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2017 may be remembered as one of the years in gaming thanks to the sheer consistent quality of titles across all of the major platforms and genres. This can create quite a backlog of games that players have missed or had to pass up on experiencing. With Christmas almost upon us players will be looking for the best titles to play during the holiday. Whether it’s for yourself or a loved one here are the best games of 2017 you should pick up for Christmas.
(This list is in no particular order)
- Systems: PC, Xbox One
- There have been a lot of amazing indie games this year, but one of the best is Studio MDHR’s Cuphead. Inspired by the cartoons of the 1930s and the side-scrolling shooting genre. Cuphead is a gorgeous and extremely difficult game. Following a traditional boss rush format, players will battle it out against various cartoon foes like a giant angry flower, gambling frogs, and an angry genie. This title can be played alone or with a friend, however, this is currently local co-op only. If you’re looking for a great indie game we highly recommend picking this title up especially if you want something more challenging.
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2. Resident Evil VII
Systems: PC, Xbox One, PS4
For those looking for something on the scarier side, Resident Evil VII should wet any horror fan’s appetite. Taking the series back to its survival horror roots, RE7 tasks players with making their way through a twisted southern plantation in search of their loved one. Hunting the player is not only the psychotic Baker family but other horrors lying in wait. Resident Evil VII is a masterclass in creating tension thanks to terrific sound and level design.
You’ll always be watching over your shoulder, but unlike other modern survival horror tiles you can actually fight back with a few different weapons. While the last two entries in this franchise may have been underwhelming, RE7 takes the series in a smart direction.
3. Injustice 2
Systems: Xbox One, PC, PS4
There were a fair amount of fighting games that released this year, but hands down the best is Injustice 2. Developed by NetherRealm Studios, players can choose from a huge roster of DC comics characters to wallop one another with. Every fighter has a unique design, move set, and abilities that cater to various playstyles. Stage design is top notch and Injustice 2 sports a rather robust single-player component that can easily eat away dozens of hours. There’s also a strong online section for those wanting to put their skills to the test and various DLC fighters such as Hellboy, the Red Hood, and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
System: Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch’s debut game is also one of its best. Breath of the Wild isn’t just a great Zelda title, but one of the greatest action/adventure games of this generation. Taking the Zelda formula and putting it in an open world fits perfectly, allowing for a game that always has a sense of discovery around it. Hyrule is vast and features tons of quests, locations, and mini-dungeons to explore.
There are also a plethora of weapons, shields, bows, and sets of armor that users can uncover and equip. Enemies are far more ruthless, forcing a more cautionary and tactical approach to combat. This is truly an astounding game that every Switch user should own or pick up if they are planning on getting Nintendo’s newest system.
5. Horizon Zero Dawn
One of the most anticipated first-party titles for the PlayStation 4 this year was Horizon Zero Dawn. Set in the far future, Earth is now overrun with mechanical animals forcing humanity back into a primitive, tribal setting. Players assume the role of Aloy, an outcast who has to both stop an evil tribe and uncover the mystery behind these mechanical monstrosities.
Where Horizon Zero Dawn truly shines is in the masterful story full of rich characters and fascinating lore. Combat is fast and furious, with many of your engagements focusing around Aloy’s bow. This gives a nice sense of hunting your prey and makes every kill incredibly satisfying. Horizon Zero Dawn is a truly beautiful game that is more than worth the price of admission.
6. Destiny 2
Systems: PS4/PC/Xbox One
Perhaps one of the biggest games of the year, Destiny 2 is a multiplayer-focused shooter that is infused with various MMORPG elements. User create their own character called a Guardian who can focus in one of three different disciplines. Guardians can then be leveled up by completing a large roster of PvE (Player vs Environment) and PvP (Player vs Player) activities. From the various cooperative missions to the squad-based competitive gameplay there is something for almost everyone in Destiny 2. Additionally, Destiny 2 delivers a strong story with memorable performances that help this sequel easily surpass the original.
7. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Systems: PC/Xbox One (On December 12)
the single most popular multiplayer game of 2017 is this highly competitive survival shooter. One hundred players are dropped onto a deserted island full of nothing but weapons and helpful support items. PUBG’s goal is simply to be the last person standing no matter the cost. With only one life, this creates a tense and truly unique tension to PUBG’s gameplay. Despite still being in Early Access, this is one of the most addicting multiplayer titles to release in years. You owe it to yourself to try and win that number one spot.
