Up For Debate - Has 2017 Been the Best Year Ever for Gaming?

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Dec 27, 2017 4:00 PM
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Right, so forget all about the crap like microtransactions and just focus on the good times - has there ever been a year so consistently packed with great games as this one? It can be all too easy to dwell on the negatives, but the truth of the matter is this pales in comparison to the list of unbelievably good games that were released throughout 2017.

If I were to list the top 20 games I’ve played this year, I reckon every single one of them would probably be better than Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the 2014 Game of the Year during the Global Game Awards by a considerable margin. Not a hard task, admittedly, but it means that for me personally there’s a game coming out ever 2-3 weeks that’s better than the 2014 Game of the Year.

Naturally, there are strong contenders for best ever years in gaming. The rule of 7’s applies here. 1997 and 2007 were both fine years, typically the results of generations of hardware and game engines maturing. In 1997 we had Age of Empires, Goldeneye, Final Fantasy VII, Fallout, Total Annihilation, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Tomb Raider 2 and Grand Theft Auto. 2007 meanwhile was a beast that has come to define many of the industry’s biggest franchises - COD4, BioShock, Portal, Team Fortress 2, Halo 3, Super Mario Galaxy, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, The Witcher, Crysis and God of War 2.

Some years didn’t have the best games of all time, but there’s no doubting they were transformative. 1996 was when 3D gaming really began to take hold. We had Quake, Diablo, Mario 64, Duke Nukem 3D, Wipeout, Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Mario Kart 6, Pokemon and, the greatest of them all, Wave Race 64. Oh god I'm nearly myself this was the champion now.

All of these present stern tests when compared to 2017, but just take a moment to consider the treats we’ve had this year -  Nier Automa, Breath of the Wild, Horizon, Resident Evil 7, Prey, Divinity 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein II, AC: Origins, PUBG, Cuphead, Nioh, Shadow of War, Edith Finch, Splatoon 2, Sonic Mania, Evil Within 2, Total Warhammer 2, Yakuza Zero. The list goes on and on.

Taken on balance though, I reckon 2017 has been the second-best year ever in gaming. Nothing can quite topple the beauty that was 1998 for me. It was the perfect storm of great games, new ideas and fresh IPs. A handful of my favourite games of all time launched in 1998, and it’s going to take something really rather special to top it. We’re talking Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half-Life, Metal Gear Solid, Grim Fandango, Baldur’s Gate, StarCraft, Resident Evil 2, Fallout 2, Thief, Banjo Kazooie, Unreal, Rogue Squadron, Turok 2, Soul Calibur, Tekken 3 and F-Zero X. So many of these games began something really special, I do wonder if anything this year can quite have the same lasting impact.

So what are your thoughts, which year do you think has been the best year ever for gaming? Is 2017 the peak? Let us know!

Which year has been the best ever for gaming?

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22:12 Dec-29-2017

Not gonna lie, I doubt anything will ever beat 2013 for me. My 3 all time favorite games were released that year: The Tomb Raider Reboot, Bioshock Infinite, and Sleeping Dogs (technically 2012, but I got the Definitive edition soo...). And the Halo CE community was still strong. Not to mention BF4 and Crysis 3

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12:15 Dec-29-2017

For me, it's 2007 because we had Assassin's Creed, Bioshock and Mass Effect. Three games that defined their genres and inspired so many titles moving forward.

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07:12 Dec-29-2017

don't we say this every year ?

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22:28 Dec-28-2017

2015 was full awesome. 2017 was the year of the loot crate. I had such high hopes for some many games. Destiny 2, Shadow of War, and AC: Origins were some of them. Shadow of War I bought off a key reseller, I'll never buy Destiny 2, and I'll wait for Orgins GOTY edition and then I'll buy it off a key reseller too.

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19:12 Dec-28-2017

Can't say for sure which one was the best but 2004, 2007 and 2015 were very impressive :D


Half-Life 2 and The Witcher 3 made such a mark on gaming they will be remembered for many, many years and i doubt we will see epic quality game like those anytime soon (Cyberpunk be like: oh really, hold my orangeade) so to me HL2 (2004 to 2014 GOTD) & TW3 (2015 to 2025 GOTD?) are truly Game of the Decade !

