Ari’s Game of the Year List [2017]

Video games, lets talk about em.  The year has come to end and it’s about time for me to share my thoughts on the ones I played.  2017 has been a hell of a year, so lets dive right in.


Personally, the game that has endured through 2017 and has been a calming respite remains to be Cities: Skylines. There’s something nice and relaxing about building a new city from the ground up and swearing that this time, there will be no traffic jams. With the addition of some great mods and add-ons that allow me to get more granular than before, I’m continuing to find joy in watching my little hamlet transform into the next Times Square, even if I never play it right.

Alongside of Cities: Skylines, I’ve also been able to return to Astroneer from time to time and see it progressing quite nicely. There’s been noticeable performance enhancements and new feature drops that have made it a delight to return to. As well as that, my favorite game of last year, Hitman, continues to be as fun as ever especially since giving me the ability to attempt the Elusive Targets I’d missed, once more.

Swing and a Miss


It’s probably obvious, but one of the biggest flops of the year in my eyes had to be Mass Effect Andromeda. Right from when EA and Bioware pitched the premise of the game I recall feeling the slightest tinge of skepticism. A story that ran parallel to the events of the original trilogy but also made sure to remove the possibility of ever seeing any familiar characters was enough of a bummer until the game came out. It was so boring and uneventful. Every aspect of Andromeda seemed to be an artists interpenetration of what made Mass Effect great without ever understanding the reasons behind its success. “We gave them aliens to bone, put that shitty car back in, and let them explore the planets that have nothing interesting on them. What more could they want?!” Mass Effect Andromeda was such a damn bummer.

I Think Something is Wrong With Me


I feel so strange. Even now if you were to tell me that I could fight robot-dinosaurs in a post apocalyptic setting with a bunch of science-fictiony intrigue sprinkled on there for good measure, I’d justifiably lose my mind. So then why didn’t Horizon Zero Dawn do anything for me? Everything about that game was wonderful. It looked amazing, it was fun to play and also there were freaking robot-dinosaurs to kill. Many would attribute bouncing off of Horizon due to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of The Wild releasing 3 days later. But even before that, from the moment they let me loose in the open world, I just had no desire to explore or learn about these characters. I think I wanted to learn more about the fall of modern civilization and where the robots came from a lot sooner than the game wanted to tell me about it. I still don’t know how that game wraps up. Maybe I’ll give it a go in 2018, but who knows.

Along those lines, the game people kept telling me about was NieR: Automata. I was so intrigued by what I had heard about this game that I was desperate to try it. I was told that I needed to beat it a third time to really some crazy shit. But after the first time around I had no interest in forcing my way through it several more times. Another game that I really wanted to like was Absolver. I wrote a piece about my feelings about the difficulty and how it failed to resonate with me, but the quick and dirty version is that I never felt like I was getting better, I only felt like I got lucky.

Bring Your Friends


Some people are an army of one, others like myself are very much not. That’s why the only way I’ve played PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds has been with my friends. We’ve even streamed a whole bunch of it because we play it that much. From defeating another squad who thought they were alone, to flipping just about every vehicle we ever touched, and of course getting that chicken dinner together, PUBG is packed with reasons why it’s the best game I’ve played with friends all year.

But where PUBG is very tactical and requires a ton of coordination, sometimes you just need pure chaos to have fun. Stick Fight and Gang Beasts are two games that released this year that exemplify that mentality. They’re both janky and glitchy enough to where the physics themselves become a new character you’ll have to contend with. But it’s all fun and lighthearted which makes them a blast to play when you’ve got a couple of friends around.

Game of the Year

Ari GOTY.jpg

This year, before most of the biggest titles came out, a little game called Night in the Woods released on the PC and PS4. Night in the Woods is a game that resonated with me on a fundamental level and mirrored a lot of my experiences in life. It told a story that struck me on an emotional level while also having an awesome sense of humor and painfully charming aesthetic. I still have trouble expressing every reason why Night in the Woods was so wonderful in my eyes. Sometimes a game just hits you the right way, and that’s what happened here. It’s the game I’ve thought about most this year and have replayed twice already. Night in the Woods is easily one of my favorite games. Click here for a more complete version of my thoughts.

A close second this year, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is perhaps the most unsurprising entry in this list. I won’t beat a dead horse here, we all know why Breath of the Wild is on so many GOTY lists. It’s an achievement in a systems-driven, open world game. It’s the epitome of “you see that? You can go there.” But the best part about that, is there’s always something to do when you get “there.” It’s truly a phenomenal game and what’s even more impressive is that it made me love a Zelda game the way no other entry in the franchise has.

Where Night in the Woods and Zelda were locked in for a long time, this third entry took me a lot of time to decide on.  While I have plenty of great things to say about PUBG and why it’s one of my favorite games this year, I have to give the edge to Super Mario Odyssey.  Mario Odyssey isn’t a perfect game, but it’s just so damn charming.  In a year where you could look around and have found plenty of reasons to be scared upset or angry, Odyssey was just this beacon of color and positivity that I needed.

Lastly, I’d like to just add one more thing.

2017 has, for lack of a better term, been an interesting year.  The games were (mostly) good while a lot of things outside of the industry maybe weren’t as great.  With that in mind I’d like to thank everyone for watching our videos and reading the occasional features we put up.  You have no idea how much your support means to us.

I hope that 2018 is a better year…  like, in general.  So Happy New Year everyone. Be good to each other.



4 thoughts on “Ari’s Game of the Year List [2017]

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