THE GHGAMER AWARDS [Best Video Games of 2017]: Legends Never Die.
Eight GHGamers give their Top 5 Video Games of the Year–AAA, action/adventure, RPG, platformers, fighting, sports & racing, indies, hell, even VR on all platforms: Xbox One X, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Our Nerd Clergy of Cool also tip their caps for this year, with an early look at their Most Anticipated Games of 2018. Enjoy!
1. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (X1/PS4/PC) – Top spot goes to the franchise that re-invented itself, going from over-the-top Michael Bayesque action/horror to a more visceral, first person, horror. RE7 is downright terrifying and you get a sense of claustrophobia as you roam about the Baker plantation with that sneaking suspicion that someone’s right behind you. Peep my review. – 4.75/5
2. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) – Quite possibly the most beautiful game of this “Rev’s” list. Most of the time there’s a certain doom-and-gloom set in post-apocalyptic world but I’ll be damned that Guerrilla Games didn’t make the end of the world appealing! Here, you play Aloy as you go about trying to figure out your parentage and the mystery of what happened to all of technology, all in a lush, wide-open world full of robotic dangers and beauty. – 4.5/5
3. Mass Effect: Andromeda (X1/PS4/PC) – Haters going to hate! This game got buried faster than an NXT upstart getting his big break on RAW only to face John Cena and take a thrashing.As someone who’s sunk in 85 hours on strictly side quests, I could not understand all the hate; sure, the graphics weren’t up to snuff but MEA was still fun as all hell. You had your platforming, third person combat, exploration, and RPG elements. The game got dealt a bad hand and, unfortunately, all the mindless sheep followed suit and decided against forming their own opinions. – 3.75/5
4. Middle-earth: Shadow of War (X1/PS4/PC) – There’s a certain satisfaction you take when you impose your will on a nemesis that was a lowly peon in the orc hierarchy and once he gets a lucky break and kills you names himself Ooglash the Tark Killer. Who does he think he is? The orc counterpart of Puff Daddy? So, yeah.. even with this overarching story of trying to stop the Dark Lord from overtaking the Gondorian lands, you’ll still hunt that bastard to the ends of Mordor and impose my will and shame him into a babbling idiot. – 3.5/5
5. FIFA 18 (X1/PS4/Switch/PC) – What can I say, the continuing story of Alex Hunter has gripped me and I am as vested into his plight through the BPL, his ungraceful exit and into MLS territory. Interested in making your own story? Create your own player and take him through the leagues and into superstar realm. Hell you might even kick Ronaldo out of his position on Real Madrid. Relevant now more than ever, because this is the year of the World Cup; (sure the US didn’t qualify) but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the game do yourself a favor pick it up. – 3.5/5
1. Red Dead Redemption 2 – Since John Marston’s adventure concluded all those years ago in a blaze of glory, gamers have been chomping at the bit for another dip in to the old West. A man haunted from his past mistakes he tries to make amends, spaghetti western at its best! Rockstar is blessing us with a prequel as you play Arthur Morgan, an outlaw in the Van der Linde gang, who knows, you might run into a fresh faced Marston at some point.
