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10 top video games I played 2018

This year I put in a lot of hours playing games, but not many of them new, and not all of them video.

So this is the top game things I played this year.

List items

  • Total heads up: I am a big Battletech/Mechwarrior fan. (which you'll see further down)

    That said, this has the best use of attrition tactics I have ever experienced in a game, while adding just enough of a roleplaying element that ties every experience back to the overarching story of a you, a mercenary commander, trying to keep your company afloat while you and your comrades risk iron limb to keep that dream alive. It embodies its themes in every element while keeping those themes interesting, stressful, and fulfilling and I just can't get enough of it.

  • A complete master class in design across the board. I really can't add more than that, just play it. Though word of the warning, it delves into some very heavy themes and lots of body horror.

  • I'm also a big Monster Hunter fan, and World is the best of the bunch. The changes are all completely welcome in my books -- I want more people to suffer less of its UX weirdness so we can all dive in and enjoy the fun that is a proper monster hunt.

  • So I found out late last year that a business in town got a hold of a bunch of Battletech Pods and they were opening this year.

    To explain: pods looks like this:

    And inside looks like:

    That's right, pilot a goddamn mech in a goddamn simulator.

    It's an experience that is completely thrilling and I will suggest everyone try at least once, regardless if you like giant robots or not.

    Firestorm was the last game to support these Pods, released in 2003. While it certainly looks like Mechwarrior 4, it sure still plays like the simulation it is.

  • I love Magic, but am very done with collecting Magic cards.

    This lets me do that all digitally without needing to really put any money down to feel competitive, while feeling good enough to make me want to just because I'm having so much damned fun.

  • This isn't a game, its an art zine.

    And like a zine, you might look at this and go "wow, this is a lot"

    And it is

    And that's also exactly why I felt it was the most direct expression of someone's head: their desires, their fears, their wants right distilled into several intractable pieces that each would stand up as their own releases.

    It's Being Nathalie Lawhead: The Game: The Zine.

  • I love me some aimless wandering over pretty space planets, and the updates this year sure made those pretty space planets prettier, and that wandering even better.

  • Stellaris does what I want out of Space 4X: simulate social consequences. The newest update has built more and more into that by actually adding more complexity to an already complex game, but doing so in a way where it doesn't complicate the actual playing of it. But also adds a way where I can fixate on any part of my empire, be they sweeping political motions, or that small group of farmers on a backwater planet that are treating their robot help as citizens.

  • Titanfall 2 has no right actually being as good as it is. Its an incredibly smart game hidden in a Call of Duty, a sort of wolf in sheeps clothing. And that isn't to say that the Call of Duty influence is bad -- the shooting and movement is incredible.

    All this, and I have't even gotten to the very famous levels in the campaign yet.

  • So, I've never actually beaten Wizardry 8. I've spent countless hours with it off and on, restarting many times.

    But that isn't usually because I get bored, I just usually get sidetracked by how I could optimize my party better, where "This is the run!"

    It seriously is one of the best dungeon crawlers I've played, with some very cool and still unique mechanics that make the old school turn-based combat mix with fully polygonal world and characters actually work well.