ResetEra Games of the Year 2018 - Voting Thread (READ THE OP) [Ends Jan 20th 8:59am EST]

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The Old Guard
Oct 24, 2017

The annual GOTY vote has arrived!

The fabulous team from last year will be returning to help organize this year's celebrations again. Big thanks to Muzy, BeardedMan01, Rösti, OneAndOnly, Hecht, ratrosaw and all of the site staff.

The official rules and sample ballot are below. Please read carefully as options are different
If you do not follow the rules, your vote may not be counted. You have been warned.

2018 Voting Rules
Your post needs to look like this:

  1. Dead Cells - It's the only game more dead than my heart.
  2. God Of War - He doesn't even have a dad bod.
  3. Fortnite: Battle Royale - More like Fartnite, amirite?
  4. Monster Hunter World - Game meets grind.
  5. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Somehow manages to play slower than PAL Tekken 3.
  6. Celeste - Well, the music is decent at least?
  7. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Kass should have been the only playable character.
  8. Marvel's Spiderman - Puddlegate is REAL.
  9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Sakurai tried to make a game so bad Nintendo would finally free him.
  10. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Shadow the Hedgehog was a better game.
Not like this:
  1. Dead Cells
  2. God Of War
  3. Fortnite: Battle Royale
  4. Monster Hunter World
  5. Red Dead Redemption 2
  6. Celeste
  7. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  8. Marvel's Spiderman
  9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  10. Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  • You must have at least one comment on your ballot or it may not be counted. The comment must be more substantial than "best game ever LOL" etc. Posting without comments may subject you to a ban. Do NOT post a ballot without any comments.
  • Lists must be created using the ordered list option in RTF OR using "list=1" if using BBCode editor.
  • The game title must be bolded.
  • You can use anything to break between a bolded game title and your comment. Hyphens, semi-colons, colons, etc.
  • You may vote for any playable content released in 2018.
  • The current spreadsheet of nominated games can be found here.
  • You can list up to any number of games for your ballot. 1-10 will receive vote points. 11+ will be considered honorable mentions.
  • Games must be listed using their full title. Abbreviated entries will not be counted. Copy-and-paste from the spreadsheet to be sure. Voting for "MHW" or "RDR2" will result in your vote not being counted. You must use the full title.
  • No reserving posts to hold your ballot until later. This clogs up the thread with wasted space and ensures that fewer people will actually see your list. Such posts will disqualify your ballot, even if edited later.
  • No posting unofficial, preliminary results. This may influence voting.
Voting Ends: Sunday, January 20th, 2018 at 5:59am PST / 8:59am EST. No extensions. No exceptions. Here's a countdown clock and here are worldwide times.

Sample Ballot
Ready to vote? Get started quickly by copying and pasting the ballot below into your reply.
To ensure the parser correctly tabulates your ballot, please follow this format as closely as possible. Don't actually post "Game A" or "Your thoughts on Game A," etc.
  1. Game A - Thoughts on Game A
  2. Game B - Thoughts on Game B
  3. Game C - Thoughts on Game C
  4. Game D - Thoughts on Game D
  5. Game E - Thoughts on Game E
  6. Game F - Thoughts on Game F
  7. Game G - Thoughts on Game G
  8. Game H - Thoughts on Game H
  9. Game I - Thoughts on Game I
  10. Game J - Thoughts on Game J
  11. Game K - Thoughts on Game K
  12. Game L - Thoughts on Game L
Ballot Scoring
Note that while all points will be tallied, only NEW playable content will be eligible for GOTY and Genre Award consideration.
All content is eligible for Platform Award consideration. Rereleases, ports, and other content will be awarded in their own category.
  1. Game A - 4 points
  2. Game B - 3 points
  3. Game C - 3 points
  4. Game D - 2 points
  5. Game E - 2 points
  6. Game F - 2 points
  7. Game G - 1 points
  8. Game H - 1 points
  9. Game I - 1 points
  10. Game J - 1 points
  11. Game K - 0 points
  12. Game L - 0 points

BBCODE (also, you can highlight and quote/reply the above to automatically copy the BBcode to your post):
[*][B]Game A[/B] - Thoughts on Game A
[*][B]Game B[/B] - Thoughts on Game B
[*][B]Game C[/B] - Thoughts on Game C
[*][B]Game D[/B] - Thoughts on Game D
[*][B]Game E[/B] - Thoughts on Game E
[*][B]Game F[/B] - Thoughts on Game F
[*][B]Game G[/B] - Thoughts on Game G
[*][B]Game H[/B] - Thoughts on Game H
[*][B]Game I[/B] - Thoughts on Game I
[*][B]Game J[/B] - Thoughts on Game J
[*][B]Game K[/B] - Thoughts on Game K
[*][B]Game L[/B] - Thoughts on Game L

------ Vote Bot ------

Returning again this year will be VoteBot. Once your vote has been posted, VoteBot will parse your list and provide you a receipt that looks like the below.

Please use VoteBot to help ensure that your posts are formatted correctly. If VoteBot is reading your post incorrectly, you likely have formatting errors in your post!

------ Game Eligibility -------

Eligible games:
  • Playable content released this year is eligible. This includes new games, remasters, ports, and so on.
  • DLC, including expansion packs, are eligible to be voted on as long as it's playable. Destiny: Curse of Osiris is eligible. Horse Armor is not.
  • Episodes of games released this year are eligible.
------ FAQ ------

Is (insert game here) eligible?
1. First, check the speadsheet of eligible nominated games Note that this list isn't exhaustive, but if it's on there, you're good.
2. Not on there? Check the confirmed eligible and ineligible games listed above.
3. If a game you want isn't listed there either, and you're SURE about it, just post it in your ballot. We'll automatically add it to the list. If you're not sure, shoot me or Hecht a PM and we'll get it sorted out.

Are Early Access games eligible?
No, Early Access, beta, demo, and Greenlight games are not eligible. PC games must reach full release, or version 1.0 in order to be eligible.

Can I talk about somebody else's list?
Discussion is encouraged! Want to talk about another poster’s list? Quote it.

Can I use images in my ballot? I want it to be BEAUTIFUL!
Absolutely you can, but all numbering and formatting must happen as indicated in the sample ballot above, meaning your numbers cannot be within the image itself, and you must make the images work within an ordered list. Images should be posted AFTER the bolded title. ex: "1. Game A (img) - comments" or "1. Game A - comments (img)" You can use carriage returns and the like are fine for spacing out images.

My ballot is too long! Can I split it into two posts?
You should NOT split your ballot into two, because the parser won't read it correctly.

I want to change my list. Do I have to make a new post?
No, you can simply edit your original vote up until the deadline. Please note that ONLY your posted list will be read by the parser. If you wish to make ballot changes, please edit your already posted list!

My ballot was disqualified! Why?
Most likely, you didn't follow the rules above. What you probably did: You didn't number things correctly. You didn't write any comments. You listed the same game more than once. You didn't follow the formatting rules.

Can I order my list from 10 to 1?

OMG what about Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII Lots of people are using Arabic numerals. Will they be counted?
We'll be fairly lenient on variations, but the only way to guarantee that your vote will be counted is to copy-and-paste from the spreadsheet. But again, just because a game isn't listed doesn't mean you can't vote for it if you're sure it's a 2018 title. Just use the most complete and official title available.

When will the results be posted?
As soon as is possible given the copy-paste technology at our disposal.

Happy voting, everyone!
Last edited:


Oct 25, 2017
  1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
  2. Octopath Traveler
  3. Iconoclasts
  4. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
  5. Gris
  6. Return of the Obra Dinn
  7. ZeroRanger
  8. God of War
  9. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  10. Celeste

Game of the Year

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

The curse of being a Dragon Quest fan is forever struggling to find the right words to describe what it is about these games that make them so truly exceptional. It's easy to start off with the usual truisms: DQXI has a surprisingly thematic narrative, subtly and delicately penned by an expert writer who understands that the most effective storytelling is often understated rather than trumpeted from the rooftops, comprised of nuances and subtle flourishes that suggest rather than explain. Like its predecessors, it features a meticulously balanced turn-based combat system that provides strategic encounters and thrilling suspense; it boasts a fully-realized world of gorgeous locales and incredible vistas; and it contains a thoughtful progression system that balances party customization with efficiency and fun.

But, while all of those individual components are an important part of the Dragon Quest identity, the core of the series' appeal is something more nebulous, a more inscrutable concept that transcends all of these parts and binds them together into a whole. All of the strong elements of DQXI don't merely work; more importantly, they work together, specifically feeding into one another and self-reinforcing each other until they seem to disappear into a mix, replaced by a general feeling of satisfaction that infuses every nook and cranny of the game. That cohesion is the key to Dragon Quest; not that it is good in many ways, but that it is good in one way that manifests in many ways. It is a singular experience where nothing feels out of place, and everything works in service of the broader feel of the game, that atmosphere of adventure and understated human drama that has always characterized Dragon Quest.

But where DQXI differentiates itself, not just from its predecessors but also from the vast majority of other JRPGs, is in just how polished those individual elements are. It is one thing to say that the gameplay feeds into the scenario design, which feeds into the plot, which feeds into the character arcs, and so forth; but quite another to suggest that all of these elements, even taken separately, are of the absolute highest quality. But that is indeed the case here, and other than the soundtrack (which, despite a lot of controversy, is overall serviceable), the game has a universal sheen over every part of it, a glow of meticulous care that exudes from every component and which makes the act of playing it an absolute joy. This is the tightest that Dragon Quest has ever been in terms of its core game design, from the carefully-paced and constantly evolving scenario design, to the sensible streamlining and retooling of the combat mechanics, and even to such seemingly minor subsystems as the crafting, which consists of a wonderful minigame that provides some of the most exciting moments in the game. To say that a game is greater than the sum of its parts carries a connotation that the parts themselves are lacking in some way; DQXI is a game where those parts are already of the highest standard, and taken together they grow even greater. The total effect is one of astounding quality and incredible consistency; this is one of only three JRPGs to which I would give a perfect score with no hesitation (the other two are Chrono Trigger and Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne).

While the overarching story and its fascinating themes can't be fully discussed without spoiling key moments of the game (and, at any rate, that discussion really extends beyond the scope of this write-up), I can say with utter certainty that I've rarely played a game that commits to its themes with such precision and ambition. DQXI is a story about the value of time from the perspective of one who is looking back on that time, either with satisfaction or regret; it is a story about time that is lost, that has disappeared into the past, and what that lost time means to those who must move away from the past and look to the future. It is a story about the road not traveled, the quiet uncertainty we all share about our difficult decisions, the mistakes that we have made, and whether or not things could've turned out differently had we, ourselves, been different people. All of that time, all of those experiences that never came to be - what can we do when we have lost them? What should we do? In both small, personal vignettes and in sweeping plot twists, DQXI asks these questions and challenges us to consider what it means to "lose" time, and what it means to subsequently recover that time - if, indeed, it can be recovered at all.

