It's hard to believe that more than half of 2017 is already over. It seemed like just a few weeks ago I was looking forward to kicking off the year with some Resident Evil VII. Up to this point the games that have released in 2017 have been some mighty fine ones, even after what I thought was a great year for games last year, this year appears to have the potential to top it thanks to some of the generations best titles coming out in some of the last few months. With the lull of summer upon us, I wanted to put together a list of my favorite games so far this year, along with some of my more anticipated games coming out later this year as well (List is after my GOTY countdown).

 

5. Horizon: Zero Dawn

Coming into the year, Horizon was one of my more anticipated games of the year and one of the most exciting new IPs that I had seen in years. I was a little worry about the writing and story for the game before it released, but after beating the game, the story and world turned out to be my favorite aspect of the game. I thought the gameplay was good for the most part, however splitting my playtime with the game into two segments, one segment before I played Breath of the Wild and the rest of the game after I was done with Breath of the Wild, ended up hurting my enjoyment of the open world. I still thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game, and am interested to see what the DLC will be like, as well as the likely sequel.

 

4. What Remains of Edith Finch

Besides from Gone Home, I've found very few first-person exploration (or walking simulator) games to be very enjoyable. After hearing good things about Edith Finch from a variety of people, I decided to see what remained of Edith. The game turned out to be a refreshing take on the genre, with a fantastic set of stories and characters that really connected with me. The variety of experiences showcased during the exploration of the Finches home, helped deviate from the dry and monotonous feel that many games in the genre deliver to me. It's a short game, but one that I highly recommend that people check out.


3. Nier: Automata

I was probably one of the few people before Nier: Automata's release who was really excited for the game and thought that it had potential to be very good. Turns out I was right to think that, as Automata is one of the most unique games of the year and also one of the best. Automata is not a perfect game, the combat was pretty repetitive and the lack of autosave was annoying at times, however, the story, characters, setting, and the oddness that the game offered helped differentiate itself from the rest of the gaming landscape. The emotions that the game pushes on to the player can be tough to handle, and the game gave me a lot to think about when it comes to the future of humanity and what it means to be human. The ending section of the C,D, and E endings is one of the better sections that I've played in a while, as well as what can occur during the credits of the E ending. You should play Nier: Automata, at the very least so you can listen to the wonderful soundtrack.


2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Entering 2017 there was one game that I couldn't wait for more than any other, it was Breath of the Wild. If you read my blogs you probably know that the Zelda series is my favorite series in gaming, and getting a new one, along with the launch of a new console, had me foaming at the mouth in excitement. Breath of the Wild didn't disappoint with its experience, even though I am a little disappointed with the boss fights and dungeons, every other aspect of the game was and is fantastic. The music is secretly one of the best in the series, and the game is just a blast to get lost in. The hours that flew away while I played the game, were well worth the investment. Breath of the Wild even changed by viewpoint on the open world genre, as the ability to traverse wherever you want and be free to create your own journey, set the game apart from everything else. My brother, who rarely ever plays games, was smitten by the game and played the game almost as much as me, which just shows how wide spread the appeal of the game can have on people. Breath of the Wild set a new standard in the gaming industry and is one heck of a experience, I would not be surprised if I change my mind later on and have it as the top spot because it is that good.

 

1. Persona 5

My favorite game of 2017 (so far) is Persona 5. Again, coming into the year the game was one that I was looking forward to. Like Zelda, it didn't disappoint. As I've discussed in previous blogs, I love the style and confidence that Persona 5 shows off, it's a game that is just pleasing to look at. I love the characters and the story, even though it can be pretty similar to previous entries in the series, although I thought it changed things up enough to set itself apart from Persona 3 and 4. It also has a fantastic soundtrack, that perfectly fits the style of the game. While it is currently my number one game so far this year, a lot of that may be due to it being fresher in my mind than the rest of this list, it barely squeezes past Breath of the Wild for the top spot as I basically couldn't stop playing the game for what was little over a month after it released. It is a very long game (It took me around 120 hours to beat), but I found it to be very well paced throughout, besides from a few moments here and there. If your into RPGs or games with a cool world and characters, Persona 5 will offer you a great time.

Honorable mentions: Resident Evil 7, Yakuza 0. If it had been any other year, RE 7 would have been a strong contender for this list.

Top 10 anticipated games for the rest of the year:

1. Destiny 2

2. Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

3. Assassin's Creed Origins

4. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

5. Call of Duty: WWII

6. Super Mario Odyssey

7. Tacoma

8. Evil Within 2

9. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

10. Battlefront II

 

Feel free to share your favorite games of the year in the comments below, as well as any games you're excited to play later this year. Thanks for reading!