2017 is going to be a great year. While 2016 saw a historic election and two sports franchises winning championships they hadn’t seen in decades, 2017 looks extremely promising in the gaming landscape. From RPG’s and FPS’s to space epics and personal stories, 2017 has the opportunity to become a fantastic year for gaming.
Each year, games come out that make our jaws drop and our hearts race. Most notably, the Uncharted series is great at doing both of those things. As another year of gaming has come and gone, it’s important to reevaluate where gaming is going and how it’s going to get there. The best way to understand this is to take a look at the top games of the year.
While 2016 is almost in our rear view mirror, 2017 still looms ahead. There are so many questions gamers have for the following year. Will VR finally begin to move from a niche product to the main stream? Can Nintendo’s new console, the Switch, finally make a dent and become a serious contender in the console wars? More importantly, what games are going to shape our year? What games are we going to play and talk about the following day at the water cooler?
The new Zelda title will definitely be making some waves. A newly refurbished Resident Evil title looks to redefine fear with a new play style for the franchise. To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the top 15 most anticipated video games for 2017.
15. Mass Effect: Andromeda
If you mention the greatest trilogies in video games, Mass Effect should always be in the conversation. BioWare’s efforts in making an enthralling and engulfing universe made the gaming world go crazy when the first title released in 2007.
Once the world got a taste of what BioWare was churning out, gamers couldn’t get enough. Although the concluding game in the trilogy caused some confusion and a bit of rage due to the ending, anticipation for the fourth installment is insanely high. With a slew of RPG’s hitting the scene in recent years, it looks as if the Mass Effect franchise needs to step up its game. The interactivity of the series is a hook and it looks as if this aspect returns for Andromeda. Can BioWare continue the successful franchise? 2017 will give us the answer.
14. Horizon Zero Dawn
A new IP is always a tricky proposition for a company. While gamers crave original content, companies like to bank on tried and true formulas and ideas. Horizon Zero Dawn takes a step away from the familiar IP’s and gives gamers a taste of a new world.
Zero Dawn’s story and gameplay are at the center of the gaming experience from Guerrilla Games. From game trailers, it looks as if the player must combat robotic dinosaurs in a pre-historic looking land. Not only does the story of Zero Dawn look intriguing, but the open world looks to bring a high level of immersion to gamers. The PlayStation exclusive turned heads at E3 2016 and further trailers and demos only strengthen the game’s value. It looks like a promising title for 2017.
Platforming has seen a small resurgence in recent years. Although FPS’s still dominant the gaming landscape and MOBA’s are becoming more and more popular, platforming is trying to make a comeback. Add in a little nostalgia and Yooka-Laylee has a chance to become a major hit.
The game hails from the creators of the cult favorite Banjo-Kazooie. The game is a spiritual successor to the Kazooie games. The open-world platforming and comedic look and feel pay tribute to the previous franchise. Yooka-Laylee is playing on nostalgia and is hoping to cash in on giving players an experience they won’t soon forget. Not to mention the fact that Yooka is a chameleon and Laylee is a bat and they play ying to each other’s yang.
12. Quake Champions
Quake has been away from the gaming world for quite some time. With the latest main release coming in 2005 in the form of Quake 4, it’s been 10 long years since the team at id Software rocked the world with a Quake title. With the release of the rebooted Doom in early 2016, it seems as if the hyper-quick twitch shooter genre may be making a comeback.
Quake holds a special place in many older gamers’ hearts (alongside Doom) as a game that introduced them to multiplayer. Id really wants to resurrect this series and give it a new and successful life on faster and better PC’s.
Quake Champions has only been announced for PC, but the developers have not ruled out the game releasing on consoles.
In 2006, Human Head Studios released a game that made the player rethink their video game experience. Prey became a cut classic after players began to appreciate the experience of being beamed up into a UFO and fighting for survival. The game is known for its experiential gameplay and focus on story and mechanics rather than difficulty.
Ever since then, players have clamored for a sequel. In the early 2010’s, a sequel was close to happening but just never did. Fans were disappointed when that title fell through. Then, in 2016, Bethesda decided that the franchise so many adored needed a reboot. That reboot is coming in 2017. And many gamers can’t wait to see what Bethesda and Arkane Studios have in store for them.
10. Injustice 2
Fighting games have been around since the beginning of gaming. Franchises like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat laid the foundation for the standard formula for the fighting genre. As games have become more advanced both in graphics and in mechanics, fighting games have also evolved over the years.
The original Injustice title sent a shock wave through the gaming community when it released in 2013. The game blended DC characters together and gave players a dark and intriguing storyline to follow throughout the game’s campaign.
In 2017, fans will get to continue the amazing story with Injustice 2. Not only that, but NetherRealm Games is adding in stat boosts to characters. The mechanic is mainly used in RPG’s and fans can’t wait to test it out when the game drops next year.
9. Days Gone
Zombie games are a dime a dozen these days. From movies to TV and video games, the subject of zombies is at the forefront of the entertainment medium right now. So, when Sony announced a game called Days Gone, people weren’t super shocked. However, the trailer quickly changed people’s minds about what a zombie game could be.
One of the major positives for the game is that it sports an intensely personal story. You take the role of a man named Deacon and have only one goal in mind: survival. Saving the world is the last thing on your mind in this game and Sony is hoping the personal and intimate zombie story can turn some heads.
