Looking back over the Global Game Awards, 2017 has been obscene. I can't remember a year quite like this, with all platforms confidently hitting their stride. Whatever you're into, there's been a standout game for everyone. Actually trimming it down to three games is proving a near impossible task.
My list has actually got a bit of a console flavour this time around as some of the exclusives pumped out by Nintendo and Sony this year have just been on another level for me personally. The likes of Nier Automata, Prey, Mario and Horizon put up a good fight, but they were narrowly pipped by this fine trio. Ask me on another day and it could all change though.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
My reaction to Breath of the Wild was a strange one. It always showed incredible promise in the years leading up to its release, and then near-perfect reviews arrived to raise my expectations unreasonably high. My first impressions weren’t overly enthusiastic. Nintendo has done a heck of a lot to mess with the traditional Zelda formula here, and it took a good few hours to win me back onto its side. Win me it did though, and 120 hours later I’m confident in naming it my game of the year. As far as open-world sandboxes go, this is the top of the pile. It has its flaws sure, the dungeons are the series’ worst and not being able to climb while it’s raining is just the worst, but these are small blemishes on an otherwise outstanding experience.
My only previous experience with the Yakuza series was Yakuza 3 on the PS3. That was so long ago and had so much backstory, that I was in dire need of a blank skate. Boy did Sega deliver with Yakuza Zero. Combined with the remaster of Yakuza 1, it’s quickly turned me into a huge fan of the Yakuza series. It’s Metal Gear-style melodrama and epic cut-scenes blended with kung fu street brawling action, RPG mechanics, and a compact, well-designed open world that’s packed full of secrets, gags and things to do.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
I know, I know, it seems crazy, but I genuinely had a better time with Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids this year than I did Super Mario Odyssey. It ticked all the boxes I love about XCOM but improved it in all the right areas. Battles are more puzzle-like thanks to no fog-of-war, and the lack of an overarching metagame and endless randomised levels actually works in its favour. The movement options available are unparalleled for a tactical strategy game, and by the end I was chaining together attacks that could take out a dozen enemies in a single turn. It was a supremely satisfying game for me, possibly helped by my low expectations.
Honourable Mentions: Super Mario Odyssey, Nier Automata, Prey, Horizon: Zero Dawn
Over to you now then, what were favourite games of 2017? Anything in particular that stood head and shoulders above the rest? Let us know!