Whats up! 2017 was the Year of the Backlog for me. Every gamer is somewhat of a completionist at heart, deep down it’s what makes us tick. Most gamers bear with them a backlog of various sizes and categories similar to bearing a child. I felt like 2017 in particular sent a lot of quality titles to my backlog that wholly deserved to be fully played and enjoyed when I initially bought them. I don’t think the quality of the games was much different than years before, I would say the biggest difference in 2017 compared to other years is that we got a lot of great titles early in the year rather than Fall/holiday season. I think this September through December I bought the fewest games I ever have during the holiday season. The list below represents games that came out in 2017 that I didn’t finish in 2017. Realistically I expect that I will finish 50% of these games in 2018. I ordered them of how excited I am to hop back in and start playing them again as well as their potential to blow my mind.
My guilty pleasure and only video game series I’ve ever been concerned about being actually addicted to. How can this game be on my back log? It’s not really on my backlog, but a big reason why many of these titles ended up on my backlog. I’m always playing it, it is always there and inviting me to play, whispering to me, “Ignore Yakuza, Uncharted, Persona, Nier, I’ll make you forget about all of them and make your wildest dreams come true”, I give in. I just got home from work, throw my wallet and keys on my coffee table and I’m already mechanically turning on my PS4 via the controller. I log on to my Hunter and start doing activities I’ve already ran countless times before, maybe its public events, strikes, raids, nightfalls. I get my fix with shiny engrams and milestones popping. I return to the tower to turn in my loot and realize that I already have everything. My vault and inventory on my characters are constantly hovering around 99% capacity. I scratched my itch now and feel emptiness, damn you Bungie, and its too late or I’m to tired to put time into a game that demands my full attention. Destiny 2 doesn’t get an actual place on this list, but I realize it deserves to be mentioned because its always there lurking just waiting to suck away my precious gaming time.
Now in order, from least excited (#10) to most excited (#1).
# 10 - Zelda Breath of the Wild
I always tell myself I want to finish this game, I don’t know if I ever will. As great as the open world is (this really is enhanced by the fact you can climb anything) and how often I found myself unexpectedly playing it for longer periods I feel that it is missing something. I’ve roughly put about 40 hours into and feel like I’ve gotten nowhere. Sometimes Zelda BOTW just felt boring and if I’m being honest the fact that I have it portable on my Switch is really the only reason it is in my top 10.
# 9 - Prey
I thought I was getting a new Bioshock, after a couple hours of play time with Prey I don’t know exactly what I have here. I’m also pretty sure I’ll never get another Bioshock. What I played wasn’t enticing enough to keep me playing it, I opted to sink more time in Persona 5 vs Prey. The opening was cool and I think the atmosphere that Arkane created with Prey might be just enough to get me to revisit this game in 2018. Initially this was one of the releases in 2017 I was most hyped for.
# 8 - Wolfenstein 2
I wish the Fallout series played like Wolfenstein 2, then it might be the best game franchise of all time. I had no idea Wolfenstein 2 would have characters or even a story I would care about. This game really isn’t on my backlog because I’ve almost finished it, but I didn’t play it through to the end and haven’t touched it in almost a month so backlogged it is. It will challenge you, unlike most single player shooters, and it also forces you to move around and be mobile if you want to survive.
# 7 - Pyre
Pyre is the newest release from Super Giant Games, an indie developer well known for its previous games Bastion and Transistor. I’ve tried out both of their previous releases and neither one of them were really able to draw me in enough to want to play more than an hour or two. I saw a preview for Pyre a year or two ago and was instantly intrigued by the art as well as the combat system. Imagine if the combat system in an RPG played like a Lacross match in real time with a deep diverse cast of characters to choose from. The combat system itself could be its own game, I had no idea how much I would end up actually enjoying it. Each character you meet along the way has their own interesting story as well a unique skillset/play-style for the combat system. The art in Pyre is fantastic as well, I think I’m roughly half way through Pyre and will definitely be finishing this game in 2018.
# 6 - Nioh
It is good to see a great “Souls” style game come from a different publisher besides From Software. Apparently Team Ninja had been working on Nioh for quite some time, originally supposed to be a PS3 game I can tell you that you would have no idea this title had been mired in development hell for over 5 years. Nioh might be more difficult than the entire souls franchise, and borders on the difficulty of Bloodborne. The combat feels good and features tons of different weapon types to experiment with. Nioh also has a tiered loot system which adds another layer of customization that the Dark Souls series has been lacking. I think what I like most about Nioh is the fresh take on the” Souls” genre of games that have been staples in my gaming rotation since the PS3.
