Disclaimer: I, uh, only really played one video game in 2017.
Fortunately, that game was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch.
It's a popular game. You may have heard of it. I could feel a bit daunted by the task of trying to add any sort of original insight to the vast collective commentary that already surrounds it, but I can only be honest and let you know a couple reasons I like it especially.
If I had to summarize Breath of the Wild's appeal in one sentence: I've never before played a game that encouraged and rewarded simple exploration so richly. Between the vastness of the world and the incredible openness of it all (if you see it, you can get there! you can climb any vertical face! there are very few boundaries! ... at all!), it's just a remarkable sensation, to constantly see something in the distance you want to investigate, only to get distracted by something you see halfway there, oh but then you see this other little thing, and is that a shrine, and oh what's that, and oh I think there's a treasure chest over there...
It's an addicting mechanism that turns upon itself near-endlessly. And it's beautiful. It's all so very pretty. I can't remember another game where I've just stopped and looked around at the landscape.
As a big fan of the Zelda franchise, and as someone who enjoys themes like isolation and post-apocalyptic settings, I just really love this game -- and I'm pretty sure it would have still been my favorite this year, even if I had bothered to play anything else.