Don’t let anyone tell you that 2017 wasn’t a great year for games. Any year when Nintendo launches a new console plus new Mario and Zelda games is going to be a biggie, but this one also saw some brilliant new IPs and some of gaming’s biggest franchises back on form.
Whether you wanted to play hard-as-nails action games, high-speed racers or soulful indie gems, 2017 had you covered. In fact, the problem this year wasn’t the games, but simply finding the time to play them in.
That quality is reflected in the games that haven’t made it into the TR top ten. Nex Machina, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and FIFA 18 were all near misses. The year saw three amazing racers – Project Cars 2, F1 2017 and Forza Motorsport 7 – plus the slightly controversial Gran Turismo: Sport, yet none of them quite made the cut.
In Nioh, Team Ninja put out its strongest game in years, yet the bastard-hard Souls-a-like didn’t break our top ten. Nor could the Middle Earth epic, Shadow of War or Destiny 2. And while Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Call of Duty: World War 2 showed the two mega franchises revitalised, they still couldn’t crack our list. What did? Read on to discover our games of the year for 2017.
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Rime wears its inspirations on its sleeve – a little Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker here, a little Ico there, a little Journey. Yet its triumph is that it’s more than just an homage. It’s a stunning piece of work on a visual level, with its simple cel-shaded graphics elevated by the use of light and colour, and it’s blessed with a beautiful score. And while the platforming isn’t that challenging, Rime makes up for it through the way you explore mysterious environments and solve ingenious puzzles, the game teaching you basic principles then pushing you to take the next step. Yet what really earns Rime its top-ten position is the way it uses all this stuff to tell an affecting story that couldn’t be experienced any other way. We’ve seen dozens of arthouse games trying to be the next Journey. Rime’s the only one to come close.