2018 has been a spectacular year of gaming and all the lists featured here at The Game Fanatics represent that. I had an idea of what my list was looking like halfway through 2018 but that all got shaken up within the last few months. There was a flood of games and my list kept fluctuating with all these titles I was getting my hands on. It took a lot of deliberation, but I finally decided on my picks. Not only are these my top games of the year, but it also happens to show the variety of the games that we all can discover and experience across all platforms. With that, here are my top 5 games of 2018.
5. Monster Hunter: World
Ever since I picked up Monster Hunter Freedom on the PSP, I was hooked on the series. I always looked forward to the next release so I could sink countless hours into the hunts. To say I was excited for Monster Hunter: World would be an understatement. The first gameplay trailer took everything I knew about the series and threw it out the window. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it was a much-needed change.
Monster Hunter: World was all about that quality of life changes the series desperately needed. Hunting monsters went from a long chore to an action-packed sequence of events. The removal of areas and loading screens in the world made me feel part of it all. The item overhaul and every other change was welcomed. I went from enjoying Monster Hunter to loving it. Heck, I bought it twice just to play with different friends across different platforms.
Monster Hunter: World is an amazing game, and all the fixes make it a blast and welcome new hunters into the world. It did everything right and I am excited for the future of the series. Bring on the hunts!
I never would have guessed that a mobile game would appear on my game of the year list, but here we are. Florence is a genuine piece of art. It is an interactive story about love and dreams spliced with little mini-games to enjoy. The creative design behind the game consistently impressed me. From the way certain parts of the story would unfold from either simple haptic feedback or a creative touch of your finger. It truly was an experience that stuck with me after playing.
While short, I enjoyed my time with Florence from the moment I pressed play. The music grabs you and flows perfectly with the game and the choices you make. The art style is simple yet lively and a pleasure to look at. At times I was happy and smiling at things that were happening in the story, other times I was sad and heartbroken. Florence likes to tug at your emotions just enough to draw you in but wanting more and hoping for the best. I highly recommend anyone to drop a few bucks and play it, you won’t regret it.
My only complaint is the main character doesn’t eat her crusts. That really bothers me.
3. Detroit: Become Human
If there is one thing that is apparent from my list this year, it is how important the story of a game is to me. Detroit: Become Human is no exception to that. Having been a fan of Quantic Dream’s games in the past, I was instantly sold on Detroit upon announcement. I love games where my choices influence the world and the story as it goes on. Making me really feel the weight of my decisions.
In Detroit: Become Human, there are choices that can easily change the path of the story to complete opposite sides of the spectrum to what you wanted. Heck, you can kill off characters that eliminate a third of the overall story! There were times while playing where I had to pause and think what I was going to do, what choice I would make, brainstorming the possible outcomes. There were times I spent looking at that pause menu for 5-10 minutes doing just that. I love that. I love it so much.
Story aside, the game is beautiful. The character models represent their real-life actor counterparts, the animations are fluid and it is just immersive. Connor was the standout part of the game in both the story and how Bryan Dechart nails the part. I usually don’t replay games, but Detroit had me replaying scenes and chapters just to experience the immense flow chart of possibilities. Based on my feelings and experience, this is why Detroit: Become Human in on my list this year.
Two months ago, I stumbled upon a trailer for a smaller indie title called GRIS. I had no idea what it was about but as soon as I saw the stunning watercolor world, I was sold. I knew I had to pick it up. What I didn’t expect was a game that would soar up to my second place pick on my list.
GRIS is a work of art. Not only visually, but musically and in storytelling. From the second you press start, the art and animation will take your breath away. The music will entrance you and help tell the story with not a single word. That is the beauty of GRIS, the ability to tell such a story without one single word on the screen. You’ll follow the main character through her trials and just feel it with her until the very end.
I don’t think I am able to put into words the feelings I had while playing GRIS. It was the perfect accumulation of a fantastic game to what I needed in my life at the time of playing. When video games can transcend just the physical side of playing to affecting my personal life and choices, you can never forget that experience and GRIS was that experience for me.
GRIS may be short, but that gives me the wonderful ability to replay it for years to come when I need it. Props to Nomada Studio and GRIS being their first game and Berlinist for the music. They absolutely killed it.
1. God of War
God of War is a masterpiece. Nothing more to it. It excels at everything it does. From the graphics to the gameplay, to the music and to the story. It is rare for me to play a game, all the way through, and fail to find a flaw. There is a reason God of War is on the top for many of our lists here at The Game Fanatics and all across the world.
I’ve always enjoyed the God of War series and to see this new game take an entirely different direction made me nervous initially. Of course, that was all washed away when I played it. God of War was just a blast and enjoyment to play. I could not put it down and was so thankful it came out on a weekend so I didn’t have to.
My favorite aspect of the game was how it was portrayed as this one shot. No cuts, just a seamless, cinematic experience that is unheard of in any form of media. I was constantly in awe at such a feat and it made the story that much better. Speaking of story, the relationship between Kratos and his son and watching that develop was so good. I experienced the hardships and successes with them and was able to see how it affected them and how it all turned out. Truly an incredible accomplishment.
The gameplay in God of War is fluid and impactful. I really felt every swing of the ax, the punches that were thrown and the destruction of the blades. The combos and abilities were just so well made that every fight was welcomed and not a chore. Boss battles were particularly fun and I won’t ever forget some of them from this game.
I could go on and on about God of War. But I clearly am just echoing what has been said by many already and so I will end it with this. If you haven’t played it yet, pick it up and do it now. No PlayStation 4? Buy one and this game. God of War is not only the best game of 2018, but it is also one of the best games of all time.