I believe there’s more time devoted to RPG’s than trying to save the planet from an impending natural disaster by way of Global Warming. Not that I’m trying to make any political statement here, but it just seems gamers have their priorities mostly set when it comes to sinking over a hundred hours into endless grinding and side quests that fascinates me above productivity. I know I’m guilty of this with games like The Witcher 3 where most of my hours were devoted to the visiting the brothel, but that’s just one of the perks of that fantastic 2015 game. Here’s the top 5 best RPG games of 2017 so far. Keep in mind, I haven’t played all of them, but the list is ranked according to critical and commercial success.
5. Fire Emblem Heroes
This free-to-play mobile game definitely stands as a testament to what Nintendo can do on phones if they aren’t bleeding you dry with microtransactions (I’m looking at you, Super Mario Run). As a game that I have played for quite some time, Fire Emblem Heroes is a tactical RPG that acts as a pretty well-rounded spin off of the Fire Emblem series, and takes a less conventional route by being the fantasy wet dreams of mobile gamers who wish they had a bit more meat to their games that doesn’t require copious amounts of extra cash. While not without them, Fire Emblem is entirely playable as an entertaining piece of online multiplayer mayhem that feels right at home on a cellphone.
Koei Tecmo must’ve thought combining Dark Souls and Ninja Gaiden was a viable option for their dark hack and slash/RPG, Nioh. Spoiler alert: it most certainly was a great idea. The game plays much like your average Dark Souls shameless copycat except Nioh prefers a drastically different style of combat that makes it both unique and, surprisingly, original. It does what Lords of the Fallen attempted to do, and instead of falling flat on its arse, actually took the Dark Souls formula of brutal difficultly and patient combat and turned it into a seamless, refined blend of old and new. It’s a must-play RPG for any fans of the FromSoftware catalog.
3. Horizon: Zero Dawn
If anyone told me a Tomb Raider RPG set in a futuristic world overrun by the dinobots was a good idea three years ago, I would’ve kindly asked you for the number to your weed supplier before telling you to take a hike. But surprisingly, Guerilla Games, the guys behind the Killzone series (of all things) pulled it off, and in a wonderfully original and spectacular way. Exploring this vast open world of mechanical monsters and endless beauty is a sight to behold, and acts as a pillar on the list of PlayStation 4 exclusives that Sony does right where Microsoft fails horribly – I mean, no offense to Xbox, but Recore was as bland as a pie without fillings.
2. Nier: Automata
The sequel to the original Nier of the Drakengard series, Nier: Automata was a surprise hit in almost every conceivable way. Nobody anticipated the sequel to a mostly middling RPG game to have been so meticulously crafted and perfected within its genre, and then some. Automata blends many styles and genres together while retaining its core RPG elements for a potent, enjoyable, and very thought-provoking experience that’s equal parts brilliant and resoundingly ambitious for yet another apocalyptic robots-have-taken-the-future tale.
1. Persona 5
I believe Persona 5 entered its pre-production stages with just nothing but hyper-stylish concept art before actually becoming a playable game. The comic-book/manga style is evident from the moment players take control of a Japanese boy by day and masked…uh… vigilante (?) by night as they begin the most elaborate and boldly Japanese superhero game ever – that also involves collecting rare, evolving monsters that aren’t fluffy or cute like Pokemon. Usually I have a bit of a problem with turn-based combat as the last turn-based RPG I can say I genuinely enjoyed was Final Fantasy X, but Persona 5 made me a strong believer all over again.