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

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Tetris Effect - I love Tetris and I love Mizuguchi's games so this was a match made in heaven for me. I can already tell that I'm going to be playing this game for years to come. Chipping away at it until I SS everything and beyond that because it is now my go to version of Tetris. Each stage has incredible music and visuals that work so god damn well together with only a couple I personally wasn't too into but most of them got me into that zone which is this game's crowning achievement. And I haven't even played it in VR yet.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Red Dead Redemption was my favourite Rockstar game but I think this my have beat it out. As much as I like the cities of GTA for how detailed they are, there's something about how Rockstar do their country side open worlds that I like so much more, especially in RDR2 by how obsessed it is with immersion. On top of that, this is also by far Rockstar's best written game with characters that aren't just big jokes but feel like real people and no shitty tongue in cheek commentary. It has its issues but I was more than willing to look past them because I could tell they were there for a reason.
  3. Hollow Knight - This may be the best metriodvania I've ever played. The world is incredibly enjoyable to explore for so many reasons such was seeing how well connected it is, how beautiful it is to look at and how interesting it all is in context of the lore. I would have loved for this to be my GOTY since it was also made in my city which is a first but unfortunately the game kind of lost my interest after I had fully explored the world and only had bosses left to do. Not saying the bosses aren't good because a lot of them are great (<3 Hornet) but they are no where near as enjoyable as I thought the exploration was.
  4. The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories - Since Deadly Premonition is one of my favourite games ever, I am down for anything Swery. I expected something funny and weird as usual from the Missing but what I got was something surprisingly more heartfelt than anything. It handles a very serious subject matter shockingly well considering how darkly comedic the gameplay is and it still has that sense of humour and weirdness of a Swery game. Gameplay could have been better with puzzles that don't make much sense (one is pure utter nonsense you have to brute force) and animations so long it gives RDR2 a run for its money but it still conveyed meaning very well. It's a shame that Arc System Works fucked up the release of a game that was already set to be the most underrated game of the year.
  5. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - This game is up there as the best in the series alongside 4 and 0. The main issues I had with Yakuza 6 due to the new engine are pretty much gone in this with better IQ and much better combat. This was my last mainline entry I had left to play so going back in time to this story I knew nothing about was so much fun and it may just be peak Yakuza stupidity. It also has by far the funniest scene in a game ever because it nearly killed me from laughing too hard.
  6. Deltarune Chapter 1 - What a crazy surprise this was. I wasn't too thrilled by the idea of a follow up to Undertale but I am fascinated by where Toby Fox is going with this and knowing he has planned this since the beginning makes me so happy. All the charm and creativity of Undertale is still there with new exciting gameplay mechanics that allow you to have a party which by itself opens up a ton of interesting ideas. The only negative is that this is still chapter 1 of a game we basically know nothing about so my feelings are still up in the air but I have faith the full version of Deltarune is going to be a masterpiece just like Undertale was.
  7. Marvel's Spiderman - This game is just pure fun. After I 100%'d it I still wanted more because it was so fun. Web swinging is the best it has ever been with how you learn to use it to get faster and the animations add a lot of personality and flow nicely. I only wish they add the physics details of Spider Man 2 for the sequel such as being able to hold onto a web and having the webs wrap around and stick to the environment. The story is also surprisingly decent for a comic book story and Yuri Lowenthal kills it as Peter Parker.
  8. Hitman 2 - Hitman is such a unique series (ignoring Absolution) that you can get a new game with only a few minor improvements and that's perfectly fine. Overall, I think the level design is better than Hitman 2016 with the exception of Hawke's Bay which baffles me because it acts as a tutorial even though there's already a proper tutorial in the game. The other five levels are amazing with Isle of Sgail being my favourite and Mumbai proving how much IO continues to improve and show off how special Hitman is.
  9. God of War - God of War 4 seems like it does everything right. It looks amazing both graphically and artistically, the combat is immensely satisfying with a good amount of challenge, the story is incredibly well written and deserves a lot of respect for turning everybody around on what they think of Kratos, the level design is a perfect blend of linear and open world, and so much more. Although I didn't really care that much for it at the end and I think that's because it didn't really do anything new. The only two things I can think of is how the axe is thrown and how hit stop works but those are relatively minor things. It felt like it took no risks by doing everything that is known to work and doing those things incredibly well but at the expense of identity.
  10. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - Carrying on with what I said on Kiwami 2, the problems with working with a new engine really negatively effected my opinion on this game. Ignoring that, this may be the strongest story in the series just by nature of being the last chapter of Kiryu's story. It is far more personal and because of that I was hooked into the story from the very beginning unlike the others that require meeting new characters and learning about the situation which takes a while to get invested. It may have been predictable but that didn't stop me from clutching my fists and cheering Kiryu on during his final battle.
  11. Shadow of the Colossus - Only an honourable mention because honestly, this game is better than all the ones listed above. But being a beat-by-beat remake with no remarkable changes other than improved visuals, it's unfair to the other games to compare a game that already means so much to me on there even when it's eligible. Bluepoint doing god's work.

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Dec 21, 2018
  1. God of War-It's amazing how good a reboot of a series can be. Kratos and Atreus are fantastic lead characters, the story is deep and engrossing, graphics and audio are top-notch, and the combat is utterly fantastic and bone-crunching, with the Leviathan Axe being one of my new favorite video game weapons of all time. Easily the most unique and innovative game I played this year out of all the new releases, and one I will never forget for years to come!
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-In terms of the amount of content alone it is just incredible. Everyone is here, there are so many stages, a 30-hour adventure mode on top of the refined classic mode, the core smashing is easily the best in the series with tons of options for different playstyles, and the soundtrack is fantastic and gigantic. This is truly the culmination of about 20 years of Super Smash Bros! Just wish the online was better, and there are other little nitpicks I have with the other game modes, but regardless it is an incredible fighting game that is more than worth the price of admission. A must-own for Switch fans.
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man-The best superhero game I ever played (and yes I played Arkham). The traversal alone is the best I played out of everything I played in 2018. Web swinging just feels so AMAZING! It's fast, weighty, and looks incredible. The story and combat are excellent too. The only issue I had were the awful Mary-Jane stealth missions, but even with that, this was a game I loved to death and honestly surprised me with its insane level of quality. As a Spider-Man fan, I may be biased with this one, but please play this. I think you're doing a disservice to yourself if you aren't.
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2-Honestly, the gameplay in this one didn't quite do it for me most of the time. It's slow, clunky, and the awkward controls did not help it at all. I also thought the game goes on for a bit too long and story missions get quite repetitive after a while. The reason it's on here, however, it because of everything else. The world is beautiful and filled with so many secrets and stuff to do, the characters are incredibly well-acted and written, the story is deep, engrossing, and has put me on the edge of my seat several times throughout. And, of course, the graphics and audio are top-notch, dare I say almost next-gen in terms of their quality. While this game might not be for everyone, I do think it is much greater than the sum of its parts, and for that, I had to put it on here.
  5. Shadow of the Colossus-So I am cheating a bit on this one since it is a shot-for-shot remake of a 13-year-old game, but this was my first time playing it and oh man, what an experience this was. The graphics are absolutely stunning! Every colossus just fills up the entire screen and makes you feel so tiny and insignificant compared to them (that is until you kill them of course). The music is utterly haunting and memorable, and the story, while not explained very much, does its job well in incentivizing you to kill each of the 16 colossi (and make you feel horrible after killing each one). I am very glad I played this timeless classic, and the PS4 version is the definitive way to do so.
In 2018, most of the games I played were older releases from my backlog, so I just wanna give a quick shout-out to some memorable older games I played this year, in order of when I beat them (and yeah some of these I should have played sooner, but eh, better late than never I suppose):
Bloodborne (arguably my favorite one out of all of these)
The Wolf Among Us
Fallout: New Vegas
(with the DLC)
Bayonetta 1 & 2 (Wii U version)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Doki Doki! Literature Club
Hotline Miami
Resident Evil 4

Finally, since I am a new member of ResetEra, I just thought I'd give my top 5 games of 2017 and share some quick thoughts on each one:
5. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard-A beautiful and utterly horrifying return to form for the Resident Evil series, with some amazing exploration and replayability on top of it!
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild-Easily one of the most fun and beautifully-realized open worlds in video game history, if not THE best! That alone makes it worth playing.
3. Cuphead-One of the best visual games I played in recent years, and also one of the hardest (but oh so worth it).
2. Super Mario Odyssey-While it isn't my favorite Mario game ever, It's probably my favorite Nintendo game that I have played in years and is just a joy to run around and explore the many worlds this game has to offer (special mention to the Metro Kingdom).
1. Sonic Mania- The best Sonic game ever made, and a return to form us Sonic fans have been desperately needing for many, many years. It's pixel-perfect platforming with a timeless feel to it and has a phenomenal soundtrack to back it all up. In fact, it might be one of the greatest platformers I ever played! This game reminded me why I first fell in love with the Sonic games when I was very young, after enduring years of disappointments. Special mention to the Encore DLC released this year as well. Definitely worth buying if you loved the core game!

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Jan 20, 2018
  1. Celeste - One of the most satisfying gaming experiences of the past few years. The pinnacle of platforming, with an engaging story, incredible soundtrack and sound design, intricate and well-thought out level design, amazing visuals, impeccable animations and above all, a rarely seen level of perfection in combining all the individual audiovisual elements into a unified presentation. Nothing feels accidental, nothing feels out of place. Every detail just radiates the love that has been poured into it.
  2. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - It was my last years goty, glads to see it expanded its reach to another platform. This game is too often pushed into a box and judged within the constraints of that box, when it does so many new things so well, there isn't yet a box that Hellblade fits in. It's mistaken for a hack 'n' slash title, when it's much closer to a walking simulator. It's an incredible journey through the mind of a beautifully developed character and features groundbreaking narrative decisions that not only push the genre forward, but the medium as a whole.
  3. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - It's what VR was made for. The first title that really uses the new dimension to its potential, while also bringing a breath of fresh air to platforming, not just with its VR-specific components, but the general design as well. It's not without its faults, but they are outshined by its strengths.
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar has again pushed the envelope in creating the most detailed and "living" world in video games. They just need to make sure that next time storytelling follows suit.
  5. Distance - One of the most unique arcade racing games, well, ever. A cinematic driving platformer with a bit of rhythm-game elements thrown in. The narrative-driven adventure mode is something I've never experience in a racer before, and it's done so well, it's hard to believe this isn't a well established genre where designers and developers were able to learn from and build on years of experience. It comes packed with enough content to keep pulling me back in, but just the adventure mode alone is worth the admission cost and should be used as a prototype for what arcade games can strive to accomplish.
  6. Burnout Paradise Remastered - Even though its age pours through the cracks, it's still the most entertaining all-out fun arcade racing games this generation. While the (as of yet) final title in the Burnout series took a big detour from the established formula - not without some major problems stemming from this decision - it is so groundbreaking in the new things it does that it took a lot of people until this 10-year anniversary to finally grasp why it was so ahead of its time. It disappointed a lot of fans with its open world design, me included, but with that it delivered some unique gameplay mechanics and where it shines, it shines brighter than any other title in the genre.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - An incredible character journey of growth through the horrors of war with the same strategically engaging gameplay as the original. Still feels like one of the most unique games around.
  2. Spyro Reignited Trilogy - An outstanding recreation of the classic trilogy and some of the greatest platforming ever made. Spyro 1 aged especially well with the way it encourages self guided discovery and rewards curiosity with its many secrets.
  3. Beat Saber - I'm not sure I've played a game before outside of actual exercise games that was this physically engaging!
  4. Persona 5: Dancing In Starlight - A great opportunity to relive one of the best soundtracks in gaming
  5. Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight - Same as above but also delightful to see the P3 cast recreated for a modern game.
  6. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - I'm constantly amazed at how ordinary each stage can look at first glance but with a different perspective how brimming with secrets it can be. I'm still getting my head what this game can mean for the future of platforming in VR and it's very exciting!
  7. Florence - A sweet yet sorrowful short game that really captures the full spectrum of emotions in a relationship
  8. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory - Still as fast paced and addictive as the original.
  9. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - A charming and enjoyable adventure, one of the nicest looking rpgs visually
  10. Moss - Love the atmosphere and the way scale is captured for the size of Quill. Wish it was longer!

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Oct 31, 2017
  1. Super Smas Bros. Ultimate - The game I'll be playing the next months, and the culmination of all that makes Smash an special game. Tons of content, polished fighting system and really good visuals. And the best OST ever.
  2. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Even if the game isn't a crazy evolution of the first VC game, it has lots of gameplay improvements and a more epic story. It keeps being a really unique experience and my favorite SP game from 2018.
  3. God of War - The new adventure of Kratos offers the best combat system in a western action game, a great visual/musical spectacle and a good re-invention of the GoW story. Its really poor pacing and the "one-cut" nonsense hurt a game that had the potential to be even better.
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna the Golden Country - A full DLC expansion that not only has lots of hours of new (good) content, it also has a complete combat system rework and lots of QoL improvements. It shows what a modern, short JRPG can be.
  5. Octopath Traveler - OT is both an homage of the SNES/PSX JRPGs, visually and musically striking, and a good re-invention of JRPG story progression and turn-based combat system. It gets repetitive, sure, but I admire how the small studio at SE created something that bold using what at first looked like another indie pixelated RPG.
  6. Return of the Obra Dinn - A really innovative puzzle/investigation game that presentes the player with a hugue mystery and lots of small keys to resolve it. The pirate theme and the oldschool graphics make the game even more unique. It's advised to complete the game in 1-3 days.
  7. Spiderman - The best Spiderman game ever, and a good modern superheroe experience. Fun combat, flashy traversal and a surprisingly good plot form a game that has a really big flaw: it's an open world game without good side content.
  8. Red dead redemption II - The most ambitious game ever. a really good representation of the late wild west that tells a good story of one of the best videogame MCs. Technically impressive, visually striking and full of details... but it lacks what a great videogame needs: good gameplay.
  9. Mario Tennis Aces - A really fun and competitive sports game that fixes all that the last Mario Tennis games did wrong, but doesn't have enough SP content to justify the purchase unless you want to spend lots of hours in the onlines modes or with local friends.
  10. Darksiders III - The least ambitious Darksiders game, lacking good story or the crazy art direction that made D1/D2 gorgeous, but a really competent Souls-Metroidvania fusion that offers both a fun and demanding combat system and some good platforming/exploration.

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Oct 30, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I was waiting for this game for 7 years (I played the first only in 2011) and it was worth it. This game is not perfect and I can understand if someone drop it because of control or slowness. But what an amazing story, what a wonderful world and a great soundtrack. Also Arthur Morgan - character of the year for me.
  2. God of War - Boy, it was a tough choice but I think I just liked RDR story more. Anyway, God of War is amazing game with perfect gameplay and I can not wait for the sequel.
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man - Best Spider-Man game and probably my fav superhero game. Good combat and fun traveling around the city.
  4. Return of the Obra Dinn - What an awesome game! So simple and yet so unique. We need more games like this.
  5. Detroit: Become Human - I wish there was more Connor and Kara because Marcus story wasn't really interesting for me. But otherwise I think it's best Quantic Dream game.