Dragon Quest XI is a stunning achievement, a landmark both in its genre and in long-form video game storytelling, and a masterful assortment of elements meticulously crafted into a cohesive, powerful whole. It is fun and often funny, gorgeous and often grand, heartwarming and, at times, heartbreaking; it is, in a word, Dragon Quest writ large, and it is the best game of 2018 hands down.


Runner-Up Game of the Year

Octopath Traveler

Like Dragon Quest XI, Octopath Traveler is that rare game which sets out, from the beginning, to be greater than the sum of its parts. The notion of having eight shorter stories advance alongside one another may be an interesting concept, but at its core it is purely a structural decision - neither good nor bad, merely interesting. Octopath's greatest strengths lie not in that structure in and of itself, but in how the game utilizes that structure to weave an overarching narrative that is thematically focused, a narrative that doesn't drown out the individual stories but rather emerges organically as a shared experience developed, in different ways, by each of them.

The game offers the freedom to pursue eight stories, but it also suggests that we aren't exploring eight different stories, but rather one archetypal story told in eight different ways. Such narrative syncretism is apparent even from the brilliant title "Octopath Traveler." Note the singular, rather than plural, "traveler" - it is the player who is this "Octopath Traveler," an invisible anthropologist accompanying this band of characters, inhabiting each of them (the "Octopath") from time to time, and studying the ways in which they interact with the wonderfully vibrant world in which they roam. The player is the perfect traveler, one that wafts effortlessly to and fro across geographical, political, and economic lines to observe society at its most beautiful, its most sinister, its most hopeful and hopeless, its most peaceful and belligerent. And each time, this traveler takes a little piece of each experience with it.

It is no coincidence that these thematic and structural ambitions coexist with the various innovative path actions, particularly Inquire/Scrutinize; the characters, and by extension the player, are intended to exist within this world, and not simply pass through it as a series of pit stops along the path of a mythic journey. Octopath Traveler is a game in which the NPC greeting the player at the entrance to the town is a migrant having a hard time adapting to life in a close-knit community; where guards and other armored men loafing around the tavern are mercenaries displaced by the end of war and the existential crisis that peace brings to a professional soldier. Plagues, wars, and various other calamities have caused numerous peoples to uproot in diasporas that lead them far and wide across the realm. All of these little worldbuilding details are intended to be uncovered, puzzle-like, in the player's gradual understanding of this world and its cultural heritage. Every path action develops this understanding, one NPC at a time; and the total effect is both thematically compelling and mechanically engaging.

Mechanical depth is, indeed, the excellent foundation upon which these themes and narratives are built. Octopath, far from a gameplay-lite storytelling experiment, boasts an incredibly polished and satisfying turn-based combat system that utilizes simple mechanics and concepts to add nuance and strategy to each battle. The Boost and Break mechanics operate in a devilish synergy to provide an intuitive but unpredictable flow to combat, where strategy can be developed and executed with precision but enemies nevertheless have constant options for disrupting the player and introducing a bit of entropy into the machine. Preparation itself is often half the battle, and the game's twist on the classical job system provides a fantastic framework within which to play around - all within some sensible limitations, such as a one-character-per-secondary-job limit, that prevent the player from outright breaking the game.

In its bold thematic ambitions, unique plot structure, dazzling presentation, and incredibly polished gameplay mechanics, Octopath Traveler both summarizes the strengths of the classical JRPG and provides an inspiring vision of new strengths to come. The recurring imagery of travelers winding their way through the countryside is fitting for a game that seems to stand at a crossroads for the genre, one foot in its past and one in its future; and here, in the present, is this singular, remarkable game, one that I have no doubt will endure as a modern classic. Were it not for the heavyweight JRPG peer that is Dragon Quest XI, it would be the best game of the year.


Indie Game of the Year


Iconoclasts is not a game without its rough edges. In fact, compared to virtually everything else on this ballot that isn't Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (discussed right below), it is arguably a "worse" game in a more objective consideration of all its strengths and all its comparative weaknesses.

However, Iconoclasts overleaps many of those relative shortcomings with gusto because, ultimately, many of them go hand-in-hand with the game's biggest strength: it was made by one person. Those rough edges themselves are the counterpart to the eccentricities of the game, memorable quirks that exist largely because the game as a whole was birthed from the mind of a single individual.

Iconoclasts is one of the latest in that illustrious legacy of bizarre but fantastic indie games that emerged from the monumental blood, sweat, tears, and imagination of a single person - in this case, Joakim "Konjak" Sandberg. While it shares the action-game DNA of Konjak's earlier work - notably Noitu Love - it fuses these satisfying combat mechanics with Metroid-like world design and, perhaps most importantly, its rather involved story.

What truly sets Iconoclasts apart from its Metroid-like indie peers is indeed this story, a fascinating tale of individualism against the "machine" of society that twists and turns with all the idiosyncrasies that one would associate with a singular creative vision. It is precisely the strangeness of this narrative, and the way in which these admittedly time-tested themes are uniquely conveyed, that make the game memorable and one whose final act lingers long after the credits roll. As its title indicates, "Iconoclasts" isn't concerned just with rebellion; it is, rather, a game where idols are indeed broken, where broad social structures are questioned, and where moments that should lead to revelation and ascendance instead provide nothing but existential hollowness. That existentialism is the melancholic underbelly of this vibrant world filled with colorful characters and eye-catching locales; it is that thematic uneasiness that imbues all of the platforming, the puzzle-solving, the advancing of the plot, and the exploring of this world with its artistic edge.

Beyond the narrative itself, the game plays exceptionally well, with the core gameplay coated in luscious sprite-work and a groovy soundtrack that features, among other things, a stunning arrangement of the Moonlight Sonata. The puzzles strike that delicate balance between challenge and frustration, keeping you on your toes without keeping you stuck in one place for too long.

While those more conventionally "gamey" elements are great, the real star - as discussed above - is the story and its assortment of quirky characters, and the way that Konjak's focused creative vision peers through every aspect of the game and delivers a riveting story in its own idiosyncratic, but endearing, way. Iconoclasts is an impressive, inspiring work of indie game-making and creative storytelling in general, and it is my overall pick for indie game of the year.


Best Narrative/Storytelling of the Year

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine ("WTWTLW") is perhaps the most important game of the year. While it unfortunately didn't receive much sustained attention in the gaming press, its accomplishments in terms of its production history are as notable as the finished game itself. It is a game comprised of countless short stories, anchored by a unique cast of fellow drifters and storytellers during the American Great Depression, in which each character is written by a different author. This astoundingly diverse and ambitious team consists of talented writers from many demographics: women, African-Americans, European immigrants, and countless others contributed their own unique voices to this wonderful game, building a tapestry of authentic storytelling that illuminates many of the most marginalized groups living on the fringes of mainstream American society throughout the early 20th-century. Rather than lost and forgotten to the vicissitudes of history, WTWTLW unearths these pregnant seeds of human experience and allows them to flourish, capturing a sharp, melancholic, but ultimately hopeful look at characters who continue to get by in whatever way they can.

That quality of storytelling is, indeed, the greatest strength on display here - though there are certainly others. The art style is striking and memorable, the hard lines calling to mind wood block prints and the colors evoking an America that lies somewhere between the modern world and a mythic yesteryear. The game itself finds the player backpacking around the country on a quaint world map, whistling and hitchhiking along the way, as the aimless path of a vagabond leads through town after town, city after city, and - most importantly - story after story. The stories themselves are a combination of original material, and those culled from a vast amount of anthropological research into the folktales and fables of the time. It is, in a word, a love letter to American history, told not through the dusty pages of history books about old white men, but rather through oral histories and cherished tales passed down in all the many cultures that comprise the great American mosaic.

While I could discuss the gameplay in more detail, and give a brief overview of the core mechanics (you essentially collect stories and then tell them to characters based on their preferences in order to make them open up to you and befriend you), I suspect that anyone interested in this sort of game has heard enough to consider giving it a shot, irrespective of whatever the core gameplay entails. There is nothing else like Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, and it is one of the most underappreciated triumphs of the year, as well as a monumental cultural achievement. In a time where American society has become increasingly factionalized and antagonistic, this game is a panacea of togetherness, a bold and breathlessly artistic compendium of rich native storytelling from voices that may sound different, and may speak of different things, but which are all distinctly American.


Best Art Direction/Visual Design of the Year


Given that this entry of the ballot is listed under "Best Art Design/Visual Direction of the Year," words can only convey so much that isn't conveyed by the majestic screenshot above. Gris is the most recent entry on this list (it released less than a week ago), but it is unquestionably one of the most striking and emotionally resonant experiences of the year, due in large part to its watercolor aesthetic and the pure artistry of its world. The game features an abstract, impressionistic narrative in the style of Journey and Abzu, dealing with themes of loss, despair, acceptance, and hope (in this respect it often feels like a more ethereal counterpart to Celeste). The gameplay consists largely of running/platforming with light puzzle solving, and it succeeds in keeping puzzles engaging without emphasizing them to the extent that it detracts from the delicate mood and vibrant dreamscapes. To say any more would be to impute my own interpretations onto the work, and therefore I'll leave it be. It is an easy inclusion and one of the best games of the year.


Most Interesting Concept of the Year: Return of the Obra Dinn

Return of the Obra Dinn is without a doubt one of the smartest games of the year. It is essentially a crime reconstruction procedural, all set on an atmospheric ship conveyed through an absolutely brilliant art direction. The main activity of the game involves utilizing clues to reenact a crime scene, determining what happened, how, and perhaps most importantly, why. The same crisp, steady attention to dialogue and narrative as was present in Papers Please are also present here, and the game turns what is essentially a heavily-modified game of Clue into a terse, intelligent thriller where nothing but the limits of your wits stands between you and unraveling the mystery of the Obra Dinn. It is to crime reconstruction procedurals what Papers Please was to civil service simulators: something you never thought of, never expected to work, and yet somehow it does with flying colors. Lucas Pope is 2-for-2 with extraordinary, experimental gaming experiences, and all the buzz around Obra Dinn as an indie darling for the year is utterly well-deserved.

