VIDEO Game of the Year 2018

Discussion in 'Archive: Games' started by Reynar_Tedros, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jul 3, 2006
    2018, we hardly knew ya. Another year has come and gone, and is it just me or did it fly by? In the past twelve months we've seen long awaited sequels come to fruition, reboots shaking up the formulas of franchises grown stale, new IPs hit the ground running, remasters that tickled our nostalgia, the battle royale craze hitting full tilt, and Switch ports!! It's certainly a lot to take in, and this is the place where we come together to celebrate (and debate) the best of the best.

    The Categories
    • Game of the Year
    • Honorable Mention(s)
    • Best Story
    • Best Gameplay
    • Best Graphics/Style
    • Best Soundtrack
    • Best Multiplayer
    • Best Surprise
    • Best Downloadable Content
    • Most Disappointing
    • Best Old Game (or pre-2018 game you played this year)
    • Most Anticipated 2019 Game

    And as always, feel free to add and subtract where you wish. For your convenience, here is a list of all the video games released in 2018. Happy ranking!
  2. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2017
    Man, I wish I played new games so I could contribute.
    TrandoJedi likes this.
  3. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jul 3, 2006
  4. Ahsoka's Tano

    Ahsoka's Tano Force Ghost star 7

    Oct 28, 2014
    I'd say Nier Automata for GOTY; but then I realized it's only on the list because it was a re-release on the Xbox One a year after being released on PS4.
  5. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    I've long ago come to the conclusion that I can only give an honest evaluation for GOTY for a past year. Even if I had all the systems, I wouldn't be able to consume the games at a fast enough rate to evaluate the new releases in time- and the move towards games-as-a-service makes defining a game to a single calendar year begin to become problematic. On the upside, that helps avoid a snap in-the-moment judgement and see what games really stand worthy of the title.

    So, GOTY 2003 goes to... ;)
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    Reynar_Tedros, Life and Jedi Ben like this.
  6. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Jul 19, 1999
    Game of the Year
    Well, I put in about 150 hours into the bastard so it must have done something right - Monster Hunter World. Easily one of the harder games I've played, not one I would have kept were it not a digital edition. Did manage, to my surprise, to finish the main story. Also the Aloy armour is superb, running around as her while wielding a massive, rocket-boosted greatsword is so very fun.

    Honorable Mention(s)
    Not yet finished, but Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a hell of a lot of fun.

    Best Story

    Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - Not perfect, but this was a good finale to the Yakuza saga.

    Best Gameplay

    I ended up hooked on MHW once High Rank was hit - combining gear for certain effects against a particular enemy is quite addictive.

    Best Graphics/Style

    MHW's graphics are quite the artistry. The monsters are superbly animated, as are the environments you fight them in.

    Best Surprise

    No Man's Sky Next + subsequent updates. This is where it went from a limited curiosity to an excellent, quite relaxing game of wealth acquisition, starship upgrading and base building along with fleet buying, freighters and space exploration. This one has paused at the 300 hour mark.

    Best Downloadable Content

    NMS Next and all the other free updates.
    What I've played of Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds has also been excellent - need to get back to that.

    Most Disappointing

    Sonic Mania - it has the look, but not the soul of the old games.

    Best Old Game (or pre-2018 game you played this year)

    Yakuza Kiwami and Tomb Raider 2013. Finally went back to and finished the latter. Once you have Lara's arsenal upgraded, the shootouts become massacres of shooting and ice pick murders. And those irritating shield guys? Say hello to Grenade Arrows!

    Most Anticipated 2019 Game

    Now it is The Outer Worlds, with Dangerous Driving second. Also looking forward to playing Tales of Vesperia on PS4. Finally, there's the Witcher 3 / MHW crossover and the Icebourne expansion for MHW.

    This is aside from waiting for the price to drop on Dragon Quest XI, God of War, AC: Origins, AC: Odyssey, Spider-Man, Divinity of Sin II: Definitive Edition
  7. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Dec 7, 2014
    Technically the only new game I played that came out this year was Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but I'll list some of the highlights of the new games I tried this year.

