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. Celeste: So this game came along super early on in the year, and then it hasn't been topped since. I think it takes a special game to be a GOTY candidate and release so early on, and Celeste definitely is that special game. Incredibly satisfying platforming mechanics that meant that I went much, much further into the difficult postgame than I expected, fantastic music, and a story for which my biggest complaint is that it arguably ends a third of the way through the game. Which is barely a complaint at all. Fantastic game, everyone should play it.

    ...Still not going for the golden strawberries though.
  2. The House in Fata Morgana: A Requiem for Innocence: Oh my god they've done it again. I didn't think a prequel to the best game/visual novel of 2016 really needed to exist. But GUESS I WAS WRONG. The new music is fantastic of course, and the art is just as beautiful as the main game. But the main highlight of Requiem is the way it sells such a tragic narrative, to which we already know the outcome, with such depth and sincerity, and in a weird way, hopefulness. It feels very thematically significant.
    Also, the extra side stories included are also great. I cried several times with this game. YAY CRYING.
    The only thing I'd say is, in 2019, I'd just wait for the ps4/vita compilation thingy which will have even more content. Which I'll be double dipping for. Fata Morgana everyone! Play it.
  3. The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories: Last minute addition, let me be real for a sec: It's kind of janky. There are several odd design decisions that I'm surprised weren't caught in testing. On paper, it's a 7/10 platformer.
    It isn't.
    The Missing is a game that I hope won't be overlooked. The main hook gameplay wise is compelling, and they do some cool stuff with it, but the way the gameplay ties into the narrative is where the game really shines. Because is the narrative, despite the other strong entries, is possibly one of the most important of 2018. I hope we see more games like The Missing.
  4. Super Mario Party: "Wow, what's Mario Party doing so high on this list" I hear you cry. "Isn't it just a bunch of board games and minigames?"
    But Super Mario Party was exactly what I needed. It's fun, you can play it with family, the minigames are generally of a pretty high quality for the series, it was just really nice and my 2018 would have been of a lower quality without it. And that's all I'll say on *that* matter lol. I acknowledge this is a bit of a personal pick, but if a game can improve my life, it deserves to be on this list.
  5. Katamari Damacy Reroll: Never played a Katamari game before, EVIDENTLY I HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT. Just a really wacky, creative game. Soundtrack is ace. Makes me feel happy. What more can you want.
  6. Life is Strange 2: Episode 1: The story of Life is Strange 2 isn't finished. This is the main reason why this game isn't higher on the list. But similar to The Missing, it tells a very compelling, important story (at least so far), and its subtlety being about as subtle as a brick to the face is quite frankly what we need in 2018. Looking forward to the rest.
  7. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit: Pretty much the same as above. Captain Spirit didn't resonate with me as much as LiS 2 did, but it's also free. No reason not to play this.
  8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: It's a great game! Like there's not too much to be said here. There's a ridiculous amount of content (characters, stages, music), I've played it a bunch, it's good.
    Why is it not higher? It's not really that it has any major flaws for me as such. It's just not super new or exciting beyond "omg I can't believe ____ is in Smash". And I wasn't able to connect to it in quite the same way as Super Mario Party, for example. (I can already feel some people judging me for this statement, but it's true! For me at least.)
  9. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age: Music is trash, with brief periods of "oh wait maybe - nope, definitely still trash". That it's all low quality midi instrumentation isn't the killing blow in this regard, but it doesn't help.
    That all being said, it's still a fantastic JRPG despite that. Still not done with it, but I'm like 50 hours in, so I hope this is enough to confidently recommend this. Sylvando best boy.
  10. Octopath Traveler: Still need to finish this one as well. Music is great, combat is super satisfying, graphical style is sometimes a bit too much but overall really pretty. Writing is a bit of a mixed bag? And the cutscene direction generally needed to be a bit snappier. There's a lot of pausing for characters to slowly shake their heads or whatever. I wanna see what happens next man!
  11. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II: The PC version is the best version of THE SECOND BEST ENGLISH TRAILS GAME. Fight me. Not higher because despite the PC version having numerous improvements, it's still just a really, really good port of a game I've already played. A great JRPG, but you'll need to play the also excellent Cold Steel 1 first. And also ideally the Sky trilogy. But this port was enough for me to replay a super long JRPG, so I hope that speaks to its quality.
  12. Zwei: The Arges Adventure: Honestly, played like an hour and a half of this. Not because I wasn't having fun, I just got distracted. It was really pretty and funny from what I've played, really need to get back to it. It seemed good? But this is why it's an honourable mention.

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Oct 24, 2017

  1. Red Dead Redemption II - This is probably one of the most difficult choices of ‘Game of the Year’ I’ve made in quite a long time, with two contenders each having just as much quality, ambition and beautifully executed vision. There can, however, only be one. God of War would have taken the crown, and to be honest, I can absolutely understand anyone who feels it’s the best game this year, bar none. I expected Rockstar to deliver an epic in Red Dead Redemption II. What I didn’t expect was the maddening lengths to which the team went above and beyond in meticulously crafting a world unlike any I’ve ever seen in a game. The details of this world astounded me at every turn. Seemingly random encounters with NPCs turned into full fledged ordeals and story lines. Worthwhile secrets were scattered across the land. Interactions, causes and effects you would expect in reality, yet rarely executed in 99% of games, are a regular occurrence in Red Dead II. Each interaction comes complete with its own animation rig. Each combat encounter feels different than the next. Horse controls are intuitive. Cities and towns, especially Saint Denis, are bustling with life and NPCs that truly feel real. Heading back to camp after a long day out and having some coffee, eating some stew and having chats with the gang is a simple yet genuine experience. Rockstar even did the impossible for me: created a protagonist that I found myself caring more about than John Marston. While I loved Marston in the original (and here), Arthur Morgan’s journey of self-realization and redemption was so powerful that I still think about it today. Roger Clarke’s performance hit me hard in every single scene with such a realistic, down-to-earth portrayal of a man paying for sins. Watching the inevitable, slow downfall and perpetual breakup of the Van Der Linde gang is something that needs to be experienced by any fan of the original game. The vain aspirations and greed of the human psyche are on full display like I’ve never seen before in a game. This is one game I won’t forget anytime soon. This isn’t just one of the best games of this year, it’s by far one of the best games of all time.
  2. God of War - There’s not enough I can say to truly describe Sony Santa Monica’s achievement with God of War. By 2013 and the release of God of War: Ascension, reception around the series was floundering, with Sony themselves unsure of whether to even continue the franchise. It wasn’t without merit. Ascension did well critically, though nowhere close to previous entries in the IP. Fast forward five years and the brand is stronger than ever thanks to a brilliant vision from God of War veteran Cory Barlog and the super talented folks at Sony Santa Monica to reinvent the series. The risk absolutely paid off. Everything, and I mean absolutely everything from the extraordinary character designs to the richly detailed Norse world to the extremely satisfying combat and deep, emotional story line was pulled off with a finesse staggeringly rare in games today. The cohesiveness of the game’s design is evident in almost everything you do. Level design is wonderfully laid out, puzzles are sprinkled in at just the right moment, bosses are immense and awe-inspiring, and performances from the cast, especially Kratos and Atreus, are practically unmatched in the industry. The one-shot camera brings a whole new level of immersion into the game experience that I didn’t even realize I loved so much. To take an anti-hero like Kratos and revitalize him the way Santa Monica did in this game takes a strong and confident directorial vision that is intensely difficult to execute, yet Cory and his team nailed it. What a feat.
  3. Marvel's Spider-Man - Ahh, Spider-Man finally gets his due. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Spider-Man 2 as much as the next person, but I think we can agree the web slinger has gotten his true due in games until this year thanks to the brilliant minds at Insomniac Games. What can I really that hasn’t already been said? Insomniac did an absolutely stellar job bringing this icon to life here, with a spot on performance of Peter Parker & Spidey by Yuri Lowenthal. Cinematography and narrative direction was impeccably well done with the perfect amount of action and suspense. Swinging across the city is an utter addictive joy and combat is a perfect blend of chaos and rhythm that feels so great when pulled off successfully. Insomniac’s rendition of Manhattan is absolutely gorgeous with hyper realistic lighting effects, a true sense of industrial scale and beautiful art direction. Villains and Spider-Man regulars are all given their own share of justice on-screen, with the story and its culmination a pleasant surprise. In any other year, this would easily be my Game of the Year. Alas, 2018 was one hell of a ride, and you know what towered above all else this year.
  4. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Assassin’s Creed Origins almost took my GOTY crown last year, so following up that tremendous experience is no easy feat. Boy, did Odyssey deliver and then some. Having been there since day with Assassin’s Creed in 2007, the journey to today has been long. Yet, the series continues to surprisingly captivate my interest with each entry and dare I say, reached its best quality with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The map of Odyssey is absolutely immense, and while it’s not all filled with worthwhile things to do, it’s filled with enough to keep me entrenched in the stunning, insanely detailed world, its cities, towns, villages, islands and everything in between. From tanners to salt miners to fishermen, each area is drenched in detail rarely seen in games. Combat is fast paced and allows for multiple play styles (I’m a fan of the daggers personally). While I missed the shield play of Origins, I quickly got used to it. Ship combat is back and as fun as ever. The cult system is addictive. The story surprisingly gripped me. Alexios and Kassandra my favorite protagonists in the series now and the inclusion of dialogue choices and further lean into full blown RPG status is something I never expected to see from Assassin’s Creed. Yet, here we are, where I find myself so excited to play more (DLC) and pumped to see where the series goes next (come on Japan!).
  5. Detroit: Become Human - Like Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain before it, Detroit: Become Human marks another game in Quantic Dream’s interactive adventure game portfolio, and one that I absolutely loved. I can’t deny it: I was hooked from start to finish. Whether it was the buddy detective relationship of Hank and Connor, the tale of Kara’s character growth as a guardian or the journey of Markus in attaining equality and freedom for androids, I couldn’t put the controller down. Quantic Dream continues to push the envelope in terms of the visuals achievable in a video game. While I had issues with the line delivery in some scenes and some conversations that felt a bit too on the nose, performances in general were incredibly well done. I was especially fond of Connor’s development as a character and the relationship building between himself and the seasoned detective Hank (played by the masterful Clancy Brown). I found myself caring for the androids’ freedom and ensuring their survival. I was thrown in to so many scenarios with hard decisions that I felt myself clam up, not sure of what to do next. I’m thankful a market for these games continues to exist and hope they flourish well into the future.
  6. Battlefield V - It’s probably a cold day in hell when I count a multiplayer focused game among my favorites in any year. Not because there’s anything wrong with multiplayer, but only that it’s not usually in my tastes (I always prefer story focused experiences). Battlefield as a series is the only one that typically breaks that rule and boy did DICE do just that with Battlefield V. With various improvements from changes to squads, weapon recoil, bullet drop, fortification building and more, I’m just hooked on this multiplayer. I’ve always been a big fan of the huge 64 player conquest battles of the series versus smaller team deathmatch modes in other shooters. I love the destruction. I love the chaos. I love the vehicles. I love the frenetic nature of combat. And honestly? The story chapters are a bit of a cherry on top. They’re not woven into each other. Rather, each tells its own mini-story following a character or group of characters that I found myself actually interested in. From stealthily sneaking into a Nazi outpost in the dead of Norwegian winter to proving your worth as an African soldier in the French army, I actually had some semblance of caring for these little stories. The most surprising inclusion was the “The Last Tiger”, a short tale of a German Tiger tank crew. Telling the enemy’s side of World War II is no easy feat and an understandably touchy subject. However, I felt DICE did a good job of being real and nuanced in its execution. Not bad DICE. Not bad at all.
  7. Shadow of the Colossus - Yup, this was my first time with the game. I never got around to playing the original PS2 classic, nor did I bother with the PS3 version. With the announcement and reveal of a full, head-to-toe PS4 remaster, I knew it was time. I didn’t know what to expect. Hearing so much admiration and praise over the years had my expectations high, and while I can’t say Shadow of the Colossus hit them all, it left an impact on me as a player. The story is delicately told in a simple format, with little given in the form of exposition or narration. This works to the game’s benefit in building mystery and a sense of curiosity as I journeyed through a beautiful, solemn and dreary remade world. Each colossus felt unique in their design, environment and battle tactics. I wanted to see where this story and world would take me and the end left me feeling a bit empty. I wasn’t very fond of the controls, but I fully understood the reputation the game had built among PlayStation fans.
  8. Yakuza Kiwami - I got to play it this year. Coming off of my first foray into the Yakuza series with Zero last year, I was incredibly psyched to continue further into this dastardly, conspiratorial plot thread of mafia-esque crime drama. I can’t say it lived up to Zero (it didn’t), but I can forgive it for that. After all, Zero implemented improvements seen in the series over time and was a fresh prequel entry, while Kiwami was a glorified remaster for all intents and purposes. I wasn’t a fan of such a dramatic shift in character in Goro Majima from Zero (he did go through a lot of hardships in Zero, but it still felt too far for me), nor did I like the direction they took Nishikiyama, but the story proved entertaining enough for me that I had to include it here. You can be sure I’ll continue my Yakuza adventures with Kiwami 2 soon.
  9. Far Cry 5 - I’ve been a Far Cry fan since the original in 2004, and that continues to this day with the latest rendition. I applaud the teams at Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto to be able to continually breathe life into a franchise that’s now 14 years old. It’s almost become an annual tradition to find out where the next Far Cry takes place. The choice to go with the state of Montana left me scratching my head at first but hot damn did it end up being a great one. The fictional province of Hope County was gorgeous and a blast of a playground to explore and outright wreck stuff in. Gunplay felt great, missions were decently varied and fun, and I grew to really hate the Seed family antagonists (so great job there). Missions wove a bit more organically than previous games in the series and gone were the formulaic towers of old. And lastly…the ending was a doozy I did not expect. Ballsy move there team!
  10. Florence - Blink and you’d be forgiven to have missed this little gem. Sure, it only takes a good 45 minutes to play through, but it left such a resoundingly emotional impact on me that I sat there with my mouth open for several minutes after completion. Led by Ken Wong, a creative genius by games like Monument Valley, Florence tells the story of a 25 year old woman who goes through monotonous daily routines with aspirations to be a painter. She meets a cellist in the street and a relationship forms from there. The gameplay really just consists of fairly straightforward puzzles and swiping and dragging things across your mobile screen. What hit me the hardest is the simple and impactful ways these forms of interaction tell an emotional story of a couple who go through every day hardships and eventually break apart to pursue their dreams. As a family man, I almost teared up. It’s so real and honest and guns straight to the heart. A hardy recommendation from me.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Sometimes the name says it all. Ultimate is a love letter to all of the previous instalments of Smash, but more than that it is a love letter to all of the incredible volume of Ops represented in this extraordinary game. Each character has been treated with reverence, it feels like you are controlling Mario from a Mario game, Fyi from street fighter, Sonic, Bayonetta, Snake. It is an incredible, remarkable game and fully deserving of the number 1 slot.
  2. Celeste - man what a ride, there are ups and downs (after all you are climbing a mountain) but also ups and downs emotionally. The platform is really tight, it's challenging, it's soulful it's just a wonderful game.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - the attention to detail in this game is incredible, the world feels alive, the characters feel like they live their lives when they aren't on screen. It takes the first game and builds on it. It's an amazing game.
  4. God of War - I really struggled to separate 3 and 4, I love God if War, the relationship with Kratos and the boy is really well written and I love the way the characters develop. The gameplay is great and the Leviathan Axe should win an award on its own for being the coolest weapon ever created in a game.
  5. Pokemon Lets Go Pikachu - really pleasantly surprised by Lets Go. I thought it was just gonna be some spin off but it turned out to feel like a mainline entry in the series with better graphics, changed gameplay and couch coop.
  6. Super Mario Party - finally a return to form for Mario Party and long overdue. The party games were actually fun, the game modes were great and the boards were fun, it's just a shame there were so few of them.
  7. Kirby Star Allies - this makes my list as my 4 year olds GOTY. Yes it doesn't do much new things in it, yes it is pitifully easy and yes the world's have all pretty much been seen before in past iterations of Kirby, but we had a blast playing through this game as a family of 4 in couch coop and that to me is what gaming is all about. Having fun with the people you love.
  8. Nintendo LABO: Variety kit - I was really disappointed LABO wasnt as successful as Nintendo wanted it to be. The concept is really rather cool, the stuff you make is ridiculously creative. We had a great time building and playing with all of the toycons. I'd recommend to anyone with kids between 4 and 10...pick up a copy, especially if you see it cheap.
  9. Mario Tennis Aces - Second best fighting game that came out this year. Really tense matches and a fun if stunted single player story still felt a little short, but it was fun to play through and the online was ok too.
  10. Marvel's Spiderman - only reason this isn't higher is because I haven't played enough of it yet. Moving through the city is amazing, combat feels somewhat derivative but it's difficult to see how this can be avoided at this stage with the arkham games being so slick in combat. Super fun game so far though.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. God of War - What can I say about this game that hasn't already been said? I remember when the World Serpent first appeared and the sense of how big he was was portrayed beautifully by Sony Santa Monica through camera angles and the incredible booming voice. My jaw basically hit the floor, and I never really picked it back up. Beautiful environments, fast paced intense combat, great controls and epic boss fights (although I could have used a few more) littered the game. This game comes as close to being perfect as any game I have ever played. A true masterpiece.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - As much as I loved Origins last year, I didn't expect this game to be so high on my list. The world of Odyssey is second to none, it is vast, and so detailed you will think you have been transported to ancient Greece. No game has ever sucked me into its setting as much as this game. The story and combat were just icing on a beautiful Mediterranean cake. How much did I love this game? It was only my second platinum trophy in my vast collection of trophies.
  3. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - What's not to love about a new Dragon Quest game? And one that has a high end AAA budget with beautiful bright graphics and voice acting done right? Ok, well maybe I didn't love the music, but I didn't hate it. The charming game play and story didn't break any new barrier but were some of the best in the genre. I've only played a couple Dragon Quest games at this time, but this game will go down as one of my favorite not because it does something new, but because it does something old to perfection. Play the game on Draconian!
  4. Marvel's Spiderman - In a year where a half dozen games deserve to be GOTY Spider-man came as close as it was going to for me. I spent a lot of time just swinging around New York, pretending in my head that I was the Amazing Spider-man! The games combat is something I've always enjoyed in other games, the quick bouncing combat that makes you feel like a bad ass. One of the best portrayals of Spidey that has ever been done even counting the big screen. I can't wait to see what comes next!
  5. Monster Hunter World - I'm not a long time fan of this series, in fact I have never played one before World. This game blew my socks off. I spent almost 100 hours hunting every damn creature in this game and fanatically collecting armor sets. Even the adorable cat buddy had me smiling, and it's not something I'd normally enjoy haha. Some of my favorite gaming moments of the year involved taking down Nergigante and the other Elder Dragons with my friends yelling in my headphones. Just an all around enjoyable game to play, alone or with buddies.
  6. Octopath Traveler - This game was one of the few disappointments for me this year. Now you might be saying, but's on your GOTY list. And you are right, it's a pretty great game. But a year ago I would have guessed it would have been up near the top of this list. The turn based combat is best in class, and the music and visual style are absolutely stunning. Using your skills and buying gear is addictive and fun. The problem comes after you have done the same thing 30 times. Literally every chapter in this game is the same, with one exception. Same design, same flow, sometimes even the same dungeon design. What is here is done to perfection, there just sadly, wasn't enough of it.
  7. Detroit: Become Human - This game is intense. It's like watching a great movie but you are in control. The amount of choices and varied endings is fucking insane. No one does branching story telling better than Quantic Dreams, no one. With outstanding visuals and sound, this game will remain a must play for anyone with a Playstation for a long long time.
  8. Forza Horizon 4 - I don't know shit about cars, and I usually don't care. This game came free with my recent Xbox One S purchase, and I played it for fifty hours. That should tell you everything you need to know. With an arcade like feel to it, the game is a blast whether you are a seasoned pro, or just a random dude like me wanting to have some fun in a cross country rally in England.
  9. A Way Out - This game was crazy, the amount of technical prowess on display in this title is just beyond belief. I played this game with a friend in another state online and the suspense and tension in every scene was never disrupted by input delay or lag. The ending is one you won't ever forget and the storytelling was fantastic.
  10. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - A good RPG worth a play by anyone who is a fan of the genre. The characters are charming and the story is touching to the point of being sappy. While the difficulty wasn't on point in most places, the combat was a blast and the kingdom building feature built into the game was more addictive than some entire games.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Into the Breach - The most I've enjoyed a strategy game in a VERY long time. Its easy to pick up and play, yet has a ton of depth and challenge: a trick that very few strategy games can pull off. Its a game that respects your time, you could play it for a 20-minute or a five-hour sitting. Its good on PC, GREAT on Switch and works well as a podcast game to boot.
  2. Return of the Obra Dinn - A truly fascinating puzzle game that got its hooks in me and totally consumed my free time until I finished it.
  3. Hitman 2 - Hey, cool, more Hitman!
  4. Celeste - One of the best platformers I've ever played, consistently hard-but-fair. I love the story too.
  5. Iconoclasts - A solid metroidvania. Amazing story, incredible pixel art, fantastic music, enjoyable gameplay.

