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

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Jan 2, 2019
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  1. God of War - A reinvention of a game I already loved that was successful beyond my wildest dreams. Not only was the story a masterclass in storytelling but the combat was superb as well as the post game. God of War is not only my game of the year but quite likely my game of the generation and one of the best games I've ever played period.
  2. Celeste - One of the best platformers ever made. The soundtrack is one of my favorites of all time and the gameplay is extremely tight and polished. The storyline was moving and personally impactful for me. I had an absolute blast from start to finish completing everything this game had to offer.
  3. Marvel's Spiderman - By far the best spiderman game ever made and one of the best superhero games. The combat, while a little too easy and repetitive, was still fun, and the world was a blast to explore. The story was hard hitting and left me wanting more. If this is the start of Marvel's Game Universe then I eagerly await the rest of what they plan to offer.
  4. Monster Hunter World - My first experience with a monster hunter game and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't skeptical of the series. However, once I got a few hours into the game I fell in love and spent hundreds of hours playing and replaying hunts and farming into the endgame. My enjoyment was only slightly marred by the obtuse design of the online systems making it far more difficult to get groups than it should be.
  5. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Again a first for me as I'd never been interested in the series before but I'm glad I took the leap as it rewarded me with a charming cast of characters, a great (if simple) story, and a world I grew to love. The game did suffer from a few difficulty spikes but it wasn't too crazy. More impactful was the pace of the first half of the game. Quite often it felt very "gamey" in that I was chasing various objects around the world and once I caught up, something would undoubtedly happen to make me have to chase it more. Despite that I had a great time overall with the game.
  6. Red Dead Redemption 2 - A case of squandered potential if I've ever seen one. The story was fantastic full of interesting characters and locales, but it was seriously hampered by disappointing gameplay and animations that felt designed to waste your time. Additionally, the bounty system needs a serious overhaul as the amount of times I did something lawful or literally nothing at all and got a bounty as a result were far too many to count. If they'd fixed these issues this would likely have been my game of the year but unfortunately I couldn't stomach it much past the halfway mark.
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - I did not expect to like SSBU as much as I do. Coming from a melee background and having played both brawl and smash 4, I was expecting another disappointing entry. While the game doesn't come close to living up to melee what it does achieve is a massive step up from the recent direction of the series. As always, the stages and music are fantastic, and there's a wide range of characters with a variety of playstyles. Impressively, most of the characters feel fairly balanced in that there don't seem to be many characters who suffer the way the bottom tiers of other smash bros games do. As a result, I feel like I can actually play who I gravitate towards rather than characters that (while I still enjoy) have much more potential. Obviously this is still early in the development of the metagame but the first impressions of the game's balance are overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, the game is still too floaty and recoveries still feel too good but I can actually see myself playing this in the future.

I did play and finish many more games from this year but no others felt like they deserved to be in the conversation.


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Borowski

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Jun 24, 2018
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1. God of War – From its stellar combat mechanics, simple yet effective narrative, powerful chemistry between the lead characters, fantastic world design and top of the class audio and visuals, God Of War represents the best of the medium, breathes new life into a stale franchise and gives gaming’s mightiest anti-hero a glorious return to form all in one.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2 – In a time where open world games saturate the market, Red Dead Redemption 2 stands tall above all others with unparalleled world design, industry defining audio and visual design, a poignant narrative and extremely likable ensemble cast, delivering an experience that will be remembered and learnt from for many years to come.
3. Monster Hunter World – Like the menagerie of monsters players are pitted against, Monster Hunter World is essentially a bigger and badder form compared to its predecessors with its meticulously crafted and intuitive level design and core gameplay loop miraculously remaining extremely fun and addictive even after 300 hours while also serving as an excellent coop game.
4. Shadow of the Colossus – With just a reworked rendering pipeline and tweaked control schemes, Shadow of the Colossus still shines as among the year’s best, proving that Ueda’s classic from 2005 stands the test of time in most aspects and in some cases, still exceeds modern game design conventions especially with its physics driven gameplay even to this day.
5. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Intentionally designed thoroughly like traditional JRPG’s of the old days, Dragon Quest XI invokes a powerful feeling of nostalgia by keeping true to its roots yet innovating and incorporating modern mechanics where necessary into the mix to deliver one of the best JRPG’s this generation.
6. Marvel’s Spiderman – Boasting perhaps the most gratifying traversal system in an open world game, Spiderman also features a mechanically deep combat system that feels and looks as amazing as its comic book depictions imply in addition to a surprisingly well written plot, in which the overall package stands as among the best superhero games of all time.
7. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life – Self-aware yet taking full advantage of its ability to switch between comedy and seriousness in tone, Yakuza 6 is above all very fun to play where even the most mundane tasks are enjoyable while also presenting a powerful narrative elevated by a fantastic cast.
8. Celeste – Beautifully animated with pixel art and brutally challenging, Celeste serves as a nice memento of retro games and a well-executed metaphor for mental illness. Thanks to its silky smooth platforming mechanics, Celeste is simply addicting to go through, especially when the challenge is just right, although it is occasionally let down by uneven difficulty curves.
9. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! – Although much of the core gameplay mechanics the series is renowned for has been dumbed down for a more casual appeal, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! nevertheless remains enjoyable, delivers nostalgia every step of the way with classic environments remade in high fidelity and brings in new mechanics that are hopefully integrated going forward.
10. Fortnite: Battle Royale – Perhaps the biggest game on the market today, Fortnite is an engaging game with a skill curve as high as its userbase and a great coop game well worth hours of dedication. Despite its lackluster gunplay and unbalanced weapon sets, there is few more satisfying moments than seeing Victory Royale at the top of the screen.

Honorable Mention
Far Cry 5 – While Far Cry 5 presents a surprisingly decent narrative, breaks away from many conventional AAA open world design choices that served as a template for its predecessors and overall remains a very enjoyable game, it ultimately lacked the drive to go fully into its religious themes and further cements that a fresh take is desperately needed by the franchise.
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Oct 27, 2017
191
  1. Hollow Knight - Absolutely incredible. I loved everything about it. Very memorable and atmospheric world that was fun to traverse and equipping the different pins was a great system.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Still making my way through World of Light which i'm so surprised with. Was expecting something maybe 5 hours long at most but i'm over 20 now and still loving it. Having lots of fun with 1v1 online, but I would like some slight improvements to the Battle Arenas for 2v2. Best Smash ever.
  3. Hellblade: Seuna's Sacrifice - Finally got a chance to play this with the Xbox One release. Loved the story and the incredible use of sound.
  4. Dead Cells - Not managed to beat the final boss as of yet, i've taken a wee break until the updates come to console. Just plays so, so well and one of those games where almost every death feels like my own fault in some way rather than random chance.
  5. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I loved Arthur and got very invested in his story. No real interest in going for 100% due to the insane amount of content.
  6. Yoku's Island Express - Such a cool idea. Played really well and very charming. The perfect length as well.
  7. Mario Tennis Aces - Simple Mode online was exactly what I wanted. Not popular with everyone but I loved the tournament style matchmaking setup they did.
  8. ONRUSH - Very underrated. Just really good fun to play and it's a shame it wasn't super well received. Enjoyed all the different modes and vehicle types. Forcing you to use them all was clever and made me use things I would normally avoid but ended up liking.
  9. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Ultimate Edition - My first Shantae game. Really charming and fun to play. Looking forward to whatever they are doing next.
  10. Kirby Star Allies - Didn't really do anything new, but I enjoyed blasting through it. Could probably do with them trying something a bit different next time.
  11. MINIT - Such a cool wee game and a great idea. Exactly what I needed after the marathon that was RDR2. Very charming.
  12. Super Mega Baseball 2 - I loved the first one and really enjoyed this too despite having no real interest in baseball itself. Gets very interesting once you get higher in difficulty.


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ghostcrew

Spooky
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
7,231
United Kingdom
  1. Sea of Thieves - No other game this year was gonna be my number one. Sea of Thieves is a game that I've played for well over 500 hours since it came out in March(!) It's a game that has given me some of my favourite gaming moments ever, shared with friends from all over the world; friendships that have been made while playing this game. I keep saying to people that Sea of Thieves is my World of Warcraft and I think it's a fairly good analogy.
  2. Celeste - It spent a good amount of the year sitting as the highest reviewed game of 2018 on Metacritic (until RDR2 came along to spoil it!) and there's good reason. Celeste plays like a game that a Mario Maker obsessive made after playing too many user created death traps and thinking 'I can make this more fun'. Which I think might also be true? Please play Celeste.
  3. Tetris Effect - Tetris is the best game ever made and Tetris Effect is one of the finest distillations of the formula yet. Tetris Effect is a beautiful audio/visual rollercoaster through a synesthetes' version of the worlds greatest puzzle game. That is to say it's a game that melds music and colour and visuals into some great mega orgasmic explosion of emotion and tight brain bending puzzle gameplay. That is to say, this is the best thing ever.
  4. Hitman 2 - Hitman was my second favourite game of 2016 and, quite simply, Hitman 2 is better. It is more consistent in level quality across the game. It gives Agent 47 more personality which is something I NEVER thought I'd want. It has the best final level. Seriously, GET TO THE FINAL LEVEL. It's so good.
  5. Monster Hunter World - It's the best playing Monster Hunter. That's undeniable. The monsters are wonderful, the new stages are MASSIVE and unbelievably fun to explore. You can play the WHOLE GAME muliplayer which is honestly huge. I couldn't even begin to start listing the incredible QoL improvements and how great they are without making your eyes glaze over if you're not a long time, long suffering MH fan. I have some minor gripes with the amount of content (despite putting in over a hundred hours before Summer even hit) but, you know.
  6. God of War - The Sony Santa Monica team has taken a long in the tooth franchise that badly needed a restart and absolutely smashed it out of the park. God of War *feels* amazing. You'll read a lot about the story and the relationship between Kratos and the boy and all of that but, really, if God of War had none of that and was just 35 hours of knocking monsters heads off it'd probably still be in my top ten. It just feels.. so damn good. The way they've given Kratos new weapons, tons of new combat mechanics, new abilities, a whole new perspective and yet, somehow, it still kinda feels like how a God of War should feel. It's just a triumph.
  7. Beat Saber - My most played VR game of the year and the game in my top ten that I most don't want someone walking in while I'm playing it. Beat Saver is the best reason to own a VR headset in 2018. It's Rock Band with lighsabers. Enough said. Blocks rush towards you in rhythm to the soundtrack and you swipe them up, down or across with your two handheld light swords and you feel like the most bad ass dancer in the whole universe despite probably looking like Star Wars Kid with a Roomba strapped to his face.
  8. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - No game does 'wow, this game feels like a fucking fantastic traditional JRPG from my childhood' better than DQXI this year. No gimmicks, no flashy new graphics style. DQXI actually released in Japan in Summer 2017 but has taken a little time to reach us over in the West but, crikey, it was worth the wait. It's just a really fucking good 'one of them'. It's got a wonderful cast of characters. It gives you a singularly solid reason to be out doing what you're doing and saving the world (a classic JRPG thing but, honestly, something Octopath suffered from by not really having). Every new location and town feels amazing to explore and they're packed with fun characters and little side missions for the townsfolk. It's a bright, colourful, fun throwback to a simpler time and it's an absolute monster of a game.
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - I've kinda surprised myself this year with how much I've fallen for the new Call of Duty game. It's not a series that has really bothered my top ten lists since the early entries really but Black Ops 4 has sunk it's teeth into me and, you know, it's a fantastic game. It's an undeniable package. No single player campaign but three series high multiplayers components. It's a phenomenally refined package and easily the best Call of Duty has been for years.
  10. Frostpunk - Frostpunk is probably my top 'out of nowhere' game of 2018. A strategy game where you have to build a town around a giant generator in a cold, unforgiving post apocolyptic future scenario where every decision is horrible. Frostpunk is the definition of the world 'bleak' and it's utterly wonderful. The game throws lovely scenarios at you constantly like 'we're fucked, we need child labour, is that ok?' and, at some point, you definitely will be fucked enough to say yes. Anyone who's played the studios previous game, This War of Mine, won't be surprised at the tone. Frostpunk is super intense but it's a wonderful intensity. I find myself totally drawn into the world they've created and they've continued to add new scenarios and missions to the game throughout the year. I love the Christmas Carol themed Xmas mission! More people need to talk about Frostpunk. Play it. Get dark.