    Game of the Year

    Honestly a hard one to pick. Of the new games I played, AC Odyssey took up the most time, and is probably the game I'd give this to if I was sticking to games released in 2018.

    However, the game I honestly enjoyed playing most this year was Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. I tried out the two DLCs for the first time in the summer, and it re-invigorated my passion for the game, which stretched for months. It really is a phenomenal system, I just love the expanded Nemesis system in War. The Rogue-like experience of the Desolation of Mordor DLC was such a fresh way to play, and fitted perfectly with the Nemesis mechanics. The major patch over the summer added even more to the game, and that was free as well. Plus I just love Tolkien's works in general, and I thought War was a very nice take on the lore and locations. It was the defining game of the year for me. It went from a game I liked, to one of the best games I've ever enjoyed.

    Honorable Mention(s)

    Finally got round to playing 2016's Obduction, which was a delightful return to the puzzles of games like its predecessor Myst, and was so satisfying to see a new game from Cyan after so long (their last was Myst V in 2005). What Remains of Edith Finch was another great solid little game, especially because I played the majority with my sisters, who rarely get drawn into games with me.

    Best Story

    Gonna go with Edith Finch, had a very personal story of loss in a single family and explored it really well. The way it used differing gameplay mechanics to tell its story was genius at times (particularly the Cannery level). And, like I said, it was good enough to draw in my sisters too.

    Best Gameplay

    Another plus for Shadow of War, I sunk hours into the fort conquests in that game, and the permadeath mode of the DLC was even more replayable.

    Best Graphics/Style

    Got to be AC Odyssey, the world of Greece was phenomenally realised (and I took hundreds of photos chronicling its beauty). Being able to see across one end of Greece to another was incredible, especially knowing that every tiny island was visitable.

    Best Soundtrack

    A point for Edith Finch again, it's a short score but with some lovely pieces. Shadow of War has some excellent pieces in it as well (particularly the main theme, and vocal track Fires of War).

    Best Multiplayer

    Didn't play too much Multiplayer this year, though in the summer I did play a lot of Crawl, which is a couch co-op dungeon crawler. One player controls the 'adventurer', whilst the others have to try and murder him to take control, which makes it very competitive. There's a lot of interesting customisation, and it's a very unique take on the genre.

    Best Surprise

    I got to try out my cousins PS VR headset in January (and in May), which was incredible. I'd never given much thought to VR, but actually trying it out was a blast, and was a lot more immersive than I ever expected it to be. I did a 360 degree skydive experience, and flailed around like a madman the entire time :p

    We played with the VR for hours that night, particularly the Bomb Disposal game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, which was satisfying to beat, especially at higher levels. I'm not sure whether sustained use of the VR would be enjoyable, I didn't get to try out something like Skyrim VR for instance, but for a party game centred evening it was perfect.

    Best Downloadable Content

    Hands down the Desolation of Mordor DLC for Shadow of War. It adds a new region and mechanics, and restructures the whole game into a rogue-like experience with permadeath. It fits the Nemesis system like a glove. The new region has a lot of verticality and interesting ways to get around (as well as looking great).

    Most Disappointing

    Maybe Rime sadly, which was a mixed game for me. It had great music and atmosphere, and a solid story in the vein of Journey. The gameplay just holds it back a lot, with puzzles and mechanics that I just found dull and time-consuming. It's a shame, I wanted to like this game a lot, but it just felt like kind of a slog to actually sit down and play. If it had been more relaxed with its gameplay, like Journey or Abzu, I might have appreciated it more. It's not a bad game, it just ended up kind of average.

    Best Old Game (or pre-2018 game you played this year)

    Played Red Dead Redemption for the first time, since there was all that hype around the sequel. It's a solid enough game, with a nice world, though it felt kinda shallow in the gameplay. The best moments were the fast paced horse chases. The worst was lassoing and chasing cows, which was so fiddly. It was a mixed bag overall, but I'm glad I decided to try it out.

