With 2017 now concluded, we can reflect upon the year in its entirety and evaluate the game offerings it bestowed over the 12-month period. In 2017, we were presented with hardware from both Nintendo and Microsoft – the new hardware being the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox One X. While new hardware is always exciting, it was the games that were the true standout releases of 2017.

Titles like Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn, and Microsoft’s Cuphead provided gamers with unique experiences and each left their mark on the industry.

2017 was also the year we saw Virtual Reality deliver compelling and exceptional gaming experiences that could never be replicated on traditional game consoles. Releases like Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 demonstrated when VR is partnered with a frightening atmosphere, it can create a genuine sense of fear and discomfort. Meanwhile, games like Archangel and Superhot VR assisted in establishing VR as a new constant in the gaming industry.

All-in-all, 2017 was one of the best years the video game industry has seen in recent memory, and things are looking even better for 2018. However, before 2018 really finds its footing; let’s first take a look at some of the best video games of 2017.

[Editor’s Note – The games are not listed in any particular order.]

-Best Switch Games of 2017-

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild –

Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the defining launch game for the Nintendo Switch in early 2017. The title not only launched on Nintendo’s new revolutionary hybrid hardware, it also revolutionized the conventions of the Zelda franchise by introducing an open-world ripe for exploration, an in-depth battle system, and by giving the player complete control over how the narrative would unfold.

  1. Super Mario Odyssey –

    In a single calendar year, the Nintendo Switch was given not only a revolutionary new Zelda title; but also a new 3D Mario game that propelled the series in a new direction by granting the player more freedom of control to traverse the game’s many worlds. The introduction of Cappy allowed greater movement and brought forth new means of platforming. With diverse worlds, compelling platforming sequences, enjoyable soundtrack, and clever boss battles, Super Mario Odyssey is the best 3D Mario to release since Super Mario Galaxy.

  2. Splatoon 2

Though Splatoon 2 may not be as fresh as its precursor, the game still manages to be amazing and an absolute delight. Online multiplayer and Salmon Run are addictive and will tempt you to take your Switch with you wherever you go. The lure of playing Splatoon 2 multiplayer during a lunch break, or during your commute is far too strong to resist. With the promise of new stages, weapons, and other content still to come, Splatoon 2 can only get better.

  1. DOOM –

When Bethesda announced they would be bringing software to the Nintendo Switch, some thought hell had frozen over. Instead, hell was about to be unleashed. DOOM arrived on Switch in the heart of the holiday season, and it marked the first time the DOOM franchise had been on a Nintendo platform in over a decade. Offering a chaotic campaign and strangely addicting multiplayer, DOOM for the Nintendo Switch is the system’s definitive first-person shooting and one of the best online multiplayer games the system has to offer.

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim –

Considered by many to be one of the best adventure/RPGs to ever release, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a vast adventure that provides the player with near limitless quests and content to enjoy. In its transition to the Nintendo Switch, Skyrim made its portable debut and managed to retain all the content and quality folks have come to expect from the famed franchise. Featuring all the downloadable content and new Zelda­-themed costumes and content, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for Nintendo Switch is an excellent way to experience the massive world of Skyrim.

  1. ARMS

ARMS may not offer much in terms of single-player content, but its online and local multiplayer focus are the game’s true strength. ARMS is able to stretch its reach to both the casual and hardcore fighting audience, as it delivers a fun and compelling fighting game for the Nintendo Switch.

  1. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a charming and challenging experience that’ll make you smile and laugh. Its characters and world provide the ideal environment for the game’s exacting combat. Each world contains fun secrets worth discovering and hilarious moments around every turn. Great replayability is here thanks to the many challenges that await you after conquering each world. Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle performs well and is a breakout Switch exclusive most owners will enjoy.

  1. Disgaea 5 Complete –

Disgaea 5 Complete is the best way to play and to experience Disgaea 5. If you are ready to commit hundreds of hours to a game, then let Disgaea 5 Complete satisfy your needs.

  1. CaveStory+-

Cave Story+ is a Switch gem. It’s addicting, has just the right amount of challenge, and the multiple endings will keep you occupied for hours to come. It is one of the best indie games to ever release, and the Switch version is the definitive way to experience this classic.

  1. LA Noire

L.A. Noire is like a fine wine or cognac; it is as grown better with age and is for those with a refined, mature pallet. There are few games like L.A. Noire that are able to deliver a mature gaming experience in such a proficient manner. It’s engaging and thoroughly entertaining. L.A. Noire is unlike anything else in the Switch software library, and it is one of 2017’s best release. For those looking for a deep and riveting gaming experience, L.A. Noire is what you’ve been searching for.

