Tin’s Top Ten Games of 2017

Editor’s Note: This was originally posted on my Tumblr in 2017. I’m reposting it here so that it’s in the same place as my other Top Ten lists.

My Game Of The Year Top 10 List Thing, I Guess

Is this what you’re supposed to use Tumblr for? I have no idea. Anyways, here’s My Game Of The Year Top 10 List Thing, I Guess!

This list only includes games I’ve actually played that came out in 2017. I haven’t played all of the big-name games that came out this year, so here’s a list of every new game I played this year that isn’t objectively shovelware:

  • Android: Fire Emblem Heroes, OK Golf, Monogolf, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
  • Nintendo Switch: Fast RMX, Infinite Minigolf, Kamiko, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Namco Museum, Picross S, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Snipperclips, Sonic Mania, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Ping Pong Trick Shot, Vroom in the Night Sky
  • PC: 100ft Robot Golf, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, Golf It!, Guts and Glory, Jackbox Party Pack 4, Pictopix, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, Project Cars 2, Tacopocalypse
  • Xbox One: Forza Motorsport 7

I bought a few more decent games that came out this year, but I haven’t gotten around to playing them yet, so they’re not included in the above list. I also bought a lot of old games and shovelware this year; you can check out my Backloggery here for proof. Anyway, here’s the list:

#10: 100ft Robot Golf

One of the best concepts for a game ever made. The game itself is pretty good, too. I might personally prefer the live-action cutscenes from No Goblin’s previous game Roundabout, but the anime cutscenes are also cool. My favorite mode is the one where you control four robots at the same time, trying to hit four golf balls into the same hole in a given time limit. I also really like the mech that’s controlled by five dogs, they’re good dogs.

Technically this game first came out last year, but it didn’t come to the PC until February of this year, which is when I was first able to play it.

#9: Sonic Mania

I have a couple of controversial opinions related to the Sonic series. I think that Sonic Adventure 1 is the best 3D Sonic game ever made, and I also think that Sonic Generations isn’t any better than Sonic 06. But I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Sonic Mania is a great game. The first playthrough is kind of annoying because you can’t go back and do old zones again until you beat the game. Also, you go back to the beginning of the zone, not the level, when you get a game over. And most of the deaths I had felt cheap in one way or another. But it was fun! Unlike almost every other Sonic game ever made, all of the stages are designed with going fast in mind, even the final few stages. There are definitely slow-paced platforming segments, but there aren’t very many instances where trying to go fast will hurt or kill you, so you can hold right and enjoy the great graphics and scenery flying by. I also really enjoyed the new-to-Mania zones, more than the old zones, in fact. The music in these zones in particular is fantastic, although it’s great in pretty much every level in the game.

#8: Picross S

It’s Picross, on the Switch! What more could you want? Well, a few more puzzles would be nice. There are 150 puzzles, but none of them are larger than 20x15 pixels, so I got through all of them fairly quickly. There’s also a Mega Picross mode, which is the same 150 puzzles, but sometimes the numbers of two adjacent rows or columns are combined. It’s kind of dumb. I also wish you could draw pixels on the touch screen, but the pixels do get pretty small in the bigger puzzles. Hopefully we’ll see a Picross S2, Picross S3, Picross S4, Picross S5, Picross S6, etc. in the coming months and years.

#7: Forza Motorsport 7

I have a LOT of complaints about this game.

The single player campaign sucks. I haven’t played a mainline Forza Motorsport game since 4, as I didn’t get an Xbox One until recently. Therefore, I don’t know what the campaigns were like in 5 and 6, but apparently 7 was supposed to make the campaign races feel like an actual racing series, with more realistic points distributions and all that. Great in theory, but the execution is terrible. In real racing, even the best drivers lose more than half of their races. In order to beat a series in Forza 7, you have to win every race in the series. Forza Horizon 3 did it right by not requiring you to win every race; you could finish last in every race in a championship, and you’d still beat the championship. Credits rewards are tied to the difficulty of the AI, so you want to turn it up to get more money, but then you’re more likely to lose races, which makes you want to turn the difficulty down or compensate by using a bunch of assists, like the stupid one that makes you drive as fast on the grass as on the road. There’s also no qualifying, so everybody starts in the same position every race, and the AI tends to finish in the same position every race as well. You also have to finish every race in a series before moving to the next series, which is annoying. So basically, every mechanic in single player is designed against having fun. Great!