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Dec 3, 2017
  1. Magic The Gathering Arena - A brilliant translation of the card game to the digital space. While it's only in open beta and is slowly adding functionality in, even in it's basic release it was by far the most fun I have had with a game last year. I have not played the physical game in years, but grabbed every edition of Magic Duels as they released, and this is a final refinement of those digital approximations into a fully realized version of the physical game. All the cards, casual and competitive gamemodes, sideboards, matchmaking that will let me play at all moments of the day nearly instantly, and not a single piece of cardboard to clutter up the apartment. Without a doubt I can see myself spending absurd amounts of time on this game for deckbuilding, brews and having fun. For less than the cost of a manabase for a single physical deck, you can easily acquire enough digital cards to build a dozen or more, and it is amazing.
  2. Hollow Knight - Missed this in the past on PC, but picked it up for Switch and it is brilliant. Gorgeous art, challenging gameplay, and a heck of a lot of fun. It's been ages since I've played a game like this, last was probably Symphony of the Night when it released on XBLA, but this is a great run all the way through. A little slow at the start, but once you have your first few traversal skills the map opens up and you are free to follow any path you want in a non-linear fashion. Just brilliant level design to allow that amount of freedom, and the massive customization available through the badges allows the combat to change dramatically as well. Great game all around.
  3. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - The last Assassin's Creed I played was Black Flag, which I absolutely loved. A big part of that was the wide open world and the naval portion of exploring it, and this game brought that back in a big way. It was great to see how the series has evolved sine then, and it barely feels like Assassin's Creed at all. This game is a mish-mash of all kinds of different ideas from tons of games, borrowing a play on Shadow of Morder's Nemesis system, adding in loot, skill trees and RPG progression, taking Far Cry Primal's hawk scouting and Black Flag's naval combat, it's a patchwork build of differenty ideas that all gels together very well to give a great game full of content. This is an open world sandbox at it's finest, with lots to do and plenty to entertain you as long as you enjoy the gameplay loop, and I can't get enough. The ancient Greek setting is also a blast and the snippets of mythology inculding the mythical creatures is great fun.
  4. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - I've only been playing the mobile version on iOS instead of the console/PC iterations, but this game is a blast. Reminds me of the best parts of DayZ (during the ARMA 2 mod days), condensed into quick little 20 minute sessions with a constantly shrinking map to keep the tempo up. This is the first battle royale I've played, so maybe that's all standard fare for the genre, but it is quite enjoyable being able to play a few rounds while lying in bed or watching some netflix.
  5. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom - This was a fun romp through through a modern reimagining of the Wonder Boy games (considering the last one I played was Monster Land on the Master System, it's been about 25 years, so theres been lots of development since those days). I picked up Dragon's Trap prior to this one and enjoyed it, so figured I would play through it's "successor" and had a good time with it too. The various abilities and skills of each monster form allows for some interesting platforming and combat options, and the art style was just fun.
  6. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Left for Dead meets Warhammer Fantasy Battles, yes please! The first game was fun, this was further refinement and lets us battle against Chaos (my faction of choice in the tabletop fantasy game) instead of just Skaven rats, plus the environments include some outside locales instead of just a city like last time around.
  7. Octopath Traveler - This game was fine. The job system was good and the combo buildup was a nice take on changing up the classic JRPG combat, but overall there wasnt anything stellar about this one. Never finished it, only got to the third missions of each character so the plots were starting to converge a little bit, but there just wasnt enough to keep me motivated. Like I said, fine, but nothing outstanding.
  8. Lumines Remastered - This one, on the other hand, is just as outstanding as Lumines has always been since the PSP days. Nothing new, nothing fancy, just some solid puzzle action and a great time waster. As timeless as a game of Tetris, but not really breaking any new ground.
  9. Wasteland 2: Director's Cut - Though kind of old at this point, this was the first time I had even heard about it when it released on Switch. If this had been called Fallout 3 instead of Bethesda's version, I definitely would have believed it, which makes sense considering Fallout being derived from Wasteland itself. I enjoyed the fact that often you were just stuck between a couple different options, but that they were never going to end up with a happy ending. Even worse is when you have to make a choice between two options, and then you screw up the one you did choose so now both groups you were supposed to help are worse off or dead. A nice change of pace from the typical "save the world and make things great from the shitty beginnings of the game".
  10. Okami HD - First time playing this one too. It was ok, but it didn't really grab me as much as the Zelda games it imitates. Didn't get too far into it but it was fun enough from what I played of it.

In all honesty though, #5 and onwards are only on the list because I didn't play a lot of new games this year. They were all fine, but I'm sure that if I had ended up playing basically any of the other games from the year like Red Dead, Fallout 76, or even DLCs like Total Warhammer 2's Tomb Kings Destiny 2's expansion or Prey Mooncrash, I'm sure they would have supplanted all of them. Fact is I basically spent the start of the year playing Skyrim on the Switch, played Hollow Knight, Prey (2017) and a couple other LTTP games through the summer and then Magic: The Gathering Arena took over the rest of the year. Didn't touch my Xbox all year and probably missed out on a good chunk of gaming because of it. Overall I would say this was one of my weakest gaming years in a long time, but damn if bringing out a great digital MTG game doesnt make up for pretty much all of it!

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - It was hard for me to decide between this and the second spot but overall I think this will be more memorable. The greatest world ever designed in a game with this insane attention to detail that just had me fully captivated. The slow, methodical pace of the game was a breath of fresh air and Arthur has the best character development in the medium.
  2. God of War - SSM took a franchise that was tired and made it new again. I’m a sucker for weighty feeling combat and they knocked it out of the park. My favorite combat this gen. That stranger fight is one of my top moments this gen.
  3. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - It being my first experience with VR, i will never forget playing this game and how much my mind was blown. Japan Studio not only created a game that showcases how game changing VR is, they also just created a damn good game. I was smiling my whole way through the game. Fantastic level deign, boss design, and music.
  4. Tetris Effect - Who would have throught Tetris could be art. A true audio/visual experience with my favorite new soundtrack of the year. Feels like a form of meditation in VR.
  5. Into the Breach - I bought this game on a weekend and I basically only played this game the whole time. An incredibly deep and well thought out strategy game that never feels cheap and has that “one more time” quality
  6. Beat Saber - Not much to say. Pure fun with moves and VR, and a much needed workout.
  7. Shadow of the Colossus - One of my rare triple dips and absolutely worth it. Bluepoint absolutely nailed this remake and made a masterpiece even better. Dat OST
  8. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - I missed this on the Wii U. Game is so enjoyable to play and full of that Nintendo charm we all love.
  9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Best Smash since Melee. I was hooked on WOL and the game just plays damn well. Most epic roster ever. Would be higher on my list if the online was better.
  10. Vampyr - I’m a sucker for all things Vampire. I was very impressed with the games writing and voice acting. The NPC interactions were well written and engaging. I hope we get a sequel with improved combat and map design.

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Community Resettler
Oct 25, 2017
I have played more than ten games this year, but I'm going to limit this ranked list to five. The games not included in this list I don't feel too strongly about to include or write about. (note, some of this writing I adapted from earlier posts/reviews on these games)

FIVE - The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

I am not familiar first-hand with the Bard's Tale original series, so I cannot speak much to how Barrows Deep incorporates elements from its history. While I have played several Japanese dungeon crawlers like Etrian Odyssey and Elminage, The Bard's Tale IV was my first foray into a western game of this style. Before I say anything else, I want to emphasize that The Bard's Tale IV is not a game driven by its storyline or by its characters. In fact, while the game will give the player pre-written characters to use in battle, you can change these out for player-created units if you choose. At its core, the game uses a race/class system that doesn't stray too far away from the expected. Your unit abilities are derived from their class and their race, of course. It's a tried-and-true system.

Combat itself is where Barrows Deep especially shines. Without going into all the details of all the battle elements, it all amounts to how a selection of unit skills from their class tree, positioning of units on the battlefield, use of Opportunity each round, and management of SP, and use skills each battle all come together to create a compelling, flexible battle system that hooked me. There are enough moving parts here that, yes, you'll eventually find strategies or patterns that might be a little too effective, but the satisfaction of putting together a team that trounces most foes is still quite addicting.

While combat is a key component and the absolute highlight of The Bard's Tale IV, it's worth bringing special attention to the game's use of environmental puzzles. In fact, this game is as much of a first-person puzzle game as it is an RPG. Put simply, The Bard's Tale IV is way more puzzle-focused than I would have ever imagined it would be. From expected block-pushing to sliding puzzles, gear puzzles, line puzzles, and the like, you'll be spending a significant amount of time in every region of the game completing these puzzles to proceed. There are even moments where you'll have to solve 3 or 4 puzzles in a row to continue on, and you might find yourself doing that for 15-30 minutes in between battles, depending on how fast you can solve them, of course. I personally didn't mind the heavy use of puzzles, but I was still surprised at just how many were thrown at me, and it's definitely a significant portion of the gameplay loop. The final dungeon in the game is basically one giant puzzle, as an example.

One place where Barrows Deep strongly falters is in the story it tries to tell. Starting out, some of the characters that join your party have no clear motivations to do so; they just get added to your party because the game needs to fill your roster somehow. Character interaction is also a rarity. While characters will occasionally banter with each other as you explore the game world, it's usually superfluous chatter that doesn't have anything interesting to say. Really, they are mostly just units acting as tools for the player in battle more than anything else.

