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Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Reader’s Top 20 of 2017
Super Mario Odyssey – Zelda’s main rival

GameCentral readers vote for their favourite video games of 2017, from Resident Evil 7 to Call Of Duty: WWII.

Every year, at the end of January, we ask readers to vote for their favourite games of the previous year. But as we well know from creating our own top 20, that is an extremely difficult thing to do considering what an amazing 12 months 2017 was for video games.

The poll worked in the same way as usual though, with everyone voting for their top three titles so we could tally up a top 20. But because 2017 was such a special year we had far more people writing in than ever before – so many that we’ll do a part 3 to this Hot Topic next week, just to so we get a chance to show everyone’s letters.

And while the number one title may seem like a forgone conclusion it was actually closer than you might think, with Nintendo’s two juggernauts swapping places at various points in the voting process. Horizon Zero Dawn was relatively close behind too, and well ahead of the rest of the pack…

Readers' Top 20 – 2017

1. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (Wii U/NS)
2. Super Mario Odyssey (NS)
3. Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)
4. Persona 5 (PS4/PS3)
5. Resident Evil 7 (XO/PS4/PC)
6. Yakuza 0 (PS4)
7. Wolfenstein II (XO/PS4/PC)
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NS)
9. What Remains Of Edith Finch (PS4/PC)
10. Cuphead (XO/PC)
11. Nioh (PS4/PC)
12. NieR: Automata (PS4/PC)
13. Splatoon 2 (NS)
14. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (NS)
15. Life Is Strange: Before The Storm (XO/PS4/PC)
16. Call Of Duty: WWII (XO/PS4/PC)
17. Thimbleweed Park (XO/PS4/NS/PC/iOS/Android)
18. Polybius (PS4)
19. Total War: Warhammer II (PC)
20. PlayerUnknown’s Battelgrounds (XO/PC)

Transformative technology

1. Resident Evil 7 in VR. Not sure if this is cheating as outside of VR it would take my number four slot. When the tech greatly informs it’s placing what’s to stop a Switch owner awarding their number one choice to an average game due to the thrill of being able to play a triple-A game on the toilet?

It’s still a great game outside of VR. The setting is cliched, yet it still feels like a wonderful and fresh take for the series. I loved that each family member made up sections of the game giving you a nice connection to the Baker family and its ordeal. It’s only the slightly weaker final portion of the game that drops it down to fourth.

VR though transforms the game into one of the best games/experiences I’ve had. To have an uncomfortable knot of apprehension in your gut, in a way only VR has managed, was quite something.

2. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Too many things to praise in the confines of a Hot Topic letter. I’ll highlight the lack of hand-holding, the sense of scale prompting an impossible-to-ignore desire to just explore and the rich rewards that exploration gives from the dense world and versatile game mechanics.

3. Horizon Zero Dawn. I found the opening a bit of a slow burn but once it opened up I was enthralled and riveted for my whole playthrough, thanks to the well told and compelling main story line and the visceral, satisfying and just out right fun robot dinosaurs fights. When the Frozen Wilds DLC dropped recently I found myself enjoying it just as much as my first playthrough.

A fantastic gaming year, highlighted by the quality of the games that didn’t make the list, like Nioh, NieR: Automata, Persona 5, and Wolfenstien II: The New Colossus. Then there’s the games I’m yet to play like Super Mario Odyssey and Cuphead.
Simundo Jones

I am picking…

Horizon Zero Dawn – the full game and the expansion were a joy from start to finish and rarely has a game made me want to explore different play styles/weapons. Plus, giant robot dinosaurs?! Perfection.

NieR: Automata – innovative, emotional heft and endlessly slaying giant robots (or are you?)… what’s not to love? Honestly, come the end this game left me with a tear in my eye and joy in my heart.

Wolfenstein II – what a sensational end to a truly great franchise. Brilliant storytelling in a first person shooter, with visceral gunplay combined with mowing down Nazis – great stuff.

I don’t currently have a Nintendo console, so can’t comment on their games – tho’ clearly they had an amazing year and I can’t believe games like Resident Evil 7 and Nioh have to miss out. Just shows what a quality year 2017 was.

Keep up the good work.
Gaz

Only on Switch

1. Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
I’ve had it since launch, put about 150 hours into it, but every time I come back to it, the sheer beauty of the game takes my breath away. There are still dozens of things I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t got around to. Probably my favourite game of all time.

2. Super Mario Odyssey
As enjoyable as Zelda and as full of ideas, although maybe just a little too easy. New Donk City is worth the money on its own. I still think the Galaxy games might be superior, though.

