We're about to start revealing our games of the year in a countdown starting this week and running through until the end of the year. However, before we do that we'd like to recognise some of the great gaming experiences we've had in 2017 that perhaps didn't do quite enough or have the variety needed to force their way into contention for overall GOTY. After all, 2017 has been a fantastic year for gaming, with more 10s handed out on GR than ever before over the same period of time.
But now, without further ado and in no particular order, here are the games that the editorial team here at Gamereactor UK have enjoyed the most over the past twelve months that didn't make it onto the final game of the year shortlist...
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony - The third entry in the Danganronpa series took the existing Killing Game formula and made it even darker and twisted than ever, with plenty of surprises to keep players guessing. Dripped in a sleek new neon style and introducing even crazier characters, this game was definitely worth the wait for fans of the series.
Nioh - Souls-like is a cliched term these days, but Nioh took the challenging action-RPG style of From Software's game and made it their own with a whole load of tweaks and a unique historical Japanese setting. William's battle against demons and spirits was bolstered with post-launch DLC, and all in all, Nioh challenged us to bring our A-game each and every time we picked up the controller.
Nier: Automata - Platinum Games' Yoko Taro is known for his crazy ideas, and nowhere is this more apparent than Nier: Automata. It had us scratching our heads at times, but we'd also argue that that's part of the charm - we were always thrown off guard and surprised by what we encountered during the story, and it's an enjoyably unique action-RPG for that reason.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - When Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice released it turned heads, and rightly so, as Ninja Theory's immersive narrative explored mental health issues in a serious and respectful way via a tale of Senua's own suffering. With extensive research and the clever use of audio and visual effects, we saw into a mind affected by psychosis and witnessed a very moving tale unfold in the process.
Night in the Woods - It sounds ridiculous to say that a game where you play as a cartoon animal investigates very human issues, but that's exactly what Night in the Woods does. You explore themes of time and friendship as you return from college to your hometown, and that's without even mentioning the engaging characters and the mystery that lies in the woods.
Immortal Redneck - Games keep you hooked in a number of ways, but Immortal Redneck's hook relied on you entering the same pyramid, again and again, to defeat supernatural enemies and progress upwards, with every death improving your character just a little bit. It's funny, silly, but keeps you going with constant upgrades and that 'I can do a little better' mentality.