For the first 2-3 hours of the game, I tried to immerse myself in the world lore. I exhausted dialogue options, and I tried to keep track of the histories and characters that were brought up in dialogue. But I quickly came to the realization that I really just couldn't bring myself to care about any of it. I just wanted someone to point me in a direction so I could explore more and fight battles. I was enjoying the combat elements enough that dialogue sequences actually became more of an interrupting nuisance than anything actually driving the game forward. Barrows Deep is a game for mechanics nerds first and foremost.

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep has a satisfyingly deep and flexible battle system, surrounded by heavy puzzle exploration and a narrative that doesn't manage to stay interesting. There are some really neat systems at play here for those looking for intricate combat, but performance issues and a lacking storyline make it a hard sell to a larger audience.

FOUR - Valkyria Chronicles 4

The original Valkyria Chronicles is a special game. Unlike just about anything that came before it and with a compelling cast of characters, it was definitely one of my favorites in the PS3 generation of games. While VC3 improved tremendously on the disappointing VC2, it still didn't quite have the same touch that the original did (the map style and game pace is different enough I find it hard to compare, to be honest). When VC4 was announced - sharing most similarities to the original Valkyria Chronicles, I had really high hopes for it. I even replayed the original on PC in the run-up to VC4. VC4 had a high bar to reach if it wanted to surpass VC, but, I'm....not sure if it did all-around. It's a worthy enough followup in any case.

On a gameplay front, it's very close to the original. I remember hearing that it was a step up in difficulty from the original, but I actually felt it was pretty breezy most of the way through the main game, which was actually a little disappointing. New additions like Ship Orders, Direct Leader Command, APCs, and Grenadiers in general basically allow the player more ways to cheese the game - and scout rushing is still pretty effective as it was in the original. (In fact, Direct Command and APCs make scout rushing even more effective. You can now rush longer distance through more gunfire AND bring two friends with you!). I'm not sure if this is really a bad thing though, sometimes it can be incredibly fun to see just how thoroughly you can dominate a map. I also was kinda weirded out by the normal mode skirmishes in that you can complete most of them in one turn easily for some reason? It made getting money and EXP trivial if you wanted to purchase upgrades or boost units a bit. It seemed like the game /wanted/ me to clear the skirmishes in one turn, as it is not especially tricky to do, at all - I even remember saying to myself out loud 'why did they make these so simple to clear?' Having played the original VC just earlier in the year, I'm certain the skirmish map design was not so straightforward there. Anyways, I digress.

In fact, I actually enjoyed the post-game Hard skirmishes more than the main game maps to be honest. These ones seemed to bring out the best of the combat system, actually forcing me to coordinate my units and maximize my turns as much as possible. This is where the game shined best, in my opinion. I'm not sure what else to say here - the combat is as unique as it ever was, and simply getting to test me on new maps was very fun.

I really didn't feel the main cast much in this game, though. There were several moments that felt just so 'typical' in how characters develop in Japanese media like this. The characters are all a step down from the original cast. For example, the main romance in VC1 felt like a genuine relationship developing between two believable human beings, where the romance in VC4 is much more expected tropey with a couple of common character scenes I've basically experienced before in other games. Both VC1 and VC4's narratives falter near the end and the villains are both blah so that's basically a wash.

One thing I did appreciate quite a lot was the addition of Squad Stories, and how these were incorporated into the unit Potential system. This gives all the secondary characters more personality than they could get just being a name on a roster as they were in previous games. The variety in these maps was nice to see, too. Some were silly, some were serious, some were completely unbelievable, but it was a nice mix. On a gameplay front, these are essentially 'Limited Maps', where you have to use only a few characters to clear some objective, usually in a much more restricted fashion than you can in a normal chapter map. It's a cool little way to give these maps their own flavor.

VC4 didn't quite hit the heights that it could have, but it's still a solid followup to an extremely unique game, and I hope the series sticks around a bit longer.

THREE - Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler is one of those games that I wasn't really sure what to expect going in. While I have played several SNES or sprite styled RPGs, it's actually not a style I played much growing up, so there was not much of a nostalgia angle there. I am, however, a big fan of job system games like Final Fantasy V, which Octopath seemed to borrow a bit from, so that excited me a bit. But the game's developer, Acquire, didn't have an especially great pedigree. But I went in with an open mind, and I ended up enjoying the game considerably.

Combat is where Octopath really shines brightest. Much like Labyrinth of Refrain and The Bard's Tale also in this list, Octopath is centered on a job system that allows combat approach to be pretty flexible. As with most games with flexible systems like this, there are a couple class/character combos that are considerably overpowered but figuring out those powerful combinations in part of the fun. Even so, the game is not always an easy one. Some of the game's boss encounters, especially optional or quest bosses, can actually be tough tests of skill.

As an aside, it's games like this that make me laugh at the 'turn-based rpgs require no skill, only grinding' comments you sometimes see. Some of the bosses here can be pretty darn tough. Sure, you can probably waste time and grind it out for a few hours and take them down after some tedium. Or you can evaluate your foe's attacks and patterns, determine which characters/skills available to you can counter or mitigate the boss. Try thinking and experimenting sometimes! *cough*

Some people have expressed disappointment that 1.) characters didn't interact much at all and 2.) the game didn't really have an overarching storyline connecting all the character stories. But..neither of these things bothered me in the slightest. In fact, I quite liked that I could view the game as just 8 separated character stories that take place within the same world. I didn't need some epic combined storyline, nor was I really looking for one. It somewhat reminded me of something like Valkyrie Profile, where characters are developed through vignettes rather than a big sprawling narrative. I remember some people pointing to the game's somewhat hidden "final" boss as an 'aha, there IS a main story', but eh. I didn't really view like that. It was more just the game throwing its strongest punch at you. It was a cool challenge, and the thrill of clearing it is as cathartic as ever, but I don't think it's presence in the game was required or necessary, really. Similar to the character interaction, this isn't something I ended up missing at all. I just viewed each character in the context of their storyline, separately.

The character stories were pretty simple, some even pretty cliche, but I thought the execution for them was generally well done. Thorough enough to get me invested into each motivation, but not too drawn out to overstay their welcome. My favorite character stories in no certain order were Alfyn, Tressa, Ophilia, and Primrose. Oh, and the music was generally good, also.

I approached Octopath Traveler in an unusual way. Once I got through each opening chapter, I basically just ignored all the story content and went through the various paths/dungeons in a rough level order, collecting all the chests and stealing all the things as I went to every town. I stumbled across the various shrines and took out the extra job bosses, although I might have been a little underleveled starting out. After this, I did as many sidequests as I could figure out. Then I basically just marathoned all the character stories. Maybe a robotic way to approach things and I figure most people who are not-me would get bored of just fighting and looting a bunch, but it thought it was actually pretty enjoyable! The macro structure is a bit samey/gamey/repetitive. 8 sections of the map, 3 subsections each, each of those with a dungeon area. You do the same things in each of the game's 24 city areas. I don't even mean this as a criticism really, it's just not quite the typical format. The way I played effectively divorced 'gameplay' and 'story' as much as possible.

I do have a few hang-ups with the game. Namely, the lack of an EXP share seem like an oversight, especially considering how the end-game in handled, and the quest design is a bit weird in places too where you are given very little to work with to know how to clear the quest (usually you just have to scour the other towns for the right NPC). But otherwise I quite enjoyed Octopath. I'm not sure I want a sequel, though.

TWO - Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk

Labyrinth of Refrain was a game I had had my eye on for a while. When it was originally announced for Japan back in 2015, I saw a dungeon crawler with a grouped-unit system that reminded me of The Last Remnant - one of my favorite games due to its strange yet cool mechanics. I was only just getting into dungeon crawler RPGs in 2015, but I already had decided back then that Labyrinth of Refrain was a game I was going to play, hopefully offering a neat twist on the DRPG genre. It getting glowing impressions in Japan worked to solidify my interest, but I didn't expect it would take three years to finally get released in English, thanks to several delays and a remaster pushing things back.

I also had no idea that I would appreciate the character narrative as much as I would, and it's a real highlight of the game. Labyrinth of Refrain can largely be described as a character study - and it highlights a 30-something paralyzed queer caustic witch named Dronya, and her forever upbeat and optimistic pupil Luca. The way the storyline unfolds the characters/relationship of Dronya and Luca is better than you would expect at a glance, and without getting into spoilers, the way they do this makes it especially memorable. The storyline also includes some heavy subjects, and the game handles it straight and seriously - something I appreciate greatly. I felt myself becoming significantly more sympathetic to Dronya as I learned more about her story, her character, and her struggles. But more importantly, it was simply /interesting/. A lot of JRPG characters trend too close to established archetypes, but Dronya's story was something believable and I found myself wanting to learn more about it as I progressed through the game.

Labyrinth of Refrain's 'Coven' gimmick is a very neat concept, almost like managing five mini parties as a whole macro party. Like with Barrow's Deep above, I won't go into all the mechanical details here, but it involves 5 groups of units that comprise of your party. Each group can have 1-3 primary units, 0-5 secondary units, and a formation. Doing the math, that's up to 40 characters to stay on top of. Luckily the game does a pretty good job in trying to minimize the amount of micromanagement the player has to do. There is also a class system in place for each unit in each coven, and later in the game you can effectively do some multiclassing, giving one classes's passive abilities to another. Combining all this, it's overall a very cool party system, something worth sticking to with a few tweaks and some balancing in future entries.

I do think the game's generally low difficulty does handicap it significantly though, and there was a weird balance overall where trash mobs were almost always trash and several bosses were significant jumps in difficulty. I didn't mind this too much because I enjoy boss fights in general, but the disparity in challenge was apparent. There's also a weird lack of boss encounters in the second half too. The first half dungeon designs were also notably better than the second half, especially the 'Umbra' dungeon. Coven includes a neat little resource management wrinkle that a lot of dungeon crawlers don't have with Reinforcement, an expendable resource that allows for various dungeon actions such as breaking through walls.

Labyrinth of Refrain was a surprisingly memorable experience with surprisingly endearing characters and a super cool party concept that could use a few refinements and tweaks to be something especially great. I'm eager for whatever sort of follow-up that NIS almost certainly has in store for this game.

ONE - Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of Elusive Age

Even though Dragon Quest XI is at the top of my list, I don't think I have too much to say about it relative to the other entries on this list. Dragon Quest is a series that has stuck to it roots. Unlike other series that have attempted to offer innovation or new ideas either narratively or mechanically, Dragon Quest mostly sticks to refinement of classic ideas. It actually puts Dragon Quest in a somewhat unique spot regardless because there are very few big-budget traditionally styled RPGs these days.

Every piece of Dragon Quest's puzzle simply fits together - the familiar combat, the skill/weapon system, the localization, beautiful locales, crafting, simple side quests .. there's no single element that feels overdone and they all add up to a wonderful whole. The way Dragon Quest takes largely self-contained vignettes and ultimately generates a larger grandiose narrative is also remarkably simple but engaging.

One place that Dragon Quest XI really shone for me was in its cast of characters. I was especially drawn into the relationship of sisters Veronica and Serena. Being a twin myself, sometimes the way twins are portrayed in media can be annoying or even insulting, but the way these two characters bounced off of each other was extremely believable. The rest of the cast was also endearing, and I felt that the balance between characters and their placement in the game's narrative was generally well done.

My largest criticism of the game, outside of poor music implementation, was how the post-game was handled on a narrative front. Without getting into spoilers, there's a pretty clear theme that the game is going for between the 2nd and 3rd arcs of the game, but I found that it ultimately leaves some weird implications behind, making the finale less satisfying than I thought it could be.

All-in-all I really enjoyed going back to this series. An extremely polished and comfortable game.

  1. Dragon Quest XI
  2. Octopath Traveler
  3. Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk
  4. Valkyria Chronicles 4
  5. The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - See comments above, this line is just to make sure the vote counts if needed.

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I actually did a video on this if anyone wants to check it out

But mine go as follows (Keep in mind, new father so had to skip on Red Dead and some other huge games)

1. God of War
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
3. Spider-Man
4. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
5. Pokemon: Lets Go
6. Spyro: Reignited Triology
7. FIFA 19 (I know I was shocked too..that story mode!)
8. Celeste
9. Hollow Knight
10. Octopath Traveler
Oct 25, 2017
I actually did a video on this if anyone wants to check it out

But mine go as follows (Keep in mind, new father so had to skip on Red Dead and some other huge games)

1. God of War
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
3. Spider-Man
4. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
5. Pokemon: Lets Go
6. Spyro: Reignited Triology
7. FIFA 19 (I know I was shocked too..that story mode!)
8. Celeste
9. Hollow Knight
10. Octopath Traveler
Your vote will unfortunately not be counted if you don't use the formatting described in the OP.
Cool video list! :)


Dec 30, 2017
  1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna the Golden Country - An amazing expansion to an amazing game, that makes the story of the base game even better! Since Torna is not as sprawling as the base game, they really had to trim some fat to fit everything in
    a 20-30 hours experience, and I think they managed quite well. The revamped combat system works quite well too, switching between driver and blades is super fun. Character interactions and banters are great, and the story ends with a masterful finale that MonolithSoft completely nailed (nailing endings is a MonolithSoft trademark by now).
  2. Yakuza 0 - This was my first Yakuza game and it totally blew me away. The drama, storytelling and characters drew me in like nothing before, and I cannot wait for the other entries in the series to come to Steam. The sidequests are a nice break from the more serious main story, even though some of them are quite grindy.
  3. Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Finally an RPG that tries to do something different. Yes, the game is unpolished and some mechanics (combat) are not implemented as well as they should be, but considering that this was create by an indie studio and still has this scope, I cannot be but amazed. I never understood the backlash of this game on this forum: if you are remotely interested in RPGs, this is a must play.
  4. Monster Hunter World - My first Monster Hunter and I have to admit that it got me hooked. Playing with the Hammer feels amazing, getting those nice sweet hits on monsters' heads never gets old.
  5. Bayonetta 2 - There is not much to say, it's Bayonetta. Bayonetta 2 is a more constant and well-crafted experience with respect to Bayonetta 1, which has lower lows but also higher highs. Cannot wait for Bayonetta 3!
  6. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Probably the best 2D Nintendo platformer I have ever played. The creativity and layout in each level is unparalleled, and the OST by Wise is the cherry on top.
  7. DUSK - What an FPS should play like. Smooth, fluid, with no bullshit inbetween. It is a joy to play on a 165Hz monitor. This is what DOOM 2016 should have been.
  8. CrossCode - This game takes many lessons from the SNES action RPGs of old (think Terranigma), and it shows in a positive way. The gameplay is nice and fluid, and even if the game has some pacing problems (both gameplay wise and story wise), it is still a worthwhile experience.
  9. The Messenger - Super tight action platformer with an excellent OST. The Cloud Step mechanic is just genius and makes everything 100x better than it should be.
  10. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Obsidian. RPG. You cannot go wrong. The main quest is quite weak, but everything around it makes up for it ten times over, and the writing is always on point. Neketaka is probably the biggest and most content rich city I've seen in an RPG; I think I spent at least 20 hours of my total 70 hours in there.
  11. GRIS - Fantastic experience, it is really a blend between art and videogame, and that's just fine.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - excellent game with excellent gameplay and story.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Great story brought down by terrible pacing at times and less than ideal controls.
  3. Hitman 2 - An absolute gem, and a game never felt more fun to replay countless times than hitman it its current form.
  4. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - A huge upgrade over Kiwami, but not close to how good 0 was.
  5. Marvel's Spider-Man - A really fun game with a story that exceeded my expectations from a superhero game. Add more variety to the side content and we have a real contender for GOTY.
  6. Hollow Knight - Best metroidvania game I've ever played.
  7. Dead Cells - A really fun game, but wasn't really into how the progression in the game works. Still enjoyed my time with the game and would probably come back to it down the line.
  8. Far Cry 5 - Fun antagonists let down by a boring open world.
  9. Donut County.
  10. Gris.

