There hasn’t been a huge deal of news coming out of the video game industry this year. Electronic Arts closed down Visceral and scrapped the Star Wars game they were working on. Bethesda released the totally-not-paid-mods club (just between you and me, it’s paid mods). Oh yes, and Nintendo put out a new console.
Wait. I meant to say that the news coming out of the video game industry has been huge, not the thing that I said at first.
In any case, the 2017 Christmas season is coming up and it’s time to do a rundown on the most desirable games on the market. As everyone knows, I’m a bit opinionated. So my list isn’t going to look like other people’s lists. Why? Because I’m a video game journalist, not a department store marketing copywriter.
1: Super Mario Odyssey
I didn’t say it wouldn’t look a little bit like other people’s lists. Still, Super Mario Odyssey is a game to look for. It’s only available on the Nintendo Switch, which I’m aware that 99% of my audience knows. But there’s always the grandmother looking for Christmas sales, so I try to be considerate.
I have to warn you Nintendo fanboys, I don’t have Breath of the Wild on this list. It’s not that I think it’s a terrible game. It’s an amazing game. It’s just that I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo winds up releasing a Christmas bundle with both of these games if you buy a Switch. So you’ll probably wind up buying them together anyway.
2: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
This is a mature game, so if you’re the aforementioned grandmother don’t even consider this one unless you’re grandkid is 16 or older. Developed by Ninja Theory, Hellblade is a game about mental illness and sacrifice. Senua has to warrior her way into Hell, all the while being plagued by demons from her past and in her head.
Yes, it’s intense. And more importantly, it’s completely free of the microtransaction crap that AAA publishers try to shove in every game. It’s just a straightforward action game with amazing graphics, amazing gameplay, and amazing storytelling. You can get it on Steam and the PlayStation 4.
3: Child of Light
Yes, this game was released back in 2014. I don’t care. It’s a timeless tale with beautiful graphics, beautiful music, interesting gameplay, and a story that feels like your favorite childhood fairy tale. Those of you who’ve read my articles about it on other sites already know how much I love this game, so I won’t natter on about it much.
Seriously, though, it’s amazing. Plus, it’s from several years ago so you can get it on most major consoles. Steam, PS3, PS4, Wii U, PS Vita, XBox 360, and XBox One.
4: DOOM VFR
If you’ve checked out my Patreon, then you know I’ve done a review of DOOM 2016. So what makes it an anticipated game for Xmas 2017? The re-releases, of course.
The most exciting one is the VR release. DOOM 2016 is a frenzied orgy of demon slaughtering, and that can be a bit much. There have been some modifications to adapt to that, so I’m hoping they got it right. I loved DOOM on the PC because it’s like a science fiction take on an old-school Paladin. And there’s nothing I love more than being a demon-slaughtering Paladin.
Oh yeah, as you hypothetical grandmothers may have already guessed, this isn’t a game for children.
5: Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds
Listen, we need to be honest here. Representation matters. It’s important for all gamers to see people like themselves on screen. Horizon; Zero Dawn does that for women. That said, it’s still an amazing game in its own right. Good thing or I would have to say it’s a terrible game.
The DLC recently came out, which is why it’s on this list. Horizon Zero Dawn; The Frozen Wilds takes us back into the world. It retains the over-the-shoulder action gameplay, as well as the amazing graphics and well-chosen musical score. If you’ve never played Horizon Zero Dawn then this is a good time to get into the series. And if you’re an old veteran then it’s a great excuse to travel back into the setting.
It’s only on the PS4, so that’s a bit of a downer.
If I didn’t list a game you like, I don’t know what to tell you. These are the games I think people should buy as Christmas presents this year. I love each and every one of them, and there’s a good spread of child-appropriate games and more mature games. I’m fairly proud of myself.
If you don’t like it, you can go head over to your local video game shop and see what they recommend.
In any case, thanks for reading!