By my estimation, 2017 was one of the best years in gaming history. Even if we ignore the Nintenvày Switch (and we will because this is tudaimynhan.vn) 2017 delivered an incredible number of top-tier games. Our initial version of this menu of the best PC games was almost 30 entries long, and paring it down to 10 was painful. I can name a handful of games we cut in 2017 that would’ve sầu made 2016’s Game of the Year các mục over & above some of the selections we actually included last year, including Opus Magnum, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Hollow Knight, Resident Evil VII, and Observer.
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But ten’s our number, & so ten is what you’ll find below, followed by a couple of honorable mentions. As always, our danh sách is in no particular order—there’s a trò chơi of the Year, but below that is simply nine runners-up.
Dark Souls has inspired many imitators—so many it’s become a running joke. Few have sầu reached the same heights as From Software’s originals, though.
Nioh ($50 on Steam) is one of the few. It borrows quite a bit from Souls for sure, but evolves many of those ideas in just the ways you’d expect from a Team Ninja game. It’s fast, aggressive sầu, và unforgiving, with a remarkable amount of depth in its combat system.
Most noteworthy are the weapon stances. Each of Nioh’s dozen or so weapon categories (Spears, Dual Swords, Kusarigama, etc.) can be used in High, Middle, và Low stance, with each stance resulting in entirely different animations & combos. Once you get the hang of it you’ll find yourself swapping stances mid-fight or even mid-bộ combo to keep your opponent off-balance or maybe get in an extra-powerful hit while they’re staggered.
But my favorite feature is the Ki Pulse. Like in Dark Souls, attacking and blocking depletes stamina (called Ki here), và once it’s gone you leave sầu yourself open khổng lồ attaông chồng. But whereas in Souls this often means cutting an attack short, in Nioh you can follow up a bộ combo with a well-timed button tap to lớn instantly regenerate some stamina—then either retreat to safety or continue khổng lồ press the attack. It’s a smart system, và one that encourages a much more aggressive play style.
Turns out that’s exactly what I wanted from a Souls-style game. There’s plenty more we could discuss, especially surrounding the game’s take on Tokugawa-era nhật bản & the exaggerated story of real-life sailor/samurai William Adams, but combat is key to this genre & it’s Nioh’s exceptional combat that kept me coming back night after night.
Did you expect Prey ($40 on Steam) to be good? Wait, you mean Prey, the follow-up khổng lồ that campy 2006 shooter? The one sandbagged by controversy after Bethesdomain authority scrapped Human Head’s original sequel and gave sầu the property lớn Arkane? Yeah, that Prey.
I certainly didn’t expect Prey khổng lồ be good. Or at least not “Game of the Year list” good.Mentioned in this article
Arkane pulled it off though. The key lớn Prey lies in its openness và system-drive sầu gameplay. Arkane gives the player tools, and it’s up to the player to lớn use them, be it brute force or a craftier approach. The elevator’s broken? Sure, you could rewire it, or you could use your glue gun khổng lồ create ledges in the empty shaft, then climb to the next floor. Door locked? Shoot the release valve sầu with your Nerf gun—or co-opt alien powers to transform yourself inkhổng lồ a coffee mug, then jump through the hole.
If Dishonored is Arkane’s modernized take on Thief, Prey is System Shock. You’ve sầu got your deserted space station (Talos I), your alien presence, and so on. More than anything though, you’ve got the spirit of System Shock—a free-khung approach to lớn problem solving, where every door has about a dozen keys if you know how khổng lồ use the tools you’ve sầu been given. It’s a game that makes you feel like a genius even when you’re playing exactly how the designers planned, which is a rare chất lượng indeed.
Stories Untold ($10 on Steam) is likely the smallest game on this các mục. A horror anthology, Stories Untold consists of four short vignettes, more ominous than outright terrifying. The first chapter actually came out of a game jam called The House Abandon, where you’re trang chính alone playing a text adventure & then...well, I don’t want lớn spoil it.Mentioned in this article
That’s a running theme with Stories Untold, actually. It works because so much of its horror is understated, subtle. Much of it is couched in mundanity, lượt thích the twiddling of knobs on an X-Ray setup or entering code words into lớn a workstation while it softly snows outside. There’s a focus on analog giải pháp công nghệ, the ways we interface with machines—& no surprise, once you find out one of the developers worked on the retrofuturistic tech in Alien: Isolation.
