Games have always been a form of escape. Whether it be a casual romp through a jungle made out of candy or an epic adventure across multiple kingdoms, one thing remains the same—a good game will immerse you in its own unique world. And as we enter the peak of this gaming generation, there are a ton of games out there that can, and will fulfill any in-game cravings you may have. Games are where you can truly be whoever you want to be.
So if you’re looking for a quick departure from reality, here’s a list of games released in 2017 that you should play if…
You’ve secretly wanted to live as a Japanese high school student...
Platform(s): PS3, PS4
On the surface, Persona 5, is a life simulator. You step into the shoes of a high school student in Tokyo: studying, taking on part-time jobs, and interacting with your classmates. But anyone who has played a game in the Persona series before knows that your life in high school is far from normal. In the middle of prepping for exams, you have to take on adventures and use your character’s special abilities (different expressions of his inner psyche called personas) to battle evil forces. This balance between a social sim and a classic RPG makes Persona 5 a game that should be on your must-play list.
You’d like to be an Italian plumber and rescue a princess. Again...
Super Mario Odyssey
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Mario has been saving princesses since his official debut in 1985’s Super Mario Bros. 32 years later, he’s up to the same old heroics in what could possibly be the best game in the Super Mario series. In Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo has given us an exploration-based sandbox game reminiscent of Super Mario 64. In this edition, the goal is to save Princess Peach (again), who Bowser has kidnapped (again), by exploring different kingdoms that range from realistic to more fantasy-based. Mario doesn’t do it alone though, as he has his trusty cap (which is unimaginatively called Cappy) that he can throw and possess enemies with, and his airship, The Odyssey, which is fueled by Power Moons, which you acquire by completing various in-game tasks. Three decades is a long time to keep a franchise alive, but after playing this game, you’ll see that the Super Mario team is making it look easy.
You feel destined to save a kingdom from utter destruction...
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, Wii U
If you’re still having second thoughts about buying a Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild should overwhelmingly swing your decision to the affirmative. It features an enormous open world that you can freely explore as the protagonist, Link. As you delve deeper into the immersive landscape, you can use a paraglider, hunt animals (and even cook them with fruits you pick from trees), activate towers, and clear shrines all while increasing your strength to ultimately battle the evil Ganon. This game is not only the best game in the Zelda series but probably the best released this year.
You dream of scouring the world for hidden treasures...
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
As much as we love Nathan Drake as a protagonist, this year’s entry to the Uncharted series makes a refreshing change by putting you in the shoes of Chloe Frazer, an equally able treasure hunter who has had a previous romantic relationship with Drake. As with the other Uncharted games, The Lost Legacy is a generally linear affair spiced up with numerous puzzles and cinematic set pieces. Any skepticism brought about by Drake’s absence is easily dispelled in the first few minutes of gameplay with Chloe and in-game companion Nadine Ross, proving that they are more than capable of headlining a game of their own.
You just want to lose yourself in a great story...
What Remains of Edith Finch
Platorm(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
In some ways, games are better than movies in immersing you in a world of the director’s (or game developer’s) creation, and What Remains of Edith Finch is a two-hour long first-person story game that proves just that. As you explore the Finch residence, you are treated to the history of the Finches and how their lives ended, which may, or may not be, caused by a curse. How these tales are presented are creatively varied and are best left for you to discover on your own. What Remains of Edith Finch is a testament to the power of video games as a medium for storytelling.
You’ve ever imagined an alternate reality where there are ROBOT DINOSAURS...
Horizon Zero Dawn
We could’ve stopped at robot dinosaurs and that would have been reason enough for you to drop everything you’re doing and play this game. But at the heart of Horizon Zero Dawn is an engrossing story set in a future where humans have regressed to a tribal state as machines dominate the Earth. The game focuses on Aloy, an outcast who wields a bow and different specialized arrows, who slowly discovers the truth about their ancestors and how the machines have come to take over the planet. The combat system is one of the highlights of the game as it allows you use your “primitive” weapons to take down progressively larger machines (there are T-Rex robots!!!) as you discover the secrets of this alternate reality.
You’d like to be the star of your very own sports documentary...
MLB The Show 17
While this choice may seem to come out of left field, MLB The Show has been one of the consistently great sports titles for the Playstation. Yes, NBA 2K is a great game but if you want a change of pace then this game is for you. It’s career mode, called Road To The Show, is framed as a sports documentary complete with an ominous and all-knowing voice over as you make crucial decisions that will affect your career. Gameplay and visuals are all top-notch and the game adjusts its difficulty as you get better at pitching or swinging the bat. There’s also Retro mode if you just want to relax and play with a few friends without learning the more advanced controls available in the default game.