Hidden Gem of the Year: ZeroRanger

If you've heard anything about ZeroRanger, you've probably heard that it's the Undertale of STGs. I'm not a fan of comparative shorthands like that, but in this case it's fairly warranted. ZeroRanger is a seismic shift in STG (otherwise known as "shmups") storytelling and one of the most interesting narrative experiments of the year, one with the customary mindscrews leading to fascinating insights into the act of playing games and what it means to progress, to live, to die, to start over, and do all those other things that your character does in the broader framework of "playing a game." To say anymore would do the game a disservice. Play this game to see the state of the art for STG storytelling, one of the most underappreciated narratives of the year, and a damn fine STG in terms of its core mechanics and level design.

Best AAA Release of the Year: God of War

The rest of Era will cover me on this one. I'll just say that it's not often that I truly feel a AAA game resonates with me in the way that I associate with titles like indie games or more niche RPGs. Loved the combat, loved the setting, loved the technical achievements (especially the "single-shot" framing), and I loved the bigger storytelling moments that landed masterfully.

Biggest Surprise of the Year: Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

I hadn't played an Assassin's Creed game since AC2, and essentially picked up Odyssey on a whim due to my interest in the Ancient Greek setting. What I discovered was one of my favorite open-world experiences of the generation (and, by extension, pretty much of all time at this point), a stunning recreation of a setting that I cherish with a careful balance of action, exploration, climbing, riding, sailing, and everything in between. After completing the main narrative, I still find myself returning to Odyssey to explore more of the map and soak in the extraordinary sights as I meander about, through babbling creeks, bustling cities and imposing cliffs, all framed by a wonderful main character (Kassandra) and a surprisingly touching story of familial loyalty in a complicated world. It is content rich, expansive, impressive, and most importantly, some of the most fun I've had all year. Will stick around for many more ACs to come, and I've already moved backwards to catch up with Origins (which I'm also enjoying).

Best Level Design of the Year: Celeste

Celeste emerged early in the year as a frontrunner for GOTY come awards season, and its a testament to its quality that that sentiment is still going strong nearly twelve months later. While much has been written and discussed about its powerful themes and incredible soundtrack, at its core the game, as an extreme platformer, lives or dies by its game mechanics and level design; and in this respect, Celeste is a stunning testament to its developers' talent, featuring devilishly tricky platforming that never runs out of creative new ideas or new twists on earlier concepts. As a total package, it is unquestionably one of the best indie releases in recent memory, and one that earned every bit of praise lavished on it.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2018! You vote receipt is available here.**

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2018! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Nov 2, 2017
  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Honestly, this could have been #1 based purely on the fun that came from Smash Bros. speculation all year. No game has quite the hype cycle as Smash does, and I honestly consider it to be part of the game's overall package. Thankfully, the game itself didn't disappoint! I may have more nostalgia for previous games, but objectively this is my favorite game yet of possibly my favorite series. I've played 55 hours so far, and I've barely touched Smash Mode. Which is both completely absurd and completely indicative of the awesome overabundance of GAME in this game.
  2. God of War - It looks like God of War will be 2018's overall GotY winner, and for a damn good reason! The game's so good, it even conquered my inherent distaste for whenever a new entry in a series is given the same name as the first entry. It failed catastrophically for Sonic 06, but it succeeded here! I can't think of any name more appropriate. Admittedly, it probably helps that I've never played the previous God of War games. I'm sure all the games in the series are brooding, cinematic, methodical masterpieces. ...Right?
  3. Sonic Mania Plus - It feels like cheating to put this here, especially since I also voted for Sonic Mania last year, but screw it. Sonic Mania was incredible from the start, and Plus makes it incredible+. Even the minor things like every zone having stage transitions makes the entire experience feel more polished and complete. Biggest of all, Plus (re-)introduces the absolute greatest playable character to ever grace a Sonic game—nay, the greatest character in any platformer ever. Let's give it up for Ray the Flying Squirrel!
  4. WarioWare Gold - I know, I'm as surprised as you are to see WarioWare this high, but when I step back and think of the most delightful game experiences of the year, WarioWare makes a good case for itself. The last "true" WarioWare game was Smooth Moves back in 2007, and I'd forgotten just how much I love this gameplay. I think my favorite game mode is Split Screen, which takes the normal WarioWare gameplay and makes it even more frantic. The instant you complete a microgame on the top screen, a new one begins on the bottom screen, and vice versa. It uses every possible combination of control inputs, from button presses to motion control to touch screen to the microphone. If you thought WarioWare games were chaotic before, you ain't seen nothing yet. I love it.
  5. Marvel's Spider-Man - It makes you feel like Spider-Man!
    ...I'm being cheeky, but I'm also being sincere. It makes you feel like Spider-Man, and that's the absolute best part of the game. I could imagine this open world being repetitive if you were playing as any other character, but you're playing as Spider-Man and thus it's fun and engaging at every turn! Similar to Mario, they nailed the joy of basic movement that makes everything you do inherently enjoyable.
It was a good year. I'm only voting for 5 because after this I don't know what order I'd put them in.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2018! You vote receipt is available here.**

