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top games of 2017

The first half of 2017 has been bountiful, with game of the year contenders sprouting across every genre. There's still much more for us to review—including some games that are already out—as the recent years' boom in PC game releases continues with gusto. Videogames: there are a lot of them. A lot of them are good, and a few so far this year are great. Here are the highest review scores we've given out so far in 2017. We'll update this article as the year continues and our review catalog grows.

Sega 68045 Action Games Vanquish X360
Sega 68045 Action Games Vanquish X360

The 2010 console game finally made its way to PC, bringing us another shot of Platinum's brand of third-person combat. "It was a product of its time, in that it felt like a response to—maybe even a subversion of—the wave of cover based shooters that emerged in the wake of Gears of War," wrote Phil in his review. "It's got the third person view and the waist high walls, but also lets you rocket slide across the map, slow-mo decapitating robots as you go. It's a dumb, brash shooter, but clever with it." Verdict: A great port of an entertainingly subversive cover shooter. It's short, but the core loop never gets old.

Sega Bayonetta (Xbox 360) - Pre-Owned
Sega Bayonetta (Xbox 360) - Pre-Owned

Good things come to those who wait: the PC now has the best version of one of the best hack-n-slash games ever made. Bayonetta's fluid fighting style—combos, dodges, hair-based attacks—and absurd story deserved 4K and 60 fps support, and we're happy it's finally joined us. "Bayonetta is about flow," says Phil. "In part, this is thanks to an advanced combat trick that brings everything full circle. If you dodge in the middle of a combo while holding down either punch or kick, you can resume the combo out of the dodge. This offset speaks to the fluidity of Bayonetta's fighting style—as does the way she so smoothly transitions from dodge into attack, or from melee to guns." Verdict: A great port of what is still one of the best action games around. Bayonetta is the essential hack-'n-slash.

Generic Mass Effect: Andromeda (Xbox One)
Generic Mass Effect: Andromeda (Xbox One)

Tim couldn't help but to compare Legends to Hearthstone in his review—how could he not, given the obvious parallels—and found that its deeper, less RNG-heavy systems provide a good alternative to Blizzards' hit CCG. It lacks the same charm and vast playerbase, but delivers on the strategy. Verdict: A deep, and potentially rewarding alternative to Hearthstone that suffers from underwhelming art design and desperately needs an injection of players to grow the scene.

Maximum Games, Llc Styx: Shard Of Darkness XBox One [XB1]
Maximum Games, Llc Styx: Shard Of Darkness XBox One [XB1]

A pure stealth game that stars a cynical, sweary goblin, the second Styx game is another lowkey release with a lot of good in it: "A generous game with a huge amount of stuff to do, some wonderfully realised levels, all of it augmented with an admirably flexible skill system that encourages and rewards creative thinking," said Jon in our review. Verdict: A mean-spirited character leads a big-hearted game; you’re unlikely to dwell on its lore but its features combine well to create a satisfying stealth experience.

Ui Entertainment Torment: Tides Of Numenera Playstation 4 [PS4]
Ui Entertainment Torment: Tides Of Numenera Playstation 4 [PS4]

Planescape: Torment probably wasn't going to be outdone by any successor, but Tides of Numenera succeeds at delivering the same style of text-heavy, philosophical roleplaying in a strange new setting. "A little bit more humour would help disarm some of the game's more self-serious moments, but I found the quality of the writing and the genuine philosophical complexity of Tides of Numenera's questions compelling in a way that games rarely achieve," Chris wrote in his review. "To say this is an RPG written of shades of grey is an understatement: in fact, given the multi-hued Tides of the title, you could say that it's written in shades of everything." Verdict: A slow start gives way to a thought-provoking adventure in a remarkable setting. A fitting follow-up to a beloved RPG.

Capcom Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Playstation 4 [PS4]
Capcom Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Playstation 4 [PS4]

A reset for the Resident Evil series, RE7 moves away from the action movie stylings of the last few games for a creepier, first-person horror adventure. " It takes an industrial pressure washer to the series, blasting off years of accumulated filth and grime," wrote Andy. "And you’re left with a lean, polished survival horror that borrows from its legacy, but isn’t afraid to look to modern horror games for inspiration too." Verdict: Not the dramatic reinvention we expected, but this is tense and refined survival horror with a brilliantly bleak, grimy atmosphere.

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