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Game Informer's Top Scoring Game Reviews Of 2017

by Kyle Hilliard on Jan 03, 2018 at 12:15 PM

Game Informer reviews tons of games every year, but only a select few are able to obtain special commendations reserved for the highest scoring titles. Games that earn an 8.5 or 8.75 obtain a Game Informer Silver award, while a score ranging from 9 to 9.5 earns that game a Game Informer Gold award. While most of the best games of the year fall into that range, the most elite titles ascend to the next level to earn a Game Informer Platinum award (9.75 or 10 score).

To help you keep track of the best of the best, we've compiled all of the top scoring games of 2017 here. Check out the games we've thought are the best of the year so far, and if you want to learn more, you can read the full review with a simple click-through.

For more of our favorite games from recent years, head to the links below.

Top Scoring Games of 2016
Top Scoring Games of 2015
Top Scoring Games of 2014

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Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.

Bye-Bye Box Boy
3DS

"Despite the title, Bye-Bye Boxboy does not feel like the conclusion of a trilogy. The second game added more variables to the main puzzle-solving mechanic, but the third entry feels new and different. I would absolutely play another Boxboy if it continues to experiment with abilities like it has here. But if Bye-Bye Boxboy does mark an end for HAL’s quirky puzzle series, then it ends on a high note."  – Kyle Hilliard

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Episode 4 – Thicker Than Water
PS4, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Android

"Thicker than Water is the best episode this season. It offers a great blend between relationship building and intense reveals. I hesitated before making my big decisions and was blindsided by what followed. I'm more excited than ever to see how it all shakes out." – Kimberley Wallace

Cities: Skylines Xbox Edition
Xbox One

"Outside of the lack of the more recent PC expansions and the simulation speed options, Cities: Skylines - Xbox One Edition is every bit as good as its PC counterpart. The mayoral planning fantasy is still intact with this version, and now easier than ever to get into. Simply put, if you're an Xbox One owner who is a fan of city-building simulation games, you need to check out Cities: Skylines."  – Brian Shea

Thimbleweed Park
PS4, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Android

"Thimbleweed Park revels in its humor, and succeeds in its efforts toward better puzzle design. The narrative takes some twists and turns that didn’t always hit home with me, but I enjoyed the whimsical journey nonetheless." – Elise Favis

Torment: Tides of Numenera
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Cerebral and often disturbing, Torment is a rabbit hole of significant depth, where you can get lost in improbable imaginings of warped realities and existential angst. If you can wrap your head around a non-linear narrative all about consciousness, identity, and memory, Torment is a riveting departure from expectation." – Matt Miller

Poochy And Yoshi's Woolly World
3DS

"If you skipped Woolly World on Wii U, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World offers what is essentially a straight port. It doesn’t feel downgraded, even if the visuals aren’t quite as sharp. Exchanging co-op for the dedicated Poochy auto-run levels and a better mellow mode is a worthy trade. Woolly World is still the best Yoshi’s Island game since the original, even on this less-powerful platform." – Kyle Hilliard

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Capcom has successfully reinvented Resident Evil in the past, the most notable deviation being the brilliant Resident Evil 4. This new vision doesn’t reach the same heights of spectacle and gameplay innovation as that breakthrough release, but is a welcome addition to the series (both in terms of gameplay and lore), and a nice entry point for newcomers." – Andrew Reiner

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
PS4

"Final Chapter Prologue is a solid collection that I enjoyed playing, and got me more excited for Kingdom Hearts III due to how it sets up everything so wonderfully. I wish I were playing Kingdom Hearts III instead of another remaster, but this is the best collection for getting you prepped for what's ahead." – Kimberly Wallace

Slime Rancher
Xbox One, PC

"Slime Rancher has the ability to keep you hooked for hours; I often looked out over my ranch, felt pride at my accomplishments, and eagerly ventured back into the wilderness to see what other strange things I could find." – Joe Juba

