Year of the Switch – Top 10 of 2017

This year has been a ridiculously amazing one for gaming, especially with Nintendo’s newest console coming out. There have been so many amazing games for the Switch that it’s tough to even narrow my favorites to 10! While #1 and #2 are quite obvious, since they are right up there with the greatest games from each franchise, the rest I feel are some really unique experiences that have made the Switch my go to console throughout the entirety of the year.

The combination of portable plus TV makes even games re-released from previous years worth playing again as it is an oddly satisfying experience. Just plopping down on the couch to play whenever really appeals to me, which could be because a lot of us do that with our cell phones anyways, so the Switch is just a gaming extension of that perhaps.

There is also something to be said about the classic Nintendo quality, in terms of hardware and controls, as a lot of the “retro-inspired” games feel at home. It has been the dream of a lot of developers to be able to have their game played on a Nintendo console, and the fact that the Switch has “cartridges” in the form of little cards means we also get the physical collecting experience that we had on classic systems. Some releases even go above and beyond, doing old school manuals to boot! This very well may be the greatest console Nintendo has created, but only time will tell…

10: Butcher

Butcher is a crazy and gory game that I consider a mix between the classic platformers of old, especially the Turrican games, and Doom if it was a sidescroller. The game really has the run and gun feel to things, which you constantly move around the screen in order to optimally mutilate and destroy all of the enemies throughout each level. There are creative ways to dispatch of your enemies and so much blood that it’s amazing to see this on a Nintendo console.

9: Ittle Dew 2+

I went to the store to pick up a new game, and was leaning towards Xenoblade Chronicles 2 which I still haven’t picked up by the way, and ended up coming home with this little gem. Not knowing much about the series, the simple fact that it plays like The Legend of Zelda was enough for me to try it out. The game is surprisingly difficult at points, however being able to upgrade your items, weapons and skills really makes it a fun time. It also feels pretty non-linear which is a bonus for Action RPG fans.

8: Tiny Barbarian DX

Tiny Barbarian DX really feels at home on the Switch and all of the aspects of the game really work well in portable mode. While the beginning of the game is very doable from a gamer perspective, everything begins to get “Nintendo-Hard” once you get through the first act of the game. Tiny Barbarian is a welcomed throwback to the days of old, with amazing pixel graphics and very tight gameplay that will ensure that you keep giving it one more go, as you will die lots of times!

7: Blaster Master Zero

If you would have told me that I would be playing a reimagining of Blaster Master in 2017 on a brand new Nintendo console, I would have called you a liar! Blaster Master Zero is a retelling of the first game, with overhauled graphics, but keeping all the original gameplay that I loved intact. There are added story arcs to the game, which has aspects taken from the amazing Worlds of Power book written by FX Nine. With a few bonus bosses and new maps to help you traverse the maze-like overworld, Zero is the ultimate Blaster Master experience.

6: Sonic Mania

Holy shit is Sonic Mania an amazing game! Created by uber-fans of the series, I think that Sega did the smartest thing ever licensing this for home console release. Mania completely harkens back to the original Sonic games and really feels like the culmination of the entire franchise in one amazing package. My only disappointment from this was that the Collector’s Edition didn’t come with a physical Switch game… but I guess we can’t have it all as it did come with a full size replica of a Genesis with a giant Sonic on it!

5: Kamiko

Kamiko is a game that came on the Switch e-shop really early and as soon as I saw the gameplay, combined with the beautifully pixelated graphics, I had to pick it up! The gameplay has attacking like Zelda, but offers combinations to increase your meter to unlock more of the level, or replenish you health. There are also three characters to play as, which is great to have added replay-ability. The difficulty is extremely fair, which makes this a chill game to just relax with.

4: Golf Story

A golf RPG!? Sign me up! Golf Story plays like classic NES Open but has an entire story that gets you engaged in the world that the game takes place in. There are so many little bonuses to uncover that I would spend hours just messing around. There is even disc golf, which has different physics and is also fun to play. They really knocked it out of the park with Golf Story and I still haven’t mastered everything yet!

3: Axiom Verge

Making my Top 10 list many years ago, Axiom Verge feels perfect on the Nintendo Switch! Due to playing amazingly well in handheld mode, I was finally able to traverse all of the map and actually beat the game! Such an amazing experience and I can’t believe just one guy created this masterpiece. I ended up coming across the “Multiverse Edition” at the store and I’m glad that I picked it up!

2: Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is honestly gaming perfection! The graphics are amazing, there are thousands of unlockables and of course it controls beautifully. It is the perfect successor to Super Mario 64, but with an open world and so many different abilities that I still haven’t seen them all and I’ve beaten the game! With so many moons and purple coins to collect, I’ll be on the hunt for a long time coming. Fortunately, my daughter is also obsessed with the game, which also makes it that much more special!

1: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

It should be no surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is my top game of 2017. Heck, it might be my favorite game of all time once a few years go by. There is just so much to do, and the world is so large that, even after putting in hundreds of hours into the game, I still haven’t scratched the surface. Then Nintendo released 2 different DLC packs, both that have so much content that it’s basically an entire new game, and they keep pulling me back in to the beautiful world of Hyrule again and again. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to Master Mode, but the fact that it even exists is amazing! It is just hard to not understate how amazing of a gaming experience Breath of the Wild is, just perfection.

Honorable Mentions:
Retro City Rampage DX
I am Setsuna
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
Lego City Undercover
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Sine Mora EX
Cave Story +

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