2018 has been a bit of a mixed bag for me personally. Some months have been jam-packed with releases, while others have been stagnant with nothing to tide me over. Saying that, this is the first year I’ve ended the year with more games in my back catalog than ever before, but part of me feels it has been a relatively quiet year when it comes to the PS4. Some releases have filled in weeks of my time, begging to be replayed, while others I’ve been overly excited for only to spend a little while playing them before they are relegated to the pile of shame to be played at a later date, if ever. Picking my Top 10 games of the year has been a difficult one for this reason – some games have jumped out at me demanding to be picked, while others are there pretty much to fill out the list. All are there for one reason or another, whether it be some experience or feeling it left me with or the sheer amount of time I spent playing.
I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Miss Croft, stretching all the way back to the original releases on the first PlayStation. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a funny one for me – I was excited for it to the point I preordered it, but then didn’t play it for a couple of weeks and when I did eventually get round to sticking it in and booting it up I found myself rushing through it so that I could play something else once it was done (and I can’t even remember what that was – I want to say I wanted to have it finished in time for RDR2 but I’m not 100% sure). I did enjoy Lara’s latest adventure but I found it to be too samey to the other ones that comprise the latest trilogy, and I did feel the storyline dragged on a bit during the last act. Still, it’s Tomb Raider, and that’s why it just earns its spot as the first game on my top ten list.
A relatively recent addition to my list, I had Darksiders 3 to review a few months back and I must confess I enjoyed it a lot more looking back than I thought I did at the time, weirdly enough. Some intense combo based fighting and a few memorable boss fights earns Darksiders its place on the list, and sure if you want to go and read my review knock yourself out!
Another great time sink this year, Ni No Kuni came at a point when any big releases that managed to catch my eye were few and far between. A typical JRPG, Ni No Kuni has all the makings of a great game, but somehow didn’t hit the same notes with me as the first one managed too. An enjoyable story with some ok side quests padded out the game pretty much, but I think the fact that they had made some significant gameplay changes between the first and second game worked against it in the end. Still definitely worth a look though if you like a quirky, beautifully animated JRPG.
Now it’s no secret around PurePlaystation towers that I get VR sick to the point that I haven’t picked up my headset in months, but having seen Jeremy’s Beat Saber review and subsequent videos on the internet, I sucked it up and made the plunge, and am I glad I did. Jeremy says it all in his review, but such a beautifully crafted rhythm game that not only makes you feel like a bad ass, but a lightsaber wielding bad ass is OK in my book.
Again, Ubisoft flexing its franchise milking muscles, but another hit none the less. After the massive changes that Origins brought to Assassins Creed last year, Odyssey takes what went before and runs with but with the added naval combat that many of the AC games have utilised since the piratey one. Throw in a bit of Greek mythology and some stunning environments and Odyssey continues to show the potential of AC – Ubisoft having announced it will take a break this year I am more than interested to see where they take us in next.
Technically an old one but I missed this the first time round, so Shadow of the Colossus has to take up space on my game of the year list. Having never played this before everything just seemed to click as to why it is often touted as one of the greatest games of the PlayStation era. Given a new sheen of paint and remastered for the PS4, I loved every minute I spent exploring and even more so the old school aspect of trying to figure out how to battle and defeat each colossus – something I was determined to do without looking on the internet!
Another PS4 exclusive, God of War was just a juggernaut of a game. From the story that had you intrigued from the very beginning to the sheer scale of the thing, thrown in with some series standard set pieces all served to make sure Kratos’ most recent outing a magnificent one. I enjoyed the time spent exploring the world Santa Monica created, and the drip fed dialogue was a treat to listen to as you explored the world. Watching the relationship between Kratos and his son develop over the course of the game was another stand out for me, something that video games do that can’t be equalled in any other medium.
Another dead cert Red Dead Redemption 2 is simply a masterpiece, and truly shows off just what a game can accomplish when done right. Not only has RDR2 been a massive time sink for me, I have simply loved the ambience and exploration, finding more of my time taken up exploring and completing side quests as much as it has been about the main story. Games are all about escapism in my book, and this has to be up there as one of the best – from the very beginning you feel like you are Arthur Morgan and come to inhabit the world he lives in, caring about him and the outcome of his choices within the world. That and no other game has made me care about a horse half as much as RDR2 has – i have loaded precious saves more times than I would care to admit only to reload my trusty stead after any number of unfortunate accidents!
Out of all the games in my list this one was an easy pick for first place. Great graphics, great gameplay, great storyline – Spider-Man ticks so many of the right boxes for me. Being a massive fan of Spider-Man anyway, the game just plays from start to finish as a fanboys wet dream, and with the subsequent DLCs I’ve kept going back for more and enjoying every minute. I can’t even bring myself to uninstall it from my tiny HDD purely because I still enjoy jumping in and swinging about so much. Not only that but the way Insomniac have taken a character so well-known and yet made him feel unique is an incredible achievement. A must have game of the year for me without a shadow of a doubt.
So there you have it – my 2018 top 10. Some killer some filler, taken from what has been a surprisingly dry gaming year for me. Did I miss any noticeable games? Any you think are unworthy of being in my Top 10? Well speak now or forever hold your peace by telling me in the comments below!
Stuart has had a long and lengthy love affair with video games, since he first woke up to find Santa had left him a Sega Master System complete with Alex the Kidd built in no less. Since then, his thumbs have become calloused and he has missed many a nights sleep in the pursuit of those elusive “5 more minutes…” but his love has never wavered.