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Dec 5, 2017
  1. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - fantastic mission design, and a great story with a lot of emotional highlights complemented by a cast that grows on you
  2. Into the Breach - smart mission design with a rule set that is unforgiving but fair, forcing you to feel consequences of every small mistake
  3. Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! - the most fun I've had with a music game since Elite Beat Agents, the accessory drum controller is a must
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - a great single-player mode that adds another dimension to a series that never lacked multiplayer content
  5. God of War - the best-directed story, one of the best-written ones with tight combat and a lot to explore
  6. Return of the Obra Dinn - dozens of fulfilling revelations accompanied by amazing sound design
  7. 428: Shibuya Scramble - a great mystery with unexpected twists and very smart design
  8. Forza Horizon 4 - king of modern racing games that gets the balance between arcade and sim just right
  9. Red Dead Redemption 2 - the most vividly designed and alive video game world
  10. The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories - great synergy of puzzles and narrative fueling a very touching story

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Oct 29, 2017
New Zealand
  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - What more can be said about this thing? The amount of content is insane. This is the kind of game my younger self dreamed about back in the Melee days - but was actually made! "Everyone is here!" still wows me. RIDLEY WOO!
  2. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - I've been a huge fan of Pokemon since day 1, but recent games started really testing that love of the franchise. Sun was absolutely terrible, and I never even bothered with Ultra Sun. So with that in mind when they announced Let's Go I was so worried, mobile junk mixed in with crappy forced motion controls and it looked like something I would hate. It's thanks to co-op (I wanted to play it with my wife) and Kanto/G1 that made me take a chance on it and well what do you know? I loved it! There are still some things that annoy me about the game but the good stuff surpasses that easily. Fun simple Pokemon experience, an addictive catch chain system that actually rewards 'hunts' (camping shinys like its a NM from FFXI is awesome!) and best of all the Pokemon appearing on the screen instead of in random battles is SO COOL! The Pokemon world truly felt alive like never before. These are things they MUST continue with going forward in all the core Pokemon series RPGs. They simply must!
  3. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom - Worth the looong wait lol? Yes! This game man, amazing! You cannot understand how happy it makes me to think we're getting NEW Wonder Boy games even today. The gameplay, the art and the music are all exactly how they should be (good!), and the nods to previous games for a fan like me playing since the Master System days are simply WONDERful.
  4. Octopath Traveler - Another 'dream game' that honestly feels like the developers plucked it straight outta my head and developed it with just me in mind lol. The art style, the music, the gameplay (woo job systems, woo turn based!) and atmosphere, love it all! So retro, so awesome. I really cannot describe properly how much every facet of this game appeals to me lol.
  5. Dark Souls Remastered - I love my Xbox One X and along with FH4 and Black Ops, Dark Souls was easily my most played game on the system. A remake of one of my most favourite games of all time had me all excited since it was announced, it's not my ideal remaster (or it would be higher on the list of course), I would have preferred they changed a bit more to mix it up (SotFS style) but it's still the same wonderful and best Souls game I obsessed over back in 2011. Happy to report my 100% Achievements/Trophies of the FromSouls games continues! Too bad the Switch version was delayed then ruined but making it sound like it was recorded through streaming RealPlayer in 1997 but oh well - I LOVE my Solaire Amiibo all the same. :)
  6. Forza Horizon 4 - I have zero interest in regular Forza games but absolutely LOVE the Horizon series. I just love exploring the worlds they create, its so much fun. While the series has lost their way a bit I feel on the story side of things, the races now just feel like disjointed things occurring randomly instead of an over-arching 'quest' to conquer Horizon - the gameplay and exploration (the most important part) is still on point!
  7. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII - I've been playing CoD games since MW2 and have never cared about the boring story modes in them, multiplayer ftw! So a multi only CoD never bothered me obviously lol, but little did I know it would be the Battle Royale mode over pure multi that took over as my favourite part! My brother got me into CoD and PUBG so its not surprising we had fun playing this, and I've always said Black Ops is the best CoD - in Treyarch I always trust!
  8. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden Country - This is how expansions should be done, change aspects of the original in positive ways while still maintaining the feel that made it really good in the first place. More of this sorta stuff please! Monolith Soft can do no wrong.
  9. Sonic Mania Plus - Sonic Mania is simply amazing, and while I was overjoyed in the fact that Plus gave me that physical Switch cartridge version I SO WANTED - I actually didn't think they added much of interest to the update. That doesn't take away from how good core Mania already was, just I dunno, I hoped for better additions I guess?
  10. Super Mario Party - Wow, what an actually fun game! We all know they've been iffy for awhile, but this one is the surprising return to form for the series. The really fun Mario Party game my wife and family have wanted to return for a long time!

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Red Dead Redemption 1 is one of my favorite games ever, and I wasn't sure that Rockstar Games could deliver a trustworthy sequel(prequel), but they blew me away.
  2. Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! - I grew up playing Pokemon Red, and this is a great remake of that gen.
  3. A Way Out - Best 2player coop experience this year. That hospital chase.
  4. Dragonball FighterZ - As a huge fan of Dragonball, this is THE game fans have been waiting for.
  5. Forza Horizon 4 - I wasn't sure Playground Games could top Forza Horizon 3, but they did.
  6. Sea of Thieves - Best multiplayer experience this year. I didn't play it THAT much, but when I played it I had a lot of fun with some friends.
  7. Celeste - Best indie game of the year. Controls like a dream.
  8. Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 - This one didn't quite reach the level of awesomeness like Season 1 yet, but it can get there hella fast.
  9. Into The Breach - Best Strategy Game of the Year. Simple, but good.
  10. Far Cry 5 - In my opinion the best Far Cry yet.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Celeste - An amazing title that I've been thinking about all year. Great gameplay, story, and music. Masterful.
  2. Hollow Knight - I actually think this might be better than Symphony of the Night and Super Metroid. It's just that great.
  3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - The best Smash Bros ever. I think I'll be playing this for a longgggg time.
  4. Yoku's Island Express - The hidden gem of the year. Incredibly charming and very laid back with no failure states. What a unique game!
  5. Into the Breach - Brilliant design that makes you come back for more. At first I didn't even know there were other mechs. Once I found that out it really opened up with incredible variety.
  6. Minit - A great distillation of the Zelda formula. Neat mechanic, fun world, and doesn't overstay its welcome.
  7. Astrobot: Rescue Mission - This game is hard to discuss because it's absolutely worth playing but not anywhere near the hype levels on the forum. It's highly derivative at times and sometimes too simple, but the feeling of presence is entirely worth the trip alone.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - As a father myself, this story connected with me more than any other GOW title. I really don’t have any glaring complaints about the game at all. The story was fantastic all the way through to the end and the gameplay was fun and engaging.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I struggled between giving this game or GOW the top spot this year. I got more pulled into the world and characters R* created than any other game this year. While I eventually got used to the controls, I found them to be overly complicated and unintuitive. Not only that, but they would introduce new gameplay that changed how you control the character during differently during certain moments throughout the game. Loved this game, but challenged to give it top spot.
  3. Marvels Spider-Man - Wow, while you can argue that they stole a lot of gameplay from the Arkham series, the gameplay was even more refined here. The story was excellent and I love how they were able to make the story their own and be able to create their own unique narrative to a well known universe.
  4. Call of Duty: Blackops 4 - I can’t remember the last time I put a multiplayer focused FPS in my GOTY list. However, Treyarch was able to create IMHO, the best battle royals game in Blackout I have ever played. So hooked.
  5. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - I missed 2&3, but I really enjoyed my time with 4. I love turn based strategy and this is the best one I played all year hands down. The missions were so much more varied and the characters were very well done.
  6. Octopath Traveler - I loved the art style so damn much and the gameplay never got old for me. I was more hopeful in the writing and story after the demo, but see those areas as room for improvement in the sequel we’ll eventually get.
  7. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate - I’m not the biggest smash fan, but there’s just so much content packed into this title. There’s nothing like having a local Smash party.
  8. Into the Breach - This one surprised me. Ar first I was hoping it would scratch the Advanced Wars itch, but once I got over that this is not that game, I releazied it was a very well thought out turn based strategy game that I could play for hours on end.
  9. Dragon Ball FighterZ - My kids are into the Dragon Ball universe. I slept on this one because I didn’t care so much for DB. However, this is one of the most fun fighting games I’ve ever played.
  10. Over Cooked 2 - this game causes big fights in my house (mostly me telling my kids to do their job!!), but it’s a lot of fun to play together and exceptional when everyone gets in sync and orders are flying through the kitchen.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Into the Breach - The perfect blend between Puzzle Strategy and Roguelite, Into the Breach is yet another triumph by Subset Games of FTL fame. Control a team of futuristic mechs to battle waves of insect-like kaiju attacking a variety of city landscapes. With simple design, concise rules and robust mechanics, more than 30 unique mechs and pilots which provide a huge amount of team compositions, and a wide variety of other tools at your disposal, no run is ever the same. Let's not forget about its intriguing time-travel narrative aided by the ever present Chris Avellone, and the excellent soundtrack by Ben Prunty. Into the Breach, just like FTL before it, still keeps me coming back for more.
  2. Path of Exile: Betrayal - Like clockwork, the best ARPG on the market keeps getting better and better with yet another, completely free, high quality boost of content. Grinding Gear Games is consistently one of the very few developers out there constantly improving and enhancing an already impressive game. Did I mention it was completely free?
  3. Football Manager 2019 - Another good iteration from Sports Interactive, with a much improved, smoother match game engine and more training and tactical variety, this feels like a decent leap from the previous versions. It will certainly be my most played game in 2019 still.
  4. Parkitect - The true spiritual successor to Roller Coaster Tycoon, Parkitect by Texel Raptor, is a joyous, nostalgic blast.
  5. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - CD Projekt Red manages to add character and charm to this Gwent-driven Witcher spinoff in a very satisfying way.
  6. Red Dead Redemption 2 - So far it seems like another high quality release by Rockstar.

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Nov 1, 2017
  1. Detroit: Become Human - Loved every minute of this game. The amount of choice and different story experiences available is crazy. Added bonus of being funny comparing decisions and consequences with friends.
  2. Marvel's Spider-Man - Pure web-swinging satisfaction.
  3. Into The Breach - Super satisfying strategy/puzzle hybrid.
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Frustrating, but fun. I need practice.
  5. Magic The Gathering Arena - Much needed reinvention of the digital magic offering.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition - An already amazing RPG, made harder, better, stronger faster. I stopped my playthrouhg of Divinity II, so I could finish it under the Definitive Version, and boy was it worth it. Kudos to the people at Larian.
  2. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Hard to describe this game, without writing paragraphs over paragraphs. This game got it all, one of the most complete JRPGs I have ever played, every time you think it's close to an ending, it just opens up the game even more, and even more and even more. It's not an "OPEN WORLD" game, but it's world feels more open to me than most Western open worlds, which usually end up feeling empty and barren, whereas here everything is teeming with life. The only issue is the terrible, heinous MIDI synth. Fortunately, the grandeur of the PC platform saves this gem, and allows it to truly shine, thanks to some amazing people, some of them here on Era.
  3. Unavowed - Easily the best modern adventure game I have played. Wadjet has truly outdone itself with this gem, and I hope they will return to it one of these days. Takes the setting of the Blackwell Games, and puts it on steroids (but in a good, not drug-abusing way).
  4. Return of the Obra Dinn- The perfect detective puzzle game. It's a simple pitch: A ship, deserted, returns, and you are given a magical clock, allowing you to see the moment of death of each body you find. Find out what happened to every. single. one. on this ship. That's it, no tricks, no hints. You just do it, by using your brains.
  5. Katamari Damacy Reroll - First time i got my hands on this classic game, that I have been hearing so much about. And people haven't been lying, this is a great experience. Rolling things up, getting lost in this crazy world. Great experience. 10/10 Would roll again.
  6. CrossCode - It was the best of action games, it was the worst of action games, it was a game of wisdom, it was a game of foolishness. I love what Crosscode wants to be, and in it's best moments, it comes close to achieving it. But I feel the devs have no idea of pacing and good balancing. Especially near the end, combat just become dreadful. The reason I still have it here, is that 1) I didn't play that many games of 2018 (yet) and 2) I frgging love the story and Lea as a protagonist.
  7. Framed Collection - The first release on non-mobile platforms, and the first time I played the second one. Still an amazing puzzle game with a great twist. The second one is just as creative, with some surprising twists near the end.
  8. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - A really great game, for me, with an amazing combat system, a great setting, and some impressive visuals for something that was originally a PS2 game. I still believe that this game would be better yet if it ditched Van and focused instead on the true leading man.
  9. Ghost of a Tale- In Early access for a long time, finally released this year. It's a short game, with some fairly simple puzzles, but the visuals and athmosphere in this really raise it to another level entirely. It feels like you are in a world inspired heavily by Redwall, of a clever mouse avoiding the Rat guards to find his love and escape with her to safety.
  10. Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet- Avast, ye scurvy scumm! This be a tale o' piracy and treasure, o' trusty birds and o' saving the environment from an evil merchant with nay a sense for adventure. Be ye ready? Then get yeself a copy o' Nelly Cootalot now, ye dirty landlubber! [/B]

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Oct 26, 2017
  1. Detroit: Become Human - Another great title by Quantic Dream. They keep improving their craft and this one had a wonderful amount of heart this time around. Characters and relationships I truly cared about. The final 2 hours were among the most stressful I ever had in a game, the game relentlessly tortures you and character perma death is always around the next corner. Incredible visuals and OST too
  2. God of War - Return to form for this series that's for sure
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - The most impressive looking open world game ever