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2018! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - It’s rare for me to play a game in a series where the game is considered the fourth or fifth entry in the series and thus basically skip the previous games. It’s even rarer for me to completely fall in love with the game in question and everything about it. This happens usually because I tried playing one of the previous entries in the past, and found myself just not really getting much enjoyment out of it. I didn’t connect with the story or the characters, and much of the gameplay just bored me and made me wish I was playing something else. There only a few series where this has happened, and God of War is one of them. I tried playing the original games in the past, around the time they initially released, and like I said just wasn’t getting much enjoyment out of them. Kratos was a difficult character to connect with, his story didn’t really interest me, and the gameplay systems like the combat was mostly boring. I dropped the series and ignored it after that, content with not worrying about trying to play it again. However, that changed. When the first trailer released for the rebooted God of War showing an older Kratos as a father now in a Norse environment, with a new weapon and what looked like a revamped combat system, my interest was surprisingly caught. I found myself caring about a God of War game, something that I didn’t think would happen. My interest remained with every new trailer and every new bit of gameplay footage, and it only heightened as more and more was shown. The game looked…magical, for lack of a better word, and soon enough it became one of my most anticipated titles. It completely astounded me just how excited I was for a God of War game, and by the time it released this last April and I finally got my hands on it…all of that anticipation was, to say it bluntly, worth it. Unlike Kratos’ original adventures; I found myself deeply caring about the story this time, connecting with Kratos and his son Atreus as well as the various side characters they meet during their journey through the nine realms, the combat surprised and entertained me with just how deep you could make it with the Leviathan Axe and the many runes and unlockable abilities you could use in battle, the beautiful depictions of the various worlds and areas made me excited to see what new things would be around the corner and what new secrets there’d be to find as I progressed through the game and unlocked new abilities for Kratos and Atreus, the music and score was deeply enthralling and pleasant to listen to and served perfectly to orchestrate this long journey and the twists and turns it could take, and overall I continued to be surprised upon realizing just how invested I became in all of this. This wasn’t the case with the original games, and the fact that this game and Sony Santa Monica’s hard work were able to change my feelings and thoughts so much is really the reason why this game is my #1 of 2018, won over its strong competitors, and has now joined the many other games among my favorites of all time. Never have I changed my opinion on a series so much. Kratos and Atreus’ struggles were my struggles, their victories were my victories, and once again I felt completely invested in their story. I’m beyond excited to see where they’ll go next, including what new fights they’ll fight and what new places they’ll visit, something I didn’t think I’d be saying a couple of years ago. God of War 2018 is truly an amazing game, filled with so many amazing elements and tied together so beautifully that I still feel so many good things when I think about the game, months after its initial release. Sony Santa Monica, and of course Cory Barlog, should be immensely proud of what they were able to do. It feels like so much was accomplished, and all I can really say now is congratulations and well done.
  2. Celeste - Travelling up a mountain, facing your inner demons and becoming a stronger person overall, was quite the experience. Celeste is a game I wasn’t sure what to make of when first starting, instantly I knew I liked the art style, the music, and the way the characters talked. There was a sense of joy and levity there that surprised me, and almost painted a false picture for me in terms of what to expect for the rest of the journey. I was surprised to say the least when playing the later chapters and seeing Madeline’s trek to the summit of the mountain reach its end, and I’m glad that the game did surprise me as much as it did. There’s so much about Celeste that I love; the music, the characters, the art, the gameplay, and of course the story and how that story unfolds. What I truly loved was the sense of accomplishment, a very rewarding sense, when facing these tough trials that are constantly placed in front of you and overcoming them with time and patience. Celeste taught me precision with its gameplay mechanics and levels, using that precision to get past the tough platforming sections and keep moving to that summit. I learned to roll with the punches, to never give up, all to the beat of the enthralling and charming musical scores and of course the characters. The B and C sides to each level further taught me this, and overall, I’m immensely grateful for having played and really learn from this game. Celeste is by far my favorite indie game of the year, and Madeline and her journey truly left an impact on me. It’s a game I’ll think about for a long time to come.
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man - Spider-Man has always been one of my favorite comic book characters and probably my favorite hero in terms of everything Marvel, and I’ve always dreamed of a game where you’d have a beautiful realization of New York to swing around in and have the ability to do a number of things from stopping crimes and taking down familiar villains. The older Spider-Man games sort of accomplished this, but it never truly felt ‘100%’ for me. Insomniac’s Spider-Man, however, did just that, and then some. The world is beautiful and I never got tired of swinging around the Big Apple and taking in all of the sights (especially free-falling down one of the many big skyscrapers), I grew to really enjoy and mess around with the combat system until I was pulling out big combos and taking down a lot of enemies without really breaking a sweat, I grew to really appreciate and love the characters and story which I rarely got bored of, and overall Spider-Man really helped me to feel like a hero, accomplishing heroic feats and overcoming dangerous and evil obstacles. There’s so much to this game and it’s something that Insomniac should be proud of, because all in all it just reaffirmed my love for the character and everything about the character. It also made me develop a new sense of appreciation for characters like Mary Jane and Miles Morales. The game was a fun and thrilling ride from beginning to end (including the infamous stealth sections) and it’s one that’s going to stay in my mind for a long time to come. I can’t wait to see what a possible sequel could do, hopefully just further elevate what’s already been established. Well done Insomniac, well done.
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Red Dead Redemption has remained one of my favorite open world games from the last generation, and is also one of my favorite games ever as well as probably my favorite Rockstar title. The idea of a sequel excited me immensely, but I was also nervous because I wasn’t sure how Rockstar would top the previous game. That nervousness continued even after the first trailer showing the world, some of the characters, and as well as the new protagonist Arthur Morgan. I had grown to really connect with John Marston and his story in the first game, as well as the world and the huge amount of activities present in the world that the player could enjoy at their leisure. Red Dead Redemption II was a long wait for me, but in the end, it was worth the wait and has edged out the original game in terms of my favorite Rockstar title and has also joined the many other games that I consider among my favorites of all time. The world is detailed, the characters real and believable, the story interesting and constantly evolving with surprises and twists and turns, the gameplay (while taking some getting used to) caught my attention and kept it as I explored the world and enjoyed the many side activities from poker to the random stranger requests here and there, all the while once again forming a special bond with the lead character and of course the horses that also accompanied me on this long and amazing journey. I especially loved everything with Dutch’s gang and grew to really appreciate and value the members and their own stories. Red Dead Redemption II is one of few games where I felt truly immersed in the world and felt like an actual person in it and not just a person controlling an avatar. Rockstar has once again proven to me just how masterclass they are at creating these worlds and stories for many to enjoy.
  5. Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dreams games have always provided interesting and memorable experiences for me, I won’t forget the desperate search as a father tries to save his son from a killer obsessed with origami in Heavy Rain, or seeing how a girl with a link to a supernatural being struggles with it from when she was a child to an adult in Beyond: Two Souls. Their games have never been perfect though, or at least considered close to perfect. There’s always something holding them back for me, the voice acting in Heavy Rain for instance or the way the story was told in Beyond: Two Souls. However, I’m always excited to see what Quantic Dream will cook up next, and hopeful that finally they’ll make a product that will reach that ‘level’ for me in terms of entertainment, memorability, and just overall quality. Detroit: Become Human retained my interest ever since that first trailer released for it, and kept my interest the more and more we learned about the game from it’s futuristic setting to the characters (both human and android) themselves. I was a little worried going into the game because of my expectations, and having played it and truly experience the story and its many twists and turns it can take, it met them and even exceeded in some areas. I love everything about Detroit and overall just how interesting the world and its characters are, especially the protagonists with Kara, Connor, and Markus and their individual stories and how those stories can interact and meet. Kara’s mission to protect a young girl, Connor’s mission to solve a mystery and see what is causing so many androids to deviate and go beyond their initial programming, and Markus’ goal to bring better lives for all androids…everything was great. I fell in love with the world, the gameplay (even with the QTE’s which I grew to tolerate and enjoy for the most part), obviously the characters, the music, the overall graphical quality of the game, and finally the story which retained my interest from beginning to end and made me excited to do new playthroughs and see and experience things that I didn’t previously. Quantic Dream truly surprised me with Detroit, and out of all of the games from them that I’ve played, really did reach that ‘perfection’ or just ‘amazing’ quality that their previous products didn’t quite do. For the first time with one of their games I’m really hopeful we’ll get more in the future, see more of Detroit’s world and experience the stories of other characters, whether it’s a sequel, a prequel, or even just set in a different area of the United States or another country. Overall, Detroit was quite the amazing experience.
  6. Hollow Knight - The Metroidvania genre is a genre that I’ve grown to really appreciate and love over the last few years. There’re so many amazing games in this genre from both big and small developers. I’ll never get tired of that feeling of progression these games have with coming across obstacles you can’t really do anything with at first, but eventually come back to after unlocking a certain ability that finally lets you overcome it. By doing this, you uncover new areas with new secrets and overall just consistently unlock layers upon layers of the game’s world. Sometimes, those layers can get pretty deep, and it never fails to surprise me and keep my attention. Hollow Knight was a game that very much surprised me as I played it, even though it’s a game I knew about since its initial PC release. I kept my eye on it during all of the lead-up to the release for it for devices outside the PC, specifically the Nintendo Switch version, and when I finally did play it, it well worth the wait. I love everything about Hollow Knight; the characters, the story, the gameplay, the aforementioned progression as you come back to previous areas and unlock new paths to explore, the art style, and of course the music. There’s so much detail in this game in all of these different areas, and it’s something that I must applaud Team Cherry for. They did such an amazing job with everything. It’s like ‘the’ game that I’ve always dreamed of and wanted in regards to the genre, easily challenging the elite that helped make the genre like Metroid and Castlevania. It’s a game that I can easily see myself constantly replaying in the years to come and always being surprised about the little secrets I find or unlocking those new paths that just help to make me delve deeper into those layers upon layers. If it wasn’t for Celeste, Hollow Knight by far would be my favorite indie game of the year.
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Over my years of playing video games I’ve become familiar and accustomed to many genres, ranging from shooters to big and deep role-playing games. There’re also genres that I’m not as familiar with and don’t really play their games as much. The fighting genre is one of them, often requiring a sense of skill and a lot of learning to ‘get good’ at for lack of a better phrase, reasons that have made me lose interest and not give fighting games much of a chance. The Super Smash Bros. series was and really continues to be that one fighting game series I play, a game where unlike many of its brethren I became invested in and grew to truly love. Ever since the original release for the N64, Super Smash Bros. has remained my favorite fighting game series and will likely continue to remain that. Seeing these familiar characters fighting in colorful stages with excellent music I think helped me in regards to loving the series, but another reason is because (in my experience) you don’t have as much to learn when it comes to its many mechanics and doesn’t require as much skill to ‘get good’ at. That’s not a bad thing, and I’m thankful the series has maintained that over its long-life span and entries. Every time a new Super Smash Bros. game releases I feel like the biggest and most excited kid, eagerly looking forward to trying out all of the different modes and play with both familiar characters again as well as new ones, and the latest entry in the series is no exception. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve ever played, and like its predecessors has truly reminded me of what it feels like to be a kid again. From the online matches to the new modes like World of Light, there’s a lot in this game to love and appreciate. I’ll never get tired of fighting iconic video game characters with other iconic characters like Mario, Pikachu, and Link. Or having these battles take place on just as iconic stages with just as iconic music playing over the battles. I’m thankful this series exists, I would’ve likely kept ignoring the fighting genre if it hadn’t been for Smash Bros. Overall, Ultimate will help me continue to appreciate this genre and perhaps give some other fighting games more of a chance, both now and in the future.
  8. Spyro: Reignited Trilogy - The original three Spyro games are among my favorite games of all time, I have many fond memories of playing those games and accompanying Spyro and Sparx on their journeys through these beautiful and fantastical worlds and realms. As soon as I played the Crash collection last year, I wished for Spyro to get the same treatment and care, and this year my wish was answered. Playing through these three games again with everything, from the characters and levels recreated, brought my inner kid back out and served as another reminder of just how ‘fun’ these games can be. They’re not too difficult, but not too easy either (especially with the optional objectives and collectibles), and rarely did I get tired of collecting the many gems and hearing the little sound as I did or charging and breathing fire into enemies. Playing through these worlds and seeing these familiar characters again brought back so much nostalgia and joy for me, and I’ll always be thankful that Spyro got a revival this year, and was such a good and beautiful revival too. These games aren’t perfect, and there were times where things like the frame rate or the lack of subtitles hurt my enjoyment, but largely my journeys through the Dragon Realms, Avalar, and the Forgotten Realms were good and, again, full of joy. I hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this little purple dragon, and that we’ll eventually be able to experience more adventures and collect even more gems and countless other treasure with him.
  9. Yoku's Island Express - Yoku was a game I wasn’t aware of until about two weeks away from release. One day while browsing the eShop I noticed it in the ‘coming soon’ section and was instantly curious about it after seeing the cute little dung beetle and the pretty looking setting behind him. My curiosity and interest only increased upon reading about it being a Metroidvania like title with pinball mechanics, pinball of all things. That was something I never thought of in regards to ideas for another game with Metroidvania elements, but it was enough for me to pre-order it, and thankfully my money wasn’t wasted. Yoku’s Island Express is simply a charming and beautiful game, never once did I get bored while playing, instead I only got more and more excited as I progressed further through the game and unlocked abilities that would let me go back to previous areas and explore uncharted locations. All the while, my interest remained in pretty much everything making up the game; the story, the characters especially Yoku himself, the music, the locations, and of course the ever-constant exploration and rewards received from that exploration. I grew to love the pinball mechanics and how it evolved throughout the story and was elevated into something truly special and unique. Yoku is an utterly charming game that I will urge more people to play, it surprised me immensely and next to Celeste and Hollow Knight is my favorite indie game of the year.
  10. A Way Out - A Way Out is one of the more unique games I’ve played this year, especially so when compared to many of my favorites. It doesn’t have a huge open world to explore, there’s no real collectibles to collect, and it doesn’t have a huge cast of characters with varying personalities and motivations. However, none of that hurts it. I enjoyed A Way Out because of what it’s trying to do and (for me) mostly succeeds at that. I grew to really care about Leo and Vince’s story, and how that story changes and becomes even more interesting as you play, as well as seeing their bond develop and deepen the more they did in their hope to escape the forces chasing after and enclosing around them. What makes this game even more special is the cooperative element to pretty much the entire game and everything you do in it. I had the greatest honor and pleasure of playing this with my brother, and this game really did help to strengthen the bond we have and remind us of just how fun cooperative games are (it was enough for us to play Unravel 2 together and find even more games to play together.) From helping each other over simple obstacles to running away and avoiding those opposing forces, all of it remains fresh in my memory even months after the release. I won’t forget the time we fished together, the time we played darts together, of course the time we escaped prison together, and those last few moments where the story reaches its climax and we’re left to see how these characters are dealing with the aftermath. A Way Out is not the best game I’ve played, but it’s truly one of the most unique games I’ve played, and I’m very thankful I got to experience it, especially with someone that I’m so close with.
Sorry about the huge paragraphs of text, I just wanted to go into detail for each pick.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - It might also be my new favorite game of this generation. And that's pretty remarkable because I was never a big fan of this franchise and this completely turned me around on the property and the character that is Kratos. I love the atmosphere around the journey, how the story initial motif evolves into something far bigger, with great writing of not only Kratos and Atreus, but all the ensemble of characters, with Freya being antagonistic to Kratos personality, the dwarf brothers being great comic reliefs and Mimir a charming guide to this world. The combat is such a step-up for me, the Leviathan axe is maybe my favorite melee weapon ever, and combining its moveset with other weapons made the combat flow fun and addictive all throughout the almost 50h I put into it. Kinda bundled with that are the amazing set-pieces that I found out to be more engaging and thus more impacting than past games. The mesmerizing art, the incredible work on world-building and the already mentioned aspects of gameplay and narrative immersed me really hard into this new vision, and I can't wait to see where the tale goes from here.
  2. Celeste - Right of the bat Celeste must be praised for its gameplay. It's one of the most fun and incredibly designed platformers I ever played. But on top of that, it goes beyond of where these kinds of games usually go, bringing the narrative up to the front too, touching themes that games in general hardly do, especially 2D platformers. It's both an extraordinarily fun game and an important piece of media that really had an impact on me.
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man - Insomniac built a pretty straightforward open-world game, with a rather focused and simple design, with their biggest merit being its execution. They just completely nailed on all fronts in developing a Spider-Man experience, delivering gameplay that's super fun, with combat being simple and accessible but still giving the tools to perform fast and acrobatic combos improvising your way through battles, the traversal being so satisfying and addictive that It makes dull activities like gathering collectibles jolly as hell. But this ain't just the most fun to play Spidey game ever made, it's also one of the best treatments Peter and his superhero persona got when it comes to narrative and character development, and not only in games but in any medium. On top of that, its maybe Insomniac's best work too.
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I'm one of those that has fundamental problems with some of the cores in RDR2. I think gameplay overall feels sluggish and that the golden path design is way too strict. But I'm also on the boat that loves the way they meticulously designed this massive world, with interesting side-quests, quirky characters, bizarre random encounters, vast wildlife, and beautiful environments. The whole way they approach narrative, with the gang dynamic is pretty incredible too. This huge cast of main characters is enticing, making me want to spend hours just hanging out with them, role-playing as Arthur which is now one of my favorite protagonists ever. Both in the amazing and the bad parts, this is Rockstar at their fullest.
  5. Forza Horizon 4 - Its just well-executed and well-delivered fun time. The world is gorgeous in every season, the showcases are awesome, and of course, driving feels great. This game is so good that despite hating absolutely everything about its in-game economy, it's still one of my favorite experiences of the year that I put dozens and dozens of hours into.
  6. A Way Out - I really loved how well designed and directed this game was. The story itself is pretty generic, but the way Fares and his team used many different gameplay tropes to tell this story is what really stands this one out. There really isn't a central genre in this, but instead, they used whatever mechanic suited the best for each situation, resulting in varied, yet contextual and accessible gameplay encounters. On top of that, the cooperative aspect makes for pretty unique and fairly innovative encounters.
  7. Guacamelee! 2 - It doesn't go too far from the Original, but man isn't that template still amazing. Great game design suited for their satisfying, fast-paced combat and traversal combined with a beautiful and extremely charming world. The original is one of my favorites of all-time, and while this doesn't have the same impact, it's pretty much an extension of that 5 years later.
  8. THE MISSING: JJ Macfiled and The Island of Memories - This is one of those games that deserved more all around. It deserved more budget because despite having a pretty unique and neat core gameplay mechanic, it's not really polished as It should be, It has sluggish character movement and pretty low quality of assets overall. Also, It deserved more recognition, because the themes It touches with its narrative, and the way It deals with them are incredibly important and mostly missing from the game development world. Swery has yet again made an incredible project that sadly suffers from lack of support both before and after release.
  9. Hitman 2 - This is totally just a new season of Hitman from 2016 that they decided to package alongside new QOL improvements that make the experience of playing Hitman even smoother. I love the original and while my favorite levels are still from 2016 this sequel brings an overall similar quality from that release, and I'm sure I'll fall in love with it, even more, when more content is rolled in through the next year.
  10. Minit - There is this dichotomy of how Minit in one way is extremely simple (how It looks, and the fact that many of its gameplay mechanics are based on the 8bit Zelda) but in others is extremely complex and sophisticated (like how the world is designed to be played a minute at a time). Its a rather short game, but I loved every minute (*wink wink*) of the adventure in Minit. Oh, and it also has my favorite video game soundtrack of 2018!
  11. Fortnite - It's the game I definitely put the most hours into in 2018. And I didn't really play regularly like it's common with online multiplayer games but every couple of months I would jump into It with my friends to check on the game and discover all the changes they hade made to the map, the new modes that were put into rotation, changes to the roster of weapons and gadgets, new options of traversal into the map, and every time the game was still fun and also fresh, because strategies change so much everytime a substantial update happens. It also made me play games online with friends I've known for 15+ years for the first time ever, that's how powerful this game is.
  12. Shadow of the Colossus (2018) - Much like Crash N. Sane Trilogy last year, I didn't really consider this game when making my list of favorites for the year, because at its core its pretty much the same game from 2005, which is one of my favorites of all time. With that said, I think Bluepoint's great work on this project should be recognized, becoming for me the definitive version of SotC, so I'll give it a nod here.