Then there’s the progression. It’s slow, to say the least. There was controversy surrounding the VIP credits bonus, as it initially only gave you a few temporary cards that doubled your credits. However, it was updated to double your credits after every race, so that’s good. It still feels like you don’t gain credits fast enough to be able to buy and upgrade as many cars as you want, and that’s after I abused a glitch that allowed you to get infinite rewards (which has since been patched).

The game is also crash-prone, to the point of being almost unplayable on PC. The PC version has a memory leak which crashes the game after a few minutes if you look at your garage or upgrade your car. The Xbox version is more stable, but it’s still crashed a couple of times for me.

You’d think all of these criticisms would push the game off the top ten, right? But here’s the thing: multiplayer is super fun. Sure, it takes about ten minutes to get into your first race, because you always end up in a lobby where the race has just started. And sure, half the races end up in disaster because the guy behind you crashed into you at full speed at the first corner, but when you get near the front of the pack and have a good race with some other drivers, it’s a blast. I tried ghost racing for the first time the other day, and it led to surprisingly close and fun racing.

So yeah, Forza 7 is a pretty fun game, as long as you only play multiplayer.

#6: Monogolf

Decent mobile games are hard to come by these days. For a while, my go-to phone game was True Skate, but then it stopped working on my phone. Thanks, Huawei! Before that, I played Desert Golfing, but it got a bit boring after 3,000 holes. I saw Monogolf in the Google Play Store recently, thought it looked cool, and downloaded it. Now it’s my new go-to game.

Like many phone-based golf games (believe me, I’ve played a lot), you simply drag on the screen to point where you want the ball to go, and how fast it should go. The catch is that you have to get a hole-in-one on each hole. If you don’t, you lose a life. Beat as many holes as possible until you run out of lives. It’s super fun to try and beat your record, and you often do, as you’re constantly unlocking new lives. You also unlock extra level packs for reaching certain milestones.

The game’s art style is also really cool. A lot of mobile games go for the modern look, but it ends up looking cheap. Monogolf’s graphics don’t, helped by the variety of vivid colors and textures on the holes.

As far as in-app purchases are concerned, you can pay about $4.50 to unlock everything, including all of the pieces for course creation and the maximum number of lives, but everything can also be unlocked through normal playing.

I said a lot about Monogolf. The top five games are all Switch games, that wasn’t intentional, sorry.

#5: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Tin, why is this game not number one?

Because I liked the four games above this one better. That’s not to say Breath of the Wild isn’t a great game, because it is. And it deserves the overwhelming praise it’s gotten, too. I’ve just never been a huge fan of RPG or adventure games. Having never played more than a few hours of a Zelda game before, I expected to only play the game for a few hours just because using the Switch was a novelty at the time. However, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. Running around the vast open world is fun, as are the shrines. Somehow, I managed to defeat a Divine Beast before finding a single korok seed, so now there’s a korok seed permanently in the middle of my Divine Beast orbs in my inventory. I really need to go back and beat the two Divine Beasts I didn’t get so I can try out the DLC, because that skeleton bike looks super cool.

#4: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

So this is just an updated version of Mario Kart 8, which came out three years ago. Some might say that makes it ineligible for 2017 awards, but I don’t care.

