#GOTY 2018

While this year's GOTY for me was already decided before January 1st, there still were plenty of surprises that I enjoyed and even came a lot closer to toppling my number one than I originally expected. As usual, this will only be a top 5 as I rarely put enough time into 10 different games for me to feel comfortable ranking them. First, let's start with some honorable mentions:

  • Forza Horizon 4
    Being a Brit, it's hardly surprising this setting really spoke to me. While they did limit themselves massively by focussing only on the Lake District and Scotland, I think FH4 is easily the most beautiful entry in the series and also had some excellent driving roads. The only thing stopping me putting it on the list was the fact that, just like 3, I fell off this pretty hard after the initial rush.

  • Jazztronauts
    It's frustrating that this game doesn't get its own wiki entry because it's technically a mod for Garry's Mod, which somehow isn't a mod according to the wiki here, but either way this game was outstandingly creative. While a lot of the levels we played when working our way to 100 shards were absolute garbage, and despite there being little story other than the brief snippets of dialogue with the crew, Jazztronauts was one of the most unique and innovative games I played this year.

  • Beat Saber
    So, I played this after pining over it for a long time on a friend's Vive and good lord it did not disappoint. It's also probably 90% of the reason I bought a PSVR. Beat Saber is the only rhythm game I have enjoyed and actively wanted to get better at. I always sucked at Guitar Hero and Rock Band because my brain just can't process the note streams flying towards me at all. Somehow though, being in VR made it just click in Beat Saber. I would have included this game on my list if it wasn't for the fact the PSVR version (for obvious reasons) does not support custom songs. The built in soundtrack is fine, but distinctly average.

List items

  • Look, if you know me at all you know I've been banging the Monster Hunter drum for a long time. I'm talking since Monster Hunter Freedom on the PSP. I'm the kind of person who not only bought a Circle Pad Pro to play MH3U on the 3DS, but also bought a SECOND Circle Pad Pro from Japan for MH4U because it allowed me to do the legendary "claw" again. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that MHW was easily my GOTY this year. I put 80+ hours into this game the week it came out and didn't slow down from there. My only complaint is there isn't more of this game, and I cannot wait for Iceborne next year.

  • I really hope this game does well for IOI. It feels like Hitman (2016) all over again - the game is outstanding, the levels are beautiful, and yet I'm terrified it doesn't appear to be selling well. The package they've created which pulls in all of the levels from Season One is incredible, just being able to scroll through every location in one menu feels fantastic. I am very much looking forward to the two DLC maps, and in particular I really rated the increased dialogue and subtle murder in-jokes Agent 47 drops throughout the game.

  • In a different world Artifact could have been my GOTY this year. As it is, I have still thoroughly enjoyed my 25+ hours with the game so far, but the negativity around the community and the miscommunication around it has soured the experience somewhat. I got way into Magic The Gathering at University - particularly drafting. Artifact delivers a beautiful way to draft cheaply (freely even) at home as much as I want, and that is incredible. I think for now the game needs time to grow in terms of features and also cards to make constructed more exciting, but I hope the community reaction doesn't sink it in the meantime. I certainly mean to play a lot more of this over the Christmas break.

  • Wow. This game easily takes the cake for most well featured and impressive VR title I have played to date. Honestly, the only reason it isn't higher is because I only managed to beat the first 2 worlds before I was dragged away from my PS4 for Christmas. It's really incredible how it not only makes incredible use of the PSVR capabilities but also all of the PS4's hardware, from the motion controls and touchpad in the controller to the microphone on the headset. Can't wait to see more.

  • I'm gunna be honest, I never played Papers Please. It was one of those games that was hyped so much at the time I kinda just glossed over it. But Obra Dinn snuck into my Twitter feed by accident when I saw tweets about the develpment of its incredible art style several months back. And then playing it not knowing anything else was a fantastic choice. I love the presentation, the way you explore the events, the music and the story it tells. I just wish it wasn't so freaking hard. I'm currently about 30-something fates in and while I know I'm in the home stretch it's daunting to go back to it. On top of that I have a weird hesitation to go back on the boat without first solving every last detail you physically can (without looking anything up online, to boot). I really should just relax and try to enjoy it rather than stressing about beating it properly. Hopefully I'll wrap it up in the new year.