Best of 2017 – Day Two: New IP, Sequel, Surprise, Remaster

Over the next ten days, Hardcore Gamer will be revealing its Best of 2017 Awards leading up to our Game of the Year. Today we present you with the Best New IP, Sequel, Surprise and Remaster.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Plenty of new IPs released this year, but none sunk its teeth into players like Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games set up a world of intrigue when the game was first announced back in 2015. Who is this Aloy? Where did these Machines come from? What happened to us (the Old Ones)? The game needed to deliver on all of this, and it did. With an excellent story and a well-written protagonist, players were taken on a fantastic adventure across a beautiful world. Players tangled with Machines, dealt with squabbling tribes, and unearthed the mysteries of the Old Ones. After thirty hours, it wasn’t enough. There’s still so much more mystery to uncover, and the ending of the game left tantalizing hints at what’s to come. Fun to play, beautiful to look at, and drenched in so much mystery, Horizon is the best new IP players were introduced to in 2017.

Runner-Ups
Golf StoryNiohARMS Cuphead

NieR Automata

This year saw sequels that rocketed above bard to restore franchises to their former glory, and those that miraculously cleared already-high bars set by their predecessors. NieR: Automata not only cleared the bar, though, but it also helped bring the original cult classic and its world into the mainstream even more. But the end result is one of those sequels that’s just as inviting to newcomers as well as previous fans, thanks to its action-packed gameplay, engrossing story, and interesting characters, all of which improve upon everything the first title had created and continues the story created by the game’s universe in a unique way. The very definition of an amazing sequel, NieR: Automata is not to be missed out on.

Runner-Ups
Assassin’s Creed OriginsResident Evil 7 biohazardDivinity: Original Sin IISteamWorld Dig 2

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

This game was surprising for two reasons, the first being that it even exists in the first place and the second is that it isn’t terrible. It’s a rare event for Nintendo to license their beloved characters, and looking at games like Mario is Missing and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, they have every reason not to trust other developers with their money makers. Upon hearing that Mario and Rabbids were teaming up in an XCOM-inspired mash-up, countless alarm bells sounded and red flags went up about whether this was a good idea or how this bizarre creation even got brought to the table. Upon its release, however, every naysayer had to eat their words as the end result was not only an immensely enjoyable strategy game, but also a must-own title for any self-respecting Switch owner.

Runner-Ups
Golf StoryGet EvenObserverLinelight

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

Square Enix has been doing wonders with the Final Fantasy brand in 2017. While Final Fantasy XV was somewhat of a letdown last year, the Japanese developer has been working hard to rectify the complaints and bring a more conclusive and cohesive experience through various updates. Then you have Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood which offers one of the best MMO experiences in a while. Rounding things off is the remaster of one of the least remembered games in the franchise: Final Fantasy XII. It may have released at an inopportune time, namely right around the PlayStation 3’s release, it was still one of the better Final Fantasy games out there, reworking the turn-based system and building a world resembling that of the Tactics sub-series. The remaster brings in the International Version’s Zodiac system, along with various other alterations, creating a game that holds up even by today’s standards. Even after 11 years, Final Fantasy XII is well worth your time, and Square Enix has done a fine job ensuring you can relive it on a modern platform.

Runner-Ups
Yakuza KiwamiCrash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s TrapStarcraft Remastered

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