My game of the year awards is finally here. I usually reach out to one or two people to help me out with these, but I changed the way I write my game of the year post last year and I decided to keep it in this format.
Best Action – Monster Hunter World
There are a few games that I could place here and be happy with. Monster Hunter edged God of War, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. At the end of the day I enjoyed battling monsters like Anjanath (T-rex), Barros (cuddly rock monster), and Rathalos (dragon) over anything any of the games I named threw at me. Monster Hunter World plays good, looks good, performs well, and is amazing to play in multiplayer. Hunting down monsters is fun and battling them is an exciting duel between hunter and prey. You never know what type of experience you’re in for when you’re out in the wild. Chasing an Anjanath could lead to you running into Rathalos. You can use your environment to your advantage, lay traps, capture gigantic monsters, or just beat the living crap out of them.
Best Adventure – Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Here’s a category that’s been missing from my game of the year awards for a few years now. Shadow of The Tomb Raider is a great game and I couldn’t think of a better one win in this category. What an adventure Lara Croft had in this game. I love the new Tomb Raider games and this is coming from someone who never cared for any of the older games in the series. The gameplay, interesting puzzles, and diverse locations are what helped this game win the award for the best adventure game!
Best Graphics – Monster Hunter World
I was originally going to place God of War here, but I changed my mind when I played this on PC. This game looks good! It looks so much better than the PS4 version and it runs smooth as butter too. The monster designs are incredible and the various different locations are all very beautiful. It has more diverse locales than God of War too and that’s what gave it the edge in this category. I love just about everything about this game and it helps that it looks really damn good too.
Best Story – God of War
God of War had the best story last year. No game, that I played, came close to the excellence of this game. Kratos is actually a likable character and so is his son. This game is long and filled with beautiful cutscenes and awesome moments from start to finish. I loved the journey that Kratos and his kid went on and when it was all said and done I wanted more. I want to know what happens next, but I’m pretty sure we won’t get to experience it until a few years into the PS5.
Best Strategy – Frostpunk
11-bit studios know how to make some depressing games. They’re really good though. First, I played this War of Mine a few years ago and then I bought this game knowing next to nothing about it. I bought it because of the developers. I know their work and since I loved This War of Mine I figured I would love this game too. I was right. I like this game a little more than This War of Mine. Frostpunk can be incredibly hard. I lost my first 3 attempts before I completed the first scenario, but every time I lost I would immediately try again because I was having fun learning how to survive the harsh, cold world of this game. It’s amazing and I highly recommend it. It’s also the best strategy game that released last year and it easily won the award for the best strategy game.
Best RPG – Pillars of Eternity II
This game is a buggy mess. So why is it winning an award? Because it’s a fantastic buggy mess. This is a potential game of the year candidate in so many ways. Obsidian has been releasing patches and they’re still supporting this gem of a game. The new turn base mode made this game even better than it already was and it’s backed by some great writing, interesting characters, and locations to explore. It’s a great CRPG and when I really sat down and thought about which RPG stood above them all in 2018 it was this one. Pillars of Eternity II is a fantastic game and I hope we haven’t seen the last of this series since Microsoft now owns Obsidian.
Best Multiplayer – Monster Hunter World
There’s a lot of love for Monster Hunter here! I can’t think of a better online experience I had last year and, so far, this year. Monster Hunter World is the best Monster Hunter game ever made and it’s not even close. The controls are what sets this game apart from the previous games in the series. For a long time, Monster Hunter wasn’t evolving because the limited hardware of the 3DS always held it back from being what everyone had dreamed it could be. Monster Hunter World is what I always envisioned this series could become and it’s really good. Getting a group of friends together to slay a big ass beast is what this game is about and it ticked all of the boxes of what I look for in a great multiplayer game.
Best Shooter – Insurgency: Sandstorm
This game is just pure fun without any of the bullshit that plagues modern shooters today. There are no loot boxes, bullshit microtransactions, and shady shit going on in this game. It’s just pure fun. You jump in, choose a loadout, and, hopefully, go on a huge killing streak and show everyone how good you are. What more can be said? It’s just a fun game that I highly recommend. It’s half the price of games like Black Ops and Battlefield and just as good in my opinion.
Best Platformer – Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight wins this one easily. Yes, it was also in last year’s game of the year awards. It wasn’t on the Switch last year though. I enjoyed playing this game on my Switch more than I did on my PC. This game feels like it was always meant to be played on a handheld device. It runs butter smooth, has amazing gameplay, challenging platforming sections, and tells a good story too. What more can you ask for?
Best Fighter – Soul Calibur VI
Soul Calibur VI is hands down the best fighting game I played last year. Screw Smash Ultimate. That’s about as basic as a fighting game can get. Soul Calibur VI has great controls, graphics, incredible gameplay, and a great cast of characters. And how could I possibly leave my boy Geralt of Rivia off of my game of the year awards? He’s easily the best part of this game. You could argue that he plays better here than he does in his own Witcher games. I didn’t play every huge fighting game that released last year. I doubt any of them would’ve taken this spot even if I did.
Best MMO – The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset
Zenimax is spoiling the crap out of me with these yearly expansions for ESO. Summerset is another great expansion to an already incredibly MMO. This game has come such a long way from the disappointment it was back in 2014. It’s a completely different game now and if I’m ever in a mood to play an MMO this one is always at the very top of my list. It’s the best MMO on the market right now and it’s filled with content to enjoy. I love this game and I hope it has many more years of success.