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
4. Days Gone
5. God of War
1. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) – The combination of Mario 64‘s gameplay and mechanics with Mario Sunshine‘s additional device helping to change things up without feeling like a gimmick, even with all the old school platform action. And there’s nothing cooler than finding new ways to utilize the hat — Cappy! — and come up with different ways to complete tasks. – 4.75/5
2. Forza Motorsport 7 (X1/PC) – We finally get to play a main series Forza title on PC, and it is great! I’ve always loved the Forza series, but Turn 10 put it into high gear for this release. My one complaint would be lack offroad rally racing. Here’s hoping for Forza 8. – 4.5/5
3. Halo Wars 2 (X1/PC) – I actually didn’t expect to like HW2 that much, but it really did turn out well and has me hooked to finish the story. The visuals go well with the world of Halo we are used to, leaving you right at home with units and vehicles that yell out phrases that you’d expect to hear, sometimes amusing and other times belted out to inspire victory at all costs. – 4.5/5
4. Fortnite (X1/PS4/PC) – Excellent game with no major bugs or flaws, and good content with free extra content planned for a long time. And the additional Battle Royale mode, which is free as a standalone game, is a welcome part of the game that brings even more players to the community. Epic did a great job with this title. – 4.25/5
5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) – Back once again, and showing off the power of Nintendo’s new Switch console, Link has a new adventure ahead of him. A lot of work was put into this game and it shows. With a very large open world to explore, and lots of story and side missions to experience, BotW contains hours upon hours of gameplay. In fact my biggest complaint is that the size of the world itself, and numerous optional missions, can make you feel overwhelmed. Despite that I still hold BotW in my top 5 games played in 2017. – 4.25/5
1. Sea of Thieves
2. Sea of Thieves
3. Sea of Thieves
4. Sea of Thieves
5. Sea of Thieves
Ha.. well… in all seriousness…
1. Sea of Thieves – I’ve been excited about this game since seeing it shown at E3 2015, and each E3 after that has only further increased my excitement for the game. The alpha has given a taste, and the upcoming beta will be even better, but I really can’t wait until March 20th when the game finally releases. Raise the Jolly Roger and prepare the ship for GotY 2018!
2. Metro: Exodus
3. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
4. Mega Man 11
1. NieR: Automata (PS4) – This game is a masterpiece of storytelling and presentation, and Yoko Taro’s opus. It uses the medium of video games to tell a fourth-wall breaking tale of love and existentialism that can only be presented in this way. If all that sounds like too much, you also get to control sexy robots and kick some serious ass. Wrap all that up in a glorious blanket of music and you have NieR: Automata. – 5/5
2. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (PSVR/X1/PS4/PC) – The Resident Evil franchise has been slipping the last few years, eschewing its survival horror for mindless action. RE7 takes it back to its terrifying roots by dropping you into a hell house with a bunch of crazy hillbillies. I played this game in VR which added a whole new layer fear. I have never had this much anxiety while playing a game in my entire life. – 4.5/5
3. Persona 5 (PS4) – Persona 5 is possibly the most refined JRPG I have had the pleasure of playing, with its stylish presentation and tight battle system. It also functions as a Japanese High School Simulator with much of your time spent in the game hanging out with friends and trying to pass your school exams (in between fighting demons in a parallel nightmare universe located inside the human psyche). Also, you have a cat buddy who turns into a bus. Can’t get much better than that! – 4.5/5
4. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PS4/PC) – If you have ever wondered what it would be like to experience madness, Hellblade will give you a taste of the darkness. Senua is on a trip through her own personal hell, and you are with her every step of the way. This game has some of the best sound design I have ever heard with the voices in Senua’s head seeming to come from all directions and the visuals are part horror film and part acid trip, making it so you can’t trust what you see. – 4/5
5. South Park: The Fractured But Whole (PS4/X1/PC) – South Park’s last outing, The Stick of Truth, was a surprise hit and a fantastic RPG in its own right. The newest game drops the fantasy setting and sets its sights on superheroes lampooning them in a hilarious way. Just like the show, the humor is over-the-top and offensive and fans will find lots to love. – 4/5
1. Detroit: Become Human – While Quantic Dream’s execution is arguably hit-or-miss, they are always trying to do something new with gaming. I’m hoping with Detroit: Become Human they craft an amazing tale and have the gameplay to back it up.
