It’s that time of year again. 2017 was set up to be one of the most exciting years in recent history; from the biggest AAA titles to the unique appeal of the indie scene, every genre had games promising to push the envelope, raise the bar, and deliver experiences truly worthy of that next-generation label. What’s more, we actually released our Best of Awards at the end of the year – imagine that.
Check out our list below as we highlight titles in our Best of 2017 Awards.
SEGA’s Yakuza series never got much attention in the states since its 2005 debut, but the 2017 release of Yakuza 0 in America and Europe changed everything.
Serving as a prequel to the series, the game has you take control of both Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima. The vibrant worlds of Kamurocho and Sotenbori bustled with life and things to do, including arcade games, fishing, slot car racing, baseball, and even disco dancing. The 80s flair also brought a different tone to the series, one that was a breath of fresh air and nostalgic at the same time. Tying everything together was a gritty story regarding the “Empty Lot” dispute, one full of top notch action sequences and fantastic character development.
We are thrilled to see Yakuza 0 doing so well, and are still finding things to do in the game nearly a year later. Check out our full Yakuza 0 review.
Divinity Original Sin 2
When it comes to Kickstarter games, we are always kind of iffy in regards to the end product. After raising over two million dollars for the game, Larian Studios had a monumental task on their hands, especially considering the fact that the original Divinity Original Sin was a critical darling.
A lot of RPG games offer you the freedom to do what you want, but Divinity Original Sin 2 takes it to a whole new level. Class creation, combat, dialogue and side quests all have multiple ways of being completed. Additionally, even when you might consider what you did to be a failure in most games, in Divinity 2 your failure may open a new quest or new dialogue option. With dozens of side quests, PVP, a game master mode, multiple classes to try, and oh so much loot to collect, Divinity 2 is a massive game with tons of replay value. The only issue you might run into is the choice overload due to the sheer amount of things you can try. Expect to lose yourself in this one for well over 100 hours.
Divinity Original Sin 2 is one of the best Kickstarter games to launch ever, if not the best. Your move, Deadfire.
A JRPG years in the making, Atlus’ Persona 5 finally made its North American debut in 2017. The release of Persona 4 nearly 10 years ago set the bar pretty high, but this title managed to live up to the hype – and then some.
The game carried the same daily life cycle and turn-based combat as previous titles, but managed to be its own unique beast. Both the Palaces and Mementos dungeons were a delight to explore, and the Negotiation mechanic that returned from previous Shin Megami Tensei games was a welcome surprise. Its story, which told the tale of the Phantom Thieves as they stole corruption from the hearts of adults, managed to grab our attention throughout its 80+ hour runtime. Topping it all off is a stylish presentation that leaves a lasting impression, one that makes others look drab in comparison.
In a year of long-awaited releases, Persona 5 has taken our hearts as the best JRPG of 2017. Find out why we love the game so much in our Persona 5 review.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Many thought Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise was lost to the sands of time. A lack of originality and creativity since the days of Black Flag put the fate of Assassin’s Creed Origins under question. As you’ve probably guessed by the presence of this game on our yearly awards list, Ubisoft pulled it off – and in glorious fashion.
Assassin’s Creed Origins embraced the mystical world of Ancient Egypt with open arms, and introduced players to the events that led to the creation of the legendary Brotherhood. This epic packed new characters, a new setting, and enough challenging side content to easily break the 100 hour mark. In a true return to form for Ubisoft, Origins represented everything fans wanted the franchise to become. If you’ve yet to pick this one up, you’re missing out.
Check out our full review here.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
With the launch of the Switch, Nintendo needed a strong game to help boost its sales. In a year where open world games were a dime a dozen, Breath of the Wild still managed to stand out with its unique mechanics and a fantastically designed world. At the start of the game Ganon has won, so you aren’t pressured to race to stop him. Instead, you can explore the new Hyrule at your own pace, however you’d like. With more than 100 Shrines, dozens of side quests, multiple outfits, and plenty of minigames, players will find no shortage of things to do in Breath of the Wild. If you had one adventure to choose this year, this is the one to pick.
Now that the last DLC pack has launched for Breath of the Wild, we are eagerly awaiting the next chapter in The Legend Of Zelda series.
Check out our full review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
What do you think? Anything we missed out? Let us know in the comments.