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:

Tom Bissell defends ‘The Order: 1886.’ Really.

While JJ flees to Europe to escape his pursuers, Chris talks to Tom Bissell, who ends a two-year sabbatical from games criticism to defend the critically panned PlayStation 4 shooter “The Order: 1886.” Tom is a writer for games like “Uncharted 4,” “Battlefield: Hardline,” “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter,” and “Gears of War: Judgment,” and the author of “Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter.”