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I'm not sure if it'd be at #1 or 2, but The House in Fata Morgana would absolutely be in one of those spaces if it had actually come out this year. I played in in January but it still floats through my head in quiet moments. It haunts me. Anyway, stuff that's actually eligible:
  1. Wandersong - I had a feeling about this one. From the first Kickstarter pitch it seemed like it'd be my kind of thing, but I wasn't sure how much. After your quest is laid out in the intro I started to get the feeling that it'd be telling a type of story that I'm a sucker for, and once a certain narrative wrinkle was introduced midway through, I knew that unless they somehow fumbled things in the end, I'd be head-over-heels in love with the game. And yeah, they didn't fumble it. It's bright and vibrant, and optimistic in the kind of way where there's always a seed of doubt that it's potentially misguided, but it presses on anyway. It's funny, its characters are endearing, the sound design is delightful and the soundtrack is fucking killer. I love it to pieces.
  2. Celeste - Man, this was a hell of a surprise. The platforming is incredibly demanding but tight and fair, and making it through the C-Sides was one of the most satisfying gaming accomplishments I've had in years. It has one of my favorite soundtracks of recent memory, and the entire thing is tied together by a small, personal story that wound up being far more relatable than I ever would have expected from a platformer.
  3. Deltarune Chapter 1 - The last thing I ever wanted from a follow-up to Undertale was something resembling a sequel, and as soon as I saw screenshots of returning characters, I was incredibly wary. Still, I was intrigued up front by the "bully who you're obviously going to befriend" story, I quickly grew to appreciate the slightly increased complexity to combat and the environment, and by the end I was completely in love. I don't know what shape this game will ultimately take, but I'm 100% on board with whereever it goes.
  4. The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories - I wish more people played this one. In a year filled with text message narratives, this is probably the most realistic feeling, and the way the story is slowly revealed by your old texts gradually filling themselves in works far better than it has any right to. The pace at which you start to understand JJ's relationships lends itself to a gradual sense of unease as tension begins to build up, and by time you understand the full breadth of the story, it has a hell of a sense of weight to it. Also, I think the platforming and puzzle solving gets more crap than it deserves; it's a little janky, but running up to a ledge, jumping at it, and clambering up and over feels strangely satisfying on a mechanical level.
  5. Return of the Obra Dinn - What a weird, unique thing. The visuals are incredibly striking, and I found myself laughing at multiple points as the story revealed itself to be way more batshit that it seems at first. One of those games that's like a set of dominoes, with one discovery starting a chain reaction sending yourself back through the last couple hours of confused wandering, one "aha!" moment after another. Great headphones game, too.
  6. Hitman 2 - I spent a ton of time watching people play Hitman 2016, but I never got very into it myself (the Mario Maker effect). After a couple levels of this one something finally clicked for me, though, and I started to just devour it. Having all the season 1 content stacked up as well is a great bonus. Even being very familiar with the previous game I'm still surprised at just how many ways you can approach the intricate, clockwork levels, and I remain impressed at how well they've started to figure out the series' sense of humor.
  7. Tetris Effect - It's Tetris, but, like, really awesome Tetris. Merging the usual gameplay with trippy zen-like visuals seems like the kind of thing that should have already been done by now.
  8. Donut County - Delightful way to spend a couple hours. Bouncy Katamari vibes, satisfying and weighty physics-based gameplay, funny characters, charming visuals and an awesome soundtrack. It's just great.
  9. Gris - Glad I was able to sneak this one in before the end of the year. Solid core of platforming and light puzzling overlaid with incredibly atmospheric art direction and animation. There are a handful of challenges/secrets in the game that come right out and state its themes directly, but even without that, it does an excellent job of conveying emotion purely through visuals, color and animation.
  10. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - It's such a common observation that it's practically a joke at this point, but this really is the first VR game (and maybe Sony platformer at all?) to have a Nintendo level of polish and charm. Bouncy and vibrant.

Florence would be next up, a tight and perfectly-executed short experience that uses game mechanics to represent a relationship in inventive and surprisingly emotional ways. I'm also really enjoying 428: Shibuya Scramble and I'm fairly certain it'll ultimately wind up in my top 10, but I don't know if I'm even a third of the way through it yet (been a busy December, and I'll probably restart it sometime soon). Also had a ton of fun with Minit, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the most I've been into one of those in a number of years. (As far as the absent Big Games go: I played around five hours of both Spider-Man and God of War and I enjoyed both, but I just kind of drifted away from both of them. I kind of got open-worlded out this year.)

Surprised Fortnite is eligible as it's in Early Access and is also a 2017 game, but I guess it makes sense as an exception being the biggest game in the world lol. I don't think it would have hit my top 10 anyway, but it's certainly the game I spent the most time playing this year. Far and away the most I've been into a multiplayer game since the early years of Team Fortress 2. I also spent a lot of time this year on mobile rhythm gacha game BanG Dream: Girls Band Party, which has tons of great music and ultra-low-stakes but cute and endearing visual novel segments.


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Oct 25, 2017
1,163
Brooklyn
  1. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire - Deadfire has more of the things I prize in an RPG than almost any other game in the genre. It has fun character creation rules that can lure even the non-theorycrafters like me into sketching out build concepts at random hours. It has a big, original setting to explore. It has excellent combat--maybe even better than Divinity: Original Sin 2 by virtue of Obsidian hearing players' complaints about encounter design in the first game. It has unique items that reward exploration and really can change your approach to combat. It has a good amount of flexibility in how the player can approach individual quests and the game's major conflicts (save for the biggest one, unfortunately). It has appealing characters. And while the main story is a misfire, Deadfire has a solid political story playing out among the factions--one that Obsidian does well to present as morally complicated without lapsing into simple relativism
  2. Return of the Obra Dinn - I admired Obra Dinn for its original concept and elegant design touches (such as ticks on dossiers informing you both that you (a) had enough information to make a deduction and (b) how difficult that deduction would be). I adored it for making me feel smart and capable.
  3. Into the Breach - A near-perfect tactics-puzzler with immense replayability thanks to the wide array of team compositions and unit loadouts.
  4. Celeste - Celeste's clever platforming more than compensated for an intrusive story that felt like when a local college theater troupe comes to your middle school to do a play on a very important topic.
  5. Battletech - My biggest timesink of the year.
  6. Hollow Knight - It's too long and not as fun to explore as the very best Metroid games, but god damn is it beautiful. And I've got a lot of affection for a game like this turning to a marathon (and quite good) platforming challenge in a key moment.
  7. Dead Cells - I think there's something to the criticism that the permanent upgrades don't fundamentally change your relationships to the levels or enemies, leaving the game a bit flat. But the smooth animation, fast-paced combat, and explosive effects still create a highly-satisfying, addictive experience.
  8. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - Probably the most fun I had this year with a VR experience patterned after a traditional game genre (my favorite VR experiences tend to be something else entirely).
  9. Frostpunk - My second biggest timesink of the year.
  10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Honestly, the game has so much now that my most-desired feature in a future patch is the ability to "hide" unwanted characters stages from the menus.


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Oct 25, 2017
3,349
This year was hard. It was a pretty meh year for my tastes (as shit as they are); for example my GOTY would probably normally be like 3-4 in most solid years and lower in great years...but eh.

  1. Marvel's Spiderman - I fuckin love me some Spoderman. Into the Spiderverse is also my MOTY. So yeah. Its cliche but the game makes you feel like Spiderman. Not just in controls but the act of just swinging around swooping in and saving the day and swooping out as your life crumbles around you is pure Spiderman yo. Yuri Lowenthall also deserves props for his acting job in the finale. Game is not perfect tho. Stealth sections are ass and the combat does get stale near the end but man this is a great Spiderman simulator.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - I expected this to be my GOTY; while I do love alot about it, Spiderman definitely hit more. It also is hurt by me not having the friends anymore to just play smash so the experience is a bit tampered lol. But this is peak Smash and exactly what I wanted. Spirits mode is a bit too long tho.
  3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! - I expected to hate the shit out of this game. Gen one pandering. GO stuff ruinming mah pokemanz. Babby mode only? FUCK THIS SHIT. But as we got closer to the release the less shitty I became towards it. The game is just comfy as fuck. I like the pokemon in the overworld. I enjoyed the new catching mechanics. The game was actually slightly more challenging that I expected (I might just be ass at this point tho). Not sure if I'd want much from this in Gen 8...but It made me eat my words.
  4. Monster Hunter World - I finally got into a Monster Hunter game yo. I hated the controls on the PSP. I was terrified of the water sections on the Wii. No more hurdles for me. ....i still didn't beat it tho. I hit the wall pretty hard around the Elder Dragons and the grind became too much for me. But the ride up until that point? Aces.
  5. Dragonball FighterZ - This is probably the best game I barely played this year. This game is fun as fuck; and easy to play for my constantly shit execution. However because my friend made me buy on PC to play w/ him and then we barely played and since my PC set up is terrible...I barely played. I need to make time to get back in it. Story mode is bloated as fuck tho.
  6. SoulCalibur VI - Kinda like DBZF; I barely played this but mainly because I am waiting for all of the DLC costume pieces to release...and laziness. Its a nice return to form that my dumb ass didn't even know I wanted. The speed was definitely missing since 2. Cast is still a bit lackluster tho.
  7. Red Dead Redemption 2 - This game sucks. Arthur controls like shit. Most of the missions are the same shit (ride> talk > shit goes bad> kill dudes> end). Its everything I hate about modern gaming. I can't stop playing it tho. Its rather impressive really. I should loathe this game and be that asshole on the internet complaining about it but I must be having some type of fun...somehow.
  8. Octopath Traveler - This game kinda sums up my year in gaming. Looks neat; has some neat ass ideas. Overstays its welcome and I didn't finish it. This game should piss me off more that it missed its mark so hard. If the cast was more cohesive and the combat didn't take ages to open up and the stories were actually intertwined? This shit would be the GOTY. But nope. BUT like MHW: I enjoyed what I did play before burning out.
  9. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - I buy damn near every AC; play about 10-15 hours and then stop. Same here. The story is ass IMO. I hate ship combat. BUT the actual sneak and kill stuff is fun to me. I am just waiting for my Neo Japan Weeb AC. Anyday now...pls.
  10. NBA 2K19 - 2k are scumlords. The monitization shit is heinous. However doesn't effect me as I don't play the modes it effects. And I still get more than enough out of each years release. I am apart of the problem still..but I love basketball and this game allows me to create my own team and team build...that is my crack.
This was a weaker year for me. Not terrible but weak...but after 2017 came through and crushed buildings thats okay. This year has KH3 a sequel to one of my top 5 games of all time. It has DMC5 a sequel to one of my top 15 games of all time. It has gen 8 of Pokemon; a series I can't quit not matter how hard I try. That alone seems like I should manage. Hopefully there are some surprises lika Nier Automata was during its year...and if not? Oh well...its just games..and if there is a drought of "special" titles, it will only make that next banger hit even more.


