2017 boasted an exciting (and overwhelming) amount of quality video games. So much so that my backlog is a constant source of mirth to my friends and family. But through the legion of titles, some bubbled to the top. Here’s my top 3 video games of 2017:

#1 – Divinity Original Sin 2 (PC)

Kickstarter darling and heir to the throne left empty by the RPG titans of old such as Baldurs Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Planescape Torment and Icewind Dale, Divinity Original Sin II reclaims that bygone era’s computer gaming greatness with panache and insane amounts of ways to play the game however you wish. Tired of slipping on icy surfaces? No problem — combine nails with any pair of boots or shoes and you’ll never fall on your ass and lose a precious turn in battle again. Want to make that scroll a permanent fixture in your spellbook? Simply combine the scroll with an empty book of that school of magic and voila, it’s yours. And that’s just the tip of the spear, people. Everything is useful and the roleplaying options are seemingly endless. That’s to say nothing of the absolutely brilliant (if a bit broken with certain builds) turn-based combat system and solid character customization. This game is a veritable treasure trove of content for a fraction of the price of a AAA game, with heaps of replay value. I cannot recommend this title enough. If you like any of the games I mentioned above and you love a deep, varied combat system, you owe it to yourself to pick this up right now.

#2 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)

No other game transports me to another world like Zelda does and Breath of the Wild excels in this. Chills ran up my skin the moment I left Link’s tomb and saw the vast, sprawling verdant world before me. Trees rustling softly in the wind, birds chirping somewhere in the crisp blue sky and the warm sun beating down upon my cold elven skin. This game rewards exploration and gives the player the tools to tackle the game as he or she wishes. It also respects the player’s intelligence in a way that most other games do not. It is filled with a ridiculous amount of secrets and things to learn and puts you in the middle of a truly interesting, magical world. Tame horses, cook food, build houses, make potions, and explore to your heart container’s content. Truly a modern masterpiece in open world games and the very best reason to buy a Nintendo Switch if you haven’t already.

#3 – Torment: Tides of Numenera (PC, Xbox, PS4)

Another Kickstarter project and spiritual successor to the grim classic Planescape: Torment. Tides of Numenera puts players into a brand new roleplaying system and world while attempting to retain the gritty, philosophical look and feel of Planescape: Torment, and largely succeeds. The game eschews a complex combat system in favor of deep dialogue and dark, heavy existential themes that will have you thinking about your choices after you’ve ended your session. What does one life matter?

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