2. Shadow of the Colossus (Remake)
3. The Last Night
4. A Way Out
5. Secret of Mana (Remake)
1. *TIE* Assassin’s Creed: Origins /// Wolfenstein: The New Colossus (X1/PS4/PC) – One revitalized a stale AF franchise that needed a desperate change of scenery and gave us one of the best Assassin’s in the series. The other gave us what’s, probably, the most adrenaline-pumping campaign of the year that somehow manages to surpass its predecessor (no easy task). And I couldn’t pick one, so they’re both my top choice for GOTY. – 5/5
2. Injustice 2 (X1/PS4/PC) – First off, this sequel includes two things: the best structure and content of any of the fighters released this year (eat a Hadodick, Capcom), and the second best DC movie of the year (first one being Wonder Woman, of course). Like every game, it’s not perfect — we don’t need more than one MK paid DLC character.. — but as a fighter, it’s pretty damn close. – 4.75/5
3. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Switch) – “Don’t you mean Mario Odyssey?” Not even a little. I’ll let you in on a little secret about Odyssey: aside from the enemy possession mechanic, it’s the same Mario game we’ve played before! SORPRESA! It’s a great game, but I don’t get why people are blown away. This is the Mario game that should be getting the praise.. Buuut of course, Kingdom Battle came out first and was in a niche genre. Check my review. – 4.5/5
4. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) – Read GHG’s Zero Dawn review. I couldn’t have said it better myself. But I do want to take this opportunity to say: screw Breath of the Wild. Before you post that witty “Hot Take” pic or gif, hear me out. The game got praise for catching up to every other open world game out there. They added Assassin’s Creed towers, put in really shitty breakable weapons, gave him Lara Croft’s climbing skills, dropped in combat from.. Pick a game, really, and boom. People lost their minds because Zelda felt fresh by simply catching up to most current games. Like Odyssey, I enjoyed BotW, but I don’t understand why people are losing their minds. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. This is the perfect example of how brand recognition and stupid nostalgia can trump superior game design. – 4.5/5
5. Forza Motorsport 7 (X1/PC) – I’m not even a fan of this series. I’m a Forza Horizon guy. Yet I decided to try it out at a friend’s house and was hooked. The career structure with the different cars and races, the avatar customization (really hoping that carries over to Horizon 4), the sense of speed when you’re screaming over 100 mph out of a draft to pass your opponent.. This game kills it… Graphically, the game is always a stunner, without sacrificing framerate… And it’s even better if you get to play it on the X. – 4.5/5
1. Sea of Thieves – After playing the Alpha (which comes with an NDA), all I have to say is : Yes. Much fun. Very the much so. Want more. So the many more. Please. May I have more now?
2. Forza Horizon 4
3. Crackdown 3
4. WWE 2K19
5. Detroit: Become Human
1. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) – With all the tremendous gaming options for 2017, only one stood tall for me; the one who’s been the most dear to my heart the longest; the one who defies the odds of stumbling into a creative slump; and the one who delivers a title worthy of a $299 Nintendo Switch alone. The first official Super Mario game on the Switch, Odyssey, is the perfect fusion of modern 3D platforming hijinks and retro 8-bit pipedream. – 5/5
2. Assassin’s Creed Origins (X1/PS4/PC) – The prettiest game of 2017, if you happen to be lucky enough to own an Xbox One X and 4K TV. Taking a much-needed 2-years off, Ubisoft brilliantly sets this follow-up in the wondrous Ptolemaic sands of Egypt — both in dynamic weather and impressive architecture. Ubi also finds a very charismatic, bold and (strangely) charming protagonist to the forefront; and with the exception of some excessive carrying-lazyfucks-for-god-knows-what side missions, Bayek’s presence in this morality play helps make ACO the most memorable of the series since Black Flag and perhaps even since the first two entries. – 4.75/5
3. Injustice 2 (X1/PS4/PC) – The upgrades one can acquire through the Multiverse Mode are akin to Grant Morrison’s diabolical thought process of alternately strange and infinite earths, providing a combination of gear upgrades both in armored power and aesthetic. Better, there are several new, innovative ways to evade, counter and recover, while combos are also very easy to learn, and feel seemlessly rewarding. Throw in a gratifying story mode, more fluid zone-leveled combat, and an incredible line-up of DLC choices (The Atom! Hellboy!! TMNT!!!), and there’s more than enough reason to come back for plenty of 2-3 round beatings. – 4.5/5