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Oct 27, 2017
4,177
USA
This thread has been so good to read through... and it's also been murder on my wallet. LOL So many games I meant to pick up last year that happen to be on sale now (like Wandersong) that this thread has encouraged me to buy recently!
 
Oct 27, 2017
459
GA, USA
  1. The Alliance Alive – This game is easily one of my favorite JRPGs and is likely my favorite turn-based one. The characters are entertaining and humorous throughout the experience although the overall story does not reach quite the same heights as its characters. I am really fond of the artstyle, and Hamauzu unsurprisingly delivered a fantastic soundtrack. However, the Saga-style gameplay tying all the above together is by far the best part of this already great experience. Sparking new abilities and ability proficiencies are fantastic mechanics and near infinite source of delight; my only real complaint with these is that the number of abilities is finite. Growth of health and mana instead of typical leveling up is much better as it simultaneously discourages normal grinding and allows for grinding without making combat too easy to be interesting. There are a number of other enjoyable mechanics like the guild recruiting, party formation and positions, and the ornithopter, but I’ve talked enough about this exceptional gem of a game.
  2. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – While I do not have much experience with the Wonder Boy series myself, at least yet, from all accounts this is a stunning return. Regardless of any historical links, this game is completely phenomenal, mixing old and new game design to deliver a total masterpiece. While many other exploration platformers (metroidvania) suffer when largely linear, the ample secrets and fast-travel points alleviate any problem here. Unlike most of the genre, there is an emphasis on platforming here with a satisfying level of challenge throughout the experience. The best part of the old school elements is easily the abundance of well-hidden secrets. The developers were certainly not afraid that players may not see everything in the game, enabling them to create many great secrets throughout the game. Some of the secrets were beyond my skill and patience, but none of the secrets were frustrating.
  3. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission – An awesome platformer that showcases the possibilities of VR in established genres. While calling it the Super Mario 64 sounds like hyperbole at first, I find it to be a very apt description.
  4. Hollow Knight – Great gameplay, beautiful artstyle, fantastic world design, exceptional boss battles, engrossing story, and engaging characters; this game delivers in spades and goes beyond what you could ever ask for. Team Cherry really knocked it out of the park here.
  5. Iconoclasts – With fantastic pixel art, soundtrack, gameplay, and story, Konjak developed a truly impressive game, and I feel it has unfortunately been largely overlooked in these end of year discussions.
  6. Teen Titans GO Figure! – While this may not be the most expansive sequel, this is still a fantastic game. The battle system is enjoyable and a great fit for the platform. My only real complaint is a lackluster post game, but I hope and expect that more and better post game content will be (or has already been) patched in, just like the first one.
  7. Kirby Star Allies – While the story mode is easily the worst of modern mainline Kirby, the Guest Star mode was greatly enjoyable from the beginning and gotten better and better with every major patch.
  8. Spyro Reignited Trilogy – I think this remake comes extremely close to completely replacing the original games. The graphical and animation improvements greatly add to the character of the original games, and the general gameplay is greatly improved as well. The new music is not really an improvement, but the original music is included, completely forgoing this downside. My only complaints lie with more specific controls, but even then, the remake is normally solid enough. Only a few minigames are better in the originals (e.g. skateboard races); generally, the changes only make the minigames a little easier. While I would prefer for those control issues and the other problems to be fixed for a future release, I still would favor the remakes to the originals on the whole
  9. Guacamelee! 2 – DrinkBox unsurprisingly delivered another gem of a game that builds on the first game. It has great gameplay and is Kinda Funny.
  10. Marvel's Spider-Man – Insomniac delivered an amazing Spider-Man game that is not only one of his best video game adaptions but is also one of his best adaptions period. While other games may have better swinging, this game’s traversal system as a whole is spectacular, with a low skill floor that is cinematic and approachable while the skill ceiling allows for great speed and maneuverability by focusing on web zips and environmental contexts. The game expands on the Arkham-style combat with webs and Spidey’s speed to deliver a superior Spider-Man combat experience. As a total package, this is the ultimate Spider-Man video game experience, and it is astonishing how high-quality a year this has been for Spidey
  11. The Messenger – This is a truly enjoyable and unique game with a great sense of humor.
  12. Tetris Effect – I could explain how this game is a great way to play Tetris with additional modes and adds to it with its Mizuguchi-style focus on music and synesthesia, but Digital Foundry and dark1x did a much better job in its Tetris and his GOTY videos than I ever could.
  13. Aggelos – Another game in the vein of Wonder Boy, this game is great and worth mentioning even if not to the same level of Monster Boy. Much like that game, platforming has a higher focus than most in the genre with some really fun challenges spread throughout the game. Secrets, however, are less of a focus than in Monster Boy; there is nothing nearly as difficult here as that game’s most hidden. I think this game’s platforming benefitted from using new moves as upgrades instead of animal forms, and I prefer this type of system overall. Hopefully this game receives more attention when it comes to consoles as I feel it deserves more than it seems to have gotten.
  14. Detective Pikachu – This game and fans delivered unto us the meme of Danny Devito as Detective Pikachu, making this literally the most important piece of Pokemon media to ever exist, and while this world is too horrible a place for that to become reality, I still enjoyed my time with the game. The story was decent, and its world was extremely interesting in its depiction of Pokemon as actually contributing to society.
While I do not have specific thoughts to share on a few other games, I do want to briefly mention the following as they were still highlights of the year (and in some cases in their original year): Mega Man 11, Part Time UFO, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey Redux, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Here's hoping to another great year in 2019.


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Jun 1, 2018
33
  1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden Country - Likable cast, touching story, improved battle system and a great soundtrack. This prequel to my favorite game of 2017 did not disappoint.
  2. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Fun strategy RPG
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 74 playable characters, 103 stages, more than 800 music tracks and a decent adventure mode makes this the best smash bros game to date.
  4. Celeste - Challenging, but never frustrating. One of the best indie games I've ever played.
  5. Octopath Traveler - Fun combat system and a great soundtrack, but it gets repetitive after a while.
  6. Hollow Knight - Like the atmosphere, but got stuck very early on without knowing where I'm supposed to go and have not returned to it since then.


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Oct 25, 2017
389
1. Fortnite

2. Spiderman

3. Frostpunk

4. Red Dead Redemption 2

5. Minit

6. Return if the Obra Dinn

7. Into The Breach

8. Pokemon Lets go Eevee

9. Dead Cells

10. Mutant Year Zero
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,226
  1. Hollow Knight - Lovely world design, lovely gameplay systems, lovely characters, lovely art style, and lovely soundtrack. Almost everything about this game just feels right.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - So many characters feel excellent to play while Classic Mode and World of Light make for some really solid singleplayer. The only letdown is a lack of massive online options.
  3. Monster Hunter World - It's Monster Hunter with (mostly) much stronger location design and tons of quality of life improvements. The enemy variety isn't quite on the level I hoped for, but most of the monsters are still really engaging to fight.
  4. God of War - The combat system is really solid, the locations are interesting to explore, and the story has some intriguing elements. This was my first time trying out the series, and I'm glad I started with this entry.
  5. Shadow of the Colossus - I've never played the original, but this was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Most of the Colossi were really fun to learn the patterns for and the game has a nice pace. The story is also told in a pretty interesting way.
  6. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna the Golden Country - These next two are both excellent expansions. Torna builds on Xenoblade Chronicles 2 by bringing in a faster paced combat system that focuses on actively swapping party members. Its new locations are top quality for the series, its new music is excellent, and many of its sidequest storylines are reminiscent of the most memorable ones from Xenoblade Chronicles X. The characters are quite likable despite the expansion's much shorter length to flesh them out than a full game, and the story ends on a strong note. My only major knock against Torna is its excessive sidequest gating for the main storyline.
  7. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion - Octo Expansion is my favorite singleplayer campaign in the Splatoon series. It's full of creative stage design that makes great use of the various weapon types and special weapons available in Splatoon 2, with a top notch final section in particular. There are also some really nice character moments along with fantastic new music. That being said, I do wish the expansion had another unique boss fight or two and the bonus boss fight in particular felt a bit excessively difficult.


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Oct 25, 2017
234
  1. God of War - I definitely did not know what to expect going in. After Ascension on PS3, I was definitely glad that GoW3 was basically the end of Kratos's tale. However, the team at Sony Santa Monica not only blew my perceptions of what I thought was possible to do to reinvent the franchise out of the water, they gave me something that has become really special to me... so well done, I cannot wait for the next entry to see where this goes.
  2. Street Fighter V Arcade Edition - I've put way too many hours into this game for it to not rate high up in my list. I really like some of the decisions they've made with this game, though a few of the more recent decisions still leave me scratching my head... I just can't escape my love for Capcom fighters.
  3. Marvel's Spiderman - Really solid effort from Insomniac. Much better than I expected really. The DLC releases were a bit of a let down, and I'm still wishing a few of my favorite suits would've shown up... but without the Arkham games to fill the superhero game void for me, this really scratched that itch.
  4. Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition - I loved this game on PS4 and I love it even more with the updates/dlc/performance improvements seen in the PC port.
  5. Shadow of the Colossus - One of my favorite games of all time rebuilt from the ground up. What a joy to experience all over again, even better than the last time on PS3. Bluepoint mananged to retain the magic of the originals while updating the game to look and play phenomenally on the current generation of hardware.
  6. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Better performance and gameplay for me than TR2016, but the story was a struggle to deal with. As a TPS adventure/collectathon in the Uncharted mold, I really had a good amount of fun with this one.
  7. Dragonball FighterZ - Solid Arcsys Fighter, I couldn't help but feel it wasn't as deep as I would've liked and some of the roster decisions just left me scratching my head. Story mode was competent enough, but at the end of the day, I found it really repetitive and boring.
  8. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Solid enough overall, but this for all the hope I put into liking the Retro entries in this franchise, they never quite seem to capture of the SNES Rare titles that started it all. A good 2.5D platformer, but nothing quite like the originals which demanded I find every secret and collect every banana.
  9. The Messenger - Wasn't quite what I was hoping for, but a good effort overall. I had hoped to get some sort of 8/16-bit classic Ninja Gaiden, but this wasn't really that... it did it's own thing though and was worth the time I put into it.
  10. Dark Souls Remastered - Miss a chance to put Dark Souls on my GOTY lists? NEVER.


