It's time for the 2017 Quarterlies! Vote for Quarter to Three's Best Game of 2017

  1. Elex
  2. Ghost Recon: Wildlands

This is really a vote for a genre, and I put the smaller guys first. Elex is an open-worlder with hand-crafted quests and writing, and middling production values. Wildlands is an open-worlder which relied more on systemic content to fill its vast and beautiful landscape along with super high production values.

They both let me go to some fascinating place and have adventures, which is what this hobby’s been giving me for 35 years now. Yay gaming :)

Do expansions on 3 year old games (Hearthstone) count?

  1. Tacoma
  2. Pyre
  3. Stories Untold
  4. Breath of the Wild
  5. Mass Effect Andromeda
  1. Horizon Zero Dawn
  2. Nioh
  3. Prey
  4. Super Mario Odyssey
  5. Little Nightmares

Honorable mentions (or what would be my 6-10): Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Lost Legacy, Hellblade, Nier, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Ruiner

Haven’t played/in process of playing games that could maybe have made it: Yakuza 0, Divinity Original Sin 2, Hollow Knight.

  1. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

This game made me create a memorial photo of one of my soldiers who died fighting one of the Chosen. I posted it on my Facebook wall. I think my brain needs a CT scan now.

  1. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Yes, this sort of means that there are two XCOM games at the top of my list. 2017 seems to have been an embarassment of riches.

  1. Spirit Island

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio/ Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  1. Total War: Warhammer 2

My dinosaurs ride dinosaurs and kill elves. I really don’t know what else you’re looking for beyond that. Also, a giant hamster wheel that shoots lightning. In my total war game. The only way this could be better is if these factions were unceremoniously dropped into, say, a new Rome 2 expansion.

  1. Monster Slayers

It turns out that iterating on Dream Quest was a great idea. Who knew? Oh, right. Nerdook Productions knew.

  1. Prey

    Prey is amazing. The Talos 1 space station where most of the action of the game happens is the best environment ever done in a game. The level design is sooo good, both visually and structurally (secrets, alternate routes, sequence skips, etc). And then it’s filled to the brim with juicy audiologs and emails, detailing the lives and schemes of the 100+ people on the station. I had to find out everything I could about all of them. There was very little about this game that I didn’t love.

    Having Prey possibly be the swan song for the immersive sim just makes it hit that much harder. To me, the tepid response to Prey is the biggest crime in games this year.

  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

    It’s been a couple of decades since I’ve been able to play a multiplayer shooter for more than half an hour. They just don’t hold my interest at all. I couldn’t stop playing PUBG. It’s like a proper old-school roguelike: you put all this effort in for a buildup, and then throw it all away in one ill-considered move. It feels like there’s actual stakes involved. So once you reach the top 10, the tension is just unbearable. The first half a dozen times I got to the top 3, I just totally froze. Everything I knew about the tactics of the game and everything I’d learned about actually shooting a gun just went out the window.

    It’s been something like 4 months since I won my first game, and I could still retell the story of the last 5 minutes of that game. I could probably retrace my movements pretty exactly.

  3. Horizon: Zero Dawn

    H:ZD nails the core gameplay loop of fighting giant robot dinosaurs with a bow and arrow. It feels so good. They also have the most likable protagonist in a game this year, and an epic and gripping sci-fi backstory. I absolutely had to know what had happened to create this fucked up world. The best part is that they actually both deliver the full story, and have it make perfect sense; every time I thought they’d just slipped up and left a massive plot hole in, it got resolved in an hour.

    The main place where it falls down are the side quests; the writing is good enough that you’ll probably want to do them, but the actual implementation tends to be just tedious Witcher-visioning.

  4. Opus Magnum

    The best Zachtronics game so far. It’s a programming puzzle game. Unlike a couple of their most recent games, it returns back to the SpaceChem roots of having to fight awkward physical constraints. And unlike all of their previous games, they’ve finally removed the artificial restrictions on solution size. So it’s now usually trivial to make a solution that works, and then you can start to iterate on it. That’s a lot more compelling a workflow than having to spend an hour just trying to get something that passes the tests in Shenzhen IO.

