Joel Ramirez’s Top 5 Games of 2017

This year is finally coming to a close and I could not be happier to move on to a brand new one. However, 2017 was not all bad. We had one of the best years in video games ever! Nintendo returned to glory with the Switch, PlayStation continued to kill it with exclusives, and Xbox, they launched the most powerful console on the market. PC had one of the biggest hits of the year with PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Even though I managed to spend most of my time with games from 2016, I did grab a handful of goodies from 2017.

Here are my Top 5 Games of 2017!

Injustice 2

5. Injustice 2

I have never been much of a fan of fighting games. Sure, I enjoy the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games and some Dragon Ball Z fighting games but that’s because I like the anime. Injustice 2 was an impulse buy for me and hot damn was it a good one. The story, although at times weird, kept me entertained. Seeing characters like Superman go so dark and Harley Quinn be one of the good guys kept me smiling. The fighting mechanics are great and easy to pick up. Mastering is when things get challenging. One of the biggest things that made me really love this game was the fact that my non-gaming wife played through the campaign with me. She kicked a ton of ass and at times beat down foes I couldn’t. Last but not least, the graphics. They are jaw dropping and possibly one of the best looking games to release this year.

Nex Machina

4. Nex Machina

When Housemarque releases a game, especially a twin stick shooter, you pay attention and get ready for some action. Super Stardust Ultra, Resogun, and Alienation are great arcade shooters by Housemarque, so of course I was anticipating great things from Nex Machina. Nex Machina is an ultra-fast, chaotic twin stick shooter that goes from 0 to 100 really quickly. Enemies fill up the screen and bullets are flying all over the place. You dodge, roll, and use shields to keep yourself from dying and all done to an awesome techno soundtrack. The difficulty ramps up with every stage and boss battle, and I made some seriously weird noises while playing this game due to the near death moments when there were 500 bullets showering the screen.

NBA 2K18

3. NBA 2K18

This one here is a tricky one. It also made my mental list of games that disappointed me in 2017. If there is one thing that NBA 2K18 did right this year was keeping the amazing gameplay mechanics and graphics of the previous years. Although the story parts of MyGM were really lame, the managing systems and leveling of your GM is quite addicting. This game instantly got points for updating the haircuts of my Lakers players because Lonzo Ball does not have Sideshow Bob hair anymore.

It dropped major points with the gross reduction in how quickly you earn currency in the game and the lack of customization options for your character. The point of all of this is to push you towards spending real world money on the game. Not to mention the horrible server issues with MyTeam which is the main game mode I play. Hopefully, as time goes on they will fix these issues, but even with all of those cons, I still find myself playing this game on a daily basis. Just one more game, I need that record to be better than the Clippers record.

Horizon Zero Dawn

2. Horizon Zero Dawn

As a long time PlayStation fan, I greatly enjoyed Killzone the series. Guerilla Games always had my money when they released games because they were good. When it came to Horizon Zero Dawn, I was seriously nervous for them. This was such a huge step away from what they were known for, still I was excited too. They delivered a great adventure with polished gameplay, a great story, and beautiful graphics. There is nothing more thrilling than fighting your first Thunderjaw, and even more exhilarating when you are battling two of them. The combat was insanely fun and epic. I had a blast using different strategies to take down different enemies and complete challenges. I got the freaking Platinum Trophy for this game. One of my six Platinum trophies and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Aloy was a great character to play as, and seeing the world through her eyes made you want to find out more about it. The only hang up I had was my connection to her. I found her dialogue stiff and at times it was painful to listen to. I found myself not paying much attention to the side quests and some of the dialogue between her and other NPCs. That doesn’t take away from the amazing adventure Aloy and I went on and conquered. I am extremely proud of Guerilla Games and cannot wait for what is next.

Persona 5 Ann

1. Persona 5

Finally we made it to the top dog. Persona 5 is my top game of 2017. As a huge anime consumer, this game instantly hooked me. Music and story usually don’t matter to me as long as gameplay is fun. This was completely different with Persona 5. Everything about this game I love. The amazing soundtrack, the fun and challenging gameplay, and the intense storylines made this the most over the top anime “show” of the year. The freaking stylized menus and after battle transition screens are so damn beautiful. Did I mention the music!?

Persona 4 Golden once held the trophy for my favorite role playing game of all time, but Persona 5 has definitely taken that title. The cast of characters were so different and great to become familiar with. I wanted to go to school and figure out the best way to spend my time. I enjoyed the side quests and reading as much information in the game as I could. This is very unusual. I don’t like reading in games, but I could not get enough of the dialogue in this game. I bet it had to be the fact that I watch anime with sub titles and since this game is very anime-ish, it just felt natural. Bravo, Atlus! Bravo!