1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Release date: March 3 (on Switch, Wii U)
Why it's great: Breath of The Wild is the biggest and most open Zelda game ever made, and it just so happens to be a 1,000-page essay on how to reupholster the open-world genre. Its characters, locations, music, and Studio Ghibli-esque art style are worth writing home about, but its ability to take the mundane -- such as cooking, crafting, climbing, and helping villagers -- and make it feel new again is deeply gratifying. In a single playthrough, you could learn everything there is to know about elixirs, but you could also spend dozens of hours fighting Lynels only to discover that most of them won't attack you unless your weapon is drawn.
That sense of discovery is hard to come by. Being able to fully invest yourself in a video game without direction or hot internet tips is usually an afterthought, but Breath of The Wild nailed it on the head in 2017. It dominated social feeds and forums for an entire month with friends and strangers sharing new discoveries that made them feel like a kid again. There weren't any loot box controversies or political agendas -- just a screen and a world that was worth living in.
Where to buy: Nintendo and Amazon
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