The final chapter of Stories Untold isn’t quite as satisfying, trying lớn tie a neat bow on what up until that point was a refreshingly messy experiment. But it makes our danh sách if for nothing else because it proves unequivocally how many avenues developers have sầu yet to explore, & how even something this simple can khung a connection just as svào (if not more so) than the relentless bombast of games with a hundred times the budget.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Torment: Tides of Numenera ($45 on Steam) had enormous shoes to fill. After all, it was billed as a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, long considered one of the greachạy thử games ever made. That’s not a burden I’d willingly take on.
The surprising part is Tides of Numenera mostly pulls it off. Maybe not so much from a mechanics standpoint—it’s weirdly easy lớn abuse Numenera’s systems, especially when it comes to lớn skill checks. Each character has a pool of points which can be spent lớn ensure success on nearly any task, and those points replenish when you rest. Powerful right? And there’s no penalty for resting, so…
It doesn’t matter though, at least not if (like me) you’re in it for the story. In 30ish hours I only had to lớn sit through a half-dozen fights. The rest was spent exploring Numenera’s refreshingly weird world và reading through pages và pages of dialogue. You know, the same reasons people liked Planescape all those years ago. From cities hidden inside transdimensional space slugs to lớn a tavern full of psychics khổng lồ a room inside your own mind, Tides of Numenera always has some new wonder khổng lồ show you. It’s a phông of creativity in a genre that’s all-too-often willing to lớn play it safe, and a reminder that video clip games can do anything, not just retread the same narrow slice of tropes time and time again.
If you’re looking for a(nother) game to fight your way through, Tides of Numenera probably isn’t a good choice. But if you just want to lớn be told a story, or want khổng lồ explore an interesting world & read pages và pages of dialogue about what makes it tick, then I think you’ll love it.
The Evil Within 2
It took me three years, but I finally finished The Evil Within in October—after its sequel had already released. I won’t take much time lớn discuss it here, but suffice it to lớn say: The Evil Within is the worst masterpiece I’ve ever played. It has some of my favorite moments in any horror game ever, but it’s debatable whether those moments are worth playing through one of the decade’s jankiest games và fighting its busted save system.Mentioned in this article
I recommend The Evil Within 2 ($60 on Steam) wholeheartedly though. Picking up where the first game left off, returning protagonist Detective sầu Sebastian Castellanos is forced khổng lồ re-enter STEM, a virtual world of sorts that’s “hosted” in someone’s brain. In the original Evil Within the brain in question belonged to a psychopath—the reason it all went so wrong.
In The Evil Within II, the host is Sebastian’s daughter, & she’s being threatened by some unknown force. It’s campy for sure, but an excellent cài đặt for psychological trickery & some amazing environments, reminiscent of German Expressionism or (for an example closer to home) the best moments in Silent Hill’s history. The final two hours or so are some of the most audacious I’ve ever seen a horror game attempt.
Pair all that with a game that actually plays well this time around & you’ve sầu got a winner. The Evil Within II sands off some of its predecessor’s rough edges, và while usually that’d be cause for concern...well, The Evil Within had a lot of rough edges, và losing a few leads to a much more enjoyable experience. It’s a solid stealth game, a decent shooter, and everything in between, meaning you can sit baông xã & admire the spectacle.
In their Kickstarter chiến dịch Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnichồng, & Co. pitched Thimbleweed Park as “lượt thích an undiscovered classic LucasArts’ adventure game you’d never played before.” They succeeded.
Like most homages, Thimbleweed Park ($20 on Steam) works because it captures the spirit of those classic SCUMM adventures instead of the reality. The bloông xã of verbs in the lower-left corner, stunning pixel art, mind-bending puzzles—they conjure up memories of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, and so on. But the verbs are more flexible than they were baông chồng in the day, the px art more complex, & the puzzles often more logical than anything from the “real” classics.
