My first experience with Collectible Card Games was when I was about 9 years old. Pokemon was all the craze at the time. I remember playing, and mostly losing, with my friends during recess at school. I wasn't particularly good at the time and, to be honest, never got very good at CCGs. Still, I always found them to be an enjoyable social gathering.
While the social aspect has changed a bit with the number of CCGs that can be found online nowadays, they are still as popular as ever. With contenders like Gwent, the fun minigame from The Witcher franchise of games, to Elder Scrolls: Legends, Bethesda's CCG based off of the similarly named series' lore, the choices are many. With so many options out there, what game will be the most popular?
One of the cool technical aspects of this game is the fact that it has cross-platform play, allowing players to compete against each other across operating systems and hardware platforms. The game is a widely hailed success and enjoys a near permanent position in the top 10 most viewed games on Twitch.tv.
With its already sizable fanbase, it's hard to see hearthstone losing any momentum in the race for domination in the 2017 CCG scene. But, that's not to say that there isn't going to be some competition.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
I'd be lying if I didn't say that I've easily spent 10 hours in The Witcher 3 playing and hunting down rare cards for my Gwent deck. There was just something enjoyable about coming back from slaying a Griffon and sitting down in the tavern to a game of Gwent or, even better, emptying a nobles coin purse and wiping their smug look of self-importance off their face.
Gwent the CCG allows you to choose from a number of the franchise's factions for building your deck. Each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses. It's as much of a deck building game as it is a strategy game since there are 3 rounds to a game.
As of right now Gwent is currently in a closed beta on Windows and Xbox One platforms.
Elder Scrolls: Legends
For those that don't know, I am a HUGE fan of the Elder Scrolls games, of which I've written a number of articles. So, it should come as no small surprise that if there were one game to rule them all, I'd want it to be this one.
Not only is the artwork amazing but, the combat is just as challenging, if not more so, than hearthstone and the strategy runs deep. You start off with 3 cards in your hand and 1 point of Magicka, which increases ever turn until a natural cap of 12.
Battle takes place in 2 separate lanes and there is a rune system. As you or your opponent lose health, you can draw a card and choose to play it there on the spot, possibly turning the tide in your favor.
If there was a game that I was going to get into, it would be Elder Scrolls: Legends but that's also due to my partial bias towards the amazing lore of the series. The game itself is currently in open beta with plans to have its final release sometime in 2017.
SMITE Tactics, like the other games listed above, is a CCG but with a twist. It also features tactics-styled play. What does that mean? Well, once you've built your deck, you play them into a battlefield where the minions are summoned and you control their movement in the game world. Here's a video that showcases some of what I'm talking about:
I know that there are a lot more games out to cover but these are the 4 major contenders to be the biggest CCG for 2017. So, if I had to pick one game to be the best over all the others. One game, that will blow us away in 2017, I would have to go with Elder Scrolls: Legends.
I know that I'm biased but it just stands out to me as the most interesting for the games. If I wanted to play Gwent, I'd fire up The Witcher 3 and have a romp with my already amazing deck. I'm not too invested in the lore for World of Warcraft as I am for Elder Scrolls so I'm not too interested in hearthstone, and I'm only now getting back into SMITE so ES:L is the game for me.
What game do you think should be on this list? What game do you think will be the top CCG? Let me know in the comments below!