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14:09 Dec-28-2017

2017 the worst!!!

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10:58 Dec-28-2017

2015 - Witcher 3 , bloodborne, GTA 5 , Metalgear, Fallout , Batman .... Too Much ORGASM to handle

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14:42 Dec-28-2017

Fallout 4 was an abomination though.

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06:55 Dec-30-2017

I think gta 5 is worse than gta 4, idk why I just don't feel the same motivation to play 5. I felt motivation to play fo4 just like fo3 and nv so idk

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13:36 Jan-02-2018
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10:56 Dec-28-2017

2004 was something else: Half Life 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, World of Warcraft, Halo 2, GTA: San Andreas, Metroid Prime 2 and many more great games.

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13:05 Dec-28-2017

Nfs Underground 2 also

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15:47 Dec-28-2017

Unreal Tournament 2004! I would also add C&C GENERALS - the hype started 2003 but continued + with the Zero hour expansion set

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10:43 Dec-28-2017

I don't think I can really point out the best year, or that there even is one.You just find a few games in each year that stick with you, in your heart.And the rest don't really matter.I would say 2017 is somewhere average when compared to years before if I had to say. :)

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10:30 Dec-28-2017

1999-2001 for me.Lots of Aliens vs Predator '99, Unreal T '99, NFS Hot Pursuit '98...And fast forward to 2007-08 where i was just sitting alone in my flat and gone through many FPS games all day and night long.

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10:16 Dec-28-2017

Probably the 2000s , the golden era for me , Best GTA game , Best Need for speed game , Best COD game, and many many great games , because the online stuff weren't the main focus on that time. No lootboxes no stupid microtransactions.

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09:53 Dec-28-2017

It was an okay year.A lot of microtransactions crap,but you could easily find some good games.(for me the only really good game were Spellforce 3,AC origins,Nioh and Divinity 2).2015 hands down best year at least in the last decade,because Witcher 3,Bloodborne,Pilalrs of Eternity,Rainbow Six Siege and many others.

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09:25 Dec-28-2017

It kinda feels like a dark age of arts in general.
But this year was kinda redeemable.

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08:54 Dec-28-2017

2017 wasn't interesting at all to me, the only game from 2017 I played was PUBG which I wouldn't consider to be "that" good to make the year special. I want TES VI and Half-life 3 god damn it!

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06:45 Dec-28-2017

I have to say 2015 mostly because of the witcher 3.
There was other great games as well like Dying Light, Life Is Strange, Project CARS and MGSTPP

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05:44 Dec-28-2017

Pre-2012 era was when the games were in their peak.

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09:22 Dec-28-2017

Oh yes! Between 2000 - 2012, you could always get something un-expected, original and un-seen before! In fact, forget the games themselves, I just wanna see now a trailer and get hyped of it - even that charm is gone now...

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08:39 Dec-29-2017

How the times have changed for the worse.

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01:49 Dec-28-2017

its been a good year for hardware, so many cpus, and the miner rage is gone, there always one good game come out a year for everyone like movies

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07:47 Dec-28-2017

Sadly, not on the RAM side of things though. It was just 1 year ago when i got my 16gb DDR4 for $105AUd, now the exact same RAM from corsair is $295AUD, almost tripled in that 1 year

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22:12 Dec-27-2017

2017 has given me 2 of my top 5 games of all time with Nier Automata and Persona 5.


Even on just those two alone I'd say its my favorite year in gaming ever


With Nioh, Horizon (not a favorite but I see why people love it), Resi 7, Gravity Rush 2, Tales of Beseria, Zelda Botw, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Mario Odyssey, Mario/Rabbids, Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5, Disgaea 5 (Switch), Stormblood, Tekken 7, Divinity 2, Cold Steel 3, Warhammer 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, and much more.


This year has been damn incredible, there has been something for everyone

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21:17 Dec-27-2017

2007, 2011 and 2015 were all really good as i remember. not sure which is the best. 2016 was pretty bad IMO. 2017 was okay. but also some big fails. 2018 will be great i think! if lootboxes might be banned.

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20:23 Dec-27-2017

2004-2012 with 2012-2016 following it. But then it takes a sharp dive in 2016-2017 since half my games died and I now have no replacements.

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