So, 2018 was a thing huh? In all my time playing and writing about games, I have never had a year dominated by a single game like I did in 2018 (more on that later). That certainly doesn’t mean that there weren’t other games worth a damn, quite the opposite really. 2018 was yet another stellar year in video games as we watch the industry grow and evolve each year. As much as I’m looking forward to 2019’s releases, let’s take one final time to reflect on my favorite games from last year.
A few games didn’t make the cut simply because I haven’t played enough of them just yet, or they didn’t quite make the cut to 10, but deserve mention:
– Into the Breach
– Burnout Paradise Remastered
– Book of Demons
– Clicker Heroes 2
10) State of Decay 2
Here’s a game I didn’t expect to play as long as I did. This is the perfect example of why Game Pass is a great idea. My buddy had just gotten back from a deployment and was ready to just relax and play some games to unwind. This was the game he chose and I promised to play with him. I have a few dozen hours playing and haven’t even set up my own development. I’ve spent that entire time playing co-op and wandering around the zombie apocalypse with my friend just trying to survive. I had a surprisingly great time and will likely return to this in 2019 as Undead Labs continues to support the game with post-release content.
9) Metal Max Xeno
This game is super weird and I never expected it to grab me the way it did. This seemed like the kind of C-Tier JRPG that I would play for an hour, realize it wasn’t for me, then move on. Little did I know I’d spend over 30 hours playing it completion then start up New Game + immediately after. There was something satisfying about customizing the weapons on my tanks and finding as many ways as possible to fire every weapon I could simultaneously. Also, who doesn’t love tanks? Glad I played it.
8) Valkyria Chronicles 4
I loved the original Valkyria Chronicles but never clicked with its sequel and never played the third game which was Japan only (we don’t talk about Revolution…) I has cautiously optimistic with regards to VC4 but was so relieved when it turned out to be excellent. I’ll be honest and say I haven’t been the best fan since I haven’t finished the game quite yet (I promised I’ll do it soon) but I’ve loved every minute I have played of it so far. I don’t need to finish it to tell you it is the return to form the series so desperately needed and I hope it is the first step toward making this a premier franchise going forward.
7) Diablo III: Eternal Collection (Switch)
I really thought I was done with Diablo III at this point. I had been playing the game since launch and spent most of my time playing on the PS3/4. It made sense to port the game to Switch and I thought it would be a good way to spend a lunch break playing, until I was playing it for hours on end and finding myself suddenly enthralled by the idea of finishing all of the seasonal achievements. Lo and behold, I still have a great time playing this game and Switch might just be the ideal way to play it. The game feels as great as ever with a controller (or Joycons) and runs shockingly well in both docked and portable modes. Have fun buying Diablo III for the fourth time!
6) Darksiders III
There were plenty of times I was simply amazed this game existed. It frustrated me with it’s clunky gameplay and terrible cameara, but also captivated me with a story that developed into something exciting and rewarding for someone like myself who has been invested in the franchise since the beginning. This was a game for the fans, the people who still believed in the series after all these years. Darksiders III shows that there is still life here and I hope THQ Nordic finally give us the Darksiders game we’ve been waiting for next. In the mean time, I’d gladly recommend this game to any fan of the series or anyone looking for a competent action game with a few surprises up its sleeve.
5) Far Cry 5
I actually just realized that this is number 5 on my list, funny. Much like Darksiders III, Far Cry 5 is a flawed game, but this time one that has stellar gameplay. Running around fighting cultists kept me busy for hours on end and the Seed family kept my interest even when the story itself was falling on deaf ears. I got all the endings, took full control of every island, did as many side quests as I could find and couldn’t have asked for much more. I am really looking forward to the sequel next month and finally letting my dog ride in car (COME ON FAR CRY).
4) Shadow of the Colossus
I missed this game the first time around on the PS2 and didn’t end up playing the remaster on PS3. A ground up remake on the PS4 seemed like the perfect time to finally cross this off my list. As far as remakes go, this one is both true to the source and modern in the right ways. This was easily one of the best looking games of the year and looks the way I imagine the original team always saw it. When all was said and done, even thought I had heard how it all goes, I loved that I finally played and finished the game. Whether you’re a fan of the original or an interested newcomer, Shadow of the Colossus is a must play title.
3) Forza Horizon 4
That right there is my dream car, Shelby Mustang. I pinched my Forza pennies to save up for one of those early and loaded it up with every upgrade I could. I have since driven cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, Koenigsegg, hell I even drove the Warthog from Halo, but that Mustang will always be my favorite. Forza has always been a game where you can get connected to your cars, upgrading and tuning them to your heart’s content. While the Horizon series has always been better known for its less simulation focused gameplay, it was many of those elements that really stuck out, along with the damn fun driving and the amazing setting. Forza Horizon 4 is the most complete and absolute best racing game this generation and you just have to play it to see why.
2) God of War
What more is there to say that hasn’t already been said? We already made it our Game of the Year (among other things) and there is a very real chance this is the best game of the generation. From story telling to gameplay to visuals this is the complete package, it has everything. I can vividly remember so many amazing moments in this game that it was hard to to have this as number one on my list. The sheer number of moments where my jaw was on the floor outclassed every other game this year. This is the very definition of a system seller. Frankly, you’re crazy if you haven’t already played this game. Go, now, play it!
1) Destiny 2: Forsaken
For as long as I have been able to buy my own games, I’ve been a jumper, jumping from one game to another as they released. I’ve put plenty of time into the likes of Overwatch and League of Legends, but what if I told you I spent more time this YEAR with Destiny 2 than both of those games, to date, combined? Yeah, that’s why this is number one. I didn’t realized how ready I was for a game like this, especially since I really disliked the original and quickly bounced off the vanilla release. The likes of Warmind and eventually Forsaken not only turned this game around for the better, it kept me hooked on an almost daily basis. Whether I was running strikes, prepping for raids, or just grinding out enhancement cores, I was and still am hooked. Destiny 2 is still a very flawed game that needs improvement in many areas and one that will drive many players away with its kind of grind, but boy, if you let this game get its claws into you you’re in for a hell of a ride. If the year three expansion is as good or better than this one, expect to see Destiny here again next year. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to run the new Black Armory content.