3. Splatoon 2
I’ve hardly ever touched online multiplayer before this (Mario Kart and that’s about it), so I wasn’t sure if I’d take to this, but it’s far more fun than I expected. The best thing is that you can dip in and out without being blown away by hardcore players. The best game on Switch for short bursts.

And a short note on the Switch. If these three games had been on any other console (I have a PlayStation 4 too), there’s no way I could have played and enjoyed them as much as I have. The Switch has transformed how I (and probably a ton of other people) play games. Hope it lasts into 2018.
Anon

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Nintendo whitewash

Here are my nominations in reverse order:

3. Splatoon 2 – It might not be as refreshingly new as the original, but Splatoon 2 is still the best multiplayer game I’ve ever played. It takes the wonderful foundation laid by the original and builds upon it in every respect. In fact, it hasn’t stopped building since release, with a new stage or weapon every time I go back. I haven’t even tried the new Clam Blitz ranked mode yet! The Splatfests have been an absolute highlight, drawing me back to the game regularly by promoting a real sense of community and competition (front roll toilet paper all the way!).
The Shifty Station stage is an inspired idea, offering a new layout every Splatfest. The real gem in this sequel though is Salmon Run. It is so addictive! It is mind-boggling how amazingly dynamic this hoard mode is, with each run feeling completely different. The way you non-verbally communicate and work with your fellow Grizzco employees is genius and I have never had so much fun working as part of a team. Splatoon 2 enthralled me throughout last year and I’m extremely confident it will continue to do so this year too.

2. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild – I still don’t know entirely how I feel about this game. The question I need to answer isn’t whether it’s a great game or not, I think that’s beyond doubt, but whether it’s better than Ocarina Of Time. I honestly don’t know and will need to replay it to find out. What I do know though is I absolutely adored my time with Breath Of The Wild, all 140 hours of it! It, without question, has the greatest game world ever created. Breath Of The Wild feels less like a game and more like an epic journey.

Nintendo finally let go of our hand and let us explore again. The result is exhilarating, with breathtaking landscapes filled with character and beauty. The ability to climb any surface allows Link the freedom to scale any height and witness an endless parade of panoramic wonder. I honestly can’t wait to dive back into this world and rediscover its colourful inhabitants, challenging enemies and hidden mysteries. The scary thing is there’s room for improvement. No seriously, I can’t help but think this is the modern equivalent to the original Legend Of Zelda and there’s a modern equivalent to A Link To The Past to come. Just imagine…

1. Super Mario Odyssey – As I just implied, Breath Of The Wild isn’t perfect. Its main dungeons are less involved than previous entries, the big bosses are slightly underwhelming, and Link becomes a bit too overpowered by the end. Super Mario Odyssey on the other hand is absolutely perfect. Every single moment of this game is faultlessly designed for pure unadulterated fun. The way Mario moves around and interacts with the world just oozes joy and each kingdom is crammed full of vibrant colour and life.

The constant creativity and invention shown throughout the game completely blew me away, with Cappy and his capture power being the greatest addition to Mario’s moveset ever! Capturing new enemies completely changes the way Mario moves, creating a brilliantly natural and intuitive variety of compelling gameplay. Fundamental changes in design that would seem unthinkable are gleefully implemented with abandon. So Mario has always had lives and 1UP mushrooms, let’s get rid of them so we can get straight back into the action. So Mario has been wearing the same iconic red and blue overall outfit for the last 30 years, who cares when you can have so much fun dressing him up as a pirate.

Mario’s heritage doesn’t burden the game one bit, and instead is utilised to stunning effect when appropriate. The 2D sections that wrap around the 3D landscape bring together the old and the new with graceful intelligence. Honestly I could go on forever, the stunning visuals, the witty dialogue, the endless secrets, the photo mode, the superb music, Jump Up Superstar… heck even the story is the best it’s been. Greatest game ever!

So it’s a deserved Nintendo whitewash for 2017. I would like to make a special mention for Cuphead though. Any other year it probably would have been in my top three and it is an exceptional achievement for such a small team. Anyway, if 2018 contains even half of the delight of 2017 we will be in for a treat!
Ryan O’D

Fun criteria

First, Super Mario Odyssey. I picked that for the sheer fun factor, playing with my son was amazing.

Second would be Horizon Zero Dawn. Aloy was about as interesting as a bus stop, but the world and dinosaurs made up for the lack of any decent characters. The gameplay was solid.

