As we put last year's games behind us, we begin to look forward to the not so distant future: this year, the year 2017. With so many games taking well over a year to develop, we already have a good idea of what we can look forward to this year. From big-name stuff like Red Dead Redemption 2 to smaller games like Yooka-Laylee, the list is already huge. The best part is that developers and publishers will continue to announce stuff throughout the year. The games we want most may have not even been announced yet – series like Assasssin's Creed and Star Wars Battlefront are likely to see entries this year, but we don't have any kind of formal announcement, so we're concentrating on the stuff we have a good bead on for 2017.
But let's not worry about that yet. We already have a huge pile of games to look forward to. Let's dive in, Chuck E. Cheese ballpit-style, and see what we come up with. We'll chat about some of our favorites and then finish out with an exhaustive list of the games planned for release this year.
Let's break this down
Our complete list is down below this discussion. Before we set out to write this story, our list was bigger. It included one game I watched Eric cross out.
How'd doing that feel, buddy?
Scalebound, we never knew you. It felt like we were only just getting to know each other, and you're already gone.
I think my response is going to be different than many gamers. I'm disappointed, but ultimately relieved. I wanted the game to be great. If it wasn't going to be, then cancelling it is good for both Microsoft and Platinum. At the very least, it lets us shift our focus to stuff we know is coming. Like Crackdown 3.
Right, I'm bummed that I won't be able to play the game it could have been. I think I'm with you.
2017 otherwise? Pretty darn impressive. I feel like we don't need to justify each of our picks below, instead simply talking about a few that stand out in our minds.
Persona 5, Eric. Aside from Zelda, which I'm sure we'll talk about, is the game I'm looking forward to most this year. I dumped around 80 hours into Persona 4 on the PlayStation 2. I dumped 80-100 hours into the same game again on the PS Vita. This series, I don't know, it just resonates with me on a whole different level.
Atlus makes incredibly good JRPGs, and Persona has always been the most stylized take on what they offer. I love it like I love great jazz and coffee. It's comforting and relaxing and epic all at the same time.
If you had to pick one game for 2017, would you be able to? What would it be?
Don't make me do this, man. There's so much.
Okay, fine. If I had to pick just one, right now it's the game with the best concept and the absolute worst, most generic, and most SEO-unfriendly name, Horizon Zero Dawn. Red Dead is up there, but it's somewhat of a known element. Horizon is a new property from a developer we've really only seen work on one type of game.
I love open-world games, and the concept of technology clashing with nature is both intriguing and visually fascinating. I'm champing at the bit to learn more about the heroine Aloy and the world she lives in. And I don't even have to wait two full months to find out.
I never would have guessed you'd pick Horizon: Thou Subname Shall Not Be Uttered over Red Dead Redemption 2, man.
You know, maybe a year ago I would have said Red Dead. The reveal trailer did a lot to mute my excitement, in a weird way. I'm looking forward to the game, no doubt about it, but its clarification through tease simply calmed my hype rather than fueled it. Watch it again. It's good, no doubt, but it doesn't exactly usher in waves of hype.
I'll play that game. Definitely. It's in my most anticipated. It's just sort not resonating like I thought it would so far.
Horizon makes sense, though. I'm cautiously excited about that game. Guerilla, I might catch flack for this, hasn't really impressed me with Killzone. I get that the series is solid, but it never really blew my mind. Horizon has the potential to do it, but I'm definitely watching it with some of my excitement fuel in reserves.
Let's talk Nintendo quickly. Zelda. The Switch. They have a huge year ahead of them, don't they?
Before I dive into Nintendo, I want to say that you're right on both counts. I'm still out of my mind with excitement for Red Dead, but knowing that it's a prequel and not a totally different story ended up backfiring for me. I don't want more John Marston. I've read his story.
And Guerrilla Games? They have a lot to prove. I don't care for Killzone. It's as boring for me as Horizon is exciting. Conceptually, they're far-end opposites in my mind.
But Zelda. Zelda.
I haven't been this excited about the little green elf's adventures since The Wind Waker. Nintendo has an intriguing concept that both seems to adhere to the core of what we think of as The Legend of Zelda while also seeming fresh in terms of both game and art. And they have a brand new system that everyone (except investors) seems to be excited about.
Much like Horizon, I'm treating the Switch with tempered excitement. The Wii, by the end of its life, wasn't a good console for me. The Wii U wound up giving me a better experience, oddly enough, but Nintendo bungled it so hard that they're already moving on.
The Nintendo Switch is really, really promising. I want to love it, and I'm hyped for its launch. I was holding off on pre-ordering it, though.
The things that are pushing me? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Oh, and Super Mario Odyssey, though that comes later. I'm sure a lot of people would say the same thing.
Our own Ron has made this comparison a few times here and there. Breath of the Wild sort of looks like Zelda blended with the open world of Metal Gear Solid V. I'm not sure that's 100% apt, but I read that from Ron and think of the possibilities.
Screwing around in Zelda games quite literally keeps me up at night. It's what I love doing most in the franchise. It looks like this one will offer a massive, open, beautiful theme park to goof off in. If the story and mechanics make it even better? Oh boy, it'll be huge.