Deluxe adds several new gameplay mechanics, new characters and karts, and an updated Battle Mode. The addition of a second item box makes for an even more hectic experience than Not_Deluxe, and also adds a bit of an extra layer of strategy. Should you go for the double item box, or will someone else snatch it up, leaving you with no items? The triple boost is also nice. Deluxe adds the Inklings from Splatoon as playable characters, which automatically makes the game twice as good (this is a scientifically provable fact). The Battle Mode is also really good, although I haven’t played it that much, because regular racing is so great. Given how all of this was added on to an already-great game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is probably the best game in the series, and arguably the best racing game this generation (the other major contender being Forza Horizon 3).

#3: Puyo Puyo Tetris

Yes, I know this came out years ago. I imported a Vita copy back in 2015 for my PSTV that I never use. However, I’m including it in this list because it didn’t receive an English release until this year, which means that I can actually read the menus and story.

It turns out that combining two of the best puzzle games ever made creates another great puzzle game. Who would have thought? The story mode is great fun, and the story itself is surprisingly enjoyable, particularly the part where Schezo makes a bunch of innuendos. As far as the main modes go, Swap mode is objectively the best mode, as both players play both Puyo Puyo and Tetris, and do so on an even playing field. Versus mode is the next best, particularly when both players are playing the same game. Puyo vs. Tetris matches can be a bit lopsided, due to the two games having different garbage rules. Big Bang mode is alright too, particularly the Puyo version. You should avoid the Party and Fusion modes though, they’re bad.

Playing online is super fun, although most people play Tetris, unsurprisingly. Playing against someone at a similar skill level results in super tense and exciting matches, often with both players scrambling to clear enough garbage to be able to make a decent combo again. Lopsided matches do happen pretty often, though. Fortunately, you can disable matches in modes you don’t like, even in ranked mode. I usually just play Swap and Versus, although I’ll sometimes play Big Bang as well.

#2: Super Mario Odyssey

While a lot of games recently have focused on huge, expansive worlds, with various places to do things, Odyssey instead has relatively small levels with things to do EVERYWHERE. There are essentially as many moons in this game as there are korok seeds in Breath of the Wild, which means that moons are probably 50 feet apart from each other on average. There’s always something new to do that won’t take more than a couple of minutes when you go back to a particular level (unless you’ve gotten all the moons on that level, of course, but even then you might have to go back for a thing or two…). Some people have said that it feels like busy work to get all of the moons, and it is to some extent, but I found it wasn’t that difficult to get most of, if not all the moons in a level in a few-hour session or two.

New Donk City is one of my favorite levels in any video game, ever. The music, atmosphere, and level design are all so fantastic that I had fun for hours just messing around, jumping through the city and up to the top of buildings. It’s definitely the standout level of the game IMO.

Mario has probably the best movement I’ve ever felt in any video game. There are so many different things he can do that I feel like I still haven’t learned all of his abilities, even though I’ve 100%ed the game. The jump -> throw cap -> dive to cap -> jump off cap -> throw cap again -> dive to cap again mechanic is super fun to perform, and not as complicated as it sounds. It takes a couple of tries to get used to, but it’s very intuitive once you get used to it.

The capture ability is also amazing. It surprisingly doesn’t feel gimmicky at all, as each of the objects you can capture let you do the things you’d want to do in a given level. Cheep-Cheeps can let you swim more quickly, Goombas let you walk on ice without slipping around, posts let you spring up the sides of buildings, and so on. My favorite object to capture is probably the pokey thing in Bowser’s Castle that I don’t remember the name of that lets you snap to and spring up walls, although it’s also one of the more finnicky objects to use.

Overall, SMO is probably the best platformer I’ve ever played, and I thoroughly enjoyed 100 percenting it. It would be my game of the year, except I happened to like one game even more. Can you guess what it is?

#1: Splatoon 2

You probably guessed what it was.

Splatoon 2 is the only game from this year that I played for more than 100 hours. For comparison, I played one game for more than 100 hours in 2016, Forza Horizon 3, and three games for more than 100 hours in 2015: Super Mario Maker, Rocket League, and Splatoon. Super Mario Maker and Rocket League are probably two of my top ten games of all time, and Forza Horizon 3 isn’t far behind. Splatoon would also be one of my top ten favorite games, if it wasn’t for the fact that Splatoon 2 is objectively so much better.

