2018 had its ups and downs with video games. Disappointing releases sprinkled throughout with some gold shining through the dirt. The year felt lackluster regarding the quantity of excellent games, but enough to make for a solid year for the industry.
Yes, a remaster finds its way on the list of the best games of the year. Bluepoint Games rebuilt this iconic masterpiece for old-school fans and newcomers like myself who were too young and lacked the skill to play. The heart of the best remains the same, but a facelift and new controls fit for the modern landscape of this medium.
#6: A Way Out
While I had issues with the feeling of the gameplay, A Way Out stands tall with a compelling narrative that tore my heart out and a unique cooperative mechanic that works wonderfully. The innovative experience and brilliant storytelling make up for the obvious flaws.
Quantic Dream cannot shake its flaws in storytelling and clunky gameplay, but they grow with each title.
Detroit takes themes that have been beaten to death with a nice twist full of gripping choices and three-dimensional characters. Like their previous game, Heavy Rain, the dynamic of playing three separate androids whose stories weave together brought up some of the hardest choices I have ever had to make. The immense amount of times I had to pause to gather my thoughts for the right choice felt overwhelming but satisfying in the end.
#4: Hitman 2
Another bloodbath adventure with the iconic assassin, Agent 47 never disappoints. While feeling more like DLC with its lack of innovation than a fully fleshed out title, the sequel to the 2016 hit still lands on its feet.
No matter how much the series cannot get its storytelling and voice acting to a decent quality, the gameplay continues to be the most crucial aspect. A vastly open area with each level having plenty of diversity, Hitman 2 still provides the perfect playground for murder.
Ever since the old Spider-Man 2 released, I have wanted a Spidey game to recapture that magic I had as a kid. Insomniac Games getting the chance to put their stamp on the iconic hero is a match made in heaven.
While Spider-Man suffers from its fun, but redundant side activities, the satisfying gameplay and standout story makes for one of the greatest games ever created. I feel sorry for anyone missing out because they do not own a PlayStation 4.
Rockstar did not just make a sequel to the masterfully crafted Red Dead Redemption. The company developed a technological masterpiece that outshines every open-world title. The developers know how to blend a wide variety of activities along with its exciting Western story. Nobody can consistently tell some of the best narratives while putting together something that will change the industry forever unless their company is called Rockstar Games.
#1: God of War
I cannot believe that God of War outdid Red Dead and Spider-Man. Going into the fourth main title of a long-running series sounds insane, but Sony Santa Monica made the perfect balance for newcomers and longtime fans.
Only a handful of games in my life have made me cry, and God of War is one of them. An emotional journey about a man and his son that ties together with Greek and Norse mythology.
Taking the series away from its Greek roots sounds insane, but what happens is the universe has been built upon. A man going into a foreign land full of threats that can kill him, even if he is Kratos.
The satisfying gameplay and the genius writing to make every “gamey” aspect into something meaningful to the world around the characters makes for an immersive experience that only a few have achieved.
Image via Hazelight Studios/EA, Insomniac Games/Marvel Games/SIE, Sony Santa Monica/SIE