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Dec 31, 2017

Ed Acosta’s Top 10 Games of 2017

Ed has played a smattering of games throughout the year. This was a busy year personally for him, with a day job and getting married, but he still made time to play games. Here’s his personal favorites in a very specific order from this year.

10. Forza Motorsport 7

I do wish this made it higher on my list. I love the Forza series and it’s been that way since 2005. Motorsport 7 has the same amazing Forza gameplay we’ve all come to expect. The graphics are incredible, car models and the tracks, they’re just spectacular. They even have career races that are well done this year. It’s so unfortunate that the game suffers from decisions made outside the core gameplay. It’s saddled with loot boxes and a car collection system that leads to endless grinding. Taking what should be a fun and exciting time to a slow drag.

09. Mass Effect: Andromeda

Ah yes, the game everyone loves to hate. I did really enjoy my time with Andromeda though. Sure it wasn’t the best Mass Effect and it was riddled with bugs and bad animations, but there was fun to still be had; even if the bad animations easily pulled you out of the narrative. This game could have been great and the potential was there. It’s unfortunate that they were unable to execute on that vision by the time of release. Patch after patch fixed bugs and animations. They fixed faces and dialogue. It was all too little too late. Needless to say, I still had a good time exploring this universe.

08. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

C’mon Nintendo, get a real Animal Crossing on the Switch ASAP! Until then Pocket Camp is an ok alternative. It lacks a lot of the features and charm of a full-blown Animal Crossing but for me, it did hit a bit of a sweet spot. One of my favorite aspects of Animal Crossing is “collecting” new villagers for your town. So with Pocket Camp’s emphasis on inviting new townsfolk to your camp really stuck. Crafting items to bring them there wasn’t terrible, it felt like a system that fit the style. Showing the timers on things did end up giving the game a more mobile feel even though the main titles basically function on timers. I do feel like the game is starting to wear thin on me. I feel 8 is the right spot at this time.

07. Sonic Mania

Based on SEGA’s track record, this game should have been terrible. Lucky for us, this game ended up being a wonderful surprise in 2017. It took what the audience wanted and actually executed, classic Sonic in classically designed stages, with modern touches. The game’s physics were tight and felt near sonic perfect from the moment you picked up the controller. It also helped that the game was designed by Sonic fans and you could tell they put their heart into what they love.

06. Destiny 2

2017 was an amazing year for games. Any other year Destiny 2 would have been higher as it was definitely one of the great releases this year. It brought with it a fully fleshed out story, quality of life improvements over Destiny 1, and more of that same Bungie shooter fare. As with its predecessor, Destiny 2 was a great social game, play it with friends for hours on end or with strangers now with clans and guides. If you hate people, you could just as easily go grab a podcast to listen to and run and gun. It’s unfortunate how many issues this game is having post-launch with loot boxes, player progression, and additional quality of life issues.

05. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2

The first LEGO Marvel game appeared on my GOTY list way back in 2013. There have been many LEGO games to come out since then and this year’s LEGO Marvel 2 keeps all the fun of the LEGO titles of yore and crafts a new and wild story for these minifigs to play out. There are a ton of superheroes to unlock in this one in what may be the most I’ve seen in a LEGO game to date; maybe over 200?! The open world you explore is cool with it being split into different biomes, all connected together. Character interactions are just a quirky as you’d expect from a LEGO game and it has that same LEGO Charm. It’s another great LEGO title to add to your collection.

04. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Wildlands was another 2017 surprise, especially based on trailers and a less than stellar E3 reveal. The 4 player co-op action was perfect for drop-in drop-out play. Wildlands hit the same notes as Destiny in the way it had fun physics to enjoy with friends. On top of that, there was a gigantic world to play in with a variety of vehicles to travel with. Get bored of a story mission? Grab your buddies to go steal a helicopter. Or how about cause havoc at an enemy base 10 real-world minutes away. There is so much to do in Wildlands and doing them with friends makes it so much more fun.

03. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

What an amazing Zelda game. There is so much to see and to do. Nintendo took open-world to new heights, quite literally. Link’s ability to traverse up mountain ranges and tall towers gave this game some spectacular views and tough challenges. Sure games like Assassin’s Creed have done the open world and climbing before, but Nintendo took the formula and gave it their own spin. I may not have liked the stamina gauge but it did make some parts of the game challenging, in the fun way mind you. Everything about this game was fun, the dungeons, the shrines, and the Nintendo style writing. Being able to play the story at your own pace and direction made this my top choice for when it comes to The Legend of Zelda.

02. Yakuza 0 / Yakuza Kiwami 

Wow, never would I have imagined a Yakuza game being so close to the top. Yakuza 0 blew me away this year. The story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The side quests were plentiful and the game had fun with its own world and characters. It was serious when it needed to be but was always able to break from the darker tones by giving Kiryu and Majima some lighthearted fare. The two bonus activities of real estate and the club added more depth to the already dense Yakuza 0. This was the perfect game to get me started on the series and with Yakuza Kiwami, the remake of the original PS2 Yakuza game running on Yakuza 0 tech, coming out this year too, it kept the series fresh in my mind. It was the perfect timing to feed my hunger for more Yakuza.

01. Super Mario Odyssey 

Boy what can I say about Odyssey, this is a damn near perfect Mario game. There is a ton of stuff I don’t have to mention because being Nintendo’s flagship, they always get it right. Controls, physics, world design, story, boss battles, collectibles, etc… Nintendo hits them out of the park. I guess I just did mention it. Regardless, here we are with their first Switch Mario title and it’s the best Mario game to date. I love all the worlds, even the less than fun water one. I love getting to find all the moons hidden throughout. I enjoyed the few surprises it throws you later in the game and I definitely loved being able to unlock a plethora of costumes and hats to wear. The Cappy mechanic is fun and easy to get into while cap-turing enemies and objects added a whole new level to puzzle solving platforming.