The Top Five Games I Reviewed in 2017

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The year 2017 was a great time for video games. It was a little too great in fact. The sheer quantity of excellent titles, which came out, was so vast that I only managed to play a small fraction of them. Many releases that other sites have named in their best of year lists remain in my backlog unopened. Still, who cares about my first world problems? Below are the finest games that I managed to complete and review in the past twelve months.

5th) Miitopia: Nintendo has discontinued the Miiverse, but at least we can say that the franchise went out on a high note, courtesy of this casual RPG. Players assemble a party of real life friends and celebrities to battle the wicked Dark Lord, who is responsible for nabbing the faces of innocents. The game’s lack of interactivity (you only have direct control of one character) will put off some hardcore gamers, but I was able to overlook that fault thanks to the title’s charm and humour. Goodbye cute Miis. You shall be mii-ssed.

4th) Last Day of June: From a pure gameplay perspective, Last Day of June is arguably the weakest entry in this list. It compensates for its shortcomings however with an emotional, short but sweet, story. Players take control of wheelchair bound Carl, who attempts to save his fiancé from a fatal car crash by using mystical portraits that transport him to the past. The game boasts some clever third person puzzles, a beautiful soundtrack and graphics reminiscent of a Tim Burton stop-motion movie. Well worth the three hours it takes to complete.

3rd) Sonic Mania: After a number of recent flops, Sonic the Hedgehog returned to prominence in 2017 thanks to Sonic Mania. Indie programmer Christian Whitehead ended up overshadowing Sonic Forces with this effort. Mania delivers the look and feel of vintage Sonic that veteran fans have been demanding for years. It plays just like the classic Megadrive trilogy thanks to its excellent music, multi-path 2D stages and retro pixel graphics. Brilliant stuff, even if the dizzying sphere collecting mini-game still makes me nauseous.

2nd) Danganronpa V3: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Danganronpa V3 once again features sixteen trapped juveniles who are forced to compete in a death game by a beary demented teddy. Recycling the same plot for a third successive occasion should feel stale, but thanks to a quirky cast and some unexpected twists V3 remains just as captivating as its predecessors. This anime themed murder mystery is easily the best visual novel I read in 2017. Even if the big reveal at the end is a tad polarizing, don’t let that put you off. V3 is one of those experiences were the journey is more important than the destination.

1st) Persona 5: The phantom thieves steal the top spot. Even if the cast aren’t as likable as their Persona 4 counterparts, I still loved this stylish RPG. It’s ironic that in a year were I moan about lack of gaming time, I ended up getting immersed in a game were time management is of the utmost importance. Should I dungeon crawl to advance the story or socialize to unlock new abilities? Those decisions are what make Persona so enjoyable. Work may limit my gaming sessions these days, but when something this good comes out it’s amazing how one’s schedule can be rearranged to accommodate a 100-hour tour de force.

So there you have it, my favourite games of 2017. The top three pretty much picked themselves, but I had a tougher time filling in the final two slots. Chaos;Child, Fire Emblem Echoes and Monument Valley are honourable mentions that narrowly missed the cut. But enough about my selection, what were your best games of the year? Let me know in the comments section below. It will be a big help in helping me prioritize what to play next from my enormous backlog.

52 thoughts on “The Top Five Games I Reviewed in 2017

  1. As great a year as it was for new releases last year, I didn’t get very many games at launch last year. Still, I really enjoyed BOTW (Wii U), and Cuphead, I found a hidden gem in Road Redemption. Even though I’m late to the Switch party, and thus getting to it now, the following year, Splatoon 2 has been great. It was over shadowed by BOTW, Mario Odyssey, and Kart. But it’s holding the 4th most played spot on the Switch’s own news updates. Not too shabby for the second entry in a new IP. I know I’ll be nabbing Odyssey at some point this year, and probably A Hat In Time also.

    • Cuphead is a game I will never play, because I don’t own an Xbox. Probably for the best though, as I find difficult games frustrating. Maybe I will watched a Let’s Play of it, because the graphics are gorgeous.

      Breath of the Wild has made a lot of people’s lists. I’ll see for myself in 2018 how good it is. Yesterday I bought Mario Kart so I look forward to cursing at the blue shell next time I fire up my Switch. Mario Odyssey is excellent and would have made this list. Sadly I didn’t get round to reviewing it, so it couldn’t make this chart. Maybe next year.

      • Cuphead is available on Windows however via the Windows shop or Steam. Mario Kart is a blast. I picked it up for my nieces, along with a Switch for them, and my Sister, and Brother-In-Law for Christmas. Everything in the Wii U including DLC, and then some.

      • Great gift. I wish you were my uncle 🙂 I never owned a Wii U so it’s nice to get the complete Kart experience on my new machine. Now if only Tokyo Mirage would come to Switch I would be very happy.

      • A few Wii U games have seen remasters/ports now so I suppose its possible. I think the only hang up would be music. I could be wrong, but I thought that there was licensed music in it. I didn’t play it so I’m not sure.

