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Game of the Year 2017: Jordan's Picks


Jordan Haygood

2017 has been quite the year for us gamers.

 

Not only did Nintendo release the insanely successful Switch, but there have been a lot of quality games released as well, on Switch and just about anything that plays games. Even mobile devices have seen a few really fun games.

 

But with so many quality titles coming out left and right, it was actually pretty overwhelming, and I simply couldn’t keep up.

 

So, since there are still plenty of games I haven’t gotten around to playing yet, I’ve decided to make a less traditional Game of the Year list. Sort of like an award show, if you will.

 

Anyway, enough stalling. Let’s get to it already…

 

 

 

Most Addicting Mobile Game

 

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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

 

I normally don’t put mobile games on my Game of the Year lists, but Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp felt deserving of that honor. It’s a simple mobile game, yet it has the same level of quality you would find in an official game released on Nintendo’s own consoles.

 

And just like when Animal Crossing: New Leaf was first released, I just… can't seem to go a day without playing it at least a little…

 

 

 

 

Best Spiritual Successor to Banjo-Kazooie

 

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Yooka-Laylee

 

I’ve been a huge fan of the Banjo-Kazooie games since the day I played the original for the first time. So, when I heard that several members of the original team got together to create a sort of spiritual successor to the series (since, you know, new Rare doesn’t really seem to care much for the IP), you better believe I was excited.

 

And I gotta say, Yooka-Laylee is pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be.

 

I mean, it does have its fair share of flaws, but it’s still a really fun platformer for fans of the Banjo-Kazooie series (well, the first two, anyway), and it definitely satisfied my itch. Of course, Grant Kirkhope’s amazing soundtrack certainly helps. I still have a bit of an itch, though, so hopefully, Playtonic announces Tooka-Laylee soon enough…

 

 

 

 

Best RPG I Still Need to Beat

 

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2

 

I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. I may not have beaten Xenoblade Chronicles 2 yet, but I’ve definitely played enough to think it’s a really damn good game. Which is awesome, because the original was my favorite game of 2012 and it’s cool to see that the numbered sequel (Xenoblade Chronicles X was more of a spinoff, I guess) is also top-notch.

 

It’s a great RPG with a beautiful world, an engrossing story, and an amazing soundtrack.

 

Really, what more could you want?

 

 

 

 

Most Terrifying Game I've Played All Year

 

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Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (VR)

 

Oh man, this game. After all the complaints about the Resident Evil series seemingly forgetting its horror roots in favor of more cinematic gameplay, Capcom did an amazing job giving us an entry that was scary.

 

And Resident Evil 7 is scary as hell.

 

And not only is it a terrifying game in its own right; when you don the PlayStation VR headset? I lost count of how many heart attacks I had during my playthrough…

 

 

 

 

Most Splatastic Shooter

 

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Splatoon 2

 

If you’ve played the first Splatoon, you’ll pretty much know what to expect from Splatoon 2. Not that that’s a bad thing by any means.

 

The original Splatoon is an amazing game, and Splatoon 2 is basically a better version with more features and …probably more people playing, or at least soon enough since the Switch is selling like hotcakes (I still don’t know why that’s a saying).

 

So, don’t you even worry if you haven’t played the original; if you have a Switch, get this game. It’s fun.

 

 

 

 

Biggest Nostalgia Overload

 

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Sonic Mania

Click here to read GP's official review

 

It’s crazy how satisfied I was with Sonic Mania.

 

Sonic 3 & Knuckles was always up there for me as one of my favorite games ever, so a game so incredibly similar, with stages not only from that particular game, but from other classic Sonic adventures, and with some original levels to boot, is exactly what I needed in my life.

 

You can read my detailed thoughts in my review, but just know that this game is now up there right alongside Sonic 3 & Knuckles as one of my favorite games ever. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

Game I Didn't Expect to Be So Good

 

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Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

 

Like many people, I didn’t know how to feel when a Mario and Rabbids crossover was leaked. I just never really liked Rabbids. I always thought they were a little too annoying for my taste. But I felt hopeful once I actually saw what kind of game Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was. And when I actually played it for myself, I was way more satisfied than I thought I would be.

 

It’s insanely fun, and it even made me hate Rabbids a lot less.

 

Seriously, it’s fantastic. Of course, Grant Kirkhope’s amazing soundtrack certainly helps. Wait, why do I feel déjà vu…?

 

 

 

 

Best Game You Should Not Let Your Kids Play

 

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South Park: The Fractured but Whole

 

I’ve been a fan of South Park since I was a child, even though I wasn’t supposed to be (so feel free to disregard this entry’s heading). I also enjoyed the games growing up, even though they weren’t exactly top-notch. But man, when South Park: The Stick of Truth came out, I was impressed by how much it seemed like I was playing the show. Not only that, but it was a really great game in general.

 

And now we have a sequel in South Park: The Fractured but Whole (giggle). Which, wouldn’t you know it, is also a really great game. It has a different gameplay style to fit with the superhero theme, which I actually had a lot of fun with, and the humor is just as funny as you would expect.

 

If you like the show, there really isn’t any reason you wouldn’t enjoy this game.

 

 

 

 

Most Fun Globe-Trotting Adventure

 

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Super Mario Odyssey

 

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed just about every Mario game immensely. So, I never feel like I’ll ever be disappointed when a new one comes out. And one thing I love is when a Mario game demolishes my expectations. Super Mario Odyssey is one such game.

 

I knew I’d end up having a lot of fun with it, but once I played the game myself, I was blown away by how good it is.

 

Super Mario Odyssey basically takes everything I love about the series, adds a brand-new mechanic, and gives me one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. Seriously, I can think of so few negative things to say about this game, it’s crazy.

 

 

 

 

Best Game of 2017 (That I've Played)

 

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

 

Of all the games I’ve played this year, you’d think it would have been tough narrowing down which game I felt deserved the honor of my favorite game of 2017. But to be honest, it really wasn’t. I mean, it was kind of hard not choosing Super Mario Odyssey, since I had so much fun with it, but in the end, I just had to go with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

 

As the series’ first foray into the open world realm, Nintendo did an amazing job. Seriously, there were so many times when I meant to go to a specific place but ended up either getting lost or just getting distracted by a cool place I haven’t seen before. Or I’d find a shrine and feel obligated to check it out.

 

Honestly, even though the series changed quite a bit from what we’re used to, I firmly believe that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a perfect example of what it means to be an “adventure game,” and a very fitting evolution of the original The Legend of Zelda adventure.

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