We are almost at the end of of the year (crazy right?) so it is time to reflect on all the great games that have come out in the past 12 months. 2017 was an absolutely fantastic year for gaming which makes it so difficult to narrow down this list to just eight games. Over the next two weeks we’ll unveil Split Screens’ Best Games of 2017, so let’s get started with the first five…
Horizon Zero Dawn
It’s really had to believe that the same people that made Killzone made this positively stunning scifi game. Not to say that the Killzone game are bad by any means, but Horizon is just another level entirely. If Breath of the Wild did not release this year, Horizon Zero Dawn would have easily swept this year’s Game Awards. Guerilla Games beautiful, fresh IP features a bold female protagonist, diverse robot dinosaurs to hunt, a gorgeous world to explore, and a fascinating post-apocalyptic narrative. The story in this game is seriously amazing and presents one of the most unique takes on the end of the world. The recent Frozen Wilds (which we just reviewed) expansion only enhances this deep lore and makes it incredibly difficult to wait for the inevitable sequel. Big thanks to Sony for taking a chance on this incredible new series.
The New Colossus is hands down one of the best shooters ever to be made. The game not only has satisfying gun-play and mind-boggling visuals, but a powerful and gripping story as well. A shooter with a well-scripted narrative? Rare to say the least. The people over at MachineGames, however, upped the ante from Wolfenstein: The New Order and created a sequel like no other. Here is an excerpt from our review of the game:
“What is the most impressive about Wolfenstein 2 as an overall experience is its ability to balance moments of vulnerability, horror, compassion, absurdity, and self-reflection without even breaking a sweat. Wolfenstein 2 proves that action games can be both ridiculously violent fun while also telling a compelling story with impactful social commentary.”
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is a rambunctious song of rebellion that is worth your time. Here is to hoping that developers take more risks with their narratives and give us stories and characters just as potent as we see in this game.
Super Mario Odyssey
2017 was truly Nintendo’s year… The launch of the Switch brought not only a new Zelda game, but a new Mario game just some months later. Like Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey hit the ball right out of the park. This platforming masterpiece is packed tight with so much joy, ingenuity, and fun that it is difficult to put down. There is nothing quite like hopping around a world as a fire ball, gliding around it as a golden lizard, or rocketing through it as a Bullet Bill. The introduction of Cappy and the take-over ability completely change how you go about platforming in each of the fourteen worlds. Each world is beautifully realized and contains unique creatures and mechanisms to utilize while hunting for precious power moons. With 800 moons scattered throughout the game, there is plenty to keep you coming back to this wonderfully unique title for hours and hours.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade is a gaming experience like none other. What Ninja Theory accomplishes with sound in this game is utterly remarkable. The effects of the binaural sound accompanied by Melina Juergens’ performance as Senua create a vortex that sucks you into this bleak world fueled by vengeance, love, death, and Norse mythology. You feel every bit of Senua’s pain as the game makes you feel like you are truly Senua yourself. This game is best played with a great set of headphones, so you can feel the whispers of the voices in Senua’s mind against your own ears. There are very few moments in gaming like the first time you hear those voices. Ninja Theory does an excellent job of presenting the harrowing effects psychosis can have on the mind. The game also happens to be drop dead gorgeous and utilizes clever puzzle scenarios in-between heated bouts with Hela’s minions. Hellblade is a journey into madness and redemption that you can’t pry yourself away from once it starts.
Come back next Saturday for the second part of our Best Games of 2017 List!