Sonic Mania
Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC

"A return to the series' roots in every sense, Sonic Mania is a joyful reminder why the franchise became such a hit in the first place. Though it's content with reliving past glories, it does so exceptionally well. Exciting level design, a stellar soundtrack, and cool expansions on the original formula work in one accord to deliver the Sonic game fans have been waiting for." – Brian Shea

Yakuza Kiwami
PS4

"I had a lot of fun with Yakuza Kiwami, but it occupies a strange place. I commend Sega for the extra lengths it took with the remake – including replacing the Western actors from the original release with all-new dialogue from the Japanese actors – but feels like a relic at times." – Jeff Cork

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Switch

"I was as skeptical as anyone when I heard the words “Mario” and “XCOM” uttered in the same sentence, but Kingdom Battle didn’t just prove me wrong – it ended up being my favorite Mario game in recent years. Nintendo and Ubisoft took a big risk working together outside their comfort zones, and that risk paid off." – Jeff Marchiafava

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Death of the Outsider ultimately emerges as a strong chapter in one of the best modern action/RPG series thanks to gameplay refinements and dedication to its dark fiction. This standalone expansion doesn’t revolutionize the series but instead does something more important, navigating the familiar to bring everything to a satisfying conclusion." – Javy Gwaltney

Heat Signature
PC

"It can be terrifying, empowering, and heartbreaking, all in a single mission. The learning curve is steep, but once you break through, you arrive somewhere in a blissful middle ground between action and strategy." – Kyle Hilliard

SteamWorld Dig 2
PS4, Switch, PC

"SteamWorld Dig 2 is impeccably paced, with new powers and options opening up just when you were getting comfortable with your current loadout. The world is fun to move around, the characters are charming, and the process of gradually increasing your efficiency is airtight. Even with some lackluster combat, more intuitive controls and focus on mobility make it even better than the original. For a series all about digging down, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a clear step up." – Joe Juba

Assassin's Creed Origins
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Origins doesn’t completely rebuild Assassin’s Creed, but makes a number of smart, significant changes to a formula that, despite yearly updates, was showing its age. The increased freedom in how you approach targets, the more active combat, and alluring world not only make exploring Egypt a rewarding experience, but also offer a strong direction for the series going forward while still remembering what made it unique in the first place." – Suriel Vasquez 

Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon
3DS

"With Pokémon’s confirmed Switch future, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon could be Pokémon’s final core installment on a dedicated handheld system. As a revisiting of the excellent Sun and Moon, it feels like a good note to close the generation on, but if you had your fill with Sun and Moon, don’t worry – you aren’t missing anything important." – Kyle Hilliard

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm – Hell Is Empty
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Even with some foibles, Hell is Empty does a fantastic job filling in the blanks of what happened before Chloe was reunited with Max. As a fan, its references to the original shed light on how many things came to be, such as Chloe's transformation. Yes, I knew the conclusion, but it still has enough interesting developments to keep me invested. Before the Storm accomplishes what so many prequels fail to do; it tells its own story that leaves you content, while also connecting to the original game in a meaningful way." – Kimberly Wallace

L.A. Noire
Switch

"Rockstar parent company Take-Two has repeatedly said it considers L.A. Noire a candidate for becoming a recurring franchise, and replaying the game six years after its initial launch proves its crime-solving formula holds up. The Switch version may suffer visually, but the modular nature of this narrative makes it a perfect companion for gaming on the go." – Matt Bertz

What Remains of Edith Finch
PS4, PC

"The Finches’ final moments are diverse and sometimes disconnected, but they have a thematic consistency running through them, so the tale builds on itself and delivers a compact and memorable experience. Juggling multiple perspectives and thoughtful reflections, What Remains of Edith Finch is an excellent example of what makes games unique as a storytelling medium." – Joe Juba

Robo Recall
Rift

"Robo Recall doesn’t feel like a tech demo or minuscule offering of a promising concept. It’s the only VR game I’ve walked away from thinking I was satisfied with the amount and variety of content available. Its brand of action is unique and entertaining, and I haven’t played anything like it before. Robo Recall isn’t just a great VR game. It’s a great action game, period." – Javy Gwaltney

