affected the final product.

-Mass Effect Andromeda

-Star Wars Battlefront II

Mass Effect Andromeda and Star Wars Battlefront II are both games than in another universe deserve to be on this list. Poor business decisions lead the developers to fail to deliver a game worthy of top ten, or for many, worthy of their wallets at all. Wrong studio for the job, rampant microtransactions, game design flaws, and various other real life hindrances lead to two beautiful amazing games with so much potential still failing. Mass Effect could have been an amazing 10/10 GOTY game with a vast open galaxy and scope, but it was hampered by an untested rookie team and an unfinished release. Star Wars Battlefront II could have been the gold standard for Star Wars video games. The graphics are so polished and beautiful; you feel like you're in Star Wars. However, the Lootbox Controversy, paired with extremely limited modes, gameplay limitations, and a lackluster campaign, the games teases you with its potential greatness and then takes it all away once you play. Below is the opinion of Jesse J's - Top 10 Games of 2017.

10. Life Is Strange: Before the Storm 8.0/10 Coming in at number 10 is LIS:BTS. This game defies any rule for its existence. To this day, I don't understand how it made it past the idea board. There are three red flags that one looks out for in sequels that SCREAM that a rushed poorly made cash grab is about to arrive. - Different Dev Team - New Main Character - Major Setting/Theme/Gameplay mechanic is removed or drastically changed from the original

Ironically while all three of these things lead to the demise of Andromeda, they stood as an exception to the rule for Before the Storm. This game removed the amazing Setting/Theme/Gameplay mechanic of Time Travel and Crime Solving and left nothing but a "rebellious teenager simulator". Max is replaced with a Chloe (likable but still less likable character). As well, it was developed by a whole new team. All these red flag were marks of game that should be total trash but surprised us all with being amazing. The game is fun, unique, and a charming return to the small town of Arcadia Bay. A few things hold it back from being higher on the list. One is, being episodic, the game is still unfinished with only 2/3's of its story told at the time of this writing in mid December. Episode 3 is announced but not released yet. It's hard to truly rank its greatness with no current end to its story. Plus, time travel was the best mechanic to the original and not having it somehow integrated feels less than it could have been. While the game remains fun, removing that core mechanic was a mistake. Lastly, playing the original is more than necessary to appreciate this game making it hard for new comers. Despite being held back, this game blows past the expectations and on paper descriptions and results in an entertaining game. *Edit* The final act of the game, Episode 3, launched on December 19th after this writing. We find out who the woman in the park is and how this affects Rachel. This brought a satisfying ending to a game with a direct (albeit) tie-in to the original. *Spoiler Alert* The game gives us a final subtle reminder that Rachel is killed off screen in LIS the original. These three episodes gives us so much weight to that original reveal. In the original LIS, Rachel is just an "old friend" of Chloe who we as the player experiences the pain of that loss indirectly through seeing it affect Chloe. In BTS we learn that Rachel and Chloe had more than just a friendship but a love, that brings a much more painful emotion to her death.

9. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 8.0/10 While normally a rerelease should be disqualified from a 2017 list, the failure of the Wii U and smash success of this updated definitive edition of the game, I feel makes adequate argument for MarioKart 8 Deluxe. While technically only a definitive edition of a Wii U game, MarioKart 8 Deluxe found mass success on the far more popular Nintendo Switch. With a beautiful HD update, more in game content, and the added ability for portability and docked mode, plus the ability to play with friends via the Joy-Cons, MarioKart 8 Deluxe is the go to definitive party game of 2017. (Sorry 1-2-Switch)

8. Monument Valley 2 8.0/10 This game is an amazing return to the 3D paradoxical isometric world of Monument Valley. With more puzzles, unique new gameplay elements, Monument Valley 2 perfectly blends the best of the original with exciting aspects. The game introduces a partner system where the main character is matched with a small child adding an extra dimension having to often solve more complex partner based puzzles. Monument Valley is the only mobile game to make the list and it stands well against its larger console and pc competition. Currently only $1.99 on the App Store, this game is the cheapest one of the list, well worth your time.

7. Nier Automata 8.5/10

Nier Automata was one of the first games I got for my PS4 Pro, and its a refreshing unique story and game. It is unusual in its varying genre bending gameplay mechanics. For the majority of the game it is a 3D Third Person Hack and Slash, however with little notice it will switch to 2D Side scrolling beatem up style or a top town shooter. The variation keeps the gameplay fun and exciting. 2B is a likable character for being an android. They could have made her character too robotic, but she has just enough humanity to make her likable. Nier introduced a cool approach to permadeath that I haven't quite seen before. 2B basically uploads herself into android bodies that upon death, she can re-upload to a new body later. What's unique is that the dead body can still be found later in the world for either looting or re-animation to fight as a zombie-like ally. This permadeath approach is refreshingly unique and fun; however, the complex save system that results from it is a little frustrating. Especially since the game begins with a very long level and insta-kill boss before giving you that first save. New comers or gamers with limited gaming time could be discouraged from this save system. However, the world is beautiful, and enhanced on PS4 Pro, as well as had an excellent sound track, winning an award for its soundtrack at the 2017 Game Awards. I highly recommend this game for action adventure/hack and slash fans with a PS4.

6. Farpoint 8.5/10 Farpoint will remain forever in my mind as one of the definitive and first AAA experiences in VR I've ever had. Honestly, Farpoint is a simple scifi shooter where you fight space spiders. If this game had been a traditional non-VR shooter, perhaps it wouldn't have even come close to this list. The graphics and story are average, and its a simple fun shooter with nothing to stand out; however, what makes it stand out is it is one of the best experiences of 2017 in VR. The only VR game on this list; it is amazing and is a full FPS experience on PSVR. The first time a spider jumped at my face, I nearly fell over. You want to cower in fear as a giant spider boss is attacking you, or when spiders overwhelm you. Paired with the new PSVR Aim Controller brought a sense of emersion for a shooter that I have never felt. While shooters are plentiful, and many are immersive, nothing has made me feel like I was actually in a astronauts suit holding a real gun. (This game is not for the arachnophobic) For PSVR owners this game is a must own, bringing value to the expensive headset. It also begins to show that AAA full experiences can exist in VR.

5. Call of Duty WWII 8.5/10

Some may be upset that any Call of Duty is on a "top ten greatest list" but one just cant ignore this game. Try to put the franchise title aside for a moment. Call of Duty WWII is an amazing cinematic experience that delivered on the promise to return to the "boots on the ground" feel of Call of Duty. It is truly beautiful in 4K in a dark ominous drab way, and is the first 4K game I played on my new Xbox One X. In addition to beautiful graphics and facial animations, the audio is amazing. One of my favorite experiences was hearing the metallic "Ching" from the casings released from the M1 Grand, a gun I can personally attest to sounding incredibly accurate. ​

There are no more robots or jetpacks (things I didn't mind), but being brought back to WWII was an fun change of pace. The developers, Sledgehammer Games took the time to visit historic sites and really study WWII with the desire for it to be a medium in which people can remember such an important era of History. The campaign was diverse with unique missions, and emotional weight in the end as you slowly investigate abandoned Nazi concentration camps. This game wasn't always "fun". Its gritty and emotional and portrays WWII with some reverence. Multiplayer is a fun an unique experience that feels more weighted and tactical. No more wall running and Jet-pack flanking, makes it feel more real. This game is the highest selling game of 2017, and I think for once, that is more than just because of its brand, but because it is a great game. If you gave up on the series "for being too mainstream" or being too similar, then definitely give this one a chance.