We here at Siliconera would like to wish you all a happy New Year. We’d also like to thank our readers for all the support and wish everyone a prosperous and joyful 2018. As we kick off a new year, we’d like to take this opportunity to do something a little different and have one last look back at 2017 with our personal top-5 picks of favorite titles from last year.
Without further ado:
Alistair (Follow on Twitter)
Runner-up: Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)
It was a struggle between Metroid and Blaster Master, but my Inti Creates love won out. Samus Returns is a great return to 2D Metroid and it’s smooth flowing gameplay, but switching weapons was clunky, and physics were a bit wonky especially with bombs. That’s light nitpicking though, and it’s nice to see the Baby Metroid again.
5. Blaster Master Zero (3DS)
I’ve always been a fan of Inti Creates for their detailed spritework platformers, but truth be told I originally didn’t have much interest in Azure Striker Gunvolt, at least not until Striker Pack came out. On the other hand, I’d heard a lot about Blaster Master on NES so I gave this one a whirl, and it’s great! Inti Creates did a masterful job in creating an simple but engaging story along with the classic platformer/action hybrid gameplay, and they supported the game for what felt like forever. Cheers, Inti!
4. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)
Fire Emblem seems to have had a split fanbase since Fire Emblem: Awakening, the first game I played, touting that the classics were better. Intelligent Systems made a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, and while it wasn’t better than Fates gameplay-wise, the full voice acting and remade music made up for it. Hidari’s character designs are also not to be missed.
3.Yomawari: Midnight Shadows (PS4)
This understated followup to Yomawari captures the charm of the original, and more. Following two girls rather than one, this story is all about learning how to let things go. Oh, and it’s pretty scary too, so here’s a tip from yours truly: Don’t move until the bell stops ringing. You can read more from my playtest here.
2.Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
This game is… epic. For a series which seemed to not know where to go after going to space in Super Mario Galaxy, it basically hit every note I could have wanted in terms of tone, and gameplay. Just the feeling of locomotion is fun in this Mario game. Overall, I’m not sure if it beats out Super Mario Galaxy for me, but it is definitely fighting for the spot.
1.The Alliance Alive (3DS)
This game takes what was good about SNES titles like the Romancing SaGa series and copies what made it work… successfully. The characters are delightful, the world map is interesting to explore, and Masashi Hamauzu’s work is masterful. The gameplay won’t hesitate to be hard sometimes, yet the game is light on grinding overall. This game was the biggest surprise of 2017 for me, and my number 1.
Jenni (Follow on Twitter)
2017 was an utterly amazing year for games. Especially if you owned a Switch or love games made in Japan. It is a difficult year to pin things down, especially considering how much time I spent with games like Fire Emblem Heroes, Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session and Yakuza 0. These five were my absolute overall favorites, though.
5. The Idolmaster: Stella Stage
4. Splatoon 2
I have played over 100 hours of Splatoon 2. I adored the campaign. I do a Salmon Run each month for the new item. I play with friends, fight in leagues and try and set aside time for Splatfests. It is still fresh.
3. Persona 5
We have waited a long time for Persona 5, and it was worth it. This stylish dungeon crawler didn’t disappoint as we went about our daily lives and fought our way through tricky situations at night.
2. Puyo Puyo Tetris
Puyo Puyo Tetris is the best Puyo Puyo and best Tetris game ever. I’m a big fan of its story mode and love playing online.
1. Super Mario Odyssey
It is amazing how large and alive Mario’s world is in his latest adventure. There is always something to see and another moon to acquire. It’s quite a rewarding experience.
Joel (Follow on Twitter)
With Nintendo taking Zelda to an open-world formula, it left a gap for Blossom Tales to take players back to the Link to the Past era of action and exploration. With a colorful overworld to explore, delightful dungeons to comb through, and a solid combat system fleshed out with fun items, it emulated the appeal of top-down Zelda flawlessly. It also made some welcome changes to it that added further appeal, like tying special items to stamina to encourage repeat use.
Lily made for an great heroine to adventure alongside, especially when her story was co-opted by some overzealous grandchildren who kept changing the narrative. It’s a game of boundless joy, bright landscapes, and fun secrets.
Without spoiling too many of the visual novel’s events,this seemingly-charming look at the personal relationships forming at a high school literature club is a masterful demonstration of how pacing and timing can turn the simplest of twisted events into cause for terror. The developers of this game know exactly when to make a small shift in reality to cause maximum discomfort, creating a narrative that flips from innocence to skin-crawling horror when the player is at their most vulnerable.