    A big thanks to all the players in the Qt3 community: the game would be just a shadow of itself without the friendly leaderboard competition.

  5. Dead Cells

    Incredibly fluid 2d movement and combat, that never got old for me. I know the early access label has turned a lot of people off this game. But it’s really good. It’s been really good starting from the first release.

  1. Total War: Warhammer 2
  2. Persona 5
  3. Prey
  4. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn

Honorable mentions : Nioh, Zelda (didn’t play enough to really tell yet but I enjoy the open world)

I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed Warhammer 2 , especially since I was pretty lukewarm on the first one.

  1. Slime Rancher
  2. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
  3. Monster Hunter Stories
  4. Injustice 2
  5. Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels (dlc expansion)

(edit - accidently hit post before adding #5)

  1. Divinity Original sin 2
  2. XCOM2 war of the chosen
  3. Unexplored
  4. Age of rivals
  5. Nioh

Bearing in mind that there is another 50+ games I didn’t spend enough or no time with, this is my list.

Top 2 choices are way above everything else. Divorisin 2 is everything I want in a top down party based RPG. Interesting quests but not too narrative heavy, amazing combat system, many different ways of solving quests. It is the first RPG that has truly enchanted me since the Ultima series.

XCOM2 : WOTC refines the original formula to make it even better, just a lot of fun.

Shout out to Unexplored a real time but pausable roguelike randomly generated levels, decent boss monsters, constant new content from the developers. You should try it if you are even remotely interested in this genre.

Thanks for organizing, @Brooski!

  1. Race for the Galaxy
    Simply spent more time playing this (against the Hard AI 1-on-1) than anything else. And just as I hit 1000 games and was burning out, the new expansion came out and now I’m playing (and losing) again.

  2. Hollow Knight
    Beautiful, evocative, exquisitely tuned, inventive, and huge. Is this is ultimate Metroidvania? Few games compel me to 100% them; I’m not there yet with Hollow Knight, and that fact keeps itching at me.

  3. LogISTical
    The most continuous hours I played this year in any game because it was so addictive. And that was just spent completing… a third? of Australia? The amount of content in this game and its expansions is absolutely absurd.

  4. West of Loathing
    The best joke delivery system since Monkey Island. Also, surprisingly fun to look at and even thematically cohesive, considering the silliness.

  5. Hob
    Virtually tied with Gorogoa, but I’m giving it the tilt for sentimental reasons because its the last Runic Games work. Another that I had to 100% because exploring it was so satisfying. With some more polish in the level design department, this would have been a masterpiece of 3D platforming, but it’s still gorgeously realized and a rich gameplay experience.

Runners up:

  • Gorogoa (best looking game of the year, plays like nothing else)
  • Super Blood Hockey (perfect reinvention of NES Ice Hockey)
  • Cat Quest (my kind of RPG)
  • Shadowhand (still a great core solitaire mechanic, and well conceived RPG wrapper)
  • Shadow Tactics (never thought Desperados would get a reboot)
  • Lanota (I think this came out in 2016, but it’s a brilliant iOS rhythm game I assume no one has played and I love it).

@Ex-SWoo - could you bold your game titles, please? (Thanks!)
@Chappers - could you un-bold your numbers and let Discourse do the “special” number formatting, please? (Thanks!)

  1. Through the Ages Mobile port of the boardgame. Great UI, great tutorial, great AI on top of a great game.
  2. Race for the Galaxy What @Nightgaunt said, except I play against easy AI.
  3. Dominions 5 Slightly better UI, slightly better graphics, simultaneous combat, and lots more stuff. I learned this game by playing Dom4. Now, I need to really learn this game.
  4. Star Fleet Armada: Rogue Adventures Part Star Control 2, part FTL, grand space strategy infused with simple arcadey mini-games that somehow never get boring. (Also has the official @BrianRubin Space Game Junkie seal of approval).
  5. Antihero This turn-based Victorian digital board game deserves more love.

Edit for an honorable mention: Missile Cards. Fun, fast, addictive take on the old Atari Missile Command. I play it incessantly on my phone, but it is also on Steam.

2017 was nothing if not the Year of the Boardgame. Every game on my list is either an original digital board/card game, an adaptation, or a boardgame in spirit if not by design.

