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GOTY 2018

2018 has been a fairly tumultuous year for me, but in good ways! My wife and I sold our house and moved across the country. We traveled to Seoul, South Korea and Budapest, Hungary. Within the USA I've been to Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Tennessee. I was also offered a job at NASA (which I turned down)! To cap the year off, my wife and I have both decided to finish our PhDs so we're moving again in January... and we'll have the same advisor, how crazy is that?!

Through all that madness there have been some lovely games keeping me company.

List items

  • The best unintentional horror game of 2018. Subnautica could take the top spot on sound design alone. Heap on excellent environmental storytelling, a fascinating alien environment, a solid story, fun crafting and base-building, and a commitment to non-violence and Subnautica blows everything else in this list away.

  • This satisfied my twitchy rouge-ish itch like nothing else. I followed it through early-access and it just got better and better. Good art, good action, strange story... what more could you want?

  • Was not the game about donuts I thought it was going to be. 12/10 would play again.

  • I literally tear every wall down possible and completely redesign the layout of every house I flip. This game is a dream-come-true. I was able to almost completely remake our house we sold... I miss that house.

  • What can I say that hasn't been said a ton about this game? I still go back to FTL and now I'll keep drinking at the Into the Breach well too. Superb.

  • This little gem came out of nowhere. I tried to get into Diablo but it never stuck for me. Apparently I needed it to be on rails and all the characters little paper people. Being able to tailor your runs based on the amount of time you have to play is genius. A solid addition to the 2018 lineup which unfortunately slipped through the cracks.

  • I love sims, I love survival games, I love space (I'm a space scientist in the RL). Mostly though, I love the soundtrack! Mars radio pairs perfectly with the mellow gameplay for a chilled experience which I go back to again and again.

  • Huh, the "emergent storytelling" light from RDR2 and all of the other AAA titles hasn't even reached Rimworld yet. Does it look like Prison Architect? Yes it does. Are the systems obnoxiously complex? Yes, they are. This game rocks!

  • Absolute garbage. Garbage I eat on a daily basis. Garbage I mainline directly into my veins. Trash, but consistent trash. Speaking of which... I need my fix, brb.

  • Game of the Century? Best Game of All Time? Katamari Damacy punches in a weight class all it's own. If it were new this year it would easily take GOTY, but since it was a re-release on Switch it gets #10. I have to be fair to the other games actually released this year.

    I feel it. I feel the cosmos. Katamari has returned in 2018!

  • Kerbal will always get an honorable mention on my GOTY list. In terms of single-player games I have hundreds of hours MORE in KSP than any other game I've ever played, ever. I love this game.

  • I was an active Eve player for almost a decade. I'm in rehab now. Just knowing this juggernaut is still out there wrecking people's lives makes the universe seem more complete to me somehow. I love Eve, I hate Eve, and I will certainly never forget Eve Online.