The 2017 Master List + My Top 5 Games of the Year

2017 has been nothing short of an incredible year for gaming – unanimously one of the greatest years that gaming has seen since the late 90s. Honestly, I asked literally every gamer out there and they all said the same thing. Oh, I didn’t ask you? You must have been sleeping!

The year saw not one, not two, but three massive Nintendo franchises return to their roots with Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Metroid: Samus Returns. And oh yeah, a little something called the Nintendo Switch launched, which took the entire gaming industry who claimed that portable gaming was dead, turned those haters upside down, and shook all the gold coins out of their Brooks Brothers suits and penny loafers. All in a convenient, portable package that’s smaller than a Harry Potter book.

Hell, even the Playstation Vita, which at this point Sony themselves are convinced never even existed, saw some terrific releases this year.

At the end of last year, I made a list that highlighted the highlightiest of the highlights in my gaming career! However, as I’m perpetually behind with the gaming times, I noted back then as I will right now that these games weren’t necessarily released in 2017. I merely played them in 2017. In fact, here is the list of games that I completed this year:

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I’ll be totally honest – when I look at my list from last year and compare it to this one, it’s easy to see which year fared better for me. Last year saw tons of huge hits that I finally made time to play, but this year was a lot more experimental and playing games that I had wanted to complete for a while. At the same time, the completion log is just as varied when speaking purely from a console diversity perspective – with the additions of a PSP and a Switch, there are even more games to get into.

Something much different happened this year – I did a lot in the way of collecting games this year, but truth be told, I didn’t get as much playing as I’d have liked to. The buying of a house and getting married all in a six month span was definitely a huge impact on that, and I’ll eternally be playing catchup to make up for the lost time, particularly as the cold weather moves in and I find myself accepting “inside days” more often.

Starting right at the beginning of the year, I wrapped up 4 games that I had started at some point in 2017, including the incredible Xenoblade Chronicles, and now that I think of it, how amazing would it be if I was able to finish 1 & 2 in the same year?! Well, that ain’t gonna happen! But it’s definitely looking like a January 2018 completion for XC2 at this rate! Pokemon Sun & Moon were a pretty incredible addition to the franchise, introducing all kinds of new gameplay modifications designed to change the formula and make Pokemon seem fresh again.


Before diving into Switch mode, I grabbed up three PC games. There was HUE, the super fun indie flick which involves quick thinking and muscle memory tuned to a color spectrum. I finally knocked Final Fantasy X off my bucket list, and it knocked right back and reminded me to never play a Final Fantasy game again because I loathe random encounters. Seriously, it was enjoyable for the first dozen hours before it really started to take my patience and run it through a cheese grater. Then I took a complete 180 by grabbing a physical copy of DOOM, which was an absolute massacre of a game, in the best way possible. That gorefest is still on my to-finish list, although it’s been released on the Switch and I keep getting tempted to grab it in portable form…

The 3DS saw a ton of love the first and second half of the year, with plenty of great new games being released at a steady pace! I finally got back into Kirby games, opting to pass on Triple Deluxe earlier in the calendar year and instead opting for the recently released Kirby: Planet Robobot, which reminded me of just how fun that fluffy platforming fellow can be to play around with.


By far my most anticipated 3DS title of the year was Ever Oasis, developed by a team that goes by Grezzo who handled the incredible Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time / Majora’s Mask ports. I loved this game and despite evidence of a complete lack of a marketing campaign, it did fairly well and reviewed decently. I hope they return to the ring soon with something for the Switch! Hey! Pikmin was a nice change from the original Pikmin formula, which is one I was admittedly never able to get into in the first place, and it was a nice change of pace after the long Ever Oasis.

Of course, alongside an out-of-left-field announcement for the development of Metroid Prime 4 came news of a proper 2D remake of Metroid II on the 3DS. Metroid: Samus Returns as it were called blew my mind and contained some of the best classic Metroid platforming I’ve seen since the SNES days. With new mechanics and so much love poured into this game, there’s no surprise it won the E3 Critics Award for Best Handheld Game. Well deserved win for this collaboration between Nintendo and MercurySteam. Really, bravo.


Thrown into the mix were a few lovely Vita games that really stole my heart – The Swapper was the first – a short and sweet game that has you creating and murdering clones of yourself to escape a space station in the terrific puzzler. I grabbed a limited copy from LimitedRunGames and it now graces my Vita shelf! Child of Light was a gorgeous twist on the RPG genre with fantastic storytelling, in fact, the whole thing plays like a long fairy-tale dream. Highly recommended, and you can play it on practically anything that’s powered by electricity.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd surprised me by actually turning me into a fan of the franchise, despite feeling extremely strange playing it out in public. Then again, there’s way weirder stuff to be into with video games! The button tapping madness while blasting at warp speed through Japanese anime insanity that is a Hatsune Miku game is so satisfying to get good at that you can’t help but get super involved in every song you play. It wasn’t uncommon to get some crazy tunnel vision and end up with both of my knees bouncing, particularly as I tried to hit perfect scores on Extreme mode.

