So if you are a gamer, after the holidays you probably have gift cards or Xmas monies burning and screaming to be taken by your local game shoppe. If you do, then we got you covered, here’s some of 2017’s finest that may still need a good home:

What Remains of Edith Finch

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I’m not the biggest fan of walking simulators. Firewatch didn’t do much for me and Gone Home had a disappointing bait and switch story. However, What Remains of Edith Finch came along with a lot of charm and narrative creativity. The game is about coming home and finds the player walking around a spooky house unlocking secrets of your family history. As you walk thru the environments, charming and often heartbreaking stories unfold before you about the tragic history of many members of your family. What unfolds is a sad but uplifting story of moving forward. It is perhaps one of the most sentimental games I’ve played.

System: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

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This title proves that old can be new again. Another homage to the 8-bit style of yesteryear, Wonder Boy is retro platforming at its finest. This game is a remake of the classic Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap that came to the TurboGraffix-16 and Sega Master System, and features a brand new art style and soundtrack. Even cooler, you can go back to the original graphical style in HD as well as the original soundtrack. Like other titles giving kudos to old platformers, this game proves that the games we loved to play when we were kids, still hold up today.

Systems: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, MacOS, Linux

Little Nightmares

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Little Nightmares came out in April of 2017 and you might have missed it due to games such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The game is a haunting little platformer that finds you playing as Six, a young girl that is trying to escape The Maw, a scary location filled with monsters. It is a sidescroller much in the vein of the fantastic Inside. Six must traverse the world avoiding danger during multiple cat-and-mouse style confrontations. The world you traverse is creepy because it gives you very little context or explanation for what you are seeing. However, this adds to its mystery and (dare I say it) beauty. Being able to complete the game in only a few sittings, at most, makes this a quick and easy must have for the year.

System: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Nex Machina

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I have not played Nex Machina. However, the game is one of the best-reviewed of the year. My cohost, Chris, loved it. But, most importantly, it was developed by Housemarque; the studio who gave us the amazing Resogun and Super Stardust. Nex Machina is a twin stick shooter with high kinetic energy. The game definitely gives homage to Robotron 2084 and Smash TV. The title offers co-op, as well. Like other games by Housemargue, this title is exceedingly tough so expect a lot of grinding requiring lots of patience.

Systems: PlayStation 4, Windows

Prey

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Prey is an obvious descendant of games like Bioshock and System Shock. Because of that, it doesn’t, necessarily, reinvent the wheel. However, what it does do is embrace what worked. The game certainly has constraints, but if you give in to those constraints, you will be generously rewarded with an amazing story, memorable characters, and haunting environments. Combat is a work of creativity, as it doesn’t simply utilize traditional weapons for a shooter. Indeed, the weapons given to the player also have a Metroid effect of manipulating the environments to progress thru the world. While not the biggest seller, it does demonstrate Arkane Studio’s commitment to creativity and design.

System: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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This game is special in a way that is extremely rare for the video game medium. Truly deserving of the Game Awards’ Games for Impact, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice tells the story of a young woman’s decent into madness and her fight to overcome her mental illness. I never thought that a game could shed light on what it is like for someone with mental illness. Furthermore, the fact that it deals with the subject in a respectful and non-exploitative way makes this game truly special and impactful. The developers of this game took great care in getting the details right by collaborating with professionals and those who experience mental illness first hand. What they released is a game that will be talked about for years to come.  Equally important, it is a fantastic action adventure game with fun combat and puzzles.  Oh, and its absolutely gorgeous!

System: PlayStation 4

Are there any games that you enjoyed in 2017 that may have gone overlooked by the overall gaming community? Let us know in the comments, below!

Game On!

 Jonathan is a cohost of Weekly Games Chat with his friends Chris and Shaun. Weekly Games Chat posts every Wednesday on most podcasting services. You can email us at weeklygameschat@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @weeklygameschat.

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