So, 2017 has been a pretty decent year where we’ve been spoiled rotten with so many great titles that released and some beefy hardware to boot. I’m sure many of your wallets are still recovering from the abuse of it all and it can’t wait to take a break and refill in 2018 (HAHAHA!, that’s not gonna happen). We in the game journalism industry sure had our hands full with all the aforementioned games, with our favourites taking a back seat for a while as we tackled each new offering enthusiastically.
This year is also to blame for your increase in game backlog that towers over you like a shadowy figure constantly reminding you of all those titles you’ve promised to finish. We saw Marko compile a very cool way of managing said backlog which could assist you in mowing down that jungle. We all know that there were titles you just HAD to play at launch because the hype was real! The anticipation! You were pacing even, waiting for your package to arrive or download to complete so you could make that couch or gaming chair mould to the shape of your butt while you indulge in those titles you’ve been salivating over. And then, you play it. And play it! And, play, it!… OK, getting a bit carried away here, so, let’s get to what I really wanted to know from you guys.
You had your favourites for the year and so do I. I’m going to list some of mine here so we can start a nice discussion while we wait for this year to ring out. I am a victim of said backlog and haven’t played all the great titles that came out this year, but the ones that I have played will be mentioned here along with some honourable mentions at the end.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Come on, who doesn’t like destroying some Nazis? Wolfenstein II delivered an action-packed first-person shooter experience that we’ve come to know and love from MachineGames and Bethesda. BJ Blazkowicz made his return and doled out revenge on the Nazi-controlled world and I loved every minute of it. Although not the easiest game to try and complete in a stealthy manner, but who the hell does that in a Wolfenstein game anyway?
Probably the most fun you could have without raining bullets, covered in blood and surreal sprinkles of gore, Splatoon 2 is without a doubt one of the most played titles in the Nintendo Switch multiplayer arena this year. Everything from the short campaign to the Salmon Run game modes can keep you in that world for hours on end, and it never gets old. Multiplayer is where it’s at though, where you get to test out your new ink arsenal with friends and randoms.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Seems a pattern is forming here. The latest addition to the Legend of Zelda series saw us taking Link on yet another adventure into what could arguably be on of the best open world games for the year. No side quest feels cumbersome or in any way disconnected from the rest of the game. Every minute spent in Breath of the Wild is time well spent and with all that there is to explore in the game makes it impossible to see an end to it all.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
Konami does one thing right and that’s PES 2018. Some might say that the gameplay slow down was unnecessary, but it made the game just that more enjoyable to play for me. The ultimate in control for a football game coupled with seamless online play and no microtransaction nonsense thrown in your face, PES 2018 takes to the podium of best sports game published this year. Yes, there will always be licencing issues with the title seeing as FIFA basically own the football world, but merely owning it doesn’t make for a better football game.
I have not played the full game, but I tried it over the weekend and can see the appeal it has. The little time I spent in the lacklustre campaign made me aware of just how fun it could be to traverse the universe with friends, shooting and looting your way through hordes of enemies and unlocking weapons. The gunplay is good. No, it’s great. It’s some of the best gunplay mechanics out there today and it will definitely get me coming back for more. With the imminent launch of Course of Osiris, I’m definitely getting into Destiny 2 again this coming holiday.
I know what you’re thinking. “Why Dirt 4 and not GT Sport or Forza 7?” you utter. Well, simply because the guys at Codemasters decided to make a rally racing sim as authentic and realistic as possible with the inclusion of never having to do the same rally course twice. Each course is randomly generated forcing you to pay attention to the twisting turns, rolling hills and chaotic jumps laid out for you. The sound in the game is top notch, with every bolt, piston and window wiper giving you feedback while you dig up the gravel to better your times. Racing at it’s best. No frills. No fuss. Just good old motor racing madness.
Super Mario Odyssey
I dare you to give me a name of a platformer that can go toe-to-toe with this masterpiece. Super Mario Odyssey is like taking a star, grinding it down to a powder and putting it into a needle and injecting it straight into your veins. All this while high on mushrooms. It’s pure bliss. Responsive controls with platforming concepts we never thought were possible, but we should expect from the creators of the Super Mario games. With a child like whimsicality and magical worlds you’d possibly only dream up while on some groovy psychedelic drugs, this game takes your imagination and says “you think that was cool? Hold my beer…”
I just realised I could go on for like 27 hours mentioning all the games I’ve played, but I’ll stick to those ones because they really stood out for me this year.
Here’s a list of honourable mentions and let’s get this discussion going:
Resident Evil VII Biohazard
Horizon Zero Dawn
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Total War: Warhammer 2
Forza Motorsport 7
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
The Evil Within 2
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Assassin’s Creed Origins