Yakuza 0 is a serious game about real estate, powerful criminals, webs of lies, Japan’s underworld in the 80’s, and vicious violence. And then it’s a game about racing RC cars, fishing for sharks, helping a hostess club become the hottest spot in town, and secretly buying porn.
Yakuza 0 dances between ridiculous and serious with complete confidence, drawing the player into an engrossing story of Japan’s underworld, loyalty, and courage while simultaneously seeming to undermine that story with endless dancing, karaoke, and odd side quests. This dance between tones gives the game a captivating sense of reality, with drama and silliness developing a world where anything can happen, and where you take time to help your neighbors no matter how difficult your life is. It’s heart-wrenchingly sad, gut-bustingly funny, and endlessly fun to play no matter what you do.
Bury Me, My Love uses texting to show the humanity of the immigrant’s journey, and the fear one feels of being the one who stayed home. Told through texts and images, it tells the story of a woman fleeing her country while her husband stays behind, showing their touching relationships through simple messages sent to each other.
And when these messages go quiet after the wife takes a boat with some unsavory characters, or meets a stranger on her path, or any one of the decisions players can suggest to her, it demonstrates the gut-wrenching fear one would feel watching a loved one take this trip. Or the despair that comes when she never responds ever again.
Bunnies suffering endless tragedies and dealing with them in absurd ways is disarmingly humorous, but behind that lies some deep thought on how people deal with pain, how they navigate lives where existence throws endlessly cruel curve balls, and how sometimes the only thing anyone can do is laugh to escape it all. By taking control from the player almost entirely, it mimics the chaotic, uncontrollable nature of life, but still gives us hope to grasp onto in the form of laughter.
While drowning in death, personal loss, and destruction, showing beings at their lowest, it shows that humor can still save us, and that by laughing at what hopes to crush us, we may find the strength to move on. A powerful game for bleak times.
- Rain World
- Bleed 2
- Double Dragon IV
- She Remembered Caterpillars
- Crowtel Renovations
- Tokyo Dark
- Fight N’ Rage
Sato (Follow on Twitter)
I’ve always had trouble coming up with a personal favorites list because my preference tends to change left and right. One day I might prefer something dark while the next I might want something with more pop to it. These are all companions that took me on different journeys in 2017 and I hope some of you share similar sentiments, as they deserve all the love in the world.
5. Persona 5
At the start of 2017 I was certain that Persona 5 would be my top title of the year, and I’m sure it would’ve been had I played it any other year. The style points alone were enough to have this game be a part of my top-5. The doubt was never there but the game delivered everything I’ve come to expect from a Persona game with a delightful “Phantom Thieves” theme, but most important of all—it made me care about its characters.
4. NieR: Automata
Okay, now that that’s out of the way:
There’s not enough good things I can say about NieR: Automata. It definitely made me think and feel more than any other title on this list. It’s not often that a video game actually make me think about life and NieR: Automata will always be a special title for that reason. The gameplay itself was one of the more satisfying experiences of games I played in 2017 and it makes me excited to think about what Yoko Taro as well as PlatinumGames will come up with next (hopefully another one together).
3. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey could’ve easily been my #2 and I would’ve put them both as a tie but Breath of the Wild got the edge as it was a launch title and left a bigger impression on me from the start. However, as for Super Mario Odyssey, it is nothing short of spectacular. I’ve longed for an open-world Mario game since dreaming of all kinds of possibilities with Super Mario 64 and it feels like the dream has finally come true after all these years. Similar to Breath of the Wild, it made me appreciate all the little details that Nintendo put into its making.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This is the game that made me go from cautiously optimistic to over-optimistic about the Nintendo Switch. I know that games like Breath of the Wild don’t grow on trees, but it gave me a taste of what we might get to see in the future. I’ve enjoyed The Legend of Zelda since the NES games, but I never considered myself a huge Zelda fan. On the other hand, I’m a huge Dragon Quest fan so the top pick was a no-brainer for me, but if I had to put all that aside, Breath of the Wild would be my #1. It’s been a very long time since I last explored every nook and cranny in a video game. It’s also been a while since I last played a game that made me feel like a kid again while finding the silliest ways to take out enemies.
1. Dragon Quest XI
The Dragon Quest game I’ve been waiting for since Dragon Quest VIII about two generations ago and it delivered everything I was looking for and then some. With the superb visuals on the PS4 version and the traditional style on the 3DS version it feels a bit unfair putting it on here considering that I look at it as two titles, but it was personally my favorite that released in 2017. I don’t want to spoil it too much as I’ll be writing a piece on it in the near future, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what you guys think of the game when it comes out. Please be excited.
Tell us what are your favorite games of 2017 in the comments!