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Oct 25, 2017
New Jersey
  1. Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age - I came to realize that the Dragon Quest series for me has been this warm comfort food series forever now and DQ11 is no different, and it’s just great at fostering that sense of adventure and questing.
  2. Hitman 2 - Echoing a few other lists and commentaries, Hitman 2 is, honestly and simply, more of the outstanding 2016 Hitman game along with some QOL tweaks and fixes. Even if you want to count that as a negative, this is a game that can set you on a path to some highly memorable objectives while encouraging the player's own sense of chaos and meticulousness in a perfect fusion of intense action thriller and sitcom.
  3. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - A beautiful remake of the best story told in the Yakuza franchise. While Yakuza 4 would feature some fan favorite characters later on, Yakuza 2 to me introduced the best-written characters. The sub-stories are an improvement from Yakuza Kiwami though I wish they hadn't turned away from the Yakuza 0 combat system.
  4. Yoku's Island Express - Breaking a personal rule here, but Yoku’s Island Express is 2018’s “Boy this game oozes charm!” title for me. It's probably the most fun "Metroidvania" I've played this year and you can't help but want to root for that cute little beetle protagonist to deliver all that mail (and, you know, save the island from destruction). Of course the main gimmick is the game's use of pinball mechanics to explore every nook and cranny on the island which admittedly will test your patience at times, but it was just too darned fun.
  5. Marvel's Spider-Man - Yes, this should rank as one of the best Spider-Man stories told outside of the comic book medium. I tend to evaluate games as an experience: yes, the game's open-world design is familiar to a fault. There are things to collect, meters to fill, etc. I don't care, because damned if this cast didn't give their all with these very human characters and had me in its hooks to see where the story was headed next, what was going to happen next, and hits a home run in the end with an emotion I hadn't felt since Sam Raimi and the late Cliff Robertson put Uncle Ben's death on a movie screen.
  6. Celeste - I know this is about our favorite games of 2018, implying the experiences we took playing the games, and while the overall design and gameplay of Celeste is fantastic, it’s the soundtrack that’s moved me so damned much. Celeste is not necessarily a laid-back title, but the atmosphere and story it’s created especially with this stellar soundtrack just makes for an otherworldly experience.
  7. Fortnite: Battle Royale - Some time last year I took a job writing content related to Fortnite. In having to then experience what is now an eye-widening phenomenon, what takes me aback is how terrible I am at the battle royale, the mode that has made it a household name, and yet I somehow still manage to find the fun in it, which is something my gaming sensibilities can’t say often. Fortnite’s biggest appeal for me however is Epic’s continued attempts to keep it fresh with new modes and new twists on classics. Now with a creative AND a playground mode, Fortnite is a monster.
  8. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - We’ve gotten plenty of “Metroidvania” titles since the indie game scene boomed more than a decade ago, but the anticipation of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night clearly shows we’re still starved for the gothic atmosphere of the “Igavania.” Inti Creates didn’t forget those of us who grew up before Symphony of the Night redefined the Castlevania franchise with this great modernized take of the “Haunted Castle” Famicom/NES era of Castlevania.
  9. Red Dead Redemption 2 - The fact that there is so much that frustrates me about RDR2 and still cracked the top ten speaks volumes. Much like the game’s narrative, RDR2 should mark the end of one era of Rockstar design and the start of another. There is, however, a great story: about the extreme costs of prosperity and loyalty for both early 20th century America as well as our band of thieves. Rockstar shows themselves again of being masters at world design while nailing immersion to a fault. Much like Spider-Man, the entire package allows me to overlook its shortcomings, of which there were a few.
  10. WarioWare Gold - One of the best things about Wario is the man’s continued quest for greed and gold and what better way to achieve that is by having us play a series of goofy micro games?

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Hollow Knight - Combines the desolate atmosphere of a Soulsborne game with possibly the best movement and 2-D combat system. Watching a Hollow Knight speedrun is completely mesmerizing like no-other game, and as someone not particularly interested in platformers, Hollow Knight instilled a desire to master the precise controls and abilities at your disposal. Of course, the map is also very complex, consisting of several zones that have feel distinct and present their own interesting challanges and, most importantly, lore and colorful characters. Hollow Knight obviously takes inspiration from a variety of games but combines all its elements masterfully that I never wished I was just playing, for instance, Bloodborne instead.
  2. BattleTech - A mech strategy game set apart by the health and death mechanics. Rather than losing a crew member outright (though it definitely can happen), missions in BattleTech feel like being being continuously torn apart and hoping you win before all your pieces are gone. And that you have enough time to recover afterwards. Your mech may be missing both arms and most of its armor but as long as it can flank the enemy, it has a vital role in the fight. So even straightforward missions feel harrowing, let alone the masterfully crafted, and brutal, story beats.
  3. Prey: Mooncrash - The world of Prey doesn't shy away from the unrelenting greed of corporations, that issues from human dignity to the continued existence of organized human life are externalities and have no place in the capitalist's mind. Moreover, Prey tells the story from all walks of life, making the sci-fi and alien world of Prey relatable. Mooncrash continues this but now from several different player perspectives with a rather interesting rouge-like justified by simulation. Despite some balancing issues (purchasing Delay_time items makes things pretty easy), this DLC is a significant and interesting contribution.
  4. Deltarune Chapter 1 - Toby Fox proves again how excellent of a composer and writer he is and that the mechanics of Undertale can be developed in interesting ways. Notably the way the ACT mechanics interfaces with the typical RPG party system, creating, for instance, situations where you actively cause your ultra-violent punk member to miss every attack.
  5. Subnautica - I've never been drawn to survival games, but something about Subnautica really captivated me. It captured the beauty and terrifying mystery of the ocean in an unprecedented way, and set in an actually interesting sci-fi background no less. Unfortunately, after a while, the creatures of the ocean stop feeling threatening and a few of my 20+ did just feel like unnecessary busy work, but overall Subnautica provided a really unique experience that will be with me for a while.
  6. God of War - Takes third person combat to the next level along with really novel experience of the main level opening up due to the shifting of the World Serpent. The story has some great characters, too, but the game is held back by some underwhelming plot developments and some of the more extensive sidequests (the smaller quests that jsut provide light puzzles and character conversations are the highlight) that don't seem to add much.
  7. Celeste - Precision platformer with great atmosphere and music. The story and characters do resonate but I never finished the story, if I had (or do) it would perhaps be higher on my list.
  8. Marvel's Spiderman - Great traversal and open world with a surprisingly good story arc, as has been said. There are some obvious improvements that can be made but still a standout experience.
  9. Monster Hunter World - Wildlife and monsters actually feel like they belong in their ecosystems that, in conjunction with the great combat and weapon systems, allows for some pretty great emergent gameplay moments. The story and world building was really weak, though, and I think that caused the experience to not really stick with me.
  10. Vampyr - Really exciting premise and concepts that seem perfect for a vampire role-playing game. While playing, some of the choices you make feel profound and disturbing, but they do not really pay off at the end. I wasn't convinced that there was any cascade of consequences that the game mechanics promise.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. God of War - This game reinvented a beloved (but probably outdated) franchise in a way that just worked so well it's hard to imagine it not being at the top of this list. On top of that, the one shot over the shoulder perspective really added to the story telling and made this feel like a personal journey for Kratos.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Wow, just wow. I know there are complaints about the QOL things in this game like looting and fast travel and I get it. I hear you loud and clear. But to me, those things added so much to this game's narrative, that I became totally engrossed in Arthur Morgan and his tale. I don't think I've ever felt so involved and intertwined with a video game character as I did playing RDR2, and it made this game feel truly special.
  3. Monster Hunter World - This was my first entry into the MonHun series, but holy crap did it pull me in deep. This game is deep on so many levels and the gameplay loop makes each hunt rewarding and exciting. And while weapons may seem pretty straight forward (light attack, heavy attack)... at advanced levels there is so much more to them than what you see at first glance.
  4. Dead Cells - When I started my first run in Dead Cells, I did not think I would like this game. I died super quick, lost basically all of my progress, and had to start over?! But after countless runs, I progressively got better and better, learned the enemies' attacks, learned how to use my weapons/abilities and ultimately beat the final boss (for the first time). Man, that felt good. All of that, plus some of the smoothest combat controls make this a must play.
  5. Marvel's Spider-Man - This game was not perfect, but it is (IMO) the best Spider-Man game to date. Swinging and traversal felt great, combat was fluid, and the story totally locked me in. I may have even shed a tear or two. Overall, this game helped round out a great year for Spider-Man as a character and was a fun interlude before the holiday gaming rush.
  6. Celeste - This game is charming, the right amount of difficult, and has some seriously tight controls and platforming. Coupled with the overall metaphor that is the mountain, accomplishing this game felt great and weaving together everything I had learned from earlier chapters made the final levels such a delight.
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Do I really have to say more than "this is a Melee style Smash with everything you could ever want in a Smash game"?
  8. Forza Horizon 4 - The Horizon series is easily one of the best racing franchises of all time, and Horizon 4 took everything that was great about the previous iterations and made it better. Better graphics, better environments, better physics, better online, and while it may have been sort of novel, the seasons were a really cool way to mix up the game.
  9. A Way Out - I played this in one play through with a friend online and had almost no idea what to expect. While the gameplay was a bit meh, the concept was rich and this game somehow managed to pull me in over the course of the story. When the twist at the end happened, it had me seriously shook. Don't want to really say more, but this has to be on my list.
  10. Battlefield V - This game would be much higher on my list if it wasn't broken. That being said, this is one of the most well-tuned Battlefield games I've played in mechanically, but general game decisions like not being able to select assignments within a round and general bug issues make it impossible for me to put this any higher on the list than it is.

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Nov 8, 2017
1. Valkyria Chronicles 4
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden Country
3. Octopath Traveler
4. Hollow Knight
5. Detroit Become Human
6. God of War

EDIT: Sorry something came up. Will fill in comments as soon as I am able.
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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - By far the purest, most unadulterated fun I've had with any title this year. It's pure, joyous bliss. When some guy on Twitter said this was PSVR's Mario 64 moment, I was like "hyperbole much?" but I'll be goddamned if it didn't turn out to be true. I feel like this is the standard that all VR platformers are going to have to live up to. Every level is like a tiny new present with something cool; the amount of variety and playful originality on display here is astounding. Also it's adorable af and it has interactive dioramas. INTERACTIVE DIORAMAS!
  2. Dragonball FighterZ - Don't know why Dragon Ball is written as one word on the spreadsheet, but whatever. I tend to enjoy fighting games casually, but I shun online because most games are so noob-unfriendly I tend to get my ass kicked but 5-year-olds. Dragon Ball FighterZ changed all that. Not only is it hands-down the friendliest, most welcoming fighter I've ever played, with simple, unified, and intuitive controls, it looks goddamn amazing to boot. For the first few dozen hours it didn't even matter if I was winning or losing; just watching the game unfold on screen was tremendously enjoyable. Then I actually ended up being pretty damn decent at it and performing better online than any other game I've ever played. Add to that some amazing meta (SonicFox is a legend) and this truly is the best fighting game I've played since MvC2. Everyone in the industry needs to learn from this game. If I had to level one complaint at it, it's that the single player content is pretty bare-bones.
  3. Monster Hunter World - Candidate for the "Best QoL Improvements Ever" award, MHW finally brings some much-needed user-friendliness to the still amazing combat. No more switching areas, all maps are a single whole. Harvesting is fast and smooth. Infinite whetstones. No breakable nets and pickaxes. Auto-combining items. The only problem is that I don't know if I can ever go back to the old games again now.
  4. God of War - I feel like I don't really have anything to say about this game that hasn't been said already. The series was getting stale and desperately needed a complete overhaul, and this game delivers. Super excited to see where they take the series next.
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden Country - The original Xenoblade Chronicles quickly became my favorite game of all time, and although XBX didn't gel with me, XB2 was a superb return to form, albeit with some flaws. Torna gets rid of these flaws, mainly by streamlining combat and removing the Gacha system. Monolith Soft are the absolute kings of environment design; not only do their games look gorgeous, but the world settings are unlike anything I've ever seen and the area layouts make fantastic use of verticality. Torna is a wonderful example of everything Monolith does so well, and it comes in a neat, bite-sized package that doesn't overstay its welcome. Again, super excited to see where the series goes next.
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - SSBU is in many ways the polar opposite of DBFZ. Even though it has a similarly unified control scheme for all characters, the combat system is confusing, poorly-explained, unfriendly and, quite frankly, not even that much fun even when you get the hang of it. It makes up for this by, again contrary to DBFZ, drowning you in a veritable shitload of single player content, which is why it's earned a place on my list. There's a metric shitton of stuff to do, and there's so much fan service on display here, it's hard not to fall in love as someone who grew up on Nintendo.
  7. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure - Going to cheat a bit here, because I live in Japan and the main game was released here in 2018, so I'm talking about the main game here, not the expansion (which I haven't played), which is the only one on the spreadsheet. Don't have much to say about this, other than that it's just a ton of fun. It's X-COM but without the frustration of wonky RNG or time/resource management. Also, the Opera Boss is hilarious.
  8. Resonance of Fate 4K / HD Edition - Didn't see this one on the list, but it's a remaster released this year, so it counts as far as I'm concerned. I played this game when it first came out way back in 2010, and instantly fell in love with it, but never got very far due to how unorthodox and challenging it was. Over the years, I tried to pick it up again several times, but I never managed to get much further than the mid-way point. This is the year I FINALLY managed to beat it, which just felt like such a momentous personal accomplishment to me, I just HAD to include it. But it's a legitimate amazing game too! I'm a big JRPG fan, and I can say with conviction that there is absolutely NOTHING like this game. The combat, the map system, the customization; it's all weird, crazy, and totally unique. The story is interesting, the characters are batshit insane, and the music is wonderful when it needs to be wonderful, and kick-ass when it needs to kick ass. If anyone ever dares to say all JRPGs are the same, smack them in the face with Resonance of Fate.
  9. Hollow Knight - Yes, it truly is one of the best Metroid-likes ever made. It's astounding that such a small team made such a huge game with such gorgeous visuals and music, and THEY ARE STILL ADDING NEW STUFF. FOR FREE! I have some minor quibbles with the controls and the way difficulty is handled, but they are minor indeed. I played it first on Switch, but I double-dipped on PS4, and I'm looking forward to playing it again, and seeing all the stuff I missed out on the first time round.
  10. Dead Cells - Not much to say here, other than that I enjoyed it a lot for combining Metroid with random loot drops. A simple concept, but it works really well.

