2017 in Review: Video Games

It’s that wonderful time of the year when publications reflect on the past year’s entertainment releases and decide which is the best of the best. Members of The DailyER and Seeds Entertainment voted for their top video games of 2017, which turned out to be a great year for Nintendo.

1.) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Available for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U, this latest entry in the storied “Zelda” franchise is one of the most ambitious open-world games ever created. “Breath of the Wild,” which was finally released in March after years of delays, gives the player total freedom to explore a massively detailed landscape in a way no “Zelda” game has done before. Link, the protagonist, awakens from a 100-year sleep and must save Hyrule from the evil Calamity Ganon, but this mission can be put on hold to climb mountains, swim, hang-glide, battle monsters, solve puzzles, visit cities, cook food or just mess around with the game’s realistic physics engine. The feeling of discovery and wonder is unlike that of any other game, making “Breath of the Wild” an essential title for both longtime “Zelda” fans and new players.

2.) Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo has been a video game powerhouse since the 1980’s thanks to the “Super Mario Bros.” franchise that saved the video game industry in 1985. Almost every title featuring the Italian plumber has been a success, and “Super Mario Odyssey” is no different. Through returning to the open-world environment seen in “Super Mario” games from the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube, and bringing Mario’s hat to life, “Super Mario Odyssey” provides an entertaining mechanic in a sandbox environment. Also, Mario finally goes shirtless. Overall it’s a “Super Mario” game, which has a proven good reputation, and it is one of the reasons that the Nintendo Switch is a must-own console.

3.) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

“Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” for the Nintendo Switch is an updated version of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8, and while none of the changes are exactly groundbreaking, the tweaks and improvements make it the best Mario Kart title to date. The breathtaking racetracks from the Wii U version are all here, and a much-improved Battle Mode with new courses has been added. If you already own the original “Mario Kart 8,” this probably isn’t worth buying at full price, but for everyone else it’s a thrilling four-player party game with plenty of replay value.

4.) Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

“Animal Crossing Pocket Camp” was pretty fortunate to have its well-received release only a week before the voting for these awards. A sample of a console “Animal Crossing” game, “Pocket Camp” still manages to pull out the crucial elements of an innocent adventure game to make an addicting time-passer. Collect fruit, fish and bugs to trade for money and supplies to decorate your camp space and camper; make friends with animals and dress up your avatar – all of the essential elements for an entertaining app.

5.) Cuphead

“Cuphead” is a run and gun indie game developed by brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. In the game, you play as the titular character, fighting your way through many bosses in order to repay your debt to the devil. Notorious for its unforgiving difficulty, “Cuphead” has been widely received as one of the most difficult games of all-time. While frustrating at times, the game is absolutely beautiful. Entirely hand-drawn in the style of 1930s cartoons, “Cuphead” stands out by today’s standards, where most animation is done digitally. That, along with the fact that “Cuphead” was developed by a team of less than ten, makes this an impressive contender for game of the year.