Alphr’s games of the year 2017: The games of 2017 you absolutely have to play
Picking the best games of the year is no easy task, and 2017 has been a year of some of the most stellar titles around. We’ve finally seen the PS4 and Xbox One get into their strides, and as more developers adopt 4K gaming thanks to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, games have never looked as good either.
Nintendo’s arrival on the scene with the Nintendo Switch also proved that you don’t have to have the flashiest visuals to create the greatest games. It’s true that only two Nintendo Switch games made our list this year, but almost every release on the console could well have found a place on this list.
We’ve also done a breakdown of the best PlayStation VR titles too, for those of you wondering if investing in Sony’s headset is worth it.
The best games of 2017:
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It should come as absolutely no surprise that our game of the year is the Nintendo Switch launch title – and arguably the best Zelda game ever made – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 2017 has been an excellent year for games, but nothing comes close to what we experienced back in March. Except for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, no game has created such a rich and rewarding open world ripe for exploration. This isn’t just a living world to explore, it’s also a space made for experimentation and play. It’s a big change from what we’ve seen of the series before, but it’s proof that Nintendo isn’t afriad to shake up IP with over 30 years of heriatage.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
The fact that Nintendo has taken both the first and second positions in our list of best games just goes to show how on-form the Japanese developer and publisher is in 2017. Mario’s latest adventure is a brilliant return to form for the plucky former-plumber. Harking back to the free-form exploration days of Super Mario 64, with the ingenuity of Super Mario Galaxy and the open environments of Super Mario Sunshine, a better 3D Super Mario game doesn’t exist. Every iota of Super Mario Odyssey oozes fun and you can’t help but have a smile on your face the entire time you play. There’s also nothing quite like playing Mario on the bus. Lovely.
3. NeiR: Automata
As the unexpected sequel to cult classic PS3 and Xbox 360 game NeiR, nobody really knew quite what to expect of NeiR: Automata. Not only was it now an open-world action title instead of a linear RPG, it was being developed by hack-n-slash action kings Platinum Games. As it turns out, the unique blend of the bizarre creative mind of Yoko Taro and the developmental genius of Platinum makes for one incredible game. NeiR: Automata may ask you to place a lot of faith in its bleak story and characters, but the payoff is more than worth it – even if it means playing through it twice to unlock the final third playthrough. You owe it to yourself to play this.
4. Persona 5
To quote the, rather excellent, Persona 5 theme song, “you’ll never see it coming”. Persona 5 wasn’t just one of the finest, most stylish entries in the Persona series yet, it was also one of the best JRPGs ever made. Its anime stylings may betray it as a light-hearted JRPG, but this 100-plus hour beast tells an incredibly dark tale of people succumbing to their innermost desires as dark forces twist their hearts. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, nor for those who don’t have the mettle for a lot of story to digest. Foe everyone else, it’s a game unlike anything else you’ll have experienced.
Xbox One, PC
It’s been years in the making, but Cuphead is one of the most beautiful games you’ll see on Xbox One or PC this year. Riffing off the surreal cartoons of the 1930s, which saw nightmarish creatures and caricatures of society bop along to swing tunes, Cuphead uses its visual sheen to hide an incredibly tough bullet-hell platformer. It’s at its best when played with a friend, but even solo Cuphead can surprise and delight. This is, quite easily, the freshest title Microsoft has published in years, proving that it was more than worth the wait.
6. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellbalde: Senua’s Sacrifice may not be the most action-packed of action games out there, but what Ninja Theorey has created here with such a tiny team and miniscule budget is beyond impressive. Its journey into the heart of madness through the mind of a schizophrenic protagonist is harrowing, the voices in her head resonate through yours as you play and the sense of repetiton works wonderfully in letting you sink into her shoes even more. It also helps that it’s absolutely gorgeous to look at, and the motion captured performance from Melina Juergens is absolutely impeccable. Do yourself a favour and play this with a pair of headphones, you won’t be disappointed.
7. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
PS4, Xbox One, PC
After the dire Resident Evil 6 found its way to audiences on the PS3 and Xbox 360, Capcom knew it needed to do something very different for Resident Evil 7. Thankfully, it managed to do just that. Switching perspective from third-person to firstperson had a profound effect on just how you explore the tight mansion-like environment of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The scares, once again, felt genuine and the series’ penchant for schloky-horror melts away in favour of mature and reasoned terror. It’s even more horriffic when played in VR, something we recommend for only the most hardcore of horror fans.