-Best Indie Games of 2017-

  1. Snake Pass
  2. Slime-san
  3. SteamWorld Dig 2
  4. Blossom Tales
  5. The Mummy Demastered
  6. Sonic Mania
  7. Rain World
  8. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
  9. Fast RMX
  10. Death Squared

-Best PlayStation VR Games of 2017-

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR –

    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was always an immersive experience, but playing Skyrim in VR takes things to a new level of immersion. You will feel as though you are traversing through the woods, feel the tension of battle, and lose yourself in the majesty of the environment and world setting of Skyrim.

  2. Archangel

Archangel is a successful PSVR release that demonstrates the power of immersion. It’s a short but thrilling experience that is well worth the price of admission. If you ever dreamed of piloting a mech, this is the VR game you have been waiting for.

  1. Resident Evil 7 –

When paired with PSVR, Resident Evil 7 is engrossing, haunting, and is well worth experiencing. The setting of RE7 comes to life in VR as the gritty details of the moldy walls, the dusty attic, and the damp basement will bring moments of disgust. PSVR heightens the sense of discomfort and brings the nightmare to reality.

  1. Fated: The Silent Oath –

    Fated: The Silent Oath may seem like a Skyrim type of adventure upon first glance, but this narrative-driven PSVR game delivers an experience that transports you directly in the game and its world. You interact with the in-game characters by responding to questions with a nod of your head, and then see the character react to your decision. Fated: The Silent Oath makes you feel as though you are part of the world and that makes is a memorable – albeit short, PSVR experience worthy of your attention.

  2. Superhot VR –

    If you want to showcase the power of VR to an unbeliever, then Superhot VR is the title to use. Having released for PSVR in 2017, the game put the Motion controls to good use and demonstrated full movement in a 3D space. Having the player dodge bullets, knives, and other projectiles, Supershot VR will have you feeling like Neo from The Matrix. Supershot VR is one of the best VR games to ever release.

  3. Farpoint –

    The PlayStation VR has seen some remarkable games from Sony – like Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and in 2017 Sony took things to the next level in their VR delivery. Farpoint demonstrates the strengths VR lends to the first-person shooting genre. By using the Aim Controller, one feels fully immersed in the game. Farpoint is a VR game one must experience to fully appreciate and those that are willing to make the investment will thoroughly enjoy what is being shared with them.

-Best PlayStation 4 Games of 2017-

  1. NiER Automata –

    Nier: Automata is everything one can expect from a top-tier video game – engaging combat, captivating storyline, and living world that makes you feel as though you belong in it and aren’t just a temporary visitor; and let’s not forget that incredible soundtrack. The fresh gameplay and originality of Nier: Automata set it apart from anything on the market, and that is reason enough to add this game to your PS4 game library.

  2. Knack 2

This new experience showcases so much of what is making this series a fun, necessary part of PS4’s portfolio. Despite some technical and design hiccups here and there, Knack 2 is an exceptionally entertaining experience gamers will enjoy… Its great value of $39.99 shows what Sony learned from The Order: 1886‘s price controversy. The value present in Knack 2 surpasses its tag, and provides gamers with a number of excellent ways to experience it.

  1. Horizon Zero Dawn –

Horizon Zero Dawn is easily the best exclusive PS4 has seen so far this generation. It is one of the most intriguing worlds of this generation, with a lore that is impossible to ignore. The combination of futuristic and primitive concepts create a wonderfully unusual dynamic that can only be experienced.

  1. Crash Bandicoot-

    Crash Bandicoot returned to the PlayStation 4 in 2017 and did so in grand style. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy featured the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy from the PlayStation One. With enhanced visuals, Trophy support, and the same classic difficulty we have come to love and expect from the Crash series, this insane trilogy package is what every Crash fan has been dreaming of. Long-time fans or curious newcomers cannot go wrong with this excellent trio of retro-gaming goodness.

  2. Yakuza 0 –

When I look at Yakuza Zero from a big picture standpoint, it is clearly a massive experience. There is so much for players to become lost in. This includes everything from its intriguing plot, captivating characters, entertaining combat and addictive side content. Sega’s Yakuza Zero shows gamers how open-world games can be gargantuan experiences, while still maintaining a legitimately thrilling and interesting story.

  1. Uncharted: Lost Legacy-

    Headliner Nathan Drake may be missing from this new adventure, but the Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is quality enough to stand on its own merit. Chloe and Nadine lead this new adventure and take players on an enchanting journey through India. It may not reinvent the Uncharted formula, but it doesn’t have to. The setting of Lost Legacy is enthralling, the characters are interesting, and the gameplay is topnotch.

  2. Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age –

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XII was a divisive game when it released on PS2, and this new release serves to prove that, in many ways, the game was ahead of its time. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age preserves the finer aspects of the PS2 original and addresses that version’s shortcomings. By introducing enhanced visuals, improvements to the job system, and many additional options, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is the best way to play Final Fantasy XII.

