Game of the Year 2017: Rebekah’s picks

Credit: Nintendo
Credit: Nintendo /
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I spent a lot of time in 2017 playing ports on the Nintendo Switch. I also played a handful of incredible new titles. Here is my personal Game of the Year list for 2017.

breath of the wild the champions ballad
Credit: Nintendo /

Every year since I started writing about games, I’ve made a conscious effort to expand my horizons, play more major titles outside my comfort zone, and grow my understanding of games as a whole rather than focusing in on my favorite genres. In some ways, I succeeded this year. With my shiny new Nintendo Switch, I was able to play port after port of games I’d missed in previous years. So when I went back over the year’s offerings to decide my own Game of the Year list, I realized just how few brand new games I actually picked up.

Still, I was able to easily pick out ten new titles from 2017 that I feel are worthy of celebration. My 2017 gaming experience took me across vast mountain ranges, huge cityscapes, perplexing space shuttles, and lonesome forests. I wielded swords, guns, coffee cups, and my wits to push through powerful enemies, complex puzzles, and winding narratives. Man, I had fun.

The following is a list of what I played and enjoyed most in 2017. I’ve included for each one of my favorite music tracks, as a game’s soundtrack is one of the most important factors in how I personally enjoy games and all ten entries on this list had incredible scores. Here’s to another new year of great video games:

Rebekah’s Game of the Year #10 – Ever Oasis

Ever Oasis is, in my opinion, one of the most criminally underrated games of 2017. It certainly got good reviews, but its placement on a dying handheld device with a release right in the thick of E3 hype seems to have lost a lot of people. Grezzo did an impeccable job marrying two styles of games that often don’t play well with one another despite well-meaning attempts: sim city building, and action RPG. Your actions out in the field such as rescuing travelers, finding new items and exploring hidden areas will affect how your oasis progresses, which in turn changes who will come to visit and stay, which itself affects others who might show up. It’s a glorious gameplay loop.

But aside from the enjoyable play, the lovely art (some of the best on the 3DS!) and catchy tunes, one of my favorite aspects of Ever Oasis is not one that is oft spoken of. I played as the female Tethi, which meant that the vast majority of the game’s dialogue was just Tethi and Esna being pals. They shared their emotional struggles and triumphs, chatted about the state of the town, celebrated together, and were adorable best friends the whole time. 2017 had a hearty share of excellent friendships between ladies, but Ever Oasis will stick in my mind for a long time as one of the most straight-forward and pure I’ve ever experienced.