2017 looks like it will be a big year for gaming. Not only will we see a brand-new console, the Nintendo Switch, we’ll also see lots of new games coming out over the course of the year. These are the releases we think you should keep an eye on this coming year.
Note: All release dates are either North American or worldwide. Some games have only tentative dates, and could possibly be delayed until 2018, but we’ll be optimistic in this article. For the most part, the games with the confirmed release date are due to come out in the beginning of the year, meaning you won’t have to wait long before getting your hands on some of these games.
Big Franchise Releases
These are the big names, the AAA games, that will make the biggest splash.
Mass Effect Andromeda (Spring 2017 on PC, PS4, XB1)
The continuation of the critically-acclaimed Mass Effect series is coming out early next year. Andromeda side-steps the ending of Mass Effect 3 by sending twin protagonists Female Ryder and Male Ryder to the Andromeda galaxy. There they must be ambassadors of humanity and discover all the wonders and perils of this very alien frontier.
Andromeda is a third-person RPG with romance and moral choice just like previous games in the series. At the time of writing, the release date is just Spring 2017, and the game has been delayed from the end of this year, so there is a chance it could come out slightly later than spring. But we’re all hoping we’ll be able to jump back into the world of Mass Effect.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (January 24 on PC, PS4, XB1)
The latest installment in the venerable Resident Evil franchise has been making waves due to its departure from several of its series norms. If RE7 is similar to its demo and promotional material, it’s a first-person survival horror experience similar to Outlast.
The previous two games in the series, Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil Revelations 2 have both been more like third-person action games than horror, so this is a return to RE’s roots. Presumably, if this is a first-person game, it might even have VR support.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, Nintendo Switch)
If you’re a Nintendo fan of any kind (or you’re waiting on the new Nintendo Switch), then you’re probably waiting with baited breath for Breath of the Wild. The next big game in the Legend of Zelda franchise comes after a lot of remasters and rereleases, and it’s nice to finally see a new release.
As yet, there is no specific release date for Breath of the Wild. It’s just coming out in 2017. We can hope that it’ll be a launch title for the Switch (which could certainly use the boost in marketing that a Zelda title brings).
New Original Releases
Whether they’re the beginning of new series or just a great standalone idea, the following games are new IPs that no one has ever played before.
Horizon Zero Dawn (February 28 on PS4)
Footage for this PS4 exclusive has been shown off at the last few E3 shows, and image of its flame-haired warrior protagonist battling what appear to be scrap metal dinosaurs stuck in the minds of gamers.
Horizon is a third-person RPG set in an indeterminate post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Footage from E3 has ranged from sweeping shots showing off the graphics of the game to the combat mechanics. It’s being made by the people behind the Killzone series.
For Honor (February 14 on PC, PS4, XB1)
You might remember For Honor from the amazing gameplay demo at E3 2015. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a massive hack-and-slash fantasy game inspired by real medieval warfare. If you’ve played Dynasty Warriors, then you’ll recognize some of the gameplay elements.
You play as one of three factions, roughly analogous to Vikings, knights, and samurai. There are multiple warrior classes and weapons, and you use them in both large battles and one-on-one duels. There will be multiple multiplayer modes and arenas available on launch.
Scalebound (PC, XB1)
The people over at Platinum Games must be very busy, between this and the Nier sequel (see below). The star of this action RPG is Drew, a human bonded with a massive dragon who acts as a companion helper while they roam a world filled with monsters.
The art and setting is what sets Scalebound apart, as it appears to be a fantasy swords-and-dragons world but Drew listens to music on a massive pair of headphones and wears blue jeans. Hopefully this combination of genres will be as unique and interesting as it looks when it eventually comes out sometime in 2017.
Games You Might Not Know About
When it comes to game releases, the biggest games are the usually the ones with the most prominent ad campaigns. Some games fly under the radar until they’re released, but deserve just as much of your play time. Here are some relatively hidden gems coming out in 2017.
