The Best Games of 2017 So Far

More than 30 must-play video games of 2017

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'Nioh'

The basic loop of Dark Souls – heading out from a checkpoint to find the last place you died, collecting the experience points you dropped, pushing on to the next checkpoint where you can spend that XP while knowing that doing so will allow enemies to respawn – has shown up in plenty of recent games. We've had Dark Souls but two-dimensional, Dark Souls but science-fiction, and with Nioh, we had Dark Souls but in 17th century Japan. The studio who made Ninja Gaiden turned out to be familiar enough with hard-as-nails action games to get the basics right, and that setting – which you approach as an outsider, an Irish samurai – combined mysticism and spirits with blackpowder rifles and historical characters like Hattori Hanzo to memorable effect.

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