How does it compare to your list?
It’s been a grand old year for game hasn’t it? So grand in fact, that trying to pick five games each that stood out for us this year was a pretty tough ask. Still, we’ve somehow managed to string together a list that we’re fairly certain has the best of what 2018 has to offer when it comes to games. So, have a look and don’t forget to tell us what your favourite games were in the comments below!
Far Cry 5: This was my first foray into the franchise and my god, am I so glad I picked this one up. The sprawling hills of Hope County are rife with danger, and the eerie presence of Joseph Seed does not help one bit. Don’t get me wrong – the game has its flaws – but the main cast of villains has such a strong, foreboding presence, they genuinely unnerve me. Definitely pick this one up if you get the chance.
Detroit: Become Human: Disappointingly shallow as this narrative was, it’s always good to see something new from Quantic Dream, especially in a sci fi setting which really doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Graphically, it dazzled, and in its quieter moments, the game positively shines. Now if we got some DLC that fleshed everyone out (ha ha), I’d 100% buy it.
The Walking Dead – The Final Season: Or the first episode of the final season, that is. The Walking Dead was on very shaky ground at the end of season three (which let’s face it, swiftly turned into Eastenders-esque family drama), and I wasn’t particularly enthused for the final season. Despite that, Episode One was one of the most enjoyable episodes I could remember – stellar voice acting and a coherent, dark plot. Now admittedly we’ve had about a six month hiatus, but the franchise is still kicking… allegedly. Fingers crossed 2019 will bring the last two episodes as promised.
The World Ends with You: Final Remix: I feel this one flew over the head of a lot of people – it’s an old game
Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight/Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight: These are silly, silly games, but when you’ve got best boy Ryuji dancing to gorgeous remixes of Rivers in the Desert, I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to give these a whirl. The different tracks are a refreshing change of pace from the official OST, and each character having their unique dancing style is a delight to watch (and Futaba is just precious). They’re worth a go, even if I did set my RSI off playing them too much…
Grip Combat Racing: There’s something so brilliantly refreshing about Grip’s simplistic premise that really made it standout out among its realist-racer counterparts for me. Offering up a return to the classic rollcage insanity of the 90s, Grip’s pick up and play style of game, mixed with it’s ridiculous speed, and tracks that will have your stomach bouncing all over the shop all deliver some much needed chaos to a genre that’s become a little too prim and proper for my liking. And the fact that it’s pretty much the only racer I can name this year with splitscreen multiplayer really does make it standout.
Minit: There’s something special about Minit. Its brilliant use of time and space work together to create an extra puzzle on top of everything else the game’s adventure offers you. Meaning that as you try to get through the string of quests the game throws at you, you spend the majority of your short life
Spider-Man: We all looked at Spider-Man with a cautious expectancy, right? Too many times since Spiderman 2 had we been burned by a fairly flat iteration of the world’s best superhero. So, even after all the trailers and the pedigree of Insomniac, I was still hesitant about the game leading up to its release. Then I played some of it and realised I was being a bloody idiot for being worried. Because along with a genuinely fun story, it’s the simple pleasure of swinging around a breathtaking New York City that makes Spider-Man all the fun it is. It’s the followup to the series we all wanted it to be and I can’t really ask for more than that.
Hitman 2: Bloody hell it feels good to have some new maps to play around with. And Hitman 2’s ability to recreate that unspoken puzzle-play of previous Hitman games shows just how good the series still is. Some will say that the game doesn’t change it up enough to warrant being more than a mid-way point from Hitman 2016 but, why bother messing around with a formula that works so well? Because while the story missions and challenges In Hitman 2 are just excellent, the real enjoyment I get from it is exploring the vast environments that IO has managed to create. Wandering around Whittleton Creek and just seeing what’s lurking behind that hellish suburbia is some of the most fun I’ve had in the game. And with the little extras like the Escalation Contracts and Elusive Targets, Hitman 2 is a game that pulls you back in
God of War: When you say the plot of God of War out loud, you can’t help but make it sound like an annoying, pre-teen indie drama. The dad who doesn’t know how to be a father learns to have a relationship with his
Monster Hunter – World: I was really looking forward to the new Monster Hunter, and it totally surpassed my expectations. Capcom had dropped a lot of the tedious animations and slow camera shenanigans from the previous games and replaced them with a smooth gameplay experience. Yes, the story is pretty weak, but the combat and big-ass monsters are superb. One of those games that you can keep going back too. My GOTY.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4: Another surprise hit for me, I wasn’t expecting Blackout to be quite so good as it is, and all the other modes were equally as well polished. No campaign actually had no effect on me for how much I enjoyed this game. CoD did well this year and the DLC will hopefully extend the life of this title.
Battlefield V: Definitely not the best Battlefield game by far, better than Hardline, but subpar to BF1, BF3, BF4 from the recent Battlefield releases. It’s full of ongoing bugs and glitches; released lacking a lot of content, and the squad size was reduced to only 4 players (awful move). Even issues with TTK/TTD have plagued the game since Alpha/Beta tests, but putting all that aside, it’s still a Battlefield game and I’m enjoying the shit out of it.
