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The Year in Review: Top 10 Games of 2018

2018 has been a monumental year for games whether that be from Triple A titles to heart-warming indies, there’s been a huge range of quality titles for gamers to choose from.

There’s almost been too much choice this year and there’s a lot more than 10 stand out titles but here are our top 10 picks for this year’s games of the year.

Honourable mentions include: VR titles Astrobot Rescue Mission and Beat Saber, Far Cry 5, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Hitman 2 and Tetris Effect.

10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros Ultimate. – Nintendo

This Nintendo switch exclusive boasts an impressive 72 characters to choose from. Smash Bros. has been a Nintendo staple for years but with its stunning visuals this is the best yet. With so many characters there a huge array of different fighting styles to learn and master. It’s single player campaign is even impressive and enjoyable. It’s a fun yet complex game for young and old something Nintendo seems to have mastered and makes for a unique, entertaining game.

9. Assassins Creed Odyssey

Assassins Creed Odyssey – Ubisoft

Whilst I’ll grumble about the heavy microtransactions featured in this game and its grindy gameplay there’s no denying this is one of the best Assassins Creed games yet (Ok not better than the Ezio collection but). You get your money’s worth here with over 100 hours of surprisingly varied gameplay. The map is huge and daunting at first but the additions of a mercenary system, cultist’s, region battles and mythical creatures makes the world exciting to explore. This game also sees the RPG elements seen in Origins vastly improved upon. You also have the option to play as male or female this time around and, disregarding historical accuracy – choose Kassandra, trust me you won’t regret it.

8. Detroit Become Human

Detroit Become Human – Quantic Dream

David Cage’s games have become like marmite in recent years and surrounded by controversy of its themes. Whilst Heavy Rain was a solid thriller, Beyond Two Souls left a lot to be desired so I was on the fence about Detroit Become Human. I’m surprised to say this one really delivers. If you’ve been caught up in the latest interactive Black Mirror episode ‘Bandersnatch’ then this type of game will be right up your street. It offers choice and consequences that matter and greatly affect the story. Make one wrong move interrogating someone as your favourite character? You could lose them forever. Most of the characters are engaging and interesting to play as even if the script comes off a little wonky sometimes. If you’re a fan off Sci-fi and multiple branching pathways then you’re sure to find this on enjoyable.

7. Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter World – Capcom

This latest instalment of Monster Hunter World is now even more accessible to western audiences. Its hunting big monsters that tower over you for hours on end what’s not to love? You can even play it with friends. What’s interesting is that you don’t just go to a waypoint marker, fight said monster then repeat, the game tasks you with tracking footprints and learning how to take down your opponent. There definitely is a challenge to be found here and you are expected to learn as you go and develop your skills. It’s also rich in RPG elements so if you’re a fan of that then give this one a try.

6. Celeste

Celeste – Matt Makes Games

As we already touched on Celeste in our Mental Health Meet Video Games piece, Celeste is a game that is close to our hearts. It’s heart-breaking at times and features some really tough platforming but it’s the sense of overcoming the challenges and your own mind that will see you through to when the credits roll. It has a really charming art style and soundtrack that lends itself to the story. Overall, it’s a fun game to play whilst its story is thought provoking and a great example of depression and anxiety represented through the medium of video games.

5. Florence

Florence – Mountains

Florence is an indie game playable on android or iOS. It’s all about love and the trials and tribulations that come with it. It’s a touching story of emotion and this coupled with its lovely art style makes it a joy to behold. Its gameplay consists of puzzle like mechanics whereby you make conversations between you and your boyfriend. It’s another game with a stellar soundtrack, adding to the games interactive storytelling. It may be the shortest on this list clocking in at under an hour but its one of the most refreshing tales in recent memory.

4. Dead Cells

Dead Cells – Motion Twin

This vivid 2D action game combines satisfying platforming with rogue like elements and exploration. Dead Cells is a game in which you get knocked down a lot but learn from your mistakes and begin to master the gameplay more and more as you go on, lending to a real sense of pride and accomplishment when you overthrow a tough enemy. The gameplay mechanics along with the stunning art style are where this game really shine and it’s a joy to control.

3. Marvels Spider- Man

Marvels Spider- Man – Sony/Marvel

I am a big fan of the superhero genre here, in particular the Arkham games featuring our favourite Dark Knight. We had various terrible movie tie in superhero games in the past but I can confidently say that Marvels Spider-Man lives up to its hype and is a stellar Spider-Man game. There’s nothing quite like having the freedom to glide and swing your way throughout New York with ease. The story is full of memorable characters and Yuri Lowenthal does a superb job of capturing Spider-Man’s character. There’s also some great humour featured throughout, whilst the game knows when to be serious making it all the more dramatic. Of course, it helps that this is another amazing looking PS4 game and I’m excited to see where the story goes next.

2. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption – Rockstar

The big one. Now whilst some of you may be disappointed it didn’t clench top spot there’s no denying it’s a great game and for some, it’s their game of the year. Rockstars fantastic attention to detail, great visuals and soundtrack make this game one of the most immersive on this list. Perhaps the most fun part of this game is going off the beaten track and finding organic stories instead of just focusing on the main quest. Its jam packed with stuff to do and you feel like you are crafting your very own story. Red Dead Redemption 2’s story is bold and ambitious and builds on that of the previous game. Whilst it has been criticized for some pacing issues it is important to note this is a game that actively encourages you to get lost in the world, perhaps for some it is a little too time consuming and immersive but I found it to be a powerful, detailed and addictive western tale.

1. God of War

God of War – Sony

When I look back on which game had the biggest impact for me this year it is definitely God of War. Having played every God of War title from PS3 to PSP and being a huge fan, this huge change of formula and soft reboot of the series was very welcomed by myself and many others. God of War was a game I couldn’t put down, it’s all I could think about and it shows how invested I was having achieved the platinum and defeating all of those pesky Valkyries. Everything from the games mesmerising graphics to its heart-warming tale of father and son going on a journey to spread their mother’s ashes kept me gripped throughout. It features a powerful soundtrack and tremendous acing from Sunny Suljic (Atreus) at only 13 years of age, Christopher Judge (Kratos), Jeremy Davies (Baldur) and Alastair Duncan (Mimir). I’d also like to note that this game has NO use of microtransactions or a season pass. It shipped in its entirety and the long development time and attention to detail shows in the quality of the game. Its clever use of Norse mythology had me intrigued at every turn and whilst I won’t spoil it – THAT ENDING WAS…

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