Feature

Our 10 Most Anticipated Action Games Of 2017

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jan 18, 2017 at 10:10 AM

2016 was a phenomenal year for gaming, but now that all of our awards have been handed out, it's time to stop living in the past and look to the year ahead. Through the rest of this week and beyond, we'll be taking a look at our picks for the most anticipated games of 2017, as voted on by the Game Informer staff. We're starting the festivities with a look at the top 10 action games that we can't wait to play this year.

10. Below
Release: 2017
Platform: Xbox One, PC
We've been looking forward to Capy's striking roguelike ever since its reveal at E3 2013, but the numerous delays since have taken a toll; Below has dropped four slots compared to last year's most anticipated list, and the developer has gone dark while it works to complete the project. Even so, our hands-on demos have continued to impress, thanks to Below's enticing mix of demanding combat, randomly generated environments, and a unique twist on permadeath. Whenever Capy finishes Below, we'll be more than ready to play it.

09. Cuphead
Release: 2017
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Speaking of promising indie games that have suffered from lengthy delays, we can't wait to see more of Studio MDHR's Cuphead in action, and you probably know why. Cuphead's hand-drawn, 1930s cartoon-style visuals are simply one-of-a-kind in the gaming world, and dripping with creativity. The game's myriad delays aren't too upsetting, as the developer is using the extra time to expand Cuphead's scope from what was essentially a boss-rush mode to a full-fledged action game with dedicated levels. If that's not enough to get your kettle boiling, we don't' know what is.

08. Nioh
Release: February 7
Platform: PlayStation 4
The Dark Souls series has practically become its own genre in recent years, leading other developers to experiment with From Software's soul-crushing formula. One of the most promising variants is Team Ninja's Nioh, which trades dark fantasy for 17th century samurai. The Ninja Gaiden developer is also throwing its own blistering swordplay into the mix, along with a story based on an unfinished script from Akira Kurosawa. Our early hands-on impressions have only given us a glimpse of Nioh's brutal boss fights, mounds of loot, and intriguing multiplayer components.

07. For Honor
Release: February 14
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
What happens when you throw boatloads of knights, Vikings, and samurai warriors into the same game? A ton of people get stabbed, to the enjoyment of gamers everywhere. That said, For Honor doesn't serve up mindless hack-and-slash action; the fleshed-out mechanics require you to time your attacks and account for your opponents' stances, and blows are delivered with a satisfying amount of weight. For Honor has primarily been billed as a multiplayer-focused game, but the single-player campaign promises plenty of variety as you hop between the three warring factions. If you're looking for a game that captures the bloody action of shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings, look no further.

06. State Of Decay 2
Release: 2017
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Zombie games are a dime a dozen, but State Of Decay rose above the braindead legions with some truly smart gameplay mechanics. Players could build up safehouses and recruit NPCs from the sprawling open world, which essentially serve as extra lives to offset the game's use of permadeath. Despite some great innovations, State of Decay was plagued by bugs and other technical shortcomings, largely due to the ambitious scope and the small size of the developer. That's why we're so excited about State of Decay 2's potential; with a massive new war chest, Undead Labs is aiming big for the sequel, which will include four-player co-op.

Coming up next: Some high-profile sequels, a few new IPs, and our most anticipated action game of 2017...

05. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Release: 2017
Platform: PlayStation 4
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End may have been Nathan Drake's last adventure, but Naughty Dog isn't done with the series quite yet. The upcoming spin-off gives fans plenty to get excited about, casting Uncharted 2's Chloe Frazier in the spotlight as she teams up with Uncharted 4 henchwoman Nadine Ross. With new protagonists, environments, and a seemingly greater focus on stealth, The Lost Legacy looks like it's keeping the series fresh; the only thing that looks the same is Naughty Dog's unparalleled production values and polish.

04. Prey
Release: Spring
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Arkane Studios has reinvented itself in recent years thanks to its systems-driven action/stealth series, Dishonored. The company's latest adventure trades steampunk for sci-fi, giving players a sprawling space station to explore and even wilder powers to play with. Dishonored 2 was one of our favorite games from last year, and we have equally high expectations for Prey. Whether it's gluing alien enemies to the wall or morphing into a coffee cup, we can't wait to start experimenting in Prey's paranormal playground.

03. Horizon Zero Dawn
Release: February 28
Platform: PlayStation 4
After nearly a decade of working on Killzone, Guerrilla Games switched universes and genres for an open-world action game filled with robot dinosaurs, and we couldn't be more excited. Horizon's massive mechanical beasts steal the show, with each species sporting their own attacks, behaviors, and components that can be scavenged to craft new weapons and tools. Our hands-on demos of Horizon have been highly encouraging thus far, thanks to tight controls and a variety of tactical opportunities that make the game's challenging combat a little more manageable. If Horizon lives up to expectations, Sony may have an early exclusive hit on its hands in 2017.

02. The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Release: March 3
Platform: Switch, Wii U
Our most anticipated action game from last year remains a driving force in 2017, and it's not hard to see why. Breath of the Wild promises to shake up the Zelda series more than any previous installment, with a fully open world to explore, a huge assortment of weapons, and a focus on mini-dungeons, called Shrines. Throw in the most impressive visuals of the series and a host of new gameplay mechanics, and Breath of the Wild might be enough to single-handedly sell consumers on the Nintendo Switch.

01. Red Dead Redemption 2
Release: 2017
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
A minute-long trailer was all it took for Rockstar to whip the Internet into a frenzy, but we're not blaming anyone for getting hyped. Red Dead Redemption was one of the greatest games of last generation, and Red Dead Redemption 2 will be the first game Rockstar has made from the ground up for current-gen consoles. Red Dead Redemption 2's debut trailer was packed with gorgeous and varied locales, impressive animation, and incredible detail. We know nothing about the story so far, but if Rockstar can build off the phenomenal feats of the last game (not to mention the multiplayer achievements of GTA Online), we're more than ready to saddle up again.

Be sure to check our our most anticipated adventureMMORPGshooter, and role-playing games lists as well.