Still not played many games I wanted such as Monster Boy, Subnautica, Celeste and etc. otherwise I'm sure my list would be bigger.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Super Smash Bros: Ultimate - The second best game starring Donkey Kong this year, unfortunately I can’t reuse my 2014 GotY vote so here’s the sequel to another 2014 game instead.
    And in the four years since, Sakurai and the team beavered away adding gosh darn everything, this isn’t an exciting number one pick, it’s more the complete accumulation of refinement from smash 64 to the present, it’s not shaking things up or delivering a profound message.
    And that’s why it also works, it’s pure video games distilled into a brawler.
    The Nintendo museum opens even more wings, we’ve finally got Castlevania with the returning metal gear exhibition, they made room for the display always considered “too big”, feast your eyes on the thought to be extinct Kremling King or the amazing transforming squid-kid, oh and your lunchtime show is a hench tiger suplexing a Shih Tzu.
    Smash Ultimate is such an excess of content it almost causes hedonistic adaptation where among 900 music tracks, 100 stages, 70 plus characters and so forth, that you almost start taking stock of what’s not there as opposed to really appreciating what is (one day Dixie Kong, one day).

    The smash team are full on students of the game so to speak, characters are such a love letter to their origins and franchise, every animation be it idle or victory conveys what you love about them. This extends perfectly to the game’s main single player content, the spirits battles that aim to mirror their source, to the point the freaking potted ghost boss from Yoshi’s Island (he apparently has a name, it’s Roger) uses a giant wii fit trainer stand in, with low gravity to recreate the tug of war pushing battle on a flat stage with two meta knights starring as shyguys, it’s absolutely mad brilliance. Even classic mode finds a way to refresh itself with character specific treks tied to a suitable theme like Ryu’s bootleg street fighter arcade run.

    Smash being such a known quantity almost masks just how great all this still is, Falcon Punching a Rathalos in the face seems like standard fare these days, taking the moment to step back and regain perspective can truly highlight just how Ultimate this is.

  2. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - I adore Castlevania 3, but even I at times wonder what it’d be like to play it without feeling like my teeth are being pulled out, pulled out by crows, fuckin’ NES crows man.
    Wonder no more, thanks to a kickstarter stretch goal of all things.
    Curse of the Moon is presented as a mere appetiser for IGA’s upcoming Ritual of the Night main course, just a neat little retro throwback, evidentially Inti Creates aimed higher than I expected.
    CotM isn’t rewriting the book on action platformers, it’s as familiar as you’d expect from a franchise that’s just looking to be Castlevania while Konami are sitting on their hands being Konami.
    It does however open the doors to some fun what ifs, what if you spilled some Ninja Gaiden into my vania? What if Goddess Yamane was doing chiptunes in her distinctive musical style? What if I just killed my potential allies as the surly swordsman and gained demonic powers in their place? You know, the important things to ponder.

    Incredibly replayable as well, linear stage progression but with many split paths per stage requiring all of your favourite characters like NOT Alucard, gender swapped old Sypha and Miriam Belmondo.
    The monster menagerie here are a touch goofy looking but lead to slick boss encounters, the kind that leave just enough between bombardment and downtime that you can learn the fight without feeling like there was robbery afoot.
    I ended up running through the game four times to try out the various modes and see the alternative endgame, and I’d still go through again, that’s the mark of a good game right there.

  3. Celeste - Failure stings, we all have certainly felt its sharp barbs in various forms in our lives, the ones that merely prick to the ones that dig deep. Celeste expects you to fail, it’s got its death count at the ready to remind you of just how many spikes skewered you and how many pits swallowed you.
    Upon starting the game’s third area the loading screen offers the following…
    ”Be Proud of your Death Count, the more you die, the more your learning, keep going!”
    And that’s the funny thing about failure, viewed through the right lens you see it for the teaching tool it really is, unfortunately the lens of depression clouds things under a negative haze.
    This is not only an affliction for the lead character Madeleine, it’s also a state of mind I wrestle with every day of my own life.

    As such I’m not big on what I dub “Die and Retry” platformers, that are seemingly all about gradually chipping away at the margin for error to make it narrower, until it’s as sharp as the very spikes that line all the challenges. The idea is that when you finally nail it and best the stage, you earned the victory, in practice though I often liken it to breaking a brick wall with your face.
    What’s interesting about Celeste is it uses this set up as framing for tackling mental health, Madeline must climb Celeste, why? Because she has to! To help convince herself that she’s worth something.
    Why did I cut my teeth on those C sides? because I had to! I needed to prove my platforming mettle!

    Well okay it’s not quite like that, Madeline’s treacherous trek reveals greater depths for just why she feels the need to reach the peak, it’s a plot that toys with concepts near to my very being, which is why I’m actually kinda sad to say that the way things get resolved left me a tad cold. Perhaps a problem with the gameification of such things, the genre after all is intrinsically gameplay first so tying realisation, discoveries of the self and much more into top platforming action isn’t exactly a picnic. As such I appreciate what they tried, I just find the resolution seems a bit too tidy considering the subject matter.
    BUT, the overarching themes of persistence in the face of negativity and even stubbornness tie in perfectly with this sub genre of platforming, indeed there were many screens I stared at and thought “I can’t do this” (especially in the C sides, good grief!) but was able to overcome them through sheer grit. Maybe I learnt something more about myself after all.

    This of course would be all for naught if the game wasn’t any good to play, fortunately it’s as slick as they come. A directional dash and gripping walls are effectively all the unique quirks Madeline has to offer and thanks to some inspired level gimmicks and expansive uses of said dash, the game gets massive mileage out of a simple base. Personally I’m very fond of what I dub “the anti-matter” blocks of the game’s second chapter as well as the host of moving parts that make up the mirror temple area. All in all, Celeste shows other respawn fuelled platformers how it’s done and there can indeed be something more to seemingly masochistic screens of insta-death.

  4. Yoku's Island Express - The love story of the year, the world sees the contrast between these two and says “that’ll never work, why even try?”. But their love overcomes all obstacles, the union of this duo shows that even the most unlikely pairs can create something great, hats off to the fabulous couple of “Pinball” and “Metroidvania”.

    On paper combining a game type as erratic yet focused as pinball, and placing it within the exploration focused Metroidvania stylings screams traversal disaster. Fortunately the chaps at Villa Gorilla know how to make level design that compliments the variety of pinball table like areas slotted all over Mokumana Island.

    I haven’t seen such inspired dung beetle usage since Conker’s bad fur day applied them to foul mouthed scousers (I kid, but they still make me laugh). The player controls Yoku, the ball is attached to him, thus when encountering a flipper or something that initiates pinballing it becomes a case of the ball taking Yoku with it, thus control makes sense in all context.
    What’s really grand about Mokumana island is how cohesive it is, areas are distinct visually yet you never transition through a loading corridor or take doorways from one zone to another, instead the island flows seamlessly from one area into the next, it can’t be understated how much this helps create a sense of place and makes the island feel whole, as opposed to the more traditional genre staple of a bunch of areas connected via entrances and exits.

    This is actually a game that had to win me over, I wasn’t vibing it too much at the start as I was reminded that I suck at pinball, in the end I appreciated the game all the more for presenting me with something out of my comfort zone within one of my comfort zones, it's a feel good title, laid back...until you can't get the fudgin' ball in the right place.

  5. God of War - Who knew that what Kratos needed to get me on board with him after all this time was one simple addition, one that ties itself perfectly into the gameplay loop, one you grow with over the course of the game, an ultimately inseparable pair that no matter how far they may drift from one another, they’ll always reconcile, yep, I love you Leviathan Axe!

    Really though, the axe is grand, see back in ye olde God of War, Kratos would pirouette with a pair of twin blades on chains, delivering rapid slashes with the impact of paper cuts. And boy did the other action games LAUGH, while they were delivering this tactile combat feedback with a host of weaponry, Kratos was effectively “God of War: On Ice”, oh sure he had the sales and the accolades but at what cost? When even Gabriel Belmont completely rips you off but still does it with greater heft you know it’s time for a change.

    Combat in God of War isn’t perfect but it’s an intriguing style to compliment the shift to a cinematic perspective placing the camera behind Krato’s back, as such it has to play by different rules, with a perspective that could easily have fumbled due to a lack of visibility. Fortunately the devs nailed the shift to more cinematic action, complete with a greater level of engagement via the more intimate view point (boy, it’s like I’m really cleaving these mooks in twain!) and much needed impact factor that I personally found to have eluded Kratos his entire run.

    If there’s a noticeable negative to GoW it’s that the gorgeous detail comes at a cost, a true example of a game that has a lot of time to fill but ultimately shows you a lot of its hand by the halfway point, from then on the central plot meanders with a series of blockades that prevent things from moving forward, enemy lineups fail to diversify further and the out of combat moments start retreading familiar ground with overseen contextual animations, as you ring more bells than a town crier and become overly familiar with crystal contraptions. The curse of AAA I guess is the expectation to deliver content out the wazoo with cutting edge visuals, especially in today's open world deluge. Regardless God of War maintains a strong level of engagement throughout, though it delves into a few “required” modern tropes like racking up quest lists, materials, a rather arbitrary levelling system, there’s a core foundation here strong enough to not crumple under it all. This all leads God of War to a respectable position of being arguably the strongest of the AAA behemoths, one that defies expectations at transforming its once borderline parody of a main character into one with pathos, in turn refreshing the franchise with a modern touch to put Kratos back on top as Sony’s mascot of choice and actually be a character worth that position.

  6. The Messenger - Imagine having a action fuelled throwback to the likes of classic Ninja Gaiden, where I’m actively taking time out from sword slashing and somersaulting to engage in as much dialogue with a shopkeeper as I can.
    I think that was a bigger twist than the game’s 8 bit linear to 16 bit open design shift, the dialogue between your rather non de-script ninja character and the enigmatic shopkeeper runs a hilarious gamut, genre savvy and wall breaking discussion, stories with odd life lessons and of course, the mystery of the wardrobe.
    It helps set the tone for a surprisingly wacky adventure, mercifully like other indie throwback titles, it captures the essence of NES action games without bringing over the same level of potential anguish, it’s no pushover but it’s also not “Hitchcock presents: the Birds, starring Ryu Hayabusa”.

    Cloud Step is this game’s shining mechanic, mid air jumps are attained when slashing objects, enemies and projectiles, this leads to some ninjariffic flow of dancing around and through projectiles through the air no less, definitely what I feel is the game’s unsung quality.
    There’s no doubt in my mind that the Messenger is at its best when following its linear design, the metroidvania shift is clever, but not enough in a world where I’m bowled over by so many exploration platformers that I’ve had them taking up a quarter of my end of year lists for the past few years. Still there’s a lot of merit to how the game weaves the linear stages into what will become an expansive world, you can see the teases of this early on and there’s a sorta satisfying “I knew it!” moment when you can finally access the once inaccessible no matter how obvious it actually was.
    Nabbed everything, got the worst “all collectables” reward in recent memory, at least the devs apologised and thus we all get to go on a radical holiday DLC in 2019, Cowabunga!

  7. Iconoclasts - Iconoclasts to me, feels almost like a lost GBA game.
    In the great “is it or isn’t is?” Metroidvania discussion, Iconoclasts comes across akin to classic oddities like Metroid Fusion in its structure, more linear than others but designed well with that in mind, also includes the tightness of that game’s controls and ledge gripping action.
    Continuing the GBA trend, a friend of mine likened its eye catching cast to being like something out of Advance Wars, though these characters run far deeper alongside the game’s plot that its a very surface level look. It can be a touch wordy and hard to follow at times, much like this post then, regardless it spins an engaging tale, one with a finale that threw me for a loop.

    Chalk this game up for another that makes great use of a central item, Robin’s trusty wrench is applied wonderfully to the world and its dangers, furthering her mechanic role is the unfortunately undercooked tweak system. Still it had me seeking out various materials even if I wasn’t gonna get much use out of them, mainly because the small puzzles all over the map were fun to suss out, I tell ya, there’s something satisfying about using the grenades and blast platforms.
    Tweaking nuts and bolts with satisfying "Clunks", supplemented with clean and characterful animation, Iconoclasts makes controlling Robin just feel fun itself, from that lovely dinky footstep sound effect making her seem light on her feet to squishing down a foe with a foot stomp that satisfyingly springs you clear of their explosion.

    Iconoclasts is also a top contender for best boss fights of 2018, an incredibly varied and inventive screen filling lineup, ranging from smart gimmick encounters to straightforward rucks.
    The game has character in spades, witty, thought provoking (in a bit too “beating you around the head” way) and a touch eccentric, It really delivers that unique brand of style you really only get when a game is a one man passion project.

  8. Monster Hunter World - It’s that time again, just when I thought that my near annual consumption of monster hunter would give way to a level of comfort food gaming that wouldn’t be quite enough to break into a top 10, World manages to sneak in by simply being a whetstone sharpening act that brings the series close to peak sharpness. Those blunt edges of now unnecessary extra steps that while second nature to veterans, were somewhat obtuse to newcomers have been honed. Effectively I’m gonna say that despite a lot of claims of the series finally having made the changes for mass appeal, it hasn’t actually changed much at all and it’s really the same core gameplay with a series of small tweaks that create a less intimidating barrier to entry, oh and creating a look that isn’t a rather muddy 3DS screen.

    Sometimes that’s all it takes really, maps are now less disjointed thanks to the lack of loading and area separation (it’s there in spirit of course), they’re also a bit too ambitious with some overly complicated design at times with a host of nooks and crannies that go often unseen, safe to say that Capcom still have some learning to do here, but it’s hard to deny the greater engagement when you’re not being whipped in and out of brief map screens to mask loading like in the past.

    Look, you get the drill here, it’s another round of gaming’s greatest boss rush with an addictive progression system, now with SLOPES that allow my hammer to perform a sonic the hedgehog jump and the ability to straight up plant a switch axe in the side of a monsters head and blow up their noggin in the most fulfilling explosive move since I first wyvern-fired a gunlance on the PSP.
    Roll on Iceborne, which will hopefully add variety to a roster that’s a bit too heavy right now on Wyverns and Elder Dragons.

  9. Mega Man 11 - Much like Smash, this is a tougher one to talk up as it’s very much a know quantity. The name alone is enough to remind you how many times the Blue Bomber has been around the block without even factoring in similar succession series and non-numbered entries.

    Unlike last generations 9 and 10, MM11 doesn’t look so far back and doesn’t follow the diminished retro returns that 10 hit, oh it’s still the very classic series formula with a few wrinkles but it’s moving forward. Effectively this is classic action platforming delivered with some modern spit polish, cel shaded character visuals pop offsetting some of the more muted backgrounds, each robot master locale is as unique as ever with a host of suitably themed foes and contraptions that make each one stand out on their own merits. The newfangled double gear system is an absolute boon for me in regards to boss battles, while I find it too potent for the stages themselves I much appreciate it for helping me learn boss patterns in a less painful fashion. Said bosses are some of the series very best, mid bosses are creative and the robot masters have much fairer yet showy throwdowns, turning the gear system against the player and significantly less “oh god please don’t walk into me, it hurts more than your actual weapon!”.

    Speaking of weapons, we’re back in action here with a versatile and useful tool kit allowing one to spam the screen with bouncing balls to applying a melee dash attack for offense and shortcuts. Really a lot of what I’m saying adds up to “it’s more Mega Man, done well” and sometimes that’s enough, even if it’s not quite MM9.

  10. Xenoblade 2: The Golden Country - Torna - While still not able to fully free itself from JRPG woes like blatant padding even in a 12 hour outing, the Torna expansion is like getting XB2 with the improvements I desired. Faster and snappier battle system, less visually distressing characters and an ending that doesn’t pull its punches . In fact Torna has one of my favourite video game endings full stop, it’s a rollercoaster of spectacular anime mecha animation combined with tasty melodrama, thus continuing the trend of XB2 being anime as fuck.
    The best of Nintendo’s solid DLC expansions of 2018 and honestly better to me than a number of their new releases like Kirby and Tennis Aces, granted the Rabbids DK adventure is up there with Torna, but since Xenoblade 2 fell short last year it gets the love this year, meanwhile Splatoon 2's Octolings just made me feel woefully inadequate.

