Gamer 2017: A Nostalgic Look Back at Pre-Pandemic Gaming
2017 was a landmark year for gaming, marking arrivals such as ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ and the inception of the Switch. Seeking a snapshot of gamer 2017? This piece cuts through the nostalgia to examine the most impactful games and milestones, spotlighting the enduring legacy and progress of that pre-pandemic year without tipping the whole hand.
- 2017 was an epic year in gaming, boasting genre-pushing titles like ‘Breath of the Wild’, ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’, and ‘Resident Evil 7’, which also marked a return to the series’ horror roots.
- The Nintendo Switch’s first year was stellar, with hits like ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ innovating platforming and ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ becoming the ultimate party game.
- Indie games like ‘Cuphead’ and ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ made big waves, showing that creativity and storytelling are just as compelling as big-budget titles.
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Exploring 2017's Best Selling Video Games
The year 2017 was a smorgasbord of gaming delights, with a variety of genres and platforms to cater to every gamer’s taste. The video game industry saw a stellar line-up of titles that captivated players worldwide. Some of the standout games from 2017 include:
- “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” - an open-world adventure that took players on a thrilling journey.
- “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” - a return to the horror roots of the franchise, delivering eerie excitement.
- “Horizon Zero Dawn” - a game with a compelling narrative and a beautiful world that pushed the boundaries of what video games could be.
These best games not only dominated the charts but also expanded the boundaries of what most games and video games could be.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - A New Open World Adventure
In the realm of 2017’s gaming highlights, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” undoubtedly shines brightly. It was a game-changer, literally. It shook the video game scene with its non-linear progression and immersive exploration, redefining open-world games, and sweeping up awards like Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, and Best Action/Adventure.
Breath of the Wild presented a world ready for your exploration. It offered:
- a vast, interactable world
- a departure from the usual dungeons of previous Zelda games
- Divine Beasts and Ancient Shrines, rewarding curiosity and encouraging players to check out every nook and cranny
The game was a breath of fresh air (pun absolutely intended) and it certainly marked a new era for the beloved franchise.
Horizon Zero Dawn - Guerrilla Games' Masterpiece
“Horizon Zero Dawn” is another standout game that left its mark in 2017. It stood out, not just as a best-selling game, but as a game that dared to be different. The main character, Aloy, was a breath of fresh air in a largely male-dominated industry. The game beautifully explored femininity and matriarchal societies, setting it apart in the gaming world.
The gameplay mechanics of Horizon Zero Dawn were nothing short of impressive, offering a range of actions including:
- Ground Assassinations
- Unlocking combat, stealth, and crafting skills through skill points
- Hidden mechanics like unlimited reward boxes and dismount strike, which added an extra layer of strategic thinking during combat
Guerrilla Games definitely hit the mark with Horizon Zero Dawn, carving a unique space for itself in the video game industry.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - A Return to Horror Roots
The Resident Evil series also made a notable return to its horror roots in 2017 with “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard”. The game refocused on terror, atmosphere, and survival elements, which were the foundation of the franchise’s original appeal. It was a first-person shooter that brought the series back to its scary origins, focusing on terror, atmosphere, and survival elements, which were the foundation of the franchise’s original appeal.
This game was released on the Nintendo Switch platform, making it a significant contribution to the Nintendo life. In fact, it was considered the top game in the Resident Evil series since 2005, showcasing the best track record in terms of gameplay, atmosphere, and horror elements. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was a return to form that reminded us why we loved the series in the first place.
Nintendo Switch Owners Rejoice: Year One Highlights
It wasn’t just the big-screen games that made a splash in 2017. The Nintendo Switch made a grand entrance in the handheld gaming market, boasting an impressive first year. Standout titles like “Super Mario Odyssey” and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” provided hours of fun, proving that sometimes, the best things do come in small packages.
Super Mario Odyssey - Platforming Perfection
“Super Mario Odyssey” perfectly struck a balance between nostalgia and innovation. It was a charming blend of nostalgia and innovative gameplay that created a platforming masterpiece. The game brought in those nostalgic vibes through features like Mario’s ability to possess various enemies, the ability to travel into 2D pipes, and connections to past Mario games. It was a sweet trip down memory lane for long-time fans.
But it wasn’t just a rehash of old elements. Super Mario Odyssey added sandbox-like elements so Mario could explore Earth-based settings. It also introduced a variety of power-ups and abilities that made the gameplay more fun, like:
- being able to transform into different forms
- possessing objects and enemies with Mario’s hat, Cappy
- using Cappy to capture and control various creatures and objects
It’s no wonder why Super Mario Odyssey managed to capture the hearts of so many players, both young and old.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - The Ultimate Party Game
For party games, “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” offered an unmatched blend of excitement and adrenaline. The game was a mega-hit, selling over 53.79 million units and proving itself to be a must-have for any Switch owner. It introduced five fresh characters and eight new arenas, expanding the already huge character lineup and spicing things up for players.
The critics and players alike loved the crystal-clear graphics and smooth, enjoyable gameplay of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It was fun, replayable, and had an allure that kept players coming back for more. Whether you were racing on Rainbow Road or dodging banana peels in Excitebike Arena, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the ultimate party game that brought friends and families together in 2017.