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  1. Astro Bot Rescue Mission - After playing God of War, I didn’t think I would play a better game this year. I even rolled my eyes when previews came out for Astro Bot and one journalist stated that Astro Bot is the “Super Mario 64 of VR”. I bought PSVR about 18 months after launch. I was impressed with the tech and games such as: Superhot, Resident Evil 7, Thumper, Farpoint and Wipeout. These were all good to great experiences. I wasn’t originally interested in Astro Bot, but after the glowing reviews: 91% on gamerankings and the constant praise on resetera, I decided to give the game a chance. For 8-10 hours, I was smiling ear to ear playing this game. I can’t think of anything wrong with this game other than I wish it was longer. The level variety, the implementation of VR and the music are all top notch. I can think of 5 or 6 missions that are legendary status (5-2 being the best). The game has tons of charm. If you are unsure about VR, I guarantee you this game will change your mind. PLAY THIS GAME!
  2. God of War - When this game was first announced, I was excited for the different direction. Cory Barlog directed the best God of War (GOW2) so I was hyped for this game. It exceeded my expectations. I loved the interaction with Kratos and his son. He never felt like a distraction or chore. The gameplay and presentation are rock solid. The story was entertaining. I have a few minor issues with the game. For one, I wish the traversal system was better. It felt cumbersome trying to go for the platinum so I stopped. I eventually want to pick it up again and get it.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - There is a lot to love about this game. The presentation, music, story, acting and especially how the world feels alive. The journey of Arthur Morgan is wonderfully told. I never found the game boring, even the “slow” moments. What holds this game back from GOTY status is the controls. I was constantly fighting with them, even after adjusting to the suggested settings found on era/reddit. (They were a little better, but still not great). I don’t know why Rockstar thought it was a good idea for RT to be aim AND fire. I hardly used Dead Eye as well as I never thought it was necessary. After beating RDR2, I popped in RDR1 and that game controls so much better. I didn’t skip a beat with the controls. I was not disappointed with RDR2. I was motivated to finish the story because I was invested with all the characters. I loved Chapter 4 and the 2 epilogues. Great game, just not GOTY worthy.
  4. Marvel’s Spider-Man - I will always have a soft spot for Spider-Man 2. That still remains my favorite Spider-Man game of all time. However, Spider-Man 2018 is the best game since SM2. Kudos to Insomanic for creating a great Spidey game. The controls were easy to pick up and the gameplay oozes fun. I also enjoyed the characters and story. There was a lot of love poured into this game. I got the platinum which was fairly easy but long. That's my main issue with the game. There is too much of a good thing. The side missions had a lot of variety, but was it really necessary to flood the city with random crimes and backpacks? The next Spider-Man game needs to trim the fat.
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - I was originally disappointed that this game didn’t have a campaign. Blackout changed my mind. The best BR game since PUBG. You could argue PUBG is better, which I have played for about 100 hours. Blackout has better support and runs better on my PC. I appreciate that Treyarch didn’t straight up copy PUBG. They added their own personality with perks, zombies, crazy weapons etc. I can see myself playing this for a long time. Treyarch is great when it comes to MP.
  6. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate - My first Smash Bros purchase since Gamecube. This game is a blast to play with friends. Initially, I hated that I had to unlock most of the characters. As I kept playing, I was motivated and eventually unlocked them all. Nintendo made a wise choice only starting with 8 characters. World of Light is hit and miss with me. I wish I can enjoy the mode more. This game is made for MP.
  7. Firewall: Zero Hour - When Playstation Move came out many years ago, I was hoping for a tactical shooter that would implement the controllers correctly. Killzone 3, Socom and a few others showed some promise, but never fully reached their potential. I had huge expectations for Firewall: Zero Hour ever since it was first announced. I’m happy to report that it’s a great tactical shooter. It uses the aim controller VERY well. It’s basically Rainbow Six Seige in VR. This was my favorite VR game of all time until Astro Bot came out. I wish I could place this higher, but one fairly major issue is how the game kicks you back into the lobby after every match. I hope the developers eventually patch in a best of 3 or 5 rounds. The gameplay is FANTASTIC but if you release an MP focused game, then make sure to prioritize the experience for the player. I appreciate the game is being supported with free DLC maps.
  8. Far Cry 5 - I am a huge fan of the Far Cry games. Far Cry 5 is another great entry. Admittedly, I liked FC5 less than 3 and 4, but still a fun game. I hope Ubisoft changes the formula for FC6 because I’m not sure if this series can keep succeeding doing the same thing over again. Far Cry 5 did have the better story than 3 and 4 though.
  9. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey - I am still working on this game but I am confident that I have played enough to make this my number 9 pick. Having played 15-20 hours so far, I can say this is my favorite AC game since Brotherhood. Revelations was a fine game. AC3 was the biggest disappointment last gen. Black Flag was great until it glitched on me and couldn’t progress in the story. I played Unity and Syndicate for an hour or so each and they were not clicking with me. I got bored with Origins after 10 hours. Odyssey feels like a complete game. I love exploring Ancient Greece, there is so much to do. Protip: Play as Kassandra!
  10. Detroit: Become Human - David Cage games are hit and miss with me. Indigo Prophecy started off great and then went off the rails during the last act. I really enjoyed Heavy Rain despite its flaws. Beyond Two Souls was a disappointment. There is some good in there, but the story was all over the place and there were some AWFUL levels. My expectations were low for Detroit and I ended up borrowing the game from a coworker. I am happy to report that Detroit is Cage’s best game. For one, Cage isn’t the sole writer and this makes a HUGE difference. The story is actually decent and the gameplay feels more tight than his previous games. I was motivated to play through different scenarios and I appreciated the global stats it gave after every chapter. It was cool to see how other players played the game. Kara, Connor and Markus were fleshed out characters. Granted, the game has its cheesy moments, but overall, it works. Anderson is a prime example of cheesy. His character was a walking cliche and dragged the game down. I hope Cage continues to use other writers in future games.
  11. Tetris Effect -I’ve played this game for about a few hours and I enjoy it. The reason it’s not higher is because I want to play more to make a better opinion. I'm sure this will move up once I play it more, especially in VR.

Games I haven’t played as of this writing: Forza Horizon 4, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Celeste, Dead Cells, Hitman 2, Beat Saber, Into the Breach, Return of the Obra Dinn, A Way Out, Guacamelee! 2, The Persistence, Creed: Rise to Glory, Sprint Vector, Knockout League

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Dec 31, 2018
  1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - A return to form of sorts for the series. Beautiful and captivating, leaves you wanting more.
  2. The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep - Kickstarted this one as a huge fan of the originals from the PC glory days. fantastic storytelling and great combat system mark a rare mix of nostalgia and modern.
  3. Hollow Knight - I had no idea what to expect here but just knew that I loved the way it looked. This game just keeps on giving, as not just a great Metroid-vania but as a surprising depth of content, seemingly simple but honestly deep combat, and enough secrets and surprises that put to shame many so called AAA games.
  4. SoulCalibur 6 - As a massive fan of this series I was chomping at the bit once this was announced and it did not disappoint. Gorgeous visuals, the soundtrack that you expect from this series , and most importantly the game play. Add to this a fun and deep Create a Soul mode and some great guest characters.
  5. Tetris Effect - I never expected this to be as good as it is. It reminds me of the first time I played Lumines on the Sony PSP but amped up one thousand times. This is a game you can lose hours in, with the soundtrack and visuals just making you not want to leave. I loved Tetris back in the day and there have been so many variations on the theme but this is one game I am very glad that I was talked into trying. This still may be the game that makes me get into VR.
  6. Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle - Arksys are wizards. Taking a core of the great Blazblue gameplay, adding a twist of Persona Arena and a great cast of characters this game is pure addiction. For those familiar with the Blazblue series or those new to this kind of fighting game there is room for anyone and everyone.
  7. Octopath Traveler - Beautiful beautiful game that has staggered me with how deep it goes and how much content there is to do and find. A love letter to the classic RPGs of the 8-bit and 16-bit era with an amazing soundtrack. This game alone is worth owning a Switch for.
  8. Call of Cthulhu - Flawed but deeply engrossing. Classic atmosphere and surprisingly robust and solid gameplay. The game creates a fantastically oppressive sense of tension at times (won't lie, sometimes the level design can sabotage the experience) and gives a solid cosmic horror experience.
  9. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate - I have never really been into this series, a sin perhaps but it never did much for me. I was caught up in the hype this time and dove right in. It is a love letter to classic Nintendo, with all of the characters and enough levels and worlds to bring a smile to anyone. Mix it some great guest characters, and soundtrack that never lets you down and you have genuinely one of the best social and party experiences out there. Hopefully the netcode can be fixed but to be honest for me this game is at its best when in a room with other people enjoying it.
  10. Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition - It is a meme at this point to hate and shit on this game, but the reality of it is that most of us who play it love it (and can love it and still call out the flaws and want them fixed) and Arcade Edition is leaps and bounds from where it started. Season 4 now and the most recent balance patch have laid the groundwork for what I personally believe will be the best tournament season in a long time with a much more varied character representation.

Honorable Mention:

I have not played them yet:
Red Dead Redemption 2
God of War
Dragon Ball FighterZ

Releases I loved but could not find a place on the list for:
Capcom Beat Em' Up Bundle
Castlevania Requiem
Sega Genesis Classics
Dragon's Crown Pro
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

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Oct 25, 2017
Western Canada
  1. Celeste - My first gaming memory is playing Super Mario Bros. 3 at a babysitter's house and having such a strong emotional connection with it that it became one of my main hobbies for the next few decades. This year Celeste gave me the strongest emotional connection to a platformer since that time. The tight, well-designed gameplay and levels would have been enough, but what really completes the package is the meaningful story about depression and self-worth and one of the best soundtracks of the year giving it a fantastic atmosphere. I feel that Celeste is not just the best game of the year, but a contender for best game of the generation.
  2. Octopath Traveler - A common element of Asano's games are battle systems that are intentionally designed to be broken. Bravely did it well, Octopath does it better. Give me a JRPG with a simple battle system that's highly exploitable and I'm in heaven for dozens of hours. I loved the characters too. I want an official manga or anime series based on these characters because I had so much fun with them. Also, the ending sequence that ties the individual stories all together into one was absolutely masterful. Game looks great and sounds great, with one of the best soundtracks of all time.
  3. Shadow of the Colossus - This was a remake that not only lived up to the original masterpiece, but even exceeded it in some ways. The game was successful at recapturing all of the visual wonder of the original, all of the story beats, and the trademark feeling of intimacy that Ueda's games perfectly build between player and game.
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man - I might be a bit biased here, as I love Spider-Man and have even enjoyed the Beenox games. But nah, this game was excellent, easily the best Spider-Man game I've ever played and possibly the best superhero game I've ever played. Its traversal gameplay was great, I loved the combat and even the stealth sections, and found myself really digging the story. Insomniac was a perfect fit for this game.
  5. Diablo III: Eternal Collection - I feel kind of dirty with this pick since it's been out for almost a decade at this point and I've played it on two previous platforms, but I can't deny I bought this day one at full price again on Switch because it really is one of my favorite games of the generation, maybe of all time. I will never stop playing this game or voting for it when it qualifies for Game of the Year. I love grinding for loot and building up my characters, and doing it all over again. Still hoping for one more expansion before Diablo IV.
  6. Dragalia Lost - One of my favorite things to do in RPGs is just build teams. I often spend more time coming up with new skill builds, team compositions, etc than actually playing the game. Dragalia Lost has been an excellent playground for me in that regard. It's a solid Diablo-lite on mobile in its own right as well and perfectly playable with no financial investment.
  7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - I think it's the best one. I'm pretty sure it's the best one? I'm not much of a competitive player, so I'm not going to spend the next 5 years mussing over the meta to come to a decision on that. It feels great to play, it has the best roster of any fighting game of all time, and loaded with options and modes to keep me busy for the rest of the generation.
  8. Cosmic Star Heroine - The obvious influences here are Phantasy Star and Chrono Trigger, two of my favorite games, so I was so happy that this game managed to both be a great homage to that era of JRPGs (actually feeling more like a Sega CD game, if I'm being honest, but I dig that about it) as well as standing apart with some of the most quirky and amusing dialogue, characters, and NPCs I've experienced in a game. It's very rare that I go out of my way to read all of the flavour text of a game, but I did here. It's great. Oh, and the battle system is pretty cool too.
  9. Wizard of Legend - Man, ninja wizards. What's not to like? My brother and I played through this in co-op and we were bloody awful at it, but had so much fun. Game gives you so many options for your character and a lot of them end up feeling a bit samey, but it's still a surprising breadth of customization options for a small indie game. Procedural level design was very solid, almost never feeling like we landed on an unfair or "bad" level.
  10. WILL: A Wonderful World - I bought this on a whim one weekend because it was cheap and I was kind of itching for a VN. Ended up just sitting down and playing it start to finish in one session, so I think it deserves inclusion here. I was very absorbed by the characters and spent a lot of time going back and making different decisions to get the most of out of all of their arcs. It has a fantastic true ending too, giving me quite a bittersweet feeling as the ending credits rolled. Really looking forward to checking out whatever WMY Studio does next.

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Queen Kong

Out of Kongtrol
Oct 27, 2017
  1. Divinity: Original Sin II - Defininitive Edition Simply the best turn-based RPG combat system. There's no equal. Overwhelming amounts of legit fun builds.
  2. Pathfinder: Kingmaker- It's a game that does exactly what you expect from it: a singleplayer Pathfinder game. Great characters (albeit not as many dialogues as I'd have liked), fun story and rewarding exploration. Recent updates help it play very smoothly.
  3. Forza Horizon 4- While it is not as nearly diverse as FH3 in term of environment, game is still worth it.
  4. Monster Hunter World- The only MH I enjoyed.
  5. Assassin's Creed Odyssey- Shitload of fun contents!
  6. Yakuza 6- Not the best entry imo, but it's still a yakuza game.
  7. State of Decay 2- Fun in coop, not much solo. In a way it's not nearly as good as the first.
  8. Darksiders III- Flawed, but I liked it.
  9. Sea of Thieves- Not bad.
  10. Ashen- Interesting take on the Dark Souls formula.

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Jan 9, 2019
  1. Tetris Effect - The best version of a classic game. Music and aesthetic is top notch and while it gave me VR headaches it's still amazing when just played normally on a PS4
  2. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission - This was the game that made me invest in VR and I was so happy to see the VR space used so inventively in a platformer. Astro Bot is as charming as all hell, and again the soundtrack really added to the experience
  3. Wandersong - I loved the positivity that this game exuded but it's probably so high on my list as I played it at a time when I needed that sort of energy in my life.
  4. Celeste - I generally don't like fast-paced precise platformers but the game's story, music and message kept me coming back
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - The best Nintendo remix/compilation album I've ever bought. Also a pretty good brawler game attached to it
  6. God of War - Never played any game in the series before this one as I was put off by a lot of things, but GoW 2018 seems to at least start addressing these and giving us an enthralling story and some excellent axe-mechanics.
  7. Hitman 2 - I've been playing one level a month (how I think it should have been released in the first place), so I haven;t technically finished it yet but from the three new levels, and all the old ones, which I've played through it's everything I wanted from a sequel to one of 2016's best games
  8. Yoku's Island Express - I really liked how Villa Gorilla meshed metroidvania design with pinball mechanics. Music is super chill and I still enjoy making Yoku blow his noisemaker constantly
  9. Florence - Short but very sweet. Enjoyed how the game mechanics changed with how your Florence's relationship progressed
  10. Donut County - As a massive fan of Katamari, the idea of the game grabbed me from the start but it was the humour that left its mark

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Nov 3, 2017
  1. God Of War - Beautiful, great narration, a perfect reboot that respects its legacy.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Easily the best open-world of this gen, I had so much fun throughout the entire game and I cannot wait for DLCs.
  3. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Beautiful, perfect narration but gameplay should be smoother to be my top 1.
  4. Rimworld - All systems interact perfectly with each others, one of the most replayable game I tried.
  5. Project Hospital - Excellent sim, crazy amount of content and solid replayability.
  6. Frostpunk - The game I didn't know I wanted, it came out of nowhere.
  7. Return of the Obra Dinn - I expected to hate it, I ended up loving the concept even if it's way too repetitive.
  8. Battlefield V - Because no other FPS caught my attention in 2018.
  9. A Way Out - Finally some couch coop on this generation, my wife and I loved it.
  10. Subnautica - Literally unable to stop playing, it's almost like Civ's "one more turn"... in the depths below.