# 5 - Super Mario Odyssey
This game totally surprised me. I haven’t enjoyed a Mario game this much since Mario 64. Nintendo did a great job rewarding players for exploring the worlds/zones in Mario and also managed to keep this Mario game a challenge. Mario is also a mighty fine looking Switch game, I make it a priority to play it on the big screen when I have the option. Super Mario Odyssey is just a fun game to play, one that I’ll enjoy having to fall back on when I want comfort gaming.
# 4 - Persona 5
Persona 4 Golden was my first foray into the Persona series, Persona 5 is my second (I’ve dabbled in Person 1 and 3 on my PS Vita) and I couldn’t be more excited to continue my game in 2018. I’ve already clocked about 30 game hours with Persona 5. The Persona series is 1 part JRPG and 1 part life sim that puts you in the shoes of high schooler. The Persona series has always been a great blend of dungeon crawling, life sim, and great story telling. New characters are constantly introduced while existing ones are persistently being developed. Each Persona game is its own story, no need to play the previous games if you are looking to jump into the Persona series.
# 3 - Nier Automata
I bought this game a few months after it released for about $40, I kept hearing everyone flap their lips about how good this game was. Then I sat on it for about a couple more weeks. One day I said F^^^ it, tore off the shrink wrap and loaded it up on my PS4. I cranked it up to the highest difficulty as I typically do. The intro was pretty damn cool, nothing at all what I had expected from the game. You start off flying as a ship, shooter style similar to Gradius. After the confusing intro (story & gameplay), you are dropped off at a boss. Insanely difficult, after a while I gave up and turned the difficulty down one notch. Still too hard, I reached the second phase of the boss but knew that I would spend hours trying to beat him on the current difficulty. I was frustrated and quit playing the game. A few days later I gave it another try, on normal, breezed through it and discovered a game that I had no idea existed on the other side of the linear intro I played.
The atmosphere Platinum games created in Nier is super Japanese (odd, funky, yet familiar ). There is a lot to explore and the combat was decent enough. On the normal difficulty I had set the game to it might be too easy. The game certainly has a “Souls” vibe to it, open world with real time combat and challenging bosses. The open world is large, varied, and deserves to be explored. I just picked it up recently to start playing it again, hit a huge plot twist and I’m sucked back in. From what I’ve read this is a game you need to play through to the end to fully experience it, despite a very slow start this is one of the games I think I will finish first in 2018.
# 2 - Yakuza 0
I’ve only purchased one other Yakuza game before which was Yakuza 3 on the PS3. When I bought Yakuza 3 I thought that it was basically a GTA clone based in Japan, I couldn’t of been more wrong. I’ve only played a few hours of Yakuza 0 and I’m already anticipating the next chance I get to put some time into this game. You will want to play this game for the story, and if the intro is anything to go by this might possibly be the best gangster/mobster story to come out in a video game. The Yakuza series is kind of hard to explain, it’s open world but doesn’t feature guns or driving. If you could imagine a Double Dragon RPG, where you roamed the streets punching and kicking your way to level ups and new abilities. On top of the combat and the great story the Yakuza series features tons of mini-games to keep you busy. I originally purchased this game for a piece I’ve been writing based on which gaming worlds you like the most, who wouldn’t want to be a Japanese gangster in the 80’s? After playing through a couple hours of Yakuza 0 I decided this game is indeed worthy of a dedicated play through and will put some time into it once I can focus on it.
# 1 - Uncharted: Lost Legacy
Haven’t even touched this game yet, I know it will be amazing. I <3 Chloe.
Here are some other notable titles I purchased in 2017 that would qualify for this list but didn’t make the cut.
Tiny Metal (Switch), Sonic Mania (Switch),Gran Turismo Sport (PS4), Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Edition (PS4), Cosmic Star Heroine (PS4), 2064 Read Only Memories (PS4), Super Bomber Man R (Switch), Splatoon 2 (Switch), Call of Duty WWII (PS4), Mario Kart 8, Mario + Rabbids (Switch), Puyo Puyo Tetris (Switch), Skyrim VR (PSVR), Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4).
There is my list of 2017 releases that I am most looking forward to playing in 2018. What are yours?
I enjoy writing for TAY and have dabbled in making different types of gaming and lifestyle content. I like playing games and interacting with gaming communities to wind down. You can find me here!
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