    Evidence if needed that you can have a fulfilling experience in the genre without sacrificing 80 hours of your life, if only it could’ve had one more titan/continent to roam in place of filling a mandatory sidequest quota.

    Honourable Mentions
    Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom - A labour of love from the development team, bringing back a classic series with modern production values, alas they brought some dodgy hitboxes and kinda limp combat with it. The greater emphasis on puzzle solving though makes up for it, a solid exploration action adventure title.

    Valkyria Chronicles 4 - The one that I’ve yet to finish, it basically feels like a direct sequel to the 2008 original that should’ve released in 2010 in place of the actual VC2. As such it’s too familiar for a decade later, I no longer have the same tolerance for their menus that’s for sure. Gameplay is refined and from what I’ve played the maps/scenarios are much improved, unfortunately the main cast of characters really REALLY let the game down. When Era's "fave" Captain Grabass is actually the highlight, you have a problem.

    And the plethora of re-releases this year, any excuse to return to tenouttaten classics like Dark Souls, Tropical Freeze, Shadow of the Colossus and Hollow Knight.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. God of War - My only Platinum this year. A sublime and epic experience I will remember for times to come.
  2. Monster Hunter World - The game that consumed my gaming time until the release of GOW. Hunting giant monsters was never more fun.
  3. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - The fact that my most anticipated game of 2018 and a reallygreat experience in itself isn't at 1. illustrates what a fine gaming year 2018 was for me.
  4. Shadow of the Colossus - A timeless masterpiece, although a little short.
  5. Detroit: Become Human - the surprise of the year. A memorable game especially together with friends.
  6. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - A heartwarming story with shortcommings on the gameplay-side.
  7. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Yeah the artstyle and silent protagonist dampered the otherwise great experience a bit.
All the games I played to completion that released this year.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - The ultimate battle of the franchises.
  2. Octopath Traveler - A love letter to every fan of classic 2D JRPGs of old.
  3. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country - Neat story plus new battle mechanics
  4. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Almost as good as the first game of the series, hats off!
  5. Into the Breach - It feels a bit like chess from the future when you crush insects left and right.
  6. Celeste - Insanely hard but fresh like a strawberry
  7. Hollow Knight - Not hollow at all, incredible visuals and a lot of quality gameplay make this a must have
  8. Forza Horizon 4 - This is by far the best racing game I've ever played
  9. Dragon Quest XI - Not as good as I expected it to be but still a welcome JRPG to play
  10. Mega Man 11 - What Mighty No. 9 should have been, take notes Inafune!
Some of the games that didn't make it:
  • God of War: while it was fun it didn't leave a mark for me
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: didn't find the time to play it sadly, now I feel like waiting for the PC version
  • Spiderman: I felt a bit disappointed, had higher expectations with all the hype around it
  • Gris: It was a bit late to the party and a bit too short for my tastes, the artwork and music is gold though
  • The World Ends With You: Great remake, though the docked controls were horrible beyond belief.

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  1. The Alliance Alive - Yes, this game was on 3DS, and yes, it was a followup to the lackluster Legend of Legacy. It was never going to light the world on fire. However, it's been at least since the first Ni No Kuni that a jrpg has managed to capture that classic SNES/PS1/PS2 era feel so fully. This is number one for me because of scenario and writing. Suikoden may be dead, but Murayma has still got it. He creates a believable world that's just foreign enough to be intriguing, and peoples it with charming characters who feel genuinely at home, who all have a reason for doing what they're doing, and whose gameplay style resonates meaningfully with their characterization. The game also delivered in gameplay though -- battles were snappy but tactical, with probably my favorite instantiation of the SaGa use-it-to-enhance it system. Dungeons were a manageable size and nearly all have crunchy little secrets and gimmicks to uncover. The recruitment, while not Suikoden deep, makes the whole world more engaging. The music is darn good. If this had been on the Switch instead, with snazzier visuals, I think it might have made more of a splash. Regardless, this game reassured me that the cornerstones of old school jrpgs (integrated story/world/character/music/gameplay) still work just great, without modern glitz or "games as service" compromises.
  2. Into the Breach - I played it very late in the year, but this game got its hooks into me good. It's such a crunchy tactical puzzler, with just enough atmosphere and narrative to keep it from feeling dry or spare. I zoomed through and unlocked all the squads within about a weak of repeated sessions, then settled into a more sedate pace. I'm not sure how much longer I'll stick with it, but turning an oh-crap-five-threatened-buildings turn into a clean sweep with a little brilliant repositioning continues to feel fantastic. I appreciated FTL, but I think this game really takes boiled down super clean homage to old school gaming to the next level.
  3. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - This doesn't reach the highs of Witcher 3, but Gwent is fun, and is paired to great effect here with a solid narrative a good cut or three above typical fair (AAA or not). Maeve is a fun, balls-out protagonist, and the scenario takes quite a few unexpected turns. The depth and breadth of the decks is awesome. My only (mild) complaint is that the maps feel too linear/restricted. I get that adventuring isn't the main point here, but the story feels a bit hurried at points because of its integration w/ the gameplay. It could use a bit more space to breathe, and more avenues for meaningful characterization (maybe more could have been done w/ the camp). Regardless, I'm always up for more CDPR Witcher at this point, regardless of the vehicle.
  4. Hollow Knight - I'm not a Metroidvania fan, but this game still worked for me. The world is mysterious while still feeling manageable, and the levels and fights are challenging, but the move set limited and tight enough that I felt I could polish my skills quickly enough to progress (the feeling when I first beat the Mantis heroes was excellent -- I was obliterated w/in about 2 seconds on my first visit, but 2 hours later could reliably mop the floor w/ them). It's got a beautiful and tightly consistent art style, great sound design, and a pleasing upgrade schedule. I eventually tapped out because my gaming time has been limited this year, but still a very favorable impression
  5. Bayonetta 2 - I didn't get this the first time around. It landed at a bad time for me this year, and I've spent way less time w/ it than I want (Bayonetta is one of my all time favorites), but it's super slick and a ton of fun. Something about the way the narrative is delivered seemed a little off to me (the first game was batshit, obviously this isn't a series about narrative coherence, but I felt it had a better, and somehow more extreme, flow to the story, we'll see). I need to dig in deeper, but I suspect more time will bump this higher up my list.
  6. Octopath Traveler - I love old school jrpgs. Octopath almost scratched that itch. In the end, the narrative structure is too clunky and compartmentalized, and, worst of all, repetitive. The different paths start to seem too similar and blend together as you get farther in. Still, I liked the characters, the battle system was ace, the music was great, and the world looked wonderful. I think with a tweaked/tightened scenario this would have been at the very top for me this year.
  7. Dragon Quest 11 - I wanted to like this more than I did. The characters are fun, the world looks fantastic, and the scenario is more varied and engaging than most DQs. However, the music is incredibly bad (like, I can't overemphasize how much it hurt the experience for me), and the battle system is, as always w/ DQ, too limited and by the numbers. I like a classic turn based system, but it either needs to have more depth and varied tactical options, or just be a dead easy vehicle for enhancing characterization through battle style (see: Suikoden). Still, with music that matched the world and characters I probably would have been way more engaged. I will still likely finish this at some point when I run out of other games.
  8. Ni No Kuni 2 - The first NNK is a great game -- the battle system was odd, but the scenario, world, music, and exploration came together to create old school jrpg bliss. This one doesn't measure up. However, it's still charming, great to look at, and has a lot of fun moments and engaging battles. The kingdom building is fun too. If only they'd put it all around a scenario with depth and heart.
  9. God of War - I've always hated God of War. I like 80s action movies, so it's not like I can't appreciate a little judicious hyper-masculinity. But the series always seemed to me like a distillation of the the nastiest and mustiest early teen power fantasies. Embarassing crap that should be buried by enculturation and cultivation of even a tiny spark of empathy. Indulging it, from my fairly Aristotelian perspective, actively degrades society. The new game isn't perfect by any means -- the writing is hammy, the characterization is uneven (pretty much everyone other thank Kratos is all over the map), and it's still a little too violent for violence's sake at times. However, it's moment-to-moment fun to play, Kratos actually comes from a semi-relatable place now, the journey is engaging, the world is exciting, and the progression is tightly apportioned. I actually finished the game, which I can't say about too much from 2018. I was less impressed when I started a new playthrough to mess around and realized just how linear the game is, and how much window dressing is used to obscure that. It works great on a first trip through, but on a second you feel funneled in a way that does not resonate with the core narrative and characterization. Still, they clearly did a lot right w/ this design, and I appreciate that they at least tried to do something meaningful w/ Kratos.
  10. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - I like a good strategy jrpg with a big cast. The original VC was a lot of fun, and this one is too. Their tactical/action hybrid still works great, with lots of just-the-right-size maps and situations to solve. The characters are fun to control, and have a nice range of tools that allow multiple paths to victory. The story is fine, but the attempted (and largely bricked) tone of "that's-just-how-the-military-is" casual misogyny didn't land well. I recognize that many military units ARE rife with casual misogyny, as this is one of the registers young males tend to use to bond in all-male contexts. But do it in a believable way in a believable war story or don't even try.

My overall feeling is that the year is a bit disappointing. Nothing that really knocked my socks off, like Nier:A last year. The big stuff that came out this year mostly didn't do it for me. However, I had a great time with some smaller games, and my over-stuffed schedule led me to a new appreciation for more bite-sized experiences that don't sacrifice narrative coherence. One game I really wanted to like but just couldn't get into despite numerous attempts was Divinity OS2. The progression curve feels way off to me, and the scenario is all over the map. I really wanted to play Obra Din, which sounds right up my alley, but don't have any kind of reasonable PC setup for gaming, so that will have to wait. I'm still longing for a real jrpg revival, a string of games that foreground character and scenario, with or without lavish production design. Don't think it's coming in 2019, so we'll see....

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Oct 27, 2017
I'm not fluent enough in english to express the exact reasons why i voted that and that game onto that place, so just my personal ranking:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  2. Octopath Traveler
  3. Hollow Knight
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country
  5. Celeste
  6. Forza Horizon 4
  7. Mega Man 11

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Oct 25, 2017
Well I had a much longer post drafted but it disappeared for some reason, so I'm only going to use 1 sentence per game. A real bummer since I had about 1-3 paragraphs per game plus a bunch of comments on other games I played this year. Oh well

  1. Celeste- One of the most polished platformers ever made with excellent level design that cleverly tells you how to play and uniquely ties into the game's strong narrative, plus a fantastic soundtrack. Finishing 7-C was absolutely my most satisfying moment of the year.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Smash Ultimate is a fantastic new edition of the series that adds lots of great stuff and brings back a lot, though not exactly everything, from past games. I have issues with it, but overall it's the best $60 you can spend on a game today.
  3. Splatoon 2: The Octo Expansion- The campaign that Splatoon always deserved with a fresh new style. The other additions to the main game added over the year were excellent and made it easy to put in some 300+ hours into game this year. Sad that there won't be any more significant support for Splatoon 2.
  4. Xenoblade 2: Torna the Golden Country- A smaller, tighter experience that adds a lot to Xenoblade 2's story and gameplay. Some fantastic music and the other things added to the expansion pass were excellent.
  5. Hollow Knight- I did not like Hollow Knight as much as I thought I would, but it's still a damn good metroidvainia with an interesting world and a great look.
  6. Assassin's Creed Odyssey- The superhero historical fantasy that I always felt this series should have been from the beginning. It suffers from severe bloat and has other issues, but is still an overall great time, even if you're playing it via project stream.
  7. Dead Cells- Dead Cells is a good rougelite that doesn't live up to its potential. The tight action and quick time to kill make it so I often feel like I don't understand how I died, leading to a frustrating experience that often doesn't feel as satisfying or new as other games in the genre do.
  8. Part Time UFO - My favorite mobile game of the year with a super charming aesthetic and simple but satisfying mechanics.
Other games I played this year that didn't make it on the list for one reason or another
PC: Destiny 2 (pretty but meh), Steamworld Dig 2 (great metroidvainia), Fortnite, Quake Champions (reminds me of secretly installing Quake 3 on school computers), Subnautica, Grim Fandango: Remastered, Planet Coaster (Still great though few of the additions feel meaningful for my type of play), Gonner (neat, but too obtuse for my tastes), Headlander, Oxenfree (neat conversations, ok story), Red Strings Club (really good barring some poor writing in a few key instances), Overwatch (I still don't own the game but play a bunch during every free weekend)
Switch: Mario & Rabbids, Fire Emblem Warriors, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Pokemon Quest (ugh, it's impressive that they made the successor to the rumble games even more dull), Golf Story (ok, but I felt like I didn't get it), Warframe (felt overwhelmed and didn't play much but want to try again though maybe on PC instead)
Mobile: Pokemon Go, FE:H (barely, interest faded greatly in 2018) , AC:PC (massively improved over its debut last year), Pixel Puzzle Collection (not the best picross game on mobile but still a good distraction), Florence (too short to create real pathos)

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Jan 4, 2019
  1. Subnautica - I'm usually not that fond of survival games, but Subnautica was a wonderful experience. Moving forward, one can only hope that its influence will spread to future games and open the door to exploration/survival done right. This was clearly this year's discovery for me.
  2. Hollow Knight - Unlike subnautica this isn't bringing anything new to the table, it is "simply" a new Metroidvania. A wonderful, beautiful and rewarding Metroidvania, certainly one of the best of its kind.
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Smash Bros. is a genre in itself, and for those of us who spent years playing the past opuses, this new game is a must-have which succeeded in almost every point (text description for spirits.. targets ?..).