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Nov 4, 2017
Milan - Italy

  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - The best open world until now besides BOTW.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - I'm playing it on these days. I'm a long time AC fan and I love this game too. Loved the new RPG-ish style.
  3. Detroit: Become Human - Really loved the story and the characters. This time I had the feeling that the choises I was making really mattered.
  4. Octopath Traveler - Great characters and combat. I would have liked more interaction among the protagonists.
  5. Rimworld - Playing it since the Alpha. Give it a try if you like management games. You won't be disappointed.
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Sakurai is a guarantee.
  7. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure - Really loved the humor and the new settings. Thanks to Ubi Milan. <3
  8. Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion - Same as for M+R, I loved the humor and the settings.
  9. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Rise and Fall - I would have expected more by this DLC, but I ended up liking it and playing it for several hours.
  10. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Torna The Golden Country - Same as for Civ I would have expected more, but I really loved the combat in the vanilla game so I enjoyed this DLC as well.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to play GOW in time and that's the reason why I'm keeping it out.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - A doom-laden, sprawling Western epic that covers up its mechanical deficiencies and drawbacks with a lavishly detailed world, Rockstar's best character writing, an amazing ensemble cast, a rigorous gameplay loop, and a beautiful soundtrack. It's a spectacle of tech, art, and open world scripting not seen before in games, and considering the 8 year development cycle, one we may not see again for years to come. What it lacks in mechanic fluidity and true open world emergence, it makes up for in period atmosphere and an insane volume of scripting showmanship. It's Rockstar's best game since Bully, and will be seen as an important step in their ongoing iterative process, both for its successes and failures.
  2. Monster Boy and The Cursed Kingdom - Wonderful game, and one of my favorite takes on a Metroidvania of this entire sidescrolling renaissance in the last 10 years. Very charming art and animation, great music, clever puzzles, and well paced character progression. All those years in development come through not only in the visual overhaul since this was first revealed, but the moment-to-moment game direction, which is often a tough ask for metroidvanias that tend to fall victim to dull hallway crawling and locked paths as the main gameplay loop. The constant problem solving- whether through monster form specific mechanics, one-off puzzles, traversal challenges, dungeon puzzle loops, set pieces, combat sections, boss fights, and secrets- is executed with precision here, never drawing any one particular element out for too long, but also continuing to layer on itself hour after hour, returning to and remixing ideas from beginning to end even as each new environment peppers the adventure with its own particular gimmicks. It manages to combine that "every new screen is a new challenge" idea with the interconnected structure typical of the genre, two styles that aren't often a combined goal for a 15-20 hour campaign. Pure joy.
  3. West of Loathing - Genuinely funny mix of light turn-based-RPG mechanics and adventure game dialogue/puzzle solving. With a deft balance of deadpan and total absurdity, the game weaves Western tropes, slapstick, and witty writing into a tapestry of offbeat scenarios that remain both humorous and unpredictable throughout your journey. What West of Loathing lacks in visual spectacle it makes up for through writing and clever send-ups of adventure games, RPGs, Westerns, videogames, and pop culture. There is no wasted motion here. Every line, every subversion of how you're supposed to interact with people and objects in games, is geared towards building a more absurd experience. It's also surprisingly open to letting the player choice dominoes fall where they may, making it unlikely that you'll see everything on a blind first playthrough and lending the entire thing a wobbly uncertainty with every goofy decision you make to advance a quest. West of Loathing is not the cowboy game we'll all remember from 2018 but… well, that's it really. It made me laugh, and that's enough.
  4. Yakuza 6 - A well-executed ending to Kiryu's arc as the face of the franchise. The Dragon Engine seamlessness adds a whole new level of immersion to the series, finally pulling the games out of the PS3 gen, and the story scenes are wonderfully melodramatic, ramping up in emotion and intensity as you round the corner to an over the top and fulfilling climax. The clan creator and baseball mini-games aren't for me, so it's a weaker overall package than Yakuza 0, but otherwise 6 provides most everything you're looking for in a what's become a known quantity series. A single game pulling double duty as a finale AND a new engine testing ground is a big ask from a modestly sized team who are accustomed to building on their tools/mechanics/mini-games for multiple entries, but Yakuza 6 pulled it off. This was a worthy and necessary step for the future of Yakuza.
  5. Hitman 2 - Hitman 2016 but more refined, and minus the episodic release structure. The huge, beautiful murder sandboxes are back, the Blood Money references are numerous, the kills and scenarios are still ridiculous, the briefcase makes its triumphant return to the series, and all the little sharp edges of 2016 are smoothed out- from improved UI readability to the picture-in-picture HUD alerts. As a campaign it doesn't reach the heights of Blood Money, with another clinically presented set of maps that don't really add up to a fleshed out adventure, AND ONCE AGAIN WITHOUT A JESPER KYD SOUNDTRACK, but Hitman is Hitman. And in a sea of games that are not Hitman, I will always say yes to Hitman. So yes Hitman, I do want to sell a poisoned muffin to an unsuspecting target. Yes I do want to play dead (again). And yes, I do want to smuggle my disassembled briefcase sniper rifle through security and shoot a racecar driver in the face during the final lap. Someone call Jesper Kyd though, seriously. Like, for the love of God.
  6. Celeste - The fact that Matt Makes Games were able to pull off an introspective, charming, and weighty character focused story in a platformer is commendable enough, but the fact that they were able to do it while wrapping the level design of a spike/death heavy platformer around those themes boosts Celeste from a good game into something that earns a spot among the greats of 2018. It says a lot that Celeste was able to maintain this spot for me despite being an early 2018 release and not necessarily being my favorite style of platformer, but I simply cannot deny gameplay this tight, music this good, level gimmicks this well paced, and a 2D platformer boss so well done that Retro Studios should take notes and reverse engineer it before making another DK game.
  7. Hollow Knight- With its vast, mysterious, and intriguing world, Hollow Knight manages the one thing I find is hardest for 2D games: Establishing and maintaining a truly oppressive atmosphere. The deeper and deeper you dig, the more and more death seems to seep out of the game, a delicate balancing act against the squishy, dark cartoon charm of the upper regions of the world. With the map system encouraging blind exploration for extended periods, you'll spend dozens of hours strategically lost, mastering the snappy and satisfying combat, all the while tailoring your playstyle through upgrades and charms in preparation for the next sudden boss, and the next sudden new location, and the next sudden combat challenge, and the next sudden obscure revelation. That's this game in a nutshell: Unanticipated danger. You have to move carefully but at a moment's notice be able to react through the swift combat system, a constant push and pull of tension and release. If it gets its hooks into you, there's enough game here to last you well beyond 30 hours, a feat for most titles, much less a sub-$20 Metroidvania. Hard to find more pure value from a game in 2018.
  8. Monster Hunter: World - This took total control of my mind and body for an embarrassing number of hours over a 7-day span. I don't like to talk or think about it anymore.
  9. God of War - This was, for little while in 2018, the most money I've ever felt emanating from my TV. That didn't last very long, as Red Dead Redmption 2 came through just wildly lighting mountains of cash on fire every 5 minutes, but man, for a little while God of War was a damn impressive thing. I was in awe of the way it moved, the way it looked, the way it sounded, and the subtleties in its revamped portrayal of King Dickhead. Even in the immediate aftermath I delighted in anticipating where the sequel for this game might go. Unfortunately that didn't last. Following that, and in the months since, I couldn't help but nitpick the parts of the game that bothered me, because only the narrative has seemed to come out unscathed. In a stunning turn of events, I've ended up mostly unmoved by God of War as a combat, traversal, and puzzle solving experience. With its hub and spoke, looping, macguffin-heavy structure laid bare, the game chugs along at a steady pace, and while it never really dips below a certain quality bar, it never really did the things I'm looking for at a consistent clip either. The lack of a memorable roster of bosses is one definite standout issue- usually a surefire way to shake up pacing in this series, relegated here to a few special encounters spread over a campaign 3-4x longer than the previous standard. Traversal is another, with basic on-foot/climbing sections, and storytime boat sections that never ask anything of the player, or even feign the light platforming of the old games (and yes I know Mimir is great in the boat, calm your ass). So idk, there's something to be said for such a singular AAA vision that can hold your attention for 40 hours. It's grand, and polished, and written with care for the past and the future of Kratos' story. I just hope for more variety in the sequel.
  10. A Way Out - There's no other game in 2018 that allowed me to control 1 of 2 escaped convicts wheelchair racing in a hospital. There's no other game in 2018 that allowed me participate in a 3 way splitscreen action scene. There's no other game in 2018 that allowed me to be on guard lookout while Xtortion unscrewed a toilet in his adjacent prison cell. A Way Out is a ridiculous game of whiplashing tones and game design quality, but it's entertaining as all hell if you play with someone who can match its energy and riff all throughout the campaign. Find yourself a cellmate who can revel in its goofy charms, and you'll find an experience that, somehow, punches above its weight.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories - It starts slow and at first it looks just like any other platformer out there. But soon things start unraveling, the gameplay changes drastically at a point and becomes integral part of the narrative, which is very potent.
  2. Gris - While the overall narrative themes aren't as powerful as in The Missing, Gris is a game a fantastic and imporant themes none the less, and the artwork and animation is just fenomenal.
  3. Shadow of the Colossus - Having never played the original, I finally decided to jump on board with the remake and oh boy, what a fantastic experience. Not top 10 games of all time material though.
  4. The Shapeshifting Detective - FMV games aren't apreciated by most people, they don't sell well. But this game shows that despite their bad fame, FMV games can in fact be great. The story here is great, even if short, and there are some gameplay mechanics that are quite interesting.
  5. Dragon's Crown Pro - Another game I didn't play originally. The artwork is excelent, combat is solid, although the dungeons are limited in number and the game becomes a bit repetitive and grindy.
  6. Super Meat Boy - I've always known about SMB, i knew it was hard, but never tried. With the switch port, I decided to finally play it, and platforming is just as tight and adiciting as I'd been told. Damn it is hard though, I did play all the way to the final boss, but didn't clear that one level...
  7. Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game - It's janky, it has bugs, graphics aren't very refined. Narrative completely makes up for it though, if you like Lovecraft, you'll love this game.
  8. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - Yes, it's just like LIS. But it's free and great none the less. Attention to detail is enormous, and there are many approaches you can have until you reach the ending.
  9. Old School Musical - It's a silly rhythm game. It's not even too challenging and the story isn't great. But man it has a fantastic sense of humor, and the appropriation of retro games hits right in the nostalgia.
  10. Toki Tori - Released in 101 platforms, yet I hadn't heard of it until I bought it just to spend some points about to expire on the eShop. What a surprise. Puzzles are challenging but not unfair, the critters are engaging, and it is very addicting.

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Jan 12, 2018
  1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - I am huge fan of Donkey Kong Country games, and this entry has become my favorite because of creativity, tight platforming, music by David Wise, charming enemies..overall highest quality game that I would pay any price.
  2. Hollow Knight - This game has captured a lot of my attention because it is an excellent metriodvania with amazing atmosphere, music and so much creativity. The world is huge to explore and never gets boring.
  3. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - This is of course one of my favourites as it is a spiritual continuation of classic Castlavenias. I am already invested so much in the main Bloodstained game so I was really happy to play this little adventure. I have played it many times, loved the levels, many multiple endings and music.
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - King K. Rool, all I need to say really. I hope he comes back to DKC games as well.
  5. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure - This game get my vote because it brings a Donkey Kong adventure while waiting for new Donkey Kong games. I am really happy DK is getting more recognized by Nintendo again. Music by Grant Kirkhope is very welcome..

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Oct 25, 2017
United States
A Way Out - There's no other game in 2018 that allowed me to control 1 of 2 escaped convicts wheelchair racing in a hospital. There's no other game in 2018 that allowed me participate in a 3 way splitscreen action scene. There's no other game in 2018 that allowed me to be on guard lookout while Xtortion unscrewed a toilet in his adjacent prison cell. A Way Out is a ridiculous game of whiplashing tones and game design quality, but it's entertaining as all hell if you play with someone who can match its energy and riff all throughout the campaign. Find yourself a cellmate who can revel in its goofy charms, and you'll find an experience that, somehow, punches above its weight.

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Thanks for letting me play basketball with your son
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Nov 16, 2017
  1. God Of War - Amazing soft reboot of the series with awesome gameplay.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Super well written story with amazing characters.
  3. Spider-Man - One of the best super hero games, fluid fun movement and combat.
  4. Thronebreaker - A great new concept mixing Gwent with an RPG.
  5. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 - The best multiplayer online package you can get.
  6. Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash - This game is just hilarious in concept, who doesn't love water gun fights.
  7. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider - More badass Lara with tight gameplay.
  8. Dragon's Crown Pro - Old school arcade dungeon crawler game which I haven't played since I was a kid, great fun.
  9. Spyro The Dragon: Reignited - Amazing remaster of a childhood classic. One of the best remasters I've ever played.
  10. Gwent - Still warming up to homecoming but hey at least it's finally out of beta.