4. Middle-earth: Shadow of War (X1/PS4/PC) – Although IGN and Game Informer give it higher grades than I do, this sequel to Shadow of Mordor (a game I was instantly bored with) might be the most underrated Game of the Year. And despite my praise from E3 2017, I passed on it for several weeks due to an overall lukewarm reception. Boy, was that a mistake. There isn’t a whole lot I dislike about SoW, perhaps this side of some slightly tedious combat scenarios and its artistic licensing with Fantasy’s most famed IP. Whatever. Being able to create my own subplots within the overall narrative and forced into several meaningful side missions is a blessing, while the upgrade customization is just as tremendous. – 4.25/5
5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) – Oh, I’m gonna catch so much flack for this. But hear me out: BotW is, indeed, an artistic and technical masterpiece; a massive, near endless open world adventure that had a wonderful 10-months of criticial and fangirl/boy acclaim. I can never get mad at anyone going with this as their #1 choice. There’s sheer joy in every moment you venture out to a new area, discover a hidden treasure, defeat a Divine Beast, and help someone out in need. This first great title of 2017 — and first great game on the Nintendo Switch — has everything that’s so great about Hyrule; perhaps too much, becoming more of a tedious grind than anything fun. Weapons break, currency is hard to come by, enemies are either too easy or too powerful, Link is often too weak (even with his Master Sword), and the game is too big. Heck, I love 100-hour RPG campaigns more than anyone else; but the breadth of Breath is a bit ridiculous. While I respect the game’s density (and many accolades), I would’ve enjoyed something a bit more condensed at the start of this new chapter. – 4.25/5
Honorable mention: Wolfenstein II: The New Collossus, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Tekken 7, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Forza Motorsport 7, Destiny 2, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Cuphead, Mass Effect: Andromeda, NBA 2K18.
1. Dragon Ball FighterZ – If not for “Year of the Switch” 2017 may very well have gone down as the “Year of the Fighter”, and the next entry in the Dragon Ball Z universe is aiming to top them all. There’s a reason for the triple tag fighter’s timely January release: it coincides with the extreme popularity of the Dragon Ball Super anime show, currently focusing on a strikingly relevant “Tournament of Power”. With brilliant, eye-popping visuals and a fun storyline that aims to please both new weebs and longtime fans, DBfZ should be no less than “The Injustice 2 of 2018″.
2. Far Cry 5
3. Red Dead Redemption 2
4. *TIE* Code Vein / Metro: Exodus / Yoshi
5. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
1. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PS4/PC) – This one is every bit as vicious, epic and dramatic as its predecessors in the Ninja Theory library. Hellblade interweaves a delicate storyline through simple, yet ruthless mechanics that makes it one of the most visceral portrayals of psychological turmoil in recent video gaming. – 5/5
2. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) – Aloy’s animation is fluid and realistic, and the sky lights up with awe-inspiring detail of the sun beaming through the trees. It’s all so smooth; no pop-ups, screen tears or jaggies to seen here. and, from the crackling of lightning on your weapons to the dinosaurs roaring as they leap to strike, all the sound is crisp and exciting. – 4.5/5
3. Cuphead (X1/PC) – Maybe you guys need to “Git Gud” or something. Not too many games in 2017 — especially platformers — can match the classic, old timey feel of this Xbox exclusive. Sure, it’s no easy feat getting through any boss without dying and resurrecting more times than Jean Grey; but practice and patience makes perfect, to which Cuphead nearly is. – 4/5
4. Middle-earth: Shadow of War (X1/PS4/PC) – One of the few games out there that on can get lost in a storyline not in even provided in the game. Yes–as mentioned from som of the other GHGamers in here, what beefs/relationships you create in SoW will become your own masterpiece. And with an even richer Nemesis system, sweet-looking visuals, and top-notch, often hilarious, voice acting, there’s plenty of hours to get lost in the lands of Mordor. – 4/5
5. Assassin’s Creed: Origins (PS4/X1/PC) – This one’s a toughie. For everything ACO does right (story, character, environment, vocal performance), it loses a few rupees for its combat mechanics. It’s hard to describe what’s actually wrong with its swording-and-shielding, but in a year full of games that performed that very element so well, this beautiful Creed has to slide a bit down my list. – 3.5/5
