2018 was a year full of highly awaited sequels, anticipated new franchises and a surprising number of “battle royale” modes top publishers were trying to cash-in on due to Fortnite’s monstrous popularity. There have been let-downs, microtransaction debates and studios shutting down that have let franchises in limbo as well, but despite these topics of debate, 2018 saw one of the best years in gaming. All three consoles had stellar first party support and blockbuster multi-platform games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey showcased an already impressive lineup of gaming for 2018.
It was hard to pick a Top 10, and incredibly harder to put them in order (especially within the top 3). But despite all the popularity surrounding those games, I believe my list fully showcases how some old franchises have continued to remain relevant while new titles are rising up to become household names as well.
On to my favorite games of 2018!
10. Monster Hunter: World – PS4, Xbox One, pC
Capcom took roots from its older games and mixed it with new ideas to make Monster Hunter: World the best entry in the series to date. Online co-op for four players made monster hunting a team effort and the massive popularity of the series and online play has made it the fifth highest-selling PS4 title.
9. We Happy Few – PS4, Xbox One, PC
Compulsion Games’ paranoia thriller had a Bioshock-esque vibe as you tried to escape a dystopian society on the bri nk of collapse. The elements of hallucinogenic drugs and stealth gameplay made We Happy Few one of the most intriguing, and disturbing, titles of the year.
8. Shadow of the Tomb Raider – PS4, Xbox One, PC
Make a few changes to the gameplay while adding in a new South American setting and you have the keys for success for Lara Croft’s third outing. The combat and visuals still remain as some of the best in the industry.
7. Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox One, PC
One of Microsoft’s core franchises, Forza Horizon 4 branched the series out even further by allowing a shared world amongst 72 players simultaneously and the ability for players to create their own races. The series is also the benchmark for what future racing titles should hope to achieve in terms of mechanics and visual stability, as it is now the bar to set for all future racing games.
6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Switch
70+ players from the start and more coming fast from Nintendo, Ultimate is turning out to not only be one the most complete entries into the series but the best fighting game of the year as well. New levels, assist trophies and abilities will have fans busy for years to come to master and collect them all.
5. Detroit: Become Human – PS4
Quantic Dream’s latest entry about robot’s rising up against their human masters was one of the best storytelling experiences of the year. The choices you made personally affected each character you came across and the visuals rivaled some of the best technical achievements of the year.
4. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – PS4, Xbox One, PC
Adding on to what Origins already started, Odyssey has taken the Assassin’s Creed series to new heights. Showcasing just how far this series has become, Odyssey is the product of years of dedicated service from Ubisoft who continues to reinvent the series and action genre as a whole. Odyssey is the best entry in the series thanks in part to an improved combat system, likable characters and one of the best settings the series has ever visited.
3. Marvel’s Spider-Man – PS4
One of the biggest surprises of the year, Insomniac took Spider-Man to a place it had never been before, a list with all the best games of the year. The open world playground of New York fit in perfectly with the fast-paced high-flying combat of Spider-Man‘s acrobatic maneuvers and various tools. Definitely one of the most exhilarating and feel-good titles of 2018.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2 – PS4, Xbox One, PC
This is where my list got tricky, as the top two games could easily have switched spots. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a triumph for gaming, an open-world western that felt more like roleplaying life in the Old West rather than playing a game. Everything from hunting, cooking, gambling or shooting down anyone in your path was a fun activity to participate in and Rockstar continues to lead the industry in creativity and storytelling. There hasn’t been a better cast of characters in any game this year.
1. God of War – PS4
My top game of the year. While not technically a reboot, Kratos left behind the Greek Isles for a trip to the Norse lands, a world packed with terrifying new creatures and Gods and a kick-ass new Axe that becomes your new tool for combat. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year, from the new weapons and combat tools to the addition of your son, Atreus, who besides aiding you in battle, offered a new side of Kratos the series had yet to see. The bond between father and son in the midst of all the ruthless killing and chaos is an experience every gamer has to witness for themselves. God of War continues to be one of the marquee franchises for the Playstation.
While my list had a few new titles on the list, lots of familiar franchises still remain strong year after year. Fortnite is still the most played game of 2018 and shows no sign of slowing down, and other juggernauts like Battlefield and Call of Duty still control the multiplayer landscape going into 2019. Will 2019 be more of the same, or will new franchises rise up to knock out the heavyweights from 2018? We will find out soon enough as 2019 is starting out with a bang as Kingdom Hearts 3 is releasing in January after nearly a 10 year absence.
Here’s to another fun year of gaming ahead of us!