    Most Anticipated 2019 Game

    The Last of Us Part II, Naughty Dog has never let me down yet, and TLOU 1 is a great game that deserves a sequel.
    Jedi Knight Fett likes this.
  8. FatBurt

    FatBurt Chosen One star 6

    Jul 21, 2003
    *Game of the Year

    Red dead 2

    An engaging and deep story where I felt for characters throughout.
    Visually stunning and was the only new game I've played this year where I played through to the end without being diverted.

    A magnificent diversion

    * Honorable Mention(s)

    Zelda and Spiderman

    * Best Story

    Red dead 2 for reasons outlined above

    * Best Game play

    Spiderman. I played after red dead and the increased speed caught me by surprise after the more laid back approach seen in the cowboy jaunt but the extreme approach to realism in red dead is both a blessing and curse. It looks great and having to cock your gun is super realistic but it causes me to die too frequently.

    Jumping off the Empire state building and webskinging to the Ghostbusters fire station though is just aces.

    * Best Graphics/Style

    Zelda, Nintendo just seem to hit the right notes.

    Red dead is too muted, the realism is too real

    * Best Soundtrack

    I played most games with volume down and subtitles on so as not to annoy family.

    From what I've listened to though.
    I can say I don't like the Zelda music, the incidentals like chest opening and finding new stuff with the piano tinkle just sounds wrong.

    Red dead is more a lack of music but when it is used it is actually very good and well chosen for the scene, I'd probably lean in this direction as a result.

    * Best Multiplayer

    Came out in 2017 but I still play guild wars (path of fire expansion) a huge amount and that's probably all I can out forwards.

    * Best Surprise
    No man's sky next. I liked the original vanilla version but this expansion (series of belated fixes) really takes the game to its original promise.

    I still don't play it anywhere near as much as I should but I'm a cowboy now.

    * Best Downloadable Content
    Forgot the HZD expansion came out this year.
    Magnificent game and superb expansion, I want more Aloy please

    * Most Disappointing

    God of war 3. Free with PS4 monthly thing and whilst I know it's not a 2018 game, I played it for the first time and found it awful

    Honourable mention for poor older but thankfully free game goes to mad Max

    * Best Old Game (or pre-2018 game you played this year)
    Cannon Fodder thnk goodness for GoG

    * Most Anticipated 2019 Game
    Metroid Prime 4. I got my switch just for this game, it had best deliver.

    Also noted is
    The last of us 2
    Death stranding
    Resident Evil 2
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  9. Jordan1Kenobi

    Jordan1Kenobi SWC 100 Day Star Wars Challenge Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Sep 30, 2012
    I’m looking forward to contributing to this thread. I’ve been a bit behind with my gaming, so I’ll have to vote in a few months. I’ve still got to finish Odyssey, and then play Tomb Raider and Red Dead.
  10. Tari Narvina

    Tari Narvina Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 11, 2018
    Possibly my GOTY is probably either Red Dead or Odyssey
  11. bizzbizz

    bizzbizz Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2015
    Game of the year
    Red dead redemption absolute pinnacle of gaming so far amazing graphics a world that feels alive and lived in and one of the best characters in gaming Arthur Morgan

    Honourable mention
    Detroit become human was my game of the year for a long time but rockstar just dethrones it for me David cages best work loved all the characters and your choices making a difference looked gorgeous as well

    Best story
    Red dead redemption 2 amazing from start to finish

    Best gameplay
    Assassins creed odyssey

    Best graphics
    Detroit become human

    Best multiplayer
    Cod black ops 4

    Biggest surprise
    Kingdom come deliverance

    Best dlc
    Ac odyssey

    Biggest disappointment
    Far cry 5

    Best older game
    Batman return to Arkham

    Most anticipated 2019
    Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
  12. ZanderSolo

    ZanderSolo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 18, 2007
    Man im trying to remeber everything i played this year...was XC2 this year? If so probabaly that.

