Well, it's that time of year again. The turkey has been eaten, black Friday deals have come and gone and now gamer's everywhere will be looking back on a year chock-full of titles to pick out their personal favorites.
Let's face it: 2017 was a heck of a year for our hobby, and there were dozens of quality titles that could all end up on a list like this. Sadly, there just isn't enough hours in a year to play everything (let alone, you know... enough money...), so with that said, here are my top 5 games of 2017.
Note that these games ARE in order, starting with number 5. It took quite a bit of soul-searching, I assure you. Soul-searching and no Nintendo Switch... Here we go!
Favorite Game from before 2017, Played in 2017: Uncharted 4
Oh man, how did I NOT find time to play this in 2016? Well, at least I was able to right that wrong this year. Uncharted 4 is undoubtedly Nathan Drake's finest adventure yet, with an exciting story, fun gameplay and just feels like the cherry on top of the cake that is the Uncharted series. I actually played this game three times in total (Normal Run, Crushing Difficulty Run, Speed Run) and still have fond memories of my time with this title.
Now, onto the list proper!
2017 Honorable Mentions
Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Metroid: Samus Returns, Outlast 2
5. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
I've always been a life-long Resident Evil fan (and horror-game fan in general, as this list shows), but I think it's safe to say that after the past few Resident Evil games (4-6), NO ONE was prepared for just how good Resident Evil 7 turned out to be. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard brought actual horror back to the series with it's shift to a first-person perspective and the memorable "Baker Family" as antagonists. However, it still managed to retain several elements that that the series is known for (combat, puzzles and, of course, questionable science...).
As a bonus, you can also play this title in virtual reality... because it just wasn't scary enough, apparently.
4. Horizon: Zero Dawn
You know the year has been good when a break-out title like Horizon: Zero Dawn isn't even making your top three! Developer Guerilla Games really hit it out of the park with this title, their first new IP since the Killzone Series. Following the adventure of the outcast Aloy as she fights to find her place in the world (all the while exploring a massive, beautiful open world and killing gigantic robotic dinosaurs) in nothing short of fantastic. If you're looking for a world to get out and explore in, this game should be high on your list. Did I mention the robotic dinosaurs yet?
3. The Evil Within 2
Many people didn't really care for the first "Evil Within" game. I enjoyed it, but I can see why some may not have cared for it as the first game really was a relentless barrage of intense horror cliche's, one after another (almost like the developers were throwing everything at the wall, trying to see what stuck).
The Evil Within 2 however tried a different approach: exploration. The game presents a more methodical pace by letting protagonist Sebastian Castellanos explore the deranged town of Union at his leisure, and creates a perfect atmosphere of horror and apprehension as he does so. The entire time I was playing The Evil Within 2, I felt that it really was combining "Silent Hill" with "Resident Evil 4", and that my friends is something any horror game fan just shouldn't miss.
This is probably the most controversial game on this list, and I'd be surprised to see it on many "top lists" this year, but that doesn't matter to me one bit. You see, I'm a big fan of the occasional "tough" game here and there (Dark Souls, Bloodborne, etc...) and Nioh carries that mantel well. So well in fact, that I often refer to it as "Samurai Bloodborne" to my friends.
Nioh tells the tale of an Irish sailor named William who travels to Japan during the Sengoku period, fighting bandits, demons and mythical beings in order to recover his guardian spirit, Saoirse. Nioh borrows a lot from other game's in the "Souls" series, including fantastic (and absolutely stunning) level designs and lager-than-life bosses (as well as many game play mechanics), but what sets it apart though is it's fast-paced and technical game play, courtesy of Team Ninja (best known for the Ninja Gaiden games).
Fantastic graphics and level design, tight game play, great music, an interesting story and a lengthy campaign with tons of re-playability... what more could you possibly want?
1. Persona 5
Here we are, my personal choice for the best game of 2017! Persona 5 isn't just merely a game, but truly an experience. The series (ever since Persona 3) has always had fantastic story telling and great Life-Sim/RPG game play, but Persona 5 took everything fans of the series loved and just polished it to perfection.
Seriously, if there's one thing Persona 5 has it is STYLE. This game just oozes style which is accented by a funky pop/jazz soundtrack and graphical flair galore (this game KNOWS it looks good too). Persona 5 also tackles one of my biggest complaints of the series as every dungeon in the game was hand-crafted and a pleasure to play through (instead of the bland hallways of previous games), which is a major upgrade for the series.
To top it all off the story of Persona 5 is just fantastic, tackling modern-day headlines such as sexual abuse and corrupt politicians while still letting you live the life of an "every day" high school student and choose what you want to do on a daily basis. If you love RPG's (or even just a great story), you owe it to yourself to give Persona 5 a try.
It's good to meet you! I'm better known online as "Bkstunt_31" and have been writing Reviews and video game Strategy Guides/Walkthroughs for WAY too many years! Feel free to stop my my Facebook page and say hello! Have fun and keep playing!