Best New IP – Frostpunk
This is probably my favorite category to write about. I love playing brand new IPs. You never know what you’re in for when you boot up a brand new game for the first time. Frostpunk was that game for me last year. It’s an amazing game that’s hard to learn, but very fun when you do. I love that everything happens in real-time. It adds to the stress of the game. You’re in charge of the very last colony on Earth. Something happened and the world entered another ice age. It’s a depressing game, but it’s so good and well worth the cheap asking price. I highly recommend this one.
Best Horror – Subnautica
What’s more terrifying than being stranded in the ocean? How about crash landing on a new planet in an ocean? This game is absolutely terrifying. There’s no combat at all. The only chance you have for survival is to avoid all of the hostile ocean life while gathering what you need from the ocean floor to survive. What I love about this game is that I can play it the way I want. I don’t have to eat or drink if I don’t want to. I can just enjoy building my underwater base without the added stress of making sure I eat. You can disable every feature you don’t want and I wish more games in this genre did that.
Best Male Character – Kratos
This one was easy! I loved Kratos the most in his game. I really loved his one-liners (BOY!) and how much he loved his son in his own way. He’s carrying around a lot of guilt about his past life and just wants to protect Atreus. He’s hard on his son, but there are times when he wants to comfort him, but doesn’t. Kratos is awesome. He won’t win any dad of the year awards, but he can settle for being the best male character of 2018!
Best Female Character – Lara Croft
I love the new Tomb Raider games. Shadow of the Tomb Raider didn’t get enough love from everyone in my opinion. The developers worked on everything that people complained about and people still complained. Lara is more interesting than she’s ever been in this game. I was really impressed with the story this time around and surprised that I actually liked Lara in this game when I didn’t care for her too much for her in Rise of the Tomb Raider. She totally deserves to win the best female character of 2018.
Best Companion – Sylvando (Dragon Quest 11)
Here’s a new award to add to the already huge list! I can’t think of a single companion that I loved more than Sylvando. He’s awesome, funny, can hold his own in a fight, and is probably the best healer in Dragon Quest 11. He always had something interesting, or funny, to say and the best part of it all is that my kids love him just as much as I do. One thing I’ll miss about Dragon Quest 11 is Sylvando. If there’s one character from Dragon Quest I would love to see in Smash Ultimate it would be him.
Best World Design – Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is an amazing game and it has some breathtaking locations. Ubisoft, once again, knocked it out the park with their open world. Not only is it huge, but it’s also designed really well and it’s filled with interesting things to do. I get lost (in a good way) every time I boot this game up and start playing it. I get so distracted with exploring everything around me that I completely forget that I’m supposed to be doing my main quest. There are shipwrecks, caves, beautiful cities to explore, ancient ruins, and so much more in this game and it all looks good.
Best DLC – ESO: Summerset
Summerset is another great DLC for ESO. It wasn’t very hard for me to decide what DLC to include here. This DLC doesn’t add in a new class as Morrowind did, but it has just as much content, maybe more, than Morrowind did and it did introduce us to the Psijic Order skill line. I would have preferred a new class like the Warden, but it’s not a bad skill line at all. Summerset is a quality DLC and it deserved to win this award.
Best Comeback – No Man’s Sky
A few years ago No Man’s Sky was the laughing-stock of the gaming world. It was an utterly broken game with none of the content that the developers promised. Now, it’s a different story. It has everything that was promised, including multiplayer, and has completely turned itself around. Most developers would have given up and called it quits and moved on to something else. Hello Games didn’t do that. They dusted themselves off and fixed their game. I always thought No Man’s Sky was rushed out of the door and the way it looks today proves that.
Best Developer – Ubisoft
Ubisoft had a great year. They released a bunch of games and kept supporting well-established ones as well as announce sequels to ones that I really love. If they weren’t dropping DLC for For Honor they were making awesome games like Odyssey. Yes, Far Cry is milked to death by now, but I still enjoy playing them and I did enjoy part 5 to an extent. I have no problem calling Ubisoft the best game developer of 2018.
Innovative Game of the Year – Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
This game has so much to do in it. I can sail around the world and fight pirates in awesome ship battles, explore dark caves for loot, side quest that has actual consequences, or just take in the view. Yes, I know the popular choice would be to slap Red Dead Redemption 2 here and call it day, but I don’t own that game. This game ticked all of the boxes for me and I love it.
Underrated Game of the Year – Fallout 76
Let the shitstorm begin! Yes, Fallout 76 is my underrated game of the year. It’s not nearly as bad as I’ve heard and I enjoy playing it. This game is fun. Is it buggy? It’s a Bethesda game! So… yes, it’s buggy, but it’s not a bad game. I enjoy exploring the world with my friends and getting into all kinds of trouble with them. I’ve always wanted to play a multiplayer Fallout game and I hope it will eventually become the game we all want it to be. It has potential, but it’s up the developers to make it all happen.
Game of the Year – Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
And here I am writing about Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey again. What more can I say that I haven’t already? This is a great game that I think stood above every game that released in 2018. The massive open world, good gameplay, interesting story, and amazing locales kept me entertained from the moment I started this game. Add in the mythical elements and you’ve got yourself the best Assassin’s Creed game ever made. I just hope that we won’t see this series again until at least 2020.
And that wraps up my yearly game of the year awards. It’s a long list and took forever for me to complete, but I’m satisfied with my choices. What are the best games you played last year?
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