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:

‘Halo 5’ & Fact Checking ‘Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’

Tina Amini, the recently departed deputy editor of Kotaku, joins the show to talk about her playthrough of the newly released “Halo 5: Guardians,” the second “Halo” game from 343 Industries. Then, Bob Whitaker, a historian of Britain at Louisiana Tech and the host of the YouTube series “History Respawned,” talks to Chris about the historical accuracy of “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.” Spoiler: Victorian London needs more prostitutes.

‘Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’ & That Old-Time Video Game Religion

In an unprecedented feat for Shall We Play a Game?, we have a release-day review of “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate,” the newest entry in Ubisoft’s long-running game of historical tourism, if tourists spent most of their time murdering. Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo shows up, too, to talk about why he can’t stop playing these games. Plus, listener mail–about whether a video game could found a major world religion.