I spent a crap ton of time perfecting every song that I could tolerate dozens of times before finishing the game and hanging up my F 2nd jersey. I also may have spent a few hours customizing the bedrooms of the vocaloid characters. Seriously, I haven’t been this hooked on a rhythm game since college when Guitar Hero took over the world back in 2005.


Of course, speaking of surprising me, there was one particular RPG that blew my mind completely with its terrific combat mechanics and gameplay, and that game was Exist Archive. I had such a great time playing this game that I dropped practically everything else I was playing to finish it, and it took me over 40 hours which I never hit with games that I don’t absolutely love. Check out my Twitter feed to the right for a link to the Amazon page – it’s on sale for $6 new. Absolutely worth it. The gameplay is practically right on par with Valkyrie Profile if you’ve ever played that lineup of games.


Of course, this leads us to the elephant in the room, the Nintendo Switch. The newest entry to the portable game console collection has really been in my good graces, although we did have a bit of a rough start. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild didn’t really do it for me as I’ve discussed in plenty of detail, however, there was a big redemption to the Mario franchise with Super Mario Odyssey. Personally, some of the big changes such as hundreds of unspecial Power Moons may have detracted a bit from my desire to 100% the game when it started to feel pointless, but that doesn’t change the fact that roughly 34.75 of the 35 hours spent playing it were incredibly entertaining. It deserves major, major points for Nintendo smashing it out of the park with a gorgeous return-to-form 3D Mario game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is also the clear winner of greatest Mario Kart game ever. I mean, while this is a re-release of the WiiU title with all the DLC pre-packaged, it’s still worth mentioning just how much fun I had playing it. 200cc was an insane beast to tackle, but I managed to get 3 gold stars in every cup in every difficulty. I also learned that I love the motorcycles in Mario Kart and have been sorely missing out since they were introduced in the Wii version. I grabbed a few more Switch titles in addition, most notably Cave Story+, which I never actually played, despite the fact that it originally released all the way back in 2004.


Of course, as this article is simply talking about games I have played and not necessarily beaten, I can’t ignore games that I am currently working through. Let’s take a look at those games in no particular order.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is the next release in the Ys series on the Playstation Vita that actually did release this year, following Memories of Celceta from 2013. Last year, Memories of Celceta won my game of the year, and Ys VIII game has thus far shaped up to be one of my favorites. The issue was with the release date – being sandwiched right in between just-a-little-more anticipated titles Metroid: Samus Returns and Super Mario Odyssey, with Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coming up quickly as well, pretty much guaranteed that I wasn’t going to finish Ys VIII any time this year. Hence, I have no game completions since the beginning of October except for Odyssey. Oh well!


Last but not least is, as I just mentioned, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which I am calmly working my way through. I swear – after this title and Ys VIII, I am taking a good long break and knocking out some of the shorter titles in my backlog!

That just about does it for most of the mentionables of the year – you know what time it is now! It’s time for a LIST! This year I’m changing it up a bit. While I still listed the games in my order of preference, each one has their own award

My Top 5 Favorite Games Played in 2017:

The “How Do I Explain This To My Wife” Award:

Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd

The “Everyone Wears Funny Hats” Award:

Ever Oasis

The “I Can’t Throw My Controller Cause It’s Attached to the Console” Award:

Super Mario Odyssey

The “Oh Cool, It’s Another Cutscene” Award:

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

…and the Game of the Year 2017 is…

Metroid: Samus Returns!


It’s true folks – I am a huge fan of this joint effort by MercurySteam and Nintendo. I believe this was one of the finest Metroid titles released in years and can’t wait to see what other IPs this team can come out with on the Switch. And of course, what Nintendo themselves have in store for Metrioid Prime 4.

This also marks the end of the first full calendar year where I finally started to take seriously, and in that I mean, actually make an attempt to join a wonderful community here on WordPress, rather than just treating it like my own personal journal. It’s been a great 12 months and I hope everyone who has visited have enjoyed themselves. Spending time creating content that even a couple of people enjoy is enough of a return on investment for me, so everyone have a happy and safe holiday, and here’s to another great year!