Night in the Woods
PS4, PC

"Night in the Woods is a strange tale with an even stranger cast of characters, but it revels in its oddities. The excellent writing pulls off a realistic sense of cynicism, childlike wonder, and comradery between friends. With its careful balance between adult themes and youth, it captures a stage of life that is confusing, frightening, and thrilling. The sluggish pacing can drag, but players fill the time by building friendships and understanding the grim secrets of a town they once again call home." – Elise Favis

Horizon Zero Dawn
PS4

"None of Horizon's faults stopped me from sinking 55 hours into the game, or walking away supremely satisfied with the experience. Horizon may not be a revolution for the open-world genre, but it is a highly polished and compelling adventure that proves Guerrilla is more than a single franchise." – Jeff Marchiafava

The Golf Club 2
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"I expected The Golf Club 2 to be better than the first in every way given the new career setup and golf societies, but I was surprised the addition of the swing tempo gameplay is what gives this title a lasting structure. This, combined with the course creator, make the game indispensable for any golf fan. You'll be seeing those missed putts in your dreams and savoring every chip-in birdie." – Matthew Kato

Pyre
PS4, PC

"Pyre’s long run-time and verbose characterization may warn some players away; that would be too bad, because the originality on display in the setting and storytelling is top-notch, and the fantasy-themed sport that forms the bedrock of the action is challenging, layered, and a heck of a lot of fun." – Matt Miller

Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

"I absolutely enjoy playing PES 2018; its gameplay elevates an aspect that was already strong. This is remarkable in and of itself, but also highlights the work still to be done in important areas such as the Master League. The franchise contains a great foundation, and will have to continue to build on it to remain at the top of the table." – Matthew Kato

FIFA 18
PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, PC

"FIFA 18 shows Alex Hunter moving into a wider world of football, and while that story experience is absorbing, it also reveals how much work areas like the career mode – which hasn't meaningfully changed in years – need. It's still worth it to play all the modes the title has to offer, but this is a title that caters to its superstar." – Matthew Kato

Total War: Warhammer II
PC

"Warhammer’s long legacy in gaming has found a perfect partner in Total War. If you’re a fan of strategy games, chaotic rat-men, or rampaging dinosaurs, this isn’t one to miss." – Dan Tack

South Park: The Fractured But Whole
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Every aspect is overloaded with both smart and immature jokes, the combat is an improvement, the game is bigger and longer, and the sneaky moments of sincerity make you recall the charm of childhood in surprising ways – just like the show." – Kyle Hilliard

Call of Duty: WWII
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"While the campaign fails to provide a compelling tale and is often bogged down in uninteresting large-scale slaughter, Call of Duty:WWII nails its multiplayer, new social hub, and zombie modes to provide the back to boot-on-the-ground experience fans have clamored for since the first foray into space." – Dan Tack

Hand of Fate 2
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Hand of Fate was a hidden gem, a Kickstarter surprise that showed us that there was a cool way to mix up an action-RPG with tabletop conventions. The sequel polishes and preens itself into a much more efficient and entertaining entity, and if you can handle some less-than-stellar combat, you find yourself immersed in a spectacular world." – Dan Tack

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Little Nightmares
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"It’s an amazing work in its own right, and a must-play for anyone who enjoys tightly crafted platformers and grotesque horror." – Jeff Cork

MLB The Show 17
PS4

"MLB The Show 17 is an ambitious game that tries to dazzle players with new avenues of play and a story, but is at its best on the field, where the action has never looked or played better. After slumping last year, Sony came back firing with an experience that feels new again, even if its foundation stretches back over a decade." – Andrew Reiner

Nioh
PS4

"Nioh will break you down (and note this clearly, this is an uncompromising game that does not mind crushing your dreams) before it lifts you up, but you soon crave the thrill of mastering a new weapon or toppling a titanic boss. Endless optimization and customization, engaging encounters, and unparalleled combat by yourself or with a friend make Nioh an excellent choice for your next dark action/RPG." – Dan Tack

