As is becoming an annual tradition here at Push Square Towers, we’ve corralled our core group of staff writers and prodded them until they’ve told us what their favourite five games of the year are. With such a strong assortment to select from, added force was required in some instances. Squeezing blood from a stone would have been easier than obtaining Sam's list.
Fifth Choice: Cities: Skylines
It’s rare that a city builder would get onto my Game of the Year list, but Cities: Skylines is truly one of the best in its genre, not least because of the huge degree of creativity developer Colossal Order allows you. Not only can you manage your city down to the tiniest level, arranging roads and setting up metro stations and trains, but you can also implement huge policies and tax changes that affect your city as a whole. Sure, it may sound boring and niche, but Cities: Skylines is a fantastic, complex sim that’s insanely rewarding if you’re willing to commit to it.
Fourth Choice: PES 2018
Sure, it might not be the most revolutionary instalment of the long-running series, but PES 2018 – apart from its dour commentary and slightly inconvenient licensing issues – is one of the best football sims in recent years thanks to Konami adding plenty of new modes and tweaking the presentation. Thanks to the weighty gameplay being perfected in recent years, newcomers such as Random Selection Mode – in which each player is given a team of random players to take each other on with – are huge fun.
Third Choice: Dead Rising 4: Frank’s Big Package
An unexpected latecomer, Dead Rising 4 may have lost some of its identity by removing its infamous timer and changing to a more light-hearted tone, but these changes have certainly improved its fun factor. The sheer amount of zombies that fit onscreen is a technically impressive feat made even better by the variety of outlandish weapons you can use to cut them down, and the protagonist’s new voice actor Ty Olsson does a great job in portraying a new and funnier Frank, making for a bloody good – and hilarious – time.
Second Choice: Snake Pass
It’s rare nowadays to find a game that has completely original gameplay, and while Snake Pass does have retro 3D platformer influences, its movement system is something completely new. Playing as Noodle, you only control the head of the cutesy serpent, dragging the rest of him behind you, making for some devilishly difficult puzzles as you attempt to wrap yourself around poles and climb ever higher. A perfect model on how games should blend the old and the new, Sumo Digital has crafted one of 2017’s most innovative games while simultaneously going back to the genre’s roots.
First Choice: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
An utterly terrifying experience for hours on end, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has given the recently weary franchise a breath of life, switching to a first-person horror more dependent on survival than shooting. The psychotic Baker family are excellent villains – father Jack being particularly memorable – and each fight that you engage in is tense thanks to the lack of resources that you’ll find throughout your travels. Again a blend of the old (constantly retracing your steps like in many PSone-era games) and the new (a first-person perspective and resource management) Resident Evil 7 is one of the finest survival horrors in recent years.
Do you agree with Sam's winner in the Great Louisiana Baker Off? Punch some Molded in the maw in the comments section below.