  2. Persona 5 ended up being my top game of last year as well of the 15 or so I beat. I’ve only toppled one game this year at the moment, but I really think if you like adventure games with a heavy narrative focus you will enjoy it if you haven’t played it yet. It is called Night in the Woods and it is absolutely splendid with the down to earth story it tells. It runs for $20 and is a little over 10 hours long if you are curious on price point, and investment time.

    • Night in the Woods and Thimbleweed Park are two adventure games I was keen to play in 2017, but got lost in the shuffle due to all the new releases that were coming out. Hopefully I can play Night in the Woods in the not too distant future. Shorter games that I can finish within a week certainly are appealing during these hectic times.

      • Yeah being an adult= Need more time for things, and short stuff is good for that. I’ll be excited to hear your thoughts when the time comes then!

  3. Always interesting to read, your gaming reviews. As you know my gaming days are behind me, but I always like to keep up to dage still with games,so I will definitely continue to read your reviews for them. Looking forward to the ones you are going to be reviewing this year 😀😀

    • I reviewed just over twenty games in 2017. Who knows how many I can manage in 2018. Thus far in January I haven’t had time to start playing anything new. Did you know that a lot of board games get turned into video games? Maybe that will tempt you to return to the hobby.

      • Well I have always learned that I should never say never lol😂😂 So who knows anything can happen I guess. There are also a lot videogames that get turned into boardgames (I recently purchased Fallout the Boardgame for instance😀). The line between videogames and boardgames seems to be fading rapidly 😀

  4. I really need to get around to playing Persona 5 because I’ve heard so many good things about it, and Persona 4 is one of my all-time favorites.

    Also, want proof that 2017 was an excellent year for gaming? Even Sonic managed to have a good game.

    • Yeah, I think I mentioned this before, but I am really not prepared for Sonic to have a good game. How did that happen? I thought there was some gypsy curse or something on the franchise.

      I actually did buy quite a bit of new releases this year. Usually I don’t buy games until they’ve been out for a while and I can get them for cheap. Even with all the 2017 games I’ve got, Persona 5 really stands out. The game is fantastic. But yeah, I’ll never be able to be objective with it, because it carries over so much of Persona 4’s design, and I have a love affair with that game.

    • That’s kind of the reason why I do a top five rather than a top ten. It feels silly do a top ten when I have only reviewed around twenty titles in the year. A lot of mediocre stuff would end up making the list.

  5. I had Persona 5 in my #6 slot, since I hadn’t finished it until AFTER my top 10 post went up. I’d probably bump it to #4 now that it’s all over. Totally agree that it’s a weaker cast and (imo) weaker story, but it’s just so stylish, polished, and fun to play.

    My top 5 (in order) would be NieR Automata, Hellblade, Zelda BotW, Persona 5, and Mario Odyssey. Shout out to AC Origins, though.

  6. I loved Persona 5 as well (and currently doing a second playthrough to max out all the confidants).

    If time is a factor there are plenty of great games that aren’t 100 hr adventures… What Remains of Edith Finch, Night in the Woods, Little Nightmares, Doki Doki Literature Club.

    But I think you should also check out Horizon Zero Dawn. Everything from top to bottom is great in that game. Amazing how polished it is.

    • Best of luck in maxing out all the confidants. I regret not being able to do that in my playthrough. In hindsight I should have focused on the fortune teller, as she can help with the social links.

      You are not the first person to recommend Night in the Woods. Doki Doki is also on my radar. Looks like my type of visual novel and best of all it’s free.

      • Yeah I now know most of the tricks in Persona 5 but I preferred playing through the first time blind and just enjoying it.

        Def will want to hear what you thought about those two games!

  7. Wow, now that you say it, there actually was a lot of great games released in 2017 😀
    My favourite was Little Nightmares (I love little logic/puzzle games).

    Hope you have fun tackling that backlog 🙂 I wouldn’t be much help, with what game to play next, though. I’ve barely played any new releases in 2017 and it’s safe to assume, you’d definitely be a better Judge than me hehe 😀

  8. As much as my list was a joke, NieR: Automata and Persona 5 were numbers one and two for me. I liked Gravity Rush 2 a lot as well. That series does not get enough love for how good it is.

    • I bought Nier just because of the main character’s design hehe. Haven’t played it yet, as I hear you need to complete it multiple times to get the full experience. Not something I want to hear when pressed for time. Probably something I will tackle when I take a week off work.

      Gravity Rush 2 looks fun. I’m thinking of skipping the original and jumping straight to that one.

      • Undeniably 2B is hot – she’s the android I would design if I designed androids. Then you realize that the game has so much more to it than that, but the 2B booty is still good.

        Gravity Rush Remastered on the PS4 is worth playing too, but it’s more limited than 2. Funny thing – Kat’s design was also a big part of why I bought the first Gravity Rush, then I found the game really was good (with a few flaws, but give me a cute protagonist and I get more forgiving.)

  9. You did great! Better than me! That’s a lot of games you completed in 2017. Hmm.. what I did I play? Nier Automata, Fragile Dreams, Tales of Two Brothers.. Oh yeah I kept on getting distracted, but then again I might be one of the world slowest gamer. I really like to take my time.
    You like RPG, so I would recommend Baten Kaitos (Gamecube) if you haven’t played it. It is one of my fav. JRPG.