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Jun 8, 2018
United States

  1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - It's been a long time since I've played a JRPG that kept me interested from beginning to end and then kept me wanting for more. DQXI is a beautiful-looking game to explore, has amazing voice acting that brings it to life, and fun combat with colorful enemies.
  2. Celeste - I never expected that a 2D platformer could have such an amazing story and characters until I played Celeste. All the while the amazing soundtrack urges you to keep climbing the mountain.
  3. Beat Saber - Entertainment for years to come. I don't see myself ever uninstalling this game from my PC. People are constantly making new songs for it and you can see yourself getting better at it everyday. It's a nice workout as well.
  4. Monster Hunter World - I've always been interested in Monster Hunter but the 3DS demos left much to be desired. With the game finally coming back to consoles and now PC though, it instantly clicked with me and became an unstoppable addiction. Getting loot to make more gear to get more loot has never been more satisfying.
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Smash is on a class of its own. If other fighting games had as much singleplayer content as this does, I'd play them much more. Smash is one of the few unfortunately but it does it so well. I'm 40 hours in and still have so much stuff I can do.
  6. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - It's been hard to keep interest in the Assassin's Creed series after the Ezio saga ended. The reboot with Origins was a step in the right direction but Egypt's barren sandy dunes did nothing for me. Odyssey being in Greece however, and Kassandra being such an interesting protagonist, AC has pulled me back in and I can't wait to see where they go next.

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Oct 30, 2017
  1. God of War – An Epic tale managing to portray a once high octane action killer with little depth into a far more interesting subdued character and being able to empathize with the relationship between Father and son as they go on the journey filled with interesting lore about the world. The game delivers excellent unique combat system with both depth and flair, a great soundtrack that hits both epic and emotional beats when required, stunning visuals and incredible direction which elevates the experience.
  2. Marvel's Spider-man – Amazing open world giving players an authentic experience of what it’s like to be Spider-man. Having one of the best traversal systems not just the sheer fun of the swinging but also a great balance size of the world and speed of travel never once needing to fast travel within the world. The story gives players a great balance of action and seeing the struggles of Peter Parkers daily life.
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – One of the best most polished fighting games. Easy to pick up and play with a group of friends, a learning curve for the more competitive players, one of the biggest rosters and levels I’ve ever seen. The style of gameplay has changed from its previous two predecessors encouraging far more aggression which makes battles more entertaining. SSBU sets a new benchmark for what fighters should strive for.
  4. Monster Hunter World – A huge evolution in visuals, massive QOL changes, more advanced A.I and physic additions to a game renowned for great combat for both solo and co-op experiences makes this one of the best games and a great foundation for future games.
  5. Pokemon Let’s Go – Admittedly had such low expectations but the game hits a great spot of providing a casual and nostalgic experience and doesn’t advertise itself as anything it isn’t. It’s great and provides and warm fuzzy feeling of being able to see the Pokemon engaged within the world whether in the wild or travelling with the player on the journey. Eevee cuteness is off the charts

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Octopath Traveler - A great and nostalgic take on classic JRPGs. I'm glad the Bravely team got to stretch their legs, but they also didn't completely abandon their excellent battle system. Octopath Traveler is in many ways "Bravely Default light", but even that is an excellent game. The soundtrack is amazing, the gameplay is fun, and the stories are surprisingly good.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Truly the Ultimate Smash game so far.
  3. Hitman 2 - Hitman 2 is in many ways an iteration on Hitman 2016. Several excellent improvements were made, and IO's level design skills are truly on display. Even the worst Hitman 2 map is as good as the best Hitman 2016 map. I'm looking forward to playing much more of this in the future.
  4. Magic the Gathering Arena - Wizards of the Coast finally made a decent digital version of one of my favorite games of all time.
  5. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - In January I decided to play through Origins, which I loved, and it made me excited about the franchise again. I was eagerly awaiting Odyssey and expecting more of the same, but it truly blew me away. By moving further into the RPG mold that Origins established Odyssey pivots the series from a failing action game into a truly special and personal experience. I loved Kassandra and the story of her family.
  6. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - A worthy successor to Valkyria Chronicles, hopefully they make more like this.
  7. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden County - An impressively meaty expansion to one of my favorite 2017 games.
  8. Into the Breach - Amazing bite sized strategy, I could play this game for hours.
  9. God of War - Some truly stunning visuals and an engaging story. I'm very interested in the follow up.
  10. Radiant Historia Perfect Chronology - I finally got around to this classic with the remake and loved it.

    Honorable Mentions

  11. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Hacker's Memory - A fun follow-up to one of my favorite surprises.
  12. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - Much better than Kiwami 1, I'm excited to make my way through this series.
  13. Pokémon Let's Go Eevee - Better than I expected for sure. It is a fun and simplified return to Kanto.
  14. Dragon Quest XI - Another nostalgic JRPG, and another game I haven't played enough of yet.
  15. Strange Journey Redux - I loved what I played, but I haven't played enough yet.

