This year saw a dramatic increase in my console gaming time thanks to the purchase of an Xbox One S and a Nintendo Switch. It’s been a crazy fun ride, and I’m absolutely not abandoning PC gaming either!
So without further ado, here are my top 5 of 2017:
Nintendo didn’t gingerly stick their big toe in the mobile gaming pool again with this one, they cannonballed right in with what I like to call a lite version of Animal Crossing for your phone. It hits the right buttons for gaming with friends and interacting with the animals visiting our campsite, but it is rather unfulfilling for diehard Animal Crossing fans. Still, there’s great potential for future updates and expansions to the game so give it a try, it’s free-to-start (and one month in, I still haven’t seen a need to shell out any cash in order to advance in the game).
Sonic Mania straddled the line of making me feel like an old gamer in a good way and in a bad way. The good: Reliving beloved Sonic memories from the past mashed up with delightful new mechanics and music in this new game. The bad: Well, it didn’t sucker punch my aging reflexes like Cuphead did, but some things were much harder for me than they would’ve been in the 90s. Still, this game feels like a love letter to the fans and that’s something I can get behind 100%.
This is my first time playing this franchise and I’m impressed. It’s like Skyrim with more focus and less chance to become aimless then bored. The visuals are phenomenal, the gameplay is tight, I like the controls, and the variety of missions keeps me coming back for more. I can’t wait for this to go on sale because the library is probably sick to death of seeing me in there borrowing their copy.
It was exceedingly difficult to place this in the number 2 slot for me. My top two games are a hairsbreadth apart. But what a stunning game! I’ve had the opportunity to play this on both the Wii U and the Switch, and I do prefer the controls on the Switch. There is a lot going on with the menu, I’ll concede that point, but I make it work because I absolutely must finish this game. Compelling story, expansive exploration, side quests, fabulous soundtrack–I could go on, but I’d like to get back to playing the game!
Super Mario Odyssey is hands-down the most fun I’ve had gaming all year which is why it squeaked by BotW to earn my top spot for 2017. Nintendo has touted the series’ theme of surprise and this game delivers. I’ve been playing with a smile on my face whenever a new little surprise in the way of game mechanics or new mobs to capture using Cappy pop up. The costumes, stickers, and trophies keep me returning to levels in search of more Kingdom Coins which speaks to the game’s replay and treasure hunting value. Amiibo support is the bomb, too. My favorite is the Dr. Mario Amiibo–go ahead, give him a try.
That wraps up my Top 5 Games of 2017, but I’d like to add an Honorable Mention here for the wonderful scenarios and new leaders added to Civilization VI. There’s a lot of exceptional gaming for the remainder of 2017 and so many wonderful prospects for 2018 making it a truly great time to be a gamer!