The best games of 2017

5. What Remains of Edith Finch

Developer: Giant Sparrow  
Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

What is it? The walking simulator about a daughter returning to her eccentric family home, driven by a need to investigate the secrets her mother - and the house - kept from her.

Why should you play it? Yes, What Remains of Edith Finch is heart-breaking. Yes, you’ll probably shed a tear. Yet the tales that lie waiting in the Finch house are worth it all. Breaking open bedroom doors that have been sealed for decades, each one you enter is filled with the memory of its owner. You’ll dive through their last moments in exquisite mini-games… although describing them as ‘games’ doesn’t do them justice. Each one matches their family member perfectly. They’re not schmaltzy either, and have all the poignancy you’d expect from a game that clearly understands grief better than you’d think. Narrated entirely by Edith Finch herself, its stories will stay with you for a long time. Be prepared to discuss your favourites with friends. Because trust me - once you’ve played What Remains of Edith Finch, you won’t be able to shut up about it. Zoe Delahunty-Light

4. Super Mario Odyssey

Developer: Nintendo    
Format: Nintendo Switch

What is it? The latest 3D Super Mario adventure, taking him on a globe-trotting journey that also gives him some brand new skills along the way. 

Why should you play it? By moving out of the Mushroom Kingdom and taking Mario to never seen before locales, Super Mario Odyssey makes the game feel fresh and new. Of course, this is a still a Super Mario game, with all its green pipes, Goombas and ground pounds, but thanks to Mario’s new friend Cappy, it’s also very much an innovation. Who knew just giving Mario a new hat would change the gameplay that much? Whether you’re performing a death-defying leap from hat to hat, or becoming anything from a Goomba to a T-Rex, Mario’s definitely got some new tricks, and this is Nintendo’s mascot at his very best. Sam Loveridge

3. Assassin’s Creed Origins

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal    
Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

What is it? A radical redesign of the history-hopping franchise that delivers a tantalising, Ancient Egyptian playground and a heartfelt origins story that truly matters. 

Why should you play it? Not only the best open world adventure in the series so far - seriously good going, given that we’ve been free running through history for ten years now - Origins delivers a truly fresh experience, unshackled from the tired tropes of previous Creeds. Ancient Egypt is a true (and often literal) sandbox, full of seemingly endless potential and Bayek, our latest hooded hero, shines as an Assassin with genuine heart. Add in an armoury of weapons, new combat, a skill tree that actually matters, and an entire country so vibrant and beautiful that you’ll start apologising for all the screens on Twitter, and Assassin’s Creed Origins is the culmination of a decade of stealth excellence. A full RPG this time around, Ubi hands you the golden ticket to do whatever you want. Whether that means stacking up quests, or just hunting down as many hippos and lions before they can do the same to you, the choice is yours. Finally, everything is permitted. Louise Blain

2. Horizon: Zero Dawn

Developer: Guerrilla    
Format: PS4

What is it? Perhaps the most innovative original game to exist since BioShock. It’s a post-post apocalyptic world filled with robots, ruins, and stunning beauty - all from the people behind the gritty, grey Killzone.  

Why should you play it? Astonishing doesn’t begin to cover how it feels to experience Horizon: Zero Dawn. Considering Guerrilla is known for its ominous industrial Killzone, this open world RPG was a daring foray into unexplored territory and boy did it pay off. Instead of being a chore, Horizon’s main quest constantly surprises with its ingenuity. Oh, and it also somehow intertwines the enigmatic fall of the old world seamlessly with Aloy’s search for her mother and her battle with the Corruption that’s infecting robots everywhere. Speaking of robots, this new fauna isn’t just your quarry as the hunter Aloy - finding out why these machines actually exist is as fascinating as the feeling of shooting them with an entire quiver of arrows. Combat has the flow and elegance of the best action games out there, combined with the tactics that come from your Focus’ ability to tag enemies, watch their path, and lay devious traps to ensnare them. As far as debuts go (there’s no way we’re not getting a sequel), Horizon is pretty much perfection. Zoe Delahunty-Light

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Developer: Nintendo EPD
Format: Nintendo Switch

What is it? A Nintendo Switch launch title, multiple award winner and single-player open world adventure with legitimate claims to be the one of the best games in history.

Why should you play it? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild reinvents one of Nintendo’s most revered franchises, reframes our expectations of open worlds, and redefines traditional constraints of play – digitally and physically –
with its liberating free climbing mechanic and Switch’s seamless portability. Yes, there really are five… no… six… ways to knock an apple from a tree and *of course* you can electrify puddles, burn wood, surf shields, build see saws, tame horses and… well, even after 100 hours, you’ll still be shocked to discover the Blupee horse, magnetic airship trick and Gerudo Secret Club radiant armour. 

Best of all, it encourages a rambling, nostalgic, feel where you’re rewarded for letting adventure find you, rather than plotting urgent ley lines between objectives. It’s moral, too; unafraid to tell you off (like the family at Lurelin Beach who - politely - refuse to cook when you turn up later for dinner), or reward your hard work: we defy anyone not to feel misty-eyed when attending Hudson’s wedding in Tarrey Town, a settlement built *with your own hands* after tens of hours of side-quests. Breath of the wild delivers what its subtitle suggests: an invigorating reminder of why we play, and the spirited adventure of youth. Dan Dawkins

Wondering why your favorite game missed out? All is not lost – here's our personal favorite games that just missed GamesRadar+'s Game of the Year 2017.