LIFE IS STRANGE™ presents My Top 10 Games of 2018!!

Oh hi there. Work has been silly-busy this year so most of the games I played were shorter experiences. Also I discovered Game Pass in the last couple of months which has resulted me playing a bunch of cool stuff in December that probably would have made the list if they got more time.

Firstly in no particular order here are a list of games (not all of them from this year) which I played in 2018 and really enjoyed / intend to finish next year:

Ashen
PUBG (Xbox One)
Hollow Knight
The Gardens Between
Below
Dusk
Amid Evil
What Remains of Edith Finch (holy shit this is good)
Abzu
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Yoku's Island Express
Battlefield V

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My biggest story of 2018 is that I played through the entirety of both Life Is Strange and Life Is Strange: Before the Storm in March/April of this year. They didn't come out this year, sure but whatever. They are numbers -1 and 0 on my list.

To say that these games had an impact on me is a massive understatement; I pretty much committed to learning guitar thanks to the credits theme.

The story of Max, Chloe, and Rachel hit me harder than anything has in a long time and set expectations for Season 2 sky-high. We'll get to that in a moment. Now, onto this year's games!

List items

  • This game is something special. Whenever I needed to escape from whatever shit 2018 was throwing around on any given day, Sea of Thieves was there. I went to this game to relax, to laugh, to adventure, to get lost; Sea of Thieves always had my back, and a steady stream of updates has only made it better. Rare has made a hell of a thing, and while some folks shout "where's the content" I'll be waving at them from my sloop as I sail towards another beautifully rendered sunrise.

  • It was not an easy task to step out from the hella long shadow cast by the original Life is Strange characters, but Sean and Daniel arrived fully-formed and S2 opened with a killer first episode that I played through in a single enraptured sitting. The writing is sharp and DONTNOD embraces the political themes in a way that is loud and honest. I can't wait to see where this goes in 2019.

  • I haven't yet finished this arcane puzzle-boat but I'm confident of its place on the list. So many incredible moments, killer presentation - just a wholly unique, singular experience.

  • When I first heard "it's Tetris but from the 'Rez' guy" it just made sense in my head. I thought "this game will probably be amazing" - turns out this game is amazing.

  • A Journey-inspired 2D platformer with probably the most beautiful art style I've ever seen in a game; no amount of superlatives can do it justice. Seriously I get emotional just looking at screenshots it's so damn pretty. It helps that the game is good too but whatever just LOOK AT IT.

  • I can't stop playing this reverse-arkanoid puzzle game and I don't know why. Maxing out the upgrade tree is only the start; the real black hole is literally the Black Hole - an endless level with no real goal but to get as deep as you can go before your eventual demise. I'm currently 17th on the worldwide leaderboard. I was third once. I can't stop.

  • My favourite Forza game there's ever been. The seasons keep things fresh and the drip-feed of events stops it from feeling too overwhelming, though your map will still end up looking like icon soup eventually. A kickass open-world racer that controls like a dream and is generally a fun, positive time whenever I play.

  • A 2D self-harm driven platformer with shockingly good writing is totally not what I would have expected from a SWERY game. The controls are a little loose and some trial and error sections can get a bit repetitive but it's worth pushing through for the quality of the story. I've also read a few pieces from queer writers who have seen so much of their experiences reflected positively in The Missing. This is rad as hell to see from an indie developer with a profile like SWERY.

  • A great little (but not so little) platformer that kept unfurling layer after layer of intriguing story and mechanics as it went. The clever time travel conceit and endearing writing helped get me through a somewhat tedious endgame but I still really enjoyed it.

  • Having never really gotten into a Smash Bros game I didn't really know what to expect, but damn is this just an impressive package. There's some strange Nintendo alchemy at work here; this game is both effortlessly accessible and utterly overwhelming at the same time. It's a party game, a reverent nostalgia museum and a competitive fighter all in one. Somehow it works, and it's awesome.