Oh my, but 2017 is looking to be a great year in gaming. We’ve only just reached February, and already we have almost a dozen titles that have people whispering, “game of the year.” Whether you own a PlayStation 4, an Xbox One, or are eagerly awaiting the March release of the new Nintendo Switch, you’re in store for some truly fantastic games, many of which have been on consumers’ radars for years already. Below, we’re going to showcase 10 of the top-trending games in 2017. Some have already been released, while others won’t see the light of day until later in the year.
No matter which system you happen to love playing on (or even if you’re part of the “PC master race”) 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting time for gamers!
Really, though, we don’t have to talk about games that are just being released, for the first time, in 2017. If you’ve been paying attention to the way that games are developed and subsequently released to consumers, “release date” has less meaning than it ever has before. We live with both feet firmly planted in the digital era, and downloadable content isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. A new game might be a blast to play when it’s first released, but few are the titles that don’t receive continued support from their development studios in the form of new content.
Some games are even built around the subsequent release of new, fun, playable stuff. Take a look at Overwatch, for example (which we’ll be glancing at a bit more, below). It’s a great game, and it’s been a great game since the day that it was released. However, players continually come back to it not just because of the addicting gameplay, but because Blizzard continually adds new things to the game, in the form of playable game types, new maps, new characters, and new art assets that players can be rewarded with over time.
What about Final Fantasy XV—one of the most popular games released at the tail-end of 2016. It sold exceptionally well, then, and received a host of great reviews. However, in 2017, the game is still receiving brand new content, and will soon be getting a “story patch” that adds a more fleshed out narrative experience for characters to enjoy.
The long and short of it is, individual games are getting considerably longer lifespans, and they no longer have to be at or near their release date in order to be “trending.” Below, we’re going to take a look at what’s popular right now, so that you can get in on the action while it’s happening.
Top Trending Games of 2017
Some of these titles will be playable for the first time, this year. Others were released last year, but their momentum has only grown; not slowing down one little bit. Altogether, though, these are the games that you want to pay attention to this year. If you’re looking at potential preorders, this is the list you’ll want to follow.
It didn’t surprise anyone when Overwatch ended up being the darling of 2016. It was the first new IP that legendary development studio Blizzard has released in years. It features memorable characters, lightning-fast gameplay that can be enjoyed on PCs, the PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One. A team-based multiplayer experience better than anything we’ve seen since Team Fortress 2.
There’s no subscription fee to play, either, apart from the memberships you’ll need to enjoy online multiplayer on your PS4 or Xbox One. In spite of that, Blizzard keeps the great content rolling out. We’ve seen two new characters added to the game so far, and it’s fair to assume that we’ll see two to three more before 2017 has finished. On top of that, there are a few new gameplay modes being whispered about.
Being that there’s no other multiplayer shooter doing what Overwatch is fantastically succeeding at, don’t expect to stop hearing about this game, anytime soon. On the contrary, you should be playing it right now.
Those who follow the ebb and flow of the video game industry will know about Hideo Kojima, father of the renowned Metal Gear series. They’ll also know about his harsh departure from Konami, the video game studio that many fans feel utterly betrayed by.
What many may not know is that Hideo Kojima has opened his own game studio, and the first title coming out of it is shaping up to be a suitably weird experience that people just can’t stop talking about. We’ve only seen teaser trailers, so far, but we know for certain that Guillermo del Toro (legendary filmmaker) and Mads Mikkelson (popular actor) are already intricately connected to the game’s development. If you need any further convincing to get on the hype train, just watch one of the stylized trailers that Kojima’s studio has released, thus far.
Final Fantasy XIV
Many consider the massively-multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) genre to be all but dried up, with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft the only viable defender left on the field. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and Square Enix’s popular Final Fantasy XIV is set to receive its second major expansion pack this summer. Titled Stormblood, it’s going to add new features, more stories, and a plethora of added gameplay content on top of what is already hailed as one of the most refreshingly fun MMOs on the market.
It’s also one of the only other titles that maintains a subscription fee that’s necessary to play—something that it shares with World of Warcraft. However, rather than a detriment, this should be viewed as a sign of the game’s success. People keep flocking to this title, especially fans of the Final Fantasy series, which is perhaps the longest-running RPG franchise in gaming history. Look forward to Stormblood in June, but join millions of other players in Final Fantasy XIV right now.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
One might say that Horizon: Zero Dawn, has sold its fair share of PlayStation 4 consoles before the game ever reached the market. Hell, we haven’t even had a release date until late into 2016, but this game is almost upon us; time to get excited.
