Goodness, look at the time – the Nintendo Switch turns five years old today! It feels like just yesterday that we were watching it toddle around the place, and now it’s already been in our lives for half a decade.
To celebrate the console that keeps this site running, we’re trying something new: A Squid Game-style elimination game (or maybe Desert Island Discs, if you're older and Britisher), in which all five of us pick one game per year to save. All the rest will be thrown in the bin, never to be played again. The rules are simple: You can’t pick the same game as someone else, and once a game is in the bin, it’s gone forever and it’s all your fault.
We’ll take it in turns to go first, so we all get a chance to pick our favourite games, and we’ll start with 2017 – a year that included a Zelda and a Mario – and end with 2021 (which means we won’t be covering games from 2022). Without further ado, let’s get picking!
2017: Year One
2017: The first year of the much-anticipated Nintendo Switch, which released in March of that year.
After years of the disappointing sales of the Wii U, people were a little sceptical, but Nintendo kicked things off with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild… and from that moment on, we were sold. And so was the Nintendo Switch, which sold more than 14 million units by the end of the year! But will we save BOTW from the bin? Let's start with Gavin's pick...
Gavin Lane, Editor
Sonic Mania, an incredible return for 2D Sonic which crusty old gamers like myself had been waiting for for a couple of decades. It would be easy to look at it and think ‘nah, they just used the old sprites and built some new levels around it’, but the way the developers incorporated the original Mega Drive levels into the game and immediately expanded them out was so beautifully balanced.
Mania communicated the appeal of the 16-bit originals through its level design and trademark ‘flow’ that has so often been lacking in other Sonic games over the years. Absolutely pitch perfect revival.
Tom Whitehead, Deputy Editor
I’m going to be super boring and take the obvious one, though Gav did give my second choice! The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, of course, a game I love so much I reviewed it twice, did another two full playthroughs for DLC and just because. A triumphant masterpiece etc… and more to come this year (hopefully)!
Kate Gray, Staff Writer
I’m going to pick a game that I don’t necessarily consider one of the “best” from the year, but because it brought me such joy: Puyo Puyo Tetris. I have played so many hours of that game with friends, and though I haven’t picked it up more than a couple of times since the pandemic, I think it’s a good one to keep. It’s perfect for parties and hangouts, and even short bursts on planes and trains and all that (when I ever take one again).
Ollie Reynolds, Staff Writer
So I was going to go for the other obvious choice from 2017, but the game that honestly kept me hooked for most of the year was Golf Story. It’s a fantastic blend of RPG and golf gameplay, with heaps of hilarious dialogue shoved in there for good measure (I’m pretty sure I spit my tea out when that gaggle of geese came to view my efforts). It brings back fond memories of playing ludicrous golf games from back in the day, perhaps most recently the GameCube version of Mario Golf. Bring on Sports Story!
Alana Hagues, Staff Writer
At the risk of upsetting many people and ignoring two huge releases from 2017, I’m going with Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It’s not my favourite Xenoblade, but this is the one that really catapulted the series to stratospheric heights.
There is so much to do and so much to explore, and the combat is so deep and layered that you can still discover new things 120 hours in. It’s also just absolutely beautiful to look at and listen to. Plus, we got some of the best DLC ever just a year later. Without it, we wouldn’t have got Definitive Edition or we wouldn’t be feverishly excited for Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
Important 2017 games that are now in the bin:
Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, LABO, Stardew Valley, Snipperclips, 1-2-Switch, Thumper, Arms, Splatoon 2, Overcooked, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, SteamWorld Dig 2, Axiom Verge, Fire Emblem Warriors, Doom, Rocket League, Enter The Gungeon, Yooka-Laylee
Thoughts: Oh boy. We've already binned Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey?! The comments will not be happy with us. On the indie side of things, Overcooked and Stardew Valley are surprising losses, as both seem to have found the perfect home on the Switch. At this rate, we'll have deleted almost every Mario game on the Switch...