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By 13 December 2017 | Categories: feature articles

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Gaming in 2017 proved to be a divisive one for gamers and developers alike, with EA in particular coming under criticism for its handling of in-game purchases and content. There were, however, a number of games that were able to avoid being mired in controversy and offer up superb experiences. This is our Top 10 picks for the best video games of 2017.  

10. Cuphead

We waited more than two years for this indie title to land on the Xbox One, initially fearing that it would never make it as trailer after trailer promised a beautifully styled game, but one under constant development. Finally 2017 delivered, with Cuphead looking superb in its 1930s cartoon style animation. 

A surprising element of the game though, was the difficulty of this simple side scrolling shooter, proving far more challenging than many gamers thought it would be. As such, the storyline of Cuphead, in which a deal is struck with the devil, seems to ring true, with gamers getting more than they bargained for. 

9. Injustice 2

Moving on to something completely different. Injustice 2 deepened the lore of the DC gaming universe, offering up a look at a world in which Superman is the bad guy. It also integrated a new gear system, as well as gameplay mechanics to add a bit extra to the fights, building on some of the elements that developer NetherRealm first introduced with Mortal Kombat X last year. 

With each battle proving a unique experience, Injustice 2 keeps the fighting fresh, while ensuring that multi-powered heroes like Wonder Woman do not hold any distinct advantages over other characters such as Harley Quinn. Add a bunch of unlockable content and Injustice 2 lives long after the campaign is completed.

   

8. Destiny 2

Much was expected from Bungie's space epic equal, with the developer making several promises in terms of delivering a more immersive experience straight out of the gate. Luckily they were able to follow through, providing not only an engaging campaign, but also a multiplayer mode that gamers could get lost in. 

The only reason that Destiny 2 does not sit higher on the list is the in-game content, which cannot always be accessed without shelling about a bit of cash to buy Silver (Destiny's currency). As such, the high value items are out of reach, making it the only real disappointment in an otherwise solid game. 

7. Splatoon 2

Don't let the ink spewing fool you, Splatoon 2 has some of the tightest multiplayer gameplay around, with positioning and speed within the arenas used in a truly innovative way. For the franchise's second iteration, Nintendo opted to refine the mechanics a bit, as well as a few new modes and a single player campaign to get new gamers onboard. 

Their efforts worked, with Turf War and Tower Control proving welcome elements. Add to that the introduction on the Nintendo Switch with its Joy Con controllers, and Splatoon 2 proved to be one of the most enjoyable multiplayer titles of the year. 

6. Persona 5

So we had to wait a little longer than expected to receive Persona 5 locally, but this PlayStation-exclusive was well worth it, mixing various otaku elements together to create a blended gaming experience. As such, it was part-Final Fantasy, part-Pokémon and part-anime, all rolled into one addictive experience. 

What makes this game stand out though, is the beautiful virtual world that developer Atlus cretated, filled to the brim with activities and elements to change. If you've ever watched anime where the protagonist is almost too cool, along with having untapped potential powers, Persona 5 allows you to embody them.   

5. Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the first big releases of the year when it dropped as a PlayStation-exclusive in February. Along with being beautifully designed, this title poses a unique concept of what appears to be a post-apocalyptic world in which robots have become the dominant species.  

Without giving away any spoilers, that isn't actually the case, with Horizon Zero Dawn having a surprising reveal towards the end. The game's best element still remains its protagonist Aloy, who is both in wonder of the world around her, but also well equipped to deal with its threats. As such she makes a great foil for the gameplay and storytelling of Horizon Zero Dawn.

 

4. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

The Resident Evil franchise shifted its perspective in 2017. Past iterations of the survival horror game have adopted the third-person over-the-shoulder shot, but instead Capcom went first-person for this year's Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

It proved a great choice, serving up an even more frightening gameplay experience, as it surprisingly gave gamers less of a sense of control about what was happening on screen, forcing them to flee and try to escape rather than confront enemies head on. 

Armed with an equally intriguing storyline, and plenty of jump scare moments, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was one of the better horror games in some time.   

3. Assassin's Creed Origins

One of the most hotly anticipated titles of 2017, Assassin's Creed Origins looked better with every new trailer that was released. Once it finally landed on platforms, it helped restore a gaming franchise that had lost its way in recent years. 

Origins headed back to the beginning of the Assassin's Brotherhood, using Ancient Egypt as a spectacular backdrop. Along with a stunning environment that you'll want to explore for extended periods via Eagle Vision, the gameplay was far more tactical than before. As such, gamers couldn't simply go in haphazardly, but rather had to plan manoeuvres carefully as a true assassin would.  

2. Super Mario Odyssey

This latest addition to the library of Mario games was one of the best open-world experiences we've had in some time. Add to that the chance to see what kind of do our favourite Italian plumber is sporting under his hat, and Super Mario Odyssey is a must-play for anyone with a Nintendo Switch. 

Along with being able to interact with almost every element in the Nintendo created worlds of Odyssey, the ability to transform and control anything you throw your hat on was too good to pass up. Chock full of charm, this game proved that Nintendo does not need rely on more action or shooter titles to provide a great gaming experience on the Switch.

 

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Perhaps the sole reason many gamers purchased the Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is our firm pick for video game of the year. The world of Hyrule that Nintendo has created for Breath of the Wild is stunning and instantly warrants several hours of exploration time. 

The gameplay is also rich, with puzzle solving and fights never getting tiring. Add to that the reward of different weapons and costumes, and Breath of the Wild is a title that can yield several weeks of enjoyment long after the main campaign is done and dusted. 

With intense and violent games often dominating each year, Breath of the Wild is a refreshing palate cleanser and a worthy title for any gamer to invest their time in playing.  

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