It’s set in a fantastical world, where primitive technology meshes with hulking, roaming, dinosaur-esque beasts. The only thing different about these beasts? They all look to be intricately realized robots, and the only signs of life that we’ve seen from the trailers are minuscule things like birds, and the people, living in scattered, defensive tribes, for the sake of safety. You play as Aloy, a skilled hunter who has a mystery to solve about her heritage and origin in this strange, threatening world.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Oh, how the masses clamor for more Zelda. It’s a series that’s been around since the original Nintendo Entertainment system, and it remains one of Nintendo’s most popular and profitable IPs, to date. Not only are we going to be seeing a new Zelda game this year, it’s going to debut as a release title for the newest console from the gaming giant—the Nintendo Switch.
We’ve never seen a Zelda game that’s also been a release title, so it’s double the reason to be excited. Breath of the Wild will also be released on the Wii U, but it’s been made fairly clear that the definitive version is going to happen on the Switch. What’s new in this Zelda game? For starters, it’s an open-world experience that tells a wholly new story through beautifully-realized visuals. Link can go anywhere, do anything, and interact with the world in more ways than ever before.
Really, though, the heart of this game is what people have always loved about Zelda games. The enemies are memorable, the bosses will be challenging, and the world will be utterly gorgeous. Look forward to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in March!
Many gamers in the US might not be acquainted with Atlus’ interesting Person series of games, but that might change with Persona 5. This franchise has always been a bit eccentric, but it has a reputation of excellent for a reason. People love Persona games for their engrossing stories, oddly twisting narratives, and memorable locales. It also helps that the RPG-like gameplay is remarkably fun.
Set in contemporary Japan, Persona 5 promises to bridge the modern world with elements of the fantastic, as the Persona series always has. The characters and the mystery are what people truly come for, though, as well as the jazzy, fun music scores that the series is known for. You only have to wait until April for the newest Persona game; it’ll mark a great opportunity for those new to the franchise to jump in!
Resident Evil 7
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a genuinely scary game. It’s been an eternity since we’ve had a scary Resident Evil game, but this newest (and arguably best) entry in the series manages to be one of the most frightening, immersive experiences ever developed. If you’re a horror buff, you have to check it out.
You play as Ethan, a man searching for his missing wife, Mia. The search leads him to a run-down Louisiana plantation, where he encounters all manner of twisted things. Chief among these threats are the Baker family, a brilliantly-realized, monstrous group of people who have a deep mystery behind their brutality. It’s reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre just as much as it reminds us of the zombie-slaying action that Resident Evil is known for.
Be warned—the experiences you’ll encounter in this game aren’t for the faint of heart. Many people have chosen not to play simply because it looks too frightening!
Fans of the Dark Souls series were saddened to hear that From Software would be moving on to different intellectual properties and different types of games. However, this new title from Team Ninja might just be enough to fill the gap left by that legendary franchise.
Nioh is a decidedly different game. It features Samurai lore and weaponry, but the basic tenets of the Souls and Bloodborne games are quite present. The combat is fast, furious, and rewards players who take bold initiatives against the blisteringly difficult bosses and other enemies. The difficulty is the thing to be stressed here, too. Nioh is meant to be a difficult game, and that difficulty doesn’t fade as you get further into the experience. It only ramps ever upward, throwing new challenges at players.
Nioh releases this week, so if you’ve been a fan of the Dark Souls franchise, but don’t know where to turn next, give this trending game a try.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
The Mass Effect series was one of the most popular RPG franchises that we’ve ever seen. It took the “space opera” concept and turned it into a three-part masterpiece; one that rewarded players who chose to play each title, subsequently. The main protagonist could be carried over from game to game, and the choices that you made in a previous title would impact what you found in a subsequent game. Mass Effect 3 capped Commander Shepard’s story, for better or worse. Now, Mass Effect: Andromeda is delivering something new.
All of the familiar elements are present—lovingly-crafted characters, a compelling galaxy, fun combat, and a deep, engrossing story. Bioware is known for crafting novel-worthy narratives, so expect the twists and turns of Andromeda to be highly engaging.
Those who enjoy a great multiplayer experience are in for an exciting year. While Overwatch took 2016 by storm, it’s just possible that For Honor might be the one that wins out in 2017. It pits Vikings, Samurai, and Knights against each other in unrealistic yet highly engrossing combat scenarios. The gameplay has been a blast in the beta releases of the game and has far more depth and strategy than many were anticipating from this odd-looking title.
It also helps that the visuals are gorgeous. There’s a story behind it, too, but expect most players to be coming for the engrossing art style and compelling multiplayer.
There we have it! Ten of the top trending games in 2017, some of which are already out and playable, others which have yet to be released. Have any questions about the games we’ve showcased? Think something else deserves a spot on the list? Sound off in the comments, below!