When 2016 ended, there was a certain degree of optimism in the gaming community. Not only did we get a boatload of action packed, sometimes even jaw dropping games, the roster of games for the following year created a hype that meant every gamer would be counting down the clock in anticipation of their next favorite game. Indeed 2017 looked to be a triumphant year for games, and now that it’s over, let’s look at what we think were the best games of 2017.
Please remember that this is purely based on opinion, so many games that should have made the cut were dropped.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
When Horizon Zero Dawn’s trailer launched in 2016, there was instant buzz surrounding Guerilla Games’ latest venture. After making the Killzone series, the company had garnered a deserved reputation but people were still unsure how this game would pan out, considering the company was known to make first person shooter games, instead of open world RPGs. In February 2017 when the game hit stores, the naysayers were forced to eat their words, as the game not only fulfilled its promise, it surpassed it. Horizon Zero Dawn is basically an open world adventure game, in which players take control of a hunter named Aloy, and guide her through a post apocalyptic world with giant robot dinosaurs ready to make quick work of her.
On a first glance, the game seems generic. I mean killing giant robot dinosaurs in an open world hardly seems like a great selling point (unless you are 13). However the thought provoking and gripping storyline, finely detailed combat mechanics and level designs that inspire awe make this game a far reach from ordinary. The game is not without blemish though, as it boasts lack luster side missions, and a rather clunky user interface, but those flaws are not enough to hamper your overall experience, as the superior game play makes you forget all about the minute flaws.
Dark Souls 3: The Fire Fades
This may be cheating as Dark Souls 3: The Fire Fades is an expansion of a game released back in 2016, but I couldn’t help but sneak something developed by From Software into this list. It may seem suspect that one of the best games of 2017 is one that is not for everybody, but that’s exactly how good Dark Souls 3 is. The Dark Souls series is notorious for its exceeding difficulty, vague storylines and deaths (so many deaths!) but that just goes to show how rewarding the game truly is. Dark Souls 3 doesn’t hold your hand and guide you, rather it throws you into the centre of a battlefield and expects you to fight back. It is not afraid to lose its consumers as the game believes in itself enough to not compromise on the game play. You will face death after death, to a point where you will want to throw your controller out the window and smash your console with a halberd, but after turning off the console (and hopefully keeping the controller) you will start to wonder why you are dying so much, and the reason will be abundantly clear. It was YOUR fault. In my opinion, this is the greatest feat of Dark souls; it is challenging, even punishing, but never unfair. The game play mechanics are absolutely superb, the game design is second to none and if you enjoy your boss battles, Dark Souls 3 will have you drooling over its roster of boss fights. Dark Souls 3 is a very smart and intuitive game, that is not afraid to lose a few consumers in order to provide the best possible gaming experience. It most certainly requires a degree of tolerance to get into, especially as it breaks the players spirit over and over, to make them realize this is just not like any other game. Once the game has won you over, I promise Dark Souls 3 is a rewarding, deep and fulfilling game that and is truly one of a kind with a storyline to match its astounding game play.
Resident Evil 7: Bio Hazard
Can you remember the last time you played a good Resident Evil game? For me it was back in 2005 when Resident Evil 4 came out. After that the game series has seen flop after flop, garnishing Capcom’s reputation with every title. This year, however Capcom finally realized what their fans needed from the series and broke a 12 year streak of subpar games to give us Resident Evil 7: Bio Hazard. Biohazard is the 26th installment in the Resident Evil series (yes you read that correct: 26th!) and finally manages to build on the roots set by predecessors and expands on them. The game brings back a lot of the elements that made the original great, and also tries out new mechanics that make the game seem fresh, instead of a washed up old legend. It is the closest thing since Resident Evil 4 in creating a tense and horrifying environment and a general sense of uneasiness that instills fear into the players. Compared to previous games, Resident Evil 7 is more grounded in the sense that it let go of the mindless gun totting gore fest, that led the series into the ground for a more reserved, chillier and atmospheric game.
On a side note, if you want some more intense experience, I suggest playing the game in VR. Two words: My God.
Netherrealm studios really didn’t need to put any thought into Injustice. It was a game where Batman could face off against Doomsday, or the Joker could fight Flash. It would have been an instant seller regardless of quality. However, Netherrealm being the perfectionists they are found a certain balance in the characters and came up with an incredibly engaging video game. After all, they were the ones who made Mortal Kombat (a game about obliterating your opponent in the most brutal way) into a deep and diverse game.
The story of Injustice 2 of an invasion of Earth while the superheroes deal with their own short coming to finally defeat the evil is as generic as shooting Nazi zombie, but the way Injustice pulls of the story is a wonder in itself. That being said, a video game is about game play while storylines are forced to take a back seat, and in that regard Injustice 2 shines through and through. The combat is balanced and mechanically astound, so much so that it’s hard to find a fighting game of this caliber, and that is saying something as this is from the studio that helped kick start the fighting game genre. So if you are a DC comics fan or not is irrelevant, the primary reason to buy this game is if you enjoy deep, detailed fighting games.
Super Mario Odyssey
I know, I know, first Resident Evil and now Super Mario (there was also mention of Mortal Kombat), you might be thinking if I was stuck in a time capsule in the 90s, but be assured, I am very much living in 2017 and so is Super Mario Odyssey. As one of the most iconic gaming brands, Super Mario has always fallen short of living up to its expectations. Sure there have been great games by the franchise, but very few have managed to capture the essence of the original, while managing to find an identity for themselves. This is Super Mario Odyssey’s greatest trait, it retains the core elements that made the franchise great while adding new mechanics that felt much needed in previous games. Mario’s new friend Cappy is a much needed addition as he opens a whole list of new possibilities for Mario to explore, and the way the game jumps from 2D to 3D is mesmerizing at points. Rest assured Super Mario’s innovative level designs, endearing characters and gratifying game play make this one of the greatest games of 2017 and inject Mario with a certain degree of whimsical flair that will endear Mario in the eyes of the new generation.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Forest Interactive.