The year 2017 was an eventful one for the video game industry. Quite a few expected, as well as unexpected titles graced our screens. While many big names in the industry fell short, a number of indie titles immersed us in their magical worlds, making life a tad bit easier. In this article we look at the best games of 2017.
The Best Games of 2017:
Divinity Original Sin II
Divinity Original Sin II is one of those unique games that you don’t get to play everyday. It’s greatest strength is the rich and unpredictable game world. You never know what you might find out in the wild. From “were-spiders” to exploding sheep, it is full of interesting creatures and places to explore.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Another indie title that left me speechless is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Drawing heavily from Norse mythology, Hellblade by Ninja Studios tells the tale of a Celtic Warrior Senua, who embarks on a quest to save the soul of her lover.
Senua’s destination is quite literally hell, and on the way she faces all kinds of nightmares. This game is rather short, with no character progression in terms of levels and skills. But the setting and the portrayal of the characters is one of the best I have ever experienced. The hack-n-slash combat is a real treat while the dark atmosphere always keeps you on edge. It offers glimpses into the lives of people suffering from psychosis, and makes for one hell of an experience.
A JRPG, Nier Automata is perhaps one of the best games that Square Enix has published this decade. While the visuals may be mediocre, it has such an insightful plotline that most AAA games’ narratives pale in comparison. The gameplay too is nothing short of spectacular, with all kinds of fancy martial artist-sic moves.
Nier Automata questions the differences between humans and machines. It makes the player wonder whether machines can ever be as complex as us humans, and if so, will they continue to obey or overthrow us.
This game follows an android (humanoid machine) and her companion as they try to free earth from the control of otherworldly machines who have taken over and ousted mankind. Careful, this one is a tear-jerker and a yes yes for all those JRPG fans.
With multiple PvP and PvE modes, Destiny II is an ideal choice if you’re into online MMOs that aren’t purely shooters like Counter Strike or CS clones. All the characters from the first Destiny game return and if you are a fan of Captain Mal Reynolds from Firefly, there’s enough reason to buy it (Nathan Fillion once again voices Cayde-6 and it’s superb).
Have you played Dishonored 1 or 2. Did you like them? If yes, then you’re gonna love Prey. Imagine Dishonored set on a space-ship, filled with gooey black aliens. Except they’ll be doing most of the killing and you’ll have to do the surviving. Okay maybe it’s not that similar to Dishonored, but it’s just as charming.
Arkane studios has a reputation of paying attention to all those minute details that make a game more appealing. Prey is one of their very few sci-fi titles and feels like a BioShock/System Shock mashup.
It works pretty well. Like Dishonored, the player can solve a particular objective in multiple ways. You can be stealthy or try to kill anything that moves. You’ve got neuromods in place of plasmids that grant unique abilities and the weapons are quite limited. Overall, it is an excellent addition to the survival/horror sci-fi genre.
Set in a dark dystopian future, Observer relies on psychological horror to draw out your darkest fears and thoroughly wreck your psyche. The player character hacks the minds of the mentally unfit and you get to relive their reality (insanity I mean). This game isn’t for everyone but those who have the heart will find it sufficiently interesting.
Outlast I in short, was the scariest and perhaps the most nerve-racking form of media I have ever experienced. The atmosphere and the setting were downright terrifying. But it had one major flaw. The level design. Most of the objectives involved finding something, keys, fuses, batteries. At the beginning it wasn’t so bad, but as the game dragged on, it became more of a chore.
Outlast II has a different tone. Don’t get me wrong. It’s equally disturbing, but instead of jump-scares and the chilling atmosphere, it uses guts and gore to get into your head. There are quite a few well-placed jumpscares that’ll make you scream like a little girl, but it mainly focuses on psychological horror.
The story too is decent, although a bit controversial. If you like horror games, especially ones that make you question your sanity this is a must buy. Just don’t expect the same atmosphere as Outlast I.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Released roughly two years after the first game, Shadow of War features largely the same mechanics as it’s predecessor, but that doesn’t make it any less addicting. The skill tree is much more complex this time around, and the world too is up to 4 times bigger.
While nothing ground-breaking, the narrative is a whole lot better than the first game. The nemesis system which was the driving factor behind Shadow of Mordor’s success has been considerably expanded. The inclusion of player forts, body-guards, betrayals and the online component make the game unique in it’s own way.
It is rather surprising that none of the other developers tried to emulate the nemesis system. This Batman-ish hack-and-slash adventure game is perhaps the best game the genre had to offer this year around.
Another game by Arkane studios, Dishonored 2 is a perfect example of a stealth-based RPG done right. You can go guns blazing, killing everyone in your path or use stealth and more unconventional means to punish your enemies. Your methods have an impact on the ending, just like in the original game.
Like Prey, the attention given to the environment detail is simply astounding. While sneaking around on the streets of Karnaca, you can get a clear picture of the situation and know a great deal about the people just by listening in on the conversations and reading through letters and notes.
Once again, Arkane has gotten seriously creative with the weapons and skills department. You can play as either the Empress, Emily Kaldwin or her father, Corvo Attano. Both of them get their own unique skill-trees. Corvo retains his old ones while Emily gets a whole new set. Dishonored 2, hands down is one of the best games that rely on stealth. The sheer amount of detail present in the game along with all the different ways you can complete an objective really set this game apart.
Developed by BlueHole studios in collaboration with PlayerUnknown, Battlegrounds took the gaming community by storm when it debuted on Steam. Known for it’s unique gameplay quirks involving frying pans and all kinds of unexpected stunts, at the moment there are very few PC gamers who don’t own this title. With a player base of 20 million and 2-3 mill concurrent players on Steam alone, it has become one of the best games in the co-op category, leaving the likes of Counter Strike and Call of Duty in the dust.
Assassins’ Creed Origins
While the fundamental Ubisoft formula hasn’t changed, it does seem to have evolved for the better. The main story is quite superior to the other recent Assassins’ Creed games and the fact that it got a score of around 85 on metacritic places it among the best games of 2017. Maybe one of the best Assassins’ Creed games. You decide. Regardless, if you are a fan of the franchise, you might wanna check this out.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild marks a new venture in the open world genre, a reinventing of old mechanics and harkening back to the very first game in the series. Embodying a sense of freedom that promises the player that they can go to wherever they see and a unique climbing mechanic that allows the traversal of pretty much everything, critics and fans alike were enamoured with the end result with many proclaiming it as one the best games of 2017.
Persona 5 is game that oozes with style from it’s beautifully rendered anime graphics and slick U.I. that creates a cool and vibrant atmosphere which permeates throughout the game. The Persona games have always been known for their strong stories and characterization and the 5th entry more than lives up that legacy.
The beautifully overhauled dungeons,smoothly animated combat, unique mix of life simulation and RPG mechanics and just where volume of content make Persona 5 one of the best JRPGs in years and one of the best games of 2017.