It seems like it was only yesterday when we were celebrating the arrival of 2017 in style. We had a hell of a year to look forward to as well – with numerous AAA titles hotly anticipated, a ton of Indie games to look forward to and the announcement of Project Scorpio – now Xbox One X – to be confirmed.
But which Xbox One games have really shone through the first half of 2017? Well, you’d do well to find anything better than the following six titles.
We must start this list with one of the biggest games of the last few years – Resident Evil 7.
Resident Evil as a series is pretty much ingrained in the heart and soul of many gamers. But after a few chapters of the series struggled to wow, all eyes were on RE7 biohazard to reignite the horror. It did that in spades.
Not only are the visuals of the highest quality, but the tense horror thrills it brings are right up there with the ‘dogs through the window‘ moments all those years back in the very first game. It is moments like that, as you try to escape from the freaky Baker family, that ensures Resident Evil 7 is a must player for horror fans.
Gone are the overpowered weapons of yesteryear, and in their place are run and hide moments galore… just be sure to avoid the creaking floorboards as you do so. And that’s because even though Capcom may well have given Resident Evil another overhaul, this time round, they’ve changed nearly everything for the better.
It’s a bit of a stunner!
From the get-go, it’s easy to see that RiME is going to be a bit special. Delivering a majestic, powerful and emotional journey, there is little doubt that once you start to go hands on with RiME, you’ll find it very very difficult to let go.
Visually it appeals massively, and whilst the sound effects are basic, the soundtrack that accompanies your journey is superb. With little in the way of direction, you could be forgiven for thinking that RiME will be one of those games which just infuriates, with its lack of hand holding bringing confusion. But the way Tequila Works have created the game, and the huge world that you’ll take in, the line is never crossed too much.
RiME is a wonderful game that just begs to be played.
Injustice may not have the history that the Tekken series holds, and it may not have the half-naked girls that Dead or Alive brings, but what it does have are superheroes and villains in abundance. And if we’re honest with ourselves, heroes and villains win the day over swimsuit clad lovelies any day of the week… especially when the story involving them is as good as the one found in Injustice 2.
It is however the roster of characters which is a massive draw for NetherRealm’s latest fighter, and with new and old characters alike, fans of DC Comics will be delighted with those included. They look great too, with some stunning visuals capturing every punch, kick and special move with aplomb.
But it isn’t just the roster or the in-depth story mode which sets this fighter out from the crowd, and AI challenges and a whole host of online multiplayer modes will ensure that your time spent with Injustice 2 is a long one – if only so you can learn each and every move in order to not get your ass kicked by some hardcore fighting fan.
Elite Dangerous may get all the space exploration hype, but it is Everspace which has wowed us since its release.
‘Kickstarted’ titles can go one of two ways – they can become massive flops, or they can wow the world forever more. Thankfully Everspace has gone the way of the latter. A rogue-like space adventure which is easy to learn, rewards exploration and comes with that ‘just one more go’ attitude, Everspace will have you whizzing around like never before.
It comes with stunning visuals, some brilliant combat opportunities and a gameplay ethos which stays true to its dungeon crawling roots. As long as you’re prepared to exchange the dungeon for deepest space!
Rogue-like dungeon crawling may well be the backbone, but it is with the wide expanse of space which Everspace really excels.
You may well be surprised to see Rise & Shine up here and being mentioned in the same breath as the other titles. But if truth be told, Rise & Shine is good. Very, very good in fact.
It’s also hard, but don’t let that put you off from what the guys at the Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team have created. For Rise & Shine comes complete with a lovely visual style, plenty of humour and a combination of some of the best puzzles and platforming action you can get.
It can be as fast or slow paced as you wish, and even though it occasionally turns into a bit of a bulletstorm hell, you’ll only ever want to throw your controller once or twice throughout your time with the brilliantly scripted tale of a young boy, Rise, and his magical gun, Shine.
And even then, you’ll be looking to grab it again at the very first opportunity.
It’s hard to believe that Rebellion are an indie developer. For when you take in the likes of Sniper Elite 3, Zombies Army Trilogy and now Sniper Elite 4, you could be found mistaking them for a huge blockbusting studio.
You see, that’s how good Sniper Elite 4 is.
Taking the slow and painful approach, as opposed the fast frantic shooting found in the likes of the Call of Duty and Battlefield series’, Sniper Elite 4 will have you prone to the ground, holding your breath and waiting for that perfect moment before you decide to show your face… and your sniping skills.
With a solid solo player story building upon everything found before it – now with bigger and better sniping opportunities – the inclusion of a frankly stunning co-op campaign, and the chance to head on in to the multiplayer deathmatch arenas that we all know and love, Sniper Elite 4 delivers some of the best shooting mechanics of the year.
In fact, Sniper Elite 4 may just be the best shooter of 2017. And even though we’ve got some way to go, it’s certainly staking its claim for the crown.
So there we have it, six of the best Xbox One titles from the first half of 2017. With a mix of game types, if you’re looking for a new fun bringer, then you could do much much worse than check any of them out. Whilst I’m here, I feel that credit must also go to those behind the arrival of the likes of Yooka Laylee, Enter the Gungeon, and indie gem NeuroVoider, all of which were vying for a spot on this list.
Here’s to a second half of 2017 that is just as strong as the first!
So, do you agree with our thoughts? Have we missed something that is just stunning? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, via the usual social channels or by posting in our forums. Don’t miss our article detailing the worst Xbox One games of 2017 so far either.