10 best video games of 2017: Nintendo ruled supreme after a gaming year to remember
Japanese company showed it was back to its best after the Switch had a hugely successful launch and they bolstered this release with a number of great games – none better than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
From start to finish, 2017 was an absurdly great year for video games. It began well with Gravity Rush 2 in January and ended strong with Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in December. In between, there was a non-stop slate of stellar projects.
The catalyst for the tremendous year was Nintendo. Once again, the Japanese company showed that it should never be counted out. House Mario had a wildly successful launch of the Nintendo Switch and the company bolstered the release with a slew of great games.
For other publishers, they dotted the calendar with first-rate titles (Persona 5 and Horizon Zero Dawn) and a surprising collection of remasters and virtual reality ports (Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim). It strengthened an already exceptional year.
With that said, here are arguably the top games of 2017.
Nintendo’s flagship series needed an overhaul, and it got one with the best chapter in the franchise since Ocarina of Time. Taking inspiration from its past and learning from the open-world games of the present, Breath of the Wild throws players in a Hyrule that is as immersive and rich as any game out there. “Wild” retains the puzzle elements that fans love, but producer Eiji Aonuma and his team weaves them through a massive world and a soulful adventure.
A new adventure with Nintendo’s iconic hero bookends a resurgent year for the company. This entry puts the developers’ indomitable imagination on display. When a new character named Cappy teams up with Mario, the duo opens up a slew of possibilities as the two can now take over enemies and objects. It creates opportunities for fresh level design and exploration in a title reminiscent of Super Mario 64.
3. Horizon Zero Dawn
For years, fans could see the potential in Guerrilla Games. The Dutch developer had the technical chops to make beautiful games, but never had the right franchise. This post-apocalyptic adventure where animal-like robots roam the earth with primitive humans is the best original project this year.
The success of the Japanese role-playing game shows this cult series has gone mainstream. Like other Persona titles, players have to balance public life as high school student with a secret one as the leader of a vigilante group called the Phantom Thieves. Part social simulator like The Sims and part turn-based adventure in the vein of old-school Final Fantasy, Persona 5 mixes two genres and shows that it’s more than the sum of its parts.
5. Destiny 2
Developer Bungie has learned from the mistakes of the original and released a more polished entry to its first-person shooter.
A strong story campaign and solid post-launch content has made this one of the better online games. It’s also one that will continue to grow over the next few months.
6. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
In a year full of surprises, this one was the most pleasant. The unusual collaboration between Ubisoft and Nintendo yielded one of the best strategy games in ages. The fast pace, combo-heavy combat system and deep customisation makes this a rewarding title to master.
At first glance, this entry to the survival-horror mainstay seems to have no connection to the franchise. That is a good thing. As Ethan Winters, players head to a dilapidated Louisiana estate only to find it inhabited by psychopaths and monsters. The change in tone and the first-person perspective make this a delightfully unpredictable scarefest.
8. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
When MachineGames started developing the sequel to their Wolfenstein series, they had no idea they would be creating the most politically charged game of 2017.
Set in an alternate history where the Nazis win World War II and control the United States, players return as B.J. Blazkowicz, who helps lead a resistance during the 1960s. It’s a plot that will resonate amid this year’s turmoil.
9. Assassin’s Creed Origins
After releasing sequels at a torrid clip, Ubisoft gave developers extra time to work on this chapter. The move paid off as Origins breathes new life into a flagging franchise by mixing in a new combat system along with stronger RPG elements. Add those elements to the setting of ancient Egypt and Origins is a win for fans.
10. Forza Motorsport 7
Turn 10 Studios’ racing game is one of the best reasons to own a Xbox One X and 4K television. The ultra-high resolution images and rich high-dynamic range colours pop. Combine that with conditions that change with the weather and time of day and players have the most compelling racing games of the year.