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Alex840

Banned
Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,408
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Everything I wanted it to be and more. Just a couple of online trophies away from the Platinum.
  2. God of War - Absolute masterpiece and I can't wait for the sequel.
  3. Hollow Knight - My favorite metroidvania ever. I adore everything about it, the music, the visuals, the combat all of it.
  4. Shadow of the Colossus - Playing the remake was my first time with this game and I was stunned with the scale, music and creature designs.
  5. Marvel's Spider-Man - My favorite Spider-Man story in any medium. Surprised how well Insomniac nailed it.
  6. Into the Breach - Made me fall in love with strategy games. The almost puzzle-like nature gripped me so hard.
  7. Hitman 2 - A perfect sequel to one of the best stealth sand boxes ever made.
  8. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - My new favorite AC.
  9. Return of the Obra Dinn - Played the whole thing with my brother and haven't had such a unique experience since The Witness and Her Story.
  10. Celeste - The story didn't impact me me as much as it did to others, but the platforming felt borderline perfect to me.
Had to cut Monster Hunter World and Astro Bot: Rescue Mission as I wasn't sure Hollow Knight and Shadow of the Colossus would count.


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Oct 25, 2017
1,426
SWE
  1. God of War - A fresh start to an established franchise. Great gameplay, an engaging story and a beautifully realized Norse Mythology setting. My Goty of 2018.
  2. Monster Hunter World - Capcom's AAA Monster Hunter title delivered as expected, can't wait for the expansion.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - The cowboy simulator of my dreams. Too bad about the somewhat wonky controls.
  4. Spider-Man - The best super hero game I've played. Swinging around NYC was in itself one of my favorite gaming moments this year.
  5. Return of the Obra Dinn - A captivating insurance adventure with an amazing artstyle, what more do I need to say?


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Oct 29, 2017
5
  1. Marvel's Spiderman - Utterly fun, utterly beautiful, lovely story.
  2. Celeste - Smoooth mechanics, heartwarming story, very memorable characters, has every right to be frustrating but it's not.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Overall presentation and production quality makes this experience despite it's average gameplay.
  4. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Best AC game in years. Gameplay is good, scope is huge, story is surprisingly enjoyable.
  5. Sunset Overdrive - Silly, charming fun reminiscent of game generations past.
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Packed full of content, fun as always. World of light is very more-ish.


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Oct 26, 2017
79
  1. Into the Breach - Almost as fantastic as FTL and incredibly replayable.
  2. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - I'm 20 hours in and this might be the best one in the series.
  3. The Room: Old Sins - Another excellent entry in the best series for iOS.
  4. Magic: The Gathering Arena - Finally a good alternative to Magic Online.
  5. Octopath Traveler - Best portable RPG in a long time.
  6. Frostpunk - Great resource management sim that I'll revisit soon.
  7. Labo - Innovative and fun with kids.
  8. Celeste - A solid platformer that probably wouldn't have made the list if I had played more games this year.
  9. Picross S2 - The best of the three Picross games I've picked up this year. They're all very similar but yet well worth playing.
  10. Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! - It's a shame that the input lag prevents me from enjoying it at higher difficulties.

I haven't played God of War, Detroit: Become Human, Spider-Man, Return of the Obra Dinn, Valkyria Chronicles 4, and Mario Party yet and I'm sure some of them would make my list.


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Oct 25, 2017
204
  1. No Man’s Sky – The release of expansive updates took a perfectly adequate game to the top and made it the pinnacle of procedurally generated video games, which is where the future is headed.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – The best Smash Bros. Since the original N64 release in 1999. Truly there is no equal when it comes to fighting games with expansive casts. No one of any worth was left out in this edition and there is no need for further additions to this game, though, we have already been promised future DLC by the seriously overworked and under appreciated Sakurai.
  3. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion – The only first person shooter a gamer needs.
  4. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – A portable version of crack cocaine.
  5. Overcooked 2 – The original with polish
  6. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission – Adorableness in VR form


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Oct 27, 2017
4,377
London
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Everything I wanted it to be and more. Just a couple of online trophies away from the Platinum.
  2. God of War - Absolute masterpiece and I can't wait for the sequel.
  3. Hollow Knight - My favorite metroidvania ever. I adore everything about it, the music, the visuals, the combat all of it.
  4. Shadow of the Colossus - Playing the remake was my first time with this game and I was stunned with the scale, music and creature designs.
  5. Marvel's Spider-Man - My favorite Spider-Man story in any medium. Surprised how well Insomniac nailed it.
  6. Into the Breach - Made me fall in love with strategy games. The almost puzzle-like nature gripped me so hard.
  7. Hitman 2 - A perfect sequel to one of the best stealth sand boxes ever made.
  8. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - My new favorite AC.
  9. Return of the Obra Dinn - Played the whole thing with my brother and haven't had such a unique experience since The Witness and Her Story.
  10. Celeste - The story didn't impact me me as much as it did to others, but the platforming felt borderline perfect to me.
Had to cut Monster Hunter World and Astro Bot: Rescue Mission as I wasn't sure Hollow Knight and Shadow of the Colossus would count.
Absolute in 2. is bold.
 
Oct 28, 2017
96
  1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - The first JRPG I've enjoyed in since Vesperia. Gorgeous art-style, a turn-based battle system which doesn't waste your time, and a great balance in open-world design. I had the orchestral mod on PC, so I didn't have any issues with the soundtrack. I was pleasantly surprised, since I've had such sour impressions of JRPGs in the past decade.
  2. God of War - The ending left me anticipating the sequel. Can't wait until I get my hands on it.
  3. Marvel's Spiderman - Better-than-Arkham combat system along with fun swinging mechanics
  4. Hitman 2 - More Hitman. Can't complain.
  5. Full Metal Furies - A great romp with a friend or two. Too much it didn't sell well!
  6. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Had fun with what I played of it so far. Didn't have a chance to finish it properly.
  7. Celeste - Great challenge. Fun and frustrating distraction from the other games I've played.


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Nov 20, 2017
84
Brazil
  1. God Of War - This is just a perfect game. From the story to the pacing, to the incredible art style and sound design, combat, visuals tech, pacing, performance and I could go on for like days explaining why this game is perfect.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - This game would be my GOTY, if not for God of War. And I feel they lost for their own doing, having implemented the extreme realism. Don't get me wrong, this is an almost perfect game, but its intention to preserve fidelity to the ideas over people's time with the game hurt it a little.
  3. Marvel's Spiderman - I think it's the best superhero game and in a world the the Arkham series exists, this means very much. Could be longer though.
  4. Hollow Knight - One of the best metroidvanias that I've ever played. Superb art direction and level design, tight gameplay. Awesome post lauch support too.
  5. Monster Hunter World - The modernization I've always wanted for Monster Hunter executed perfectly.
  6. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Asssassin's Creed on its best form since 2.


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  1. Dead Cells - I don't think I ever had the feeling of "just one more game" over and over that much in the past. I can't stop playing it!
  2. Celeste - This one felt so good to play, so much that I'm fooling myself to think I can beat the C-Sides.
  3. Hollow Knight - Probably the game that felt the most consistent from what I've played this year, from the visual, sound and story point of view.
  4. Gris - It's probably the first time I feel that the term "poetic" is not a hyperbole for a game.


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Oct 27, 2017
1,833
  1. God of War - looked great, played great, story was actually good, some unforgettable moments, and a pretty great soundtrack on top.
  2. Dragon Quest XI - if the soundtrack was better and the story not so predictable this would have been my game of the year. it's still my favorite game i played this year though, just not the best. very limited random encounters was such a treat, hope all future turn based RPGs do this.
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - by far the best smash ever released.
  4. Octopath Traveler - Beating that ultimate final boss was the single best moment for me this year. loved the soundtrack and art direction. VFX were awe inspiring to me. Best battle system in any turn based RPG I've ever played. Excited what the team could do with a traditional RPG narrative, while the individual character stories were fine i wanted a lot more from the party, instead i have to get that from the fan art which is fine but not ideal.
  5. Spider-Man - it was exactly what the game set out to be, the story was better than expected. the score was a little too avengers cinematic for my taste.
  6. Celeste - great soundtrack, challenging platformer, probably more challenging than i can handle but i dont want to give up. havent beat it otherwise it may be higher on the list.
  7. Gris - a beautiful puzzle platformer with a good soundtrack. probably the best art direction i've seen this year.
  8. NieR Automata BECOME AS GODS Edition - Came out on Xbox in 2018 so of the new platform games in 2018, it's the best.
  9. Diablo III: Eternal Collection - Perfect for the Switch. my third time buying it and now it's on the platform i think it works best on.
  10. Donut County - fun short game, wish there was more and that it was more like katamari and less like a puzzle game. very relaxing though.

Notable games I missed out on but intend to get to:
Gorogoa, i own it on switch but it came out on PS4/XBO in 2018
Hollow Knight, own it just haven't had time to play it yet.
Tetris Effect, saving for when i get my VR set up in my office.
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, saving for when i get my VR set up in my office.
Return of the Obra Dinn, need to get it off of steam in order to play, probably would have played it already had it come to Switch or PS4. Am glad its on mac though.
Into the Breach, own but am saving for when i am on a trip
Soulcalibur VI, just bought it and am a fan of the series.

Games I played but left off:
Destiny 2: Forsaken, destiny feels good to shoot and move around it and is fun with friends, they fixed a lot but it's how it should have been.
Tacoma, walk point and click adventure game was enjoyable but ran into a few bad bugs.
Ni No Kuni 2, good combat, fun town building, lackluster story and characters.
Lets Go Eevee: my first pokemon game. solid fun game but nothing special. still excited for the new main game in 2019
Bayonetta 1, fun action game but graphics don't hold up well and there's a few frustrations i've had with it. audio also not great.
Lumines, it's not tetris, and the soundtrack hasn't aged well imo.
Mario Tennis Aces, didnt play much of it, still upset i can't do regulation match lengths. i play tennis atleast best of 3 sets where each set is first to 6 win by 2 games, tiebreaker at 6 all. it's just one change i want to see and i'd play more of it.


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Oct 25, 2017
3,480
Are we allowed to add to our lists if we get the notification from votebot??

I just finished moss and want to add it to my list. Will also finish ASTRO bot before the end date.
 
Dec 4, 2017
640
London
  1. God of War - this is one of those rare games that is more than the sum of its parts. And as its individual parts are all so damned good that makes it a pretty exceptional game in my book, up there battling in my top three of all time. Great affecting story which managed to confound my expectations, incredible level design which made exploration a real joy and created moments of wide-eyed wonder, and top-tier combat mechanics that meant I didn't even get annoyed by Grindy McGrindplace Niflheim. Nothing was going to stop me getting that platinum, even bloody Sigrun and her slightly fetishistic stompiness.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I have a myriad of frustrations with this game that I won't bang on about here, as they're the same issues that get brought up by anyone who isn't completely enthralled by the Rockstar charm spell. But despite these issues, when this game sings it really fucking sings. Truly they created the most incredible open world I've had the pleasure of inhabiting, and that's what will ultimately stay with me about my time with it.
  3. Marvel's Spiderman - I'm honestly burned out on Marvel stuff at this point. Even so, Spider-man was a blast and traversal was sublime. What really surprised me though was the quality of the story it told. It made me weep twice. Twice. And by the end of it I was completely and utterly in love with Peter Parker. Seriously, someone make him my husband ASAP.
I feel a bit bad that my first contribution to a GOTY voting thread on here only consists of three games but I haven't played that many this year. Of the other games I've played I don't really feel I can give a vote to Far Cry 5 just for the sake of it (it's pretty much just more of the same and I never got around to finishing it), and I haven't really spent enough time with BF5 yet to have decided on its worth so, yeah, just the three. What incredible games they are though.


