2017 is here and I wish all my readers a happy new year! 2016 was a blast in terms of video games and I will write up something about my personal favorites of 2016 in a later post, but since this year looks even better than last year I wanted to list my personal Top-10 Most Wanted games of 2017 first. Please note that I am only including games that have officially mentioned a 2017 release in any region, so games like Final Fantasy VII Remake or Kingdom Hearts III won’t be on this list.
10) Yakuza 0
SEGA is giving Yakuza another chance in the West and Yakuza 0 seems to be the best entry for newcomers to the series to jump in, since it serves as a prequel and knowledge of the older games is not required to enjoy the game to its fullest. It’s the first game that was developed for the PS4 (although a PS3 version was released in Japan) and it shows since the game looks great and 80’s Japan has never looked better before. The combat system has also been updated and allows for a more individual combat style than in previous installments. Yakuza is a weird series that combines serious crime drama with over the top gameplay, but it is this strange mixture that makes these games so much fun.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: January 24th
9) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Many people were sceptic when Nintendo announced that they won’t show anything during E3 except for the new Zelda and I was baffled by the reaction, since usually Zelda alone generates so much hype that nothing else is necessary. In the end my predictions came true and Nintendo’s E3 showing was a massive success with many people calling Zelda the game of the show after having seen hours of gameplay. Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks amazing and with this installment the series will finally make the jump to a true Open World game. The combat looks more dynamic than ever before and Link seems to have endless possibilities of interacting with the huge game world. With Nintendo’s track record there is no doubt that this game will be brilliant and a system seller for the new Nintendo Switch.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Wii U
Release Date: 2017 TBA
8) Horizon: Zero Dawn
Next to The Last of Us: Part II, Horizon: Zero Dawn is my Most Wanted First Party title from Sony at the moment. It features a really cool designed female protagonist and what’s not to love about the setting including robot dinosaurs? Since Guerilla is developing this game there is no doubt that this game will be one of the most graphically impressive game in 2017, especially on PS4 Pro. At the same time, Guerilla has kind of a shaky reputation in terms of overall game quality, but from what we’ve seen in past trailers and presentations the gameplay looks good and the combat looks fluid and dynamic, which is rare for Western Open-World games. There are still questions in terms of how the quest structure will be and whether the story and writing will be good, but apart from that, I am optimistic that this game will turn out to be good.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer/Publisher: Guerilla Games/Sony
Release Date: February 28th (NA); March 1st (EU)
7) Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
Although I currently don’t have an active FFXIV subscription, there is no doubt that I will jump back into the game once the next expansion called Stormblood has been released. I have been playing less the last few months because of lack of time and the lack of a raid group for the Alexander raid, but I still jump back in everytime a new content patch comes out. Stormblood will lead the Warrior of Light to the lands of Ala Mhigo and once again add tons of content to this already vast game. The level cap will be raised to Level 70 and at least 2 new jobs will be playable. Red Mage has already been confirmed as one of the new jobs and Blue Mage and Samurai are currently the other rumoured additions. Stormblood will also feature a new 24 man raid storyline that is called “Return to Ivalice” with no other than FF Tactics and FFXII Director Yasumi Matsuno designing it. There is still some info that they are holding back and I can’t wait to see the next class unveil live during the European Fan Fest in February!
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC (Win, Mac)
Developer/Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: June 20th
6) Tokyo Xanadu
Ever since this game was announced in Japan, I have been waiting for it to be localized for the West. To my surprise it was not XSEED who picked this up, but Aksys games instead, who will also port this game to the PC. Tokyo Xanadu is an Action-RPG that combines elements of the Ys and the Legend of Heroes-series and is set in a modern setting unlike former Xanadu titles. Fans have seen it as an attempt to reach fans of the Persona franchise which does not have to be a bad thing if you ask me. The gameplay looks great and the soundtrack is good as well as is typical for Falcom games. An enhanced PS4 Version called Tokyo Xanadu eX+ has recently been released in Japan, but is unfortunately not part of the localization agreement. Those who want to play the definite version of the game might want to wait and see whether the PS4 version makes it to the West as well, but I personally will probably just play it on the Vita.
