X
X
The Legend of Zelda


 

Not only was 2017 an exciting year for Nintendo fans, including myself, with the launch of the Nintendo Switch, but it also marked the beginning of my journey with EGM. Looking back on the many triumphs and failures from the year with the rest of the EGM crew has been a whirlwind, but thankfully, most of the memories are great. While I admittedly didn’t get to play every game I wanted to before making the ever-important Game of the Year list, I feel extremely confident with my picks. From shoe-in winners for me and most gamers, to titles that shocked me with their greatness, here’s my top five games of the year, and three special awards.

#5 Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Airship Syndicate
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
No one is more surprised than me that a game that was never on my radar ended up in my top five of the year. Battle Chasers: Nightwar sounded like it would be a retread of many dungeon-crawler RPG’s I had experienced before, but Airship Syndicate’s attention to detail really won me over. Not since I had played Final Fantasy X in my younger days had I been as invested in leveling up each of my characters and mastering the strategies of the game’s more difficult bosses. The comic-style artwork kept me feeling jolly the entire run through, which was great since many of the encounters were downright frustrating, but still, I pushed onward. I’m sure this game flew under many people’s radars, but please, give it a shot when you can.
#4 Publisher: Studio MDHR
Developer: Studio MDHR
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Cuphead
Anyone who knows me knows that I fall quickly for a platformer, especially when the difficulty level makes me feel like I’m really working towards something special. Thankfully, Cuphead was a gift from the gods, as its beautiful art style got my attention, while the addictive and hard gameplay kept me coming back for more. It brings all of the excitement of a boss rush mode without all the fluff, and with the chance to earn new shooting abilities, it was a real spiritual sibling to Mega Man. I never imagined the new version of high score bragging would be how many deaths it took to get a boss fight finished, but Cuphead and his crazy action-shooter antics truly flipped the script this year. I have to give a nod to Microsoft and its Xbox One platform for featuring this game, too, because it was a homerun for them and definitely outside of the box of what I typically consider an Xbox game.
#3 Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Platforms: Switch
Super Mario Odyssey
Believe it or not, as much as I love Nintendo I don’t always go gaga over Mario games. However, Super Mario Odyssey quickly slapped me in the face and forced me to remember just how amazing this plumber can make a journey. Apart from the addictive mechanic of hunting down Power Moons, I loved traveling to each of the new worlds to see what outfits I could buy and which enemies I could control. Surprise is an element that isn’t always seen nowadays, and for a lighthearted experience like Odyssey, I never expected to be gasping and smiling from ear to ear as often as I did. It helped that my favorite wall transforming mechanic from Zelda’s Link Between Worlds—and in ode to Mario’s 8-bit days—made an appearance here, becoming one of if not my favorite part of playing as Mario in new places. I could play the New Donk City festival celebration’s 2D level over and over for eternity.
#2 Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Resident Evil 7
As a die-hard Resident Evil fan, I was in the camp of being afraid of Resident Evil 7 because of how badly I was burned with the last entry. Yes, the Revelations games were fun, but the first-person teases shown before RE 7 dropped made me feel like it would be the end of my love affair. Thank goodness Capcom had the forethought to blow my flippin’ mind. RE 7 was easily one of my favorite games of the year with the successful return to true terror I loved from the early entries of the series, while also delivering a first-person experience that ended up feeling like the right move. What sold me the most was how deep of a story the game ultimately had, with its arguable tackling of toxic masculinity and the horror genre on a whole. I finally feel like I can proudly be a Resident Evil fan and maintain high hopes for what the series will do moving forward.
#1 Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Platforms: Switch
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
While Breath of the Wild will likely be in most people’s top five games of the year, if not number one, it completely deserves its unanimous praise. The Nintendo Switch launch title marks the second time a Zelda game has subverted my expectations, as I typically avoid open-world games for, in my opinion, their lack of direction and unending feeling of emptiness. However, Breath of the Wild immediately announced to me after stepping out of the Shrine of Resurrection that I was in for an immersive experience, and it truly delivered through to the end. I’ll always remember looking for “just one more shrine” before attempting to shut the game off, only to have this go on for hours. Every detail Nintendo created worked, including how much I loved the minimalist approach to the music direction, which always made sure to save its biggest fanfare for the more intense battles. I’ll play this game for years to come and, much like Resident Evil, am excited to see what’s next for the franchise.
The “Best Remake That Wasn’t a Remake, Really” Award
Metroid: Samus Returns
In a year full of amazing new properties and triumphant returns to beloved series, it’s easy to overlook the work of remasters and reimagings. I had a blast with games like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, but it was Metroid: Samus Returns for Nintendo 3DS that really got my remake-loving blood pumping. Although, I’d argue Samus Returns is outside the realm of a remake and more of a spiritual successor to the original Metroid II, with brand new visuals, modern gameplay mechanics like the melee arm, and the inclusion of many staples now seen from the long-running Metroid series. So, yes, it’s a “remake”, but it deserves to stand firmly on its own as another reason the Nintendo series should still be making new entries.
The “I Played It So Much I Think I Like It?” Stockholm Syndrome Award
Destiny 2
If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would not only be playing Destiny 2 on a daily basis, but also writing about it more than anyone ever should, I would have laughed in your face. Well, life can throw many curveballs, and Bungie’s follow-up to the first Destiny, which was never, ever on my radar, has easily become part of my identity as a gamer. It frustrates me, bores me, and has even made me fall asleep at times, but on the other hand, it surprises me, makes me happy, and keeps me focused on a community that is extremely passionate about its game. It’s the younger sibling I never had, and by golly I’m going to make sure it lives a long and healthy life.
Best Reminder Game Creators Are Real People
David Soliani and his puddle of beautiful tears
I believe any games journalist will tell you how easy it is to grow callous to the business side of video games, especially during big events like E3. Not every new game or added entry in a series is as exciting as companies want us to believe. The only thing is that not every developer, publisher, and director is made the same, meaning some teams are making games that they actually are passionate about. Enter Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle director Davide Soliani during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, who instantly reminded journalists the world over that even a whacky, slightly cash-grabby idea like the Mario and Rabbids crossover can come from a place of genuine love. As he weeped during the conference watching his game being announced, we all did. Well, at least I did.
EGM’s Best of 2017 Coverage
We’re taking a look at the best games of 2017 all week, from Christmas day through December 30th. Check back every day for our Top 25 Games of 2017, as well as our personal lists for the games we loved most this year. Check here for everything that’s been posted so far.
0   POINTS
0   POINTS


