Only days remain in the year 2017, so that means it's time once again to look back on the past twelve months of gaming. Like we did last year, we'll be reflecting on the year we had on site according to the most played games. As will probably always be the case, expect a good dose of AAA titles, Games with Gold freebies, and maybe a few surprises. Where did your favorite game land? Here's the first half of the top 20 games played. Join us later this week for part two where we reveal the top ten.
20. Marvel Heroes Omega — 28,017 Players
Rounding out the 2017 countdown is a game that's on here for its free to play status, but will forever be remembered for reasons much more disappointing than that. Marvel Heroes Omega was removed from the store and had its servers shut down just five months after it appeared on Xbox One. The game got caught up in issues that seemed to come from its licensing as a Marvel title in a post-Disney acquisition world. It's unclear if the developers knew of the imminent shutdown when the game finally migrated to consoles just months before its closed its doors, but suffice it to say they were just as displeased when it was taken down. Were you able to complete the achievements for this one before it disappeared forever?
19. FIFA 18 — 28,347 Players
Finishing three spots lower than last year's edition, FIFA 18 still cracked the top 20 for another year, which makes it one of a small number of series that can say that. Soccer, football, whatever you want to call it, FIFA continues to sell like mad with a similar no-questions-asked attractiveness that accompanies many sports series. People like the fine tuning, the tweaks to rosters and gameplay, and even as outsiders scoff at spending full price annually on such games, sports fans shell it out all the same. As a Madden fan, I can relate. I won't judge you.
18. Injustice 2 — 31,000 Players
Marvel continues to dominate DC in their war for cinematic superiority, but DC can claim this one small victory of having its newest game appearing higher than Marvel's. Injustice 2 comes with the impressive pedigree of NetherRealm studios and follows up on its predecessor to deliver what many consider the year's very best fighter. With a strong roster to start and some awesome DLC characters incoming, Injustice 2 should remain strong into the new year. Even as their movies struggle to find an audience, the DC games continue to steal the show.
17. Halo Wars 2 — 31,791 Players
What do you get when you take a rather niche genre and mix it with one of the world's most popular brands in video games? You get this #17 finish for Creative Assembly's Halo Wars 2. The sequel doesn't resolve the Xbox One's perceived lack of exclusive games for most people, but among fans the title fared well. With support ongoing for the game, Microsoft is surely hoping it can leave its mark on the genre permanently. Most Halo fans are left wondering when we'll get the next true addition to the series, but if you like RTS games and somehow missed this one, it comes recommended.
16. ARK: Survival Evolved — 34,747 Players
The dino-MMO ARK: Survival Evolved came out of pre-release and arrived in full this past year, and as you can see it was quite a hit. The game's sprawling and unique setting surely helped paved its way to this top 20 finish, and as it exists as a living, breathing creation, it could feasibly undergo big changes in 2018 and pull in many new players all over again. Did you try your hand at ARK before or after its official release? Will you be heading back into the time machine in 2018?
15. Star Wars Battlefront II — 34,952 Players
For all the wrong reasons, Star Wars Battlefront II became a major headline in 2017. Its pay-to-win delivery of upgrades rubbed gamers the wrong way, and it came at the climax of the year's debate over loot boxes and in-game "gambling." What exists beneath the surface of Battefront II is, by many accounts, a memorable Star Wars experience. It's too bad you have to sift through so much self-inflicted controversy on the part of the creators before you can get there. Hey, at least The Last Jedi was good, right?
14. Resident Evil 7 — 36,491 Players
It's baaaaack! After years of middling reviews, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard hit stores as the first major release of the new year, and wowed critics and buyers alike. Told for the first time in first-person mode, RE7 toys with players' expectations throughout its story, and is still delivering additional story content of a type its longtime fans crave. Where the series will go from here, no one is yet sure, but with a Resident Evil 2 remake on the way, we could be living in a true REnaissance.
13. Minecraft — 38,357 Players
Here's a bit of a strange one. Minecraft was totally absent from last year's list and now it finds its way close to the middle of 2017's popularity charts. That's because the new version of the game which was made to be compatible with the Better Together update of a few months ago, brought with it an all-new stackable achievement list. In 2018, the game will also be getting its 4K update, so this remains a game perpetually being tweaked and reimagined. Did you jump back into Mincraft for some new achievements?
12. For Honor — 39, 497 Players
The first original new IP hits our list at #12. For Honor is Ubisoft's melee-focused game of war which pits factions of players against each other in a bloody battle for historical supremacy. After a successful beta and popular expo season, For Honor debuted in a busy spring for the publisher. While it didn't light the world on fire, it did what it set out to do in finding and catering to its community of diehards. To this day, the game is receiving seasonal updates and looks to have legs strong enough to sustain success in 2018.
11. SpeedRunners — 40,852 Players
Like last year, expecting a few free games to crack the most played list is a safe bet. This won't be the last such game to make 2017's list, and it shouldn't come as any surprise. As was the case last year (ZHEROS), the #11 spot goes to a game that released directly to the GWG program, so it's no wonder it had a slew of new players. No one had touched it yet when it suddenly became free. It doesn't feel like it's the type of game that got much play after those first few weeks, but it was enough to land here. Did you make time for the freebie, or is it just another in a long line of backlogged Games with Gold titles?
Join us in a few days when we reveal the top ten games on site in 2017!
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