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Oct 26, 2017
65
Los Angeles, CA
  1. God of War - A stunning both reboot and continuation to the series, and a masterpiece of a game all in all. Refining and maturing the God of War gameplay is a success in itself, but far better is how this game elevates the storytelling, melds mythologies and gives Kratos and his child compelling personalities all the willing looking/sounding stunning as it goes. Not only a likely candidate for best game this year, but also a strong contender for game of the generation.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - The breadth, depth and complexity of the games world is staggering, almost so to the point of suffocating the game itself. It took me a while to overcome the slow pace of the game and the busywork of its progression but in doing so I encountered a surprisingly rich world I was eager to remain in and stunningly portrayed cast of characters that I was deeply invested in.
  3. Return of the Obra Dinn - The game came out of nowhere and absolutely floored me. I had little idea what to expect going into this highly praised indie title, and was instantly hooked as the unique detective plot and gameplay loop began to unravel before me. Struggling to put the game down once I started, uncovering all the games secrets was a joy from start to finish. The prefect length, depth and complexity has the game as one of the most satisfying of the year.
  4. Subnautica - Subnautica took my by surprise, initially embarking on the sea water adventure with little expectations and quickly becoming consumed as hours fly by. It could be summarized as an underwater Minecraft, but that'd do the game a disservice. The approach to vertical exploration had me wanting to progressively swim deeper to undercover more about the strange world from first getting my feet wet right through to the games deepest darkest secrets.
  5. Celeste - Charming story, beautiful presentation and stunning platformer through and through. The rapid pace of the games failure to retry gameplay loop allows for a high level of challenge with few of the frustrations that can come with it, that made climbing its mountains bliss from start to end. Only a month into the year and Celeste is sure to remain a highlight.
  6. GRIS - Absolutely stunning casual puzzle platformer adventure that sees you through various gorgeous watercolor painted worlds overlaid with a spectacular musical score that works beautifully together. More art than game, and although a short experience at only 3hours it makes sure to utilize every second of it.
  7. Shadow of the Colossus - An extraordinary simple and straightforward game on paper that is pulled together with colossal grandeur, literally. I've a weak spot for games that leave you with memorable moments long after you've put them down, and Shadow of the Colossus gives them out in spades. A stunning experience through and through.
  8. Marvel's Spiderman - The entire game package is well rounded from it's story through to its combat, and when all else fails swinging from the rooftops and traversing New York from the skies will never get old. It also feels both surprising and great to consider the characters and overall story premise of this game to be on par, if not better, than what the films have achieved.
  9. Hitman 2 - Whilst this feels like more of the same from Hitman (2016), with some expanded quality of life introductions and more varied and expansive levels to work through, that's ultimately exactly what I'd have hoped for. It's the definitive stealth action sandbox sim, though I'm sad they moved away from the episodic format as it worked wonders for their expansive sandbox piecemeal offerings.
  10. Destiny 2: Forsaken - Easily the best expansion for Destiny 2, feeling somewhat familiar in scope and impact to The Taken King expansion from Destiny 1. The core Destiny 2 experience now feels fully refined with a handful of quality of life improvements and there's a content breadth to keep you busy preparing for the new raid introduced, which itself is fantastic.




















(Ignore the image numbers; they're taken from the 52 Games 2018 thread for order I completed them)


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Jan 4, 2019
3
  1. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - beautiful world, choices really matter, pleasure to play.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - it's Smash... always gets a top spot, and it's so great to play Smash on Switch!
  3. God of War - wonderful story, fun to play, and I have a soft spot for a good mythology game
  4. Marvel's Spiderman - beautiful swinging mechanics, super fun world to play in
  5. Far Cry 5 - great game, super fun, and honestly cathartic to shoot the bad guys in this one.
  6. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I haven't finished this game but I love it and want to spend more time in this world
  7. Hollow Knight - super fun metroidvania that I need to spend more time in
  8. Magic The Gathering Arena - good digital recreation of Magic, thoroughly enjoy.
  9. Diablo III: The Eternal Collection - Diablo is always a tonne of fun for me - I've had no major complaints since PC version 2.0.1, only this low because this year has been mostly spent on other games.
  10. Moonlighter - Good game despite all the glitches; I love the idea of upgrading your shop and the town to sell all your loot.


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Oct 27, 2017
2,571
  1. Dragon Quest XI : Echoes of an Elusive Age - One of the best JRPG I have played in recent years (and possibly of all time). At first the game looks like another generic medieval fantasy JRPG (with all of the associated tropes), but once you get past that initial impression, what you find is a game with great story/writing, amazing characters, and fun combat system. Add in a godly localization and you get one of the best JRPG experiences.
  2. Monster Hunter World - The evolution the series needed after being stuck in PS2-era technology. Despite having less content than previous recent titles, with 500 hours+ clocked in, MHWorld ended up as the second most played title in the series (second only MHFU which have gazilion of content). Here's hoping Capcom can build off the foundation laid off by MHWorld the way MHTri laid off foundation for MH4U.
------------------------------------------------------

Honorable Mention :

The Elder Scrolls Online : Summerset - Summerset is beautiful and the story/writing are improvement over the base game.
God Of War - This game can easily made into my GOTY list, but having only played the prologue I don't think I'm qualified to made the decision, here's hoping I can finish the game before the deadline.


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Oct 30, 2017
589
  1. Monster Hunter World - A prettier Monster Hunter with quality of life improvements was all I ever wanted from the series and finally brought it the mainstream attention it deserved. Looking forward to the new expansion.
  2. God of War - Beautiful, fun to play and an interesting story. never cared for this series before this.
  3. Assassins Creed Odyssey - Only started this a couple weeks ago and instantly regretted not getting it earlier. Did not like Origins nearly as much as this. I found that games RPG mechanics to be a turn off as they felt half-assed. Odyssey felt like it fully embraced being an RPG and is much better as a result.
  4. Hollow Knight - Such a nice looking metroidvania and the game-play is wonderful. So much longer then I expected too.
  5. Destiny 2: Forsaken - I definitely played this more then anything on this list. Only reason this isn't higher is that the other 4 games above are just so good and Destiny 2 still has many flaws.
  6. Marvel's Spider-Man - Loved the story and web swinging enough to make up for its issues and still place this at 5. Did not love the combat. That felt boring and much too easy. There were some really cool gadgets and combos you can unlock but why should I use them when using the same one or two moves was more then enough.
  7. Dragonball FighterZ - Fighting games usually aren't my thing but I gave this a shot because it was based on Dragonball and got good reviews. I suck at it but it really fun and also fun to watch (Hope that tournament stuff gets fixed and it gets aired again.)
  8. Beat Saber - Super fun. A great reason to get VR.
  9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Not much to say. Its Smash bros and has tons of content which is more then enough for me.
  10. Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! - Kind of makes me sad to put this so low on the list but there were so many poor decisions that held this game back. Still fun but could have been so much better.
  11. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Gets an honorable mention for being an amazing artistic and technical achievement but holy shit much of the game play is clunky. I get why in some parts even if I don't agree with the design choice(for example certain animations being long in order to be detailed) but there's no reason the shooting should be such garbage in a AAA game like this.


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Oct 25, 2017
327
Dallas

  1. Iconoclasts - I did a lot of thinking on this one. In my mind there are better games that I've played this year, some further down this list. However, this game struck a chord with me, in a very similar way to Nier: Automata. It's ending in particular was a severe punch to the gut. Or rather the events up to and including the ending. The way this game paints its world and the hopelessness that descends upon it has had me thinking back on this game since it released in early 2018. While the game plays similar to others in its genre of Metroidvanias - I feel it does so very well. The music was also a nice surprise. It feels like games of this vein are almost required to have great music but I really enjoyed this soundtrack more than I thought I would. Still, it's the story of this game that really cemented it as my number one. The friends and family lost by Robin along the way - and the arcs of those friends, really resonated with me in a way I totally did not expect.
  2. Return of the Obra Dinn - It's very hard not to place this game as number one, just for the sake of how insanely different this game is. It honestly felt like a throwback even further than the graphical style had intended. As I uncovered the fates of these crewmen, it felt as though I was watching a stage play unfold before me. Granted the way it was told was not direct in the slightest, as you worked your way through reverse-chronological chapters. This game is a testament that games can continue to innovate and tell stories in unexpected ways. Perhaps if I had more time to contemplate it, it would be my number one.
  3. Tetris Effect - Perhaps one of the most stylish games ever. It also strikes me as a strangely soothing and optimistic one at that. Finding the zone as the rest of the world fades away around the game is something else. Pursuing this almost zen like state is what brings me back to the game. Not only that, but the presentation around it is beyond stellar. Each stage presenting a unique style that varies from Hip Hop to Jazz to Pop and on. Tetsuya Mizuguchi continually proves himself to be a visionary in music based games. Lumines and Rez made me a fan, but this is absolute distilled perfection.
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man - I was not expecting this game to land so high on my list. Don't get me wrong, I'm a massive Spider-Man fan - and I trust Insomniac almost implicitly at this point, but I had expected to like this game well enough and move on. And while the game does drag in the middle bits, the ending was well worth the light slog of paramilitary shenanigans. I honestly don't get very emotional when I play games. Or rather I should say that games don't make me cry all that often. In fact I'd only every done it once before playing Spider-Man. Maybe it was the very well acted bits by Yuri Lowenthal mixed with the stellar performance capture. But the ending had me sobbing pretty emotionally. I'm still surprised at how well they wrapped it up. I've yet to play the DLC, and I hear it's not quite the quality of the main game, but I'll be excited to dive in at some point anyway.

  5. Donut County - What a fantastic bite sized game. There really isn't much more that needs to be said! The music is amazing, the characters are likable and even a bit relatable. It's short, sweet and just a joy to play. I suppose my only complaint with this game is that I wish there was more of it!
  6. Earth Defense Force 5 - I'm surprised EDF landed so high on my list actually. I've been a longtime fan of this series, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed it to this degree. I feel like they're really trying to take the story further. Of course you'll always be plopped into a large map and shoot anything that moves, but the dressing around that is the real treat. Seeing giant ships being shot down by some off screen canon, or the dozens of large tanks shooting at a gigantic kaiju - That's the reason to play EDF. The dialogue though has really been amped up. There's just a lot more of it! There's more explanation, and more exposition! This really is the best that EDF has ever been.
  7. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Despite all the strange and shady monetization in this game, it's probably my favorite Assassin's Creed ever. The setting is a large part of that, as I love the Grecian world. It's like the best bits of other Assassin's Creed games mashed up together. Despite the honestly bonkers story (Which I had a good popcorn time with) I put a sound 90 hours into this game. Kassandra is an amazingly well done character and Melissanthi Mahut deserves every bit of adoration for her portrayal.
  8. CrossCode - I suppose I'm a sucker for fake MMO stories. Dot Hack, Sword Art Online and the sort really just scratch a particular itch. CrossCode is no different! I love the way this game is constructed. It plays as an Action RPG with some great Zelda style dungeons. The story also grabbed me in a way few others did this year. I also just want to give Lea a big hug - she really deserves it after all the stuff she went through.
  9. Monster Hunter World - As someone who's been a diehard Monster Hunter fan for quite a while (Not quite the beginning, but very soon after) I was honestly a little skeptical of all the changes. When Capcom announced this and then declined to localize the Switch port of XX at the time, I was extremely nervous. Of course why wouldn't I be nervous about massive changes to one of my favorite series? However, even though I can still go back and play old Monster Hunter (Thanks XX?) World is an amazing entry. I loved every bit of the 90-ish hours I put in before drifting to other games. It lost a bit of the charm for me - as getting together with my friends and yelling at each other over our PSP/3DS was part of the fun, but that's no fault of the game.
  10. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - I really enjoyed the first Vermintide up to a point. It really just didn't have enough to keep me coming back after a certain point. They seem to have solved that in the sequel though. Taking the already great gameplay from the original, they notch the replayability up quite a bit. The loot is done in a very intelligent way that really adds a bit of randomness to it, as well as forcing you to seek out items that up the difficulty - you risk it all for better loot. The added subclasses for each character were also great for keeping me coming back. Unlocking the slayer for the Dwarf had me feeling great - especially as I'd leap into crowds of Rats and dice them up with my dual axes.