About Evan Slead

view all posts

Evan has been loving games since he could hold a controller. When not replaying Megaman X or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the 100th time, he also has been writing about entertainment, from horror movie reviews for Bloody Good Horror to TV recaps and general news for Entertainment Weekly, and now all things gaming. Say hello on Twitter at @EvanSlead.

EGM’s Best of 2017: Evan Slead’s Editor Awards

Evan gives his thoughts on the year in gaming that was 2017

By Evan Slead | 12/25/2017 09:00 AM PT | Updated 12/26/2017 12:34 AM PT

Features

Not only was 2017 an exciting year for Nintendo fans, including myself, with the launch of the Nintendo Switch, but it also marked the beginning of my journey with EGM. Looking back on the many triumphs and failures from the year with the rest of the EGM crew has been a whirlwind, but thankfully, most of the memories are great. While I admittedly didn’t get to play every game I wanted to before making the ever-important Game of the Year list, I feel extremely confident with my picks. From shoe-in winners for me and most gamers, to titles that shocked me with their greatness, here’s my top five games of the year, and three special awards.

#5 Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Airship Syndicate
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
No one is more surprised than me that a game that was never on my radar ended up in my top five of the year. Battle Chasers: Nightwar sounded like it would be a retread of many dungeon-crawler RPG’s I had experienced before, but Airship Syndicate’s attention to detail really won me over. Not since I had played Final Fantasy X in my younger days had I been as invested in leveling up each of my characters and mastering the strategies of the game’s more difficult bosses. The comic-style artwork kept me feeling jolly the entire run through, which was great since many of the encounters were downright frustrating, but still, I pushed onward. I’m sure this game flew under many people’s radars, but please, give it a shot when you can.
#4 Publisher: Studio MDHR
Developer: Studio MDHR
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Cuphead
Anyone who knows me knows that I fall quickly for a platformer, especially when the difficulty level makes me feel like I’m really working towards something special. Thankfully, Cuphead was a gift from the gods, as its beautiful art style got my attention, while the addictive and hard gameplay kept me coming back for more. It brings all of the excitement of a boss rush mode without all the fluff, and with the chance to earn new shooting abilities, it was a real spiritual sibling to Mega Man. I never imagined the new version of high score bragging would be how many deaths it took to get a boss fight finished, but Cuphead and his crazy action-shooter antics truly flipped the script this year. I have to give a nod to Microsoft and its Xbox One platform for featuring this game, too, because it was a homerun for them and definitely outside of the box of what I typically consider an Xbox game.
#3 Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Platforms: Switch
Super Mario Odyssey
Believe it or not, as much as I love Nintendo I don’t always go gaga over Mario games. However, Super Mario Odyssey quickly slapped me in the face and forced me to remember just how amazing this plumber can make a journey. Apart from the addictive mechanic of hunting down Power Moons, I loved traveling to each of the new worlds to see what outfits I could buy and which enemies I could control. Surprise is an element that isn’t always seen nowadays, and for a lighthearted experience like Odyssey, I never expected to be gasping and smiling from ear to ear as often as I did. It helped that my favorite wall transforming mechanic from Zelda’s Link Between Worlds—and in ode to Mario’s 8-bit days—made an appearance here, becoming one of if not my favorite part of playing as Mario in new places. I could play the New Donk City festival celebration’s 2D level over and over for eternity.
#2 Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Resident Evil 7
As a die-hard Resident Evil fan, I was in the camp of being afraid of Resident Evil 7 because of how badly I was burned with the last entry. Yes, the Revelations games were fun, but the first-person teases shown before RE 7 dropped made me feel like it would be the end of my love affair. Thank goodness Capcom had the forethought to blow my flippin’ mind. RE 7 was easily one of my favorite games of the year with the successful return to true terror I loved from the early entries of the series, while also delivering a first-person experience that ended up feeling like the right move. What sold me the most was how deep of a story the game ultimately had, with its arguable tackling of toxic masculinity and the horror genre on a whole. I finally feel like I can proudly be a Resident Evil fan and maintain high hopes for what the series will do moving forward.