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Jan 16, 2018
he 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.
a friend told me a lot of good things about this game since it came out in Japan last year (2017) and I've been dying to play it but it's just soooo expensive
because i really think bandersnatch counts as a video game
maybe, but definitely not a good one
May 5, 2018
  1. Celeste - Really did not except this to be my GOTY. First saw it on the January Nintendo Mini Direct and thought it looked well made, but probably wasn't gonna play it. Then I noticed the overwhelming positive reviews it got and so I bought it and low and behold, its one of my favorite games ever. Celeste is a platforming masterpiece where the controls are tight, the moveset is simple yet satisfying as you run, dash and climb your way through levels and the levels themselves are certainly tough, but beatable after enough experimentation. Not to mention the game itself isn't like most hardcore platformers where instead of taunting you for failing, it encourages you to be proud of how many times you die because it shows you're learning how to be better at the game. The story is also excellent as it stars Madeline who wants to climb Celeste Mountain, but she has her own mental mountains to climb as she has anxiety issues and the doubtful side of her manifests into an actual being who does whatever she can to convince Madeline she can't climb mountains. Add that to the difficult level design and its one of the few games where the game's brutal levels compliment the story of Madeline wanting to climb the mountain but will question herself why she's doing this when its so hard. The story also has more characters that are memorable ranging from Theo who is an Insta-Pix photographer who's climbing parts of the mountain to gain more followers and has a more laid back attitude than Madeline. There's Mr. Oshiro whose a ghostly resort manager who's self pressure and anxiety over making his abandoned resort an ideal place to stay at actually makes the hotel itself less appealing. Also Lena Raine is a freaking queen at composing music as Celeste has some of my favorite OST's ever. Lastly, Celeste is one of the very, VERY few games where I was compelled to beat the harder yet optional levels throughout the year. Crazy enough, I managed to beat the B-Sides (a few moments where I used Assist Mode) from April to September. I also somehow managed to beat all of the C-Sides without assist mode and it all felt so excilerating! Chapter 7's C-Side is by far the toughest level in game I beat as I died 1,521 to beat that thing! The base game was already a wonderful experience, but beating the hardest levels really pushed Celeste into personal top 5 or top 3 games of all time territory for me. Such a fantastic platformer with a positive message that you'll have problems achieving a tough task and will doubt yourself at times. But if you reassure of your frustrations on yourself and move forward, you are capable of accomplishing lofty goals in life.
  2. Into the Breach -One of the best strategy games I've every played and also a dang good puzzle game if you see the 8 by 8 tile maps as a setup for a tile puzzle game. Into the Breach is a game with an addicting gameplay loop where you pick from a squad of 3 mechs with different weapons and abilities and you use these mech to protect mankind from giant kaiju bugs from who are out to destroy Earth's power source in order to eliminate civilization. But I've put more 50 hours into this game and never once was I bored when playing it. Every move matters as you use your three mechs to strategically either kill the Vek or push the Vek before they attack a building to weaken your power or attack one of your own units. There's also a major variety in missions as you might protect an Old Bar building to get power and kill 7 Vek in one but the next might give you access to a terraformer that needs to turn grass into desert terrain and can K.O. any nearby Vek. 1 playthrough is short for 1-2 hours to beat, but the replay value is high as you unlock new mech squads and new pilots that can change your strategic approach. Pro-Tip, get Camila Vera in he Electric Mech so she can Building Chain enemies while standing in smoke. There's even squad and meta game based goals that fueled your addiction of Into the Breach that add even more to replay valuable. Into the Breach is one of the most perfectly constructed strategy games ever and one of the few Roguelites I got deeply into.
  3. Return of the Obra Dinn -This is one of the most unique puzzle games ever made. You're an Insurance Adjustor from England who notices that the Obra Dinn ship from the East India Trading Company returns to British waters after 5 years. Problem is no one is alive on the ship and you have these magical books and compasses that will help you figure out what happened to these people. You will get some dialogue or sounds seconds prior to that person's death and then get to that exact moment of their death and later are asked who was that person and how they died. Those two questions are crucial on what makes this game such a great detective and puzzle title as you have to examine every little detail on that person's death to fill in the right answers. You need to pay attention to the dialogue to listen for a name or maybe in some instance, a non English language for people on the boat that aren't from an English speaking country. You need to examine the scene of death as to if that person was killed by someone else and how, if it was an accident or if from natural causes. Plus it has some haunting music that plays whenever you travel to a scene of death that fits so well in specific chapters. Not to mention the art direction is top notch as it looks just a 3D game with a classic Macintosh game aesthetic, but the art direction is designed to make studying the deaths more challenging as the 1 bit look is intentionally muddy to make it hard to get crucial info. This is by far one of the best puzzle games in years.
  4. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - I love Smash Bros and this might be the best version of the series. The roster is full of fun newcomers such as King K Rool and the Belmonts as well as having every single character from past Smash games back such as Snake and freaking Pichu. The single player modes are surprisingly well as classic mode now has mini stories to tell such as Donkey Kong and Diddy traveling together to reach new Donk City. World of Light is also quite fun as you have plenty of different gimmicks where one match might have you fight the spirit of Big Boss and its literally set up like the ending of MGS3 with a poisonous floor. Also Smash excels once again with local multiplayer as the regular mode is just as amusing as ever, but Squad Strike and Smashdown are great additions that change up the way you play Smash with friends. Also the Smash Meter is a brilliant idea and should never be taken away. Great job Sakurai and team, SSBU lives up to the "Ultimate" Moniker.
  5. Octopath Traveler - I haven't played many JRPG's at all besides maybe Pokémon when I was young. Yet I was weirdly excited for Octopath Traveler and don't regret my time with it. Its weirdly enough my most played game of 2018 as I clocked 60 hours into it and yes I know JRPG experts will think the hour count is life, but I still managed to beat 3 of the stories and had a great time with it. I love the combat system as enemies have specific weaknesses and you have to find that weakness to break down their shield, stun them and decide whether to buff up your team or finish off the foe. The job system is lots of fun too as I found some great combos for my party members. Alfyn as a thief is great since he can use armor corrosive on a boss and then amputate the boss with a strong axe attack when the foe is stunned. Plus while not all the stories were winners (Tressa's chapter 4 sucked), they did make for great short game sessions as each chapter can take up to 1-2 hours to beat. Combine the great gameplay with a lovely art style and a brilliant OST and you have a sweet love letter to classic Square JRPG's.
  6. Wandersong - The most underrated game of 2018 right here! Wandersong is a 2D adventure game that combines elements of music and rhythm games. You play as a bard who has a dream where he is tested to see if he can a hero, but fails since he can't fight with a sword. He does however, have an amazing singing voice and the being who tested him is so heartbroken that this cute bard fail her test that she gives him a different but very unlikely alternative to save the universe. He was tested early to be a hero to help the goddess of his world end this universe and start a new one from scratch, but the second option has him travel to the realms of lesser deities called Overseers and learn piece of the Earth song and if sung perfectly, it might save everything. Just maybe. This may sound grim, but Wandersong is actually a very colorful and charming game. While the Bard has a chipper attitude to save the world, he's also solving small life problems using his singing voice and NPCs are grateful. Plus this is a game where you want to read all of the dialogue boxes of the NPC's because many lines made me laugh out loud. You also need to read the boxes for Miriam the witch, who accompanies you in saving the universe but she is far more pessimistic about their chances and life in general. But lastly what makes Wandersong stand out is the wide variety of ways the singing mechanics is utilized, which is designed for you to move the right joy stick in 8 directions for the bard to sing in different pitches. He can gain access to the Overseers realms by completing a rhythm minigame where you have to move the stick to the direction of where the cues are in the singing wheel and if sung correctly, you enter the realm. In those areas they become platforming levels where you use your voice to manipulate the environment such as moving the right stick to the left and wind will blow you towards the left to reach a far away area. There's one area where you join a crew of coffee loving pirates and you and the crew come together and sing. Everyone's voice is used as the ship's power source for it to move from one island to the next. Its a fairly easy game so its not a game to get a challenge out of, but otherwise Wandersong is still a lovely and charming adventure.
  7. Yoku's Island Express - Yet another adorable game that creates an unlikely blend of genres. Yoku's Island Express is a Metroidvania that meets pinball where you are a postman dung beetle that has a giant sphere attached to him and you travel around the island loaded with pinball tables to deliver mail. You also have to alert the island's 3 chieftains of a threat and they must come together to save the island. Though the game itself is quite colorful and cute as the game itself has a hand painted appearance that looks like it came out of Rayman Legends. Plus the pinball physics themselves feel spot on and being able to try to get more fruit as currency or solve a puzzle on a table is very amusing. The power ups themselves are nice too as they range from the party whistle which can break blocks holding fruit or just to blow for fun non stop or the slug vacuum which lets you vacuum explosive slugs onto you ball and can tap the whistle to blow them up for you to reach higher ground. Plus there's hours of side and post game content that will keep you busy even after you beat the main game. Yoku's Island Express is a delight from beginning to end bringing an unlikely combination of metroidvanias and pinball into a quality product.
  8. Dead Cells - This is a game I'm not very good at as I've yet to beat it. In fact, I don't know if I can get myself good enough to beat a run. Though I've come back occasionally to play Dead Cells because it feels good man. The movement and controls move like a dream as you are doing what you can to clear different rooms and levels filled with undead enemies. Dead Cells also has lots of great weapons and traps for you to choose from. Normally I to have set up where I either have an oiled sword or a trap like Wolf Traps that is modified to spread inflammable oil and have Fire Grenades to scorch enemies at high temperatures while shooting arrows from a distance. Sometimes I use an ice grenade and then back stab enemies with Assassin's Daggers. There's plenty of replayability once you use the cells you acquired from your runs to unlock new weapons, traps, mutations or upgrades such as healing flasks. Again I can't beat it because some stupid Slasher or grenadier elite will wipe me out when my flow stops, but Dead Cells is still an extremely satisfying action game to play.
  9. Mega Man 11 - Congratulations Capcom! You not made another Mega Man game but a very good one at that. 11 feels like a nice return to form as its yet another classic action platformer starring the Blue Bomber but with a new 3D look on a 2D plane. What makes 11 different from past Mega Mans is the Gear system where both the Power Gear and Speed Gear can both be out in good use. The Power Gear can complement Mega Man's arsenal of weapons such as powering up Tundra Man's Tundra Storm to clear a room of enemies. Speed Gear is also great for platforming and chase sections as it can help you escape from death in a pinch if used precisely. Its also a game where most of the weapons are some of the best Mega Man weapons out there. Block Man is great for dumping blocks on enemies far away from the screen. Fuse Man's Fuse spark rolls on the floor and can break through shielded enemies too. The core levels in 11 are smartly designed and themed after the robot masters' gimmicks, but its unfortunate that Wily's Castle is only strong for the 1st half and the second half feels slap-dash in design. Also the music is sadly not that great especially compared to Smash's covers of classic Mega Man tunes. But still, Mega Man 11 is a solid entry in the series and hopefully Capcom can improve in 11's pros for an improved sequel.
  10. Dragon Ball FighterZ - I'm not that big of a Dragon Ball fan and have a little bit of experience playing the MvC2-3 style of 3 vs 3 tag fighters. Yet I managed to put some time into this game and quite enjoyed it. DBFZ is honestly a very fun 3 vs 3 fighter where when compared to most Arc System Works fighters, feels easier to understand. The only other ASW fighter I played was Persona 4 Arena and while I liked that one, there were some systems and combos that I had trouble understanding. DBFZ has a set up where its easy to understand but hard to master as I can perform auto combos with easy and perform supers rather frequently. Though considering my time online, I'm clearly not as good as other people are at this game as they were doing all sorts of techniques I haven't mastered. But hey, I've figured out some fun combos at least with Vegeta and Majin Buu. Going back to online I've had a blast playing against other people even if I've won 2 matches overall. I do wish the story mode was just as fun as I do like the story of Goku and friends fighting this clone army made by the Red Ribbon Army. Heck, seeing the characters just talk to each other makes me want to watch the show. But actually playing the game where you fight the same fodder clones over and over gets boring and even the "real" version of that character is a cakewalk. That said, DBFZ is a great fighting game for DBFZ fans and fighting game fans who like to play at a causal or competitive level.
  11. Shapeshifting Detective - I was gonna end it with DBFZ, but I feel compelled to give this game a nod. Shapeshifting Detective is an FMV adventure game where you are trying to solve the murder of a young cello player Dorata Shaw. The twist is that you are a shapeshifter who can transform into any of the suspects you meet or into the Chief as you ask questions or converse with these characters to get essential inside info on who committed the murder. Of course its recommended to be yourself first and talk to these suspects to know more about them otherwise if you are pretending to be someone you talked to for a tiny bit, you can be caught quickly and the character that catches you will not talk to you pretending to be the person you knew little about. Its a short game where you can solve a murder in 4 hours, but there is replay value as every playthrough has a different murderer and so certain clues and info will vary in each playthrough too. Plus the performances themselves are pretty amusing and solid for what they are in this FMV game. Contradiction: Spot the Liar actors Rupert Booth and Anarosa de Eizaguirre Butler put on compelling performances as the tough and assertive Chief Dupont and the head of the Tarot Readers Bronwyn respectively. The game itself is set up as asking questions to these people either as yourself or someone else and later on if you feel you got enough info, you can tell the chief to arrest who you think murdered Dorota and if you made the right call if you live. If you are into adventure games and FMV titles, Shapeshifting Detective is certainly worth a look.
  12. Lumines Remastered - Ok one more. I may not have Tetris Effect, but I have the game that predates TE as far a musically inclined puzzlers go. Lumines Remastered is a high res version of the PSP classic as you do what you can to clear a bunch of similar colored blocks while following the funky beats of song like Shinin' and Roundabout. As a good tile puzzle game should be, its just a fun time waster to stack blocks and then try to remove them when the beat arrow comes in to clear those blocks while getting entranced by the tripping visuals and some quality Tetsuya Mizuguchi music along the way.

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Oct 27, 2017
TOP 10:
  1. God of War - I bought a PS4 Pro for this game, and I absolutely made the right decision. A truly remarkable experience from beginning to end, in both spectacle and gameplay. I can think of almost nothing I would change to make this game better. It has some truly awe-inspiring moments, and I am highly anticipating whatever Santa Monica Studio works on next.
  2. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - I didn't expect this to be anywhere near my list, let alone this high. In fact, I debated whether or not to put it at #1, because I've become absolutely enamored by it over the past few weeks. I wish the storytelling were a bit stronger, but all in all, it got me interested in Assassin's Creed again, something I never thought would happen after III.
  3. Celeste - A wonderfully thoughtful platformer that arrived in my life at precisely the right time. Despite it being incredibly hard at times, I never felt frustrated with it. I always felt like the obstacles could be overcome.
  4. Tetris Effect - I have always been fascinated by the game of Tetris, but I suck at it. The Journey Mode in Tetris Effect draws you in and doesn't let go to the point that my lack of skill didn't really seem like a problem.
  5. Deltarune Chapter 1 - I played this before I actually played Undertale, which I knew I wasn't supposed to do. But I still loved it ("Build a Machine to Thrash Your Own Ass" is one of my most memorable moments of the year) and it got me super excited for the final product. Let's hope it's not too far off...
  6. Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! - This game rekindled a love for the Pokemon series that I thought I had lost. Playing through the main story of Let's Go feels like it captures what your mind imagined Red and Blue to be when you were a kid. I'm surprised at how fresh it felt despite adhering to the formula of those first games so well.
  7. WarioWare Gold - What is there to say? To me, it's basically the definitive entry in one of my favorite game series of all-time. I can see myself coming back to this one over and over.
  8. Timespinner - This one came out of nowhere for me. Not mind-blowing, but a well-made and very chill game that has inspired me to go back to SotN and other similar games that I missed over the years.
  9. Just Shapes and Beats - This game is just downright delightful and hopeful. I love the music, I love the action, I love the animation. I had no idea I could feel so much for characters that are just colorful basic shapes.
  10. Marvel's Spiderman - At the end of the day I think this game has a lot of flaws that are easy to overlook thanks to its slick presentation. But man, that swinging is fun. I'd love to see Insomniac take this formula and kick it up a notch.

  • Return of the Obra Dinn - A great game that I'm too dumb and impatient to solve myself.
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered - I couldn't justify spending too much time with it since there were so many great new games this year, but I have to acknowledge the original as one of the greatest racing games of all time.
  • GRIS - The visual and audio presentation is really well implemented, but I feel like the narrative was a little vague for my tastes, and by the end of the game, I felt the gameplay getting a bit stale and repetitive.
  • Dead Cells - Something about this game didn't hook me to play over and over, but in the few runs I've had, I can recognize just how sold it is.
  • Undertale - Played this year on Switch for the first time after beating Deltarune Chapter 1 (as I said above, I know I wasn't supposed to) and with the benefit of the distance from some of the more obnoxious aspects of the fandom, it's a really fascinating game.
  • Florence - A great, simple, short story told very well through gameplay mechanics. I'd love to see Mountains take on something a bit more ambitious next, because I think they could pull it off very well. Give it a shot if you have a free 45 minutes.

  • Shadow of the Colossus - I gave most of the PS4 exclusives that I've missed a try in 2018, and liked a fair few of them. But I still haven't had time to play this one yet. I'm trying to save it for when I have the appropriate space in my life.
  • The Room: Old Sins - I have loved all the old The Room games on iPad, and I'm bummed that I didn't get a chance to play this one yet. I have some upcoming travel and this is a great candidate for my next plane game.

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Bear of Love
Oct 25, 2017
  1. Shadow of the Colossus - A beautiful remake that captured me completely while playing it.
  2. God of War - A great experience with satisfying story and combat.
  3. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Game that has given joy for over 60 hours, and I'm still not bored of it. It's great just how much content this game has.
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man - Made me feel like Spider-Man in a really fun adventure.
  5. Hollow Knight - Metroidvania at its finest.
  6. Lumines Remastered - Can't go wrong with Lumines, really.
  7. Dragon Quest 11 - Great JRPG with tons of charm.
  8. Spyro Reignited Trilogy - A remarkably well made remake that captured what made Spyro great in the 90s.
  9. Pokemon Let's Go - A fun little RPG with slightly shallow mechanics.
  10. Mega Man 11 - A great Mega Man Revival.

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