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - I've had so many moments with VR where I swore to the heavens that 'this is it'. That the next evolutionary step of gaming had happened, and that our generation's life-changing breakthrough was here. In the years since, that hype has been met by a series of underwhelming realizations as various studios and publishers struggled to realize what an actual game looks like in VR. Wonder no further. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is as important to VR gaming as Mario 64 was to 3D gaming. A joyful, wondrous, and infectiously happy platformer that is bursting with clever ideas in every nook and cranny. Thrilling rollercoasters though lava tubes. Dives into ocean depths that make you catch a breath. Voyages through the sky on the limbs of giant robots. All presented seamlessly in VR, inserting the player into the action with a sense of place and purpose. No game has brought me this much joy in a long, long time.
  2. Red Dead Redemption II - Count me among the masses that just didn't 'get' RDR 1. The simplistic mission design and empty landscapes put me to sleep. I expected the same from 2. Rather, Rockstar managed to sell me on their vision of the old West. The slower, methodical approach to every element of game design put me in a sort of hypnotic trance. I was able to believe and appreciate every corner of this astonishing environment. It's a resounding investment in single player content, breathing so much new life into the open world narrative genre. Hell, I even loved Guarna.
  3. Dead Cells - If boiled down to pure mechanics, it'd be hard to beat Dead Cells as the best 'game-ass game' on 2018. Motion Twin's roguelike is a stellar example of how to turn tight controls, simple systems, and light procedure generation into seemingly infinite hours of excitement and thrill - with a damn high skill cap.
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man - 2018 has been a rough year for Peter Parker. America watched him die in TWO of his own movies, and Insomniac's vision of his NYC puts him through an emotional pounding. But his misery is our joy, as Marvel's Spider-Man is the best superhero game ever made. Much like how Arkham Asylum took cues from Assassin's Creed and Metroid Prime, Spiderman builds on both the legacy of the Bat - and Insomniac's history of open-world platforming. Touching, thrilling, and just an endless joy to play.
  5. Hitman 2- Every person on this god-forsaken board that took umbridge with Hitman 1's episodic rollout is a monster. They spit upon the most genius improvement in AAA game design and culture of the past decade, and made me wait a whole goddamn year to get my Hitman fix. But this wait has at least paid off, as the second season of maps is a delight. More consistent than the first, Hitman 2's locales are rich with visuals, character, and absurd physical comedy. And with the entire first season available as expansion DLC, there is now zero reason to abstain from this generation's best stealth game.
  6. God of War - ResertEra's 2018 Game Of The Year is a testament to change. It's a reminder that game franchises can evolve and grow to a point where they are capable of self-reflection. Kratos was the centerfold of gaming's 2000's-era infatuation with super-gore, extreme depravity, and screaming at their mom about how it 'wasn't just a phase'. God of War (2018) doesn't shy away from that past, but does ask fans to think about the consequences it brought. Remarkably, it does this without sacrificing an ounce of the thrilling combat, amazing spectacle, and wonderful game-feel that the franchise holds dear.
  7. Florence - If any game from my list can be considered a 'must play' - I think Florence is the one I would assign. While everything else is an outstanding achievement of the medium, only Florence genuinely made me reflect on the nature of love, family, and self. All while using the mobile platform in simple ways to give depth to simple, wordless characters.
  8. Tetris Effect - Tetris is my gaming Constant. It was my first, it's been my favorite, and yet it's never been quite like Tetris Effect. A mixture of gameplay, visuals, and music that brings new life to the most familiar game in the world.
  9. Holedown - Best Game Feel of 2018 has to go to the visceral, bubble-wrap-esque satisfaction of unloading a machine gun of balls into a board on Holedown.
  10. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Is there such a thing as 'too much Smash Bros?'. For me, perhaps. I will absolutely never see the depths of Ultimate's many modes, the possibilities of its 69 characters, or experience the full extent of its' challenges. But Ultimate is more than enough. It's a parade of Nintendo nostalgia, and a source for years of upcoming multiplayer bliss.
  11. Forza Horizon 4 - Turn 10's continued stay on the racing game throne is the best excuse for Game Pass yet.
  12. Beat Saber - No game has a bigger gulf between how cool I feel while playing it, and how dumb I look while playing it.

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Oct 25, 2017
Austin, TX
  1. Hollow Knight - 2D Metroidvania comes to the 21st century.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  3. Celeste
  4. Fallout 76
  5. God of War
  6. Dragon Quest XI
  7. SpyParty
  8. A Way Out
  9. Into the Breach
  10. Ni No Kuni II

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Mar 22, 2018
Midwest, USA
  1. Hitman 2 - One of the most interestingly designed game since Dark Souls 1, the new Hitman seasons play like they fell out of a parallel universe where AAA games were more inspired by TV shows than movies. They’re creative, well-written, inventive, open, unique, infinitely replayable, and most importantly: fun.
  2. Hollow Knight - It was #3 on last year’s list, and yet somehow it’s good enough that replaying it on the Switch was my second favorite video game of this year too. I don’t know if that speaks to 2018 being bad or Hollow Knight being amazing, but man do I love this game.
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - There’s 800 characters in the game and none of them are Minecraft Steve. 11/10.
  4. Exapunks - It’s a Zachtronics game.
  5. Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury - It’s a special kind of DLC that can make so much of a game feel new despite being the 13th expansion to a seven-year-old game. Honestly at this point CK3 could be a $60 CK2+DLC port to the new version of Clausewitz and I wouldn’t complain. Plus you can play as a duck.
  6. Monster Hunter World - Two words: Insect. Glaive.
  7. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux - It’s a tale as old as time of an elite military force fighting demons in a hellish version of Antarctica equipped only with Ironman suits, an AI super-tank, and a demon-summoning computer program designed by Steven Hawking. Plus the new version has 100% more uwu anime grills.
  8. Celeste - While the art didn’t quite work for my taste and I definitely prefer my indie games writing sparse and ironic over sincere and saccharine... no one can argue with that gameplay. I wasn’t convinced you could make a fresh indie pure 2D platformer after Super Meat Boy, but Celeste is there to prove me wrong.
  9. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight - (This is really a tie with P3D) It takes a special kind of series where the soundtrack is so good that each individual game can get it’s own rhythm game. It’s an even more special series where two of those can come out on the same day, Pokémon-style, and they’re both equally great and packed with bangers.
  10. Curse of the Obra Dinn - A fascinating experiment that almost gets it. Unfortunately the scoring method is still a little too easy to cheese and encourages trial-and-error once you’ve narrowed down any mystery to just a few options. However, it’s a lot closer to being a real detective game than almost anything else has gotten before, and I’d much rather play an interesting ambitious failure over a polished expensive safe 8/10 any day of the week.

All in all, pretty rough year for games. Aside from the blindingly bright spot of Hitman 2, it was a lot of stuff that might not have even made my list last year. Thankfully, 2019 is already looking up and should be a much better year all around.

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Oct 28, 2017
  1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden Country - An expansion that delves into the past of one of my favorite games of 2017. Was delighted to spend more time with some of the characters of it and flesh out the world and history of Xenoblade 2 more. A severe lack of Nia though.
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Definitive proof that Sakurai is a damn madman.
  3. Night In The Woods - A game that surprised me with how charming it was. Some of the best writing and characters I've come across in all my years of gaming. I plan on doing a second playthrough on the 10th for its first year anniversary of being on Switch.
  4. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Eevee is too damn cute, and has always been one of my favorite 'mons. I was more than happy for something lighter and relaxing and thoroughly enjoyed my time revisiting Kanto.
  5. GRIS - A late entry, but one that I'm happy to put on my list. A gorgeous, emotional outing.
  6. Octopath Traveler - A gorgeous callback to RPG's of old. It has some problems and I felt it had a few nasty difficulty spikes, but it felt like an evolution of a SNES RPG.
  7. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion - This would probably be higher on my list, but by the time it came out, my skills had drastically fallen. Always nice to spend more time in the Splatoon universe though, and hey, playable Octolings!
  8. Monster Hunter World - I'm a huge Monster Hunter fan, and I loved the areas and quality of life improvements. Unfortunately, a few things like monster count, endgame, and the online setup in this one didn't impress me. Still was happy to put just over a hundred hours into it though.
  9. Yoku's Island Express - Was looking to try something different, and this one caught my eye. Clever take on pinball.
  10. Okami HD - Still my favorite game of all time, but I want to give my points to newer titles.
I played other games as well, but I either didn't get into them far enough to want to put them on my list, or just thought they were okay. Hoping this burnout I felt through most of 2018 goes away this year.

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Jan 6, 2019
  1. God of War - The best game of the generation, overtaking The Witcher 3 for me. I can't say enough about the game, so far it's my only 10/10 of the gen (but TW3 might be there once I play Blood & Wine). It's a game I've been waiting a while for, one that combines top of the industry narrative AND top of the industry gameplay. Other games have one of the two, ie: top of the industry gameplay but average to good at best story or top of the industry narrative, but average to good at best gameplay but I haven't seen one yet that's been the best in both categories it's year, and that's exactly what God of War is it to me. It's the most FUN I've had playing a game this year, throwing and recalling the axe never gets old, and it's been the best narrative I've experienced this year. As someone who never cared for God of War before this entry, it's amazing how much they made me care about Kratos (and boy's) journey. There's so many amazing moments throughout the game and it's fantastically paced. It also includes a lot of references to the old God of Wars, which could mean nothing to me since I didn't care for them, yet they still had me jumping out of my seat or put a huge grin on my face. That's how masterfully those moments were done. An unbelievable cast of characters, all well acted as well. Some of my favorite moments were just listening to Mimir tell a story while riding a boat. Brok and Sindri were hilarious and heartwarming. Freya and Baldur's story was very well done and so tragic. If I had to give a complaint, it'd be the troll reskins, it got tiresome when the Hel gatekeeper was a troll, but I have hope that'll be fixed in the sequel. Overall, God of War was a fantastic game that turned a series I did not care for into the sequel being one of my most hyped games.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I have to agree with a lot of the people that the controls and combat are just... not great. Though like The Witcher 3, I think people exaggerate just how bad. Arthur is a fantastic character and the world is the most beautiful and most rewarding to explore open world yet. This game goes toe to toe in every aspect with God of War except for the combat, which gives GoW the edge for me, but what a beautiful experience.
  3. Destiny 2: Forsaken - The original Destiny is one of my top 5 games of the gen so far, it gets a lot of hate but I had so much fun raiding with my friends, grinding with them for that sick loot, etc and I loved it. I put over 600 hrs into the game, my most in any game ever. This is why I was soooo disappointed when Destiny 2 released and I was done after 50 hours. The endgame was just dead. I was in full wait and see mode with Forsaken, as I skipped out on the first 2 DLCs and I did not trust in Bungie. However, it surpassed all my expectations and then some. It's the best Destiny's been yet. The high fantasy setting of The Dreaming City. An evolving, actually decently told story. Fantastic raid, and most importantly of all enough content in the endgame to keep me playing for a couple of months. I have dropped it since, but not because it got bad or boring, just because I've been playing some big releases like RDR 2. It's given me some faith in Bungie again, but I will still be in wait and see mode with Destiny 3.
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Everyone's here! Best Smash game since Melee, had so much fun playing with friends so far. Not much to say here, just the.... ultimate... Smash experience.
  5. Fortnite: Battle Royale - I've been done with the game for a while but hard to deny the impact it's had and the fun I had with it while playing. Props to Epic Games for creating such a phenomenon and, for the most part, being pretty good about the changes in the game.
  6. Super Mario Party - Fun to play with friends, unfortunately requires couch co-op for the board game. Would be higher up if you could do it online like Pummel Party.
  7. Monster Hunter: World - Was a great game to play to scratch my Destiny itch before Forsaken came.
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII - Don't really care for Blackout but the typical CoD experience of MP + zombies was great. Best CoD since.... Black Ops 3 lol.

Unfortunately I just got Spidey, a game very hyped for me, but I won't be able to beat it in time, especially since I'm beating RDR 2 first. Spidey would almost definitely be in my top 5 (unless it really disappointed me) but it doesn't feel right to put it up here without having played it yet. The ones on my list are the only 8 games I've played - and enjoyed - from this year.

GOTY: God of War
Best performance: Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption 2
Best narrative: God of War
Best graphics: Red Dead Redemption 2
Best world: Red Dead Redemption 2
Best gameplay: God of War
Best characters: God of War
Best online: Destiny 2: Forsaken
Best esport: Overwatch League Season 1

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Oct 31, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Best writing and voice acting in a video game ever. The atmosphere is out of this world. I am at 88% and the game has not tire me at all.
  2. God of War - Best gow game. I loved how the series matured and how it turned a one-note protagonist to one of the most deep characters in gaming.
  3. Marvel's Spiderman - Without a doubt one of the best superhero movies ever made. The traversing in this game is pure satisfaction. The side content was kind of boring though.
  4. Detroit: Become Human - Probably the best game by Quantic Dream. I loved how much the story branched and the various different outcomes.
  5. Shadow of the Colossus - An excellent remake of an excellent game. If it wasn't a remake it would surely be higher on my list.

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Oct 25, 2017
Austin, TX
  1. Hollow Knight - Best metroidvania I've ever played. pinnacle of the genre. Opening that stag station in queen's gardens was such a masterstroke in level design and one of the best feeling moments of the year
  2. God of War - a tour de force. Holistic as fuck. Everything about it is firing on all cylinders. Staggering with it's production values. We won't see another game like it for some time me thinks.
  3. Celeste - Matt Thorson proves once again that he and his team are some of the best devs on the planet. As with Towerfall, this game shines on just about every level. mechanically sound featuring some of the best platforming since n++
  4. Tetris Effect - Tetris never looked so pretty and sounded so good. Lovely game innit
  5. Assassins Creed Odyssey - Despite my deep reservations about certain game design aspects like the level gating, I can't deny the magnitude of the game and how much Kassy kicks ass. What a world to get lost in!
  6. Spider-Man - The best feeling game of the year? It's simply a joy to traverse the world and beat people up. Also the Osbourne residence is my dream home and didn't mind walking around in it one bit.
  7. Dead Cells - Terrific rogue like that I admittedly need to get back to. Very much enjoyed my time with it. Felt like a natural progression of Rogue Legacy game design.
  8. Red Dead Redemption 2 - An open world that is the most complete and fully realised I've ever witnessed. Truly something special. Too bad the game plays like shit though
  9. Shadow of the Colossus Remake - A quietly gorgeous game. Not much else needs to be said
  10. Phantom Doctrine - A game with problems. But the vibes are terrific. Best game that makes you feel like an actual spy. Another game I need to play more of
Special Shout out - Rainbow Six Siege. LTTP with the game but it's the game I played most this year and easily one of the top MP games I've ever played. Very special stuff.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - I was a fan of the older GoW titles, but I won’t lie: the formula had overstayed its welcome for me so I was more than willing to give the game’s new direction a try. Rarely do I enter into a game with such high expectations and they are met, but God of War did it. I explored every nook and cranny of that game, not for a trophy, but because I wanted to explore it and uncover the land’s many mysteries and stories. I don’t think any game is “perfect”, but damn this one comes close.
  2. Marvel’s Spider-Man - It’s difficult to pick out my favourite moment from this game. Its story and characters far surpassed my expectations and when the combat and all the gadgets at your disposal finally clicks, you really FEEL like you’re Spider-Man.
  3. Astro Bot Rescue Mission - I initially wasn’t expecting much from Astro Bot, but when a game cements a smile on your face through every level, boss, challenge, and extra the game has, you know it’s special. This game is the real deal.
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2 - What I assumed would be my number one game will have to settle for number four. I’ll simply say that my opinions echo many of both the complaints and praises that this game has received from others. I can usually overlook a game’s nonsense for the greater good, but it gets harder when there’s literally dozens of hours of said nonsense. Still Arthur’s journey is one I’ll never forget.
  5. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise - I want to believe that I’m the kind of person that would get tired of making people’s heads explode, but it never happened because the combat is so damn fun. Also fun? The sub stories, mini games and other side content. Although a lot of this game’s pros come from being based on the framework of yakuza games, the best thing this game took from Yakuza is the amazing cameo by Nugget the chicken!
  6. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Valkyria Chronicles 4 equally delighted and frustrated me. The sweet satisfaction of a perfectly laid out strategy combined with nice characters, great visuals and a charming story made this one of my favourites this year. On the flip side, the “He ducked that?! That’s BULLSHIT!” followed by reloading a manual save from two moves previous had me equally raging. Oh well.
  7. Call of Cthuhlu - I don’t expect to see this on many lists, but that’s ok. I’m a sucker for both Lovecraftian horror and detective games so this one perfectly scratched that itch.
  8. Monster Hunter World - As my first Monster Hunter game, I was a little lost and overwhelmed at first, but this game really sinks its giant monster claws in you to the point that it’s 1 AM, you have to work the next morning and yet you still think to yourself, “maybe just one more hunt”. Plus, it’s the only game this year with a cat companion I could customize to look like my actual real life cat. Step up your game,!
  9. Dragon Ball Fighterz - I don’t play many fighting games, but the visuals and relatively simple controls had me quickly hooked. I’m still terrible at fighters, but at least I had fun while getting my ass handed to me.
  10. Super Mario Party - Although the lack of boards was disappointing, Mario Party is still a blast… until I stole a star from my girlfriend and came first. Then it was less fun.

Almost made the cut:
Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! - I was one of those lapsed fans who felt that the massive number of current pokemon was overwhelming so a back to basic approach was quite welcome. The game oozes cute and charm and is a great distraction in between some of the year’s heavy hitters I’ve been catching up on.

