RPGFan's 2017 Holiday Buying GuideNot sure what RPG to get for that gamer in your life? Or maybe yourself? We've got you covered.12.10.17 - 8:34 PM
The holiday season is upon us, and that means it's time to cross some things off your shopping list. 2017 was a killer year for games, and the amount of quality titles is a little overwhelming. But have no fear — we're here to help! We picked the best RPGs, adventure games, and visual novels that were released this year in an effort to make your shopping experience a little easier.
Horizon combines a fresh, pre-historic future setting with an engaging plot and a unique combat system that sees you hunting robotic dinosaurs for their parts. In our review,
we said that "not only is it one of the best action RPGs [we've] played in a while, it's also one of the best games
[we've] played in a while."
More than just a remaster of the original title, The Zodiac Age makes the game's AI-programmable-combat even more interesting with the inclusion of a job system. We greatly loved it
: "Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is more than just a fun game; it's an achievement for the RPG genre as a whole."
The Kingdom Hearts series is one that needs to be finished from start to finish, and with these two collections, you can get the full experience in HD on your PS4. Kingdom Hearts, Re: Chain of Memories, II, and Birth By Sleep are playable in the 1.5 + 2.5 collection, along with movies of Re:coded and 358/2 Days. Meanwhile, 2.8 provides Dream Drop Distance and 0.2 -A Fragmentary Passage- along with a movie, Back Cover. In our review for 2.8
, we said that -A Fragmentary Passage- was "an incredible epilogue to Birth By Sleep."
With a sharp visual style, incredible soundtrack, and great dungeons, this fifth entry successfully combines teenaged rebellion with addictive gameplay. Ultimately, we felt that
Persona 5 was a "celebration; not simply an iterative entry, but one that effectively calls upon its 20 year history to create something of a capstone to the series."
Enhanced versions of 2016's Sun & Moon, the latest in the Pokemon series, brings new features (and new end-game content!) to a pair of games we thought had
"arguably the best storyline in the series."
This simple, turn-based spin-off of the Monster Hunter series is great for those looking for something familiar and unique all at once. We said it
"maintains the essence of what makes Monster Hunter great" and praised its "strong" battle system.
A mixture of simulation and action-RPG, Ever Oasis puts you in the role of both a hero that must manage their town and venture out into dungeons to push back the creeping Chaos. We felt that the game
had a "solid gameplay loop" and lauded its gorgeous visuals.
A remake of the Japan-only Fire Emblem Gaiden, Shadows of Valentia introduces new elements to the series (such as dungeons) while taking away classic ones (such as the weapon triangle). Our verdict was
that Valentia was "an old-school Fire Emblem, for better and worse, but mostly for the better."
One of the best reviewed games of all time, Breath of the Wild is a no-brainer for any gamer. With a large Hyrule to explore and hundreds of mini-dungeons, it's biggest shakeup to the classic Zelda formula yet. We praised
the game's "huge and interactive open world," and were amazed by its "impressive attention to detail."
In a crossover that no one expected to work, Kingdom Battle combines both franchises into a charming strategy game with surprising depth. We said Kingdom Battle
was "a game that Switch owners should really consider picking up."
In yet another crossover, this game combines Fire Emblem characters with Dynasty Warriors gameplay. The result is an experience that successfully uses elements of both series (the weapon triangle, massive crowd-destroying action). We thought it was
"one of the deepest and most engaging games the Warriors series has done to date."
The most recent pick on our buying guide, this installment of the Xenoblade saga takes the series into a new direction that's heavily inspired by anime. Luckily, the addictive (and extremely deep) combat system is more refined and enjoyable than ever before. We adored
that it offered "one hell of a grand adventure," and even said it's a good reason to buy yourself a Switch!
The Danganronpa series, which tasks you with finding whom among your peers is a killer, is known for shocking plot twists and unique characters (who end up dropping like flies); V3 is no exception. We felt that V3 was
"a wild ride which will leave you feeling both hope and despair," and said it was "yet another excellent entry in the series."
What do you get when you mix romance with samurais? An incredibly compelling experience. We enjoyed Kyoto Winds so much
that we said, "this game has potential to change people's minds about otome visual novels."
It's another adventure for Adol, and this time he's got an entire island to explore. The exciting, party-based combat is enough to satisfy any action fan, and we said that Ys VIII
was "beautiful and exhilarating."
South Park's humor may be divisive, but the enjoyable gameplay of this sequel — which ditches the fantasy theme of its predecessor for one of superheroes — sure isn't. We thought that TFBW
had "combat and class systems with surprising depth," and was "an excellent follow-up to 2014's The Stick of Truth."
The unforgettable journey of Gone Home captivated many, and The Fullbright Company's subsequent feature continues the developer's trend of emotionally-charged narratives. It may take place on a space station instead of a house, but Tacoma still features the DNA of Gone Home; that is to say, you'll slowly uncover the lives of the station's crew. We said that Tacoma
is "a well-done narrative adventure," and loved its inclusive, diverse cast.
If you're in the need for a lengthy adventure and love classic RPG gameplay, Original Sin 2 is the game for you. We felt that this CRPG
offers "an experience that requires focus, attention, and strategy," and said it was "simultaneously refreshing and engrossing."
This acclaimed sequel is perfect for fans of action games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, as well as for anyone who enjoys a good, thought-provoking sci-fi narrative. A landmark action RPG, we thought that Automata
"oozes with quality and polish," praising its "tight and superbly responsive" controls."
Those looking for a more casual experience can't go wrong with this character-driven adventure gem. Night in the Woods offers characters we described as
"genuine" and "loaded with personality and a unique voice." We praised its authentic dialogue of the Millennial generation, and gushed about its "eye-catching style."