The Best Games of 2017: Day 6

Posted in Kulturecade by - December 31, 2017
The Best Games of 2017: Day 6

It’s hard to argue the impact that 2017 will have on the gaming industry. We’re fresh off of the biggest first-year console launch that Nintendo has seen since the original Wii in 2006, and to top that off we’ve had a bumper crop of fantastic games this year. It seemed that something substantial came out monthly from the entire year, and because of this, I personally had to sit out on games like Persona 5, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, and Yooka-Laylee had to take a backseat to titles like Breath of the Wild.

With a year like 2017, it was incredibly difficult to narrow a list down to just five entities, and while I wish I can honor more than five here are some of the best of the best that I had the privilege to play throughout the year of 2017.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley was one of my most played games of 2017, and for good reason. Stardew Valley is the epitome of a “five more minutes” game. I can think of numerous times where I knew I needed to stop and I would tell myself that I would just play one more day in the game. This is a game that I would find myself playing into the wee hours of the morning more times than I care to admit.

While many might simply write Stardew Valley off as a simple Harvest Moon clone, there’s something truly special about it. With some great character moments, addictive gameplay, a catchy soundtrack, and charming presentation, it’s no wonder that I’ve racked up nearly two hundred hours across two separate playthroughs on the Xbox One.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

As the first game, I played on the Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had to set a precedent and that was something that it was easily able to accomplish. Seeing the Legend of Zelda series return to its roots and give us a fresh take on 3D Zelda. From the onset, you’re thrown into the world of Hyrule with little direction and you’re left to figure out where to go as you make your way across the open world and learn more about the current state of Hyrule and the history of the land.

The greatest thing about Breath of the Wild is that even after not playing the game for a couple of months I was able to jump right back into the game without even missing a beat. While the game doesn’t feature some of the conventional 3D Zelda trappings, the open-ended gameplay allow you to tackle the game in whatever order you’d like and even allow you to go directly to the face off with Ganon shortly after starting your adventure.

Hyrule is a joy to explore and even after nearly sixty hours, I’ve found myself still discovering new areas to explore and even the game’s trials remain a challenge and exciting to finish. Breath of the Wild is a game I’ve put many hours into in 2017 and I foresee it remaining in my regular rotation throughout 2018.

Injustice 2

Picking up five years after the events of the Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2 focuses on the invasion of Earth by Brainiac following the fall of Superman’s Regime. While the story is compelling and helps to move the narrative established by the first game and the subsequent comic series while offering plenty of great fanservice moments for longtime DC Comics fans.

The fighting mechanics are some of the best of the year and offer a fantastic hybrid of both the original Injustice and 2015’s Mortal Kombat X. Fighting is fluid and character each feel different enough from each other to make each feel unique while offering experiences that make the characters feel similar to their comic book counterparts. The presentation is also top notch and the improvements this game has seen over Netherrealm’s previous outings has me excited for the inevitable Mortal Kombat XI and Injustice 3.

Slime-san

Slime-san is really the black sheep of this list. Coming out of nowhere early in 2017, I didn’t review it until late summer and I feel that I really missed the boat on this title. Taking its inspiration from platformers like Super Meat Boy. Unlike Super Meat Boy, however, Slime-san features a much more fair difficulty curve that makes the game feel fairer as it teaches you the mechanics.

Borrowing its ascetic from 1980’s computer games, the game’s limited palette adds to its charm. With an initial PC release earlier this year, followed by a Switch release in the Summer, and an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 release to come in 2018, the game is either already available on your platform of choice or will be soon and I highly recommend that you check this gem out when you can.

Sonic Mania

The Legend of Zelda wasn’t the only game to receive a successful return to its root in 2017, as Sonic saw a successful retro revival in the form of Sonic Mania. While Sonic Mania isn’t quite on the same level as Breath of the Wild, especially when you consider how much of the game is recycled from previous outings. While some may see this as a detriment, remixed tracks and with new level layouts and gimmicks offer a fresh take on these classic Sonic stages and the new stages are fantastic. In fact, one of the new zones, Press Garden, is one of my new all-time favorites.

Newly updated sprites are beautiful and feature newly updated animations that help the characters standout when compared to their counterparts from the previous 2D Sonic outings. Sonic Mania is one of my absolute favorites of 2017 and I still play it whenever I have the opportunity. It’s one of my most played titles on the Switch.

This post was written by
He is a senior editor at Kulture Shocked. A seasoned gamer, Zach has been playing video games since the early 90s and have owned everything from the NES to the Xbox One. Aside from video games, Zach is a nerd of all trades and dabbles in everything from collectible card games to Gunpla.

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