  1. Afghanistan '11
  2. Antihero
  3. Age of Rivals
  4. Through the Ages
  5. Race for the Galaxy

[note] I have no idea how to get Discourse to do the numbering, but if someone can tell me I’ll adjust my post.


You just need to consistently number with “1.”, “2.”, etc before each game title on separate lines. Thanks for asking.

  1. Divinity: Original Sin 2
  2. Prey
  3. Torment: Tides of Numenera
  4. Divinity: Original Sin 2
  5. Divinity: Original Sin 2

If I can’t vote for Div2 more than once, discard the last 2 votes, I haven’t played anything else that belongs on the list.

  1. Antihero , this digital boardgame has its hooks into me big time. Over 200 hours played this year. Qt3 needs to do the right thing and make sure everyone buys a copy.
  2. Hollow Knight , amazing setting and lore. Also the music is out of this world.
  3. Assassins Creed: Origins , what a fantastic recreation of Egypt , the story and combat are just alright, the setting and world are the main selling points. If anything I want exploration mode asap.
  4. Cat Quest , I never though this cute arpg would get its claws into me, it did.
  5. Prey , Since we had extra time to vote, I had time to play this! And its amazing, exactly the kind of world I love to explore and as always top tier Arkane Studios presentation.

EDITED 1/12/18 @ 9:40pm

Removed from Top 5, but still great games:
Aven Colony , Great casual colony builder, really scratches that itch to balance everything and make it still look good. ;)
CAYNE, a free isometric horror game, its short and the level art/design is amazing. Its a prequel to STASIS.

“Late To The Party” Award: Assassins Creed Syndicate , amazing world / level design, good story, two fantastic characters, a train! Overall it nailed the AC formula for me, and the final boss was not total trash for once. Best Assassins Creed game I played this year.

“Game Tom Loved that I did not Love Award:” Agents of Mayhem , I finished the main story and uninstalled, the world was bland and everything was so focused on grinding to level up the characters that I feel the game as a whole lost some of its uniqueness that their previous Saints games had.

I am shocked at how few 2017 games I played and actually liked this year, indie games dominate most of my list. These might have been top 5 votes if I’d of found time to play them (I own but haven’t touched Wolf 2 TNC, Sniper Elite 4, Death of The Outsider, DOS:2 , Tourment T of N, The Sexy Brutale). I buy too many games…

Trust stusser to come up with a class of problems that I did not foresee in my tallying script.

  1. Age of Rivals - I don’t even regret spending 58 hours on this.
  2. Afghanistan '11
  3. Solar Settlers

I’ll save my vote for RimWorld until next year. I haven’t played Starfleet Armada enough yet to be sure I like it.

  1. Persona 5
  2. Super Mario Odyssey
  3. Metroid: Samus Returns
  4. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  5. Golf Story

I did a longer post with more detailed thoughts here. The only post-Christmas change: I’ve switched out Xenoblade in the #5 spot with Golf Story. I’m up over a hundred hours on Xenoblade and at something around ten in Golf Story, and I think I’ve had more fun playing the latter, never mind fun relative to time or anything else. I had no idea I needed a GolfRPG, but it really hit the spot.

  1. Nex Machina
    The best twin-stick shooter for ages, perfectly balanced risk and reward mechanics, great music, so good it killed the entire genre.

  2. Paradigm
    The best point-and-click adventure for ages, one of the few games to make me genuinely laugh, and laugh, twisted sense of humour (that explains it), a real tour-de-force from a single dev.

  3. Prey
    I haven’t reached the end yet, where reportedly it doesn’t quite hold up, but for the first half at least it’s the System Shock sequel I’d been waiting for.

  4. Stories Untold
    If you’d have told me in 1984 that text adventures would look like this in 2017, I’d have believed you.

  5. Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
    Shows that ArenaNet still have plenty of great ideas to keep their flagship MMO relevant and interesting.

I’m sure there are plenty of other games that would have made my list, had I only played them. So I’ll just point out that my two favourite games of 2017 were Divinity Original Sin (the first one) and The Witcher 3. Don’t hold your breath for my assessment of Assassin’s Creed Origins before 2021.