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Oct 29, 2017
414
  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Perfect game design. Interesting story mode for once. Absurd content. Ultimate roster and soundtrack. This is the definition of fun.
  2. Tetris Effect - In a year without Smash Bros., this could have been my GOTY. It’s truly excellent, combining the purity of the classic Tetris gameplay with the crazyness of Mizuguchi’s visual and audio direction. In higher difficulty modes, each game feels both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time, putting you on the edge of your seat.
  3. God of War - A promising new start to the franchise. Not quite the masterpiece some are praising here, but the production values are exemplary. Excellent gameplay that could use more weapons and more memorable encounters to avoid repetitiveness. Cool art style that could use less rehash and more visual complexity in its environments to feel like a true journey. Forgettable soundtrack (which is strange given the composer) despite great audio, and average story despite the obvious writing effort. That’s a game quite flawed for me, but undoubtedly fun and a good basis for what’s next.
  4. Dragon Ball FighterZ - A boy’s dream, absolutely marvelous to behold and immediately fun, even though it could have been deeper.
  5. Battlefield V - DICE is still at the top of their game in online shooters. This is just like BF1 but in WW2, which was exactly what the franchise needed.
  6. Reigns : Game of Thrones - As a GOT fan, that was a fun little game to play when commuting.
  7. Red Dead Redemption 2 - That’s the game I’m the most hesitant about. While its visual fidelity and its soundtrack are amazing, it felt like a chore to finish. Bacause once again in a Rockstar game, good dialogue can not replace an average plot, and attention to detail can not excuse barely serviceable gameplay. It’s a pleasure to start the game and to stroll about, but the actual missions are 80% uninteresting which results in a poorly, poorly paced game. This had great potential and it’s probably my disappointment of the year.
  8. Onrush - Really interesting concept. Sadly, execution didn’t do it any favour, probably because of budget reasons.
  9. Mario Tennis Aces - That’s the first one I’ve played, and wow I’m terrible at it. It’s pretty fun, but I find the campaign kind of discouraging.

    I’ve not played enough games this year to make a decent top 10 I’m afraid.


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Oct 28, 2017
62
  1. God of War - This reboot was the best in the series. I can't remember many games that make me sit down 10 hours straight and play! Fantastic presentation, fascinating stories and dialogues between father and the son, brutal and responsive combat all with no camera cuts made this game a memorable journey.
  2. Spiderman - This is from someone who adores Sunset Overdrive so much! everything in Spiderman feels so smooth and great. You can simply just web swinging for an hour and still have fun. Combat is so fluid and combining it with gadgets is always fun though some missions can get repetitive but thanks to the simple and fun core gameplay it doesn't bother. Despite the change of pace when playing as Peter Parker these sections can be boring.
  3. Forza Horizon 4 - Who could've thought Playground games can deliver once again in the genre where it's not very easy to innovative?!Forza Horizon 4 is not only the best racing game of all time but it has one of the best open world designs of the generation. The way events placed in the world and the way they are being introduced to players make the exploring so fun and immersive.


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Oct 25, 2017
5,911
  1. Dead Cells -- I would have never thought that a procedurally-generated rogue-lite would ever be my game of the year. The reason I love it so much is because of extremely tight movement and combat, great music and a good sense of progression. Not once have I ever felt like I had wasted my time with a run. Even when it goes badly, you still make some progress somehow, which makes subsequent runs easier. The progression in this game is what is missing from other rogue-lites. Dead Cells is an accomplishment, and I can only hope that its influence will be felt in the years to come.
  2. Yakuza Kiwami 2 -- As someone who was introduced to the series with Yakuza 0, Kiwami 2 is the ultimate form of the series so far. Gone are the loading times; Kamurocho is now a real open-world that feels alive like never before. The combat is the best so far, and the story is great too. I honestly can't wait for the next Yakuza game.
  3. God of War -- I got tired of the formulaic and boring gameplay of this series midway through God of War 3 ten years ago. Nevermind the fact that Kratos was a boring character born out of the mind of a man who never left his teenage years. This new game revitalized the series in a way I did not thought possible. Its gameplay is so much more interesting, complex and fun than that of the original games. On top of that, the game made me care about Kratos and his journey. That's quite a feat.
  4. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age -- Final Fantasy XII was a great game in 2005. Looking back on it now, it even feels like it was kind of ahead of its time in its design. Today, the game is still a ton of fun. The Zodiac Age tweaked the gameplay just enough to make it fresh and more fun. The game has great characters and a story that feels mature in some ways that most other games in the series don't.
  5. Hitman 2 -- Like others have said, this is just "more Hitman", but boy is it still a lot of fun. This series lives or dies by its level design, and the levels of Hitman 2 are absolutely fantastic. The gameplay has been ironed out here and there to make it the best Hitman game so far.
  6. Iconoclasts -- This game is quite a surprise. It hides its hand very deftly. It's a metroidvania-lite game with a heavy focus on story. The interesting thing about this game is just how much more thought-out and well-written the story is than what one anticipates coming in. In the beginning, it appears to be simply about a protagonist fighting against a stereotypical evil empire. But the more the game goes on, the more things get... complex. This game goes places, and it tackles themes that few games try. On top of the great story, it boast great gameplay with some of the best bosses I have seen in a very long time.
  7. Sonic Mania Plus -- Sonic Mania is by far the best Sonic game since Sonic 3. It's honestly embarrassing for Team Sonic. Christian Whitehead and his team understand Sonic better than anyone working at Sega.
  8. Celeste -- A fantastic platformer with great music and an endearing story.
  9. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze -- This game boasts some extraordinary level design and an OST to kill for.
  10. Yoku's Island Express -- There is no other game like Yoku's Island Express. No, literally. This game is a story-driven open-world pinball game. It's great, has good music, and probably has one of the best late-title card in any video game ever.


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Oct 25, 2017
1,272
  1. God of War - It's the GOTY. Nothing comes close to it. They took the old God of War formula, threw it out the window and made something really, really special. Level design, artstyle, combat, soundtrack and characters are all top notch. Don't forget about the camera, it's an amazing achievement. God of war is bombastic, emotional, bloody, surprising and so much more.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - My most played singleplayer game this year. I'm at 100 hours and I aint stopping. AC is my favorite gaming series of all time and this is the first time they went all in on the RPG aspects. And it's for the better. It combines the historical richness of past entries with a beautiful, big world and fun gameplay.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Arthur is an amazing protagonist. I loved how personal the story was. This game would be at the top if it weren't for its biggest problem: the gameplay. It feels like somthing from a distant past. Still an amazing game with the most beautiful game world this year.
  4. Hitman 2 - I love it. There's so much content in this package, it's insane. All the levels are so well designed you have to play them multiple times to get the most out of them. Miami is one the greatest gaming achievements in environmental storytelling, level design and gameplay opportunities that I have ever seen.
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII - It's CoD, there's not much left to say. I love this series, but found the last few games to be lacking. I also hated the wall jumping a few of them introduced. WW2 was frankly boring. Black Ops 4 is a return to form with fun maps, gadgets and specialists. Oh, and boots on the ground.
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Amazing fun with friends.
  7. Dark Souls Remastered - First time I played Dark Souls even though I played all the others from From Software. God, why did I never play this?! From Software are the GOAT at level design.
  8. Marvel's Spiderman - Fun game with a pretty predictable story and a boring game world. The gameplay makes up for it though.
  9. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Much better than ROTR. I love the emphasis on stealth and all the opportunities they give you to use that advantage.
  10. Frostpunk - The best strategy game I played this year. I'll revisit this in the future for sure.
Over all it was a great year, though I've found the first half to be lacking in quality games that fit my tastes.


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Oct 25, 2017
7,248
  1. God of War - It's the GOTY. Nothing comes close to it. They took the old God of War formula, threw it out the window and made something really, really special. Level design, artstyle, combat, soundtrack and characters are all top notch. Don't forget about the camera, it's an amazing achievement. God of war is bombastic, emotional, bloody, surprising and so much more.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - My most played singleplayer game this year. I'm at 100 hours and I aint stopping. AC is my favorite gaming series of all time and this is the first time they went all in on the RPG aspects. And it's for the better. It combines the historical richness of past entries with a beautiful, big world and fun gameplay.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Arthur is an amazing protagonist. I loved how personal the story was. This game would be at the top if it weren't for its biggest problem: the gameplay. It feels like somthing from a distant past. Still an amazing game with the most beautiful game world this year.
  4. Hitman 2 - I love it. There's so much content in this package, it's insane. All the levels are so well designed you have to play them multiple times to get the most out of them. Miami is one the greatest gaming achievements in environmental storytelling, level design and gameplay opportunities that I have ever seen.
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII - It's CoD, there's not much left to say. I love this series, but found the last few games to be lacking. I also hated the wall jumping a few of them introduced. WW2 was frankly boring. Black Ops 4 is a return to form with fun maps, gadgets and specialists. Oh, and boots on the ground.
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Amazing fun with friends.
  7. Dark Souls Remastered - First time I played Dark Souls even though I played all the others from From Software. God, why did I never play this?! From Software are the GOAT at level design.
  8. Marvel's Spiderman - Fun game with a pretty predictable story and a boring game world. The gameplay makes up for it though.
  9. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Much better than ROTR. I love the emphasis on stealth and all the opportunities they give you to use that advantage.
  10. Frostpunk - The best strategy game I played this year. I'll revisit this in the future for sure.
Over all it was a great year, though I've found the first half to be lacking in quality games that fit my tastes.
You might need to bold your number 7 for it to count, I'm not sure
 
  1. Return of the Obra Dinn - You are an insurance claims investigator in the late 19th century, tasked with finding out what happened to “The good ship, Obra Dinn”. The ship one day mysteriously arrived in harbor with none of its crew left. All you have is a list of crew and passengers, two sketches showing what everyone aboard looked like and a magic compass that lets you experience the moment when someone died.

