2017 is almost over. It’s been a crazy year, but a great one for gaming with tons of surprise hits that most gamers missed. With the year coming to the close, it’s the perfect time to snag some sweet games on sale for you and your loved ones. We’re recapping 2017 and picking out our favorite games of this year. So grab some popcorn, head on over to Black Friday deal sites, and start loading your cart come the 24th. Here are our must-have 2017 releases you better stock up on:
Ever wondered what it would be like to play in someone’s insane 1920’s cartoon? Cuphead is the answer: An extremely original and colorful sidescroller that’s taken the gaming community by storm. Be forewarned: It’s as beautiful as it’s difficult. Don’t be fooled by the cartooniness that Cuphead’s gonna be a cakewalk.
Runner Up: Sonic Mania
Sometimes, going back to the basics is just what a franchise needs. Sonic Mania mixes up the best elements of the series 90’s hayday, with dizzying fast sequences and rich, layered levels with unique puzzles. Not only is Mania the best Sonic game of the 21st century, but it’s one of the top games of 2017. A great gift to yourself or your friends nostalgic for some ol’ school platforming action.
The biggest surprise of 2017? That melding Square Enix’s flawed Nier with the expert game designers at PlatnumGames would result in one of this year’s best action games. That’s no small feat competing against heavy hitters like Assassin’s Creed (and even PlatnumGames own Bayonetta). Expect crazy enemies, a whacky story, killer combat, and a ton of fun.
Divinity: Original Sin II
The original Divinity was already a stellar RPG, but poaching Chris Avellone from Obsidian has taken it to the level of extraordinary, now with a fully fleshed out world with fantastically realistic characters that truly engrosses you into the game. If you’re an RPG nut looking for a completely engaging story to sink your teeth in, Original Sin II will meet that need for many months to come.
Resident Evil 7
The riskier the road, the greater the profit. RE7 was a huge gamble, completely changing the scope and scale of the franchise. Instead of telling a story of global proportions, your character is centered inside a single house, where unconventional horrors and puzzles await. Capcom’s gamble paid off: RE7 is one of the best horror games to have come out in decades. Though completely different from other Resident Evil games in the franchise, the spirit of the experience remains the same.
Speed doesn’t always mean victory. If you’ve never played a rally racing game, prepare to get rear-ended. DIRT 4 is an uncompromising rally racing experience, where technique and course knowledge trumps your cars spec’d out afterburner. Graphically impressive while delivering an extremely impressive simulation experience, DIRT 4 is one of the best racing games this year.
Runner Up: Project CARS 2
The original Project CARS showed a ton of potential for greatness, but was missing a ton of polish and a lack of content that held it back. CARS 2 is the what gamer’s wanted the first go around: a hyper-realistic racing sim that gives a ton of stuff for players to do. If you’re looking to practice your cornering or just experience the thrill of driving extremely fast, CARS 2 will deliver in spades.
WWE 2K18 & NBA 2K18 (Tie)
Let’s not beat around the bush: 2K Games is on fire with their sports franchises now. Not just for doing updates that actually matter, but also for doing something different in the stagnant world of sports games. Yes, technically WWE ain’t sports (it’s ‘entertainment’), but they involve people getting injured so it counts (even if that’s from flying around the ring like a marionette). Both NBA and WWE bring a completely revamped Story mode that allows you to build a character from the ground up and choose your own adventure, bringing the fantasy element of both sports really into play. Not to mention new physics and graphics improvements that makes these games eerily realistic.
Wolfenstein II: The New Collossus
Shoot Nazis. Get the girl. Start a revolution. Not sold yet?
K, a real review: Wolfenstein is a bad-*** game just like the original. Fluidic combat combined with a surprisingly gripping story delivers an addictive combination that you can’t put down once you start. When your friends wana play, they’re gonna have to pry that controller from your cold, dead hands.
Speaking of really slick FPS with addictive fast-paced combat… Designed by ex-Gears of War alumni, LawBreakers gives you the insane twitch shooting needs you crave. LawBreakers is easy to pick up but difficult to master. Knowing each tidy hole will mark the difference between defeat and victory.
2017 was an amazing year for online twitch shooters. So many, it was difficult to choose between LawBreakers, Battlegrounds, Destiny 2, Quake, or Battlefront. They’re all crazy fun games built for different gamers.
LawBreakers is our pick, but if we could we’d pick all 5.
Runner Up: PlayUnknown’s Battlegrounds
You all knew this was coming. Maybe not the flashiest title of 2017, but Battlegrounds has become a massive cult hit for it’s combination of fast paced gameplay and survival mechanics. A passion project by it’s main architect PlayerUnknown (aka: Brendan Greene), Battleground’s imperfections actually help the game achieve a unique style of gameplay that no AAA title can replicate, and that so many players have become addicted to. If you haven’t tried PUBG yet, you better go on Steam and grab a copy for yourself.
Massively Multiplayer Online
Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
Ah, Guild Wars. Never the biggest MMO following, but always the highest in quality and quantity. The series that popularized the non-monthly subscription MMO released their latest expansion with loads of praise. Expect a whopping ton of content into an already deeply engaging game with awesome locales and characters. If you’re looking for an immersive MMO to sink your teeth in for the cold winter months, Guild Wars 2 might be your new favorite companion.
Injustice II & Tekken 7 (tied)
2017 had the fight to end all fighting games: Injustice or Tekken? Debates have been waged over which is better, but let’s get real: They’re both awesome, and very different games. If you’re looking for the ultimate arcade fighting game to destroy your friends with, you NEED Tekken in your library. Love string together combos and insane finishers from DC’s greatest heroes & villains with an epic story campaign? You’ve got to experience Injustice.
Our advice? Buy both 🙂
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator
This is either the greatest or worst gift ever. Either way, it’s a game your significant other will appreciate, and will remember for a very long time.