    • Brothers is a beautiful game. I am looking forward to the prison escape game that the same developer is working on. I’m not sure why I never played Baten Kaitos, back when I owned a Gamecube. RPGs and card games are something I enjoy.

  10. There it is again—I’m surprised to see Chaos;Child get that shoutout, even if it’s just an honorable mention. It makes me really happy and hopeful for the Science Adventure Series, and I hope more great games are produced in the future. As for Danganronpa V3 . . . HOORAY! I still have yet to play it, but I’m a HUGE fan of our monochrome captor and the quirky classes he torments, and I’m just so relieved to hear again that it doesn’t, in fact, flop as the third installment in a brilliant franchise. Here’s to more fun and exciting games (and reviews) in 2018!

    • Chaos;Child is great and has multiple endings to fit everyone’s tastes. I wish that Robotics;Notes would get localized because I enjoyed the anime. Danganronpa V3 is good too. Whether you consider it flop or not will depend on how you feel about it’s big reveal at the end.

  11. I’ve heard great things about Persona 5 and it’s got me intrigued, of course I know it would need a lot of hours to be invested in it … I still have 2017 games I haven’t touched yet on my shelf lol. 🙂

    • Persona 5 is worth making time for. Like you, I have many 2017 purchases that I haven’t touched. Maybe I should control my urges and not buy stuff I won’t immediately play. I can then buy those games later at a discount.

  12. I saw Miitopia the last time I was in Best Buy and considered buying it. Last Day of June is on my list of games to play this year along with Danganroonpa. I love rhythm games. June immediately made me think of Up when I read the description due to the protagonist’s name and the major plot point.

  13. Glad to see Sonic made it in! I’ve definitely heard really good things about Danganronpa and Persona so I’m not surprised to see them so high. The plots are really engaging and I typically follow along with them a bit through the wiki. Top 5 games of the year is always a tough one. Off the top I’d rank mine as

    1. Fire Emblem Warriors
    2. Super Mario Odyssey
    3. Sonic Forces
    4. Breath of the Wild
    5. Digimon World Next Order

    Although come to think of it, I think I only bought 6 games that came out in 2017. (Guardians barely not making it) I’d have to look back a little more to remember which retro games I purchased in 2017. 2018’s going to be a far bigger year for me though with Blazblue, Kingdom Hearts III, (Hopefully) DBZ FighterZ, and Sword Art Online coming out. Those are all Day 1 Pre Orders right now and a bunch of smaller games also look interesting like Mario Tennis and the Seven Deadly Sins game

    • It is nice to see Sonic get a mention, as the character has fallen on hard times recently. From your list I have managed to complete the top three. Perhaps I will try Zelda next. Speaking on Digimon, the new Cyber Sleuth game came out and it looks pretty decent.

      • Yeah, I’m definitely hyped for the next Cyber Sleuth. It’ll probably take a bit to get used to the new characters but they should be pretty fun

  14. I’ve never played any Persona game yet. So many games, so little time 😦 Great list though! You had a much more productive year than I did, haha.

    • I’m sure you would enjoy Persona 5, as the game has social aspects just like Dragon Age. Perhaps some day your schedule will clear up and you will have enough time to play it. A write up of your playing experience through the story would be awesome.

  15. Yeah, 2017 was amazing for video games. Unfortunately, I can’t pick up games on release date that much lately. But from the very little that I played (Tales of Berseria and Nier: Automata), I definitely got a small sampling of just how incredible last year’s games were, and could only pray I can get to the rest someday… Persona 5, especially, lol.

    • A lot of people named Nier their game of the year. I need to play it one of these days. Not being able to buy games on release day must suck, but on the plus side waiting a bit does reward you with good deals. I have often bought a title at full price and then regretted it because a short time later they are practically giving it away in a sale.

  16. It was a great year in 2017 for gaming. I was super excited for Miitopia and it ended up being the most boring thing in the world for me to play, sadly. I loved Tomodachi Life and was thrilled that I could use my Miis from that game in Miitopia but, it just moved too slowly. It felt like watching slow cutscenes most of the time!

    • Miitopia is a love or hate it title. For me it came at the right time because I was feeling burnt out on long games so I appreciated having an RPG that I could play in fifteen minute bursts.

      • Maybe that’s where I approached it wrong. It was fun for exactly that long, then felt like I wasn’t interacting enough. Then again, Tomodachi Life is intended to play the same way. Perhaps I should try to get back into it!

  17. 2017 was definitely a good year for games. I have been a big fan of the Persona series, so naturally, I had to get the Take Your Heart edition for Persona 5. No regrets whatsoever. I will always love Persona 4 first and foremost though, as it was the first Persona game I got and played, but Persona 5 is a great game for sure.

    • Persona 4 is still my fave game in the series, due to the characters. I’m biased though, as it was my first Persona experience. Mechanically speaking, P5 is the best title from the franchise and a lot of fun to play.

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