2017 was a great year for games — maybe the best in a decade. New consoles like the Nintendo Switch breathed fresh life to beloved franchises like Super Mario, series like Wolfenstein put out their best games to date and new titles like Everything became instant classics.
So many noteworthy games were released this year so it’s possible you missed a few. Or perhaps there hasn’t been enough time to play them all. Polygon has you covered, rounding up the best games of the year and breaking down why they were so great.
Polygon compiled the top 10 games of the year and we found the best places to pick them up for yourself or someone on your holiday shopping list.
10. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
It’s easy to champion The New Colossus as strikingly relevant in 2017 because of its gleeful fascist-killing. But where the game’s real relevance lies is in its feminine center. And how refreshing, in a world in which women’s bodies are consistently under threat, it is to play a video game that respects women as equals: strong, capable, persistent. Read more from Polygon here.
Here is a game that plays itself. It exists with or without you. In a medium full of power fantasies, Everything invites you to savor the power of knowing you’re powerless. It’s a reminder than no man is an island — unless he’s an island. Read more from Polygon here.
8. Horizon Zero Dawn
The lesson, and hope, of Horizon Zero Dawn is this: Humans can impose their will on the planet. We have the capacity to unmake this world. But with enough care and ingenuity, and a dollop of luck, we can remake it, too. Read more from Polygon here.
Prey knows and respects its forbearers. It’s one of the best games of 2017 not because it is radically different, but because it is unflinchingly, unashamedly and uncompromisingly constrained, reverential and modern at the same time — all the while making sure that players stand at the locus of decision. Read more from Polygon here.
6. Persona 5
So while Persona 5 still contains the utterly fantastical — grotesque monsters, a dark alternate dimension and a talking cat bus — it’s still something I could heartily recommend to anyone, with any gaming background. Read more from Polygon here.
5. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil 7 isn’t only one of the best games in the storied, two-decade-old series, but a confident new entry in the survival horror landscape. Read more from Polygon here.
4. Nier: Automata
Nier: Automata is talented, weird, serious, goofy, thought-provoking and beautiful, and it mixes up those qualities to hit you with each often enough that you don’t forget about any of them. Read more from Polygon here.
3. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is simply a celebration of all things Mario but what’s special about Super Mario Odyssey is the acknowledgement that the franchise must move forward and expand outward. Read more from Polygon here.
2. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds
Without Playerunknown’s mods and, eventually, PUBG, we wouldn’t be here. The genre wouldn’t be forever changed. And that’s what the best games do. They lead the charge. Read more from Polygon here.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild did so much so improbably well that it became the new standard by which I measure success. Eventually, I had to admit it: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t just the best game of 2017. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. Read more from Polygon here.
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