Top 10 of 2018

My favorite games from this year, release date notwithstanding.

List items

  • Odyssey continues the path set by Origins last year, but somehow feels like it's double the size. Nothing this year gave me a sense of adventure quite like this. Kassandra is a wonderful protagonist, easily my favorite in the series, and I couldn't imagine a better companion for exploring this beautiful rendition of Ancient Greece.

  • I'll never get tired of this. Hitman 2016 nearly perfected a formula that this series has been trying to nail, with varying results, for so long. That we got a sequel at all is fortunate given all that happened to the studio last year, but it's shocking how truly amazing it is.

  • I'm endlessly fascinated by how divisive Red Dead Redemption II is. It's a game that demands you play at its own pace, that you live in its world and truly embody Arthur Morgan. Any pushback against its systems just does not work. This won't work for everyone, but it sure did for me.

  • Sunset Overdrive was the proof of concept of Game Pass for me, not that it really needed one to begin with. It's a hilarious game, overflowing with style and a kind of Tony-Hawk-meets-Saints-Row gameplay that was endlessly exciting. I loved it.

  • This is probably the best superhero game ever made. The combat is thrilling and gives you a ton of options for engaging enemies in all manner of styles, but it was the surprisingly touching story that really sold me on this thing.

  • Forza Horizon 4 takes some serious missteps with its multiplayer component, but the single player driving is just as good as ever. The landscape here isn't nearly as memorable as Australia or even Colorado from the first game, but it has some wickedly fun roads and great open areas to tear across in a buggy. The seasons are a fun change, and I actually really dig the character customization. Gives the series a more human personality than it may have had in the past.

  • The story in Wildlands is terribly troubled, the voice acting an atrocity, everything about what you're doing probably extremely illegal and invasive of a nation's neutrality. But it fulfills a lot of what I envisioned as my perfect game when I was a kid obsessed with the kind of cool guy stealth military action that Wildlands deals in. It just feels awesome to play, and it has a ton of great character and weapon customization. It took me nearly 100 hours to do everything and I'm already itching to play it again.

  • Diablo 3 is positively mindless. Its story beats are utterly forgettable and its characters completely inconsequential. But *boy* do I love splattering thousands upon thousands of demons as a necromancer lady with giant skeletal wings and a chicken companion. The Switch version is fantastic and I wouldn't want to play it any other way.

  • What a surprise this was! Mad Max's structure is very simple, but it looks amazing and the driving feels so, so good. The story isn't spectacular but there are some nice character moments between Max and Chumbucket. This is a really good game.

  • I tried Warframe when it was new to PS4 and absolutely did not understand it. After seeing Noclip's documentary on the game earlier this year I decided to check it out one more time, and ended up putting dozens and dozens of hours into slide jumping through hallways leveling up guns, swords, and frames. It's a wildly complicated game with so many systems that I'll likely never see. My time with Warframe is probably over at this point, but it was truly great.