Third would be Assassin’s Creed Origins. I picked it, as it’s a good improvement on previous titles and I’m still really enjoying it.
bigdaddy watt

Surprise third

My top three games from last year were:

Nioh – I moved on to this from Bloodborne, as it’s a chart for games from 2017 I guess I can’t use Bloodborne as I loved that. Nioh I found was also challenging, but with the payoff being successful once you conqueror that boss! I can’t lie, I almost jacked it in at boss one. I struggled (the vampire woman), but I managed to learn her tells and soon enough managed to beat her. I’ve not finished it yet, but I do dip back in to it every so often. But the weapons/armour/loot system was very good and I liked the setting as well.

Horizon Zero Dawn – I put about 40 hours into this and although I felt it got a bit repetitive towards the end, overall it was a very good experience. All of the characters were written and acted well, and the story was also pretty good.

Controversially my third is Call Of Duty: WWII – This is purely based on multiplayer though, I haven’t touched the campaign. This was a surprise to me, as from the announcement I wasn’t interested in the WWII setting. I played a beta and was likewise not that impressed. I could tell it handled well and was better than Infinite Warfare, but I didn’t think it was for me. By way of a mate I ended up getting it for free, so I thought what’s the harm in seeing what it’s like? And to my surprise I really enjoyed it. It felt like what I remembered and was actually fun again. I know it’s not for everyone, but for sheer pick up and play in terms of multiplayer it suits me nicely. Especially after Destiny 2 and the mass disappointment I had with that.
WAYNEOS

Existential debate

1. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
The game I put the most hours into this year and I thoroughly enjoyed spending 150 odd hours climbing, gliding, running and riding (as well as driving after the culmination of the last DLC) across the vast open world map.

What particularly had me hooked was the option to go at my own pace exploring whatever and wherever took my fancy for seemingly little reward when compared to other games, e.g. taking great pleasure in climbing a mountain and simply enjoying the view of the immense landscape to pick out my next adventure.

2. Horizon Zero Dawn
Combat, my least favourite aspect of Breath Of The Wild, was the standout experience I took away from Horizon. When encountering a new enemy; the feedback loop of watching their movement, outlining weak points, strategising equipment and then engaging in fight was incredibly satisfying: yet downing countless versions of the same enemy also never felt dull due to fluid movement and intuitive aiming control mechanics.

3. NieR: Automata
Although the actual story in Horizon was interesting; the overall narrative structure for NieR meant that this was the game that engrossed me the most in relation to plot and themes expressed. Without going into spoilers NieR manages to explore different genres and embed gameplay elements that significantly encourage empathy for the world and characters through existential debate.
chowe14

Quick picks

1. Super Mario Odyssey
Haven’t enjoyed a Mario game this much since Super Mario 64.

2. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Not a great Zelda game in the traditional sense, but taken on its own merit it truly is amazing .

3. Gran Turismo Sport
Lacks content but it still got me addicted.
James Long

Moon mop

1. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (NS)
2. Super Mario Odyssey (NS)
3. Divinity: Original Sin II (PC)

Although it does have a few minor flaws, and I would have preferred some proper dungeons with more thematic and visual variety, Breath Of The Wild is still my number one for 2017. That’s because what it gets right in its open world design pushes the genre beyond anything else before it. The interconnected physics that encourages experimentation and creativity; the sense of discovery by giving you the freedom of the map, uncluttered by icons; the interactivity with the environment and being able to climb anywhere (weather permitting); and the many surprises and secret locations to find through your own curiosity. It all amounts to a quite refreshing experience where the player and their tightly controlled actions are the focus, rather than what the game has restricted you to do at any given moment.

Again, this is not my favourite of the series, but it is another quite magnificent Mario game. The over-abundance of moons to be found every few paces is a great way to make things more accessible to everyone, but it does somewhat trivialise their discovery and collection to the point where you begin to feel like a bit like a moon-mop. However, the compact designs of the stages are endlessly imaginative and continuously find new ways to have fun with the player. Taking control of other creatures and objects, and the integrated 2D sections both deserve a special mention. There are plenty of secrets to discover as well, and it is this joyous connection between perfect controls and platforming ingenuity that never ceases to captivate.

