Here are our choices for the best video games of 2018.
It didn’t take long into playing Spyro’s rebooted trilogy of games before those bursts of nostalgia came flooding back in. Say what you will about Activision as a company, when it comes to their reboot of Spyro The Dragon, the three games faithfully recreate the purple dragon’s adventures perfectly. The design of each dragon, coupled with updated voice acting and sound effects, make it a really polished experience.
With fluid moves, a faithful recreation of every area and a charming, colorful graphical update, Spyro is one of this year’s best games and another very successful reboot of a Playstation 1 classic.
When it launched back in February, Kingdom Come: Deliverance was not without its problems. With bugs and glitches that would make Bethesda Studios blush, the game’s potential was let down by its rocky launch.
10 months later and a myriad of updates and tweaks make Kingdom Come: Deliverance a much more stable and enjoyable game. The originality shown in this title to bring a historically-accurate open world to life is something that deserves to be recognized, especially with the uniqueness inherent here. The rags-to-riches story may be a little well-worn by now but it works well in Kingdom Come and makes the game a really compelling and realistic open world RPG.
Much has been said about Ni No Kuni II and its various improvements in this follow-up to the first game. On the one hand, Ni No Kuni II‘s new gameplay elements don’t add much to the game and some people lamented the lack of innovation with the story that followed a by-the-numbers formula. On the other hand, a much-improved combat system and a whole slew of improvements with the gameplay and mechanics make it a really polished and enjoyable RPG.
While we didn’t get a chance to play Dragon Age XI or Divinity II, which could have probably overtaken this game as the year’s best RPG, there’s no denying that the improvements make this a joy to play through. The world is beautifully rendered too, and there’s enough charm in this follow-up to make it a really impressive RPG in its own right.
Perhaps a little unfairly, Monster Hunter: World finds itself down in 7th for no other reason than the other games in this list just managed to leave more of a lasting impression on 2018. Having said that, Monster Hunter: World is one of the best games released this year. The combat is up there with the best developed in an action game for quite some time, and the array of creatures you fight along the way are so well designed they make the fights suitably epic.
While the later bosses did become a little grindy and a few of the gameplay choices hold the game back, Monster Hunter: World is still a very good game and one of the best games of 2018.
Ah Dragonball Z. The gift that keeps on giving. Every year this insanely popular anime unleashes another game to the mass-market and every year the games vary wildly between poor and mediocre quality. What makes FighterZ such an appealing game though is a return to the basics, and the game is all the stronger for it.
With quick combos, easy to learn basics and a surprisingly deep move-set, FighterZ takes all the elements that make fighting games so good and builds the Dragonball Z lore around it, making it one of the best fighting games released on console this year.
Originally released in 2016, Owlboy‘s inclusion on this list is one that’s likely a little controversial. Given the PS4 release date for this was set in April 2018, and the list was compiled with that console in mind, we’ll include it here and give credit where its due.
Owlboy‘s charming, pixelated gameplay made it a throwback to a bygone era of platforming titles. It’s one that perfectly captures the mood and tone of these games while injecting enough humor in its compelling story to keep you going until the end. The later levels were genuinely challenging too, and the mix of charm and visual flair make it one of this year’s best platformers.
When it comes to David Cage and Quantic Dreams, the French studio’s games have been continuously trying to bridge the gap between film and game. After the decent but flawed Heavy Rain and disappointing Beyond: Two Souls, Quantic Dreams return for a game that finally nails the formula it has been striving toward for so long.
With a massive script and winding paths that actually make a difference to the overall story, Detroit: Become Human is a profoundly intelligent game, one that touches on serious topical subjects in a very mature and realistic way. From child abuse to racism, Detroit managed to weave its story and tell its tale in a non-patronising way with enough gameplay choices and dialogue options to make it a new benchmark for narrative-driven games going forward.
Much has been said about Rockstar’s latest Wild West venture. After an impressive array of near-perfect scores from outlets around the world, Red Dead Redemption 2 looked set to be the game of the year. In truth, we’re still mid-way through Arthur’s adventure and it’s a suitably decent game but one that’s likely to divide opinion.
The small details in the game both make and break the experience and it’s here where Red Dead Redemption 2 comes undone. The micro-transaction riddled online aside, Red Dead 2 leaves us with a seriously conflicted feeling. On the one hand, the game is beautiful, possibly the best looking game on console, with a really well-worked storyline. As a game, Red Dead 2 feels torn between its duties as a wild west simulator and an enjoyable experience which hinders so many of the small elements that should be enjoyable.
Still, it’s a very impressive game and another solid entry for Rockstar, but one that’s likely to divide opinion among the masses.
Looking back, it was almost foolhardy to expect Insomniac Games, the creators of fellow superhero game Infamous, not to deliver a compelling superhero game. Not since the days of the original PlayStation has playing as the web-slinger felt so satisfying and rewarding. Although the later periods of the game do feel a little grindy, the general gameplay and movement are so fluid it’s easy to forgive. Insomniac nailed the web shooting so perfectly they achieved what very few games have managed before.
The open world is well designed, the story engrossing and engaging and all of this mixed with a splash of satisfying gameplay. The evolution of the free-flowing combat from the Arkham games works so well in Spider-Man and with plenty of power-ups, suits and little Easter Eggs hidden around New York, it’s hard not to fall in love with this game.
No other game this year has managed to nail all of its elements so perfectly like God Of War has. From the beautifully realized world to the perfect pacing within its expansive story, God Of War set a new benchmark for narrative storytelling when it dropped back in April. Much like The Last Of Us before it, God Of War tackled mature topics in a very compelling and respectful way.
The story of Father and Son both spiritually and physically is so beautifully told whilst managing to evolve the hack n’ slash formula that made the original games so appealing with a deeply satisfying combat system. It was a tough choice between the top 4, but God Of War just edges it for managing to harmoniously juggle every part of its game to perfection.
So there we have it, out top 10 games of the year. There were casualties, some omissions, and some games we really wanted to play but just ran out of time to play through, sadly. Subnautica, Donut County, Divinity II: Original Sin and The Forest, to name a few, were all noticeably absent from this list and because of that, the choices above were made based on the games we managed to play through.
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