Bloodborne: An old game from 2015, but when it popped onto the PlayStation Plus Monthly games this year, I finally got around to completing this boss-battler. Full of glorious gothic environments and a vague story that’s hidden on the items that you can collect; Bloodborne leaves a lot of the mystery open for you to interpret how you will, which is a bloody clever way of getting you engrossed in a game.
Earthfall: The version of Left for Dead 3 that we still haven’t received. It lacked the chemistry and banter that the L4D2 characters had between themselves, but it made up for that in shooty fun. Maps were well executed, and the added fortifications that you could construct to protect your rear or funnel the xenomorphs into a Killzone worked really well. Another surprise hit for me.
God of War: Holy shit! God of War Ascension I didn’t have much faith in the God of War brand… Ascension left a sour taste in my mouth that wouldn’t go away. Then Sony’s E3 2016 press conference opened with an incredible orchestra followed by our brand new look at the soft reboot of God of War! Kratos had a brand new look, sporting an epic beard and apparently has had a son. This new entry gave us a new playstyle with over the shoulder gameplay whilst keeping the brutality that we came to expect with our dearest angry man, Kratos. God of War is definitely my Game of 2018.
Dragon Ball FighterZ: Dragon Ball is by far one of the best anime series that I’ve ever watched! With slick animation, well choreographed martial arts and some of the most awesome attacks known to man. ArcSys nailed this game by capturing the essence of Dragon Ball, I always thought I needed another Budokai Tenkaichi game but it turned out I was dead wrong! If you love fighting games but have never watched Dragon Ball, you need to watch all of Dragon Ball excluding GT and buy yourself Dragon Ball FighterZ like right now!
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age: I have never played a Dragon Quest game… I’ll give you time to berate me in the comments. Dragon Quest XI, oh boy, this game is so damn good in all aspects whether it be the characters, the narrative or the world, damn, even the NPCs have some interesting character building. I need to go back and check some of the older titles especially Dragon Quest VIII as my friend keeps informing me.
Reverie: I love the Legend of Zelda and Reverie screamed Zelda at me! This cute little adventure RPG developed by independent developer, Rainbite Limited. Reverie follows the adventures of Tai on Toromi Island where restless spirits torment the island dwellers so Tai takes it upon himself to conquer dungeons and settle the angry spirits all whilst on a vacation to visit his Grandparents. It’s currently the perfect time to grab it as it’s currently on sale over on the PlayStation Store with a Switch version coming soon.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy: Ever since we got the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, I wanted a remaster of the classic Spyro games. Toys for Bob nailed the remasters for these games, everything felt how it did back in 1998. Unlike the Crash collection where they did something that screwed with the jumping arcs and how Crash positions himself on platforms… Spyro nailed everything and I hope they develop a new Spyro game in the same style as the classics.
Far Cry 5: Much like our Viki, Far Cry 5 was my first foray into the Far Cry series. Well at least on a more serious note. I had barely tried Far Cry Instincts on the original Xbox way back when, but nothing caught my attention as it felt very generic. But when I saw the first gameplay footage of Far Cry 5, I knew I had to play it. I was privileged enough to review it for GGS and it’s definitely my favourite game of the year. From the shooting to the weapons, crazy shenanigans to the characters, the game is just pure fun from start to finish and with an antagonist whose reason is not black or grey, it’s a hell of an entertaining ride.
Horizon Chase Turbo: Way back when during the Super NES/Super Famicon era, I was a huge fan of the Top Gear racing series. I rented TG2 so many times that I could’ve actually bought it. So when I first heard of Horizon Chase Turbo, I knew I had to play it. And boy it did not disappoint. It’s perfectly balanced, easy to pick up and play and addictive. It’s always just 1 more race…
The Messenger: Once again, another game that taps into with my memories of the NES/Famicom era. As a huge fan of Ninja Gaiden, I had been secretly hoping a similar experience on current-gen console and The Messenger hits that note. This game features a somewhat simplistic premise, but with a deep and complete experience. And it’s even harder than Ninja Gaiden!
The Shapeshifting Detective: I’ve never really been a fan of movie-like interactive experience. A few years ago, I had the privilege of reviewing the Late Shift and something clicked for me. They are a different breed of experience, but also very unique. So when I had the opportunity to review The Shapeshifting Detective, I jumped on it and it did not disappoint. The game works on the simple fact that players can shapeshift into any characters they meet throughout the interrogation process and being able to discover the story throughout the eyes of different perspective it quite unique.
Persona 3 Dancing In Moonlight: Persona 3 holds a very special place in my heart. I played so many hours of it, I lost track. So when this was announced, I was very excited. After Persona 4 Dancing All night pretty much sold me on the mechanic, when P3 DAN was announced, I was excited. One of my favourite soundtrack playable in a rhythm-based game, I couldn’t ask for more. While I was heartbroken about physical Vita games being discontinued in North America, I ordered the Japanese version as this game is best enjoyed on a Vita with headphones.
And that’s it, a complete list of what we think is the best that 2018 has to offer. What were your top five games of the year though? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll see you back here in 2019!