#1 Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Platforms: Switch
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
While Breath of the Wild will likely be in most people’s top five games of the year, if not number one, it completely deserves its unanimous praise. The Nintendo Switch launch title marks the second time a Zelda game has subverted my expectations, as I typically avoid open-world games for, in my opinion, their lack of direction and unending feeling of emptiness. However, Breath of the Wild immediately announced to me after stepping out of the Shrine of Resurrection that I was in for an immersive experience, and it truly delivered through to the end. I’ll always remember looking for “just one more shrine” before attempting to shut the game off, only to have this go on for hours. Every detail Nintendo created worked, including how much I loved the minimalist approach to the music direction, which always made sure to save its biggest fanfare for the more intense battles. I’ll play this game for years to come and, much like Resident Evil, am excited to see what’s next for the franchise.
The “Best Remake That Wasn’t a Remake, Really” Award
Metroid: Samus Returns
In a year full of amazing new properties and triumphant returns to beloved series, it’s easy to overlook the work of remasters and reimagings. I had a blast with games like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, but it was Metroid: Samus Returns for Nintendo 3DS that really got my remake-loving blood pumping. Although, I’d argue Samus Returns is outside the realm of a remake and more of a spiritual successor to the original Metroid II, with brand new visuals, modern gameplay mechanics like the melee arm, and the inclusion of many staples now seen from the long-running Metroid series. So, yes, it’s a “remake”, but it deserves to stand firmly on its own as another reason the Nintendo series should still be making new entries.
The “I Played It So Much I Think I Like It?” Stockholm Syndrome Award
Destiny 2
If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would not only be playing Destiny 2 on a daily basis, but also writing about it more than anyone ever should, I would have laughed in your face. Well, life can throw many curveballs, and Bungie’s follow-up to the first Destiny, which was never, ever on my radar, has easily become part of my identity as a gamer. It frustrates me, bores me, and has even made me fall asleep at times, but on the other hand, it surprises me, makes me happy, and keeps me focused on a community that is extremely passionate about its game. It’s the younger sibling I never had, and by golly I’m going to make sure it lives a long and healthy life.
Best Reminder Game Creators Are Real People
David Soliani and his puddle of beautiful tears
I believe any games journalist will tell you how easy it is to grow callous to the business side of video games, especially during big events like E3. Not every new game or added entry in a series is as exciting as companies want us to believe. The only thing is that not every developer, publisher, and director is made the same, meaning some teams are making games that they actually are passionate about. Enter Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle director Davide Soliani during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, who instantly reminded journalists the world over that even a whacky, slightly cash-grabby idea like the Mario and Rabbids crossover can come from a place of genuine love. As he weeped during the conference watching his game being announced, we all did. Well, at least I did.
EGM’s Best of 2017 Coverage
We’re taking a look at the best games of 2017 all week, from Christmas day through December 30th. Check back every day for our Top 25 Games of 2017, as well as our personal lists for the games we loved most this year. Check here for everything that’s been posted so far.
0   POINTS
0   POINTS



About Evan Slead

view all posts

Evan has been loving games since he could hold a controller. When not replaying Megaman X or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the 100th time, he also has been writing about entertainment, from horror movie reviews for Bloody Good Horror to TV recaps and general news for Entertainment Weekly, and now all things gaming. Say hello on Twitter at @EvanSlead.