What a year the PS4 has had- it’s as if Sony fired four years of pent up energy all at once, and we got a relentless stream of fantastic games on the system from January all the way until the year’s end. Picking out just one game that stood out over all the others? That was very difficult. But we don’t shy away from difficult tasks, so we did it. Allow us to present to you the nominees for Best PS4 Game of 2017.
Horizon Zero Dawn:
Freed from the confines of the Killzone franchise, Guerrilla Games spread their wings and delivered Horizon: Zero Dawn, a stunning, memorable open world action RPG in the vein of The Witcher 3 with incredible combat, an amazing story, and some of the best graphics and art we have ever seen. In a year as great as 2017, Horizon is one of the best games we got- that should tell you what an amazing game it was.
Platinum Games and Square Enix teamed up to deliver an action RPG unlike any other with Nier Automata, a frankly incredible game that pushes the boundaries of interactive storytelling beyond anything we have seen in the medium, with few exceptions. Throw in a haunting soundtrack, with great gameplay, and an arresting premise, and is it any wonder Nier is as beloved as it is?
After a nine year long wait, we finally got Persona 5- and it was worth it. Fusing a killer soundtrack, a fantastic story with hugely resonant themes and developments, a fleshed out cast of characters you could’t get but fall in love with, and an overwhelming sense of style, with the same addictive formula that made Persona so popular to begin with, Persona 5 stole everyone’s hearts upon launch, and instantly became the most successful game Atlus has released, ever. Flat out one of the best games of the year, this stands tall as a part of the cream of the crop of the PS4’s offering.
Sega’s Yakuza franchise finally found the success it deserves with Yakuza 0, a game that takes us back to the beginning of Kiryu’s journey, and refines the series’ long running formula to deliver its peak and zenith. If you haven’t played Yakuza 0 already, you’re missing out- it is, without a doubt, one of the best games you will find on the PS4.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy:
In the wake of Uncharted 4 concluding Nathan Drake’s adventures, there were many who wondered where Naughty Dog and Sony’s flagship franchise may go next. The Lost Legacy answers that question, by delivering a high energy, well paced, fun new adventure in the series that reminds us of the spirit of buccaneering swashbuckling that made us fall in love with the franchise to begin with.
After 13 years, Nioh finally released- and it almost justified that wait. An impeccably deep combat system, mixed with the kind of loot drops that have made loot RPGs so popular, and a fusion with the winning Dark Souls formula, all combine to make Nioh the best game Team Ninja has put out since Ninja Gaiden Black, and one of the best PS4 games of all time.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy:
Naughty Dog’s lovable bandicoot returned in a big way this year with the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, a loving remaster of the PS1 platforming classics that so many hold such fond memories and nostalgia for. This remake finally showed us two things- that Crash deserves the fondness that so many read him with, and that, really, a new Crash game would do gangbusters. Get on it Activision!
Gravity Rush 2:
Sony kicked off this year with Gravity Rush 2, and it was a portend of things to come. An utterly fantastic follow up to the PS Vita original, Gravity Rush 2 goes bigger and better in every way, while retaining the strengths of the original and addressing its flaws. A forgotten classic, do play this game if you haven’t already—I guarantee you will find it worth your while.
MLB The Show 17:
Sony San Diego quietly puts out one of the best sports games of the year every year, and this year was no different. Building on the long running franchise’s strengths, and adding new modes and new content to justify veterans returning to it, MLB The Show 17 is a surprisingly compelling proposition, even to those who may not be fans of baseball.
Gran Turismo Sport:
Polyphony Digital decided to do something different with the newest Gran Turismo. Instead of delivering the same game as they always have, but prettier, they delivered a ‘live service’ game that actively ties into FIA events in real life, and lets you engage in them via the video game in a way that has never been done before. This, along with the fact that Sport retains the series’ characteristically strong driving gameplay, makes it an admirable, if flawed, attempt at reinventing a long running franchise.
And the winner is
Horizon: Zero Dawn:
What can we say about Horizon that hasn’t already been said? From the intriguing story and the mystery of the world to the fantastic main character whose journey you want to follow, to the great open world to the thrilling combat with, and say it with me, robot dinosaurs, Guerrilla Games’ action RPG is going to be one for the ages—and years from now, when people talk about the games that defined the PS4, this one will be at the top of everyone’s lists.
Note: GamingBolt’s Game of the Year categories, nominations and awards are selected via an internal nomination, voting and debate process. You can check the rest of categories and the respective winners here.