Nier Automata (March 7 on PS4)
This is the sequel to the cult classic Nier, itself a spin-off of the Drakengard series. It is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where humanity has retreated to the moon under threat of extinction at the hands of aliens with mechs. Eight thousand years after the first game, humans must now rely on androids (one of whom is the player character) to reclaim Earth.
It’s being developed by Platinum Games, the studio behind action games such as Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, so it looks to be another fast-paced action game. Fans of the original Nier will already know about this game, but Automata looks like it will be worth playing on its own merits, even for newcomers.
Gravity Rush 2 (January 18 on PS4)
Gravity Rush was underrated in its day. After protagonist Kat made an appearance in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, hope sprang of a sequel or a remaster of the original. Now fans of the series have both.
The first game’s gravity manipulation mechanic is expanded upon with two new modes. Supposedly Gravity Rush 2 will have a larger map and a greater amount of content than its predecessor. Hopefully its current release date during the quiet period in January will earn it the attention it deserves.
Ghost Recon Wildlands (March 7 on PC, XB1, PS4)
Between The Division, Rainbow Six Siege, and the latest Ghost Recon game, we’re in a Tom Clancy-branded renaissance. But the latter has not gotten quite as much press as the previous two. That will probably change in the next couple of months as the release date gets closer.
Wildlands will take the tactical shooter action to an open-world for the first time. There’s no telling if this will follow the former games in the Ghost Recon series closely, but the equipment of Wildlands looks more ordinary than the futuristic stuff in the last few games.
Remakes & Re-Releases
Just like the last several years that have come before it, 2017 has its fair share of rereleased game titles. Here are a few you should consider picking up.
Yakuza 0 (January 24 on PS4)
The Yakuza series is relatively unknown outside of Japan. As such, the rest of the world will usually only see releases of these games long after they’ve been released in Japan. Yakuza 5 wasn’t released in the U.S. until three years after its original debut. And finally the waiting is over on Yakuza 0.
This is an open-world crime game inspired by Japanese crime films (as evidenced by the title), and this one takes place in the 1980s. If you like action games or fighting games, the fisticuffs of Yakuza 0 will definitely appeal to you
Kingdom Hearts 1.5, 2.5 (March 28 on PS4), 2.8 (January 24 on PS4)
Up until this point, the Kingdom Hearts series has been scattered across multiple platforms and console generations. If you wanted to play all of the games in their original state, you’d need a PS2, a GameBoy Advance, a PSP, a Nintendo DS, and a 3DS. While emulators are available for all of these devices, not everyone has the knowledge or patience to set even one up, let alone that many.
But now Kingdom Hearts fans have it easier. Finally, almost all of the games will be playable on the PS4 with these console remakes. There’s even some new content in 2.8, meaning that even veteran players will get something out of these remakes.
The following games are all due to be released in 2017. Hopefully we’ll be able to see all of these games successfully released this coming year!
- Ace Combat 7 — The next installment in the combat flight sim series.
- Agony — A survival horror game set within the depths of hell.
- Cuphead — An indie platformer with graphics like 1930s cartoons.
- Divinity: Original Sin 2 — A sequel to the acclaimed RPG.
- Injustice 2 — A sequel to the DC Universe fighting game we reviewed on mobile.
- Metal Gear Survive — A zombified spin-off of the acclaimed Metal Gear franchise.
- Outlast 2 — The sequel to the terrifying survival horror hit.
- PaRappa the Rapper Remastered — The return of everyone’s favorite rapping dog.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 — The sequel to the greatest Western in gaming.
- Sea of Thieves — A pirate game from Rare with a customizable story.
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole — Sequel to one of the funniest games ever.
- Star Citizen — A notoriously-delayed space sim with massive promised content.
- Tekken 7 — The latest in the popular fighting games series.
- Yooka-Laylee — The indie spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.
What games are you looking forward to in 2017? Did we leave any out of this list? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Horizon: Zero Dawn via Sony