2018’s been an odd year for me as I transitioned from one journey into the next. This new path hasn’t given me as much gaming time as I’d like but it’s given me the tools to succeed in the future, so there’s that, right? As it were, there’s been a ton of exciting games this year to play, so here are my top ten games this year.
Forza Horizon 4
The Horizon brand continues to grow. With Forza Horizon 4, I’ve roamed the English countryside for dozens of hours. I can’t find a reason to put the game away and with the most recent content pack, Fortune Island out, I don’t need to put it away either. The seasonal gameplay changes, and the beautiful world, there’s so much to take in. Add in exhilarating gameplay, tons of unlockable skills, and some beautiful sports cars, this is one hell of a game.
Gris only came out last week. It is gorgeous. Gris is a game where the plot is left for you to piece together. With stunning, hand-painted visuals, music that warms your soul and some interesting gameplay decisions, this short but sweet game is a wonderful way to end the year. If you need a break from all the overwhelmingly large open-world games out there, this is a good place to start.
This one is less like a game and more of an interactive story. Florence is a special game that features a young woman who has a monotonous life. One day, she meets a man named Krish, and soon fall in love. I even wrote about how the story made me understand it was okay to get hurt, as it helped us as people to learn to love once again. With minigames the mildly resemble the WarioWare style of games, they help push the emotional aspect forward.
Being a huge fan of the web-slinging, quip throwing, superhero, Marvel’s Spider-Man had everything I wanted in a superhero game. A good story, some surprising twists, and great gameplay. Insomniac Studios created one of the best superhero games on a console.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
It’s been a whirlwind from the game’s initial announcement to the game’s release. Tons of reveals, tons of surprises, Ultimate has it all. With a massive roster covering 33 franchises, Nintendo’s premier brawler series has it all. I’ve been away from the series for years, coming back now is the best time to return to a series that welcomes both old and new players.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
I ended my playthrough at around 120 hours. There is still more content to finish and mercenaries to best but this massive and sprawling recreation of ancient Greece is unlike anything else. Odyssey’s world is full of life. Characters that make laugh, make me angry and everything in between, these characters feel like real people. With several branching storylines and some interesting revelations, this is the biggest game in the series in years.
The Tetris Effect
I’ve been seeing the actual Tetris Effect happen. When you play so much Tetris, eventually you begin seeing patterns at the market or during a drive. I’ve closed my eyes and seen falling blocks and how I’d line them up. The Tetris Effect on PlayStation 4 is a euphoric, exhilarating, and entertaining experience. From the moment the game was revealed at E3 this year, I knew I wanted to immerse myself in the game. With one of the best soundtracks this year, I’m finding myself playing this game before bed to wind down.
Pokémon: Let’s Go
I wasn’t exactly on board when Nintendo revealed a new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch. That’s because I wasn’t a fan of the mobile game, Pokémon GO! I really thought this game was going to fall on its face but I’m glad I was wrong. Taking elements of the Niantic’s GO, and streamlining the grind-ish nature the series is known for, Pokémon: Let’s Go cuts away the fat and gives us the best game in years.
Detroit: Become Human
Launching back in May, Detroit: Become Human was something I couldn’t put down. I spent a solid week trying to find the best path, ensuring all my characters survived and ended up in a good place. Quantic Dream’s games may not have the most cohesive stories at times, but, their games are fun. Also, it’s a beautiful game that’s hard not to admire and features a great cast with some wonderful performances. There’s a good amount of character development and branching narratives have an impact on how your version of events plays out.
God of War
The initial reveal at E3 2016 is a massive highlight for me. The noise this game generated back then echoed all the way up until launch. God of War successfully reboots and improves the series to a new standard. Cory Barlog and his team at Sony Santa Monica took what worked for the series – and improved on it, succeeding in a way that I didn’t think possible. Introducing Atreus, and then expanding and building the relationship between father and son, it was refreshing and special. Playing through this game reenergized me, this wasn’t just a game or a journey but an experience.