It’s that time of year, where the central heating gets turned way up, presents are opened, and fake resolutions are made, and it’s time for TryRolling to share what the best games of 2017 are (according to us).
James’ pick – Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
That’s right, it’s not Call of Duty. With so many remasters and re-releases over the past couple of years it should’ve been difficult to find one that shines above the rest, but Vicarious Visions’ Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy does just that.
This was an extremely hard choice considering the amount of quality games that 2017 has received, but it’s Crash f’ing Bandicoot and it’s my game of the year. I know the community, me included, has been crying out for this release for years, as the series seemed to have completely died in the last generation of consoles. However, new life has been breathed into Naughty Dogs’ original orange marsupial, and Crash lives again.
It’s not just the nostalgia factor that makes the game great, though that plays a huge part. Whilst being able to play, what is in my opinion, the greatest platformer of all time again is amazing, it’s the fact that Vicarious have been done right by the game creating something classic and refreshing at the same time. The game can easily hang with other available platformers, and holds its own against GOTY competitors such as Super Mario Odyssey.
Read the review here.
Joe’s pick – Nier: Automata
Amongst other great third-person action games released this year, such as the likes of Nioh and Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nier: Automata still managed to break through and shine brightly.
So what should an RPG be like? It needs a great story, well-paced progression, a wonderful score, exquisite environments… but for too long has the simple fun of a game been ignored, in favour of following the same tired old structure. Nier: Automata takes this, tips it on its head, and shows the rest of the genre how it’s done.
A game should primarily be enjoyment, even RPGs, and Nier shows us how this can be done in weird and unique ways, many that may not even seem to combine well together, but do anyway. The sheer joy I had playing through this game means for me, it has to be up as a contender for game of the year. The innovation that I hope other developers take forward into their own games, solidifies its spot as one of the stand out titles, not only for this year, but the past few as well. I only hope we get more like it, and any that bring similar fresh air into the genre I will snap up in an instant.
Tom’s pick – South Park: The Fractured But Whole
I wanted desperately to call Mass Effect: Andromeda my game of the year. I waited with baited breath at every morsel of info, I forgave the initial sins it committed with the character models and the wacky glitches. Then the story let me down with unresolved plot lines (which have been left in the hands of a comic due to poor sales), and a sequel may never come.
Those were dark times for me, I went through every step of the grieving process but my heart was left bitter… Until a light shone in the darkness, a soothing ointment upon my anus for all the butt-hurt I felt. That was South Park: The Fractured But Whole *sniggers*.
Nearly every aspect from 2014’s Stick of Truth has been improved upon, most noticeably the combat system now having much more tactical depth than before, with the inclusion of a movement grid and such. The jokes and parodies are also absolutely spot on, such as mocking Kanye West as a talking gay fish trying to get his mother into Heaven, or crab people taking over Verizon.
Did it have some bad points? Sure; not much changed in the environments from the last game, and its appeal to someone who isn’t a fan of the show is limited. This, coupled with some game breaking glitches sounds pretty nasty right? Wrong, because South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a funny and incredibly gripping game that deserves a place on this list. So you can call me Betsy biased ’til the cows get abducted by aliens.
Scott’s pick – Persona 5
Persona 5, for me, has completely stolen the limelight away from all the other exceptional games we were treated to this year. Having previously never played a Persona game before, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but after hearing so much about it post launch I simply had to see what all the fuss was about.
What I found simply blew my socks off, and before I knew it I was working part time in a small market shop, making friends with my new cat, all in addition to reading books and watching movies to get my romance stats up to hopefully court characters in the game. Persona 5 plunges you head first into a wild and hyperbolic story that doesn’t pull any punches, it is quintessentially Japanese.
The banging soundtrack that accompanies your every move will have you clicking your fingers in your sleep, not to mention the lovable characters you’ll spend each and every day with. Persona 5 will quite literally replace your life; you will be better friends with the in game characters than you will be with friends in the real world. Not to mention better at structuring your time in game, balancing between studying, clearing dungeons, and exploring Tokyo, you’ll start to become anxious about not having enough time to get stuff done, whilst actually playing the game realising your actual, real life tasks, aren’t getting done.
Persona balances turn based strategy combat with semi-open world exploration and self improvement. Everything you do in the world is done in preparation for your dungeon battles, where you will spend days fighting a particular persons evil persona in magical realm with turn based combat. Persona throws so much into the pan at once, but still manages to cook a meal to die for. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is so perfect about this game, without being a terrible journalist and simply saying ‘everything’. This is honestly a game where I think pretty much anyone could dive in and enjoy it, which goes to show how great this game really is. Give it a try, I promise it’ll woo you.
Group pick – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
2017 was even a good year for horror games (no, not games that include loot boxes), as we were treated to some great survival horrors, such as The Evil Within 2. Resident Evil also made its triumphant return in first-person in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and took fans by surprise as it not only changed its gamplay mechanics, but also completely shifted in tone, making for a tense and genuinely scary Resident Evil experience.
This is one of the best examples of a series reinventing itself, as Resident Evil 7 is refreshing to play, and has succeeded in bringing survival horror back. Not only that, but the story is memorable, and the game could easily be considered one of the best in the Resi series to date.
See James’ quick look here.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon: Zero Dawn could easily be considered game of the year, it’s just a shame (well, not really) that so many great games have come out recently. The game looks amazing, has a large open world to explore, and has plenty of robot dinosaurs to hunt. Guerrilla Games have really made something special here, so Horizon deserves a mention.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Arguably the shooter of the year, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus packs a punch in more ways than one. NPC interaction is hilarious and interesting, the story is on point, and so is combat – this is a must get for fans, and is a stellar sequel. We salute you B. J. Blazkowicz.
A game that seemed to take forever to release but failed to disappoint, Cuphead shocked everyone, as it mixed its unique cartoon style with awesome (and very frustrating) boss battles. If you have an Xbox One you need to try Cuphead.
Do you agree with our list of the top 5 games of 2017? Let us know some of your favourites in the comments and over on Facebook & Twitter!
From all of us at TryRolling have a very merry Christmas and a New Year full of great video games!