Behind The Game: Games of the Year!

Rather than do a numbered list, we will just be posting our favourite games of this past year.

 

In reality, a lot of games I played this year were from years past, but I have picked up plenty of 2017 titles, so let’s dive right in, in no particular order of course.

There will be some close omissions, and a fair few popular games are ones I haven’t simply had the time or money to get around to playing this year, such as Persona 5, but I am most definitely aware of their impact and deserved praise.

 

Sonic Mania

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch

Developer: Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games

Publisher: SEGA

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We reviewed this game and gave it glowing praise, granted it isn’t perfect, as a testament to what makes a great, fast paced, replayable 2D Adventure. Be it the stunning visuals in all their HD Pixel-y glory, or the jazzy retro soundtrack from Tee Lopes, there is something for any fan of platformers to enjoy. If you want some retro 2D goodness, this is where you go.

 

Chicken Wiggle

Available on Nintendo 3DS Systems

Developer: Atooi

Publisher: Atooi

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From the 2D wizards at Atooi under Jools Watsham we have Chicken Wiggle. This game is certainly a welcome addition to the ever-expanding 3DS family that flew under everyone’s radars amongst all the Switch hype this summer. The gameplay is charming and simple, but buried within is the incredible level creation tools used to create the game with different objectives and the ability to share your creations with other players. Give this one a go if it’s your fancy. This is the prime level creation community game for 3DS!

 

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Available on Nintendo Switch

Developer: Ubisoft Milan/Ubisoft Paris

Publisher: Ubisoft

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Another game we have written about before, this time in the form of a Behind The Game examination, Mario + Rabbids is a game that admittedly drew me in to tactical RPGs. My wallet cries already. Where other games have lost me on overcomplicated mechanics, Kingdom Battle strives ahead with simple but in-depth mechanics, and a true to form presentation backed up by Grant “Noggy” Kirkhope (Sorry Grant, but Twitter doesn’t lie!) and his traditional jaunty tunes bringing each world to life. This is a game full of surprises and well worth picking up, even if it can beat you down without mercy!

 

Metroid: Samus Returns

Available on Nintendo 3DS Systems

Developer: MercurySteam

Publisher: Nintendo

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MercurySteam may have a history with Metroidvania titles, but nothing quite does their talents justice than Samus Returns. Sure the game can be difficult, very difficult at times, and it’s structure being based on Metroid II Return of Samus maybe doesn’t give it quite that open-ended Metroid feel we are used to, it is still a fantastic atmospheric and well-developed title, with unique twists to really make it stand out amongst its 2D Metroid brethren. Even just as an action game, you can’t go wrong here.

 

Crash Bandicoot: The N. SaneĀ Trilogy

Available on PS4

Developer: Vicarious Visions

Publisher: Activision

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Crash is back, and it is truly fantastic. Faithful (At times to a fault) remakes of the original trilogy from the PSone days, this is a trilogy available on PS4 that any PSone, platformer or retro fans want to nab. Difficult, charming, and true to the spirit of the originals we remember, this is the return the Bandicoot deserved. They even threw in some little bonuses and attention to details that fans will appreciate.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Available on Nintendo Switch and Wii U

Developer: Nintendo EPD

Publisher: Nintendo

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So full admission going in to this: I’m not a huge fan of 3D Zelda. Something about the slower starts really turns me away. Up to the release of this game the only one I beat was The Wind Waker HD. So to my surprise, the speed at which this game lets you begin, let’s you learn and progress entirely at your own pace and gives you this huge captivating world you want to explore, even if the rewards aren’t all worth it. There are annoyances, but like many games above, this simply captivated me into continuing, just to see what was over the next ridge. This is a game I can safely say will give you an experience totally unique to you.

 

Snake Pass

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch

Developer: Sumo Digital

Publisher: Sumo Digital

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One thing I always adore in games is a unique idea, and this is no different. How do you do a platformer….without the power to jump? Simply put, you use a snake. Snake Pass caught my eye from day one just as something different. Another charming almost throwback to the past, with the unique challenge of learning the physics and how Noodle works to explore the levels. There are plenty of optional challenges should you desire them, especially going for 100%, but impatient sorts will find themselves in a bit of a tangle. Stick with it though, and you’ll soon see what makes this such a gem.

 

Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together!

Available on Nintendo Switch

Developer: SFB Games

Publisher: Nintendo

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Yet another game that caught my eye due to its unique premise. You and a friend, or yourself on your own I suppose, co-operate and communicate in short puzzles that test your cunning, wit, and inevitable use of innuendo to refer to certain strategies. This is a game I am very happy to see get more content, if only for simple fun with friends. This is the top co-operative game this year for me, and nothing beats the blushing, laughter, and sound of gears turning in your mind when you sit down and play with friends for a few hours. You’ll be hard pressed to keep a straight face with this as your friend asks you to “Snip” them!

 

Super Mario Odyssey

Available on Nintendo Switch

Developer: Nintendo EPD

Publisher: Nintendo

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Another for us platformer fans. Of course a successor to Super Mario 64 would be great but I had no idea I would be sinking 40 hours of my time, over a few nights, to get 100% in this game. I was unprepared for the variety, the creativity, the sheer joy at even simple actions, in a game that both looks back, and pushes forward. What it has is unique and incredibly solid mechanics and worlds, and only rarely loses focus with the sheer volume of content. This is a game you will come back to in years to come and still find new ways to approach things.

 

Splatoon 2

Available on Nintendo Switch

Developer: Nintendo EPD

Publisher: Nintendo

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Rounding out one of my favourite years in gaming so far is Splatoon 2, a game that manages to pull me back in for an hour or two a week just to mess around with the new content. Fun, colourful, and an improvement over the original, this is my multiplayer game of the year and for good reason: It’s simply fun. Not only does it capture the perfect “One More Round” mentality, but it keeps itself fresh week after week, and the sheer abundance of modes means every time you play, you’ll catch yourself trying something new. This takes an already unique concept one step further by simply giving you more bang for your buck.

 

 

Those are just 10 of my favourite games from this year. Of course I intentionally left out re-releases like Mario Kart and Mega Man, but some genuinely amazing games were also up for consideration.

I’m very glad to have had an amazing year in gaming with both big and small companies providing the good stuff in a multitude of genres and it’s a shame I can’t play them all. I have an ever-growing wish list of 2017 games I still want to pick up and play!

Yes there are the usual suspects, but one can’t forget this year for me has been a year of unexpected gems, and indie developers absolutely bringing their A game.

As always if you enjoyed this or have any other games you personally loved this year, please let us know on social media and give this article a share, and I will see you next time. Until then, Happy Gaming!

 

 

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