It isn't a joke, just a classic outright lie to get more views. These are my ten favorite games of 2017.

10. Pyre

Lavish. I'm fairly certain that word was created for the sole purpose of describing Pyre. This game's art and secondary systems are ridiculous. Pyre is a red carpet that just keeps unfolding in new directions, every yard a new material so fine that you feel like a jerk for stomping on it with your weird gnarled feet.

My one gripe? Since I'm absolutely terrible at thinking on the fly I wish the Rites (essentially NBA Jam hockey matches with magic dashing where only one player from each team can move at any given time) had been turn-based.

Still, there is a unique joy to pressing forward and seeing the game stretch out into something far more substantial and intricate than you expected.

9. Thimbleweed Park

There's a common sentiment I don't agree with at all. You'll hear it a lot if you listen to video game podcasts. The idea is this: Once a genre falls out of favor, there's no point bringing it back without reworking it from the ground up with elements of whichever games are currently popular.

Thumbleweed Park is a far more articulate reply than anything I might shout back at these podcasts, startling my dog.

This is a damn Point And Click Adventure Game, through and through. Not a reimagining. Not a modernized offshoot. Just an enormous amount of creativity applied to a proven formula that remains every bit as vital as it ever was. Poking around a good adventure game pulls your entire brain into the setting in a way that no other genre can duplicate, and Thimbleweed Park does this as well as - if not better than - any of the classics.

8. Steamworld Dig 2

It's surprisingly rare for a sequel to improve upon the original in every way. Especially when the original was as much of a gem (get it?) as Steamworld Dig. Especially especially when the sequel tries to do so many new things.

Where Steamworld Dig was a diggy collecty upgradey romp through a straightforward set of mines, Steamworld Dig 2 effortlessly stretches out into more Metroid-like platform/puzzle adventure through handcrafted levels. It retains everything that made the original great and nails everything new that it tosses into the mix.

I first launched Steamworld Dig 2 with the intent of fiddling with the controls and quitting after the introduction to cook lunch. Two hours later I reluctantly paused without exiting, slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as quickly as possible.

It's that kind of game.

7. Night in the Woods

There are 100 people in a cargo plane. 101 of them are yelling racist garbage. Everyone parachutes onto an island and kills one another until one survivor or team remains. Most people hide, loot the same ten items infinitely, and lose track of an ever-tightening circle of death.

Sorry, that's the other game everyone keeps talking about. Night in the Woods is the one I enjoyed.

6. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

They made a better XCOM 2. How in thE HECK

5. West of Loathing

4. NieR: Automata

No ifs, and(roids), or butts about it.

3. Divinity: Original Sin 2

2. Breath of the Wild

I mean, duh.

1. Prey

Explore a relatively small space packed with character. Settle in. Absorb the movements and musings of the inhabitants. Approach a problem in your own creative way, wondering how many alternate methods and paths would have been supported. Panic when your horrible plan all goes sideways. Find something unexpected in the chaotic moments that follow.

They call these games immersive sims, because lugging an American flag into the wrong restroom in the original Deus Ex was the most immersive moment in gaming at the time.

No one tackles the genre like Arkane's studios. If Bethesda could get the word out there and maybe send a few codes to reviewers while they're at it, that would be great. This year has been crammed with so many amazing games that I didn't get around to picking up the masterful Prey until just last month.

It's an imaginative campaign that stands up to (and in fact encourages) player expression in countless ways. It's the best game released this year.

Then again, I haven't picked up Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider yet.

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell (@DennisFarrell)

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