The Indie Gems of 2017 - Small Studios, Big Hits
In line with the age-old adage, ‘big things often come in small packages’, 2017 saw indie games making a significant impact. This was certainly true in 2017, where we saw indie games leaving a significant impact on the gaming landscape. These smaller, often more experimental games brought fresh ideas and unique experiences to the forefront. Standout titles like “Cuphead” and “What Remains of Edith Finch” proved that you don’t need a big budget to create a big hit.
Cuphead - A Visual and Gameplay Throwback
“Cuphead” paid a stunning homage to classic run-and-gun platformers and the aesthetics of 1930s cartoons. Its unique features include:
- Art style that mimics the look and feel of old-timey cartoons
- Challenging gameplay that keeps players engaged
- Hand-drawn frames that create a visual feast
These elements made “Cuphead” one of the standout indie games of 2017.
But it wasn’t just a pretty face. The gameplay was as tough as nails, with challenging boss fights and platforming sequences that required quick reflexes and a bit of trial and error. It was a game that demanded your time and attention, but the sense of accomplishment you felt after defeating a tough boss made it all worth it.
What Remains of Edith Finch - Interactive Storytelling at Its Finest
In stark contrast stood “What Remains of Edith Finch”, a game driven by a deeply emotional and thought-provoking narrative. It wasn’t about reflexes or combat prowess but about discovery and empathy. The game told the tale of Edith Finch, the last surviving member of her family, as she explored her family’s history and tried to make sense of their tragic past.
Each family member’s story was told using a different gameplay style, adding a unique twist to each narrative. From a child’s imaginative playtime to a factory worker’s monotonous routine, each story was a unique experience that stayed with you long after the game ended. It was interactive storytelling at its finest, proving that video games can be a powerful medium for telling deep and emotional stories.
The Rise of Female Leads in 2017's Video Games
2017 marked a significant leap in female representation within video games. The industry took significant strides towards inclusivity, with more games featuring strong, well-written female protagonists.
“Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” and “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” were among the standout titles that put women front and center.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - Leading Ladies Take Charge
“Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” brought a refreshing change to the traditionally male-centric Uncharted series. The game featured two badass women, Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, who were just as capable and charismatic as the series’ usual protagonist, Nathan Drake.
The game followed Chloe and Nadine’s journey to uncover the Tusk of Ganesh in India. It was a thrilling adventure filled with high-stakes action, witty banter, and emotional moments. The game proved that female characters can carry a blockbuster game just as well as their male counterparts, and it was a step in the right direction for representation in video games.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - A Dark Journey Through the Mind
“Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” was another game that significantly stirred the gaming waters in 2017. The game told the story of Senua, a Pict warrior suffering from severe psychosis, on a mission to save her boyfriend’s soul from the Norse underworld. The game was a deeply emotional and harrowing journey that touched on mental health issues, a topic rarely explored in video games.
“Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” was praised for:
- Its story
- Innovative gameplay mechanics
- Puzzles and combat encounters that mirrored Senua’s mental state
- Being an intense, immersive experience that left a lasting impression on players.
Multiplayer Madness: Competitive and Cooperative Play Peaks
Multiplayer games also had their moment in the sun in 2017. Titles like “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and “Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime” provided endless hours of competitive and cooperative fun. Whether you were the last person standing in a battle royale or working together to navigate through space, these games brought players together like never before.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - Battle Royale Becomes Best Selling
In 2017, the world was swept up in the frenzy of “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”, better known as PUBG. The game popularized the battle royale genre, where up to 100 players duke it out to be the last one standing. The game sold over two million copies in 2017, bringing in around US$60 million in total revenue.
The game’s success was due to its unique blend of survival and shooting mechanics, coupled with high-stakes gameplay that kept players on the edge of their seats. Whether you were scavenging for weapons, hunting down other players, or simply trying to stay within the ever-shrinking safe zone, every moment in PUBG was filled with tension and excitement.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - Teamwork and Chaos in Space
In the cooperative gaming scene, “Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime” emerged as a notable title in 2017. This indie game saw players working together to pilot a spaceship through various levels, each filled with deadly obstacles and enemies. The game was a hilarious mix of chaos and teamwork, requiring players to communicate and coordinate their actions to survive.
“Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime” was a testament to the saying that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It was a game best enjoyed with friends, where the shared triumphs and failures made for a memorable gaming experience.
Puzzle Game Prowess: Brain-Teasers That Captivated Us
However, 2017 was not merely a year of fast-paced action and multiplayer frenzy. It was also a year that saw the release of some truly captivating puzzle games. Titles like “Gorogoa” and “Thumper” demonstrated the depth and diversity of the genre, offering unique challenges that stimulated the mind as much as the reflexes.
Gorogoa - An Artistic Puzzle Experience
“Gorogoa” distinguished itself as a unique entrant in the realm of puzzle games. The game combined hand-drawn art with unique puzzle mechanics, requiring players to manipulate a series of illustrated panels to progress. It was a game that stimulated the mind and the eyes, with its beautiful visuals and thought-provoking puzzles.