Original Sin II begins by appearing as a very generic old school PC role-player in the mould of Baldur’s Gate, but quickly becomes a sandbox of systems where everything has an action and a plausible re-action. This extends from the dialogue choices right through to the environment reacting to magic spells, weather, or any other object you decide to experiment with. The fact that the non-player characters change accordingly often makes it feel like the perfect video game version of the Warhammer fantasy role-playing games of old. It even has a GamesMaster mode where you can create your own adventures for other players. It can get rather difficult and requires a lot of planning, even down to which character has what objects and gear, etc., but well worth the investment if you like the idea of getting really immersed and properly engaged in a classic style role-playing game.
clive-sensei

The sour taste of capitalism

My thoroughly unoriginal top three are: 1. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, 2. Super Mario Odyssey and 3. Resident Evil 7.

I played Resident Evil 7 with the aid of the PlayStation 4 VR hat. The sense of immersion was incredible. To the extent that I haven’t finished the game. Looking down into Jack’s face while he held me up, skewered on a sharp instrument, left a lasting impression. The whole experience spoke to what the possibilities of VR might be and that’s why I chose it. One day I’ll go back and finish it…

The two Nintendo games are just wonderful video games, full of fun and escapism. Breath Of The Wild got my top vote because I can’t stop going back and exploring Hyrule in it.

I thought the way Nintendo made both these games flexible in terms of what the player can get out of them was interesting. You can see enough of each to feel you’ve ‘finished’ with relative ease, or you can go on further and get as much out of them as you like.

Though 2017 had lots of great games it was also the year I could no longer deny that many games aren’t released as games first, but are simply mechanisms to make as much money from us as possible wrapped up in a game. That’s capitalism I guess, but it leaves a sour taste.
Dave

Lives well lived

My picks for the top three games of 2017 are:

1. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
2. Super Mario Odyssey
3. What Remains Of Edith Finch

I don’t really feel like I need to enthuse about the high quality of my first and second choices. They are destined to be all time classics that are revisited time and time again.

What Remains Of Edith Finch is more likely to have gone under people’s radar however, and I would like to champion it in the hope that someone reading will take a chance and give it a go.

I loved the narrative(s) in Edith Finch, its various stories all have different tones but weave among the main story naturally. It’s a game ostensibly about death but fills the player with joy about lives well lived.

I wish I could live in the house. I adore the secret passages and quirky architecture. The personalities of the Finch family is ingrained in every inch of the game world. There’s remarkable variety in how the different stories are told and lends the game more gameplay variety than is usual in these ‘walking simulators’.

Give What Remains Of Edith Finch a go and you’ll almost certainly be moved by at least one of the tales in the game or at the very least you might start considering more variety in how you store books at home.
Euclidian Boxes

Invigorating year

Picking just three top games from 2017 was extremely hard for me. Every time I thought I had my top three nailed down I suddenly remembered something else that could quite easily have slotted into any of these places. So in that vein I will give a handful of honourable mentions first: NieR: Automata, Nex Machina, Yakuza Zero, Divinity: Original Sin II, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Cuphead, Total War: Warhammer II, and Persona 5 could all easily have been in my top three. But anyway here is my actual top three:

1. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

It just had to be. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited for a new game (probably way back in 1998 when Ocarina Of Time came out in all honesty). What more can be said about this masterpiece that hasn’t been already?! Every single time I play it I find something else to fall in love with, but what has stuck with me most is just the amount of freedom the game offers. It encourages you to play around with the physics of the game’s world and I swear there have been times when the game itself seems as shocked as I was at the outcome when I did. Definitely a game I will be reminiscing over for decades to come.

2. Super Mario Odyssey

I wish I could be more original in my choices but these two games just stood out so wonderfully last year. Both games had me grinning from ear to ear throughout and that is something I don’t take for granted anymore. Too often in recent years I have been left disappointed with certain games but both these two managed to completely blow all my expectations away.

3. A Night In The Woods

I have gone slightly more off the beaten track for my third pick. This game just forced a reaction from me that so few games have over the past 10 years or so. I felt a real kinship to all the characters and it actually managed to tackle so many serious subjects in a charming and unfussy way. In the same way that Breath Of The Wild will live long in my memory so will A Night In The Woods.

So there you have it. My personal top three of 2017. I think if I was to take one thing away from this list it would be that 2017 was a year in which I seemed to reconnect to games on a much more emotional level than I have for many years. There have been many gaming highlights for me over the past few years, but as the third decade of my life slowly starts to slip through my fingers I have found a strange disconnect between myself and the world of gaming.

