Top 10 Games of 2017

2017 was a strange year in gaming for me. It was one of the industry’s strongest years, up there with the likes of 1998, 2004 and 2007. Nintendo dominated both halves of the year with the stellar success of the Switch and powerhouse releases in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. While I haven’t played them myself, the amount of buzz surrounding Nier: Automata, Horizon Zero Dawn and indie darlings like Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch demonstrate that 2017 is one of the most prestigious, well-rounded years in gaming, with both AAA and indie studios releasing amazing titles.

I spent a lot of this year continuing different challenge runs of different games. FOXHOUND/no tranquilizer runs continues to be the best way to play Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. I recently restarted Breath of the Wild with a few self-imposed rules like no food and no fast travel. These runs breathe fresh air into old games and reveal truths about their design. I’m still amazed there are as many missions in MGSV that can be accomplished under No Traces.

Swing dancing, which I started in March, consumed most of my year. Writing poetry and reading has also crept back into my free time. Both are welcome, but it did impact my gaming. That said, I somehow managed to play 11 games for the first time this year. It gives me just enough to do my yearly list. Here are the rules.

  1. In the case of a non-multiplayer-only game, I must have played its single player experience to completion. This does not require a 100% of all that the game has to offer. Instead, a completion of its main quest, story or campaign will suffice.
  2. In the case of a multiplayer game, I must describe how I played it. Whether cooperative or competitive multiplayer, I will detail whether I played with friends, matchmaking, or online or local multiplayer.
  3. I must have accomplished the above rules in 2017. The games on this list are not all 2017 releases. It is a list of what I played this year.

Rule 1 disqualifies some games I began this year like Stardew Valley. As always, spoiler warning for below. I don’t know if there will be spoilers. But tread carefully.

Continue reading Top 10 Games of 2017

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Top 10 Games of 2016

It’s that time of year again. The following list compiles some of my favorite games that I played this year. They are not all 2016 releases. Like last year, here are the rules that I adhered to when organizing the games.

  1. In the case of a non-multiplayer-only game, I must have played its single player experience to completion. This does not require a 100% of all that the game has to offer. Instead, a completion of its main quest, story or campaign will suffice.
  2. In the case of a multiplayer game, I must describe how I played it. Whether cooperative or competitive multiplayer, I will detail whether I played with friends, matchmaking, or online or local multiplayer.
  3. I must have accomplished the above rules in 2016. The games on this list are not all 2016 releases. It is a list of what I played this year.

The 2016 list is missing older classics that made up a significant portion of last year’s list. That’s not because I didn’t play many older games. Far from it. Most of the games that make up this list are contemporary releases or those from recent memory. They were strong enough to distract me from the classics I meant to play and out-charm some of those that I did. 

I also included a couple of the categories from The Steam Awards for fun and I didn’t notice any spoilers below.

Let’s get to it.

Continue reading Top 10 Games of 2016