All this week we're running down our Top 20 Games of 2017. Following on from yesterday's 20-16 countdown, here's a look at the rest of the games loitering attractively just outside the top 10. We've got fantastic sequels, gritty franchise revivals, and - at least to our minds - the most standout piece of expansion DLC released in the last 12 months. Read on to learn more, and don't forget to join us throughout the rest of the week, including Friday when we unveil our Game of the Year. Onwards!
15. Splatoon 2 (Nintendo)
Wii U may have been a commercial failure when all was said and done, but it was home to some fantastic games all the same. This fact hasn't been lost on Nintendo, which has already seized on the opportunity to bring much-loved Wii U titles like Mario Kart 8 to a wider audience through deluxe ports. Splatoon was also crying out for a Switch version, and while it's generous to call this Splatoon 2 - as some reviewers noted, it felt more like a 1.5 - it was great to see it available so soon after the system launched. This is the competitive online shooter done Nintendo style - a bright, fast-paced game with unusual mechanics that anyone can enjoy playing, and which will keep you going for a long time with free add-ons.
14. Resident Evil 7 (Capcom)
Resident Evil 4 is one of our favorite games ever, but it feels as though Capcom didn't quite know where to go after that game yanked the game right the way over to the action end of the horror spectrum. Resident Evil 5 and 6 both attempted to keep that buzz going but felt like diminishing returns. By contrast, Resident Evil 7 was a huge return to form, and the key was stripping the series back and returning to its roots as a slower-paced, puzzle-centric horror story set in a single location. Scary and tense after struggling for those sensations in recent years, Resident Evil 7 took things to another level with its PlayStation VR integration, and remains one of the very few full-length adventures compatible with Sony's headset. If you can steel yourself to play through the full thing in VR, though, you're braver than us.
13. Fortnite (People Can Fly / Epic Games)
When Fortnite launched originally, it was an interesting survival co-op game with elements of Minecraft, Rust, and games of that nature, but it wasn't clear whether it would ever really thrive. Then PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds happened, and the Fortnite developers controversially decided to borrow the battle royale concept and apply it to their game. This proved to be a masterstroke, as the player population boomed overnight and the game itself felt like it had found its true form. The big difference between PUBG and Fortnite, of course, is that Fortnite allows you to create your own structures, giving the formula its own unique spin. It will be interesting to see how far Fortnite can go in its new guise, but it's already one of the most entertaining multiplayer games of 2017.
12. Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
The first thing that strikes you about Studio MDHR's 2D shooter is the audiovisual experience. That iconic 1930s animation style and soundtrack give the game an unmistakable aesthetic, and the game's success in this area is undeniable. The second - and stranger - thing though is that this beautiful and elegant creation has been used to deliver something fiendishly difficult to play. This is primarily a boss rush game where you can expect to attempt every level dozens of times in order to figure out each phase of attacks, as well as put together the muscle memory to dance through them successfully within such a small margin of error. Some people found it too uncompromising, but for a particular kind of player who thrives on these challenges, Cuphead was a game unlike anything else on the calendar.
11. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (Arkane Studios)
Dishonored 2 was one of the highlights of 2016, and while Death of the Outsider couldn't quite assail the same critical heights, it was more Dishonored 2 and it dealt with one of the most fascinating characters in the game's fiction, so there was a lot here for fans to absorb. Arkane is a master of the immersive sim game now, and their flair for level design and encouraging you to use different aspects of your toolkit shows here in spades. It's easy to imagine this one slipped under the radar, and if it did then we hope you'll put that right.