Player.One's 2017 Games Of The Year

The five best games we played all year
Game of the Year 2017
2017 was a great year for games -- here are our picks for the very best. Player.One

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn doesn’t redefine open-world RPGs but it absolutely raises the bar for future additions to the genre. Few projects successfully weave all of their disparate parts together into something both unique and interesting. Guerilla managed to do both in its first non-FPS release while simultaneously incorporating many of those (still optional) parts into the core story. Those who don't enjoy open-world games, and/or who prefer bite-sized versions like Far Cry: Blood Dragon, might still find HZD a bit overwhelming or grindy. But if you’ve ever had a taste for open-world RPGs, Horizon Zero Dawn is an easy recommendation.

Horizon Zero Dawn- Face Paint
Horizon Zero Dawn Photo: Sony

Super Mario Odyssey

It’s amazing how Nintendo changes the 3D Mario formula every time, and Super Mario Odyssey is no exception. Super Mario Odyssey brings the classic open-world platforming Nintendo perfected with titles like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Sunshine, but adds new elements that make it fresh and fun.

Cappy’s introduction and how Mario uses him to possess various objects and enemies is a game all its own, and the various worlds are beautiful and memorable.

The music, the atmosphere, the controls, everything about Super Mario Odyssey is a blast to play and is oh so charming. While the main story isn’t the longest (or deepest) it’s still enjoyable and the search for Power Moons, outfits and all the secrets hidden away in every world really makes Super Mario Odyssey stand out from other titles in 2017.

Anyone can pick up Odyssey, and there’s even a co-op mode that allows one player to control Mario and the other to control Cappy, which opens up a whole new way to play (along with plenty of co-op mischief).

Super Mario Odyssey is the most enjoyable experience on the Switch. From its simplistic controls to its deep and beautiful worlds, it’s a must-own.

cappy super mario odyssey
Cappy and Mario are inseparable in Odyssey. Photo: Nintendo


Persona 5

You’ve probably heard it already -- Persona 5 is an impeccably stylish RPG with a great story and an infectious soundtrack, set in modern-day Tokyo.  Expect to spend 100+ hours to beat the game. Then expect an overwhelming urge to jump back in immediately to catch everything you missed the first time around. There’s an enormous amount of depth and detail to savor in the game’s elaborate environments and intricately drawn characters.

Despite its formidable length, every aspect of P5 is expertly paced and balanced, a key part of why it’s so fun to play -- and keep playing. It’s up to you how to balance the game’s dungeon-crawling and social sim aspects: you can dip in and out of dungeons, or push to clear the whole thing in one trip, maximizing your time to hang out with friends (and seduce all the ladies). Turn-based combat feels snappy and fun, never a chore or a grind, even after exploring a Palace for hours. Yet fighting is just tough enough to demand consistent attention and a strategic eye.

Come for P5’s slick good looks and addictive gameplay; stay for its endearing characters and unparalleled worldbuilding.

persona 5 combat early game
A battle in early on in 'Persona 5.' Photo: Atlus

Nier Automata

Nier Automata is the only game I’ve ever “beaten” and played again. I’m the sort of player that rushes through the main story and skips side quests and dialogue. I quickly learned that wasn’t an option in Nier. A gorgeous soundtrack, visuals and character design made me want to keep playing. As 9S and 2B, the blindfolded main character duo, learned about the androids, aliens and human-caused craziness that spawned their world, I followed along for the ride.

If you’ve ever wanted a less convoluted version of Kingdom Hearts that keeps the pulse-pounding gameplay, you have to play Nier. Having a floating turret gun by your side makes each battle a choice: do you go for the all-out kamikaze of blades, or do you lead the bulbous bots around with your emotionless buddy? All the choices are yours, and in a world where developers constantly push loot extravaganzas for us to spend even more money on, it’s nice to play an awesome single-player game.  

NieR: Automata - 2B
NieR: Automata Photo: Photo: Square Enix

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

If 2017 is the Year of The Switch, it’s largely due to Nintendo’s stellar launch title. BotW represented a bold new direction for the franchise, while simultaneously delivering the atmosphere and emotional tone fans have come to expect. Link is still cute and mute, Princess Zelda still the key to some sort of mystical power and Ganon is big and bad as ever.

But for the first time in the series' history, the world felt larger and more important than the story. Environments were more lethal than enemies (Lyonels excluded) and the seemingly endless amount of puzzle-centric temples provided the perfect break from the blistering wanderlust fueling much of the gameplay. To call it Skyrim+Zelda doesn’t do it justice, as the game manages to be deep without bogging you down with details. There aren’t hundreds and hundreds of pointless fetch quests awaiting you at every turn. Just the horizon, and the promise of discovering new things along your journey.

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The Champion's Tunic is one of the better pieces of clothing in 'Breath of the Wild' Photo: Nintendo
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