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The Best Strategy/Simulation Game of 2017

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The Best Strategy/Simulation Game of 2017

The best of the best for some tactics.

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It’s award season here at Twinfinite! Let’s look back at the best strategy and simulation games from 2017. Voted on by our editors, these games stood out as the best experiences this year for tactical fans. Let’s start our top vote-getting honorable mentions, runner-ups, and finally, of course, our overall winner!

Honorable Mention: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Best Strategy / Simulation Game of 2017

Fire Emblem has always been a key influence in the tactical strategy genre, and the series took a trip back to its roots this year. While Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is technically a remake of the second game, Fire Emblem Gaiden, the changes made are so drastic that it feels like a completely new experience.

Echoes bucks many of the traditions set up in later Fire Emblem games like the weapon triangle, opting for a system instead that’s entirely based around attack and defense scores. This means the strategy involved in Echoes is different from most games in the series, requiring longtime fans and newcomers alike to adapt their strategies on the fly. The presentation of Echoes gives the story lavish art and cutscenes while adding full voice overs for every character in the game, really making the experience more engaging than even recent Fire Emblem games.

Fire Emblem Echoes definitely features some big variations on the series’ combat mechanics, but the heart of Fire Emblem is still at its core. Just like Fates and Awakening, this is easily one of the best tactical experiences you can get on a handheld system.

Second Runner-Up: Halo Wars 2

Best Strategy / Simulation Game of 2017

The Halo Wars franchise made its long awaited return this year and set out to further the mission started by the original years ago: create an authentic RTS experience for consoles. Moving arguably one of the most complex and APM intensive genres from the flexibility of a keyboard/mouse onto a home console with the “limitations” of a Xbox One controller is an incredibly ambitious feat. And, for the most, part Halo Wars 2 succeeds.

It’s no StarCraft 2, but RTS fans that have moved onto primarily playing on consoles can scratch that RTS itch if they have an Xbox One. There’s campaign to run through that will prepare you for the intense challenges you’ll have online versus other players, either as a team or 1v1.

Even if it’s not the same as playing a RTS on PC, the fun and challenge that comes with trying to master such a complicated and strategic game within the confines of an Xbox One controller is an experience worth embarking on.

First Runner-Up: South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Best Strategy / Simulation Game of 2017

South Park: The Fractured But Whole has no right being as good as it is, as a strategy game. It’s the sequel to the beloved Stick of Truth, which in its own right was great. Sure, it’s sprinkled with light-hearted, comedic moments and it’s perfect for fans of the show, but let’s not forget that it’s actually a genuinely good strategy game. It goes along the Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Advanced Wars style of grid-based strategy that you don’t see as often nowadays.

It was a big change from its predecessor, which followed the more traditional JRPG styled gameplay. That, in and of itself, is commendable. For a game to change its pace so drastically with a sequel and to be well-liked across the board is no easy feat.

Yet, South Park: The Fractured But Whole pulls it off. Couple it with lovable characters, an engaging story, some jokes, and an art direction that stays true to the source material and Ubisoft has themselves a licensed hit. The gaming world definitely isn’t used to those.

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