More and more games are seeing Western shores (and that’s an incredibly good thing), but there are still some great 2017 releases that will take some work to acquire. They’re weird, they’re fun and they’re foreigner-friendly: our top five import games of the year!
5. Super Robot Wars V
There are so many Super Robot Wars games! There are ever so many. And we’ve only managed to get a few side games in English. That’s starting to change with the emergence of “Asia English” releases, getting around those pesky licensing entanglements and releasing it in a way we can play. V is a much more impressive package than its predecessor in this effort, OG: The Moon Dwellers, and a representative entry in a strategy franchise that’s stood the test of time in Japan. You don’t need to know the famous anime robots included to have a good time, but it… probably helps! – Graham
4. Itadaki Street: 30th Anniversary
It is easy to get invested in the Itadaki Street series. There is a sense of consistency there, with each game building on a solid foundation. Itadaki Street: 30th Anniversary is the pleasant culmination of years of work, allowing people to pick iconic Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, traverse various boards, build retail empires and attempt to accrue a certain amount of money before everyone else. It is just so much fun to get together with friends and attempt to strategically outperform everyone else. – Jenni
3. Pictlogica Final Fantasy
Though Pictlogica Final Fantasy may be part of the darkest Picross timeline, but it is a shining beacon on the Nintendo 3DS. This takes classic nonogram puzzles and gives them Final Fantasy themes or has you fighting “battles” against familiar series enemies with allies you have unlocked via completing Picross puzzles. It is quite an unusual take on the series’ formula, and one that can feel quite compelling when you find yourself presented with an opportunity to unlock new characters or best new opponents. – Jenni
2. 8Bit Music Power Final
Okay, so this is only marginally a game. But marginally still qualifies! So this Famicom cartridge containing a lovingly-curated chiptune album makes it almost to the top of our list because it’s just that good. It’s more than just the songs, though: a cool interface and illustrations, along with the ability to mess with the system’s channels and create your own pseudo-mixes, makes it as fulfilling to the eyes as it is to the ears.– Graham
The best import game of 2017: Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session!
Taiko no Tatsujin is amazing in any language, but it is especially nice to have Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! in English! Especially when there is a compilation of enjoyable songs. It is especially fun to compete against friends with when they are in the same room as you or via tapping into their cloud data to see if you can match their song scores. You can’t beat this Taiko! – Jenni
It’s Taiko! In English! That is enough to make this list, but for the number one slot, it also had to deliver fun progression, a varied song list and an actually-smart implementation of asynchronous online multiplayer with friends. It did. Import this game. – Graham