2018 was an excellent time for games. A lot of franchises ended and some of them even begun anew. As a gamer, the year was a very fun and memorable one and it will be tough to surpass.
Without further ado, here are my Top 5 Games of 2018:
- Octopath Traveler: Nintendo Switch started amping things up in 2018 with hits released left and right. Though some of them felt a little too safe, as they were all following the “Nintendo formula”. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, Octopath Traveler was a really pleasant change of pace. The game is a love song to the JRPG games of the past. Octopath features a diverse cast of characters, an overarching plot that slowly unravels as you play through each of the cast’s personal quests, and a memorable battle system that made the journey worth it. Octopath Traveler, while not exactly the most replayable game of all time, was really memorable and it definitely made my 2018 a lot more fun.
- Detroit Become Human: I’m a sucker for a compelling story and Detroit really hooked me in with the initial Kara tech demo released back in 2012. There have a been quite a few movies and games about machines becoming sentient over the years, but Detroit Become Human stands head and shoulders above the rest for me. It was a ‘choose your own adventure’ story that actually featured multiple endings. Each one affected each and every character in either a subtle or major way. While Detroit wasn’t really a 2018 game of the year contender, it was certainly good enough for me, and I’m looking forward to more.
- Warframe: The Sacrifice: I know what you’re thinking – why am I listing The Sacrifice instead of the major expansion that was Fortuna? It’s simple, really. The Sacrifice is the conclusion (or a transition, depending on whom you ask) to a storyarc released way back during Warframe’s launch on the PC. The Sacrifice proves that a sustained free-to-play model, without lootboxes and the other things that people criticize, is possible as long as the developer continually makes the game better. That was done here by making the players the first priority, and profits second. The Sacrifice is an extremely well crafted storyline that actually made the 350 hours of grinding that I did in the latter part of 2018 worth it. I started Warframe last year, and I’m looking forward to the next 5 or even 10 years on top of that. Surprise me, Digital Extremes.
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: I bought an RTX 2080 last year, and the very first game that I played with it was Shadow of the Tomb Raider. I’m not gonna lie, the latest entry in the Lara Croft story looks really great on PC. It had a few problems here and there, especially with optimizations and minor tweaks but the game was a solid 7/10 in my opinion. 10/10 for the graphics alone, mind you. While Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a satisfying conclusion to the “Young Lara” storyline, I look forward to where they’re taking the series next.
- God of War: I know, God of War is definitely the 2018 Game of the Year for many people. It is for me, too. While it’s a little unfair, the immortal bond between a father and child really won me over. When you see a game with Kratos in it, you expect him to be jerk and to be the furthest thing from a father as possible. But I was wrong, and I fell in love with the awkward bond that strengthened throughout the game between Kratos and his son, Atreus. The game play was really smooth too and the combat system is one of the best that I have ever played. Hitting enemies actually proved cathartic in a way, as you could actually feel every hit and crunch that you gave the enemies. I look forward to what’s next in God of War and I hope that it comes really soon because the reveal at the end of the game really changed things up.
- Valkyria Chronicles 4: I’ve been a fan of the Valkyria Chronicles games for a long time and the 4th installment in the series was a much needed addition to the series. People have been craving a proper Valkyria game since the first installment ended after all. And while the 4th game might remind people of the first game, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The formula works. And though I agree that it should be changed or tweaked every now and then, I personally think that as long as it isn’t done too similarly to the 2k games… well then if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- Kingdom Come Deliverance: Peasant Knight Simulator was a really fun game to play but its overt realism turned a lot of people off. I like a challenge though, and while it’s not part of my actual Top 5 list, I liked the charm and the effort put into the game enough that I might actually re-play it when I get the time.
- Monster Hunter World: I’ve been playing Anthem for a while now and I know -I know- it’s a “bad game” in that there’s a lot more problems than content at the moment. That made me think about how much I took Monster Hunter World for granted. It was a really great game and the updates haven’t really stopped yet. While the majority of the players are on the consoles, the PC version is still really lively as of today’s writing. Who knows, if they keep this up, Monster Hunter World’s next big expansion might actually end up on my Top 5 Games of 2019 list.