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dsheinem
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What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by dsheinem Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:38 am

I always find it interesting to see what folks here consider to be the best games of the year, and while obviously most of us play games from across multiple years, it is always helpful to have a thread about this year's best games that we can look back on years later. Here are the old threads:

2017
2016
2015
2014
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008


As for me, I am still trying to finish up a few 2018 titles before the year ends, and I haven't played near as many "current year" games this year as I typically do. That said, what I did play was generally excellent. Here's the list of the best of them:


GOTY: Astro Bot Rescue Mission- This game strikes me as a significant accomplishment for both for the genre (platformer) and the technology (VR) in that it merges both together with a lot of accessible, fresh, and FUN ideas. This game has all the charm and inventiveness of something like a Media Molecule game with the polish and accessibility of most of Nintendo's best platformers. I believe, in time, it will come to be as highly regarded as something like Mario 64 or the original Sonic the Hedgehog - a truly great platformer that advances the medium. I fear it may have come along too late to be a "system seller" for the PSVR, but if you have the tech or if you are looking for another excuse to buy it, this is a must own game.

God of War - Like the best God of War games before it, this entry offers a highly polished and bleeding-edge/state-of-the-art experience. I was highly skeptical that an open world game with an older Kratos would be an interesting direction for the franchise (it seemed a bit cliche’), but the resulting game was a joy to play from start to finish and offered both meaningful narrative and compelling gameplay with well-thought out systems. I think Astro Bot will prove to be the more important game in the long haul, but there was probably not a more polished and engaging experience to have in 2018 than with this game.

Tetris Effect - This is Tetris + Lumines + Rez…which makes it very much a sensory overload that becomes especially overwhelming when played in VR. There is something transcendent about rave music playing in time to blocks clearing while trippy visuals dance around your periphery, and Tetris Effect delivers this magic in spades. The best puzzle game in years, and certainly the best version of Tetris since the Game Boy.

Destiny 2: Forsaken - Forsaken was a welcome addition to what I considered to be an already very good base game in Destiny 2, and I certainly sunk far more hours this year into this title than any other. The story was well told and confined, the level and power level grinds were both well paced, and the regular release of interesting new things to do from week to week in the months that followed the expansion’s release kept drawing me back in even when I thought I’d probably had enough. I know Destiny is a divisive franchise, but if you are someone who has sunk substantial time into the series like I have, you would probably agree that this was the best entry (and best year) for Bungie's MMO yet.

Forza Horizon 4 - It seems like a Forza Horizon game makes this annual list every time that there’s a new entry, and that’s because it continues to be a blast to play. The series doesn’t dramatically change up its formula with this entry, but driving around the UK and crashing through hedgerows in McLarens, Bugattis, and tricked-out rally cars never gets old. I have typically thought of the open-world series as “Skyrim with cars” and this version continues that fine tradition.

Far Cry 5 - This was another game that was a bit divisive, as seems to be the case for most of Ubisoft’s annual titles anymore. I still don’t think the series has come close to recapturing the brilliance of Far Cry 2, but Far Cry 5 at least tries out some new narrative beats, offers a bit more “grit” to its gameplay than the last couple of main entries, and moves the series towards some interesting ideas. More than anything, Far Cry 5 sucked me in for many continuous hours upon its release and made me hopeful for the future of the franchise. That the newly announced spin-off (Far Cry: New Dawn) seems to be picking up where this one left off has me eagerly anticipating the chance to see where the series goes next.

Honorable Mention: Iconoclasts and Tempest 4000 - I have only spent a couple of hours with both of these, but they are the best retro-oriented experiences I had in 2018. Iconoclasts just oozes charm and is a very well crafted homage to a lot of the 90s games I love. Tempest 4000 is not as intense as the more recent Ploybius, but Jeff Minter’s titles are perennial favorites for me…so it goes on the list!

Still want to play: Monster Hunter World, Spider-man, Red Dead Redemption 2 (I guess?), A Way Out, Donut County, Minit, Return of the Obra Dinn, Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Last edited by dsheinem on Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
casterofdreams
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by casterofdreams Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:16 am

My hat will ultimately go to Far Cry 5 at the end of the day but I also enjoyed Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well.

You’re right. FC5 had a lot of changes that made things like inventory management, hunting, and upgrades/perks more streamlined. All of that I thought was for the better as it allowed me more freedom to focus on playing the game. You still had to do challenges in order to gain perk points but I thought that system was better than hunting three shark skins for a new holster or four honey badger skins for a new ammo pouch. Gun play was satisfying and fun, especially the way I played the game — single shot long range rifle and ACOG scope. Picked targets from deep with that lever action rifle. Using the 1887 shotgun with Dragonbreath rounds was hysterical and chaotic. OP in most cases. DLC so far was alright. I played the first one during Vietnam war. 93% within nearly three hours. I’ll play the other two next weekend.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a fine game. It did get middling reviews but i’m enjoying it thus far. I have a thing for game with great stealth mechanics and this one upped it from the prior game. A lot more brutal.

Both games look really great! On a single 1070ti and a 1080p display, everything runs super smooth on max settings and a high enough frame rate. Lots of green. Better than the grays and browns that was prominent about ten years ago.
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by Tanooki Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:44 pm

I'm guessing games that hit Switch this year that may be a year or two older from Japan like Ys 8 and or that Wonderboy pretty remake don't count then since they sort of were released before and earlier?