I didn't like Skyward Sword as much as others. Beautiful game, sure, but packed with obnoxious backtracking. I hope they fix that this time around.
As excited as I am about Zelda itself, I'm done getting excited about Nintendo consoles. The Wii's novelty died off quickly after Boom Blox, and while the Wii U had its share of neat games, bungled is definitely the right word.
I won't be in line on launch day for a Switch, which means I won't be playing Zelda until later, but I need Nintendo to prove to me that they have a working concept that isn't a gimmick or a flash in the pan before I'm willing to dive in again.
Those are some harsh words, but I can't say that Nintendo doesn't deserve some of the ire. I'm alright with the Wii U, though I understand consumer frustration. The Switch seems like a wonderful new step, but time will tell.
I get your hesitation, though. Totally.
As I look at the list again, there's not much that really stands out.
Haha. Just kidding. There's lots of stuff. I really had you going there, I'm sure.
Consider games like Yooka-Laylee and Crash Bandicoot that will play on our Nostalgia in new ways. Stuff like NieR and Cuphead that look like they might challenge gaming convention.
There's a lot to look forward to in 2017. There's, well, there's Mass Effect: Andromeda. BioWare's managed to keep relatively quiet on that one, and here we are around three months from its launch. That's something, isn't it?
It really is. We made fun of them for showing those videos of their team working on the game, but I have to admit, I think they did what EA hoped they would – keep the hypetrain rolling along without making promises. We watched No Man's Sky buckle under the weight of expectations last year. What do we know about Mass Effect? That it's a Mass Effect game, really. We've seen all of five minutes of gameplay, and the team hasn't said very much.
Aside from that, there's so much coming this year. On the Japanese side of the ocean, I'm looking forward to having not one but two Yakuza games this year, and yeah, I'm still stoked about Berserk and the Band of the Hawk. Me and like ten other people. Over here, I have hopes for Ghost Recon Wildlands.
There are some big question marks this year too, though, aren't there? The two that come to mind for me are Resident Evil 7 and Crackdown 3. Both games have the job of rescuing once-beloved franchises from death row. We'll know whether Resident Evil 7 manages that in just a couple weeks. Meanwhile, who knows if Crackdown 3 will even release this year.
Yakuza 0 showed up here not too long ago, actually. So I'm working on that right now for review. I'll lose a pinky if I say anything about it, but you should be hyped.
Now that I sit here and look at this year… it's sort of huge. I think 2016 was, well, fine for gaming. There were some surprises like Stardew Valley that made it special. Overwatch is still the clear winner of the year in my mind.
2017 looks somehow crazier. A lot of 2016's big potential titles wound up delayed into 2017. The year got bigger simply through the chance of time. I'm excited for the games and terrified for my wallet.
Are there any other titles you want to highlight before we throw open our bank accounts?
We've left off some huge games in our discussion, but we're not trying to give George R.R. Martin any competition here. We have to stop somewhere, and something's going to get left off.
But you're right. 2017 has a ton of great stuff, some by way of delay, others by planning. Yet more we haven't even heard of yet. Finding time to be bored this year is going to be rough. Here's to another great year.
Our best and brightest hopes for 2017
- Ace Combat 7 (PlayStation 4)
- Berserk and the Band of the Hawk (PC, PlayStation 4, PS Vita)
- Cosmic Star Heroine (PlayStation 4, PS Vita, PC)
- Crackdown 3 (PC, Xbox One)
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PlayStation 4)
- Cuphead (PC, Xbox One)
- Divinity Original Sin 2 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Dragon Quest Heroes II (PlayStation 4)
- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (3DS)
- Dragon Quest XI (PlayStation 4, Switch, 3DS)
- Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PlayStation 4)
- For Honor (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Full Throttle Remastered (PC, PlayStation 4, PS Vita)
- Gravity Rush 2 (PlayStation 4)
- Halo Wars 2 (PC, Xbox One)
- Horizon Zero Dawn (PlayStation 4)
- Kingdom Hearts III (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Mass Effect: Andromeda (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Marvel vs Capcom Infinite (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (presumed))
- Ni no Kuni II: The Revenent Kingdom (PlayStation 4)
- Nidhogg 2 (PC)
- Nier: Automata (PlayStation 4)
- NiOh (PlayStation 4)
- PaRappa the Rapper Remastered (PlayStation 4)
- Persona 5 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4)
- Poochy and Yoshi's Wooly World (3DS)
- Pyre (PC, PlayStation 4)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Resident Evil 7(PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- RIME (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
- Sea of Thieves (Xbox One, PC)
- Shenmue III (PC, PlayStation 4)
- South Park: The Fractured, But Whole (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Star Citizen (PC)
- Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
- Tacoma (PC, Xbox One)
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, Switch)
- ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove (PC)
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Torment: Tides of Numanera (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PlayStation 4)
- Yakuza 0 (PlayStation 4)
- Yakuza Kiwami (PlayStation 4)
- Yooka Laylee (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
What did we skip over? What did we miss completely? Jump into the comments and let us know which games have you out of your mind with anticipation.