2018 has been another bumper year for video games, and as it draws to a close it’s time to reflect on the gaming highlights of the last 365 days.
Among the usual array of annualised sequels and iterations we’ve also been treated to some fantastic new franchises, as well as a few surprisingly impressive reboots of existing properties.
Some of the Mirror Online’s game writers have come together to list their standout releases of 2018, some of which they reviewed and others they played just for fun.
It goes without saying that – as with any Game of the Year lists – the picks are entirely subjective and by no means exhaustive, so feel free to share your own GOTY in the comments section underneath the article, as well as the games that ended up being a bit of a disappointment.
God of War (April – PS4)
God of War may be an obvious selection for a game of the year award, but the sheer heft and beauty of it is impossible to ignore.
From the moment ageing and now brooding father Kratos stepped into a new world, I knew God of War was going to be one of the blockbuster hits of 2018 and deserving of the hype which surrounded it.
The graphics and art design are brilliant – the whole thing feels very well fleshed out in terms of gameplay and combat.
Yet for me, it was the story and the unexpected ending that made this one of the most satisfying games to play this year.
Kingdom Come Deliverance (February – XB1, PS4, PC)
This game came out of nowhere for me. I saw the Kickstarter and thought it would never be as good as the pitch claimed. However I was wrong, Kingdom Come delivered!
The attention to detail, the characters and even the combat really pushed for insane levels of historical accuracy and realism. The game didn’t only give us a great historical setting and some really memorable characters but also a solid RPG.
Since playing it I have to say it’s been a lot harder to go back to games like Skyrim. While some of its mechanics take getting used to, it attempts some really innovative approaches. I’ve been absolutely unable to stop playing this game since I reviewed it back in February.
Dead Cells (August – XB1, PS4, Switch, PC)
I went back and forth on my pick for ages, and for a moment it looked like Insomniac’s Spider-Man was going to take the top spot given how utterly sublime it is. Seriously, it’s a very good game.
However, just edging out the web-slinger’s opus by a hair is Dead Cells, the rogue-like 2D Metroidvania title from developer Motion Twin. After hearing how the much the indie title had been lauded, I dived into what ended up being the most engaging gameplay experience I’ve had not only of 2018 but for a very long time.
While the level of challenge is initially intimidating, the refined combat and movement mechanics coupled with the addictive risk-reward hunt for better loot and incremental upgrades compel you to make just one more run through Dead Cells’ gorgeously decrepit randomly generated levels.
What is your favourite game of 2018? Tell us in the comments below!