Well, 2018 has been an absolutely fantastic year for gaming. We’ve had incredible releases, with both insanely fun multiplayer games, and incredible single-player experiences. On the flip side, we’ve seen gaming companies try again and again to squeeze as much money from their customers as possible, while delivering as little in as they can, as quickly as possible in return. Bethesda’s recent release of Fallout 76 has instantly become a black mark on the record of a once beloved company, and Namco is still in hot water over their broken status of Soul Calibur 6‘s online play. Microtransactions are rampant, and game devs seem to be picking their sides in the war between the gamer, and almighty dollar.
That said, we do have some fantastic games that were released this year, and they deserve to be acknowledged. So, before the actual Game Awards this Thursday, first take a look at This Guy’s Top 5 Video Games of 2018!
5. Monster Hunter: World
Now this one’s a real killer. Monster Hunter is a beloved classic series, acclaimed for its imaginative world, harsh combat, and great monster battles. Monster Hunter: World managed to up the ante, bring the game some fantastic new graphics and action, but still maintain the series’ core gameplay mechanics, and not compromise anything in order to attract new players. You take on the role of a Hunter on an expedition to the New World. You explore, track, hunt, and battle giant monsters, including dragons the size of mountains. What’s not to love? Though this was the first MH game for a lot of North American gamers, they’re able to jump in without worry of being lost (much like Bioware’s release of Dragon Age: Inquisition). This is a terrific action-RPG, and definitely one of the best video games of the year.
4. Forza Horizon 4
This Guy was ecstatic when Microsoft announced they’d acquired Playground Games. These devs have consistently put out the best open world racing games for the last 6 years, and Forza Horizon 4 is no exception. Using the English countryside as its backdrop, and with a jaw-dropping new seasons system, this game takes Forza to a new level, with amazing graphics, intense stunts, and a kickass soundtrack (as expected). Truly one of the best games of the year, from one of the most consistent developers in the business. And now, with Microsoft behind them, Playground is apparently working on a new open-world RPG. They’re living the dream.
3. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Iconic or not, Lara Croft was a heroine very few gamers genuinely took seriously. She was the scantily-clad, female Indy, with triangular boobs, and the butler you could trap in the freezer. That all changed with 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, reenvisioning Lara as a spunky young grad student, eager to explore the world and make her mark on it. In Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, we’ve now seen Lara grow and become the battle-hardened explorer we all know and love. Her war against the evil Trinity organization brings her to South America, and the legendary city of Paititi. This instalment brings real weight to the narrative, as Lars has to deal with the devastating impact of her actions on the world, while also knowing shes the only one who can save it. The constant shootouts of the previous games have been toned down a bit, all for the better, and the game finally feels damn near perfect. The addition of an easily exploitable photo mode doesn’t hurt either.
2. God of War
This Guy never had a chance to play the original God Of War video games. Being an Xbox loyalist, PlayStation games were off-limits. But when I saw the E3 trailer for the fourth instalment of the main series, and saw that enormous “World Serpent” rise from the seas, I knew I had to have it. And goddamn, is it great! “Hack and slash” is thrown around for a lot of these battle-heavy adventure games, but you’ve never understood the concept of hacking or slashing an enemy, until you’ve played as Kratos, hurling his magical axe into a fire troll’s head. This sequel/soft-reboot rebuilds the series from the ground up, bringing new life to Kratos, and new monsters to conquer. It is an absolute trip.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
Now here’s a game I’d just about lost faith in ever happening. I didn’t get around to Red Dead Redemption (and Undead Nightmare) until they were both years old. But damn if I didn’t have a hell of a time riding around New Austin, lassoing criminals. . . or just whoever. Now, a full five years after Rockstar’s last game (GTA:V), Red Dead Redemption 2 is here, and it was well worth the wait. An epic tragedy, wrapped in a western garment, this open world adventure has something for just about every gamer out there. And it’s all tied to a terrific story centered on one of the most well-written characters I’ve ever seen in gaming. Truly, Arthur Morgan could someday sit on a gaming Mount Rushmore, alongside Mario, Master Chief, and Link. It’s an absolute time-sink, and the game demands your attention, but it’s worth it. And this is of course just the single-player. Red Dead Online is back as well.