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Oct 28, 2017
  1. God of War - one of the best games I've ever played, period.
  2. Marvel's Spiderman - web slinging felt great, the story was good, really enjoyed my time with the game.
  3. Detroit: Become Human - probably Cage's best game so far. Really liked the inclusion of the flowcharts as it made you want to replay things.
  4. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - what a great way to get into VR. Game plays great and has so much charm.

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Jan 16, 2018

  1. God of War - what a videogame, damn. Definitely Top 3 of this generation, easily.
  2. Dragon Quest XI - a JRPG that reminds us all the days of old school JRPGs aren't over. Hope Final Fantasy takes notes from this game.
  3. Marvel's Spiderman - lost all excitement for this game, but then when I played it, I fell in love instantly. Insomniac was meant to make this game, no one would've gotten it as right as they did, also didn't expect the story to get as serious and grim as it did, so that was a welcome surprise.
  4. Monster Hunter World - double diped on this game. Gave me as much fun as I expected. I've been trying to like Monster Hunter since I can remember, but this is finally the first MH game I actually like
  5. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - didn't plan on buying it, but I'm glad I did. Took a trip to Japan and during the bullet train rides or just at night when I was tired, I ended up beating World of Light and a bunch of Classic Mode stories. It also gave me a lot of fun with some friends. First Smash game I genuinely enjoy for more than 30 minutes. Strongly recommended, you can feel Sakurai's passion oozing.
  6. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - feels like Valkyria Chronicles 1.5 rather than 4, but in all honesty, sometimes that is enough, and this time, it is. There's A LOT of content here, especially post-game. Which is great because the gameplay is slightly addicting
  7. Gris - the most beautiful game for me in this generation, these types of games aren't my type but I think this one is enjoyable even for those who might think on passing on it.
  8. Iconoclasts - I loved the art style, but the gameplay was surprisingly fun too, only game on this list that I haven't beaten yet, but I had a blast with it.
  9. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - fell out of love with AC after AC: Brotherhood, loved AC: Black Flag but never really beat it. This one is different, it's basically an adventure RPG that happens to be called Assassin's Creed, and you know what? That is fine too. They got the greek mythology right, and that is lovely.
  10. Red Dead Redemption 2 - wish this game was higher, it's beautiful, it's stunning, has some of, if not the best performances I've ever seen in videogames. But it's such a chore to play, I had to force myself to beat it, even if I was enjoying the story a lot.

1-God of War

2- DQ XI

3- Spiderman

4- MHW

7- Gris

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Spider-Man - While the game may not be earning the accolades from the gaming press, Spider-Man is without a doubt the best game I played in 2018. Nothing else that came out during the year had me wanting to spend as much time doing every little thing I could to stay immersed in their world. From the fantastic voice acting, excellent graphics, great story, and the superb web slinging mechanics, this is the best superhero game that I've played since Arkham City. If I have any minor gripes about the game, it's that I did experience a few glitches (including getting stuck in a wall), and some bad segments with Mary Jane.
  2. God of War - God of War was such an excellently designed marvel to behold. Everything in this game is top notch from its audio/video presentation, story, gameplay, and character development. While it wasn't the most fun game that I played in 2018, it was certainly the most polished.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - RDR2 has some of the most emotionally resounding moments. Arthur Morgan is a superb protagonist, and his redemption is one that is tremendously well crafted. While some parts of the game felt pointless, experiencing some technical glitches, lack of a better fast travel system, and I just didn't have it within me to finish the epilogue, Arthur's story and the camaraderie between the characters in the group made this worth experiencing. Rockstar has created another fantastic game.
  4. Dead Cells - At the time of this post, I'm only a few hours into the game. However, I've had enough time with it that I've become addicted to the gameplay and having an absolute blast with its challenge. Even though I've died countless times, this is the kind of Metroidvania I can get behind. Each time I start again, there is a renewed sense of excitement waiting in discovering how the randomization of the levels will affect me this time around. I have yet to become frustrated, nor do I feel that the game is impossible to get through. These are the signs of a finely crafted game in my eyes, and I hope we have more to come from this developer. One of my favorite Metroidvanias ever.
  5. Guacamelee 2 - While nowhere near as difficult nor rewarding as Dead Cells, Guacamelee 2 is another great Metroidvania due to its humor, gameplay, and simplicity. For those frustrated with the difficulty of Dead Cells or the backtracking/map system of Hollow Knight, the Guacamelee series might be geared more toward your preferences. I hope they keep this series going because the first two games have been absolute gems.
  6. Detroit: Become Human - I can't believe I've played a David Cage game that had me thoroughly intrigued, and wanting to replay multiple times. While I thought that main theme of the game was a little heavy handed with its allegories to racism, classism, etc; I couldn't help but to enjoy my time with it. The voice acting and graphics were superb, and the gameplay was probably the most fun I've had in a David Cage game. Definitely one of the best games of 2018.
  7. FarCry 5 - Great premise and setting were the reasons that made me look into FC5. But even though I knew what I was getting into with an open-world Ubi Soft game, I started to find myself getting bored with the predictable story elements. Still, I had fun with the game.
  8. Dragonball FighterZ - By far, the best DBZ game ever made. The one on one fighting gameplay is great, and easy to learn. However, I was very disappointed by how lacking the story mode was.
  9. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - While I wish there were a better training mode, and the World of Light mode wasn't very fun to play, I really started to have fun unlocking all of the characters and going through classic mode once I got the hang of the gameplay. Maybe this will make me be more open to Smash games to come.
  10. Hitman 2 - Playing this in casual mode really upped the amount of fun I got from this one. I couldn't place it higher due to numerous crashes that took place while loading a mission, but that doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment I got out of it.
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Oct 25, 2017
Northeast USA
1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - This was an outstanding journey through a long lost Dragon Quest world from consoles. The characters, the world, the story, and everything else drew me in and kept me glued to this game for a long time.
2. Destiny 2: Forsaken – It’s hard to give this one such a high spot, but I have to seeing as it is the game I have played the most and the game I keep going back to for more punishment. This expansion was awesome and reinvented the game though. When you talk about “game-changers” this one qualifies. It’s still got flaws and the most recent content update is a joke, but the game is fun to play with friends and the gunplay cannot be matched anywhere. I mean, I have almost 1,000 hours into the game.
3. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – I put around 100 hours into this one and I loved the world and just how beautiful everything in it was. It’s a shame they cut some corners with it, but it was a great experience regardless.
4. Red Dead Redemption 2 – I need to spend more time with it, but the game and world is beautiful an there was lots of hard work put into it.
5. Monster Hunter World – I finished the main story, but this one but had to stop there. The game is fun with friends, but stressful, frustrating and difficult trying to play solo.
Oct 25, 2017
  1. Monster Hunter World - My first monster hunter game and I've been blown away by how fun it is. I've played a lot of drop-in co-operative multiplayer games and this is the first one that makes repeating content (i.e. grinding) fun. There is always challenging content and the differences in fighting styles between the weapons means allows endless variation.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Misses the top-spot because the gameplay can get a bit too slow-paced and boring (only so much time I can spend watching a horse's arse). The graphics and animations are incredible and the world feels much more lived-in and real than any other open-world game.
  3. Spider-Man - The opposite open-world experience to RDR2, this is fast-paced action at its best. The writing is great and the combat is really fun and satisfying.
  4. Not Tonight - The best thing to come out of Brexit
  5. Thronebreaker - I didn't think a single-player card game "story mode" was a thing that would work, but it does. I also like how Rivia is basically Yorkshire, the voice work is great.
  6. My Child Lebensborn - A heartbreaking true story of a tragedy that followed World War 2
  7. Reigns: Game of Thrones - A great little mobile game
I didn't get to play many new games this year while I was picking some of the best ones from my backlog (such as Total Warhammer 2, the X-Com 2 Expansion, Divinity OS2 and Witcher 3), so Life is Strange 2 and God of War don't get on the list. Of the games I played, I don't want to go beyond these seven since a lot of games just weren't really that good (Battlefield V springs to mind).

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Sep 10, 2018
  1. God of War - This is what a journey is. I have not finished it, I may not even halfway through the story but this feels like what a proper epic journey is. Although the story is a bit confusing, and there are way too much lore and names thrown at you all at once, and while the world opening up takes a slow, long while, it still is a game that is head-and-shoulders above everything that came out this year. The graphics are sublime, the acting is top-notch, the music and audio are well-thought-out. Play this game if you want an adventure.
  2. Dead Cells - Very addictive, Metroidvania style of game that compels to you kill more to unlock more. The levels are varied and big, branching stages to get from the first level to the last, hardcore bosses and perfect controls.
  3. Celeste - A platformer with a story, Celeste takes you to a mountain full of weird platforms and collectible strawberries and tests your reflexes and puzzle-solving skills to get from point A to B. While I am very early on in the game, there seems to be a deeper meaning behind Madeline's courageous, lonely, and insistent attempt at climbing all the way to the top of Mt. Celeste.
  4. Spider-Man - Play this for the story. The side-missions are not great, but the acting, the main story, the combat(!!!) and the swinging makes this a great Spider-man game. I feel like the sequel will be a huge step up in terms of the world-building aspect, and the first foray of Insomniac into superhero category was a well-done effort.

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Oct 27, 2017
I usually don't play enough games that release a year to make a top 10 list, and this year is no different. Most of the time I buy games on sale once they get cheap, usually the year after release.

My biggest regret is that I didn't play God of War yet so I can't vote on it. I do own it now but I don't want to rush through it in 2 weeks.

So here's my top 5 of the year:

  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - What a magnificent story. The journey you take as Arthur Morgan is one of the favorites I've experienced through not just video games, but any fictional media ever. I won't be forgetting this one anytime soon.
  2. Marvel's Spider-Man - If RDR2 was my experience of the year, this was my game of the year. So much fun to play, whipping around left to right, and I enjoyed the story it told too. Better than any recent Spider-Man movie I've seen (I haven't seen Spider-verse yet).
  3. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - I loved this game. The plot fell apart at the end, but I really enjoyed kingdom building with my catboy Evan.
  4. Far Cry 5 - The story was hot garbage, but the game was mega fun with a buddy.
  5. Iconoclasts - This game was a lot of fun. Throwback to old days.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - The most complete game I've had the pleasure to play this year with an engaging story, glorious visuals and a deep combat system. A fantastic rebirth of the franchise that has me excited for GOW's future.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - While I'm currently nearing the finish line, I can confidently place this just under my GOTY due to it's riveting story, it's bustling and varied world as well as the growing relationship and understanding of its main character Arthur while getting a grasp on such a complicated person. Besides being the most beautiful game I've ever seen, everything is handled with such a realsm that somehow hasn't gotten cumbersome or irrating 60 hours in, at least for myself. It's definitely a very stiff game to play with the controls in particular taking awhile to get used to which would be the number 1 reason it's not my GOTY. Overall with warts and all, this surpasses the original for me and I'm eagerly awaiting to see how my journey with Arthur ends.
  3. Celeste - Quite possibly the most fun I've ever had while dying hundreds of times. The level design in this sublime platformer is off the charts and is nearly equalled by the amazing soundtrack! All that alone would be enough to earn a place on my top 5 platformers I've ever played but having such a touching story dealing with depression and anxiety hit very close to home with my own life long issues with mental illness and makes this game a true masterpiece in my books.
  4. Spider-Man - The Spidey game of my dreams arrived in 2018 and was a blast to play. It gave us a great Peter/Spider-Man, a cool story with plenty of twists and turns throughout and some really fluid and fun web slinging. Now I did have some grips with the game in terms of the repetitive combat, collectables and the frustrating MJ stealth missions, but I fully believe this game shakes off the negative aspects and had me smiling countless times while even giving me the feels once that the few cinematics hit.
  5. Monster Hunter World - Simply the best rebound game I've played in quite awhile. After coming from a boring experience in Far Cry 5 with my wife, we made the decision to try out MHW after going back and forth for awhile as to whether or not it was the game for us and fuck yes it certainly was! Outside of maybe Borderlands 2, we've never been so addicted to a loot based game and were always delighted to keep finding surprises with the game in terms of new abilities or features added even 80 hours or more into the experience with the QOL changes from the previous games being a huge boost in our enjoyment with us both being new to the series. While the obsession faded once we beat the main story, we will be right back into it come fall of this year once the expansion is released!
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - World of light is damn incredible and actually has me fully invested in non multiplayer for the first time since Melee and is also great playing with my wife just by taking turns. Having an event mode featuring RPG elements, boss fights and dungeons is so much fun and always has me excited as to who we're going to unlock next. This Smash has also never looked better and plays the most fluid again since Melee with me missing out on Wii U's DLC characters also being fun to experience. My only complaint would be the race to the finish level in classic always being the same... I kind of wish there wasn't that level at all but it's a small blemish considering how jam packed the rest of the game is.
  7. Hollow Knight- I'm generally a sucker for a good Metroidvania and for 2018 Hollow Knight was exactly what I was looking for. I loved the dark aesthetic as well as the art style and found the difficult combat exhilarating. My frustrations only extended to the back tracking and map which had me getting lost quite often, especially in the first 10 hours or so. Still a very enjoyable romp that gave me more than my moneys worth.
  8. Night In The Woods - While the actual gameplay was somewhat lacking, the strong characters, relatable themes with the story and everyone being cutely anthropomorphic certainly made my long car ride trip to the US more bearable and was pretty memorable overall.
That would be all released in 2018 that captured my attention to such a level that they could be considered my favorites for the year. In terms of the standouts from my backlog this year, they would be the following:

Resident Evil 7
Brutal Doom
What Remains of Edith Finch
Batman: The Enemy Within
Life is Strange: Before the Storm

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Oct 25, 2017
Didn't get to play nearly as many games as I hoped this year and don't even have a top 10, but here is my top 9!
  1. God of War - This game definitely left the strongest impression on me this year. Incredible visuals with a great story and very satisfying action. I only wish there were more!
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - An incredible achievement in the medium with an incredibly atmospheric world, and great story and characters. I really hope this comes to PC so I can unlock its full visual potential.
  3. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - A very satisfying gameplay loop with an interesting setting and fun protagonist (Kassandra). I really enjoyed my time with it.
  4. Dark Souls: Remastered - One of my favorite games ever, now on Switch! I found the time to play through it again and it's just as fun as it's ever been.
  5. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu - Played this with my son and had an absolutely blast catching and battling Pokémon together.
  6. Kirby Star Allies - Played this one with my son, too, and had a great time with the co-op gameplay. Some very good post-launch support kept us coming back to it throughout the year.
  7. Super Mario Party - Got this for my son for Christmas and have been playing it a ton with him and his friends. It's probably a bad game, actually, but it never fails to bring tons of smiles and laughs to the room.
  8. Diablo III: Eternal Collection - First time playing a non-PC version of this, but it's an incredibly fun experience on Switch. Will probably end up sinking a ton of hours into this during work trips.
  9. Monster Hunter World - First time I've been able to get into a Monster Hunter game. Played about 35 hours on PS4 and got really sucked in for a while. Looking to pick it back up on PC eventually.
Notable games I bought/wanted to buy, but didn't find time to play this year: Hitman 2, Marvel's Spiderman, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Far Cry 5, Ni No Kuni II, Dead Cells, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Soul Calibur VI, Forza Horizon IV, Into the Breach, and more.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Dead Cells - This is a perfect game with tight controls and hypersmooth animations that work together to make you feel like you are always in command of what is happening.
  2. Hitman 2 - A real video game starring a real human being.
  3. Into the Breach - This game will make you smack your head until you come up with a move so brilliant you won't believe you even thought of it.
  4. Return of the Obra Dinn - A game that feels like it was made by a time traveler.
  5. Beat Saber - Using your body as a controller has never been better.
  6. Tetris Effect - Proof that visuals and audio are crucial to games.
  7. Celeste - Hyperchallenging and fun. Great writing and music.
  8. Frostpunk - This game made me a godking with my own religious police force that I could use to punish those who would defy me.
  9. Forza Horizon 4 - The best entry in an already great series.
  10. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - Best open-world game this year by a mile. Spider-Man has better movement and Red Dead looks better, but Odyssey is actually fun and rewarding at all times.
And Red Dead 2 is the most disappointing game of the year.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Return of the Orbra Dinn - My favorite game of the year is also the hardest one to talk about. Mainly because everything is a spoiler and this is one you absolutely have to go into blind. It tells a story that forces you to pay attention, but is oh so rewarding. The satisfaction of gradually piecing everything together, watching it all fall into place as you begin to understand more and more of what happened, who these people are, and their relationships to each other, is an experience like no other game I’ve played.
    The artstyle upholds the sense of ambiguity and doom and somehow a story I knew would be about everything going wrong on a ship still managed to shock me with the details of just how everything went wrong. Return of the Obra Dinn is everything a detective game needs to be, in terms of the mechanics of solving the mysteries and crimes of the ship, but goes beyond that by having a captivating story to bind everything together.

