I have a problem with “Game of the Year” lists.
This mostly stems from the fact that most people who make them either haven’t played all of the games worthy of consideration, OR the list is released unfinished/excludes games.
I’m here to fix that! I’m going to be posting my favorite games of 2018 that I’ve played, and update the list as I continue to tackle last year’s best. Obviously, it’s impossible for one person to play everything, but I’ve completely wiped my backlog of everything that didn’t come out in 2018 so that I can catch up and give a true opinion on the matter throughout the year. Not all of us have the ability to play every game as it’s released, and considering there are three major consoles, I’m sure there are others in my shoes as well.
Below you’ll find my current TOP 10 favorite games of 2018, as well as the games I plan on playing that came out last year, before making a definitive list.
*I don’t include remakes/remasters. I think nostalgia plays too much of a role, and Shadow of the Colossus would win everything for the rest of time for me. Can’t have it.
The Best Games of 2018 (In Progress)
1. Detroit: Become Human – I can’t say enough about this game, and the performances from the cast were incredible. While the gameplay boils down to exploration and quick time events, it feels like you’re a much bigger part of the story. For those that think the topics tackled weren’t handled as good as they could have been – shut up. The conversation needs to start somewhere, and Detroit did an excellent job of opening up the conversation.
2. Far Cry 5 – It’s very rare that I finish a game and continue to play once I’ve unlocked everything, but Far Cry 5 was one of those games. Maybe it’s because I disliked Far Cry 4 so much, but I liked almost everything about 5. The gameplay was straight up fun. The story did play it safe, obviously being too afraid to get caught up in current politics. This is by far the best open world game I’ve played recently.
3. Overcooked 2! – I played through the entire game in one sitting with my brother, and I’m not sure there’s a better couch co-op game on the market. Following in the footsteps of the original, it doesn’t evolve much, but it didn’t really have to. It’s an absolute blast that can be played with anybody.
4. Celeste – As a diehard Super Meat Boy fan, this game was right up my alley as a difficult platformer. Little did I know I’d get a moving story out of it. Mental health is a topic that’s gaining steam, and Celeste tackled anxiety and insecurity with grace. It’s a truly great paltformer, with amazing level design and set pieces. I can’t recommend this game enough.
5. Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Not sure it’s the best entry in the trilogy, but still phenominal none the less. I love this series, so maybe I liked it more than most people will, but everything about it feels polished. More tomb-like sections, fewer firefights, and a compelling story all led to an outstanding adventure. It may be the best looking game I’ve ever seen graphically as well.
6. A Way Out – This game came out of nowhere, and ended up being a favorite of mine. Another game I played with my brother that we couldn’t put down. Who would have thought that a forced co-op game about two guys escaping prison would be so fun? There’s a lot of repetition, but the overall gameplay/story/co-op nature overshadow the negatives.
7. Road to Ballhalla – I was obsessed with this game, going so far as holding some of the top times in the world on a couple levels for a few days. I tend to love marble games and time trials, so it’s a no brainer on my list.
8. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – Back on the topic of mental health, Hellblade is 100% about it, but doesn’t make it as obvious as it may seem. There is a video you can watch that’s a “behind the scenes” on how they worked with those that suffered from psychosis to make the game more legitimate. Again, it wasn’t perfect, but conversations need to start somewhere and I applaud the effort. Besides that, it’s a great action game with some decent puzzles.
9. Chasm – I’m not much of “metroidvania” person, but Chasm is a gem. There is nothing revolutionary about it, but it’s polished beyond belief. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, and the areas included are well put together with decent bosses. I can’t think of a negative thing to say.
10. The Videokid – This game rules! It’ll have a hard time staying on the list due to its brevity, but this is the kind of retro game I’m here for. A new take on paperboy with a ton of 80s cameos… doesn’t get much better than that.
Honorable Mentions: Jurassic World Evolution, Mega Man 11, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Minit
STILL TO PLAY (OR PLAYING): Red Dead Redemption 2, Battlefield V, God of War, Spider-Man, Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Dead Cells, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Hollow Knight, Into the Breach, Octopath Traveler, The Messenger, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Forza Horizon 4, Moonlighter, Donut County, Hitman 2, Moss, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Tetris Effect.
Didn’t Make the Cut/Not For Me: Monster Hunter World, Mario Tennis Aces, CoD: Black Ops 4, Dragon Quest 11, Ni No Kuni 2, Sea of Thieves, Yakuza 6, Florence.