Another year, another Game of the Year article.
2018 hasn’t really been an eventful year for me personally. Looking back though, a lot of awesome games came out this year. Some of these games are still in early access/beta, and one of them came out last year but I didn’t get the chance to play it until this year. But it was so good that it beat out most of the titles I played this year. This is my top 10.
There’s a lot of great games that I just didn’t get to play this year. So if you don’t see them on the list, don’t hate me for it 🙂
–World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth: After not having played WoW for 8+ years, my friends goaded me into trying out the latest expansion with them. Even though it’s the worst expansion I’ve played for many reasons, reconnecting and playing with a lot of my old guild and meeting new friends make up for it’s shortcomings.
–Battlefield V: Battlefield plays and looks really good. However, it just didn’t capture the feeling of World War 2 to me. This is coming from someone that has played pretty much every WW2 FPS imaginable. Nothing seems to come close to Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Call of Duty 2 to me.
–Quake Champions (early access): One of the most fun FPS’s I’ve played in a long time but they are stumbling with their updates. The most recent revamping of the currency/loot system is a prime example of terrible UI and a lack of thoughtful, interesting, cosmetic items.
I thought I would like the game more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great game and one of the best Smash Bros. games they’ve ever released, but the World of Light (single-player story mode) and the whole Spirit system is so convoluted that I just don’t want to play it at all. It teaches bad habits because of all the variables the spirits and fights add. It makes me just wish most of the spirits were playable characters. They took out the home run and target practice modes which were fun in their own way too.
What really disappoints me (expectedly) is the online. It’s terrible. Nintendo’s online infrastructure with friend codes and friend lists and trying to join friends is just bizarre in this day and age. Also with most people playing through WiFi because the LAN adapter is a separate accessory you need to buy, most matches are laggy enough that you can’t control your character with a precision that is needed for competitive play. All this coupled with changes to some of my favorite characters (for the worse) lead me to just not playing it much at all.
This is an absolutely fantastic turn based strategy game. It’s very satisfying when you play through a level with no casualties by coming up with creative ways to utilize the tools given to you. Unfortunately, it just didn’t keep me compelled once I unlocked and played all of the different unit configurations. I still highly recommend it though.
I’ve always been a Magic: The Gathering fan but never really committed to purchasing real cards or stepping into the digital space with their old, outdated, Magic Online client.
This new game however, I can’t seem to put down. I sometimes spend hours playing when I only meant to play a few games. I’ve only spent $5 on the starter pack which gives you a lot of cards to play around with, while teasing some of the more rare ones. The tutorial is serviceable for beginners and by playing the game, you can earn starter decks and packs relatively easily.
I’ve yet to put any significant amount of money into the game, but I’m very, very tempted to. This is probably my biggest surprise of the year.
This game is really something else. You want a first person, medieval, role-playing game that strives for realism? This is it. You have to manage your hunger and thirst, travel long distances, and watch what you say/do around others. The story is surprisingly good, with you being a lowly, ugly (how’s that for a change), commoner seeking revenge on those that burned down your village. The tone of the game ranges from very serious to downright comedic.
The one issue I had with the game is the combat. It is obviously meant for 1 on 1 engagements, but many times they throw 3, 4, 5 people at you and it is a chore to switch targets and attack swiftly. Despite that, I had a great time with the game.
One of my favorite games of all time, remastered. It looks great, feels great, and it still holds up. One problem I have is that they changed the invasion rules and added tiers depending on the weapon you have. This splits up the playerbase somewhat and I wish was not added. Pick this up though if you haven’t already.
This is my first true Monster Hunter game. I played it completely solo on the PS4 when it came out in January and I had a blast. Sliding down hills and doing 10 flips while smashing the hammer into a large beast’s face feels awesome. Almost every weapon has a completely unique playstyle meaning you will have to approach missions differently depending on what you have chosen.
One of the problems I’ve heard is how annoying it is to group up with friends to play through the story missions together. I don’t know the details so if you are interested in doing this maybe take some time to look up how they’ve changed it or if I’m completely wrong about it.
I loved the first season of Hitman and the second “season” just gave me more of that great stealth action gameplay. I played with the instinct vision turned off, targets on the map turned off, and on the hardest difficulty and it was a lot of fun! It’s a short game if you try and rush through each level and only care about playing through it once. However, I would spend over an hour on each level just wandering around seeing all the different vantage points, escape routes, potential disguises, and story arcs. That’s what makes the game fun for me. What’s nice is that if you are good enough, you can go in guns blazing if you wanted to as well. Pretty much everything works.
I know. I know. This game didn’t come out this year. But I played it for the first time in August and it blew me the fuck away.
The visuals, the music, the gameplay, the feel, the pacing… Pretty much all of it was absolutely fantastic. If you are a fan of metroidvania style games, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give this a shot.
Incredible. Sad. Funny. Realistic. Slow and deliberate. Fun. These are just some ways to describe what is one of the best games Rockstar has ever put out. Also one of the most expensive games ever made. Once the credits rolled, I went and watched The Man With No Name trilogy: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for the first time and you can clearly see the influence.
I was a little worried with after watching the first few trailers of the game showing off the main protaganist, Arthur Morgan, because he sorta looked like a bland, boring, expressionless cowboy that is just part of Dutch’s gang. Boy was I dead wrong. Arthur Morgan is probably the best written character ever in a Rockstar game. His conflicted actions while in Dutch’s company are expertly portrayed through the writing, acting, and voice performance.
One adjective I left out earlier was immersive. You really do feel like you are in the shoes of Arthur Morgan, in the wild west of America, during the very early 1900’s. I don’t really want to fill up much more of this page with Red Dead talk, but if you are at all interested in this time period and setting, and can put in the 40+ hours to see it through to the end, I promise you will not be disappointed. Although it may take some time getting used to the sluggish controls and poor menu system.
Either pick up this game right now, or wait for the inevitably better PC version which will probably come out in a year or two.
I had a tough time choosing between this and Red Dead for the number 1 spot. At first I had Red Dead winning because it was very fresh in my mind when starting this list, but I had to go back to the beginning of the year and refresh my memory on some of the amazing moments that occurred in this game. You can even read my review of it -> Here <-. Within the first hour, God of War sets the tone of the game with a brutal, visceral boss fight, and through interactions with your son Atreus. There are some amazingly well done set pieces throughout the whole game, taking place in a variety of different environments. There were some points where I thought the game was about to end, but it had only just begun. Each of the main and supporting characters were performed in a way that was believable and pushed you to go through with your next objective.
The combat was very fun to control. The camera zooms in and sways during executions to amplify the impact of Kratos crushing skulls under his boot. The twitching while gripping the axe for a charged heavy attack just makes it feel that much more powerful.
I guess the reason I chose God of War over Red Dead Redemption is that it’s a more tightly knit package. Red Dead really demands a lot of your time to get the full experience which is a hard sell for some people.
I also still get urges to go back and replay through God of War. Something that I just don’t think I could do with Red Dead.
Thanks for reading my game of the year list!
I have some big life changes coming in 2019 so I don’t really know what the future of this blog is nor my stream, but I’ll try my best to continue doing what I love.
Happy Holidays everyone! See you in 2019!