As we enter the second half of 2017, it’s easy to see that this year has already been a great time for gaming, and there is plenty more to come. While we wait for that second rush of games to release in Fall, I saw no better time to rank the 10 best games of 2017 so far.
10. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Set in a massive Bolivian landscape, Ghost Recon: Wildlands takes the traditional Ghost Recon formula, and brings it to the open world experience. With the goal of taking down the cartel, the player and their squad can tackle the area in any way they choose. Jump out of a helicopter guns blazing into the mountains, or creep through the jungle with stealthy snipers in hand, every situation can be handled in which ever way you choose. There is a wide array of ways to take down compounds, and a variety of weapons to do it with. The best part though, is it can all be played online with three other friends, making for some truly entertaining assaults.
9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Horror games have always been something that players can’t get enough of. Whether it’s that feeling of being scared, or the crazy environments that players land in, horror games always have a place on our screens. Luckily for the horror fans out there, Resident Evil decided to switch up their action formula and go for a more traditional horror experience this time around. In the 10 hour ride, players run into countless disturbing displays, and enough pop outs to make you question why you really play. Resident Evil 7 is 9th on this list for Best games this year, but its definitely the best horror to come out in 2017.
8. For Honor
Take Chivalry, give it an AAA budget, and what you’ll get is essentially For Honor. Due to it’s originality and the use of popular warrior factions, For Honor was an instant hit. The first game of it’s kind, blending the theme of Chivalry with a new tactical combat system based on guards and traditional sword fighting. Each character has their own unique style and feel, as well as plenty of gear to equip them with. Unfortunately, For Honor did drop off in popularity almost instantly. The combination of peer to peer connection, wonky balance, and micro transactions left a bad taste in players’ mouths. The innovation of For Honor, and the fun of it at its core can’t be forgotten though, and that’s what keeps it as one of the best games of 2017.
7. Injustice 2
NetherRealm has been releasing beloved fighting games for years now, especially Mortal Kombat. Their last two releases, Injustice and Mortal Kombat X, were fantastic fighting games that left me and plenty of other players with hours of fun and competition. Their latest release, Injustice 2, isn’t any different in that regard. With a worthwhile single player story, an in depth gear system that gives a reason to grind, and the most smooth NetherRealm experience to date, Injustice 2 is a must play for any fighting game junkie out there.
Many Dark Souls fans out there have had their eyes on this game for a decent amount of time. Especially with the knowledge that we won’t be getting any more Dark Souls games. Nioh is a spiritual successor to the Ninja Gaiden series, and harbors plenty of aspects from the Souls series. Of course, with any new IP, there are some things the next game could improve on, but the Nioh we have now is certainly a worthy alternative to the Dark Souls series. Boss fights are intense, the combat is addictive, and the enemies will leave you in awe. Playing through this game was a blast, and if you haven’t picked it up yet, I would certainly recommend it.
5. Nier: Automata
Not many large games these days attempt to push the boundaries of what it means to make a game unique. Nier: Automata does just that, giving us a unique action RPG set in a dystopian world filled with machines. Gameplay can switch in an instant, from a fierce shoulder view fight, to a high speed side scrolling platformer. The world is worth exploring and the experience always feels fresh, leaving it at the 5th spot for the best games this year.
Anyone who has played games like Bioshock will know how insanely fun the genre really is. Like Bioshock, Prey is a single player, first person shooter set in a sci-fi world. Not many games can achieve the level of immersion and atmosphere that Prey can. On top of that, Prey has the story to match its setting, leaving players questioning what is really going on throughout. The endless struggle to survive the overrun ship, especially against the slew of different aliens looking to kill you, is a must try for anyone looking for a great game to play this year.
3. Persona 5
As JRPGs go, Persona is one of the most beloved series of them all. The latest iteration is no different, giving fans yet another game that will have fans playing for countless hours. The wacky High school setting, filled with characters that are just as colorful, carry the game along to each action encounter. If JRPGs are your bread and butter, you would be mistaken to skip Persona 5.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Like Persona, Zelda has always been a beloved franchise for Nintendo fans around the world. Breath of the Wild further cements Zelda’s good graces with fans, delivering what is perhaps the best Zelda to date. Players get to explore a vibrant and awe inspiring world with plenty of quests and loot to find along the way. Combat is also involved aw well, with a new physics system that really makes the world feel alive. Realistic world physics can be found throughout the map in all situations, especially the puzzle dungeons that so many have come to love. Breath of the Wild is a certain contender for game of the year, and is considered the best game this year by others.
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
Had it not been for Horizon Zero Dawn, Breath of the Wild would have certainly been placed at 1st on this list. However, one must give credit where credit is due, and I personally believe at this point that Horizon Zero Dawn will be the game of the year. From what is perhaps the best display of graphics that I have seen in a game, to a world filled with a rich history and a story that is unmatched by most games. Aloy is established as a well written character right from the start, as we see her grow. Not only was the writing for this game incredible, but the combat against the plethora of different robot animals was addictive in and of itself. The only disappointing part of the entire game was completing it and having no New Game+ to play all over again.