Instead of creating a giant list of the best games of the year, resulting in fighting and tears, SideQuesting opts instead to let our esteemed Editors share their favorite 5 or so of the year. These are generally new games, but remakes (and heck, even old games if they get updates) are viable to be included.
Sam let’s us in on what he felt was the best gaming of 2017!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
Breath of the Wild is easily my favorite game of this year, if not my favorite game of all time. An open world that defines the idea of seeing something and going to it. Abilities and items that give the player a level of efficacy on the world around them that no other game provides. A world filled with interesting characters that have roles and a sense of identity within their communities. Music and sound design create perfect micro atmospheres, always ready to convert a tranquil walk in the woods to a desperate climb up a mountain in a thunderstorm. Approachable but deep combat options make just about any strategy viable, giving players the chance to experiment and build their own style. And that is maybe Breath of the Wild’s defining characteristic: player choice. Only around five tasks are required of a player to finish the game. It’s up to them to explore and discover the world and any sort of side tasks they may want to engage in. It never holds your hand, but it may provide you with an item or a piece of dialogue that gives you a glimpse of something greater for you to do, if only you’re willing to take some time and explore it for a moment.
It cannot not be understated that Breath of the Wild is also the perfect talking piece for the Switch. I have shown the game off to numerous people interested in the system and what it can do. It’s still amazing to see people’s reactions when they are playing the game on the tv, pulling the Switch out of the dock, and handing it to them to continue their exploration in tablet mode. Talking with people discovering the game even after I’ve put over 100 hours into it myself is almost as good as playing it. Sharing stories and advice on how best to tackle a shrine or combat a bigger baddie is always rewarding because no matter your approach it is never 100% the same way someone else did it. Even watching all the gifs of people doing insane things in the game online makes me want to jump back into the game and try those things for myself. It’s almost like being back in middle school, playing the same game as all of your friends and sharing all of the crazy things they have done or seen in the game, except some of those friends are online now and all of those crazy things are actually in the game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most heartwarming thing I’ve gotten a chance to interact with in a long time and I won’t soon forget the times I’ve spent and will continue to spend playing it.
Super Mario Odyssey
I hate nostalgia, but Odyssey is an example of how you can weaponize it. Remember all those Mario games from childhood? Well pick up the controller and play Odyssey exactly like them. Most of the enemies are familiar, but now you can capture them, giving players a chance to control them and see what it’s like for them to move in Mario’s world. Music and sound design help make each of the different worlds stand out from one another, making the game feel like a world trekking vacation. Speaking of vacation, you can take it with you on your own vacations, and share its magic with everyone you meet. Below is a look at a few of the photos I took on my Super Mario Odyssey vacation.
Although I’m relatively new to the series, Persona has quickly become one of the most important franchises to me. It’s been an important factor in my relationship with my partner, givings us hours of enjoyment together while playing and talking about the different characters and relationships in the game. Persona 5 was no different for us, but this time the game’s aesthetic drew us in like never before. The jazz/punk style is carried through just about everything, even down to how different UI elements transition into one another. The music is top notch and adds to the dire, but youthful tone of the whole thing. Seriously, the soundtrack might be in my top three albums of the year. Pair this with deep combat that gives players options other than just killing everything that makes even easy fights a balance between fighting for XP, resources, or to add the monster to your ever growing list of powers. The story might leave a bit to be desired, but the characters within it are some of the best in the series. Erron, Tom and I enjoyed the game so much that instead of one of us writing a review, we sat down for over an hour to talk about it on a podcast.
In a year filled with good movement mechanics, Snake Pass still stands out. Slithering and climbing is not the easiest, but once you have an understanding of it, you’re rewarded with the ability to blaze your own trail through every level. Play as a snake, move like a snake and feel like a snake without having to swallow a mouse whole. It’s hard to describe how good it is to move around without feeling it for yourself, but hopefully the video below can help you understand. For those that can master being a snake, there is plenty of challenge and depth in finding all the collectibles. It might not be on a lot of GOTY lists, but Snake Pass slithered its way into my cold heart this year and I hope I can help it coil around others too. You can check out my review for Snake Pass, where I go into more detail on what made it so great.
Of all the things on this list, Destiny 2 is the only one that I have negative feelings towards. You need time, a fireteam, five other friends (or at least people you won’t want to kill after numerous hours) and an incredible amount of patience if you are going to get the most out of what the game has to offer. If you do have access to all these things, Destiny’s endgame is incredible content. As with the first game, Destiny 2 is struggling to be this massive live game with the limited amount of experiences it has to offer. The chase to the end is still a great shooter experience, and if you have the numbers for the raid you won’t be able to find anything else like it in a shooter. But once you’ve done it once, you might be looking to move on to something else. With that said, completing tasks in the game while talking to friends and friends of friends in chat is the most fun I’ve had online in gaming this year.
3 of the 5 games above are on the system
Has great Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2
Has great exclusive indie games like Battle Chef Brigade and Golf Story
Great updated games like Stardew Valley and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth +
Great local co-op games Like Lovers In a Dangerous Spacetime and Snipperclips
All of it can be taken with you
Great way to introduce and reintroduce people to gaming
GAMES I ENJOYED THIS YEAR BUT HAVEN’T PUT ENOUGH TIME INTO