Good in 2018

Just for my own reference: Games I played and enjoyed in 2018.

List items

  • I finally found a MOBA that I don't suck at! Also, they're pretty generous with free heroes when you're starting out.

  • Fell off other versions pretty quickly, but being able to play the Switch version on the go (by which I really mean in bed) has made it easier to stick with.

  • Started playing on my iPad this after spotting a Tom McShea tweet praising it. Simple, yet fiendish.

  • Well over 400 hours in and counting. One of very few early access games that I've stuck with long enough to pay attention to and appreciate the improvements being made during development.

  • An interesting twist on traditional solitaire that became my go-to bathroom game towards the end of 2017.

  • According to my Switch profile, as of January 12 I've put over 55 hours into this puzzle game. Nothing like but way better than Picross S.

  • The more I play this humorous love letter to the original MGS, the less I like it. I've had a great time with it, but at around 35% completion I'm still waiting for the gameplay to meaningfully evolve past what I enjoyed in the very first level.

  • I'd rather be playing Wave Race 64 on my Switch, but this scratches much the same itch and has a decent career mode to boot.

  • I ignore this idle game for weeks at a time, but every time I receive an email with a code for a free chest I get sucked in again. For maybe 30 minutes.

  • Aside from the map not being colorblind friendly (which the devs have assured me they're going to fix), this Link to the Past clone is pretty much everything I could want from an old school Zelda game. I'm only two dungeons in at the time of writing, but I suspect this might be the first game that I play to completion this year.

    UPDATE: Finished the game last night (1/18). There were definitely a few frustrating areas inside the later dungeons, but overall I had a great time.

  • Haven't played a whole lot of this one yet, but maybe four missions in I'm definitely feeling like I'm going to stick with it. Seems like some of the actions that you have to perform in game (grabbing more ammo for guns, raising and lowering landing gear etc.) could be automated, but perhaps then it'd be too easy.

  • I bounced off this pretty quickly when it first came out but, like so many games, I'm giving it a second chance now that I can play it on my Switch. I'm playing the Ancestral Edition that bundles in the Crimson Court and other DLC; not sure how much that's contributing to my enjoyment of the game yet given that I'm only a handful of quests in, but so far I'm planning to stick with it.

  • After weeks of watching videos and streams of this JRPG in the hope that one of them would convince me that I might enjoy it, I gave up and bought it anyway. So far I'm finding the game to be needlessly complex, awkwardly paced, overly repetitive, and surprisingly difficult to put down. I'm seeing explanations for systems that I have no way of engaging with yet, while simultaneously engaging with systems that have yet to be explained, but I'm having a good time. I think.

  • I've played a few Monster Hunter games before; I've enjoyed all of them, but World undoubtedly represents the biggest leap forward for the series to date. Almost every aspect of the game feels like a solid refinement of what has come before, and 15-20 hours in I feel like I have hundreds of hours of hunting ahead of me.

  • Maybe 9 or 10 months after trading in my launch Xbox One, I recently picked up an Xbox One X in preparation for next month's State of Decay 2 release. Forza Horizon 3 was the first game I installed, and after having some fun with it and checking out all of the new cars that have been added, I downloaded both the Hot Wheels and Blizzard Mountain expansions. It's kind of a bummer that nobody on my friends list is playing the game anymore, but the drivatars offer a reasonable challenge and, in the case of one named GiantBombing, even some surprisingly authentic griefing.

    I also downloaded the Forza Motorsport 7 demo, by the way, but after completing all three of the included races, I think I'm going to stick with Horizon for now.

  • I've been a fan of the Elite games since the BBC Micro and Commodore 64 versions. I played the PC version of Dangerous when it launched but, despite really enjoying it, I fell off after maybe a year. Since I picked up an Xbox One and wanted something else to play on it while waiting for State of Decay 2, I decided to give the console version a shot. The controls took some getting used to, but they're actually so well designed that I decided to have Frontier transfer all of the wealth from my PC commander to my new Xbox one; effectively deleting all of my PC progress.

    I'm not a huge fan of the planet-based missions yet, and I think the game would benefit from about 50 more tutorials laying out some of its different systems, but overall I'm having a great time and typically try to squeeze in at least a few missions and some exploration every night.