The story, setting, & humor are Thimbleweed’s true strengths though. The cài đặt is simple enough: There’s been a murder in the titular town of Thimbleweed Park, và you’ve sầu been left to unravel the mystery. Thimbleweed Park is a Twin Peaks-esque town full of odd và unnerving characters though, lượt thích a foul-mouthed clown trapped at the local carnival, or a woman who converted her pie cửa hàng lớn sell vacuum tubes. It’s wonderfully bizarre, & choông chồng full of inside jokes for longtime SCUMM fans và regular jokes for the rest.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
I could list a half-dozen things I don’t lượt thích about Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus ($60 on Steam), starting with the laông xã of feedbaông xã when you’re being shot và ending with the final big fight (a slog). But at the over of the day, I just don’t care.
I loved 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, và Wolfenstein II gave me more of what I loved: The absurd swings between BJ Blazkowicz’s gravelly monologues one second và campy All American rah-rah patriotism the next, the Nazified alt-history takes on 1960s và 70s pop culture, a certain willingness to lớn go for it, lớn come up with absurd phối pieces and ideas and then stick with them. In The New Order that meant going to lớn the moon. In The New Colossus, it’s...well, let’s just say an old dementia-riddled man provides some amazing entertainment.
So sure, there are a few parts where the pacing flags, a handful of arenas where the weaknesses of the shooting mechanics really get in the way.The New Colossus’s greademo sin is arriving in a post-Doom world, because the Doom reboot is one of the all-time great shooters. Wolfenstein II is not.
It’s one of the all-time great shooter stories though, tackling America’s strengths and its most dire social ills, with a side helping of (lớn quote Blazkowicz) “Lotta things you can vì chưng with a hatchet & a Nazi.”
The biggest misconception about Nier: Automata ($60 on Steam) is that it has five sầu endings. It doesn’t. It has one ending, and it is worth your while lớn reach it.
The confusion stems from terminology. Nier boasts of 26 different “endings,” with five “main endings.” Having played a few visual novels và RPGs in my time, I took this to mean that the player reaches an ending và then starts over from the beginning khổng lồ attempt a new one. Nier’s endings are more like chapters though. After each “ending” the game continues on inlớn new territory, into lớn bits of the story you’ve sầu never seen before.
What a story it is, too. Nier: Automata is the tale of 2B and 9S, two androids charged with removing a more dangerous robot presence from Earth and making it habitable for humans who long since fled to lớn space once again. There are familiar themes here, with NieR exploring the usual “What does it mean to lớn be human?” and so on, but it shines in the details—a stunning amusement park full of nhảy robots, or another obsessed with Nietzsbít and other philosophers, or a robot child who’s fled from its mother. Moments that stick with you, both these & others (more emotional) that I don’t want khổng lồ ruin.
And it all culminates in a climax (the legendary “Ending E”) that no matter how much it’s been hyped will still likely manage khổng lồ surprise you. I’ve sầu never seen anything lượt thích it.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Writing up Divinity: Original Sin for 2014’s iteration of our Game of the Year menu, I said it was “the game you’d get if isometric CRPGs had continued lớn innovate for the last 15 years instead of the genre almost disappearing.” With dozens of interlocking mechanics for players khổng lồ explore, the joy of Original Sin came from asking “What happens if...?” questions—What happens if I cause it lớn rain on these fire elementals? Now what happens if I electrođáng yêu the puddle underneath them?—and then giggling with delight at the logical-but-still-somehow-surprising results. Surprising, if only because few games bother to implement those sorts of cause-and-effect relationships.
Divinity: Original Sin II ($45 on Steam) doubles down on those ideas, introducing wild new spells và abilities to lớn the player’s repertoire. For instance, elven characters can eat body toàn thân parts to lớn attain a glimpse of a dead person’s memories, while undead can steal the faces of their enemies và wear them around Hannibal Lecter-style. You can even talk khổng lồ ghosts.
But it’s Original Sin II’s story that demonstrates the most improvement. In broad strokes it’s the same “Stop the ultimate evil, save sầu the world” tale as many other RPGs. Larian’s hallmark mechanics-first approach is woven in though, with every quest, every dialogue, every interaction modified by your character’s chất lượng traits—race, class, upbringing, và so on. The system works even better if you play as one of the five premix “Origin” characters, which have sầu fully realized backstories that cast you as, for a character with a demon living in her head, or the last member of a long-forgotten race.