8. Super Mario Odyssey
System: Nintendo Switch
Nintendo’s iconic mascots first outing on the Switch is also one of his greatest. Super Mario Odyssey takes players on a whimsical and charming adventure to prevent Bowser from finally marrying Princess Peach. Assisting the plumber is a magical hat called Cappy that can possess almost any foe or item it’s thrown at. This creates unique puzzles and platforming scenarios that are extremely creative and quite challenging at times. Every one of the levels oozes with charm and you’ll find yourself spending tons of hours hunting down every last Power Moon. Odyssey is a must own for any Switch owner and easily one of the best Super Mario titles ever released.
While Nioh may appear to just be a Dark Souls clone at first glance, this title offers a far different and ultimately deeper experience. Blending fantasy with reality, users take control of a skilled warrior and sailor named William. Players then fight their way through a horrific and deadly version of feudal Japan full of quick ninjas, mighty beasts, and skilled samurais. Combat revolves around players altering their stance to exploit weaknesses and secure kills.
There are a ton of different weapons, spells, and character builds that can be created which helps keep this title from ever growing stale. Sporting an incredibly long single-player mode, users can also join others and play Nioh cooperatively with others. This is a game for those looking for a darker and more demanding experience.
Systems: PS4/PC/Xbox One
For all the science fiction junkies out there, Prey is a memorable and entertaining single player game. Users assume the role of Morgan Yu, a scientist who wakes up aboard a space station that is infested with shadowy aliens. With his memory gone, Morgan has to piece together what happened to not only him but the crew of the station. Gameplay revolves around exploring, solving puzzles, and fighting the various aliens that stand in Yu’s way.
Players can approach engagements their way with stealth and guns blazing both being viable options. If a user is smart enough, combat can be avoided entirely or completed by automatic turrets. There’s a lot of fun uncovering the mysteries of Prey and it’s the perfect game for anyone who adores the sci-fi genre.
11. Metroid: Samus Returns
System: Nintendo 3DS/2DS
A remake of the popular Gameboy title Metroid II, Samus Returns is a beautiful reimagining of this bounty hunter’s second adventure. Sporting tighter controls and better graphics, Samus Returns keeps the same great exploration and 2D based gameplay the series helped define. Despite having a few repetitive boss encounters, the amazing level design and moment to moment combat help this 3DS title stand out.This is the best retro-esc Metroid game to release in years and is a blast to play on Nintendo’s handheld.
12. Divinity: Original Sin 2
Not since The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has there been an RPG this fantastic. Divinity: Original Sin 2 focuses on a group of mages who have been collared to suppress their magical abilities. Players can create their own character, each of which will experience the world differently thanks to the various NPCs and quests.
There’s a lot of depth and strategy to Original Sin 2’s turn-based gameplay that is both challenging and rewarding. Players can make use of a ton of spells and items, all of which can drastically shape how an engagement plays out. Additionally, the entire game is fully voiced and there are very little bugs or issues – which is surprising given how big this game truly is.
13. Splatoon 2
System: Nintendo Switch
If you’re looking for a different kind of multiplayer game then Splatoon 2 is the title for you. Players create an Inkling which is a kid that has the ability to turn into an ink squid on command. These Inklings are then used to battle it out across of plethora objective-based modes, with the most popular focusing on who can ink more territory. It’s an entertaining game that’s unlike anything currently available during this generation. Splatoon 2 offers players a ton of different weapons, outfits, and abilities all of which can affect how one approaches combat. There is also a fun little single-player mode and a challenging co-op mode called Salmon Run.
14. Call of Duty: WWII
Systems: Xbox One/PC/PS4
The Call of Duty series has always been wildly popular, but this is the first entry that has truly garnered a lot of attention. It’s been ten years since players got to experience a Call of Duty game during the 1940s and WWII delivers a harrowing experience. The new single-player campaign has users fight across various iconic battles and locations, all fully realized through great graphics. Characters are a bit cliche, but the gameplay makes up for any shortcomings the story may have.
Multiplayer is once again based on a progression system that lets users create their own soldier. Matches are fast and furious, with death coming to those who make even the slightest mistake. Nazi Zombies also returns via a new level that adds a quest and progression system.
15. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Our final entry is also one of the most memorable titles to release this year. Wolfenstein II picks up directly after the events of the original, with hero B.J. Blazkowicz looking to ignite a revolution in a Nazi-controlled world. Despite the tongue in cheek humor, The New Colossus is deceptively deep and offers some fascinating characters. The story is full of gut-wrenching twists and truly brutal moments that are hard to watch. Thankfully, you can amend this by killing Nazi soldiers anyway you can possibly think of. This is a very brutal game that’s full of great gunfights, tense stealth sections, and memorable set pieces.