We’ve survived the hellscape of 2016. But we also played a ton of really great games. Meanwhile 2017 will give us a new Nintendo console, new Zelda, new Mass Effect, and a ton of big Kickstarter indie games I’ve been looking forward to for years.
This is my annual Top Ten Most Anticipated Games List. If you’ve been reading my Top Ten Game of the Year lists you know how fun it is to compare these predictions at the end of the year. I predict that I’ll be much more accurate this year – since literally half the games on this list carried over from last year’s Most Anticipated list!
10) South Park: The Fractured But Whole
I’m a bit of a lapsed South Park fan lately (I missed the most recent season in its entirety). But I loved the light RPG that Obsidian crafted a few years ago. It perfectly encapsulated everything great about the show, from the writing to the animation. I’m so on board for a fun sequel, though a bit more cautious with a different dev team.
9) Battle Chasers: NightWar
You’ll see several high-profile Kickstarter games on this list, and Battle Chasers: NightWar is one of them. I know nothing about the comic book this JPRG-style adventure is based on. I backed purely on the amazing art-style, intriguing concept, and the dev team behind my beloved Darksiders games. I don’t know much about the game, other than I want to play it.
SuperGiant Games have become one of my favorite indie developers. Bastion and Transistor have been two of my favorite games of their respective years, and Pyre looks to continue their brand of excellence in story-telling and gameplay. Pyre is their first step into a more party-based RPG, and features a unique Underworld setting and…sports-type combat? It’s SuperGiant, so I’m on board.
7) Torment: Tides of Numenera
Last year we had a brief dearth of quality RPGs, thanks to some big names getting pushed to 2017. Torment: Tides of Numenera is the next big RPG from Wasteland 2 devs InXile, and may be the biggest one of the recently revitalized cRPG. Torment means a lot to a lot of people and while I’m not quite as obsessed with the original 1999 RPG, I am very much looking forward to this spiritual follow-up.
6) Divinity: Original Sin 2
I love my isometric cRPGs and had enjoyed Divinity ARPGs in the past, but nothing prepared me for how much I adored Divinity: Original Sin – my #1 Game of 2014. It had the perfect blend of tactical combat, witty writing, and an incredibly meaty world. This follow-up looks to build upon everything great and add even more awesomeness. My only worry is that the original was 80 hours long!
5) Cosmic Star Heroine
Cosmic Star Heroine has graced my Most Anticipated List for several years now, with good cause. Zeboyd has carved out a successful and popular niche creating budget JRPG games with clever combat mechanics and humorous, self-aware writing. Cosmic Star Heroine is a huge next step, a full on Chrono Trigger-style 16-bit JRPG with an awesome sci-fi setting.
4) State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 is the first game on this list I’m not entirely confident we’ll see in 2017. While it was announced in 2016, all we have so far is that same teaser trailer. State of Decay was my #2 Game of the Year of 2013, a fantastic open-world zombie game that combined GTA-style exploration with permadeath and survivor and base management. It worked incredibly well and the DLCs were all fantastic. Fans begged for a multiplayer follow-up and that’s exactly what we’re getting, and I couldn’t be happier.
3) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This will be the third year that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has graced my Most Anticipated list. I have not been enamored by recent 3D Zelda games – I barely scratched the surface of Twilight Princess, and skipped Skyward Sword completely.
But you’d have to be crazy not to be impressed with what Nintendo’s showing and preaching here. This looks like a true evolution of the classic formula – a grand open world adventure with looting and crafting. It’ll be one of the biggest games of the year regardless of quality, so let’s all hope it’s as good as it deserves to be.
2) Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption is one of the few titles in the last decade that could grace a theoretical list of my all-time favorite games. “Grand Theft Auto as a Western” is a concept I wanted the second I started playing GTA 3, and we finally got that in 2010.
In addition to an amazing single-player campaign, I was completely captivated by the multiplayer. My friends and I raced horses, holed up in bar shootouts and robbed banks for the better part of a year. RDR 2 has been a long time coming, and it looks like it’ll be the game to finally force me to purchase either a PS4 or XBO (stupid non-PC version).
1) Mass Effect: Andromeda
It’s Mass Effect. It’s one of the greatest modern gaming series. And we’re finally getting out from under the shadow of Commander Shepard, the Reapers, and an ending to a trilogy that still sparks emotional outrage. While I’m one of the few that still think the original is the best, I adore the entire series.
I’m totally on board with the Frostbite engine and Dragon Age: Inquisition gameplay. BioWare has settled into a nice groove of AAA production quality and a great focus on memorable characters. I can’t wait to jump back into one of my favorite sci-fi universes again.