Nobody expected NieR: Automata to be this good, but by sheer force of will through all parties involved, it could very well wind up being the best game of 2017. It's a game that improves on the tired genres that it borrows from, and more importantly, it takes everyone's game to the next level.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to stand for a long time, I think, as the height of achievement in building huge virtual spaces for gamers to explore. The level of detail at this scale is staggering, even as I find myself unable to ignore how much required overtime went into making things happen, and how many of these details – like horse testicles ascending in colder weather – took real human work hours while actually doing little to flesh out the game world. But it’s impossible to deny what a beautiful, sad, huge, and remarkable thing Rockstar and its many employees, past and present, have put together.
Sonic Mania is for everyone, and everyone should buy it. It succeeds at being a love letter to SEGA's classic days just as much as it succeeds at being a smartly designed video game with all of the reasons in the world to return to it over and over again. Older fans will love it, newer fans will love it, parents can play it with their kids.
Consider this a huge thumbs up for Velocity 2X. For a simple arcade game, it packs a ton of replayability and depth, and it never fails to deliver that arcade rush you're looking for. Whether you play it casually to beat the stages or play it to 100 percent, you're going to find a rewarding experience inside.
Despite essentially being the same game four times running, Forza Horizon has life left in it, and it leaves me looking forward to wherever the next game takes it. In the meantime, I'll probably be playing this into 2020 just like I've played Forza Horizon 3 in the months running up to this one. It has that much life in it.