Written by Jon Scarr
What an amazing year 2017 has been already! With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in full swing, and the launch of the Nintendo Switch—we have been treated to a wide range of games that has had something for everybody. Many beloved franchises have seen new releases, and we were introduced to numerous new and interesting games that captured the minds and imaginations of gamers around the world. Here’s the Top 5 Video Games of 2017 (so far).
Now as we approach E3, it’s time to look back at the standout games we have seen thus far as of April 2017. As always with lists like these, there will certainly be choices that you agree with and some that you will not.
With that being said, I present you with my top 5 video games through May 2017.
5. Halo Wars 2
Platform: Xbox One
Developer(s): 343 Industries and Creative Assembly
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
It’s been eight years since Halo Wars hit the Xbox 360 and Halo Wars 2 is an improvement over its predecessor in virtually every way. Featuring stunning new high-definition graphics, an edge-of-your-seat new campaign with a fearsome new adversary, and thrilling new multiplayer modes—this is the Halo Wars game we’ve all been waiting for.
Halo Wars 2’s has a variety of missions ranging from epic battles to undercover missions to capture and preserve control points. Controlling an enemy Scarab and totally annihilating my adversaries was the highlight of Halo Wars 2 for me.
In terms of playability, Creative Assembly did an excellent job of optimizing controls. Halo Wars 2’s gameplay is highly accessible for newcomers, while deeply strategic for veteran players.
Why I like it: On top of the robust story-driven campaign, Halo Wars 2 features a range of multiplayer competitive modes that will get your juices flowing. There are traditional multiplayer modes such as team vs. team Deathmatch, and objective-style matches that are variants of traditional capture and control map types—Strongholds and Domination.
However, it’s Halo Wars 2’s new blitz mode that quickly became my favourite multiplayer mode. You will start the match at a base, but there is no need to worry about resource mining or facility building. You don’t even need to defend or upgrade your base either. Instead, attacks, new units, and boosts are generated by cards.
These are cards you get while playing the campaign mode and by completing daily challenges. You have 12 minutes to score more points than your opponent. The match goes to the first team to earn 200 points of to whom ever has the most points when the match ends.
Accomplishing this simple objective is easier said than done. If you love competitive play, then you will love Halo Wars 2. There can only be one winner!!
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Team Ninja (Koei Tecmo Games)
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action role-playing
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
Developed by Team Ninja, famous for the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series, Nioh is an action role-playing game. You face off against other samurai in epic sword battles and intense, multi-target missions offering a level of difficulty that will test your skills, strategy, and patience. The game features a rich background story and deep immersive world that is set in a fictional Japan during the 16th century.
If you have played any of the Souls series of games such as Dark Souls III, you’ll notice that Nioh’s gameplay share similarities with it. Make no mistake, any enemy can kill you in the blink of an eye. You must be patient, technically ready for battle, and know the strengths and weaknesses of your character.
Why I like it: Nioh‘s combat system is complex, effective, and offers a sense of accomplishment once you have mastered it. You have a number of long-range and short-range weapons to battle with including Katana, Dual Katana, Axe, Hammer, Spear, Bow, Rifle and more.
Additionally, there are a number of secondary weapons that can you can use as well. You’ll want to think carefully which weapon you use, as it will heavily influence your combat style. If you are looking for a challenge, Nioh will push you to your limits.
3. Horizon Zero Dawn
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Open World Action role-playing
Horizon Zero Dawn could just be the most gorgeous PlayStation 4 game yet. In this game you play in a post-post-apocalyptic world where nature has reclaimed the Earth following an unknown cataclysmic event. Lush, dense woodlands give way to soaring, wintry alpines as far as the eye can see.
High altitude vistas provide panoramic views of sun-scorched deserts where the remains of a lost civilization can be seen. This is the very first action RPG from Guerrilla Games, and it was built using their cutting-edge Decima graphics engine.
Aloy, the game’s main protagonist, is a wonderfully well-rounded character, instantly likeable because of her wry sense of humour, and staunch determination to do what’s right. Her unrivaled hunting prowess, including her masterful bow skills, only adds to her appeal.
Why I like it: I sometimes get sidetracked for hours hunting in Horizon, a testament to the game’s incredible gameplay. Aloy is an outstanding archer who’s also proficient at laying traps and engaging in close-range spear combat.
By using Aloy’s concentration skill you’re able to slow down time much like bullet time in Max Payne, which allows you to accurately aim at Machine weak spots. Not only does this inflict significantly more damage, but you have a chance to knock off highly valuable Machine parts.
I love how Horizon rewards skilled shots with extra payoffs, encouraging you to use stealth and practice your aim.
Platform: PlayStation 4
After years of development, Persona 5 follows the story of a band of teenagers who live dual lives and their day-to-day problems they face. The game is filled with vibrantly stylized characters, enemies, and environments complete with stylish anime-style cut-scenes.
To be honest, I can’t really think of another games series quite like Persona. As the rebellious Phantom Thieves of Hearts, the group of troubled youth go on fantastical adventures. By using otherworldly powers, they enter the hearts of corrupt people in positions of power in order to re-shape and transform them.
Why I like it: Persona 5 is virtually two games in one. During the day, you’ll spend most of your time doing typical high school student stuff. Nights couldn’t be more opposite: you’ll explore dangerous, demon-filled palaces in attempt to steal the hearts of corrupted adults.
The glorious turn-based combat system from previous Persona games returns, and it’s better than ever. This time, combat is flashier, more stylish, and deeper than ever. You can strike with melee attacks, shoot rapid-fire guns, or channel the power of Personas for devastating damage.
Persona 5 has it all: incredible story, innovate and deep gameplay, top-notch graphics, and a massive adventure with incredible replay value.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Inspired by the best elements of modern adventure games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is more than just a continuation of the series. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a revolution that marks an important transformation for the series.
The game begins as Link wakes up from a hundred-year deep sleep. A mysterious voice guides him to discover what has become of the ruined Kingdom of Hyrule. The many aspects of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s story are revealed at different times in the game depending on where you go. Link pieces each part of the story together one by one to understand what happened in Hyrule.
Why I like it: It’s a departure from the classic Zelda formula of gameplay. This is the first Zelda game where you can approach it in virtually any way you want. You can approach any dungeon, any time, with any combination of weapons and items you want.
The sheer content in this game is amazing! I’ve spent over 100 hours with this game and I still haven’t seen or done everything that you can do. From the vestigial Guardians that patrol the land to the camps of Bokoblins that blemish the landscape, you will have his hands full.
While it was hard choosing my top five games, there are quite a few amazing games that just missed the list. Let me know in the comments section below if you agree with my choices, and if there are any games you would swap out.
About the Author: Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.
2017 video games, Game Reviews, Review