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Oct 26, 2017

  1. The 25th Ward: The Silver Case - This seemed like a once in a lifetime miracle. The 25th Ward is the long lost story of an old JP presmartphone era phone game revitalized on new platforms. The sequel to one of the most underlooked PS1 games. Despite it originating on the old phone, it is one of the densest games I ever played with weird utilizations of Computer Science concepts in this crime thriller adventure visual novel game. It follows 3 different viewpoints that intersect each other. Each of these viewpoints were written by different people with the main story by Suda. The main chapter, Correctness, follows the 25th ward’s Heinous Crime Unit(HCU) and their investigation of the murders that happen in the area. Matchmaker shows the viewpoint of the kinda opposing force of the HCU, Regional Adjustment Division (RAD), adjusting(killing) people. The one and only Placebo features Tokio Morishima, the only returning character from The Silver Case. The sequel to one of Suda51’s weirdest and most interesting games, fans definitely need to check out this game. If your looking to play the game, the recommended playing route is the 0 chapters of Placebo and Correctness then the rest of the game go alternate chapters between Correctness to Matchmaker to Placebo.
  2. The House in Fata Morgana: A Requiem for Innocence - The fan disc of the main game that you should play before reading this. SPOILER WARNING.This game follows Morgana in that short synopsis of her life story, but mostly in Jacopo’s perspective. Some of it seems like it is very unnecessary, but it definitely needed in seeing why Jacopo’s turn into the King. The game also adds very good and well developed new characters that definitely add to Jacopo’s and Morgana’s story. The fanservice-y extra chapters are definitely a joy as well. I especially loved the after story with Giselle and Michel. Its definitely a must play after loving the first game.
  3. Hitman 2 - Hitman 2 is Hitman but with new improvements. The foliage and crowd mechanics were very needed and made the stealth a more interesting. Mirrors working for stealth makes you think about when and how to approach people. The briefcase was apparently in the older games and I absolutely love it. I can now easily try and go to high places without being the most suspicious person carrying a sniper rifle on their back. It also makes for an incredible melee weapon. Everything from the first game is improved upon with interesting set ups to kills. The mission stories is a nicer change to opportunities since they feel a lot more scripted. The UI changes are absolutely wonderful with displaying on the different states trespassing and hostility. It's the best stealth assassination game on the market easy.
  4. Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Ch.6 Tsumihoroboshi - One of the best chapters of Higurashi I’ve played yet. It's the answer chapter to the first chapter and it definitely did that in a spectacular and interesting way. While most people who play this series loved the mystery or the slice of life aspect of the visual novel, it blends both pretty well in this chapter. Higurashi’s answer chapters has really cool ideas and some messages that goes along with it. While chapter 6 has the most disjointed message that goes with it, it was very heartwarming that the main person who created Higurashi addressed it in his afterwords of the game.
  5. Magic the Gathering: Arena - Magic the Gathering is easily the best card game and Arena is an excellent adaptation of it. Most card games are absolute garbage in that its a very standard turn based thing. There’s no interaction while a player is taking their turn in most digital card games. Arena is just digital Magic and is 100% the best online card game. While it is only the latest sets and is only the standard format, the current standard format is the best the game has ever been in a while. Ixalan and Return to Ravnica sets were really great. Ixalan is such a child like plane with pirates, dinosaurs, merfolk, and vampire conquistadors. Ravnica has very cool guilds that have their own ideologies that’s a mix of the color pie. It is definitely a must play online card game.
  6. Deltarune Chapter 1 - The first thought I had after playing the game was, “Deltarune is the Eternal Punishment of Undertale’s Innocent Sin, send tweet.” Undertale was really popular and very hard to not have people shove that shit down your throat, but I really enjoyed it despite that. I never really played the Mother series that heavily inspire it and Deltarune, but I’ll get around to it eventually. On to the meat of Deltarune, the differences from the world of Undertale and this game’s is fascinating. While Deltarune doesn’t feature adults like in Persona 2 Eternal Punishment, the protagonists are different and noticeably older while have different viewpoints compared to the previous game.It has similar yet different themes that branches out those ideas introduced in Undertale. It has a more involved battle system which integrates with its motifs very well. It is definitely worth a look even if you haven’t played Undertale.
  7. Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle - I’ll be honest, I kinda didn’t like how they simplified inputs to the point of most of the characters only having just quarter circle inputs, but everything else about it is amazing. From the music to the art, it's a really cool and special crossover tag fighting. While its apparently an unpopular opinion in the FGC, I love RWBY’s music. The vocals on it is amazing. Arc System Works did wonderful work creating a cool fighting game where mostly everyone can play at a casual level. There are some interesting comeback mechanics that are simple for newcomers to use and at high levels there are systems for them that make it more combat more in depth. Definitely the best new fighter to come out this year imo.(Note I haven’t played Smash in the time of writing this don’t hurt me.)
  8. Tetris Effect - I will forever say that Tetris is the best game ever created. I have a ton of problems with Tetris Effect in specific however. The different materials on the pieces are really cool and interesting, but they have a bloom to it even the default plain tetris block material has that's really distracting and makes it hard to play for long periods of time. The backgrounds are kinda cool, but some of them also have that type of bloom and I hate it. Despite that, the music definitely helps add to atmosphere when playing Tetris made me feel euphoric. Tetris is amazing, but I think I’ll just stick with my Puyo Puyo Tetris version of the game.
  9. Shin Megami Tensei Liberation DX2 - Gatcha mobile games really don’t grab me, but DX2 was sorta an exception? It has a somewhat more balanced press turn system that got me engaged before I found out that the auto battle system kinda made me feel like it was pointless to play it. The auto battle system optimized the choices you make in the game where it was always optimal enough to not actually play the game and choose your moves which was really disappointing. The characters definitely pop out which might be negatives for people? They’re really strong characters to absurd levels such as a gun fanatic girl who dreams of “One day getting drunk in a cabin and randomly shoot at shit”. It really reminds me of a modern day Soul Hackers like game rather than Devil Survivor that most people think of. The music by long time Sega composer, Aoki Chihiro, who did great work making pieces that fit well in a Megaten game. DX2 is a really cool mobile game that didn’t fully grab me, but it's definitely good.

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Oct 31, 2017
You must have at least one comment on your ballot or it may not be counted. The comment must be more substantial than "best game ever LOL" etc. Posting without comments may subject you to a ban. Do NOT post a ballot without any comments.
I have a question -- what is the reason for this part? Is it to prevent automated bots or something?

Or a different reason altogether?


The Fallen
Nov 27, 2018
  1. God of War - It was a big risk but it ended up being perfect
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Big work, a true western game. Exactly what i wanted.
  3. Super Smash Bros - I can play it and never get tired.
  4. Spider-Man - Solid game although it had some flaws but it was enjoyable.
  5. Celeste - Man the music in this game
  6. Detroit Become Human - It was a new experience for me.
  7. Forza Horizon 4 - How this game manages to get better every year is beyond me.

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Oct 24, 2017
FiveSide may want to make sure your list meets the formatting requirements (bolded titles, comments)

Same for EndedS (ordered list)
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Oct 30, 2017
I have my last exam of the year on friday and I've yet to play Bayonetta 1+2, Dead Cells and Celeste. I'm going to play a lot of games in the coming weeks.


Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - Hands down my game of the generation and one of my favorite games of all time. Excellent story that doesn't ignore the past. Incredible combat with the best new weapon in a while. Great score and visuals with amazing VA. It's a game that stuck with me and was a huge pay off for a long time God of War fan.
  2. Monster Hunter World - My first MH game and wow what a ride. I played a mix of solo and co-op and it was a lot of fun. It made a fan of the series and it is my most played game this year.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - One of the best open world in gaming ever. The audio design is unmatched and world class. Arthur Morgan is Rockstar best character. With better controls and mission design this could've been a classic.
  4. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - A really good RPG. Kassandra is an awesome character and I hope the VA does more work in games. Choices actually matter and they have surprised on many occasion. The combat is fine and there were some intense fights. I would like to think that Ubisoft will continue to build on this formula and become world leader in western RPGs. They need more polish and less grind for booster purposes. Also assassination should kill regular soldiers regardless of their level.
  5. Shadow of the Colossus - It took 3 tries on 3 console generations to be able to get into it. I'm glad I did this time. The remake is beautiful with amazing vistas. Amazing colossi design and puzzles. I'm glad I wasn't spoiled about the story after all those years.
  6. Marvel's Spider-man - Great story and traversal. The world is pretty but a little hollow. If it wasn't my favorite Spider-man story it would've been lower because I didn't like the side filler missions.
  7. Hollow Knight - My favorite Indie ever. Fun combat with witty dialog. Loved the music and art design. The world was incredible. Hated the requirement for the "true" ending though.
  8. Detroit: Become Human - Liked the music and Conner and Kara arcs. Choices that matters. Some of the scenarios were sublime and memorable. The game lack subtlety and little ham fisted at times.
  9. Bayonetta 1 - It was hard to pick between this one or 2. Ultimately, I went with the game with better combat and boss fights. While the lows were lower than 2 I felt the highs were higher.
  10. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze - Fun game with fun set pieces and music. Loved the boss fights.

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Oct 25, 2017
I also asked this question (twice) in the announcement threat, but since it wasn't answered there: can I make a separate list for 2017 and older games, in addition to my 2018 list, as long as it doesn't follow the official format? (I am thinking image based, so there can be no confusion for votebot.) Played some great non-eligible games this year that I would love to write something about, but I don't know if it is allowed since it is technically off-topic.

Also, spotted a typo in the OP:

You may vote for any playable content released in 2017.


Oct 25, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - An incredible technical achievement. It's really impressive see what they did on 5 year old hardware. Arthur is the best character created by R*. He looks troubled, in conflict with himself, in search of his redemption. Been part of that, of his journey, was emotional experience. I would lie if i say i didn't weeped a bit.
  2. God of War - SSM reinvented a franchise and made it more successful. Give it a new dimension to Kratos character. I was a bit worried about this change, this dad kratos. But at the end feels real and believeble. An amazing journey that it's the beggining of something huge.

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Using an alt account to circumvent a ban
Jun 24, 2018
  1. God of War - I think i've never played another game that is so acomplished on the things it sets out to do. I could say a lot of things, but i'll say this: there is not a wasted moment in God of War. One moment you can have an over-the-top boss fight that makes your jaw drop, and 5min later you can be listening to Mimir's stories on the boat or taking in some fantastic views, etc. I have a low attention span and GoW does something really important for me- it has a pinch perfect pacing that keeps me hooked from start to finish. My game of the generation
  2. Darksiders III - Despite all the technical issues, i found the combat to be very fluid, fast paced and, above all, fun. The bosses are varied in design and game-mechanics, making each one a treat for those who enjoy a good action-game. Also loved the extremely well made level-design, with each area being meticulously interconnected and crafted
  3. Celeste - Probably the best 2D platformer i've ever played. Being a person who suffers from anxiety and other things made me care about the game in a special way. And it has a killer OST too
  4. Yoku's Island Express - The biggest surprise this year. A very good looking metroidvania that brings cool and innovative new ideas to the table
  5. Marvel's Spider-Man -
  6. Shadow of the Colossus -

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Oct 27, 2017
Angola / Zaire border region.
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - The world, narrative, acting, writing, and immersion combine to make this perhaps the best game I have ever played.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - A culmination of the series that I have loved since childhood. Easily the best gameplay the series has seen since Melee, and with a roster absolutely bursting at the seams with creativity. I will be playing this game for the next ten years.
  3. Monster Hunter World - My introduction to the series, as I assume it was for many people. I loved the density of the maps, the depth of the combat, and the life-like nature of monsters.
  4. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze - I missed out on this in 2014 but this year the Switch release allowed me to finally experience it. I can now say with confidence that is the best 2D platformer I have every played.
  5. God of War - comment forthcoming
  6. Shadow of the Colossus - comment forthcoming
  7. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - comment forthcoming
  8. Marvel's Spider-Man - comment forthcoming
  9. Celeste - comment forthcoming
  10. Super Mario Party - comment forthcoming

Honorable Mention: Super Mario Bros. 3 (Switch Online version)

Best Music: Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Direction: Cory Barlog, God of War

Best Performance: Roger Clarke as Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Character: King K. Rool in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Best Song: "Cruel World" in Red Dead Redemption 2

Funkiest Kong: Funky Kong

Most Anticipated: Animal Crossing, Anthem, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Metroid Prime 4, Death Stranding

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Oct 25, 2017
New York, NY, USA
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Even though some mechanics were a bit hard to learn at first, by the end, I was in love with that world.
  2. God Of War - It's almost my Goty. I love this game, specially the mechanics and fluidity of combat. Very good character dev, story, and world.
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man - Story is extremely good, characters are superb, and the city, man that city, that alone is enough to make it (almost) my Goty.
  4. Detroit: Become Human - All the possibilities, all the content that I still haven't explored. Amazing game, it blew my mind.
  5. Deltarune Chapter 1 - Out of nowhere, I finished that gem on a single sit. Music, characters, the world itself. Perfection.
  6. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - Yakuza is such a wonderful franchise. I'm in love with the storytelling and everyone in that world. No complains here.
  7. Shadow of the Colossus - What can I say about this game. The world, the story, the emotions. Top notch.
  8. A Way Out - I wasn't expecting this amount of greatness. Playing with my best friend and seeing the story unfold was just amazing. Loved it.
  9. Octopath Traveler - The music, the gameplay, the world, the art. It's such an amazing game. I loved this back to basics JRPG.
  10. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - I wasn't sure at first but as the story went on, everything fell into place and ended on a high note.

