It can’t be denied that 2017 has been a banner year for the video game industry, with both big budget productions and surprise sleeper hits making their way into the hearts (and wallets) of gamers worldwide.
With so many games to play and nowhere near enough time to play them, here is the definitive list of the best video games of 2017.
There were a lot of strong contenders in this category, including the much-anticipated return of Call of Duty: WWII’s to a historical setting and Destiny 2’s continuing saga of Light-wielding Guardians.
But the multiplayer online battle royale game known as PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) has taken the shooter genre by storm by introducing fresh design concepts (such as periodically shrinking the battlefield to force players to engage), which makes it this year’s best trigger-happy fix.
Best adventure game
Horizon Zero Dawn’s strong female protagonist Aloy put up a good fight with her awesome archery and survival skills in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by gigantic killer machines in this category. We also loved the budding camaraderie and witty banter between Nadine Ross and Chloe Frazer as they ushered in a new era of the Uncharted franchise in The Lost Legacy.
But it was everyone’s favourite Italian plumber and his new open-world campaign in Super Mario Odyssey who topped the category. Armed with (or topped by) his new enemy-possessing sidekick Cappy, join him as he explores new worlds to save Princess Peach from an unwise marriage to – who else? – Bowser.
Best role playing game
Persona 5 let us take a deep dive into the life of a high school student in Tokyo – if all high school students in Tokyo could command towering manifestations of their inner psyches to fight off supernatural monsters known as shadows, that is.
However, even as immersive and as fun as Persona 5 was, the best RPG of the year goes to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Whether it’s the beauty of the vast open world, the new survival mechanics where players need to harvest materials from the environment to build the items they need, or something else, there’s lots to love about Link’s latest outing.
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Best sports game
Is racecar driving a sport? According to racing-simulation game Gran Turismo Sport it is, and you would be forgiven for breaking out in an actual sweat when playing this hyper realistic racing game. Another strong entry in the sports category was Fifa 18, the long-running football series that just keeps getting better every year.
Even going up against these two great games, the undisputed king of the sports genre of the year was NBA 2K18. Though we hate the monetisation of in-game currency creeping into the franchise, we can’t deny it’s the best (and most likely only) way we’ll ever get to play in the NBA.
Bonus: most anticipated game
2013’s The Last of Us put gamers on a thrilling roller-coaster ride of great storytelling backed up by solid game play, and changed the survival horror gaming landscape forever. It was the first time in a long time that we actually cared about the fate of our virtual avatars, and fans have been clamouring for a sequel for ages.
All our hopes will be answered in The Last of Us Part II. Set five years after the events of Part I when a mysterious virus turned most of humanity into cannibalistic monsters, we rejoin Joel and Ellie as they encounter an even greater threat than flesh-eating creatures – other humans also trying to survive.