Phew, what a year! So many games were touted for a Game of the Year in 2017. Almost too many. Team Ready Up have been tying themselves up in knots trying to pick just one and only one game as their personal favourite game of the year for 2017. We are mean to them but it had to be done. In this series, we see which games the team loved last year, and why.

James  – Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Last year overflowed with a veritable cornucopia of fantastic games. In fact, so bountiful were the interactive offerings, that 2017 has already taken its rightful place in the “Best Video Gaming Year to End With a 7” discussion alongside such legendary 12 month periods as 2007, which gave us the likes of Portal, Bioshock, Rockband, Super Mario Galaxy, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Halo 3; and 1977 which bulged at its pixelated seams with household names such as Combat, Space Wars and Basic Math. Hot bangers, one and all.

While 2017 had quality in volume, however, for me, there wasn’t one title that stood head and shoulders above the rest. For that reason, I’ll leave others to wax lyrical over the inventive Super Mario Odyssey and the insufferable Breath of the Wild. Yeah, you heard me, insufferable. Instead, I’d like to take a few lines to send some praise the way of Assassin’s Creed: Origins.

A truly vast, richly beautiful open world humming with life from its bustling Nile ports to the sand-swept ruins of its deserts, Origins’ Egypt has been ideally designed for exploration and adventure.

The new weapon levelling and fighting systems give combat a slight, but much needed reinvigoration, while Bayek and his wife Aya make an aggressive case for being the best playable Assassin’s Creed characters since the unsurpassable Ezio.

While Bayek’s central fight for vengeance is compelling enough, it’s the side quests that really breathe life into the game. Their simple, everyday, settlement of minor problems help broaden the world to be almost as grand emotionally as it is physically. Oh, and you get to be friends with an eagle and a camel. In the absence of Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2017, Assassin’s Creed: Origins was the best Eastern Western I played all year.