    The one thing that I absolutely love about Obra Dinn and that it shares with Her Story is the total lack of explicit guidance. Many AAA games that try to tackle similar concepts usually employ a kind of detective vision - a way of turning the player character’s refined sense of observation and deduction into a game mechanic by highlighting objects of interest in the environment. This reduces the player interaction to an object hunt - follow the red trail, click on highlighted objects, mystery solved.

    Return of the Obra Dinn gives you none of that. Instead you are presented with a 3D diorama of a scene that you are free to roam around and actually use your own senses to try and piece together what happened. For every soul aboard the ship, you have to answer two questions: Who is this person and what happened to them. It’s up to you to cross reference the list of passengers, study details in the scenes, remember faces, try to work out relations between characters and do some actually detective work to solve the mystery.Obra Dinn takes you on a wild, bizarre and thrilling journey discovering the fate of the doomed crew. The music is fantastic, the art is on point and pacing is exquisite. The sense of accomplishment when you manage to figure out someones identity and the rest of the pieces fall into place is fantastic and makes for one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had.

  2. Tetris Effect - It’s 2018 and Tetris provided me with one of the best gaming experiences of the year. Didn’t think that was possible, but then again, there are a lot of things about the world of today that I didn’t think would be possible (measles and white nationalism making a grand comeback, the death of truth etc).

    Tetris Effect does something else that 2018 would have you think impossible - it shines a bright light of hope, unity and understanding on the world. It combines one of the greatest puzzle games of all time with a fantastic, so-sincere-it’s-cheesy-but-still-good theme of togetherness, delivered through punchy, trippy, trance-like soundtrack and a bright and dazzling visual flair. It is all so colorful , so upbeat and mesmerizing and makes for a zen-like experience that certainly delivers on Tetsuya Mitzuguchi’s life long ambition of delivering synesthetic experiences through video games.

  3. The Banner Saga Trilogy - The Banner Saga is a sad and sorrowful tale of a slowly dying world told through 3 separate games where the consequences of your actions actually matter. Part turn-based RPG and part visual novel, this alternate take on nordic mythology is breathtaking in every sense. The art is fantastic and invokes Eyvind Earl’s haunting landscapes combined with a late 70’s European comic book style character design. Austin Wintory’s beautiful score perfectly complements the art with sad, bleating horns, mournful Icelandic choirs and booming percussion.

    The story follows a rag tag group of humans, giants and outcasts in a world where the old gods have died, the sun has stopped moving and a blackness is slowly engulfing the world. Among its many achievements, The Banner Saga strikes a fine balance between the small personal stories of the group and the grand over arching tale of the world itself. It also avoids many of the failings of other games with similar ambitions; you are never the center of the story, you are not the saviour of the world and yet your actions matter. The things you do shape the world, but not always in ways you could have imagined. The game asks you to make some tough decisions and the odds are never stacked in your favour and by the end, things might not actually go your way. I think more games should be as bold as The Banner Saga.

    Oh, and it is also a pretty darn good turn based tactics game.

  4. God of War - God of War has never really been my thing and when this semi-reboot was announced I didn’t think it would end up being one of my favorite games of the year. God of War is such a finely crafted game in almost every single possible way. Combat, world design, exploration and music are all outstanding. The story carries an emotional heft to it and the interplay between Kratos and Atreus is fantastic. Like Red Dead Redemption II, this game takes advantage of the fact that you spend a long ass time with these characters and peppers the game with small, conversational interactions that actually build character and relations instead of just moving the plot forward. Having Kratos and Mimir tell stories on the boat when you explore the world is a really cool way of fleshing out the characters.

  5. Red Dead Redemption II - I could write forever about the contrasting nature of Red Dead Redemption II; of its fantastically detailed and living open world contrasted by its ancient game mechanics, of the limited but innovative interaction system contrasted by the clunky shooting. I could write about the hours I spent hunting in the game or that one really cool time I accidentally went spelunking and found a poisoned mine. I could write about the tedium I felt after killing the umpteenth bad guy on yet another shooting gallery mission.

    I could, but I would much rather write about Arthur Morgan and the rest of the characters of Red Dead Redemption II. They are the shining stars that (together with the living open world) makes this game truly special. Arthur Morgan is one of the most human, fleshed out and well realized characters in a video game ever. Rockstar Games fully embraces and takes advantage of the strength of a long and winding game set over 50+ hours. Arthur Morgan is a person that we slowly get to know piece by piece through interactions big and small. Going from a simple minded thug to a regretful man confronted by hos own mortality is a fascinating journey. Arthur’s redemption arc is not the story of a hero or a great person, nor is his redemption glamorous. The encounters you have throughout the game and the changing dynamics of everyone in camp affect Arthur profoundly. It is an emotional journey that slowly unravels through quiet moments on horseback as well as bombastic set pieces. Arthur feels real and he is brought to life by an amazing voice and motion capture performance by Roger Clark.

    Few games actually make me want to role play. Arthur Morgan, together with the vast open world, had me inhabit a character and a space in a way that was completely new. There was this one time, after a particularly harrowing mission, where everything had gone to shit, and I found myself making plans for how to escape it all. Not as in trying to figure out how the narrativ would unravel, but rather how I, as Arthur Morgan, could carve out a new life for myself. I had grown a beard, I was just getting the hang of hunting and I thought that those mountains looked really nice. There was a cabin up there I could spend some time in. Maybe I’d craft some of those ridiculous outfits the trapper makes and turn myself into a weird hermit. I got so caught up in these plans that I was really sad when the narrative had me follow along with Dutch’s follies. And this is just one of many moments where I felt compelled to act as if these characters were real and this world was actually alive.

    In the end, RDR2 is a spectacular game. It is deeply flawed, but equally impressive and engrossing.

  6. Into the Breach - Into the Breach is such a tight and focused puzzle tactics game. The concept is simple but the battles always feel dynamic. Trying to piece together the perfect move is so much fun and spending 10 minutes just thinking about your turn makes you feel so good once you execute and everything falls into place. I’m usually not very fond of run based games, but this one really works for me. Runs are short enough and you don’t even need to finish them in one go and the unlocks are meaningful and fun. The art is also very nice and the soundtrack is just beautiful.

  7. The Red Strings Club - Deconstructeam made one of my favorite games of the past few years, Gods Will Be Watching, and my expectations for their sophomore release were obviously high. The Red Strings Club is a very charming and interesting cyberpunk adventure game with a fantastic art style and great narrative design. The story deals with transhumanism, free will and corporate control and has you serve drinks in order to persuade people, mould neural interfaces with a lathe to fuck up corporate billionaires and hack computer systems over the phone by impersonating people.

    This game has soul and warmth in spades and makes full use of the 2 or 3 hours you will spend with it. It’s deftly directed and paced and well worth your time.

  8. Hitman 2 - There is a way to finish the first mission of Hitman 2 by exiting the map while wearing the big pink flamingo mascot costume. You need the find a helipad and a bird nest with some eggs in it. Crouch down and Agent 47, an ice cold killer on a serious mission, will fly off the screen in his stupid flamingo suit, flapping his arms in the air. Hitman 2 is a fantastic game.

  9. Spider-Man - Spider-Man really nails the swinging, which is the number one thing it needed to get right. Zipping around New York City feels great. There’s a nice sense of speed and momentum. Combine that with a pretty good combat system and you’ve got some really nice gameplay.The biggest surprise about Spider-Man, and arguably the game’s biggest strength, is the writing and the acting. The characters are all great and well acted. The relationship between Peter Parker and Dr Octavius is so nicely done and well portrayed that the inevitable betrayal real and the emotional payoff is earned.

    Overall, a a very nice cinematic experiences that slightly overstays its welcome.

  10. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - I backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night way back when and have not had very high expectations for a variety of reasons. I had more or less forgotten about the bonus retro game unlocked by a stretch goal in the campaign, so when Curse of the Moon dropped in early 2018 I was pleasantly surprised. This game is well worth my backer money in and of itself. It takes the classic Castlevania (III) formula and modernizes it in some meaningful ways while keeping the spirit of the old games alive. The different characters make for some nice variety in terms of gameplay and replayability. The difficulty is nicely balanced with a decent challenge by the end, especially if you want to unlock and see everything. The game also sports one of the best soundtracks of the year, with some really awesome chip tune music.


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Dec 30, 2018
41
  1. God of War - I think most of us were burned out the old GoW formula, and thankfully Santa Monica Studios managed to reboot it and exceed all expectations. The camera work was phenomenal, especially in the final battle. I can’t wait for the sequel.
  2. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - The best “Nintendo” game I played this year, on PS4 and in VR. Videos don’t do it justice, you need to experience it for yourself. It feels like stepping into the future.
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - I can’t believe this isn’t even higher on the list. There are dozens of characters who all feel reasonably balanced, and “Ultimate” is appropriate: it feels like the definitive edition of the game. Things like home run contest and break the target modes are missing in action, and there should be a way to reorganize the character selection screen based on what series the characters are from.
  4. Marvel's Spiderman - In another year, it could have been #1. The forced stealth sections were unfortunate, but everything else is top notch.
  5. Shadow of the Colossus - Would have been number one if they added a way to get to the top of the temple or more secrets, but it still did a great job as a remaster.
  6. Yoku’s Island Express - Original and fun. The biggest surprise of the year for me - I loved it. It’s the perfect length, and I hope they make another game.
  7. Gris - A beautiful, brief game with an excellent soundtrack. For the type of game it is, it’s close to perfect.
  8. Detroit: Become Human - My favorite game so far of the genre, and adding flowcharts helped illustrate how
  9. Tetris Effect - The first time I played it, I was so busy looking around that I almost failed the first level.
  10. Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu! - It’s a great co-op experience for introducing new people to the games. Swing the Pokémon on the field is a welcome change that I want carried forward to the main series.

Honorable mentions to Lumines, Civ VI, Sonic Mania Plus, Hollow Knight, and Burnout Paradise Remastered. Octopath ended up being decent, but battles were drawn out and tedious even though the combat had engaging mechanisms. Mario Tennis Aces was a disappointment, and hopefully more effort is put into future iterations. This year I played FF XV with the DLC and Nier Automata and really enjoyed them, but they weren’t the editions listed as eligible for nomination. Bayonetta 1 & 2 were re-released on Switch this year, too, which are always worth playing. I haven’t bought RDR2, even though I loved the first game, because I am discouraged by the impressions saying it’s so slow. I may enjoy it in a year or two, but right now I don’t have time for it without ignoring a bunch of other good games. Celeste seems great, it I don’t like playing it with the Switch’s dpad.


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Oct 27, 2017
1,756
This is a tough list to make, because this year has to be one of the best for games. I loved almost all the games in this list barring my last pick which I still liked and enjoyed enough to put it here.