  2. Celeste - I never expected a fast paced and difficult platformer to have such a touching and real story. What makes Celeste though isn’t just the story that exists in its dialogue and cutscenes. It’s the story that exists in how the level design reflects the emotions Madeline feels in each chapter, the challenge, art, music and presentation all reflecting the emotional peaks and troughs of each part of the story.
    Celeste is a varied journey, every new level explores a new platforming concept, and it needs to be stressed that even without the story it is an incredibly fun game, but that story is so good and so entwined with the presentation of the game that it quickly stood out as one of my favourite games of the year.

  3. Kingdom Come: Deliverence - Kingdom Come: Deliverance is the perfect amount of boring I want from my open world RPGs. A game almost defined by its patience. I played through the game focusing on speech and was impressed to the extent that path really worked as a viable playstyle. The game is an incredibly slow burn and for all of its flaws, the general jankiness and incomplete story, I found what was there refreshing. The open ended quest structure actually allowed for multiple different approaches to each challenge from multiple playstyles. The bulk of the questing is basically detective work and, while it is no Return of the Obra Dinn, it does this suitably well in the context of being an open world RPG.
    One of the most memorable moments for me was when a character who witnessed a massacre wished to return home, but knew bandits involved in the massacre would be along the path home, so he wanted me to deal with them. Even when I talked to them they knew what was up and would attack me. I didn’t stand a chance against them on my own, my Henry was a talker and not at all a fighter. So I talked to the captain back in the village about the situation and together we took them out easily. The protagonist has his strengths and weaknesses and KC:D makes you think about each encounter beforehand by acknowledging your limitations and not expecting you to be a one man army like so many other RPGs. Another similar small moment was when I was attacked on the road by a bandit beat him around for a while before he dropped everything and surrendered, I let him go. This sensible approach to violence is the best result from Kingdom Come’s attempts at realism and is honestly what stands out as the best lesson other RPGs could learn from it.

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Oct 25, 2017
Berkeley, CA
  1. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – It took me a long time to get around to Deadfire but I’m glad that I did before I missed the chance to vote for it this year. And while I don’t have a refutation of the weaknesses of the game (meandering main quest, bugs, and the ship combat… oh the ship combat) I still have to give it my nod as my game of the year. Why? Well, Pillars 2, warts and all is everything that I want in a modern CRPG.

    First, the customizability of the game from top to bottom is staggering. It’s got snappy combat that varies from “I might as well be naked’ to ‘clawing through it all the way through the game’ depending on your taste, a rare feat in any RPG not to mention most CRPG’s. I’d say it approaches Temple of Elemental Evil, probably my favorite combat system in a CRPG period. It’s got that character creation that makes you stay up ‘til midnight, with classes, subclasses, multi-classes, with every combination under the sun. It’s got weapons that change how you play, skills that matter in dialogue and combat, and it’s got literally hundreds of different non-combat pets. It’s got the most powerful and easy to customize AI scripting capabilities of any CRPG to date, in case you’re into that stuff. Oh, and what, 5 ships? Well, yeah, nothing is perfect.

    But what really gets to me and the main reason why I have to give the nod to Deadfire is that the environment feels really fleshed out in an interesting manner. Like the first game, Pillars 2 really excels not as much in the narrative but in the world building. The Deadfire is populated by, yes, pirates and tribesmen but also factions of traders. Each of these groups are interested in the main quest but also vying for a version of the islands that most benefit them. The caricatures of each faction, be it noble savage or profit hungry trader, dastardly pirate or colonial empire, are both emphasized and subverted many times over, giving you a glimpse into the complex ecosystem of the Deadfire. Exploring the Deadfire is a joy because quests seem like a vignette of the faction but also tied into the narrative in a way that lets you explore the seas.

    As I mentioned up at the start, by no means is Pillars 2 a perfect game. I think the main challenge in this game, as well as other modern, open worldish games, is to design a narrative that seems compelling and time sensitive while also allowing for the player to meander -- and on that front I think Deadfire does not succeed well. But aside from that, and other minor complains I truly believe that this game is the best game of the year and one that will be looked fondly as one of the premier games of the 2nd CRPG renaissance.
  2. Dragonball FighterZ – Generally speaking, I try to stay away from fanboyism – not because I don’t like and appreciate some media but because I think investing too much energy in certain things makes a person less well rounded. I would say that one of the few exceptions to that rule is Dragon Ball, which is something I watched growing up. It wasn’t until, however, the Jump Fiesta Trailer ( that I realized that this was going to be a very special Dragon Ball game. The reason why FighterZ sticks to me, however, almost 11 months after it’s release is not because I play it daily but because it keeps on delivering amazing gameplay, even if I personally am not the one behind the controller. Laura teases me on occasion, saying that I watch more than I play DBFZ. She’s not wrong. Moments such as these ( is why I think that DBFZ is something special, and why it deserves the number two spot on my Game the Year List – even if I’m still a scrub who can’t beat the hard path on arcade mode.
  3. Into The Breach – My two favorite genres have to be CRPG’s and Turn Based Strategy. While there was only time for me to play one CRPG this year, Into the Breach happens to be one of two, and my favorite strategy game this year partially because it’s one that I could play in bite sized chunks. A strategy game in the vein of new-XCOM, Into the Breach tasks players with defending the world against an alien threat 3 mechs at a time. Because of the limited battle scenarios, each turn takes far shorter than the average squad based tactical TBS turn, which makes this the perfect game to play while waiting for your next lecture, killing time on the BART, or otherwise occupying yourself for minutes at a time. But don’t mistake the bite sized gameplay for being otherwise forgiving. Into the Breach, just like it’s predecessors, is punishingly difficult to all but the seasoned mech-commander. Into the Breach is a demonstration of minimalism at it’s very best. How can a designer convey story without exposition? How can a composer convey mood without bellicosity? How far can a programmer take gameplay without excess? Into the Breach is one tight package that gets everything right.
  4. BattleTech – It is to my great surprise and delight to highlight not just one, but two giant robot turn based strategy games on my list this year. On the other end of the spectrum from the minimalism of Into the Breach is Harebrained Schemes BattleTech. If I could describe BT in a sentence, I’d say that it is probably the most faithful adaption of the ins and out of Mech Combat. Everything about this game is, in comparison to Into the Breach, grandiose, well-detailed, and specifics. In order to succeed in the world of BattleTech you must take great care both in and out of battle, outfitting your lance, considering drop tonnage, the weight of weapons, stored and carried ammo, heat generated by weaponry and jump jets. This in addition to the perfect paint job and company colors! Decisions on the battlefield carry just as much weight, as you decide where to attack, from what angle, using what weapons and in what order, just to start. And lest you forget, you also have company finances and personnel to manage as well. But, just like I appreciate the simplify to Into the Breach’s no-nonsense, minimalistic approach to TBS I also love BattleTech’s commitment to giving us the full MechCommander experience as well. I’m glad that I got to experience both this year.
  5. Celeste – I think the best thing about Celeste is finally beating a difficult area, looking back and thinking, “I just did that!” Sure, it took countless tries, but each try was quick, didn’t feel like a chore, and hopefully brought new understanding of how the sequence worked.Along the way, Celeste tries to tell a simple tale about overcoming challenges in life and mental health. This, along with an absolutely killer soundtrack gets my vote -- even though I didn’t even bother with the B or C sides.
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Unlike the complementary nature of Into the Breach and BattleTech, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate foils DBFZ. The entire game is a homage to the biggest characters in (Japanese) gaming, all duking it out for your amusement. Yet the simplicity of earlier titles in the series still infuses the game. I can still imagine action figures battling it out over a theoretical kitchen table, slaying bad guys, dragons, as well as each other in a quest to see who is the biggest hero of them all. But while DBFZ focused on incredible depth, including frame by frame animations lifted from the page (or screen) to screen, smash excels based on the sheer number of things included. Chances are, if it’s been popular in gaming over the last twenty years and originated in Japan, it’s represented here somewhere. What really elevates Smash over earlier incarnations, however, isn’t the “everybody’s here” tag so much as the clear appeal to calling this the ultimate version of the game. Behind the crazy fighter count, there’s an equally absurd number of stages and songs, each plucked for inclusion. On top of all that, a meaty, if somewhat repetitive, story mode gives offline players a reason to keep on playing. This isn’t the first time these features have been included individually, but for the first time they come together in one package in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.
  7. Overcooked! 2 – The (somewhat) obligatory party game on my annual list, Overcooked! 2 improves on the gameplay of the first while offering guests and friends something to pick up and play. It also offers a rare combination of accessibility and difficulty that few games are able to master. Just like previous party game gold standards like Killer Queen, Overcooked! 2 is enjoyable with friends who never play games and friends who serious about games as well. New mechanics, new recipes, as well as new locales up the stakes and demand more coordination. Overcooked! 2 encourages teamwork, fun banter, and is a joy to play as long as you have more than one player. Luckily, online play means that you’ll always have a full house, a first for the series.
  8. Jackbox Party Pack 5 - Usually I only include one party game on my list, but this year I played so few games (and also really enjoyed this last entry) that the Jackbox Party Pack comes in as the second party game inclusion on my list. Jackbox has been a staple at gatherings this holiday and the latest party pack offers a few really great minigames. What I really enjoy about Jackbox 5 is that, like it’s predecessors, is really a judge of how well you can think on your feet but also a test of how well you know the room. Playing with your friends after Thanksgiving? Let’s get a little rowdy. Playing with family over break? Know your boundaries and tailor your answers. Minigames such as “Split the Room” and “Mad Verse City” were the favorites this year and will join staples from previous years. Although no game has managed to topple Tee-KO from Party Pack 3 as the favorite minigame of all time I'm glad that Jackbox games is still trying.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - You knew from when they first announced this game that it was going to be wildly different from its predecessors but in many ways, it is familiar God of War. There is still that sense of scale and wonder in this game. The environments and locales are just awe inspiring. But the thing that really stood out to me while playing this game was just how much better the writing was. I've enjoyed the God of War series but I've always enjoyed them for the vast spectacle they put on. I didn't care that much for the story or characters. And while I have some problems with the story, this game managed to actually have well written (and even at times funny!) characters in the game. And the combat! I was open-minded when they said it was going to be a something very different to past games but honestly I think I may prefer the new combat system than any of the old games.
  2. Yakuza 6 - Kiryu's (actual) debut on the PS4! Honestly, The Yakuza series is one of my favorites and it's been great seeing games announced and not having to wonder if the game is going to be localized or not. Yakuza 6 is just about what I wanted from a PS4 entry and I actually really like the revamped combat system. Like...the game is Yakuza and more Yakuza is never bad.
  3. Battle Chef Brigade Deluxe - So I was attending the PlayStation Experience 2 years ago when I just happened to catch this demo booth with no one at it before heading out for the day. I immediately fell in love with the game. I'm a sucker for puzzle games. I loved watching Iron Chef when I was a kid. This game seemed like a match made in heaven for me. I, unfortunately, didn't get to play this when it was released last year (November is a really busy time) but fortunately, it got ported to the PS4 this past summer! Which is where I finally got to play it. The game has good art, good characters/story, and a real fun puzzle element. Even the hunting/gathering your ingredients can be a bit exhilarating as you rush against the clock to find the perfect item for your dish. It's just a real splendid game.
  4. Marvel's Spiderman - Big note here that I actually haven't finished this game yet. But from what I played so far the game is real good. I enjoy just traversing around New York City and I'm finding myself really digging the combat system. The story thus far isn't amazing but is far above what I would have expected from an open-world Spider-Man game. Again I haven't finished it yet but what I've played so far leaves a real good impression. Can't wait to actually finish this one.
  5. Dead Cells - It seems every time I feel I'm over the "new old game" aesthetic something comes out that makes me reject that feeling. But looks aside, Dead Cells just plays fantastically. The core gameplay made me want to just try any and every combination of weapons and items. Roguelikes (Rougelites? rougelike-like?? there seems to be a ton of variations on this certain type of gameplay) aren't really my jam though there is a handful over the years I've enjoyed. Dead Cells is joining that list. I'll probably still be playing some Dead Cells into 2019.
  6. Tetris Effect - This game has been ranked number one on both Giant Bomb's and Eurogamers GOTY lists and the common response to it is "It's just Tetris" and I feel that criticism misses a lot of what Tetris Effect is and does. The core of Tetris Effect is...really the feeling of ease and calm that comes with the music and visuals. The fact that it's Tetris, a game that has been done so many times by so many people with rules that have just been etched into people's mind actually accentuates the vibe the game is going for. You don't really have to think that much about Tetris, you know how Tetris plays so much so that Tetris is more of a vehicle to deliver what the game is trying to tell rather than being the main reason to play. The fact that it is also a good Tetris game is beside the point.
  7. Donut County - I really enjoyed this game. It's cute and fun but it's also remarkably short. It reminds me a lot of Katamari Damacy except instead of rolling a ball and getting bigger, you are moving a hole, swallowing all you can to get larger and larger. The game toys around with a lot of additional mechanics and puzzles but it ends before it ever does anything super complex with them.
  8. Spyro Reignited Trilogy - Much like the Crash Bandicoot games, I have a soft spot for Spyro. I played Spyro and Spyro 3 (did not actually play the second game!) so much as a kid. Seeing them remade for the current gen of consoles is rad. The updated controls, particularly for camera controls, is something this series needed far more than Crash did. However, like Crash, it surprises me how much I remember secrets and such when going through these games. Plus as I mentioned earlier I never actually played Spyro 2 so that is neat.
  9. Shenmue I & II - The Shenmue franchise for a long time (even still to some degree) been reduced to jokes about Shenmue III. This sort of status has actually made me interesting in trying the series. However, that is very difficult given 1) the somewhat rarity of the games themselves and 2) I own neither a Dreamcast or an Xbox. Now that I got to play both Shenmue I and II...I can say they are pretty alright. Even with some additions made for the remaster, the games feel pretty dated. But, outside of a few instances, it was the type of dated that gave the game, for a lack of a better word, some charm. Again as someone who has never played the games, this remaster at the very least made me super interesting in getting my hands on Shenmue III when that finally drops. So congrats to this collection for making me wait for another game.
  10. Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night - Honestly can sub in the Persona 5 dancing game here as well. P3D gets the edge for having a better soundtrack. But the reason why this game is even in my top 10 at all is that I have spent very little time playing games that were released in 2018 this year. Not to say that P3 dancing is a bad game, it isn't. But its remarkably bare bones in terms of story and I wish there were more songs included in the base game. The tracks that are included are fantastic though and the actual playing the game is fun enough. But yeah didn't play much this year, so onto the 10 spot it goes.