8. For Honor
They say history repeats itself. However, you’d be hard pressed to find a time in history in which samurais, Vikings and knights fought against each other in real life. But, video games aren’t real life. And you can do anything in video games. So, For Honor does just this.
The player can choose between the preceding three factions to play as in the game. The hook of the game is that it’s multiplayer. Players will compete against each other in crazy 4 v 4 fights to the death. Each class has its own perks and unique abilities. Not only that, but each class has its own fighting style and weapons.
Who will ultimately become the victor once all three factions clash? We’ll find out in 2017 when players take a hold of the clans and fight it out amongst themselves.
7. Red Dead Redemption 2
Developer Rockstar was originally known for one thing: Grand Theft Auto. The open-world franchise has amassed billions of dollars and is adored by many in the gaming community. The open-world structure has become more advanced with each passing game in the series and, in 2010, Rockstar decided to resurrect a franchise they had released previously all the way back in 2004.
Red Dead Redemption was a perfect storm of open-world action, story, and a novel setting. The game instantly became a hit with gamers and quickly became a game of the year contender. Nearly seven years later, the Wild West is once again ready for gamers. While specifics haven’t been revealed about the sequel, the game is rumored to have an online mode. It may bear a similar resemblance to GTA Online.
6. Destiny 2
In 2014, a game came out that split the gaming community in half. One half fell in love with the game and the other half mustered a backlash against it. The game in question is Destiny and Bungie has been working tirelessly on crafting a sequel for this lofty experiment.
The original Destiny has had numerous expansions since its initial release. While a large number of the Bungie team have spent thousands of hours expanding the Destiny universe, a sequel was always in the works. In 2017, gamers get to experience this sequel.
Bungie has said that Destiny, as a whole, is a project that is planned to go at least 10 years. 2017 will mark the fourth year of the project. It will be interesting to see how Destiny 2 launches compared to the horrific start (and then brilliant redemption) of the first game.
5. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Fans of the Ghost Recon series have come to expect a certain style of gameplay within the franchise. Being under the Tom Clancy umbrella, the Ghost Recon games have always exhibited a sense of realism, tactics, and all the teamwork you can handle. Wildlands throws in a twist to this formula as the game is set in an open-world.
Players must work together if they want to bring down the drug cartels and criminals of the Wildlands. The game boasts a fantastic sandbox scenario while retaining the teamwork and realism fans of the series have come to know and love. Can this title bring Ghost Recon into a new realm? 2017 will certainly give us the answer.
4. Resident Evil 7
Any survival horror game released in the last 15 years can probably trace at least one of its characteristics back to the original Resident Evil. 1996 was the year that Capcom unleashed a beast and a classic. As the years have gone on, the Resident Evil games have changed. What once was a survival horror franchise is now an action franchise. With many fans clamoring for a return to their roots, Capcom is delivering.
With the seventh major release in the series, Resident Evil is returning to their horror origins. The game looks like it’s taking a page out of games such as Outlast with an atmospheric horror feel. Fans went bonkers when the first trailer was released in the summer of 2016, and it’s only a matter of time before we find out if Capcom scored a hit.
3. God of War
PlayStation has had numerous juggernaut exclusives on its consoles. While the Uncharted series is currently over, another gigantic franchise has laid dormant for quite some time. With the last new release of a game in 2013 (which served as a prequel), the series was ready to move forward in a new direction. This is exactly what looks like is happening with God of War, which focuses on a much older Kratos and his son.
From the trailer at E3 2016, the game looks utterly fantastic. The main hook and draw to this revitalization of the series is that the game feels immensely more close and intense. Not only does the game keep its action-adventure gameplay and mechanics, but it shows quiet and personal moments between Kratos and his son.
The trailer doesn’t even feel like a typical God of War game and that’s what blew everyone away at E3. Many didn’t even realize it was a God of War game until the blue hero with the face paint was finally revealed. The game is being rumored as a “soft reboot” of the franchise and takes place in the world of Norse mythology instead of Greek.
2. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
RPG’s always seem to be popular. No matter what decade you’re looking into, an excellent RPG is never too hard to find. Although, it is a bit difficult to find an RPG with the sense of humor that only South Park can provide. Matt Stone and Trey Parker did just this in 2013 with South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Critics and fans alike enjoyed the potty humor and deep RPG elements of the first title and have been wondering ever since if a sequel would ever happen. They didn’t have to wait too long, as 2017 will provide this answer. The Fractured but Whole adds even more tactical depth and humor as the story continues the saga of the new kid in town. It looks like Stone and Parker have another hit looming in the near future.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It’s hard to describe just how influential the Zelda series has been on the gaming world. The series’ mechanics have been emulated and incorporated into hundreds of games over the years and rightfully so. However, the series has been stagnant for a long time. With numerous years between releases for the game that fans of the series desperately want, it seems 2017 will finally be the year that fans get what they want.
Breath of the Wild takes Zelda into the 3D open world on a brand new console. With a huge trend in open-world games right now, it makes sense to set the eagerly anticipated next installment in a full world. This could be the game of the decade depending on how it fares with fans and their expectations.
2017 is going to be an immensely important and fun year for gaming. Hopefully, each of the games on this list lives up to their hype and delivers the quality gaming experience you’re looking for.