Honorable mention: Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
1. God of War – Kratos. PS4 Pro. Long AF wait. Let’s do this.
3. Marvel’s Spider-Man
4. Days Gone
5. Red Dead Redemption 2
1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins (X1/PS4/PC) – If you’re a fan of Assassin’s Creed, this game is a must buy. Even if you’re not a fan of the series, buy it anyway and you’ll become one. I’m still in awe at how much fun I’ve had, and continue to have exploring Egypt. It’s rare for me to say this.. but good job, Ubisoft, you finally listened to your customers and gave us a game worthy of the most “killer” gameplay of 2017; let’s hope fans didn’t miss this one. – 5/5
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) – Even without 4k visuals, BotW is easily one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played. While not the best story of a Zelda game, this debut Switcheroo was easily the most interesting. – 5/5
3. Middle-earth: Shadows of War (X1/PS4/PC) – A game worthy of its 4.5 Bible review (and you can see why here). A game that shines with the ability to create your own story and your own enemies, there are plenty of great memories and some should-be great DLC packs coming in the months to come. And of course I still jump into this game for some ritual slaughter every now and then. RIP Shaak! – 4.5/5
4. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) – This PS4 console exclusive is a new twist on open world games, surviving this land was no easy feat. And with one of the most memorable stories to come from an open world game in a long long time, this one’s a keeper. – 4.25/5
5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch) – …because Moody said if it wasn’t on my list, I was fired! – 4/5
Honorable mention: Super Mario Odyssey.
1. Far Cry 5 – If Ubisoft takes its fans advice for this game like they did for ACO, then this will be yet another Ubi-winner!
2. The Last of Us Part II
3. God of War
4. Kingdom Hearts 3
5. Metro: Exodus
1. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) – Holy Crap — this game is awesome. Even my caterac eyes tell me this game is the GOTY. From the exploration of Mario 3D and the addition of “Cappy” powers, using a hat ala Super Mario 3, Odyssey completely took this longtime Destiny diehard by surprise and won me over more than than I ever imagined. – 5/5
2. Fortnite (X1/PS4/PC) – This is a better version of my #3 MMO shooter selection, PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds. The addition of building your own fortress adds a new dimension to the PUBG formula, while still having that run & gun feel. Fortnite should prove a Dark Horse GOTY winner. – 4.5/5
3. PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds (X1/PC) – I like watching this game on Twitch. It looks like a lot of fun for a few hours… but as I watch, it looks like it gets too sweaty aka competitive. – 4/5
4. Destiny 2 (X1/PS4/PC) – The gameplay in the sequel is much faster, more crisp, and beautiful. The colors are vibrant and the explosions looks so stunning. The score really sets the tone; definitely one of the best
Bungie has done, which is saying something since the development team has done some amazing soundtracks (I mean.. Halo: Combat Evolved!). After my initial review, shit got real and I can no longer defend this game. I still play, but it’s–sadly–not a GOTY. – 3.5/5
5. For Honor (X1/PS4/PC) – While For Honor initially feels like a Dynasty Warriors rip-off, like Street Fighter II before it, it has a deeper and more strategic underbelly. One that is ripe to be sliced open like a Kraken! – 3/5
1. Sea of Thieves – I played the Alpha. A lousy NDA restricted me from previewing it. Sorry guys. I can’t wait.
2. Far Cry 5
3. A Way Out
4. Dragon Ball FighterZ
***GHG’s Games of the Year***
1. Super Mario Odyssey
2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
3. Horizon: Zero Dawn
4. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
5. *TIE* The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild /// Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Honorable mention: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Injustice 2, Fortnite, Forza Motorsport 7, Wolfenstein II: The New Collosus.
***GHG’s PlayStation 4 Exclusive of the Year***
-Horizon: Zero Dawn
***GHG’s Xbox One Exclusive of the Year***
-Forza Motorsport 7
***GHG’s Nintendo Switch Game of the Year***
-Super Mario Odyssey
***GHG’s Fighting Game of the Year***
***GHG’s Sports Game of the Year***
***GHG’s Indie Game of the Year***