As I mentioned in that last entry, I didn't get a chance to play a lot this year! I want to finish Spider-Man but there is still a good chunk of games I want to play sometime next year like Hitman 2, Obra Dinn, Soul Calibur VI, Dragon Quest XI, and Vampyr. If I finally take the plunge on PSVR I also want to try out Moss and Astro Bot (plus experience Tetris Effect in VR...)

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - One of the few games I have played in recently memory where the story and characters stuck with me after finishing it. The overall narrative of the game really does carry it the whole way through. While I think the reaction towards the controls and the gunplay are a little contrived, it does have problems regarding the overall gameplay (especially the mission structure). Regardless, Arthur Morgan's story is something I think everyone should experience all the way through at least once.
  2. Hollow Knight
  3. Return of the Obra Dinn
  4. God of War
  5. Dead Cells

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Up there with the all time classics when it comes to traditional JRPGs
  2. Granblue Fantasy - If you told in 2017 that my most played game this year would be a browser based gacha game, I'd call you crazy. I decided to check it out because of the upcoming Platinum game and got hooked. Great art and music, fun characters, and an interesting story. Quite generous with it's gacha stuff as well as I've got everything I need for free.
  3. Monster Hunter World - My first MH game and I quite enjoyed it. Wish the endgame was a little better, but I still put a good 80 hours into it.
  4. Dragonball FighterZ - I've been wanting a good db fighting game for ages. This delivered for the most part, though I fell off because of the mediocre netcode.
  5. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood - I imagine as long as this game keeps getting content, it will be somewhere on my list.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - In terms of scope and scale, nothing beats Red Dead Redemption 2 this year. The story of a cowboy at the end of the era of outlaws, Red Dead does its best to simulate the highlights of living the country life in the frontier. Mixed with a colorful cast of fellow bandits and outlaws, the game deftly deals with telling its own story while also setting up elements referenced in the first game. Highlights include a showdown at a southern plantation, while the game stumbles in a few places such as an overly long epilogue sequence. However, when the game fires on all cylinders, none of the other games this year top those moments.
  2. Hitman 2 - Hitman 2 continues the murder sandbox that I loved so much in the first game. Small improvements to the game help make the world feel more alive from blending into crowds to more interactions with npcs. Highlights include more intricate story interactions and a briefcase that finally allows easier transport of restricted items. As a bonus, stages from the first game can be imported (with the new game's features added) and played in one long campaign.
  3. Octopath Traveler - Time and time again, there's a part of me that wants to go back and play an old style jrpg like the old 16-bit era Super Nintendo games of my youth. Square Enix (after trying Bravely Default on the 3DS) finally returns with a console-ish game and boy does it delivery. Octopath Traveler feels and plays almost exactly like a game from that era. From old school turn based combat to environments and sprites that look straight out of a Super Nintendo. Add on top a soundtrack that matches the quality of early Final Fantasy games and this game is a must play for any old school jrpg fan. If the game stumbles in one area, its that the characters don't crossover as much as I'd like and not every story grabs my attention equally. Yet, Octopath Traveler is still something that fills the void for an era that modern jrpgs have long left behind.
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate declares: Everybody is here! In terms of scope, Smash Bros. certainly holds my attention more than the WiiU iteration. With a focus on the more classic modes, a new adventure mode and of course, every previous Smash Bros. character included (and most of the previous stages as well), Smash Ultimate really does fell like the most well rounded package the series has seen in a long time. Combined with the largest soundtrack spanning multiple series and remixes, Smash has lots of reasons to keep playing whether to unlock characters, progress the adventure mode or enjoy tributes to multiple game franchises.
  5. God of War - God of War does something that I didn't think was possible for the series: it recasts Kratos and makes him a more interesting character. Set in a Norse legends inspired world, Kratos being out of place helps the story and contributes to one of my top moments of the year when his past in the past games is briefly revisited. My only major problem with the game is most of the combat is handled with only a few enemy types (with varying elements applied to them) and only a few distinct bosses for such a globe trotting adventure.
  6. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Assassin's Creed heads to Ancient Greece. Improving on the formula of last year's Assassin's Creed Origins, the game actually adds a lot of light rpg systems that make it feel more like the early Mass Effect games. Some choices matter and in some cases have huge repercussions late in the story. Coupled with 3 interesting main plots including cults, family and mythical beasts, only Assassin's Creed Odyssey manages to weave them all together in way that makes sense (for Assassin's Creed). If I have one gripe with the game, is it suffers from too much bloat with icons still thrown all over the map to show how much content there is to do and complete.Thoughts on Game F
  7. Detroit: Become Human - Detroit: Become Human is a flawed game but one that I couldn't stop playing when I started it. While not every theme and plotline works, there was just enough that kept me hooked and wanting to know the next story beat. The police story is the one that kept me the most interested with the oddly mismatched pair of Connor the android and his gruff partner Hank Anderson. Their interactions and investigations presented in a police procedural kept me hooked and looking forward to the next sequence featuring them.
  8. Monster Hunter: World - Monster Hunter World finally allowed me to understand the core loop that is a Monster Hunter game. Capcom really stepped up to help new players understand the core Monster Hunter gameplay loop. On top of that, the world feels alive with a monster hierarchy system for the different areas and the majority of the large monsters feeling unique.
  9. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Since the release of the first Valkyria Chronicles back on the PlayStation 3, I have been hoping for a proper console sequel for years. 10 years later Valkyria Chronicles 4 tells the story from the frontline of the main front of the war. The core gameplay of mixed infantry/tank tactics remains intact and the soundtrack is still good.
  10. Bloodstained Curse of the Moon - An old school Castlevania style adventure for fans of the series. Taking a lot of cues from Castlevania 3, Bloodstained Curse of the Moon is a nice throwback game.
  11. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - As a free bonus before the release of Life is Strange 2, Captain Spirit is actually a decent open slice of a Life is Strange game. While very short, the game gives enough for us to understand how the Life is Strange universe works and tells a good self contained story.
  12. Moonlighter - What if Recettear had an older sprite based Legend of Zelda look? The answer is Moonlighter. I didn't get to play much of it but the obvious influences are there
  13. Mega Man 11 - An old school MegaMan style action gamefor fans of the series. While the double gear system is felt somewhat limited in its usefulness, MegaMan 11 still had that old action style feel. And even though Capcom 'fixed' the gate jump screen slide, I'm glad Capcom is giving MegaMan another shot.

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Oct 30, 2017
  1. God of War - Beautiful reimagining of one of my most beloved Sony franchises. The combat is flawless, the graphics, the soundtrack is perfect. But what made it really special is the story of a journey of a father and his son and the bond they forge during that time. Maybe my favorite PS4 game of all time.
  2. Dragon Quest XI - It's not innovative at all but in this case I'm happy that it isn't. It feels good to get some classic turnbased combat in an AAA JRPG again and even though the main story is nothing too special I absolutely enjoyed the journey and all of the vignettes and the cast is great in my opinion, especially Sylv is a fantastic character.
  3. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Well, it's the ultimate version of Smash. Enough content to entertain me for months or even years and a refined combat system. I still wish there would be more than 2 FF songs though.

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Jan 2, 2019
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - it has the best story, characters, visuals, sound design, soundtrack, open world and world design ever. Yes it may lack in controls but it's nothing compared to what it achieves in other things.
  2. God of War - best and most satisfying combat ever. Combined with one of the best stories ever told and the best reinvention of a franchise. Nothing is bad in this game.
  3. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - best AC game since black flag. Amazing world and combat and so many skills and options to choose. RPG introduction is very well done. Could have improved it's repetitive mission design and grinding.
  4. Spider-Man - best superhero game besides arkham franchise and the most fun game of the year. Loved the visuals and the smooth gameplay.
  5. Monster Hunter World - was new to the franchise and loved it a lot. The combat and the cycle of killing a monster to get strong enough to kill the bigger monster is so well done and satisfying.

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Nov 5, 2017
  1. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - With no doubts my most vibrant and astonishing gaming experience of the year. This game showcases how VR is not your another gimmick, but a very possible future technology of coming gaming generations. Best modern platformer on par with SMO and the closest thing to killer app for PSVR you can play right now. And, no, it is not my first VR game.
  2. God of War - if not for Astro Bot, this would be my GOTY for sure. I always disliked this franchise, but spiritual reboot that Cory Barlog achieved is truly outstanding. As just as you hit the point in GoW when the game becomes open world - it begins to do damn everything in a perfect way.
  3. Hollow Knight - HK is top-tier modern metroidvania with mesmerizing visuals and nice way of telling its story.
  4. A Way Out - Couch coop and split screen always make wonders smoothening almost all kinds of flaws. I just hope Fares will keep on going and giving.
  5. Marvel's Spiderman - It just has so addictive flow! Those feelings from swinging through NY and fluid fighting. Very satisfying. Insomniac is in for a masterpiece with sequel if they will take into account all the shortcomings of the first game.
  6. Detroit: Become Human - A bit naive, but at least finally cohesive story from DC. Plus gorgeous graphics and very satisfying gameplay.
  7. Celeste - I’m not fan of hardcore 2D-platforming at all, but this game managed to capture my attention with its gameplay and narrative.
  8. Bandersnatch - I don’t know if Era considers such kind of experience as game and if it is even eligible to participate it this vote, but I feel it right to mention this interactive episode. Aside from some great ones, this format is only possible future for all those mediocre, never-ending and pipeline series. When it is interactive, it can be worthy entertainment at least in one way.

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Oct 27, 2017
1. God of War - Beautiful reimagining of one of my most beloved Sony franchises. The combat is flawless, the graphics, the soundtrack is perfect. But what made it really special is the story of a journey of a father and his son and the bond they forge during that time. Maybe my favorite PS4 game of all time.
2. Dragon Quest XI - It's not innovative at all but in this case I'm happy that it isn't. It feels good to get some classic turnbased combat in an AAA JRPG again and even though the main story is nothing too special I absolutely enjoyed the journey and all of the vignettes and the cast is great in my opinion, especially Sylv is a fantastic character.
3- Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Well, it's the ultimate version of Smash. Enough content to entertain me for months or even years and a refined combat system. I still wish there would be more than 2 FF songs though.
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1. Red dead redemption 2:- it has the best story, characters, visuals, sound design, soundtrack, open world and world design ever. Yes it may lack in controls but it's nothing compared to what it achieves in other things.

2. God of War:- best and most satisfying combat ever. Combined with one of the best stories ever told and the best reinvention of a franchise. Nothing is bad in this game.

3. Assassin's Creed Odyssey: best AC game since black flag. Amazing world and combat and so many skills and options to choose. RPG introduction is very well done. Could have improved it's repetitive mission design and grinding.

4. Spider-Man :- best superhero game besides arkham franchise and the most fun game of the year. Loved the visuals and the smooth gameplay.

5. Monster Hunter World:- was new to the franchise and loved it a lot. The combat and the cycle of killing a monster to get strong enough to kill the bigger monster is so well done and satisfying.
Oct 27, 2017
  1. God of War - I've always been a fan of the franchise but after Ascension I was kinda done with it, the new reveal was everything I hoped for the series and the final release was truly incredible, the story is importan now, characters have complex thoughts and emotions, the directing is tight and on top of that we got a game full of action, challenges, exploration and exciting skills, and one of the most hype inducing scenes in gaming designed with incredible finesse.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Undoubtly my favourite Rockstar game in history, the world is truly incredible, I've never felt a wolrd like this in gaming, other games had good attempts but this is it. The story is the other hight point of the game with lots of cool scenes and emotions. The dialogues are mostly phenomenal and while the main story bits are great, the structure of the chapters got old fast for me, it felt redundant and I was close to abandon the game, the story picks up so it's all good but this is the main reason why this is not my favourite game this year. Gameplay is less than ideal, but I managed.
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man - Finally other super heroes can shine, this game was fantastic and super fun to play, from the incredible traversal mechanics to a truly engaging and well excecuted story, Spider-Man is to me a game that can sit along the best Batman Arkham game (whatever your is, mine is City). Is truly that most secondary activities are bland in terms of design but the game is so fun to play that I didn't mind it that much. Steatlh sequences were... not really fun but at least they were super easy and quick. I can't wait to see what's next.
  4. Monster Hunter World - This was a surprise, I expected to be good but I didn't know it would blow me away, it was a similar feeling I had with Bloodborne. There's something in japanese design that always surprises me. The amount of time I spent on the forest map just trying to discover secrets and battling dinosaurs, just an incredible sensation. Sadly my style of play made me feel fatigue, I was looking for upgrades in a slow way and hunting monster stopped feeling original so I dropped it half way through, I actually never finished (I always think about going back, and I'll get the expansion for sure) and is the reason why this is not higher on my list. I feel like if I could have convinced my friends to play it (they didn't bite) this would have been and even better experience.
  5. Return of the Obra Dinn - What a dream! I actually wasn't going to play this but I heared so many good things that I felt doing a list without playing it, I bought on Sunday and played for 13hs, I went to sleep at 3am because I had to get up at 8am but I had only 15 people left to discover their fates, when I was on my bed I couldn't stopped thinking about the game and then it happened "of course!! I know who that is!!" got up quick, grabbed my notebook and kept playing finishing at 5:30. My monday at work was terrible but it was worthy. This is honestly the best thing I can say about this game. Minor gripe, I didn't like the ending that much but it didn't matter really.
  6. Shadow of the Colossus - One of the best games ever made, beautifuly remade in incredible fashion, honestly this is an exact copy of the original, I'm placing it right here because I feel the games above were just phenomenal while the games below were just good with some disappointing aspects, this is my way of separate them. Anyway, if you never played this, just do it, it probably won't impact you as much because it's been copied in lots of games but I can say for sure that it'll be quite an experience.
  7. Dragon Ball FighterZ - Probably the best Dragon Ball Z game ever made, if this would have come out when I was 15, this would be my top 1 or 2 game for sure. Sadly I'm not into fighters anymore, they stress me out and the reward for overcoming challenges are not so worthy imo. The story mode while interesting was so stupidly easy that it became boring fast, besides only the last story really matters so, they dropped the ball there. After being done with the story, I practiced my main comp for a while before battling other people, when I finally did, I did good, I was like 10-4 on ranked or so, I had some really fun matches but again, it was too intense for me and honestly I was burned already, I played for about 40hs before fighting online, but again, the game is incredible.
  8. Detroit Become Human - A game I expected nothing ended up being really fun and engaging, I forced myself to play and while at first I wasn't too impressed it became more interesting with each chapter. This time there aren't embarrassing moments (or not that much at least) and the stories were really cool with some touching moments, I know everyone loves Connor but honestly Kara was my highlight of the game, her story was the only one that didn't involve eye rolling scenes and twist, and both bad and good endings were sensational. Connor and Marcus were great too but because of the main concept of the story is guided through them, there are more missteps involved. Their ending was... not good to say the least. All around, pretty cool experience.
  9. Ni No Kuni II Revenant Kingdom - I know many here hated this game or close but I had a lot of fun, yes voice acting was scarce, the story made no sense, and on release the game was too easy but honestly I could the same about the original, I was disappointed with it, I even remember the final scene of that game not voiced, which was mindblowing to me. Anyway, the world is beautiful (I didn't love the chibi characters but didn't hate them either) with gorgeous towns and fantastic music. I loved upgrading my kingdom a gathering people to work there. I liked the story even if it was nonsensical and predictable at the same time and I loved the battle system even if it was super easy. It has many flaws but I had a good time.
  10. Dragon Quest XI Echoes of an Elusive Age - Honestly I would rank NNKII and DQXI above the same, the reason I have this one below is because it disappointed in a way NNKII didn't, normal mode was boringly easy (NNKII is easy but at least engaging, easy turn based combat is not that much engaging, and terrible music doesn't help either), the story takes a looooong way the get going and characters justify their inclusion a lot later than I would have hope, also, for a story this simple it really baffles me that quite a few moments and decisions makes no sense at all, and I absolutely despite the main character. That's my negative rant about the game, for positive I can say that the towns are absulutely fantastic, and while the stories start super predictable and boring, they get way more interesting and complex. The whole adventure is worth to invest time in, it takes a while but at some point it gets interesting and the characters carry it most of all. As I just said, the characters, even if they start somehow poor, have excellent development and their personalities shine in a lot of moments (outside the main character which is an embarrassment), by the end of the game you'll probably love three or four of them.