Injustice 2
PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android

"Injustice 2 is a huge game, offering a lengthy story-based campaign, a great fighting experience, and a nearly endless supply of notable loot. The small tweaks to combat go a long way in creating a more dynamic flow, which resonates well in multiplayer matches. I ran into a little lag in a few online bouts, but the game ran smoothly most of the time. Even if you don’t enjoy the competitive aspects of the fighting genre, this is a game you can dive into for an enjoyable superhero story." – Andrew Reiner

Dirt 4
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Dirt Rally was an amazing title that simply lacked features. Dirt 4 doesn't merely fill some of those holes; it gives the franchise a rich backdrop that makes the game the best in the series. It also has a new identity beyond the multiple racing disciplines. Codemasters has given us a feast that spurs our appetite for the kind of hasty danger you can never get enough of." – Matthew Kato

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
PS4

"Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is a remaster done right. The core content remains the same, but the changes in various systems add a new layer of discovery. This means old fans can still relive the journey, while new players (or those who had issues with old mechanics) don’t feel trapped in an outdated adventure. Not every facet of the game has aged well, but the clever combat and fantastic cast earns this entry its status as classic RPG, and The Zodiac Age is the best way to play it." – Joe Juba

Observer
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Bloober Team’s latest is one of the scariest horror experiences I’ve played in a long time, and its strong sense of place, story, and action put it above the majority of other games in the genre. Observer is simply the best of both worlds and is a must-play for anyone who considers themselves a fan of either sci-fi or horror." – Javy Gwaltney

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
PS4

"Given just how fully featured this adventure is, Lost Legacy could have easily been Uncharted 5. Where Naughty Dog goes next is anyone’s guess, but I would love to see Chloe and Nadine return for another hunt, as they’re every bit as engaging as the Drake family. They make a hell of a team." – Andrew Reiner

Destiny 2
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"A veteran player of any game is likely to home in on criticisms, and there's a danger of getting lost in the weeds, which would be a mistake. Destiny 2 is a massive and rewarding game that offers the potential for hundreds of hours of fun and discovery with friends. Quibbles aside, Bungie has crafted a fantastic follow-up to a wildly popular formula, and one that no other developer has come close to equaling in sophistication. Many of the streamlining choices welcome a new crop of Guardians into the mix, but also make this new game more playable and understandable for even returning players. As I settle in for what I hope to be another several years of adventures, I hope Bungie can nail the elusive balance between depth and accessibility." – Matt Miller

NBA 2K18
PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, PC

"Not all the shots NBA 2K18 takes are swishes, but its shooting percentage is high enough to once again recommend you step on the hardcourt. The deep MyGM, MyCareer, and MyTeam modes offer hundreds of hours of compelling play, and the on-court action is once again stellar." – Matt Bertz

Golf Story
Switch

"Yes, this is just a golf game at its core, but Golf Story makes you care about the characters and their world just as much as sinking a do-or-die putt. Part of its charm is keeping you off kilter, forcing you to hit a 300-yard drive with pinpoint precision one second, then solve a murder mystery the next. A continual delight to play, Golf Story is a breath of fresh air for sports, and another fun story to follow for role-playing fanatics." – Andrew Reiner

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Switch

"The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the best games ever made. Years later, that continues to be the case. This adventure offers a rich world, densely packed with exciting things to do, as well as many occasions for creating lasting memories. I jotted down exciting things that happened during this particular playthrough so many times I lost count. I imagine that Skyrim will become a mainstay on my Switch, with multiple playthroughs and characters filling up the save slots before I’m done with it. If you haven’t played Skyrim, or you’re just looking to return and don’t mind exchanging the mods for convenient portability, the Switch version offers up everything that makes this game a stone-cold classic." – Javy Gwaltney

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Switch

"Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is primarily a re-release of an acclaimed game from three years ago, but by adding new content and addressing the biggest complaint of the original, this version is unquestionably the best way to experience Nintendo's great racer." – Brian Shea