I'm not far into it but it would be hard not to put down Monster Boy in the Cursed Kingdom or Square-Enix's Octopath Traveler as a high recommendation.

I've read plenty nice about those Let's Go games on Switch but I've yet to try either, same can be said from Diablo III but that also would fall into an older game released later too.
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by noiseredux Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:34 pm

the year isn't over yet, so it's *possible* this could change but I don't know that I'll play any other 2018 games before the year is over. So right now I'd say...

1. Dead Cells

Amazing. You can call it a Castlevania Roguelike, I guess. But I don't know. There's just something special about this game. I got really sucked in for a while there, and it's the sort of game I can see myself continuing to revisit in the coming years - sort of how I was with Spelunky for so long.

2. Octopath Traveler

Beautiful retro-styled RPG that I adored. I still haven't finished it, but I will at some point. A total highlight of the Switch's RPG library.

3. Arena Of Valor

I wasn't sure how a MOBA would really work on console, but here we are. This one hooked me for quite a while. And I expect to keep it installed for a long time!

4. Paladins

This would have been higher, if I hadn't already played the beta so much before this year. It's still great, though. And until we get Overwatch on Switch (please, please give us Overwatch on Switch!) it'll remain installed.

5. Monster Hunter World

My first Monster Hunter. I'm glad that it was my introduction, as I fear that the mainline games could have scared me off. So now instead I'm interested in actually checking those out instead.

6. Starlink: Battle For Atlantis

AKA Starfox: Ubisoft edition. Solid game. The space battles are great. The visuals are great. The Starfox stuff on Switch is fantastic. The toys are cute. My only complaint is that story missions can become rather repetitive which has made me play it on-and-off in spurts rather than plowing through. But still, I really enjoy this one.

7. Super Mega Baseball 2

A not-too-deep arcadey baseball game. It may not have gotten on the list had it not been for some online multiplayer games with friends. It's unremarkable, but definitely fun.

8. Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon

This should technically be higher, but here's the thing... I got it when it first came out on Xbox One, but then earmarked it for October. In October I got into a zone of playing games on Switch and 3DS more often so I could get out of my game room more, so I got sidetracked and never finished this. Then I figured I'd get it on Switch and start it up again, but now there's rumors of a physical release on Switch so I'm kind of waiting for that. But I mean, it's an awesome 2D Castlevania in everything but name.

9. Valkyria Chronicles 4

This is another one that would probably be much higher had I not gotten sidetracked by other games. Ugh. Really, this was a fun year for games (both new and re-releases) which kind of had me jumping around from game to game in a distracted state at times.

10. Shining Resonance: Refrain

I'll be honest, had it not been for the Shining name I probably wouldn't have even played this one. I had fun with it for a dozen or so hours and then decided I was all set and will most likely never touch it again. Truthfully, this list would be very different if re-releases were taken into mind haha.
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dsheinem
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by dsheinem Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:40 pm

ah, I forgot to add Dead Cells to the list of things I still want to play. Is it a rogue-like for people who don’t usually like rogue-likes (like me)?
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by noiseredux Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:59 pm

dsheinem wrote:ah, I forgot to add Dead Cells to the list of things I still want to play. Is it a rogue-like for people who don’t usually like rogue-likes (like me)?


Yes. I can't remember if you played/enjoyed Spelunky at all, but it reminds me of that execution. It plays like Castlevania, though and over time you will unlock permanent upgrades and perks so there is technically an overarching constant progression unlike a true Rogue. It's a game I thought I'd *like,* but it completely blew away my expectations.
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by Forlorn Drifter Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:30 pm

Interesting to see the FC5 love- I saw a lot of people rip on it, but story wise it's one of the best Far Cry games IMO. Lots of allusion in that story that people missed, which I think is why people didn't like the game. (Among other reasons.) Not close to my GOTY though, despite the positive changes, still too generic open world. I'm really starting to tire of that. When can I get a 40 hour linear non-RPG again? I also have yet to play God of War, which will happen eventually.

GOTY is always hard for me, because some of the earlier games from this year I haven't touched in a while, and I'm not good at ranking games. Despite the shortcomings, Red Dead 2 is up there. Monster Hunter World is great. There's probably one or two other 2018 games I've played, but I can't think of them right now.

IMO, 2018 was a year with some high quality titles, but less titles overall. 2019 looks to be a year I'll get more out of.
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by casterofdreams Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:19 pm

A lot of the issues that people had, from what I’ve read, was that it wasn’t political enough. The setting in Montana in present day apparently warrants that stuff.

Superbly dumb.
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dsheinem
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by dsheinem Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:53 pm

casterofdreams wrote:A lot of the issues that people had, from what I’ve read, was that it wasn’t political enough. The setting in Montana in present day apparently warrants that stuff.

Superbly dumb.


It was marketed/teased as being much more political than it ended up being, so I think the consternation was warranted. The only really interesting bit of the story was the ending, I thought...I’d hoped for more.
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Re: What is your GOTY for 2018? (*RELEASED* in 2018)?

by BogusMeatFactory Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:47 pm

dsheinem wrote:
casterofdreams wrote:A lot of the issues that people had, from what I’ve read, was that it wasn’t political enough. The setting in Montana in present day apparently warrants that stuff.

Superbly dumb.


It was marketed/teased as being much more political than it ended up being, so I think the consternation was warranted. The only really interesting bit of the story was the ending, I thought...I’d hoped for more.


Well luckily the next far cry game is a direct sequel so more you will receive!
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