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Yakuza's resurgence is coming in full force as both 2017 titles made it into our top twenty, with Yakuza 6 only missing out due to its 2018 release date. Speaking of resurgences, the CRPG revival continues with Torment: Tides of Numenera, while two long-running series in Tales and The Legend of Heroes find their entries eagerly awaited within our top fifteen. The follow-up to cult classic Nier also received plenty of love.


Yakuza Zero

#15
Yakuza Zero (PS4) - Official Site
Pub: Sega | Dev: Sega | Release: 01.24.2017 (NA/EU)

Are you ready for some hardcore 80s Yakuza action? Are you ready to use bicycles to perform acts of violence? Are you ready to hear "Kiryu-chaaaaaaaaan!" on high volumes in situations of mass hysteria? Than you need Yakuza Zero as much as I do, my friends. This is the game I personally have been salivating towards through all of 2016 and knowing it is right around the corner has me completely elated to the point where friends are concerned that they are going to lose contact with me until the game is complete. If you aren't excited for Yakuza Zero, know that I will cut you until you say you are. See what this series has done to me? - Sam Wachter


Torment: Tides of Numenera

#14
Torment: Tides of Numenera (PC/Mac/Linux/PS4/One) - Official Site
Pub: inXile Entertainment | Dev: inXile Entertainment | Release: 02.28.2017 (NA/EU)

I'm going to get the point everyone else is overlooking out of the way first. Numenera is damned cool. It's a crazy post-apocalyptic, high-science-as-fantasy setting put together by some of the best brains in tabletop RPGs. It's every bit as worthwhile and deserving of the CRPG treatment as Planescape was back in the day. But there is also the point that Planescape: Torment moved past being a great game and became part of the required reading list for the genre. This title offers a genuine crack at a successor, and with the design credit to back it up, is worthy of its hype. - Scott Wachter


Tales of Berseria

#13
Tales of Berseria (PC/PS4) - Official Site
Pub: Bandai Namco | Dev: Bandai Namco | Release: 01.24.2017 (NA), 01.27.2017 (EU)

After the disappointment for me that was Zestiria, I'm hesitant to look forward to Bandai Namco's next iteration in the Tales series, but after playing the Japanese demo, I'm a little more hopeful for the game than I was before. The story takes place far in the distant past before the events of Tales of Zestiria. This time, however, players will control the demon-pirate Velvet. The battle system has also gotten an overhaul. While it acts a little more like prior Tales games than the on-map over-the-shoulder fights of Zestiria, it also takes the step of mapping every face button to an attack instead of the more traditional attack-tech-guard-menu setup of pretty much every other Tales game. If it can avoid the pitfalls that I felt its predecessor fell into, chances are good that Tales of Berseria will be a fine game to round out early 2017. - Shannon Harle


The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd

#12
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd (PC) - Official Site
Pub: XSEED Games | Dev: Nihon Falcom | Release: 2017 (NA/EU)

Trails in the Sky SC is easily in my top ten RPGs of all time, so it's hard not to be excited by XSEED's upcoming PC release of the third game in the series. Since the game is a decade old, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd coming to North America is amazing. It is one of three unlocalized Trails games and stars Kevin from SC. This release takes a much darker tone as it shifts away from the Liberl bracers and into the mysterious side of Septian Church. Unfortunately, and understandably, this release is not coming to PSP like the prior Trails in the Sky games, but despite that this game is enough to get me to play a PC release. That's a good sign. - Michael A. Cunningham


NieR: Automata

#11
NieR: Automata (PC/PS4) - Official Site
Pub: Square Enix | Dev: PlatinumGames | Release: 03.07.2017 (NA), 03.10.2017 (EU)

Only by some strange cosmic alignment of celestial bodies does this game even exist. It's predecessor, NieR, was a game with a lot more heart and strangeness than genuine quality, but on the strength of its setting, characters, score, and willingness to experiment with both different genres and player expectations did it create one of the most memorable gaming experiences in recent memory. Where it slacked was its combat: mediocre at best and boring at its worst. Enter PlatinumGames, the premier developer of action titles working today, which was brought along as fans of the original to inject some serious style and substance into NieR: Automata. The fact that the developer is teaming up with the same people responsible for the first game means we should be in store for another go-around Yoko Taro's depraved mind, but this time with the gameplay to back it up. - Zack Webster



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