  1. Call of Duty: WW2 –

    After spending years in the modern and future era of war, the Call of Duty series finally returned to World War II and it was the best thing for the long-running series. The single-player offers a powerful and gripping campaign that takes you directly to the battlefield of some of the most well-known battles of World War II. While the campaign is engaging and well worth your time, it is the multiplayer that will keep you occupied for months to come. Whether you want to experience the standard TDM multiplayer or the always addicting Nazi Zombie mode, Call of Duty: WWII has you covered. Call of Duty: WWII is the best Call of Duty to release in years and one you don’t want to miss.

  2. Destiny 2 –

    If you loved Destiny, then you’ll love Destiny 2 as it is better than its predecessor in virtually every way. Offering tons of quests, an exciting storyline, and fun gunplay, Destiny 2 is one of the more exciting first-person shooters to release in 2017 as it grants the player freedom to explore and experience the game in their own way. When paired with a powerful soundtrack, you get an epic experience that only Bungie could deliver.

  3. Assassin’s Creed Origins

Fans wanted a year off for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and a year off is what they received. Fans wanted a refocus on the series’ core pillars and a refocus is what they got. For all of the change that was being asked for in all sorts of different directions, Origins handles everything brilliantly. The series took a step in a new direction while keeping its other foot in the realm that made it so great to begin with.

-Best Xbox One Games of 2017-

  1. Cuphead –

    In many ways, Cuphead is the reason we play videos. We play for entertainment, challenge, and to feel a sense of accomplishment for completing a level or beating a boss. Cuphead is plenty entertaining and is an absolute blast to play. It will challenge you to the point of frustration, but that high level of difficulty is one of the factors that make Cuphead such a pleasure. You are will feel genuine satisfaction for completing a level and for besting a boss, and that is because the game will push your skills to their limit and motivate you to try again and again. Cuphead is a game that will annoy, but one you will love.

  2. Forza 7-

    The Forza series has been a driving force on Xbox One since the system launched. With Forza 7, we get more of the great gameplay we have become accustomed to over the years; but are now given new vehicles to drives and a greater variety of tracks to race on. As always, the game is a visual marvel and one that showcases the power of the Xbox One and the Xbox One X. Regardless of skill level, Forza 7 is an exciting racer and is one of the best racers to ever release.

  3. Destiny 2 –

    If you loved Destiny, then you’ll love Destiny 2 as it is better than its predecessor in virtually every way. Offering tons of quests, an exciting storyline, and fun gunplay, Destiny 2 is one of the more exciting first-person shooters to release in 2017 as it grants the player freedom to explore and experience the game in their own way. When paired with a powerful soundtrack, you get an epic experience that only Bungie could deliver.

  4. Halo Wars 2 –

Halo Wars 2 is a wonderfully entertaining experience that will have fans of the series enthralled from start to finish. This RTS is one that core fans of the genre will enjoy and newcomers will quickly pick up. Halo Wars 2 is a fabulous way to start off the year for Xbox One.

  1. Call of Duty: WW2 –

    After spending years in the modern and future era of war, the Call of Duty series finally returned to World War II and it was the best thing for the long-running series. The single-player offers a powerful and gripping campaign that takes you directly to the battlefield of some of the most well-known battles of World War II. While the campaign is engaging and well worth your time, it is the multiplayer that will keep you occupied for months to come. Whether you want to experience the standard TDM multiplayer or the always addicting Nazi Zombie mode, Call of Duty: WWII has you covered. Call of Duty: WWII is the best Call of Duty to release in years and one you don’t want to miss.

  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds –

    PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds may have some performance issues, but one cannot deny that it is virtually unmatched when it comes to pure entertainment. PUBG is entertaining, its chaotic, it’s strangely addicting, and it’s a fantasy experience. You may not understand what the game is just by watching it (you may not even understand what it is while playing it), but you will understand that you are having fun and that is all that matters.

  3. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard –

Capcom has done a fine job of delivering a truly terrifying, entertaining and brooding experience. Resident Evil VII is an excellent return to form for the franchise, and provides gamers with plenty of scares worth seeing for yourself.

  1. Assassin’s Creed Origins

Fans wanted a year off for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and a year off is what they received. Fans wanted a refocus on the series’ core pillars and a refocus is what they got. For all of the change that was being asked for in all sorts of different directions, Origins handles everything brilliantly. The series took a step in a new direction while keeping its other foot in the realm that made it so great to begin with.

  1. Fortnite –

    Fornite is one of those games that is just fun to play. The co-op experience is a blast to play with friends, and the hours will fly by as you play just one more round. With a free-to-play battle royale mode available, anyone interested in this curious game should give it a try; but be warned, it may consume all your free time.

  2. For Honor –

Multiplayer games tend to revolve around similar themes and ideas, but we should all feel lucky to still have developers that stray from the norm to create an experience like For Honor. This game is a marvel in the world of multiplayer, and its campaign is the delicious icing on the cake. For Honor brings a new type of multiplayer and it is simply magnificent.

About Matt Furtado

Reviewing games for Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. You can reach Matt at - [email protected]
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