But 2017 really reinvigorated me, and with 2018 already giving us three classics (Monster Hunter: World, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Celeste) I can feel this new found appreciation of games continuing for a while yet.
Carl Carlson

Catching up

1. Horizon Zero Dawn
2. Star Wars: Battlefront II

I’ve been playing catch-up this year, playing Fallout 4, Battlefield 1, The Last Guardian, Overwatch, Human Revolution, Uncharted 1 to 4, and a few others so have only played two new ones!

The art design, sound, script, voiceovers and most importantly emergent play with the machines made Horizon Zero Dawn a superb experience, and felt like a genuine step forward for this generation from all the others I’ve been catching up with.
superteddyface (PSN ID)

Impossible summary

Sum up 2017 in just three games? I could have sent in multiple different top threes under various pseudonyms and all would have been equally true. I’m just grateful I don’t own a Switch or else deciding this would have been impossible.

Number Three. Gravity Rush 2. I never got tired of losing myself in the adventures of an adorable floaty nutcase who simply wants to help people. None of whom ever show any gratitude or appreciation, everyone who lives in Jirga Para Lhao and Hekseville is a terrible person.

Number Two. Life Is Strange: Before The Storm. Considering it’s set over a weekend, Chloe does go on quite the epic emotional journey. It stripped away the high stakes and supernatural element of Life Is Strange to give us the tale of a troubled teenage girl’s first love. It thrilled us with watching teens play Dungeons & Dragons, showed that Shakespeare can be improved upon and that somebody’s hand coming into contact with a desk can be more terrifying than any tornado.

Referring back to this Reader’s Feature it does tell Chloe Price’s story and personality through what she wears, she may be the most stylish character in gaming. I do hope Deck Nine can keep that writing team together because I want to see what they can do next.

Number One. Persona 5. Epic, overlong, wonderful, misconceived, strange, at times wrong. Wrong on so many, many levels. Yet the things I’ve seen and experienced playing Persona 5. Yusuke at the beach, hanging out at Crossroads bar with LaLa Escargot, watching the Temperance Confidant story play out with horrified fascination tinged with crushing sadness, working out whether Sae or Makoto is the coolest Nijima sister, the realisation that if I was a character in the game I’d be Yuuki Mishima. Somehow I’m going to find the hundred hours to do my New Game+.
Jaded_Libertine (PSN ID)

Jump up superstar

Not to detract from the quality of the game I’d put in third place, but I think it’s only really there because of how little time I got to try Nioh, Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, and many more. But I’ve been loving Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle since Christmas. First class presentation, good fan service, and deeper and more involved than people might have thought at first. Which reminds me to add XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen to the above list as well.

Second place is going to be everyone else’s first, I think, and I wouldn’t argue strongly against that. I played through all of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild twice, once on Wii U and once on Switch (Master Mode, of course), and I got all 900 korok seeds the second time, admittedly with some online help. I think my total play time must now exceed 300 hours.

It’s a masterpiece, and far more than I even knew I wanted from a new Zelda. But while it was more ambitious, and well worthy of the unparalleled positivity, there were a few flaws compared my number one. Plus, the disappointing DLC soured it slightly for me.

There’s a lot I can say about my game of the year. I probably wouldn’t have believed anyone who told me last January that I’d be as positive as I am about the Switch. And I definitely wouldn’t have believed anyone who told me I’d rate Super Mario Odyssey above Breath Of The Wild. But it’s the best Mario game I’ve ever played and it’s perfect to me. Broodals notwithstanding.

I know plenty would still rate the Galaxy games more highly, but while I do regard them as absolute classics, they’re like a collection of linear obstacle courses while Odyssey feels like… an odyssey. Everything great about the Mario games is there but it’s bigger, funnier, prettier, cleverer.

Nintendo also seem to have looked at popular ideas developed by others over the past couple of generations and incorporated them into their best games, giving you more reason to stick around rather than fly through it in 30 hours. But Odyssey is more than all that to me. It’s like a reminder of the pure joy that should more often be associated with gaming and with entertainment in general.

At least that’s how it felt to me coming towards the end of a horrible year, filled with loss and other difficult challenges. As I inched towards that final moon, the game offers a chance for a bit of reflection and even though it’s far from any sort of entertainment that rams its emotional content down your throat it nearly made me well up.

End of the day, I was just really thankful for this game, like it was an old friend coming round to cheer me up (and succeeding). The lyrics to its signature song feel very apt in that regard.
Panda

Three years late

My votes for favourite games from 2017 are Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Star Wars: Battlefront II. Because these are the only two games from last year I played (I don’t think 10 minutes on Super Mario Odyssey counts).