If you’ve never played Splatoon, the goal is basically to paint the floor with more ink than the other team (also you should play it right now). It sounds silly, but it’s super fun. The ranked modes are also great, and your rank is now broken up per mode, instead of all the modes contributing to the same rank. That’s great, because now you don’t have to only play one ranked mode if you’re better at that mode than the others.

There are a bunch of new gear items, some of which are really cool. I really like the tye-dye shirt, and also the jungle hat that everyone hates. You can also wear a plant if you really want to. I need to make it as clear as possible that the visual aesthetic of this game just oozes with coolness. It’s probably the coolest game I’ve ever played.

There are several new weapon types, too. The Splat Dualies are neat because you can dash twice while firing, making yourself a difficult target. The Splat Brella gives you a shield, but it isn’t very useful in practice IMO.

The new stages feel a lot more open than the stages in Splatoon 1. Humpback Pump Track has an incredible name and is a great smaller level, while Mako Mart has a more open feel, and the supermarket design is fantastic. It’s definitely my favorite level in the series. Most of my favorite stages from Splatoon 1 have made also their way to the sequel, including Port Mackerel, Kelp Dome, Walleye Warehouse, and Moray Towers (yes, I like that map).

Splatoon 2’s single player campaign is similar to the first game’s, with the added twist that you have to use various different weapons throughout the missions, instead of just the Splattershot. This adds a lot of replay value, as you now have to beat each level with each different weapon to 100 percent (or 1000 percent) the campaign. I’m about halfway through doing this, and I intend on finishing it eventually.

Salmon Run is new to Splatoon 2, and it’s a great new mode. You have waves of hordes of enemies that want to murder you, and you have to murder them first. There are probably much better explanations of the mode available. It also makes you try out new weapons, as the weapon you use is randomly assigned at the start of each wave from a set of four weapons. My main complaint with this mode is that I wish there were more rotations with completely random weapons, as a lot of the rotations with preset weapons tend to have a lot of weapons with low firing rates, which makes the mode more difficult and arguably less fun. Also, you can only play the mode on certain days, which is kind of silly.

Splatoon 2 is one of those games that’s greater than the sum of its parts. On paper, it sounds cool, but not as amazing as it really is. I almost didn’t buy the first Splatoon, which is something I have a hard time believing now (the same thing is true for Rocket League). It’s hard to put into words why, but the finished product, with all the great gameplay mechanics and super cool style blended together, is simply amazing. It’s more fun and cool than any other game I’ve played this year, so it’s an easy choice for my Game of the Year.

Hooray!

Honorable Mentions

These are games that would probably be on the list if I had a PS4 so I could play them:

  • Everybody’s Golf: I like golf games, as you might have noticed by the number of golf games I’ve played this year. This is a golf game, therefore I should like it.
  • Gran Turismo Sport: Gran Turismo is one of my favorite series of all time. A lot of people haven’t liked the more serious mode of racing that Sport offers, but I think it’ll be right up my alley. The livery editor also looks super cool.
  • Wipeout Omega Collection: I really liked Wipeout HD, and this is basically that, but with an even higher definition! Also, it has the tracks from Wipeout 2048 which I haven’t seen before.

These games almost made the Top Ten, but didn’t:

  • Jackbox Party Pack 4: It’s fun, but JPP3 is better IMO. Don’t worry, I’ll still be streaming more Jackbox in the future.
  • PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS: I haven’t played this game much because it gives me anxiety when I play it. I really don’t like loud noises, so hearing a random gunshot after 20 minutes of silence startles me a lot. It’s also kind of slow-paced. I do like the concept more, so I’ll probably play it again soon, maybe with some music in the background.

Come back next year for my 2018 list, which will probably be the post after this one, given how little I use Tumblr!

I made Taco Tom 2, out now on Steam! I also stream weird/obscure/bad games on Twitch. http://tin.zone

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