    I think ive stuck to D2 for the most part. And remasters/collections like MM and Bayonetta.

    Definitely XC2 since i literally can remeber nothing else

    Edit: looks like xc2 was last year. Probably going to be Bayonetta1/2 on switch then. Having a portable hack n slash is awesome.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  13. Reynar_Tedros

    Reynar_Tedros Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jul 3, 2006
    Game of the Year: God of War. I spoke at length about God of War here, and I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said before. It's a masterpiece from top to bottom, and every single aspect of the game is phenomenally designed. It nails everything it's going for, and completely flips the franchise on its head and opens up worlds of possibilities. I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

    Honorable Mention: Red Dead Redemption II. This is the second year in a row where my game of the year and honorable mention is an "If you'd've told me A would be better than B, I would've called you crazy," scenario. I liked the original God of War trilogy fine, whereas Red Dead Redemption is my all time favorite game. The sequel (and prequel) is still a mind blowing effort by Rockstar with some amazing aspects that awe and inspire, and it more than earns its spot as my number two game of 2018. But there are just too many shortcomings in the gameplay department for it to take the top spot.

    Best Story: God of War. This game elicited emotional responses from me that no game ever has before. Not of the somber, melancholy variety that you might think considering the game's advertised tone and father/son relationship, but of the absolutely joyous, fist pumping variety. I leapt off my couch and hollered jubilantly at my television as if my favorite sports team had just won a championship. But don't get me wrong, there are plenty of quiet moments, and God of War is great at letting moments breathe, and not shepherding you from one setpiece to the next. There are few characters involved, but every one of them is compelling and essential to the storyline, which is brilliantly written.
    Honorable Mention: Red Dead Redemption II. This prequel more than lives up to the lofty standards set by its predecessor. Rather than telling a mostly solitary story of one central character, this one is more of an ensemble piece, telling the story of the Van der Linde Gang and their desperate attempts to evade the inevitable arrival of law and civilization. It is full of three dimensional characters that grow over the course of the story, and make you care about them, and remember them. While the arc of the main character, Arthur Morgan, is one told with heart and empathy, it is Dutch Van der Linde who really steals the show. Performed masterfully by Benjamin Byron Davis, Dutch is right up there with my favorite video game characters of all time. He is charismatic, engaging, believable, and his motivations and slow descent into villainy are conveyed with such skill that it rivals that of the best films and novels.

    Best Gameplay: God of War. By now you've heard about how good throwing and retrieving the axe feels, so I won't ramble about that. It's just a game that feels great to play, from controlling Kratos and Atreus during combat to the traversal of the open world via ground and sea.

    Best Graphics: Red Dead Redemption II. I'm trying not to make this just a big list that alternates between God of War and Red Dead Redemption II, but I'm not doing a very good job of it. :p I played RDR2 on an Xbox One X hooked up to a 65" 4K OLED television set, and damn does that game look photorealistic at times. Sure, Rockstar had a seemingly unlimited supply of time and money to craft it, but the world they put together is nothing short of mind boggling. From the quietude of the mountains where snow drifts off the branches of dead trees, to the city streets of New Orleans Saint Denis where gas lit lamps gleam off the pavement, you can spend hours upon hours just breathing in RDR2's world, and I absolutely did. Every part of it feels unique and meticulously crafted, to the point where I really don't know how it gets any better from here. I truly don't.
    Honorable Mention: God of War. Where Red Dead Redemption II shines with its realistic portrayal of the American West, God of War creates a beautiful world of mythology and fantasy, full of wonder and color. There are multiple realms you travel through on your journey, each with a unique and memorable look to it that would warrant its own full game. And it has a great photo mode to boot.
    Honorable Mention 2: Marvel's Spider-Man. Best photo mode ever.