    • Hah! The first time I was playing it and she saw me playing, i definitely got some confused looks. But she remembers the Guitar Hero and DDR days, so it doesn’t really look all that strange when you see all the buttons flying in 🙂

      This was a great year but admittedly didn’t totally blow my skirt up. Most of the amazing games released came out for PS4 and I wasn’t able to play them anyway – so many of them will be played in 2018 and I think games like Xenoblade will end up on my “best of 2018” list.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It really was! I’m overjoyed that they managed to keep the 2D Metroid snappy feel alive and well, while modernizing the formula just enough to make it feel super fresh.


  1. This has been such a huge year for you, not just gaming-wise, of course, and I couldn’t be happier for you!! The list of games you’ve beaten this year is very impressive, and it’s awesome to see all those 100% numbers on it. Metroid: Samus Returns, wow, what a choice indeed! I haven’t yet played it (hopefully getting it for Christmas?), but I love 2D Metroid and can’t wait to get my hands on it, especially since you loved it so much. In fact, I’m really interested in a lot of the 3DS games you’ve played and written about this year. Hopefully, I’ll get to try out Ever Oasis for myself soon. And one of these days, I’ll actually buy a Hatsune Miku game. One of these days haha. Happy Holidays and New Year to you Geddy! It’s been my pleasure meeting you this year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Mr. Panda! It’s been a pleasure meeting you as well 🙂 Looking forward to another great year of content from you!

      I can’t recommend Samus Returns enough. It really was just a perfect game for me, and I had a blast collecting 100% of the items and learning the bosses. Just a great, refined experience all around.

      And trust me – pull the trigger on Hatsune Miku!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome and thank you as well Geddy! 😀 I look forward to playing Samus Returns soon! I have the game, at least! I just have to start it up haha.

        Also, I was fortunate to try out Hatsune Miku at a friend’s house, and it seems like such a fun rhythm game. I’m impressed by the sheer amount of songs included, and the J-Pop style is right up my alley!


  2. Nooooo don’t give up on FF lol. It’s okay, I’ve heard the random battles complaint a lot, and I can understand that. FFXII and I’m assuming all the ones that follow don’t have that hang up, but I love the classics for their story.

    Child of Light is amazing. I cried quite a few times playing it, and I want to do a stream/LP of it eventually.

    Super Mario Odyssey is going to be my played game of the year easily! I wish I wasn’t such s scardedy cat and could play Metroid, but Mother Brain gives me nightmares 😳

    I’m glad you pulled the..Nostalgia Trigger, too! You’re one of my favorite blogger buddies 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uh oh, I should have annotated that claim that I was “done” with Final Fantasy games! I actually own 12 and a brand new PS2 from an old friend and it’s on the queue. I really like the battle system and, for me, if I like a battle system, that’s enough for me. I love that MMO style of play (like FFXIV online or FFXI). I also want to _try_ FF9. We shall see about that one though as it has the same gameplay style as FF7 (one of my top 5 games of ALL TIME!) _but_ I have nostalgia to carry me through those endless grindy battles.

      Child of Light was the first game I got with my Vita, both from my wife as a birthday gift. I ended up buying waay too many Vita games when I saw how cheap they were and it got backlogged badly… boy am I glad I finally got around to playing it! If only more fantastic RPGs were that bite-sized! I’d actually make them a bigger part of my library 😀

      Odyssey was awesome, no doubt about it. It’s amazing seeing just how polished Nintendo games are. Especially with so much 3D platforming seemingly coming back. Then Nintendo drops Odyssey and it’s like “oh holy cow, this is a SERIOUSLY polished game!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh whew, well you’re back up there as one of my favorite persons then lol. I can’t hate anyone who recognizes the greatness of FFVII. I met someone at a Christmas party who said that he and his wife hadn’t bought a PS4 because he was waiting for the FFVII Remake to come out because it was the greatest game every created. I knew we were going to be friends, and we spent a good portion of the night talking about The Last Jedi and the Large Hadron Collider because he, oh, used to work for CERN! o.O I was talking to a nuclear physicist who loves FFVII. Not that correlation equals causation, BUT, well I’m glad someone who’s highly intelligent recognizes something good when they see it 😀

        I think you’ll like FFIX quite a bit. It is VERY similar to VII in theme once you get to the meat of it. I used to think that Kuja was a big ole Sephiroth rip off, but tbh Squeenix really started going over the top with characters similar to him in some way after VII anyway, and you could argue that Sephiroth himself kind of ripped off Kefka since they both had that dark/fallen angel thing going on. I think the nostalgia factor will be huge with IX, because it’s pretty much a tribute to all of the Final Fantasies that came before though with a stellar story of its own. I’d love to hear what you think about it when you get around to playing it. I know Mr. Panda absolutely loves IX; it’s his favorite 😀

        Are Vita games still cheap?? I recently obtained one, but I haven’t really played anything on it. Not that I need more for my backlog. I do own Gravity Rush which I should give a try. I played COL on PS4 download, but I think I’ll pick it up for something handheld since I want to replay it. Beautiful game. I cried…a lot.