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Oct 24, 2017
I also asked this question (twice) in the announcement threat, but since it wasn't answered there: can I make a separate list for 2017 and older games, in addition to my 2018 list, as long as it doesn't follow the official format? (I am thinking image based, so there can be no confusion for votebot.) Played some great non-eligible games this year that I would love to write something about, but I don't know if it is allowed since it is technically off-topic.

Also, spotted a typo in the OP:
You can add whatever you need to your post as long as your “official” 2018 list follows the necessary format


Apr 16, 2018
My final exam is tomorrow, then I'll play some more games from backlog before make my list.

Why 2017 games are counted too?


Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - It was tough to put this on number 1 over RDR2, but RDR2 Online really soured my opinions of the game.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - after years of ubicrap, finally an open world game done right. Online is trash, but singleplayer will go down in history.
  3. Spider-Man - Nails the gameplay and open-world traversal. Never stops being fun to play.
  4. Shadow of the Colossus - the best game ever made — made better
  5. A Way Out - I hope more games take on singleplayer co-op. A very memorable co-op experience [/B]

Really wish I could've beaten and played more games this year. Stuff like Subnautica, Obra Dinn, and Into the Breach and my kind of games and would've easily made the list. But it's been a crazy year and out of my top 5, I only fully completed two of them. Although I played enough to know where they stand.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I still love playing this, after putting a considerable bit of time into the single-player and Online. I am just starting up the post-game and have spent about twenty hours with Online. This is a splendid creation, through and through. Warm and thoughtful, harsh and unforgiving. It wants you to fall in love with its cowboys and girls.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - I've only reached the halfway point, if that, and have around 45 levels with Cassandra. Greece is a lot of fun to romp across as a demigod assassin. It's playful and straddles the line between history and mythology quite well. I dig what Ubi is doing with this franchise.
  3. Astro Bot Robot Rescue - PSVR's secret weapon. I look forward to Astro Bot Planet.
  4. Tetris Effect - Tetris & Chill.
  5. Monster Hunter World - It's a cozy Jurassic Park, with big game, big eats, and Palicos who require all the fashions. Capcom brought it.
  6. Celeste - A lovely lil platformer that fires on all cylinders.
  7. Octopath Traveler - A worthy follow-up to the Bravely series. It justifies a full price retro style JRPG with just enough novelty and innovation. Like every other game on this list, the soundtrack rules.
  8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - I'm still in my early Smash survey. I'm going slow and bouncing between modes and playing mostly as the Kirb. Best music player this year, too.
  9. Into the Breach - Apocalyptic Mech Chess that is deep and rewarding. Feels at home on Switch, too.
  10. Battlefield V - I can't stop playing it and keep finding more that makes me want to go back and play more.

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Oct 25, 2017
1. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - It's Yakuza and Yakuza is the best
2. Shadow of the Colossus - it was the best game sony ever pubished on the ps2 and that's still the case today on the ps4
3. Hollow Knight - best metroidvania ever
4. Red Dead Redemption II - listening to people whine about looting bodies taking 3 seconds was the most entertaining thing in gaming this year. Also Arthur Morgan=GOAT protagonist
5. God of War - this game deserves a spot on the list for being one of the very small handful of games ever made that actually made me give a shit about exploring the world. hopefully the next one drops the pointless rpg stuff, but the rest of the game is strong enough for me to overlook that
6. Vampyr - in an age of RPG lite bullshit its refreshing to have a game actually feature choice and consequence instead of just being an action adventure game with a skill tree where you can unlock every skill before you even hit max level. fuck those games
7. Monster Hunter World - i played like 5 minutes of this game but the combat was really good, will go back soon
8. Dragon Quest XI: Echoe's of an Elusive Age - imma be real with yall i havent even played this game but i wanted to vote for it because i know ill love it whenever i actually get around to it
9. Hitman 2 - same as above
10. Marvel's Spider-Man - the game fucking sucks but i really liked the story, would recommend watching the cutscenes on youtube

man this year was ass
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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Hitman 2 - A truly unique game, a very dedicated development studio, a marvel of level design and complexity. GOTY 2016, 2017 and 2018 for me, nothing comes close.
  2. Return of the Obra Dinn - Few other games I've played made me feel like a smart badass time jumping detective. Actually, none. This is the one and only.
  3. Synthetik: Legion Rising - Amazing roguelite made by 2 guys suddenly appeared this spring and stole my heart. I'll never forget the THUMPs and BANGs of Synthetik. Cyborg John Wick, The Game. Oh and free updates throughout the year!
  4. Into The Breach - Easily the most accessible and the most enjoyable turn-based tactics game ever. Sorry, XCOM, Into The Breach is the new coolest kid on the block. I don't have dozens of hours to finish an XCOM campaign, and ITB is perfect for me.
  5. The Gardens Between - *The* indie art project of 2018. GRIS is beatiful but gameplay sucks. This is Brothers meets Monument Valley. This is brilliant. Received basically no press and y'all should play it. 2-3 hours of unforgettable experiences.
  6. Wandersong - Lighthearted, funny, approachable, distinct and unique. Basically how you do an indie platformer but not challenging (take note GRIS devs).
  7. Cultist Simulator - Again, a unique game from one of the best gamedev writers. Basic core mechanics, but tons of replayability, mysterious events and interesting learning process.
  8. Wizard of Legend - Get this shit on the eligible list ASAP! One of the best roguelites I've ever played in terms of action / variety. Very much surprised me like Synthetik.
  9. Battletech - The game I will definitely finish when I get older and have more time. Walking machines of death with nuclear reactors inside are fascinating every time I see them on my screen.
  10. Pizza Titan Ultra - (not on the list too, heeeey) It's Crazy Taxi, but instead of a car you get a giant mech, and insted of passengers you deliver pizzas. And it's freaking good! Isometric camera, impactful combat, oldschool sound effects, quirky characters and DELIVERING PIZZAS BY PUNCHING THEM THROUGH YOUR WINDOW YEAH!

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Marvel's Spider-Man - I haven't had this much fun simply traversing the world since Infamous 2. This might just be my favorite iteration of the character. Even the side quests are fun because the act of playing is just so fun. Everything from the movement, combat, and writing exceeded my expectations.
  2. God of War - Never cared much for previous God of War games. They were fun but the story was so bland and Kratos so one note. But this game blew me away with the quality of the writing and combat no longer felt like a poor man's Devil May Cry. Calling the ax is one of the great joys in gaming.
  3. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - Sorry Yakuza 0, but Kiwami 2 is probably my favorite Yakuza game now. Loved the rivalry between Kiryu and Goda. Kaoru is awesome. And having Virtua Fighter 2 as an arcade game is a big plus.
  4. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - A fitting conclusion for Kiryu.
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - A better Smash than Melee. Don't @ me.
  6. Monster Hunter: World - I always wanted to get into Monster Hunter but I never could. Until World. World made all the necessary changes to make the concept work for me. I put well over 200 hours into this game.
  7. Dragonball FighterZ - A perfect love letter to Dragon Ball Z. A truer successor to the Versus series than Infinite was.
  8. Soulcalibur VI - The soul still burns! Feels good to play Soulcalibur again.
  9. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - The best Assassin's Creed yet, even though it doesn't feature the Assassins. Who would have thought?
  10. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Not as good as Persona 5. Not a JRPG masterpiece. But still a very fun adventure.

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Oct 28, 2017
  1. God of War - The world, excellent combat but also reinvention of the franchise was extremely impressive. Felt like a genuinely cinematic experience, the closest to a movie I've seen in a game. Not perfect, the story is repetitive and sacrifices its sense of scale when retreading the same areas, yet nonetheless is an achievement. Nothing else comes close, especially since the only other game I played was RDR2 and that was a disappointment.

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Nov 16, 2017
Well, I finished exactly 2 games from this year so... Good luck to everyone else that is voting!


