Before you read any further, please make note of the -ish in the title.
I have a woefully large backlog of games I need to work through (I’m sure a lot of you can relate) and this is something I’d started doing in 2017. Consequently, most of the titles that are popping up repeatedly on other people’s GOTY lists are sitting on my shelf – or in my library – complete with cellophane wrapper.
This is largely due to:
5. World of Warcraft – PC
Since 2014 and up until the summer of 2017, I’ve pretty much been exclusively playing World of Warcraft. If you’ve never set foot in Azeroth, it’s hard to imagine the sheer scale of the game and the content that’s available. There is something for everyone; whether you’re into hardcore raiding and taking down the most difficult endgame bosses or just want to level different characters and experience the story (and holy shit, there’s a lot of story), there’s something for everyone.
I used to think paying a subscription to play a game was a ridiculous waste of money. but checking my main character, I have 200 days, 20 hours and 52 minutes (!) played – and that’s not counting the other eight or nine max. level characters I have.
Perhaps World of Warcraft has no business being on a list for top games of 2017, but considering it was released in 2004, I’d say Blizzard is doing something right.
4. AER: Memories of Old – PS4, XB1, PC
This game really surprised me with how much I fell in love with it. The simplicity of the controls (though it did take me a few minutes to get used to the flying) and the stress-free gameplay was a welcome distraction.
I like fast-paced, action games as much as the next person but there’s something about this sort of game that I really enjoy. Similar in it’s feel to Thatgamecompany’s Journey and Flower, it removes all pressure and just lets you enjoy the story without fear of being jumped on or shot at by an enemy.
It’s a fairly easy platinum too!
3. Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age – PS4
Speaking of platinums – hello Final Fantasy 12!
I loved this game when it was first released back in 2006. Well no, that’s a lie. I hated the first 10 or so hours because “oh my god what have you done to the combat system and what the hell is this gambit bollocks?!” but as soon as I got over the initial teething problems, FF12’s combat system became my favourite in the entire series. So it was with a huge amount of excitement that I preordered The Zodiac Age.
Any concerns about the Zodiac Job System soon proved to be unfounded and I felt it was a welcome addition to an already fine game. The improved graphics and updated soundtrack made me fall in love with the title all over again and the addition of trophies gave me my second platinum of the year.
2. Final Fantasy 15 – PS4, XB1, PC
For some reason – considering my love of the Final Fantasy franchise – I wasn’t in a huge hurry to rush out and buy Final Fantasy 15. As a result, I got it for Christmas in 2016 so I jumped straight on it in the new year.
As you may have picked up from the previous title on this list, I’m quite finicky when it comes to combat systems and while Final Fantasy 15’s felt really strange for the first few hours, I persevered and ended up enjoying it.
I loved the settings and the quests and the inclusion of the soundtracks from the previous FFs that you could pick up and listen to while cruising around in your car. The story was really enjoyable, though some of the finer points aren’t handed to you like they are in previous titles. Still, the humour was spot-on and I may have fallen a little bit in love with Ignis by the end.
1. Bloodborne – PS4
Arguably, this shouldn’t be on the list at all as, at the time of posting this, I haven’t completed it but I can honestly say, I haven’t gotten more satisfaction out of a game for a long time; perhaps it’s because I consider myself a fairly non-aggressive gamer, and mediocre at best.
With that said, you can imagine how much of a leap of faith Bloodborne was (and is!) for me. There’s no rushing around, mashing buttons and hoping for the best; you have to be methodical and patient and my god, you’d better get used to dying as you explore new areas and learn the best ways to take down enemies and bosses. Why bother? Because the feeling of accomplishment you get from actually overcoming a boss is amazing! There is a real sense of progression here and while it may test your patience as well as your reflexes, the payoff is well worth it.
Added to that is the gothic horror vibe with some of the darkly breathtaking environments and backdrops I’ve seen for a while.