  • I played this on PlayStation 4 when it came back, focusing almost entirely on multiplayer. I picked up the Xbox One version in the recent EA sale and, while I'm definitely planning to play multiplayer again alongside the same Xbox clan that I've been with since 2010, so far I've only been playing the campaign. At the time of writing I've finished one story and am almost at the end of the second; loving every minute. Looks great on Xbox One X too!

  • I never got around to finishing the first modern XCOM, but I'm determined to see the credits of the sequel. I'm only maybe 10-12 missions in at the time of this writing, but I'm really impressed with how much of an improvement over the original this game is. Much to my surprise, I'm even enjoying the sense of urgency that's created with turn limits in many missions, which is forcing me to play very differently to the cautious approach that I invariably went with in XCOM.

    Also, I've yet to lose any of my soldiers, though I'm sure that'll change soon enough.

  • I've hit max level with countless Diablo III characters on PC, a few on PS4, and now I'm starting over on Xbox One. Diablo III is a game that I think I'll keep returning to at least until there's a Diablo IV, and when playing certain classes I actually think that the console versions are superior to the PC game.

  • I started out playing FIFA 18 on the Switch, which I've been having a blast with mostly because it still blows my mind that I can play something like a full FIFA career mode while I'm in bed or on the bus. I'm not sure that I can go back to playing the Switch version now that I've started another career on Xbox One though; the game is SO different.

    I've been especially surprised by how varied the tactics of AI opponents are now, relative to older games and to the Switch version. Different teams are demanding different strategies from my Bolton Wanderers side, and while I enjoyed that I could handily win every game on Switch without breaking a sweat, I'm really enjoying that - approaching the midway point of my first season in charge on Xbox - I'm stuck in the bottom half of the table and fighting for every point.

  • A clone of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes this may be, but despite my apathy towards most Marvel characters I've been having a lot of fun with this on my iPad. The kids in global chat are annoying, there are too many minion characters, and many of the animations are far too indulgent given that certain modes have time limits, but about six weeks since I started playing I still haven't missed a day. I think the main draw for me is the turn-based combat and large (ever-expanding) pool of characters to organize into combat groups. I imagine I'll fall off this one just as I did with SW:GoH at some point, but at the time of writing this is pretty much my go-to game whenever I have a few minutes to spare with a mobile device.

  • The reason I bought an Xbox One X only six months or so after I traded in my launch Xbox One. My wife and I both had a blast playing through this about 2.5 times each before we drifted away from it. I'm really hoping that upcoming DLC will be compelling and challenging enough to pull us back in.

  • After watching some gameplay videos and listening to folks talk about this game I was thoroughly convinced that it was going to be great but also fairly certain that it wasn't a game that I'd really get into. Regardless, I picked up the Switch version on day one and have been having a blast. I've only made it as far as the Throne Room level (where I was unceremoniously murdered by the Hand of the King), but I love that even when I have a bad run, I make tangible progress towards unlocking new weapons and such.

    The controls feel every bit as good as those in a Mario or Meat Boy game, the visual style is great, and the enemies and procedurally generated levels boast just enough variety that things never get too repetitive.

    I've yet to figure out how to wall jump or how to get through the runes that show up on the floor sometimes, but I figure that's because I was skipping minibosses for a time, which I won't be doing from now on.

  • I was so excited for the launch of No Man's Sky in 2016 that my new year's resolution heading into January 1 was that, in order to save money, I was only going to buy one game the whole year: No Man's Sky on PlayStation 4. It was a wholly unrealistic resolution, and I think I was already several game purchases in by the time my preordered copy of NMS arrived. I guess it almost goes without saying that I was bitterly disappointed by the game at launch, but with the recent NEXT update, NMS has been totally transformed. The planets are much more varied and interesting to explore, the base-building features (which I never messed with when they were first introduced) are great, and the new third-person camera really helps to sell the fantasy.

  • I dip in and out of Hearthstone anytime a new expansion launches; The Boomsday Project is one of the better expansions in recent memory imo and so, while I'll inevitably fall off a month or two from now, at the time of writing it's definitely my go-to game anytime I have only 10-20 minutes to play something.