GAMBIT Game of the Year Winners - 2017 Edition
We've collected the ballots and after a few recounts and heated arguments, our 'Best Games of 2017' list is finally here!
#10 - Injustice 2
Injustice 2 surprised us on a number of levels. Not only is this a solid fighting game, but it builds upon the original so much that the series is no longer what we considered a test-bed for future MK games, but an equal to rival it.
The diverse roster of characters means that there is someone here for everything to get behind and enjoy. The new costume system is also fantastic and gives players a great reason to keep coming back for more.
But most of all, and something that nearly every other fighting games ignores, is the great comic book inspired story. The story mode is fun to see play out, which is really nice for players that aren't keen on the equally great online experience. The game also has a phenomenal comic book tie-in series that is a must read for fans.
#9 - Sonic Mania
The term "what's old is new again" could easily be attached to 2017, and Sonic Mania was probably the best example of it. After years of terrible 3D Sonic games, Sega let this little pet project, created by a very small team, become reality.
For years gamers have been saying that the 2D was the only way Sonic could really work. With the release of Sonic Mania, those voices seemed to have been proved right! Everything people loved about the 2D series is here and stronger than ever.
Soinc is faster than ever, has more charm than ever, and features some of the best platforming gameplay that 2D can afford. A core 3D Soinc title also released this year, so it says a lot that when this little passion project makes our list and that one doesn't.
#8 - Stardew Valley
2017 really showed us that very small teams, a single person in this instance, can produce some truly amazing works that rival those of studios with hundreds of people. Stardew Valley is the passion project of just a single person and offers more content that most AAA games.
Stardew Valley is essentially a pixelated farming sim along the line of the classic Harverst Moon games, only taken to the next logical level. It's the sort of game that will easily steal hours of your day without you even realizing it.
You could happily be playing Stardew Valley for the next several years, toiling and living in this gorgeous world. Add in the fact that a multi-player mode is on the way and Stardew Valley has an insane amount of lasting appeal.
#7 - Horizon Zero Dawn
When we first saw Horizon Zero Dawn behind closed doors at E3 some years back, the team looked at each other after the presentation and noted that the game was going to be something special. And after the game dropped, we were proven correct.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a fantastic open-world experience, but it's the world that it lets you play in that is the true star here. The design of the world is a joy to play in, all the while giving players a surprisingly deep story that connected on many fronts.
You also really can't go wrong with the idea of fighting robot dinosaurs, because, well, robot dinosaurs are about as cool as it gets. It's all even more impressive when you realize that Horizon Zero Dawn is the first stab at the open-world genre for Guerrilla Games.
#6 - Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7 released in January of 2017, a time notorious for studios quietly dropping bad titles on the world. But Resident Evil 7 was anything but bad, in fact, it was a fantastic game that is still as strong a year after its initial release.
The Resident Evil series was running on fumes, and many saw Resident Evil 7 as the last gasp for the series. But Capcom surprised everything by crafting a true horror experience that helped revitalize not only the RE series, but the entire horror genre.
Resident Evil 7 brought the scares and backed it up with a solid story and strong gameplay. It also managed to work in VR, something that can't be said for most titles in 2017 that tacked on VR support.
#5 - Cuphead
Cuphead is a game we've seen at E3 for a few years now, and a game that had a lot of hype to live up too. Thankfully, the game exceeded all expectations and also managed to give the Xbox One a much-needed exclusive.
The the vintage, cartoon inspired visuals might be based on art from nearly 100 years ago, but they were some of the freshest in 2017. Beautiful simply isn't a good enough word to describe Cuphead.
Thankfully, the game was also as solid on the gameplay front as it was on the visual one. Cuphead, more or less, breaks down down into a series of boss rushes, but each is unique and requires the player to work for a victory, something many modern game forget or are afraid to do.
#4 - Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is a love letter to the series, just as much as it pushes that series forward. Where other games try and weave deep and though-provoking stores, Super Mario Odyssey has a very old-school approach; putting the fun first.
2017 featured a plethora of fantastic games, but when you ask people what game they had the most fun with, chances are they will say Super Mario Odyssey. It's hard to place a controller in front of someone and not find them reverting to their childlike selves playing this one.
It's fair to say that Nintendo had a fantastic year, and Super Mario Odyssey is the perfect feather in the cap to a stunning seconding coming for a company not afraid to take risks.
#3 - Persona 5
The Persona series has been around for quite some time, but not until Persona 5 did the series really explode in the West. Persona 5 is hands down the most stylish game on this list, but more than that, it's the best JRPG experience 2017 had to offer.
Persona 5 tells a much deeper story than one would expect from its veneer of anime cool. Where Final Fantasy is content to play it safe, the Persona series loves to push the medium to its limits.
The best way to describe Persona 5 is how one describes a great book. Persona 5 immerses you into its story and makes it very hard for you to put down the controller.
#2 - Divinity: Original Sin 2
The original Divinity: Original Sin still stands as one of the best reviewed titles on this website. So it's much-anticipated sequel, Divinity: Original Sin 2 had huge shoes to fill. And does it ever fill them!
This more traditional RPG is simply massive on all accounts. The combat is deeper, and more satisfying than ever, the world is more alive than ever, and the characters and story connect in some really profound ways.
Imagine a game that you can spend a dozen hours exploring and adventuring in, only to find out you haven't even left the games opening area. This is simply a massive game that will last you for years to come. Oh, and the whole experience can be played co-op with up to four players!
#1 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It's hard to see a best games of the year list not feature a console Zelda title the year it released. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is no different as it's a fantastic game that both critics and gamers can agree on in most respects.
Nintendo knocked this iteration of the series out of the park not just because it was a Zelda title (rememebr that Skyward Sword was an unfinished mess), but because they took a number of risks in terms of the franchise.
We are hard-pressed to find another game from 2017 that had so many "wow" moments than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's a charming experience that turns the genre on its head, and show that Nintendo has more than a little life left this console generation.