Oct 25, 2017

  1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - The best JRPG of the decade. It's so charming and enjoyable from the start all the way until the end. The characters are all lovable with their own quirks, and the amazing localization and voice act elevate them to a whole new level. The world building is also phenomenal, it really feels like having an adventure around the world. You'll visit various places from Medieval Europe to Southeast Asian culture in the game world. Draconian mode with harder enemies is the best way to enjoy the combat, so that the game would challenge you on every corner. All wrapped in a classic yet fantastic and memorable Dragon Quest story with some nice twists and bittersweet moments. If only the music doesn't hold this game down, it'd be a masterpiece.
  2. BattleTech - Front Mission is dead, but this is a much better alternative. Gather your squad, build your dream mechs, and upgrade your ship while you follow the space opera story.
  3. Monster Hunter: World - It's the ol' good Monster Hunter but in a brand new engine which introduces lots of improvements from visuals, gameplay, to quality of life changes.
  4. Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Bethesda RPG is probably done for, but this is the closest RPG we'd get with similar vibes. Roleplay as you wish in this beautifully crafted persistent world.
  5. Detroit: Become Human - It's easily the game with the most complex branching story and consequences in the history of video game. Gameplay is narrative-driven with QTEs combat.
  6. ATOM RPG - It's Fallout 3 in all but name. It also sets in post-apocalyptic Russia. Loot everything and kill everyone if you want, or talk your way out of trouble with speechcraft, all is fair.
  7. Octopath Traveler - Beautiful graphics and music, satisfying combat, lovable characters, unfortunately brought down by the mediocre storytelling, repetitiveness and overall execution.
  8. Pillars of Eternity 2 - The best Obsidian RPG in recent years. Much improved from the first game in almost every aspect, but the story is disappoing and the game is buggy in later parts.
  9. Red Dead Redemption 2 - It is possibly the best open world that you can visit and explore with lots of activities, held back by a mission structure that’s a bit too archaic and slow animation.
  10. God of War - God of War is a technical marvel with stellar writing and satisfying combat but repetitive encounter & enemies. The RPG elements and upgrades are totally unnecessary.
Honorable mentions:
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • HITMAN 2
  • Ni No Kuni II
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - There isn't a game series in the world that's as full of love and attention to detail as Smash, and Ultimate I think is unquestionably the best in the series. The fat has been trimmed a bit in some areas to leave room for tons and tons of raw content. I've already hit 40+ hours, and a big chunk of that has just been listening to the music!
  2. Magic the Gathering Arena - I waffled on including Arena here, but at the end of the day, I've played the hell out of it. It's got some major issues and is clearly a beta project, but as a card game, MTG can't be beat. Arena is finally the digital translation the paper game deserves, and I think it's only going to get better.
  3. Fortnite: Battle Royale - Fortnite isn't really the Game of the Year... but it's definitely the Year of the Fortnite. Epic has poured tons and tons of effort into the game, making it a living game unlike anything I've played before. Honestly, I don't expect to play it again. It's evolved into something that's not for me. But I don't think you can argue its impact and success as a game, product, and phenomenon.
  4. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Rise and Fall - Civilization VI remains one of my most played games, and Rise and Fall was a big step toward rivaling Civilization V as the best iteration of the series. In particular, I love the Golden Age/Dark Age balance and city loyalty, which is a fun system to play with. And Scotland as a Civ choice!
  5. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - I'm making an exception here and putting a game I have not actually played firsthand. But even just watching others play shows the sheer love and artistry poured into Dragon Quest. I'm waiting to see how the Switch version looks before deciding between that and the PC edition, but I'm so sorely tempted to bite now and dive headfirst into the world.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - This game is a true masterpiece in my opinion. Gameplay, story, music and visuals form a beautiful, near flawless piece of art. It's everything that I love about the video game medium. Cory Barlog and his team can't be applauded enough for the love and dedication they poured into this game and their bold and brave vision to revive and completely reimagine the series. It turned out to be a resounding success, for the series and single player video games in general.
  2. Marvel's Spider-Man - This game was the most fun I had all year with a game. Traversal and combat are fast, fluid, exhilharating, and they become second nature after just a short while. Yuri Lowenthal did a perfect job of bringing a lovable and very relatable Peter Parker/Spider-Man to life. For me he now is the one and only Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
  3. Shadow of the Colossus - This is one of the best remakes ever made, of one of the best games ever made. Solitude and melancholy has never been so enjoyable in any other game to me. I always regretted not being able to experience the original game at the time of its release and the years afterwards. Now I am actually glad that I held out for so long to first experience this updated and definitive version of the game.
  4. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - This was the JRPG that I was waiting for almost the entire generation. I crave big, more traditional, medievil fantasy JRPGs overflowing with atmosphere and charm, and this game is exactly that sort of nowadays very rare JRPG. On top of these traits it also delivers the consistency and overall polish that its cousin Final Fantasy sadly seems to have lost along the way.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Astro Bot Rescue Mission - Charming and clever from start to finish, one of the best 3d platfomers in years with superb boss battles, tight controls, catchy music, and integral and smart use of VR. No game made me smile this year as much as Astro Bot.
  2. God of War - A more than successful rebuild for the franchise, radically changing things while still feeling true to the games roots. Excellent world building, exploration, characters, and solid combat mechanics.
  3. Into the Breach - Almost more randomized puzzle game than strategy game, fluctuates between making you feel brilliant or an idiot for the moves you make.
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man - One of the best super hero games to date. Spectacular locomotion, fun combat, and a surprisingly well written and acted story.
  5. Monster Hunter World - Just an amazingly tight loop of tracking,combat, and upgrading.
  6. Beat Saber - Completely nails the concept of light saber rhythm game.

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Oct 25, 2017
Straya M8
  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Whenever a Smash game comes out it usually tops my list, Smash Ultimate is the best Smash game, both in Single and Multi-Player. Nothing brings the Hype quite like Smash!
  2. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion - This was extremely over looked by ERA but OE is one of the best shooter campaigns this gen. What happens if you mix Portal with Splatoon ink mechanics, amazing soundtrack with one of the craziest endings to a game I've played this year, you get perfection and that is what this is.
  3. Deltarune Chapter 1 - I only got around to playing Undertale this year and I loved it, would have been my 2015 GOTY, Delta Rune is the first chapter in the next game and it's every bit as good as Undertale. Also the music is a 10 !
  4. Spyro Reignited Trilogy - The only reason this isn't higher is because I've played these games so many time already, but Reignited is a great way to relive the Insomniac trilogy in a great looking way.
  5. Fallout 76 - "Shrug" I've been having fun with it, although it sill needs a lot of work, I'm hoping Bethesda stick with the game.
  6. Octopath Traveller - I was wrapped up in this game while playing, although quit on the true final boss, not much to say about it but great looking and sounding game... Also Tressa best girl.
  7. WarioWare Gold - First WarioWare game and had a lot of fun! Doubt it'll get much attention here being a 3ds game, but I think its a great game.
  8. Donut County - I was gifted this game, and it does a good job of just being a fun / stress-free way to spend a couple of hours with a cute little game.
  9. Mario Tennis Aces - Mecanicly solid and Ton of Fun in Multi Player, but I can't say I've put in many hours in this game.
  10. Minit - Like Donut County, this is a shot game that you can enjoy from start to finish with a unique gimmick.

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Oct 26, 2017
Earth 616
This is my preliminary list. I still have to finish God of War and I'm yet to play Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, but I plan to do so these holidays, but right now:

  1. Marvel's Spider-Man - Spider-Man is my favorite character in literal all fiction. This game delivered the best gameplay, story and the most heart I've played since The Last of Us. At two moments, I've cried, and this only happened before with TLOU when it comes to my gaming experience before. Red Dead Redemption 2 is easily the game I played the most this year and it's indeed a technical achievement, but while it's undoubtly a great story, it isn't really a great game when it comes to game play. I will miss playing with Arthur saying "howdy, friend" in Valentine, and while I just finished the game this weekend, all the time I was playing that I couldn't help but long for the franctic gameplay and to web swing all over across Manhattan as Spider-Man. And that's precisely what I'll be web doing this holidays, playing The City That Never Sleeps DLCs back to back. It's not just my GOTY, but one of my favorite adaptations of Spider-Man to any medium, and definitely has a spot on my favorite games of all time.
  2. God of War -
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 -
  4. Monster Hunter: World -
  5. Detroit: Become Human -

I'll be adding my comments and maybe even reorganize my ballot the next upcoming days.

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Oct 25, 2017
Hecht I believe I have the ballot properly formatted at the top of the post and then the comments below, is that fine or do I need to make the comments interlinear


Oct 27, 2017
Mexicali, Mexico
  1. Shadow of the Colossus: A classic game that simply got better. A steady framerate and glorious graphics elevates this game beyond anything I played this year. No matter that it's the third time I've played the game, there's still nothing like it on gaming.
  2. Astrobot: Rescue Mission: A re-invention of the 3D platformer, Astrobot takes everything we know about platforming and wrap it around an incredible VR game. It's a game that shows what VR can do for classic game design and how it can elevate it beyond what we are used to.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2: Incredible characters, a huge amazing world and well crafted story joins to create one of the best games of the generation and one of the best main characters in story. The tale of Arthur Morgan is one of the best in the media, and the world is one of the most interactive and fully detailed ever in gaming.
  4. Yakuza Kiwami 2: With a new engine, Kamurocho becomes alive in this remake. While Kamorucho has always felt alive, the dragon engine blows your mind with a world that feels real, reactive and inmense. The story also provides one of the best stories in the year; full of honor, betrayal and melodramatic moments.
  5. Guacamelee 2: "More of the same" is never a good thing, when we're talking about Guacamelee. With an incredible combination of combos, special movements and puzzles, Guacamelee 2 is a metroidvania that everyone should play. They also toned down the Memes, or so says the Dank Cave.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Marvel's Spiderman - This was a tough call over God of War. But Spiderman did just as much good as God of War, but less bad. And for me it was just more fun. It's a gorgeous game, even on the base PS4. Traversal and swinging almost has an addictive quality. Combat is deep and rewarding. Nothing ever felt like a damage sponge after I got in the swing of things. What surprised me the most is how in love I became with the world and characters. Insomniac did a fantastic job of putting the best super hero story together. From the tear jerking scene that gets all of us, to the ridiculous rantings of J. Jonah Jameson. Bravo Insomniac, Bravo.
  2. God of War - It's safe to say that I was one of the bigger skeptics of this game on this board and the other one. And a lot of what I was skeptical about came true. I didn't like the combat system as much as I liked the previous entries. I didn't like the camera. But some time after I finished the game I came to grips with the fact that I can't compare this game to the previous entries in the series. They're trying to achieve different goals. And this new God of War achieved that goal in spades. The biggest compliment that I can pay this game, outside of the typical ones for graphics, story and voice acting is that it's the first God of War game that STUCK with me.
I did play, and finish, other games from this year but it doesn't feel right to put those games alongside these two.

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Mr. Fantastic

Apr 27, 2018
  1. God of War - I gave them a lot of shit when it was first revealed (ladder-gate) but it turned out fantastic. Lack of compelling boss battles prevents it from being a GOAT though.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Probably top 2 best open worlds ever, but fuck the controls and fuck how it loved to test my patience.
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - GOAT fighting game, but Spirits Mode is a bummer and lack of new stages is a disappointment.
  4. Marvel's Spider Man - much like the MCU, lots of fun but shallow as fuck
  5. Hollow Knight - one of the best Metroidvanias ever but fuck this game
  6. Bayonetta 2 - Never got around to this back in the Wii U for some braindead reason even though I owned the piece of crapU, I missed out and now I feel its too late to give it a better spot :(
  7. Assasin's Creed Odyssey - Hadn't played an AC since 2 and the RPGficiation is great.
  8. Shadow of the Colossus - its rare I double dip for a game, much more rare when I triple dip as I have for SOTC every generation since the original. If it was a new game it'd be top of the list.
  9. Celeste - Cool little game but I'm not even 1/3 through it I guess.
  10. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden Country - I'm just putting this here to remind everyone Mythra and Pyra own your souls.

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