Diego Escala is probably more well known as a pretend actor and self-absorbed movie aficionado. He’s a simple man who enjoys the finer things in life like a candlelit Taco Bell dinner, browsing Godzilla figures he’ll never be able to afford, and petitioning for a Dredd sequel. As he’s writing this he wonders if anyone will even read it and how many people he’ll upset by not including Mario or Zelda on his list.
2017 was a wild year. Our political system turned into a complete circus show, one of the best movies of the year is about having sex with a fish man, and mixtapes were dropped all over California. But at the end of the day, it was a phenomenal year for games. A lot of really amazing games dropped this year and we finally got a console launch from Nintendo that wasn’t a complete joke.
This was also a pretty wild year for movies. We got a Blade Runner sequel that was just as good as the original, Kong was a bonkers movie, Martin McDonagh & Del Toro both dropped masterpieces, and we got what’s probably the best year of superhero films if you ignore all the bad ones. If you have objectively good taste in films like me you might also appreciate the severely underappreciated It Comes At Night and Good Time as well. Now that I think about it, despite all the strong rumors I still didn’t get my Devil May Cry 5 announcement so maybe fuck 2017. 2018 will be my year for sure this time.
- Doki Doki Literature Club: It’s free on Steam just go play it trust me.
- The Surge: This is a great year for Souls-like games. While I wish The Surge went harder into its aesthetic, you can’t deny its novel combat mechanics and tight combat make for a great time.
- Dusk: If a game isn’t officially out, but you can play the first of three episodes and its multiplayer right now is it more or less “out”? Dusk is a phenomenal tribute to classic 90’s shooters with some slight modern touches that everyone needs to play. The combat is frenetic, the aesthetic is hitting on all points, and that music is too fucking good praise be to Andrew Hulshult.
- Hitman: This was my GOTY of 2016 and since it got a physical release in 2017 it’s technically double GOTY now but the higher ups over here won’t let me preach the #TRUTH. IO Interactive turned the episodic format into something that works brilliantly for this series and continued to listen to community suggestions throughout the year, refining the game into one of, if not the best Hitman experience ever.
RUINER was a complete blast to play through with its heavy hitting synth soundtrack and adrenaline pumping action, it’s hard to not love what this game has to bring. It’s also got one of the best realized cyberpunk worlds I’ve ever seen in a game with the developers managing to really nail that Blade Runner griminess.
Best Moment: Hitting Overdrive and completely decimating a boss in seconds.
Tekken 7 is easily the best Tekken game in years if not ever. Bandai has taken their premiere fighting game and perfected every part of it into a package that’s overflowing with content. Did I mention they made Akuma work in a Tekken game? Can we get Bandai a Nobel Peace Prize for this or something? Not to mention smart new additions such as the rage arts or the game going into slow motion when both players attack at the same time, 2017 was definitely Tekken’s year.
Best Moment: Stuntin’ on people online with my custom Akuma.
Destiny was a game I was thoroughly disappointed with and only became mildly impressed at with the release of The Taken King expansion pack. It was there that Bungie finally started to realize the potential for this series and in Destiny 2 they lived up to it despite a few hiccups. I’ve dumped dozens of hours with friends into this game as we loaded it up every week to fulfill our milestones and complain about what engrams we got.
Best Moment: 30 seconds left on the clock during the Savathun’s Song nightfall with everyone dead. I respawn with 15 seconds left and unload all my ammo into the boss killing it as I died and beating the mission with seconds left.
Resident Evil 7
This year is full of just so many surprises from a battle royale game being one of the best games of the year to getting a Mario + Rabbids crossover XCOM style game.. One of the biggest surprises though comes from Capcom who dropped RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard / BIOHAZARD 7 resident evil which completely blew me away. I was already set on considering the series dead in the water after RE5 and the decade that followed that release has been filled with nothing but utter trash. Then here comes Capcom with a game that takes the series into a new first-person perspective while promising it holds true to the roots of the series and they actually somehow delivered. Besides playing great, the Baker family are easily some of the best horror villains in years with a genuine sense of malice hanging in the air constantly as you walk around wondering when one of them might show their ugly face.
Best Moment: The birthday puzzle.
Who actually expected this to be good, let alone great? This game has been in development for over a decade and it was pivoted into a “souls” style game when everyone has failed spectacularly to capture the formula FROM Software introduced. This is a game that I believe stands toe-to-toe with the best of the Souls games with its smart addition of a loot system and combat that actually has some depth to it. Team Ninja should also be lauded for their smart use of an actual alpha and beta. Seeing suggestions from the community actually put into the game from an arguably major developer was something I almost couldn’t believe was really happening. The developer/community relationship that was formed was something that really helped shaped Nioh into the game it is today.
Best Moment: Fighting a giant, super chill, kung-fu frog man
There’s no denying that PUBG has made a significant mark on the industry since its release and it definitely earned it. This is a multiplayer experience I’ve never encountered before with long lapses of tense quiet followed by quick, brutal violence. Taking another player out in this game, knowing you just ruined their match and sent them back to the main menu, is just so damn satisfying that half a year later still hasn’t gotten old.
Best Moment: Finally getting that delicious chicken dinner.
Wolfenstein ll: The New Colossus
MachineGames really knocked it out of the ballpark with this game. They not only showed that story focused shooters still have a place in the industry, but made one of the most engaging stories in a shooter ever with some truly superb writing. Also, shooting hordes of nazis with two shotguns is just a magical experience.
Best Moment: THAT series of back to back moments. You know what I’m talking about.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
I adored Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel takes everything about that game and just makes it better. This is a game that is constantly inviting you to experiment with not only how you can affect the environment, but the characters in it as well. Not only did Larian deliver one of the best RPG’s in years, but they also made it possible to take your D&D sessions to the digital world with their Game Master mode which is one of the coolest social features I’ve seen in a game in a long time. If you’re going to play anything from 2017, make sure it’s this game.
Best Moment: Exploiting the game rules to cheese a difficult boss encounter.