        Right?? Odyssey is so freaking good, and I say that even stuck at the Lord of Lightning battle lol (bah LOL *headdesk*). I might see if I can get my brother to beat him like he defeated Bowser on the first fight hehe. I could probably just keep trying until the little guy shows up with that extra heart. I do like how it’s kind of out of place a bit in the Mario universe, but it still works.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m looking forward to IX but definitely going to take a break from long RPGs for a while after the ones I’m playing now – they can really wear you out! I may actually go with XII first just because I love the battle system.

          Vita games are still pretty cheap, definitely. GameStop is practically giving them away and most stores still have a big pile of them sitting around in physical form. Digital there are of course a disgusting amount of games. You can pretty much play every Final Fantasy game up to X (in HD!) btw, if that is your cup of tea. Although if I can recommend any RPG, I’d definitely say Exist Archive was one of my favorites of the year. Although if you’re going to go all japanese, I’d just grab Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oooh recs make TSN happy! I might buy FFV on Vita. I’m just so much more likely to play it though that’s breaking my self promise to play the game as originally as possible and while it’s technically on a disk it’s still the old 16 bit.

            Well this gives me ideas on how to use my Best Buy gift card 😆


  3. I LOVE this post! So many thoughts… 🙂 Okay 1st of all Final Fantasy is my favourite series of all time. I understand your dislike of random encounters and would like to recommend 12 or 15, both of which have a normal open world with enemies you can see… giving you the choice of avoiding or engaging.

    You can also try 7 and 9 on PS4 or Android/iOS, as those specific versions include options to turn off random encounters and simply enjoy the story with easy battles 🙂

    Hatsune Miku… Boom quality choice! I had never heard of Miku until the 1st Project Diva F game hit Vita. I enjoyed the art style and crazy stress-busting tunes so much that I bought F 2nd on launch day… and it actually became my favourite game of that year. I still play it from time to time when I need a good ‘mind hit’ after a stressful day. Hello Worker is one of my faves as I relate to it a lot… and I love the ‘one take’ video that goes with it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Fed, thanks so much! First, I should have annotated somewhere.. I have played FF7 and in fact it’s one of my favorite games of all time. But, the only thing that got me through it (I beat it back in 2013, finally) was nostalgia goggles. And those games came out at the peak of turn-based sloooow rpgs that just wouldn’t play right for me today.

      For example, I’ve had FF6 on my bucket list for quite some time, and I got the SNES Classic and planned on playing it…. only, about a half an hour in, I realized I was already getting frustrated with all the random encounters. If you’re annoyed at a game after a half hour, you’re not gonna have a good time!

      I will say that FFX’s battle system was a lot more fun and strategic than just spamming ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK, so I enjoyed the boss fights a ton. I own FFXII and would like to play it eventually, I have about an hour logged but need a break from long RPGs after the ones I’m playing now!

      An old college buddy of mine also randomly sent me a box of his old PS1/PS2 stuff, so I also have FF9 in the collection, speaking of which. I would love to try it out, we’ll see how the RPG queue goes though.

      Hatsune Miku – I love Hello Worker as well! Incredible song. One of my favorites for sure. I want to grab Project X but I’m kind of jam-packed as it is, so, I’m hoping that SEGA puts out something for Switch because the buttons on the joycons would be perfect (because no d-pad).

      Thanks so much for reading and the comment! 😀 Have a great holiday

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahhhhh I see now 🙂 Yeah you can definitely get RPG fatigue. I really didn’t get on with the Project Diva X demo so chose not to buy it. It just didn’t feel as food as the F games. Can’t really say why.


        • Hah, same reason here! The songs in the demo didn’t do it for me, which does not exactly scream at me, “spend $30 on this!”

          I panicked and went on youtube and listened to the whole soundtrack as well and that almost spoiled it a little bit. Also wasn’t a huge fan of the songs, and I loved like 80% of the ones in F 2nd, which is an amazing number not for nothing.

          Although, and I did totally forget about this, but I did grab Project Mirai DX for the 3DS, which has the terrific touch-screen mode. Have you played that one? Lots of crossover from the Diva series so I recognized a lot of the songs, but there are some new awesome ones on there.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Nooooo 😦 I wanted Mirai and I tried the demo, but in London it is impossible to find. I can only see the JPN import online too. I’d download from the store but I’d need to buy a new SD card for the extra space, thus making the game £15 ish more expensive. I keep checking the 2nd hand shops from time to time. Maybe I’ll get lucky 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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