Divinity: Original Sin II is better in every way than its predecessor, and likely the closest runner-up khổng lồ GOTY 2017. It’s also up there with The Witcher 3 as one of the best RPGs this decade, with only a buggy và lackluster final chapter (80-plus hours in) detracting somewhat from the experience.
Game of the Year: What Remains of Edith Finch
I played What Remains of Edith Finch ($20 on Steam) in April. For the last eight months I’ve sầu been trying & failing to lớn write a đánh giá, khổng lồ put into lớn words how this game made me feel. Here we are in December và I’m still struggling, albeit now with a deadline.
Even recounting the basics feels like an insurmountable task. Edith Finch shares much of its DNA with the so-called “Walking Simulator” genre, especially in its early stages. You play as the titular Edith, và you’ve arrived bachồng at the Finch family home about a decade after leaving. The Finch trang chính is an architectural anomaly, a reserved-looking mansion with towers & spires seemingly fastened on the edges at random.
There’s a reason, though. Central to lớn Edith Finch is a gimmick: Every time a thành viên of the Finch family dies, their room in the house is sealed off, a time capsule forever preserved in the state that person left it. In other games you might explore these rooms, come to your conclusions about the inhabitants, & leave sầu. In Edith Finch though, each room is the gateway khổng lồ a short (often 2 khổng lồ 5 minute) vignette capturing the final moments of the family member in question.
Here’s where Edith Finch starts to diverge from its “walking simulator” roots, because the core criticism of those games is that they’re light on mechanics, right? It’s in the name—you just walk.
But in Edith Finch, every vignette seizes on different ideas lớn tell its story. A father out on a hunting trip with his daughter is told through the Polaroids he left behind, và as the player you control the camera. Another recounts the story of a teenage film star through one of her comic book adaptations, with you controlling the action in each comic frame. In another, you just enjoy your time on a rope swing.
It’s an incredible thiết kế accomplishment, a combination of narration and visual metaphor turning these small and highly stylized stories into lớn a web of character arcs. On và on it goes, through something like two-dozen family members. Noting where the stories intersect you start lớn build out a mythology—you begin khổng lồ understvà why one retreated to lớn the basement, why another got divorced.
What Remains of Edith Finch is a story about stories, but without the unbearable self-congratulatory tone those often take. It’s also a story about death, but one that treats it merely as an inevitability & a fact of life without becoming morbid or maudlin. There are heavy moments, but there’s also humor, absurdity, wisdom, childlike wonder. It’s as complicated as the human experience can be, drawn out over four generations of the American Dream.
There were plenty of great games in 2017. It was hard to lớn put together this list. But I don’t think any says as much or will remain so achingly relevant in a decade as What Remains of Edith Finch.
Honorable Mention: Playerunknown"s Battlegrounds
There was a lot of discussion around the internet this year about whether Early Access games deserve sầu khổng lồ be on Game of the Year lists—discussion that’s now moot, because Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds ($30 on Steam) released lớn 1.0 this week.
For the record, our official stance is: No, they don’t. But it’s fine if you disagree. It’s all a bit arbitrary. The bigger discussion, I think, is whether PUBG should be in contention for trò chơi of the Year at all. Personally I don’t think so—even at 1.0, the game is still pretty damn buggy at times, & lacks quite a bit of polish.Mentioned in this article
There"s no denying PUBG has had an impact though. Fortnite is the first of presumably many knock-offs, and everything from hotline of Duty to Counter-Strike is now rumored to be planning a Battle Royale mode. In less than a year the shooter landscape has completely changed.
And despite its flaws, PUBG is still one hell of a game. Whether you spkết thúc your time pulling off motorcycle stunts or cowering in a shed with a shotgun pointed at the door, there’s a tension to lớn each PUBG session that’s unmatched in other competitive games. That’s what ultimately lands it on this menu, even if I still think it needs another 6-12 months in active development before fulfilling its potential.
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