2016 is said and done from a gaming perspective, but don’t fret – there are enough great titles coming out in 2017 to put your New Year’s resolution of getting outside more or spending less on games in some serious jeopardy.
The rules for this list are simple: It’s 10 games that are planned to come out in 2017 (unless they get delayed for some reason) that we are excited for.
Our first eagerly-anticipated release is less than a month away, so let's not waste any more time and start off with:
Resident Evil 7
The latest entry in Capcom’s survival horror series is a wild departure from its predecessors, but in the end that only makes us all the more excited to get our hands on it.
Foregoing the guns-blazing action mentality that had come to define the series for better or worse in the past few years, Resident Evil VII comes at us with a much more subdued – but by no means less scary – take on the formula.
A first-person horror adventure trapped in a musty, rotted house with a family of musty, rotted maniacs? Sign us up!
If the demo that came out after its E3 2016 reveal was any indication, Capcom’s zombie-killing franchise may be coming back in style in a big way when it releases January 24.
Horizon Zero Dawn
The newest project from Killzone series developer Guerrilla Games, Horizon Zero Dawn’s concept is far more unique and engrossing than the forgettable mashup of words that make up its title. (Seriously, we challenge you to leave us a more generic-sounding title in the comments below.)
Thankfully, Horizon's premise is far more original. An action adventure set in a world overrun with robotic fauna, Horizon casts you as a human hunter named Aloy who uses a mix of stealth, ranged combat, and a little improvisation to fell inorganic beasts and survive in the mecha-wilderness.
Not just a unique take on an open world, Horizon is also crazy pretty. Guerrilla is really pushing what the PS4’s hardware can do from a graphical level, which only makes us all the more excited to play it when it’s expected to hit stores starting late February.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Given how the original Mass Effect trilogy wrapped up the epic tale of Commander Shepard’s battle for all sentient life with a nice lil’ bow, the next installment in BioWare’s sci-fi series has us intrigued.
With essentially a blank slate to tell a new story, Andromeda is set far in the future, after the events of Mass Effects 1 through 3.
In an expansive, open-world environment, players are tasked with exploring new planets with the aid of your own ship, the Tempest, and a customizable six-wheeled space whip called the Nomad.
Of course, things don't always go according to plan in the more roguish parts of the galaxy, so you'll also be bringing your allies, laser weaponry, biotic powers, and other abilities both familiar and new to Mass Effect fans along for the ride.
Given that it’s our first real dip back into the ME universe following the legacy of Commander Shepard, we’re excited to dust off our old N7 armor and see where BioWare takes its world(s) next with Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Red Dead Redemption 2
One of the few sequels that can get us excited over an announcement of an announcement, Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 takes us back to the untamed, open-world expanses of the Wild West.
The team over at Rockstar was kind enough to give the internet a passing glimpse of what to expect from their next stint in the saddle, showing off gorgeous stretches of untamed prairie, pristine forests, not-so-pristine settlements, and of course – a posse of armed men on horseback seemingly up to no good.
Rockstar has promised little of the next Red Dead installment, save for what the company calls “the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience,” leaving us desperate for details and counting down what seem like endless days before RDR2’s planned Fall 2017 release.
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite
Announced during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event earlier this year, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite looks to continue the unlikely crossover series’ ability to turn us into 11-year-olds that argue with friends over who would win in a fight between Mega Man and Iron Man.
Oh wait, and Captain Marvel is now showing up to fight, too? Sweet! Given how esoteric the MvC series gets when picking representatives from each company to fight for each other, we’re already pumped for all the potential characters we could be playing as next year.
Will Viewtiful Joe make a reappearance? Does Disney’s weird business grudge with Fox mean no more X-Men? Can we team up Black Panther with Leon S. Kennedy?
In short, prepare to see a lot of nerding out from the internet when the roster reveals start flooding in later next year for this 2-on-2 fighting game extravaganza.
Marvel ain’t the only superhero property throwing down this coming year.
NetherRealm Studios’ 2013 brawler Injustice: Gods Among Us is getting a sequel in 2017, returning to the DC Comics universe to knock some serious heads.
With classic standbys like Batman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman going toe-to-toe with new additions like Gorilla Grodd and Blue Beetle, Injustice 2 is looking to be a from-the-pages slugfest both fighting game fans and comic aficionados alike can really enjoy.
To that end, Injustice 2’s tagline of “Every Battle Defines You” isn’t just a dramatic piece of marketing text. Each time you step into the ring with one of the DC’s finest, that character walks away with new loot that enhances their skills, traits, or overall ability until you have a suped-up Superman tuned exactly to your tastes.
From the ashes of the cancelled-before-its-time Prey 2, Arkane Studio’s revival of the Prey franchise is, well, some interesting branding.
With little direct resemblance to the original Prey to be a reboot, nor anything really to do with its scrapped sequel, the upcoming Prey is more of a re-imagining of the series’s original concept – though we question what constitutes a series when only one entry ever saw the light of day, but we digress.
What now stands in Prey 2’s place is something wild, intriguing, and plenty ambitious enough to be whatever it wants to call itself.
Aboard a research vessel floating in space to study a mysterious alien life form, players will have to use their wits and resources to survive as a breach puts them – and possibly the entire Earth – in danger.
Our impressions so far give us a “sci-fi BioShock” vibe (yes, we know what System Shock is, but you get what we mean), and given Arkane’s pedigree thus far with the Dishonored series, we’re ready to prey on Prey when it comes out in Q1-Q2 2017.
The next major entry in Atlus’ Persona series – which is itself a spin-off of the long-running Shin Megami Tensei series that became so beloved that it's essentially a separate series – Persona 5 is the next big JRPG to watch out for in a post-Final Fantasy XV world.
For the many of you out there who aren’t obsessed with Persona 4 and are excited on the namesake alone, Persona 5 is a role-playing game with social sim elements.
Players take on the double-life roles of a high school student juggling the usual everyday hassles of school and socializing with the not-so-everyday hassles of fighting demons with your powerful inner manifestations, called Personas.
– and yes, technically Persona 5 did come out in Japan this past September, but we’re specifically talking about the worldwide release that’s pushed back all the way to April 4, 2017. Surely it won’t be delayed again after that, right? Right?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Look, if you’re doing a list of anticipated games for a year that a new Legend of Zelda game is expected to come out, you're almost definitely required by law to add it to that list.
The next big step for the storied Nintendo franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes the adventuring shenanigans of Link and blows it up onto a sprawling open world where players can explore at their leisure and daring.
Even the series’ trademark dungeons can be played in whatever order the player wants, making Breath of the Wild a game that is just as much about maintaining the long-standing series status quo as it is breaking it.
While previous entries in the Legend of Zelda series like Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker have played with the concept of a large explorable map, Breath of the Wild is taking things to ambitious new heights.
We can’t wait to see how it turns out when it hits the Wii U and Nintendo Switch this coming year, which reminds us…
Whatever the heck is launching on the Switch
…as it nears its March launch window, Nintendo’s shiny new Switch is due for some games.
While we can only really say with confidence that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is planned for the new console at this point in time, we can only help but wonder what else could be coming to the handheld/console hybrid.
Will there be a new Mario game? Will Splatoon get a sequel? Are the rumors of a console version of Pokemon Sun & Moon true? Will other mobile-friendly Nintendo franchises like Fire Emblem or Advance Wars make an appearance?
It’s all speculation at this point, but Nintendo plans to give us the hard deets in January, which should include the Switch's launch line-up.
In the meantime, however, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope Nintendo has a liiiittle more to offer this coming spring besides a possibly late-to-the-party Zelda game and 2011's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
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