Persona 5
PS4, PS3

"If the opening hours of Persona 5 are like starting a massive novel, then the closing hours are like finishing one, complete with the bittersweet finality of turning the last page. But it also carries an immense sense of satisfaction. After 100 hours of playing, all of my big questions were answered. I understood the characters, I knew my way around the world, and I had fun almost every step of the journey." – Joe Juba

Yakuza 0
PS4

"Yakuza 0 tries a ridiculous amount of things, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t almost always succeed in its own weird way. The Yakuza series has established a cult following in the West, but it hasn’t managed to break through to the mainstream. If there’s any justice in this world, that’s about to change." – Jeff Cork

Nex Machina
PS4, PC

"Immaculate level design, devilish enemy placement, and a steady but always punishing difficulty curve help Nex Machina stand head and shoulders above most competing shooters, not to mention the early arcade titles that inspired it, like Robotron: 2084." – Matt Miller

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
PC

"War of the Chosen contains so much new content that it could almost have been called XCOM 3. Every mission dishes out a new enemy, mission type, or environment, which allows the game to remain fresh for several dozen hours. War of the Chosen’s wealth of interwoven systems might overwhelm newcomers, but strategy nerds willing to master the nuances will be treated to one of the most rewarding strategy games in years. I don’t know how Firaxis could make a more complex yet gratifying strategy game, but I can’t wait to see them try." – Ben Reeves

Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath

Xbox One, PC

"The Xbox One version may be a little late to the party, but it was absolutely worth the wait. This fantastic game takes the best of the genre and propels them to impressive new heights." – Jeff Cork

Middle-earth: Shadow of War
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"I was initially frustrated by the liberties that Monolith takes with this beloved fiction (which are plentiful), but I eventually abandoned myself to the insanity, and fell down the rabbit hole into a superb fantasy adventure. Monolith captures the thrill of power with aplomb; the way it simultaneously speaks of its dangers and corrupting potential is the real magic." – Matt Miller

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
Xbox One, PC

"PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds brings the battle royale genre to a smashing mainstream success, packed with memorable moments and action-packed adventures. Solo or with friends, you’re in for an intense ride that’s different every single time." – Dan Tack

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Metroid: Samus Returns
3DS

"Samus Returns has enough unique content that it feels like a worthy sequel. MercurySteam’s first outing with the franchise is also different enough from the recent fan remake AM2R, so fans shouldn’t hesitate to pick up this rare gem. This might be Samus’ first 2D adventure in more than a dozen years, but it’s a great reminder of why we fell in love with the franchise in the first place." – Ben Reeves

Divinity: Original Sin 2
PC

"Divinity: Original Sin 2 is one of the greatest PC RPGs of all time, and Larian’s continued dedication to creating incredible freeform adventures inspired by tabletop lineage is inspiring and commendable. A few bugs and frustrating encounters are small prices to pay for a lavish ensemble of the genre’s best and a one-of-a-kind experience." – Dan Tack

Super Mario Odyssey
Switch

"Quibbles aside, Super Mario Odyssey is an absolute delight, and another Switch release that will have Nintendo fans debating which 3D Mario game is the best of them all." – Andrew Reiner

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"On its own merits the campaign is unbeatable, packed to the gills with unforgettable story moments and fantastic combat sequences. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a bold game that rages and soars, deftly balancing pulp sci-fi with deadly seriousness, and one that should not be missed by anyone interested in the power of storytelling in video games." – Javy Gwaltney

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Switch, Wii U

"Breath of the Wild is an achievement in the design of a living world. Hyrule is massive, with multiple environmental systems layered on top of a grand adventure. The only technical issue I encountered was one related to the framerate when fighting multiple enemies in busy forests. Despite the massive scope of the game, Breath of the Wild retains Nintendo’s knack for polish without any major technical hiccups to disrupt the experience. I was entranced by this version of Hyrule, and it surprised me at nearly every turn, from its wealth of discoveries to the way it shuns the established tropes of previous Zelda games. It represents a profound new direction for one of gaming’s best franchises and a new high point for open-world interactive experiences." – Kyle Hilliard

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