2017’s All-Star GOTY Spectacular

Better late than never: We asked 25 of the smartest people we know–game developers, critics, professors of theater and history, comedy writers, political journalists, podcasters–for their favorite video game of 2017, and got 20 answers.

Counting Chris and JJ, that’s 27 people and 20 video games (21 if you count an honorable mention).

STARRING, in order of appearance:

‘Tacoma’ & ‘Gone Home’ designer Steve Gaynor

Steve Gaynor, the designer and writer of “Gone Home” and 2017’s “Tacoma,” talks about why “Tacoma” was so hard to make, what he learned by working with Ken Levine on “BioShock Infinite,” and whether he sees his work as part of a video-game movement.

‘Tacoma’

Chris Suellentrop and guest critic Chris Plante–now the culture editor of The Verge, soon to be executive editor of Polygon–talk about “Tacoma,” Fullbright’s follow-up to “Gone Home.” No spoilers! We’ll save those for when JJ returns next week.

‘Prey,’ ‘Night in the Woods’ & More ‘Edith Finch’

Did the hourlong demo for “Prey,” Arkane’s highly referential immersive sim, sell us on playing the whole thing? Can JJ stomach the storyline in “Night in the Woods?” Can Chris get a do-over to explain why he adores “What Remains of Edith Finch”?

‘Persona 5’ & ‘Psychonauts’

Two video games, one old and one new, about children who navigate fantastical mental landscapes. Not to mention literal subway systems. Plus, the shortest “What I Play” in history.

‘Everything’ & More ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’

Can a video game do philosophy? Everything in David OReilly’s “Everything” is playable, to try to convey the perspective of, well, everything. Our review.

‘Torment: Tides of Numenera’ & the GDC awards

It’s Nintendo Switch release day! So of course we give you a smidgen of “Torment: Tides of Numenera,” a smattering of the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards, and a smorgasbord of plans to start a membership drive.