Each puzzle in Gorogoa was a work of art, beautifully drawn and intricately designed. Solving each one felt like unraveling a piece of a larger tapestry, revealing a bit more of the game’s mysterious world. It was a testament to the creativity and innovation of indie developers, and a shining example of how games can be a form of art.
Thumper - Rhythm Violence and Intense Gameplay
At the opposite end, “Thumper” stood apart as a rhythm game, melding music with intense, high-velocity gameplay. Players controlled a metallic beetle, racing down a track and hitting notes in time with the music. The game was a sensory overload, with pulsating visuals and a pounding soundtrack that created a uniquely immersive experience.
Despite its simple premise, Thumper was far from easy. The game demanded:
- precise timing
- quick reflexes
- staying in sync with the rhythm
- navigating a series of twists, turns, and obstacles
It was a game that tested both your rhythm skills and your nerve, offering a thrilling ride from start to finish, like only a few games can.
Fighting Games Throwdown: 2017's Best Brawlers
The tradition of fighting games being integral to the video game industry continued unhindered in 2017. This was the year that saw the release of “Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Switch” and “Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers”, two games that showed that the fighting game genre was still alive and kicking.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Switch - A New Way to Fight
With “Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Switch”, the beloved franchise made its way to the Nintendo Switch, providing a fresh perspective on the intense battles synonymous with the Dragon Ball universe. The game featured a host of gameplay features like online multiplayer modes, Deluxe and Super Edition with DLC, and a Super Pass with extra characters.
Despite running at a lower frame rate than other consoles, the Switch version of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was highly praised for including more content without needing to buy extra DLC. Whether you were a long-time fan of the series or a newcomer looking for a fun fighting game, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Switch was a must-have title in 2017.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers - Classic Combat Revived
“Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers” made headlines with its revival of the classic fighting game. The game features:
- Enhanced graphics and gameplay
- Two graphic options (Classic and New Style graphics)
- The ability to switch to retro graphics
- New gameplay mechanics and modes
- Two new characters
However, it is missing some features that were present in other versions, such as dashing and mid-air blocking.
Despite some criticisms, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers still managed to capture the spirit of the original game. The game offers:
- Perfectly preserved classic combat, offering a dose of nostalgia for long-time fans
- Updated graphics for a visually enhanced experience
- New characters to provide a fresh experience for new players
To sum it up, 2017 was a landmark year for video games. It was a year that saw the release of innovative titles across a variety of genres, from open-world adventures and puzzle games to fighting games and indie gems. It was a year that pushed the boundaries of what video games could be, offering unique experiences that captured the hearts of players around the world. So, whether you’re a seasoned gamer or someone new to the world of gaming, why not take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the best games of 2017?
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened in gaming in 2017?
In 2017, the gaming industry experienced the launch of the Nintendo Switch, a unique console that serves as both a home and handheld device, following the underwhelming performance of its predecessor, the Wii U. This sparked significant interest and marked a pivotal moment in gaming history.
What was the most popular game in 2017?
Monster Strike was the most popular game in 2017, followed by Honor of Kings in second place due to Google Play not being available in China.
What game console came out in 2017?
In 2017, the Nintendo Switch was released, and it marked a significant advancement for Nintendo in the video game industry, selling over 14 million units that year, surpassing the sales of the underperforming Wii U.
What game won 2017 Game of the Year?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won the 2017 Game of the Year, and it's considered one of the best games ever made.
What is the best selling Switch game 2017?
The best selling Switch game in 2017 was Super Mario Odyssey, followed by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Hope that helps!
How did indie games like 'Cuphead' and 'What Remains of Edith Finch' impact the gaming industry in 2017?
In 2017, indie games like 'Cuphead' and 'What Remains of Edith Finch' made significant impacts by showcasing creativity and storytelling on par with big-budget titles. They proved that innovative gameplay and artistic visuals could captivate audiences, highlighting the importance of diversity in game development.
What made 'Horizon Zero Dawn' stand out among other video games released in 2017?
'Horizon Zero Dawn' stood out in 2017 due to its compelling narrative, beautiful world, and innovative gameplay mechanics. It also featured a strong female protagonist, Aloy, marking a significant step towards inclusivity and diversity in video game characters.
How did 'Resident Evil 7: Biohazard' contribute to the revival of its series in 2017?
'Resident Evil 7: Biohazard' revitalized its series by returning to its horror roots. The game emphasized terror, atmosphere, and survival elements, making it a standout title in 2017. Its success on platforms like the Nintendo Switch also contributed significantly to the series' rejuvenation.
What role did the Nintendo Switch play in the video game industry in 2017?
The Nintendo Switch played a crucial role in the video game industry in 2017 by offering a unique hybrid of home and handheld gaming experiences. Its first year saw stellar titles like 'Super Mario Odyssey' and 'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe', proving its versatility and appeal to a wide range of gamers.
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I have been creating gaming content since August 2013, and went full-time in 2018. Since then, I have published hundreds of gaming news videos and articles. I have had a passion for gaming for more than 30 years!
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