Platforms: PlayStation Vita, PC
Developer/Publisher: Nihon Falcom/Aksys Games
Release Date: Q1/Q2 2017
5) Tales of Berseria
Half a year ago this game would not have made my list since I was so disappointed with Xillia 2 and Zestiria and felt that I needed a break from this series. The demo and the positive reactions from Japanese and import gamers alike have successfully changed my mindset though and I am more than willing to give this game a chance. As far as I’ve heard the game features a more serious story again with a well written cast and much better auxilliary game systems than the 2 predecessors. The only aspect that is worse than Zestiria is apparently the music, since Sakuraba is the sole composer for this title again. It’s a shame that Go Shiina only gets to score those Tales game that are seen as rather bad…
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Developer/Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: January 24th (NA); January 27th (EU)
The alpha and beta that Koei Tecmo released this year convinced me that this game is going to be a winner. I spent more time on these demos than on other full games and had a tremendously good time. The gameplay is obviously heavily influenced by From Software’s Souls Series, but at the same time it is different enough to not feel like a straight-up clone. The Japanese setting is incredibly cool and reminds me of Onimusha, while more complex combo mechanics and stamine management remind me of Ninja Gaiden. It’s a very interesting mix and the game even seems to have a more traditional straight-forward narrative compared to the Souls games. I also like the decision to let the Western characters speak English, while the Japanese ones speak Japanese in order to increase the immersion. I am super excited to play this game and hope that it will be a return to form for Team Ninja after all this time!
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer/Publisher: Team Ninja/Sony
Release Date: February 7th (NA); February 8th (EU)
3) The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd
Wait a second… a PC-exclusive on my list? Yes, and that game is none other than the 3rd chapter in the amazing Trails in the Sky Arc of the Legend of Heroes series. Now that I have a decent PC, I can actually look forward to playing all the PC games without any technical issues. Since this game was originally released in 2007, it could probably run on a toaster, but people who know me know, that even those were problematic on my old laptop. Trails in the Sky 3rd follows the mysterious priest Kevin who was already a party member in SC and will feature lots of familiar characters from the first two games as well. I haven’t looked up more about the plot to be honest since I am afraid of spoilers, but after enjoying both FC and SC immensely, I don’t need to know more at this point. Although I am disappointed that I won’t be able to continue this series on my Vita, I can totally understand why it is not viable to bring the PSP version over as well. It will be annoying to jump over to the PC for this one, but if this is necessary to enjoy a Falcom game, I will.
Developer/Publisher: Nihon Falcom/XSEED Games
Release Date: 2017 TBA
2) Nier: Automata
Nier: Automata is shaping up to become the game that all fans of the original Nier were hoping for when this sequel was announced during E3 2015. The demo that was released on PSN only recently, convinced me that the fast-paced action gameplay feels just as good as it looks like. The combat is fast and excting, the animations are tremendously fluid, the music is great and I really like the character designs thus far. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the game’s story, but I don’t think we have to worry too much about it since Yoko Taro will know what he is doing! This game might become one of the best next year and I already feel that this game has gained way more attention than the first Nier (that you all should play nonetheless!)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Developer/Publisher: Platinum Games & Square Enix/Square Enix
Release Date: March 7th (NA); March 10th (EU) [Both dates only for the PS4 version]
1) Persona 5
I have stopped counting, but this might be the 3rd time that Persona 5 takes the #1 spot in my Most Wanted list, but in 4 months the wait will finally be over. I think at this point I have said everything about this game that needs to be said. After the amazing Persona 4 Golden, expectations are through the roof and according to import impressions, Atlus actually managed to meet those expectations. I can’t even say that I am surprised about that, since all trailers looked amazing and the game just oozes style. If there is anything to complain about this game it’s the way the localization has been handled. It’s a shame that Western gamers have to wait for over half a year for the English version and dodge all the spoilers that are out there already just because Atlus JP didn’t plan ahead. At least we will finally get to enjoy the original Japanese VA in a Persona game thanks to the inclusion of Dual-Audio!
PSA: Don’t read comments below the YT Video because of SPOILERS
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
Developer/Publisher: Atlus/Atlus USA (NA); Deep Silver (EU)
Release Date: April 4th