So here's the thing: we've never known a start to the year quite as strong as what 2017 is turning out to be. Last year was a fine year for games, but it was by-the-numbers – few games exceeded expectations and even fewer will live long in the memory. The past two and a bit months have been the opposite, though: exciting, fresh, and so much better than anyone could ever have expected.

Go back to January and few would have predicted that the likes of Nioh, NieR: Automata, and Horizon: Zero Dawn would be Game of the Year candidates; even less could have foreseen Yakuza 0's impact (and we include long-time series fans in that) or Resident Evil 7's sharp return to form. And as for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's current Metacritic rating… Well, you'd have been laughed out of the room.

Something special is happening here: the games that are releasing aren't just good, they're significantly better than anyone could have ever anticipated. Take a look at Gravity Rush 2 – it's fast becoming one of the forgotten gems of 2017 already, and yet it's more likeable than the abundance of blockbusters that launched the year prior. Hatsune Miku and Night in the Woods? Same thing.

Metacritic Scores

And while it's possible things could fall apart over the coming months, the release schedule at the time of typing gives us hope. Mass Effect: Andromeda may have its pre-release critics, but so did Guerrilla Games' open world RPG – and look how that turned out. Elsewhere, Persona 5 just landed its first English language 10/10, while Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy's looking like a fan's dream.

Looking elsewhere, the likes of Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey are still to come – but even if we focus on the PS4, there's stuff like Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 on the horizon. And then you've got Red Dead Redemption 2 – sure, it might get delayed, but if it makes it out and builds upon the critically acclaimed blueprint laid by its predecessor… Oh boy!

There are a few years in history that currently claim the greatest ever crown: 1998 with Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Metal Gear Solid; 2007 with BioShock, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and Super Mario Galaxy. Could 2017 top them? Maybe not – many of the aforementioned are iconic. But is this shaping up to be the best year in games for a long time? Y'know what, it's looking that way, isn't it?

Could 2017 be the greatest year for games ever? Are you shocked by how strongly this year has started? Wash away the cynicism and let yourself get over-excited in the comments section below.

Could 2017 be the greatest ever year for games? (145 votes)

  1. Yes, it's well on its way at this stage64%
  2. Hmm, too early to call31%
  3. No, previous years are far too strong5%

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