Most Anticipated Games 2016 vs. 2017

I realized this afternoon that I left out one of the Game of the Year staples: my most anticipated games. So let’s go ahead and identify those. But first, let’s revisit my Most Anticipated Games from 2016 and see how they stacked up.

Most Anticipated Games of 2016

5. Severed

What I said then: Having played DrinkBox Studio's next Vita title at both PlayStation Experiences, I can't wait to have a good new reason to sit down with my Vita again that isn't just playing a game I can already play elsewhere.

What I think now: I really enjoyed Severed. After having played it at both the 2014 and 2015 PlayStation Experiences, I was really happy with the final product DrinkBox delivered. It didn’t quite make the Top Ten but it was my favorite mobile experience of the year and my only real complaint ended up being that I wanted more of it because what is there is so enjoyable.

4. No Man's Sky

What I said then: If this game winds up being a PlayStation VR launch title/pack-in as I suspect it will be, it will actually probably shoot to the top of my most anticipated list. But for now, as just a PlayStation 4 title, the incredible expanse of this game has me very intrigued.

What I think now: Well the VR thing never did come to pass. A lot of people really ended up hating this game. I ended up lukewarm on it. I don’t at all hate it for what it is or regret buying it or the time I put into it. But the ever-forward nature of trying to cover stuff means I’m unlikely to revisit it. It wound up being one of the most fascinating gaming stories of 2016 for me and as much as I’d like to think it’ll be some cautionary tale, I’m sure there will be people who get just as over-hyped and disappointed about Mass Effect Andromeda in a couple months.

I had a great conversation with Jarrett Green and Tommy Miller on the game for the Monthly Passions podcast if you’re interested in hearing more of my thoughts. 

3. Fallout 4 DLC

What I said then: Fallout 4 was my Game of 2015 and I loved pretty much all of the DLC that Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas received. More Fallout is always a good thing in my eyes.

What I think now: Well, I played a bit of the Automatron and Vault-Tec Workshop content drops but really didn’t in invest in any more than that. I still have the game installed on my PlayStation 4 if I decide to go back though. It has survived many a purge to clear up hard drive space.

2. Persona 5

What I said then: Right after I compiled my Most Anticipated of 2015 list, Atlus released a Persona 5 trailer and I gave myself some crap for not including it on that list. Fortunately, they ended up missing the 2015 window as well so here they are on my Most Anticipated of 2016 list. Persona 4 Golden is up there among my favorite games in recent years and all of the goodwill that I used to have for SquareEnix and the Final Fantasy series has shifted to Atlus and the Persona games.

What I think now: Well third time’s the charm, I guess, right? Looked forward to it the last two years and it has yet to come stateside. I was able to pre-order my Collector’s Edition this year. And then they pushed the Valentine’s Day release so I’m back to probably being a lonely sad sack come the holiday. Seriously though, as you’ll see below I’m still really looking forward to this game.

1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

What I said then: [Referring to the game having been on my 2015 list and missing the release date] Let's try this again, shall we? Having replayed through the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection recently and after being a little bit burnt out on open world games this year, I'm very excited to experience what appears to be the final chapter in the Uncharted series: a tightly-paced, beautiful third-person action adventure shooter.

What I think now: My number two Game of 2016, surpassed only by the delightful surprise of The Witness. Uncharted 4 stands as the best in the series for me. It was everything I hoped for above and more. I've gushed about it extensively so without further ado, let’s take a look at what's in store this year.

Most Anticipated Games of 2017

5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Really, this one probably can encompass the entirety of the Switch’s first year. And I imagine a lot of people will have it higher on their list. But personally, I haven’t really been invested in Zelda since The Wind Waker on Gamecube. And as I learned with the Wii U, I just don’t know that Nintendo experiences are for me these days. Maybe the spark will be reignited. Or maybe I’ll play the new Mario game and some Zelda and stay with my PlayStation 4/Xbox One the rest of the year.

4. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

While announced at PlayStation Experience as a 2017 release, this is the title on this list that I could totally see myself bumping to my Most Anticipated of 2018 list a year from now.

Falling somewhere between Left Behind and a full stand-alone installment, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy appears as though it will have ample content to explore a returning Chloe and Nadine. Billed as a “standalone story in the Uncharted universe,” it could very well be akin to Rogue One. I’ll miss having Nate, Elena, and Sully around but hopefully we’ll still get a tease of them in the form of a cameo or something. But event without them, bringing back fan-favorite Chloe to lead this adventure after her absence from Uncharted 4 is an exciting choice.

3. Mass Effect Andromeda

With the long-rumored March 21st release date announced today, this game is going to just miss my birthday. Lame.

I find myself approaching this game a bit like I did Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: we’re not following the heroes I’m invested in anymore but it will be very nice to return to that world. So, like Fantastic Beasts, I haven’t really been paying too much attention to the rumors or images or every the trailers (which I’ve seen but haven’t really overanalyzed). I hope it’s good. After spending time with Noctis and crew in Final Fantasy XV, I was left really wanting that Bioware party experience so I’m hoping Mass Effect delivers.

2. South Park: The Fractured But Whole

South Park: The Stick of Truth surprised the hell out of me in 2014. My fourth favorite game that year and probably still the funniest game I’ve ever played, it was way better than it really had any right to be after the game’s development limbo.

1. Persona 5

Maybe the reason Persona 5 keeps getting delayed is because it secretly wanted to finally claw its way past Uncharted on my Most Anticipated Games lists to claim the top spot. Well, congratulations Atlus, you’ve done it!

I haven’t really paid any attention to story or character details on this one so I’m excited for how in the dark I am. It feels almost like when I went into Persona 4 Golden not knowing what to expect aside from how people were singing it’s praises. And that was more or less a PlayStation 2 game with a few extra bells and whistles for the Vita release. I can’t wait to see what a PlayStation 4 Persona game looks, sounds, and feels like.

Maybe I should actually look into taking some time off work so I can play through Mass Effect Andromeda fully before Persona 5 comes out...

Well that's my list. Probably worth noting that, aside from Zelda, everything is currently slated for the first half of 2017. A lot of other games worth being excited for don't have firm release dates/windows but will probably come out this year. In fact, I didn't even think about Red Dead Redemption 2 until just this moment which could be a huge oversight. But it also speaks to my genuine level of excitement for that game: which is pretty low for the time being. I'm sure it'll be Rockstar's typically quality but I'm also not convinced yet it's a real 2017 game.

What are you looking forward to in 2017? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.