  1. Hollow Knight - Hollow Knight is an impressive feat, despite being pretty traditional genre-wise. Extremely solid gameplay, charming characters, beautiful artstyle and soundtrack, and detailed and expansive levels makes Hollow Knight the best experience.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Odyssey was such a joy to experience. It was my first foray into the series and hopefully not my last. Everything about Odyssey is solid, from its characters to its combat and most importantly its main protagonist Kassandra who is brilliant and my friend. Ancient Greece as the backdrop for this iteration was an excellent choice and the development team has done wonders painting stunning vistas and rolling hills throughout the massive open-world with authentic voice talent and major respect for the setting and its culture. Odyssey has its occasional foibles usually in the form of bad pacing and experience gain may be slow for some but it is sixty hours worth of content that I enjoyed immensely.
  3. Dead Cells - Dead Cells is a tight rogue-like metroid-vania with beautiful pixel art. Where other titles play it safe, Dead Cells is experimenting with a multitude of genres and blends all of theme into an excellent game. The animation rivals fighting games like SFIII: Third Strike and KoFXIII in terms of fluidity and player satisfaction.
  4. Red Dead Redemption II - The sequel to one of Rockstar's greatest games one-ups it in almost every way fathomable to be arguably the best work they have created unfortunately hindered by a clunky and outdated control scheme. It is manageable though, if you wanted to experience the game I would definitely recommend ignoring most side content and playing strictly story missions and toying with the control settings to suit your needs. The story and characters are the best I have experienced this year, the world is the most beautiful, shamefully the gameplay is not on the same level.
  5. God of War - The long-running Sony franchise ditches the toxic attitudes present within the PS2 games to reinvigorate the character of Kratos into a thoughtful father-figure for his son Atreus. The combat is satisfying, Kratos has weight to him not present in the "brainless brawlers" of old, in my opinion it is a much appreciated evolution that will surely continue in games to come. Between this and Red Dead Redemption II, you cannot do stories better than God of War. The only flaws I can give it are some story segments which are a little too drawn out, and losing loads of enemy and boss variety from the previous titles. But it was a ride from start to finish.
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - This game makes me mad, in good ways. Ultimate for casual fans is the best Smash Bros to date. So much content and so much character variety is jam-packed into a solid party fighter.
  7. Marvel's Spiderman - Stories this generation have leveled-up and Spiderman is no exception. Insomniac continue to showcase their mastery of traversal mechanics from Sunset Overdrive by creating the most faithfully accurate web-slinging in a Spiderman game. The moments you are not doing this unfortunately feel like afterthoughts. Spiderman's story may also prove to be the same basic retellings of previous movies and comics, but the cinema work will definitely make you think you are watching a movie.
  8. Spyro Reignited Trilogy - The Spyro trilogy has aged shockingly well enough. The remake is the best way to play the classic Spyro games. Controls are improved, the remade world and characters feel faithful to the originals. They are great games to play alongside other games.
  9. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Despite being my first Dragon Quest, it feels like a game I have played for in the best of ways. If you ever missed traditional turn-based RPGs on the PS2 or Nintendo-handheld systems you need to play Dragon Quest XI. So much of what was lost in the gritty, ultraviolent era of the X360 and PS3 has returned in full force. Its story while nothing groundbreaking is delightful, the cast of characters are charismatic. It is unfortunate though that Japanese companies continue to treat women as objects moreso than characters on equal standing to their male counterparts, and while Dragon Quest XI cleans up a lot of that, it does not escape all of it. Some designs are great, a few in particular are eye-roll worthy and in general women take a backseat. Veronica is the best though.
  10. Far Cry 5 - Gameplay-wise, Far Cry 5 is enjoyable. The world is stunning, the music is great, but the characters and story are seriously under-developed throughout the game. Far Cry 5 is a game best played exploring, conquering bases, and goofing off with a pal in the new co-op mode.
Games I wanted or have yet to play: Celeste, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Hitman 2, GRIS, Prey: Mooncrash, Pokemon Let's Go


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Oct 27, 2017
517
  1. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - I remember playing the VR Playroom demo and telling everyone who would listen that a full game needed to be created around it. I was surprised at just how much creativity was on display in the game and it quite easily sits with the big boys as one of the best platforming games of all time.
  2. God of War - I could write all day about the excellent combat, puzzle mechanics, music, graphics etc. However I think what tipped the game over the edge for me was the excellent plot and pacing. It just kept the momentum up and offered a ton of things to do at every point in the game. The Valkyrie battles will go down as some of the most fun I've had in an action game too.
  3. Monster Hunter World - I had only put a decent amount of time into MH Wii U and never really fell in love with it due to the awful online experience. I've been patiently waiting for Capcom to do the series justice and it paid off in a big way. I put a ton of hours into MHW and it completely consumed my gaming time for months. It could have quite easily topped the list if the DLC was a bit meatier but I'm 100% ready for the G-Rank expansion.
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I do think RDR2 has some glaring flaws, particularly around mission design and controls. However it was also easily the best story and character work I've experienced in a game to date. It was also the first Rockstar game that I've played where I didn't hate the shooting mechanics. While I want Rockstar to get a decent auto aim system, the guns sounded excellent and felt great to use thanks to the physics engine. This game could have been my GOTY had the online mode been great. I had some fun with it, but a lack of content and some terrible posse/matchmaking systems just make it feel outdated already.
  5. Marvel's Spiderman - Pure fun the entire way through. I normally dislike the Arkham style combat system, but a good amount of gadgets and the speedier nature of Spiderman helped it immensely. Obviously the swinging was excellent, but what surprised me was the story. It was much better than I had expected from a superhero game or even a Spiderman movie. I'm looking forward to getting into the DLC and then waiting patiently for the inevitable sequel.
  6. Shadow of the Colossus - I never played SOTC previously, with The Last Guardian being my first Team ICO game. I was expecting it to be good but dated given the PS2 origins. Nope. Outside of some wonky and/or floaty jumping controls, I couldn't fault the game at all. I was also surprised just how much I liked riding around on horseback and looking around. The way the camera draws back to give you a birds eye view is always impressive.
  7. Hitman 2 - The new Hitman series is severely underrated. Hitman 2 feels a bit more of an expansion than a sequel, but the base package is so strong that it really doesn't matter. I'm a sucker for exploration, so it's always fun entering a new area and learning the layout, locations of key items and the general routine of important NPCs. It's also nice to see a largely single player game get some genuine replayability with the various mission objectives and limited time targets.
  8. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - I managed to burn myself out on Yakuza by playing 0 and Kiwami in close proximity. Stupidly, I held off on buying Yakuza 6 or Kiwami 2. The new engine helps the game feel fresh and while the story is a bit over the top in this one, Kiryu is an exceptionally well crafted character.
  9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - More Smash, more fun. I actually booked holidays around its release so I could play with friends and family. No surprises that the series is still excellent. The amount of content is impressive, but it does all feel a bit too familiar at the same time.
  10. Hollow Knight - I picked this up on Switch on a recommendation. It didn't grab me at first due to the confusing map system and some tedious backtracking. However the combat was great and taking down the bosses was great fun. The game peaked for me in the coliseum and so I ended up rushing to the end. However I may go back and check out some more of the optional bosses and DLC one day. Also worth noting that this edged out Celeste due to the sheer amount of content.


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Oct 27, 2017
1,059
  1. Detroit: Become Human - Definitely my favourite game of the year and probably one of my favourites of all time. Exciting, intense, graphically amazing, great soundtrack, and an insane amount of choice. Connor’s story is the obvious runaway standout, but Kara and Markus we’re both fantastic as well (parts near the end in all three stories had me shaking, I was so anxious). Just so good and I can’t wait to see where Quantic Dream goes next.
  2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna the Golden Country - Xenoblade 2 was one of my favourites last year and this was an awesome addition to filling out the story. Loved Lora and Jin, the battle system was a great spinoff of the main game, awesome new music, and it make me cry for basically the whole ending. Always fantastic haha.
  3. Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 - I’m super excited to see where this goes. I really loved episode 1, and I really feel for Sean and Daniel. We are the wolves.
  4. Shadow of the Colossus - Felt good to replay this classic masterpiece and it looks fantastic!
  5. Florence - Played this in a sitting and it just made me feel really melancholy and joyful. Just a really sweet little story with some beautiful music and simple controls that conveyed everything they needed to.
  6. 428: Shibuya Scramble - I love visual novels so this seemed right up my alley and it was great! Lots of fun, very interesting story, the “puzzle” aspect of each block of time was neat to try to figure out (needed some hints sometimes).
  7. Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age - Finally, finally, finally got to finish this damn game (started on PS2, lost my save, tried again another time, lost my save). It was worth it! I really enjoyed it.
  8. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! - Just finished this up. I haven’t finished a Pokemon game in years, so it was a nice return. Just the classic Pokemon, classic adventure...less classic controls. I didn’t mind the motion controls but they could get a bit frustrating (I never got a hold of not screwing up the first throw). But I enjoyed the game enough anyway, and Pikachu is so cute I can barely stand it. Pika-pikaaaaaaaaa!
  9. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - Great lead in to LiS2, Chris was sweet, the story was good, and I had a fun time checking out everything.
  10. Katamari Damacy Reroll - Na naaaaa na na na na na na na na Katamari Damacyyy. Another classic that is just great to replay. I want to roll up the world!



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Oct 25, 2017
2,469
San Francisco
  1. God of War - Before I played this game, I wasn't really a fan of the God of War series, mostly due to how unlikable Kratos was. But that has all changed with one game. Not only have Santa Monica Studio made the best game this year, they've made the Game of the Generation, surpassing even Bloodborne for me. The combat is fantastic, the story is emotional, and the visuals are a thing of beauty. If I had to describe this game in one word, it would be epic.
  2. Marvel's Spiderman - The best way I could describe this game would be that it is the definition of fun. It has the best traversal system I've ever played and the combat has a lot of variety to it. But what really surprised me the most was how good the story was. Well done Insomniac, I'll be there day 1 for the sequel.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I really wanted to love this game and have it higher on my list but I just couldn't forgive many parts of the gameplay. The game has some of the best production values ever in a video game but are let down how sluggish it feels to control your character. I feel like Rockstar took realism a tad too far as many basic actions, such as looting, become tedious very quickly.
  4. Detroit: Become Human - I really liked how your choices actually matter in this game unlike many other similar types of games. I wouldn't mind having a sequel to this or at the very least some DLC.
  5. A Way Out - This was a pretty unique game that had some good voice acting and story. Had a lot of fun playing this with a friend and I hope there are more games like this coming soon.
  6. Far Cry 5 - While I enjoyed this more than Far Cry 4, I feel like they could have done a lot more in regards to the story and gameplay, which is starting to get pretty stale. I do appreciate no radio towers that unlock the map, though!
  7. Overcooked! 2 - This game is a blast to play with friends.


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Nov 7, 2017
409
  1. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Everything I wanted in a Valkyria Chronicles sequel. Great art style mixed with great characters and great tactical gameplay.
  2. The Banner Saga 3 - Final game in this 3 part series. Great art style.
  3. God of War - Everything about this game is great I can't say it better than hundreds of other have said before, it should be my number one but I'm putting some homer picks above it because why not.
  4. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Great art style as always and so much content to play through.
  5. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I wish it had been more gamey at times. It deserves all of its praise and all of its critiques. Very Jekyll and Hyde with when it chose to be realistic and when it would chose to be gamey.
  6. Marvel's Spiderman - "IT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE SPIDERMAN" It's cliche but it's true.
  7. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - Not everything I hoped for in a sequel, game was too easy but I loved collecting a large cast of characters. Light and whimsical the entire time.
  8. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Great graphics, gameplay is still rock solid. It doesn't do anything amazing but it doesn't do anything bad either.
  9. Forza Horizon 4 - Maybe the only game where 'you can chose how you want to play' is actually true. Do whatever kind of racing you want and be rewarded.
  10. Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Interesting take with the "more realistic" style gameplay. Would be higher if not for the bugs.


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