I have been playing a lot of Dragon Age: Inquisition, so if you could add a vote for that to your 2014 list that would be appreciated.
ZombieEyez

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

The first 230 hours

I always read, even though I rarely have much to write. Especially these days, as, until the second half of 2017 my most up to date bit of tech was a PlayStation 3. However, despite the fact that I’ve currently a list of over 20 games I’d really like to get for the PS4 Pro I keep telling myself I’ll buy one day, it’s those old devils at Nintendo and their glorious Switch that have finally convinced me to dig into my all too shallow pockets and get with The Now. As a result, my top three games of 2017 should come as no real surprise to anyone.

I’m certain other games from 2017 would have stood a chance if I had more cash to splash, but even if I had, I have very little doubt that Zelda: Breath Of The Wild would still be my number one pick. True, I have some issues with it (call me old fashioned, but I missed the lack of traditional, more expansive dungeons to compliment the truly epic overworld, and felt the divine beast puzzle chambers weren’t entirely satisfying enough to compensate) but for me, taken as a whole, Nintendo haven’t just knocked it out of the park, they’ve shattered it and pretty much blasted the atoms into orbit around Alpha Centauri.

The sublime exploration mechanics, the seemingly endless world to put them to use in; the gradual character build from fragile war casualty to iron clad, hero badass; the masterclass art design and almost perfect musical interludes made this pretty much the Hyrule adventure of my dreams. It also felt like every Zelda game I’ve ever played was somehow referenced, with the kind of love and reverence that the people who made the trailers for The Force Awakens clearly had for Star Wars, but implemented with the kind of freshness and ingenuity Rian Johnson wants to think he brought to The Last Jedi but didn’t.

It was the primary reason I wanted a Switch in the first place and it singlehandedly ensured that the first 230 hours I spent with my new console was nothing short of joyous. Without a question my favourite 3D Zelda. I can’t say it’s anything other than nostalgia for A Link To The Past that’s preventing me from saying it’s my favourite Zelda ever. So good I’m worried even Nintendo won’t be able to follow it.

My second pick has to be Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. For me, without a question the finest Mario Kart since the first/Super Circuit. I totally understand the love it got on the Wii U, I’m thrilled it’s getting a second and much bigger outing on the Switch. Again, a gameplay and presentation masterpiece that begs for, and totally deserves, far more time than I have to give it. One day I will crack all cups on 200cc. I will. I will, I will, I will.

My third pick is obviously Super Mario Odyssey, which I’m still mopping up moons on (839 and counting). I am enjoying it, however I’m sure many will disagree with me on this but, whilst I’m finding bits of it are almost great, something about it isn’t grabbing me. Galaxy 1 (and to a slightly lesser extent 2) regularly made me say ‘Wow!’ or ‘You’ve got to be kidding me?!? This is awesome!’ with each new stage. I’m just not getting this feeling with Odyssey. The Sunshine style void stages are great, but to me, not a patch on their inspiration, which are still my favourite 3D Mario game levels ever.

Cappy’s possession mechanic is fun, but I feel the suit variety in Galaxy was somehow more interesting and there’s nothing in it at all to rival Galaxy’s gravity-based gameplay. For some reason Mario himself feels a little slow and sluggish to me and I’m not a huge fan of most of the art styles of the worlds either. It’s this feeling that compounds my concerns about the big N being able to successfully follow Breath Of The Wild. Sometimes they get it so right, the next game almost has nowhere else to go!

Hopefully at some point in 2018 I’ll be able to get that PlayStation 4 (I’m even more keen now seeing as my PlayStation 3 died from overheating two weeks ago while my girlfriend was streaming a movie on Netflix) and enjoy those exclusives I’ve been enviously reading reviews for for years, like Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Bloodbourne. As well as things like Resident Evil 7, The Wolfensteins, Dishonored 2, and the Life Is Strange series. That is if Metroid Prime 4, ports of Captain Toad or even Super Mario 3D Land or some other, as yet unannounced, new Nintendo IP makes its appearance and I get distracted. Or I get around to properly investing the Switch’s apparently massive indie scene.

All in all, in spite of all the controversies around loot boxes and games as a service it feels like gaming has generally been on the up for some time. It’s rare these days that a week goes by where I don’t see something reviewed I’m not in some way interested in. 2017 felt like a great year. Whichever way 2018 goes there’s a literal mountain of games out there I want to get stuck into. If only I had the cash and the time…
yourhomeisatrisk (now apparently toast PSN ID)

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