    Best Style: Octopath Traveler. Finally, a new game! 8-} But really, Octopath Traveler is a beautifully crafted game featuring 16-bit style two dimensional character sprites set against gorgeously rendered backgrounds of various environments. It's hard for me to explain, it's just something you really have to see to appreciate. I absolutely loved the look of this game, and I hope we get more of it in the future.
    Honorable Mention: Hollow Knight. Yeah, I know, it technically originally released last year on the PC, but it really rose to prominence in 2018 with its release on the Switch, where I spent over thirty hours with it. Not a huge fan of the game itself, but its overall look and style is stellar.

    Best Soundtrack: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. I know, another game that technically came out before 2018 on another console, but this is my list so I can do what I want. :p DKC: TF released on the Switch earlier this year, which is when I first experienced it, and getting David Wise from the original DKC trilogy to do the soundtrack for this game had me all kinds of hyped, as those are some of my favorite soundtracks of all time. He did not disappoint. He beautifully recreates old tunes from the past, and puts them alongside new classics that fit right in. I still fall asleep to this stuff.
    Honorable Mention: God of War

    Best Multiplayer: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I haven't been much of a fan of this franchise in the past, but this time around I think I finally get it, as I've had tons of fun playing with friends both in person and online, even when I am getting my ass kicked. It's good for plenty of laughs almost every round, and really is a lot of fun to play in the right circumstance.

    Best Surprise:
    God of War. I touched on this earlier, but I really didn't expect a God of War game to be my favorite game in a year in which Red Dead Redemption II released. But calling it a God of War game almost feels like selling it short, because it blows all previous titles out of the water to the point where you could almost consider it an entirely new IP. But at the same time, it builds on those games and Kratos's past in a brilliant way that only enhances the game if you've experienced the past entries before.

    Most Disappointing:
    Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. I absolutely love the original Ni No Kuni on the PS3. The sequel, on the other hand, loses pretty much everything that made the first game so great. Gone are the charming story, characters, familiars, and gameplay style. Instead we got a weird plot with forgettable players, dull hack-and-slash gameplay, and a kingdom building mechanic that feels like it was ripped from a mobile game, timers and all. A real bummer.
    Honorable Mentions: Shadow of the Colossus, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

    Best Old Game:
    Metroid: Samus Returns. In a year full of disappointing Metroidvanias like Iconoclasts, Yoku's Island Express, Hollow Knight, Owlboy, etc., Samus Returns was a breath of fresh air for me. It's a blast from start to finish, with excellent world design and a great difficulty curve that never quite reaches unfair levels, but is still challenging enough to keep it from being too much of a breeze. A wonderful game, and one of my favorites in the genre.
    Honorable Mention: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

    2018 Games I'd Like to Play But Didn't:
    Subnautica, Moss, Donut County, Dragon Quest XI, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Crayola Scoot (not kidding), Tetris Effect, Spyro Reignited Trilogy

    Most Anticipated 2019 Games:
    Kingdom Hearts III, Rage 2, Indivisible, Man of Medan, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Afterparty

    Top 5 Overall:
    5) Marvel's Spider-Man
    4) Octopath Traveler
    3) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
    2) Red Dead Redemption II
    1) God of War
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  14. TrandoJedi

    TrandoJedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 4, 2011
    I realize none of the games I played in 2018 came out in 2018....except for Spyro Reignited Trilogy...
  15. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 7

    Nov 12, 2012
    Spider-y Man!
  16. ZanderSolo

    ZanderSolo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 18, 2007
    Cant believe i forgot okami hd on switch.

    Yeah its like a 2002 game, but i played it last year for the first time.

    Frankly one of the best games ive ever played, let alone just last year.

    I have no idea how it doesnt have a series like LoZ. That game was freaking magic on a screen. I officially change my answer.

    Edit: and my horrible grammar.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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  17. Life

    Life Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 4, 2012
    I didn't play many games this past year. Out of the few I completed, the best I played is a split between Infamous: Second Son and Infamous: First Light. I wrote a little bit about each here and here.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019