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Oct 28, 2017
So I wanted to finish some more games before I put a final list, but I don't think that I will be able to play anything more so I'm putting my list now. Overall, I had more fun with my top 3 (4) than with my top 3 last year so that makes it a good year for me :)
  1. Marvel's Spider-Man - most fun I had this year. this game was a joy to play. It had surprisingly well told story and great characters. It was also a streamlined open world which I appreciate in a world where everything needs to be bigger and bigger (I could even live without many of the side activities). It made me want to visit NYC as soon as possible.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - beautiful world where I lived as a cowboy for 2 months. I spent most time this year with this game and loved almost everything (well, the story could have ended a bit earlier for me). It was a wonderful experience and I actually appreciated that the characters actually felt like characters in the world and not weightless figures like in recent AC games. It made me also grow a beard in real life :)
  3. Detroit: Become Human - one of the best branching experiences so far. The story is a bit cliche and has a lot of really terribly written moments, but after Beyond Two Souls I mostly wanted to never play QD games anymore. This has changed this as it was really great experience in the end. I wrote in one thread that it needs to have a really strong second part to win me over and it did. It also made my wife watch me play it and she’s not a gamer so it means that as a package it was well made.
  4. God of War - gorgeous world to explore and the most satisfying weapon to use ever. I liked it when I played it, but it also has some pacing problems that prevent me from putting this higher. Also I miss epic boss fights and while there was one that was brilliant, I just wanted more. The story did not do much for me personally, but the world, fights and music made this a really great blockbuster game for me.
  5. Yoku's Island Express - greatest surprise of the year for me. I did not hear about this earlier and I was just downloading every demo on PSN one day when I found it. I immediately bought the full version and had a real joy playing it. I really like pinball games, but they are usually lacking longevity for me and real purpose so I drop them pretty quickly. This is a great idea to use pinball mechanics to traverse the world. I just wish it was a bit clearer on where to go next because sometimes I felt lost, but as an overall experience this was really great. Wonderful graphics and music as well.
  6. Hitman 2 - bear with me here as I did not actually play this game and I just recently started going through Hitman 2016 missions, but I love the concept and watching various playthroughs on youtube made me laugh a lot. The whole idea of a bald guy dressing up in different outfits and trying to drop a chandelier on everyone is so funny to me that I was to give some points to this game. I will probably get to it at some point, but it will be too late for GOTY.
  7. Shadow of the Colossus - amazing and beautiful world I entered for the first time. I never played the original so everything was new to me and it was really epic. The world, graphics and music made it all a magical time. A truly great game that is not bloated by multiple mechanics or activities.
  8. Spyro Reignited Trilogy - simple, but fun dragon simulator. It shows how much games have changed over the time, but I sometimes miss those simple times when you could just go and collect diamonds and save some dragons. I only finished the first part so far, but it has been really relaxing experience (apart from those flying levels maybe, lol). I really hope that the remaining ones in this collection are good as well.
  9. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - I did not finish this as well so maybe it would be a bit higher on the list (though I guess that just for the terrible music it probably still end up lower as it is important part of games for me), but similar as in the case of Spyro I like the streamlined experience where I don't need to worry about 45 screens of stats (and the interface is pretty clean for a JRPG which I really like). I also love design of the monsters so much. It is so colorful and inventive (and I don't know if they are exactly the same as in other games because I did not play them so maybe they would not be so fresh if that’s the case). All in all I like it when I'm playing it.
Some games that would maybe made my list but I did not play them:
Subnautica, Forza Horizon 4 (might need to re-buy Xbox for that one at some point), Return of the Obra Dinn (I hope that it will come to PS4 at some point), Monster Hunter World, Tetris Effect, Donut County

I was going to add some of my disappointments as well, but in the end decided that GOTY should be about things we like and not being down on things so I removed it. Looking forward to some games of 2019 (I hope that it has some surprises as well).

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Oct 26, 2017
  1. God of War - Just a marvelous game through and through
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Best charakter arch and story this year for sure. Only held back by not so good controls
  3. Monster Hunter World - My first MH game and I'm sold on the franchise. Super addictive and fighting monsters is so much fun
  4. Hollow Knight - One of the best Metroidvanias I've played. Amazing atmosphere and tight controlls. Unfortunately a little bit too hard for my taste
  5. Forza Horizon 4 - A technical beast with fantastic soundtrack and great controls. Racing through the UK is just funPok
  6. Life is Strange 2 - It's just one Episode so far but I already love my little Brother und would do anything to protect him
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - My first Smash game and I love it. The WoL mode is so addictive
  8. Pokémon Let's Go Eevee - It's charming, it's nice. Eevee is cute
  9. Ashen - A surprise hit for me. Unfortunately also too hard but as far as I made it I had a blast
  10. Celeste - I usually hate 2D platformers (because I suck at them) but Celeste is just charming. She's one of the best written characters this years. The dialogues are great and thanks to the amazing assist mode even a noob like me can enjoy it

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - This game is pure joy. I had a smile on my face throughout most of my time playing and couldn't wait to pick it back up each time I put it down. It has this nintendo / disney like magic that keeps surprising throughout. I want more levels and worlds now!
  2. Marvel's Spiderman - An incredible story that far exceeded my expectations. The game doesn't do anything amazing from a game play perspective, but the story line is so well done that it kept me entertained throughout. The ending was excellent in my opinion, and I can't wait to see what they do with a sequel.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - A great game, that has an amazing story. Only issue I have is it does slog a bit at times. But the story and characters are so well done.
  4. God of War - Again, a great story in a video game. I just think that Spiderman and RDR2 edged it out in that department. Had a great time with this, but didn't feel the impact of the ending like I did with Spiderman and RDR2.
  5. Dead Cells - A great switch game, with great controls and gameplay. I keep coming back to this one, and once I wrap up the smash story, i will probably keep trying to progress.
  6. Destiny 2: Forsaken - I love destiny. I wish I had more time to play, as looter shooters are my genre. I think forsaken is a great expansion that solved a lot of problems with the original D2. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to play this that I would like, as my wife just had our second child, but what I have played, I've really enjoyed. I just love the shooting in Destiny, and i think the Forsaken story and content was well done.
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - World of light is an excellent single player mode that this Smash casual has had a blast progressing through.
  8. Detroit: Become Human - I feel like if David Cage wasn't associated with this game, the critical reception would have been much higher. It's a really fun, really interesting story that I enjoyed the whole way through.
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII - Blackout mode is excellent and I'm having a blast with Call of Duty again. I've always liked the series, but feel that this year they really nailed it.
  10. Tetris Effect - VR or no VR, this is a great version of tetris that is incredibly well done.
My wife and I just had our second child, so this has been a year of getting my gaming in when I can. I've missed a lot of stuff this year, and I am still working my way through some of the big titles. I've also had games that typically would be higher, (RDR2, Destiny ) that the length / commitment necessary hurt because time has become an extremely precious commodity as of late.

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Oct 28, 2017
  1. God of War - I did not expect to like God of War as much as I did. The new camera angle and the more grounded story felt odd coming off the previous entries. In the end though, God of War became one of my favorite games of all time. The amazing combat, the story, the graphics and art, the voice performances and the characters are all expertly crafted. While not flawless I strongly feel that this game will stand as one of the most fondly remembered games of this generation, the next God of War can’t come soon enough.
  2. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Apart from the poor music and the even shittier composer it delivers on everything I want from the franchise. While many of the other games on my list reinvent the wheel to some extent, Dragon Quest goes the other way: it perfects the formula. The combat system, the beautifully realized world and the touching story. Now, some people out there might be saying things like ‘Dragon Quest’s story is boring and cliché.’ Well, Kaveri is here to tell you that they are WRONG. The vignettes are amazing, and the well-trodden tale of the dragon warrior is perfect for what the game is. Yes, I’ll die on this hill thank you very much.
  3. Monster Hunter World - Capcom pulled off the impossible on this one, they wanted to modernize a heavily Japanese franchise (with a rabid fanbase) in order try to make it a break out hit in the West. Now, reading that sentence again makes me question the sanity of their upper management… but surprisingly it didn’t crash and burn. Quite the opposite in fact. The game struck a beautiful balance between keeping what is special about Monster Hunter while catering to newcomers as well. Farming monsters is as fun as ever, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty to look at either.
  4. Marvel's Spiderman - Honestly, the webswinging in this game almost deserves its own place on this list but I have a feeling that the other satisfying video game things like Kratos’-axe-returning-to-hand and the 1-up sound from Mario would give me side-eye. New York City is looking jaw droppingly beautiful and the combat is fun, if a bit simpler than I’d like. I’m surprised at how into the story I was. That said, I’d like to see them take more chances in the inevitable sequel. Oh, and drop the stealth sections.
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - I could talk about the number of fighters, the music, the hype leading up to release, all the insane polish put into the game or how good it looks but I don’t have to - the game is just fun. Pure, condensed fun. Out of all the games on this list it’s probably the game that I’ll end up spending the most time in. By far. I got to tip my hat to the team that put this together though because in order to top the amount of fighters/content in the next iteration: wellgoodluck.gif
  6. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I have a feeling Red Dead would end up higher on the list if I would have had the time to properly finish it. However, I have spent enough time in Arthur Morgan’s world to know that it qualifies for a spot on this list. Rockstar had a vision for this game and the committed to it completely: everything feels like it’s crafted with care and the story is great. That said I hope the next game has more responsive controls; picking up the correct item from the table next to the camp bed is the true final boss fight right now.
  7. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - While a bit light in mini-games it is pretty much the perfect end to Kiryu’s journey. The game itself doesn’t really break the mould from the other games in the series to a significant degree but it makes me interested to see where they take the series next.
  8. Shadow of the Colossus - The SoC remaster looks the way I want remember the original and, trust me, that is the highest of praise. The story and ambience are top-notch. I just wish they had implemented an option for updated controls, I was ready to snap the Dualshock in two at some points.
  9. Hollow Knight - I’d heard a lot of praise going in to Hollow Knight so my inner contrarian was preparing itself for disappointment, and the general satisfaction that comes from knowing that you don’t like something others do because you’re better than them. To my surprise the game was actually excellent. The gameplay is tight, the boss fights challenging, and the world is a joy to explore. Also, the story has that vague Dark Souls-esque thing going for it, so if you like reading item descriptions it is lit as fuck.
  10. Detroit: Become Human - I found the world and the characters intriguing, and the game is insanely good looking. While I’m not a fan of the writing overall, I will say that the story kept me invested until the end. Maybe they could use all that machine learning to Turing test Quantic Dreams’ HR division going forward?

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Oct 26, 2017
  1. Marvel's Spiderman - Really enjoyed this up to the final chapter, but nothing else topped it for me this year.
  2. Dead Cells
  3. Forza Horizon 4 - I enjoyed the driving and the location, but the forced season stuff and rather poor race setup means it can't beat FH3 for me.
  4. Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 - Strong start, hoping the rest of the season can keep it up.
  5. God of War
  6. Artifact - Only real complaint is that the matches take too long, and it isn't available on my phone yet.
  7. Tetris Effect - I'd probably rank this higher if I didn't suck at Tetris.
  8. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Easily RPG of the year for me, shame it is so traditional, I'd kill for battle speed options!
  9. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Best looking game I've played all year, shame it's such a chore to play.
  10. Octopath Traveler - I almost don't want to include this on my list, because I was so disappointed with it. Terrific look and combat, but the story or lack of it means this is my stinker of the year. Really wish I had trusted my gut and saved $60.

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Oct 27, 2017
Helsinki, Finland
  1. Marvel's Spiderman - Picking number one was really hard this year, but in the it is the game I had the most fun with. The swinging is superb and gets even better due time. Combat was really fun too. Plot was surprisingly decent and voice acting too. Only real problem are the side activities. Way too much repetitive stuff.
  2. Return of the Obra Dinn - You can really see Return of the Obra Dinn is by Lucas Pope. Solving what happened and who is who took me back to my childhood gaming. Only real problems I had with it was the lack of ingame notes and not being able to just launch an old scene from the menu.
  3. Into The Breach - At first Into The Breach felt off as I played it like a strategy game. Reading some stuff about I realized that it is more like a puzzle game and after that I got a lot better. I finished the four islands with the second mechs, but Into The Breach is the one game I really need/want to revisit.
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Nearly everyone at my work bought RDR2 after I did and I am still the only one who has finished it. It is a weird game. Everything takes time but it makes the game a bit more immersive I guess. My main problems with RDR2 were the repetive nature in the end as it is a very long game. Also hunting was fun in RDR but in RDR2 it is a bore and doesn't really give any benefits. I ended up skipping it almost entirely after a while. Rockstar did a great job with the characters, especially Arthur.
  5. Dead Cells - I still cannot believe I finished it. The first boss felt so hard and then I learned how to build the character. When I reached the second boss, I thought I was ready but died almost instantly. Then I learned what weapons and traps I needed to have. After that beating the other boss wasn't too difficult either. I was ready to face the final map.. which totally ruined me. I learned how to actually build my character while speedrunning the first maps and then I encountered the last boss. Needless to say I didn't win the first or the fourth time but eventually I did it. Might have been higher on my list, but the last boss runs were annoyingly long.
  6. Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 - I don't know where this game is heading. Probably everyone was prepared to have quite similar experience to season 1, but it kinda feels more like Walking Dead season 1. Luckily the second episode is released soon.
  7. Tetris Effect - I haven't played a Tetris game for ages, but this one felt pretty good. I just cannot handle the speed at all, just barely got through the beginner's journey.
  8. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Feels really close to first VC. I enjoy it, but nearly every harder mission feels like trial and error.
  9. Florence - It is nice interactive narrative.
  10. The Room: Old Sins - I haven't finished it yet and it feels very similar to the previous games. But it is still high quality mobile game and the very few I actually play on my phone.
  11. God of War - It felt a bit boring till the world opened up. Too bad they didn't do the same with the other worlds. I disliked the combat even though the axe was ok to use. Don't understand why so many sites state it as their GOTY, but I guess something didn't click with me
  12. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - It is nice that they released this for free. It will be interesting to see how they use this character in LiS:S2. I think he wasn't in the first episode.
  13. Detroit: Become Human - I got it cheap and played it though quite fast. David Cage is not a great writer. There was one scene that could have been a really ballsy move, but they just retracked it later on. My game ended pretty horribly.
  14. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine - The concept and music both are pretty good. The execution is not. I liked the idea of stories growing into others, but there were like over 200 of them. And movement on the map is slow, sooooo slow.

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Oct 25, 2017
Puerto Rico
  1. God of War - One of the best games I've ever played. The combat is simply amazing. The colors on my OLED is crazy. Music top notch. Not much else to say but: wow
  2. Spider-Man - So much fun. Really hope they introduce a Marvel Gaming Universe.
  3. Red Dead Redemption - Have yet to finish the game but the detail put in the game is crazy.

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