Sam's Top 5 Games of 2018

I was not ready for the bombardment of masterpieces to come our way this year. 2018 has been a year to remember for game releases, with many of these titles I’m going to mention now being placed in my top games of all time. I am so impressed and so happy with how far the creative industry has come, and I can’t wait to continue to be a part of it as we move forward in the coming years.

Favorite Game Released Before 2018, Played in 2018: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

2017 was a big year for gaming, with the release of the game-changing Nintendo Switch. With that release came a little game called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a title of which I adore. I played this game non-stop for months on end, and completed it three times along with the DLC.

Breath of the Wild is still so important as a game for me in 2018 because I always go back to it, to explore or do some quests, or start my adventure anew. It’s like an old friend you can always turn to. While I did play it in 2017, it’s taken up enough of my gaming time this year too, justifying its significance in my article all about fantastic games. If you haven’t played it yet, please do yourself the honors.

2018 Honorable Mentions

Octopath Traveler, Shadow of the Colossus, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Detroit: Become Human

Top 5 Games of 2018

5. Hollow Knight (Switch)

An early hitter for me this year was Hollow Knight, specifically on the Nintendo Switch. I had never looked into this game as much as I wanted to, and it faded from memory. However, during the month of E3, Nintendo announced it would be coming to the Switch, and that very night no less. Of course, I jumped on this release with open arms, and I am so glad I did.

Hollow Knight is a fantastic, hand-drawn 2D platformer to say the least. Best described as a metroidvania style game, you set out on a journey to uncover the mysteries of a fallen underground kingdom once inhabited by bugs. You begin with nothing more than a rusty needle and high spirits, but this game has so much more than you could imagine.

I ended up with 50 hours on this game, 100% completion, and was left in awe by the amazing story that uncovers piece by piece as you find certain things. The challenge of the bosses partnered with the platforming and mystery created an adventure that I will not forget any time soon. Definitely a game I have to recommend.

4. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

I’m going to be honest here: I forgot this game was coming out. I have played the Assassin’s Creed series for about a decade, and I absolutely love it to bits. However, with the recent breaks and the change of style of these games, as well as countless other franchises coming out, I haven’t had as much year-long love for them. I don’t love the games any less by any means, but I do forget about them in the run-up.

Soon after I remembered this game’s existence with great excitement. Now, with a solid 160 hours of playtime under my belt, and an adventure to remember, it stands proudly as my favourite Assassin’s Creed game of all time. The delve into a full RPG style has done wonders for this franchise, and I really cannot wait to see where it takes us in the future. How about Feudal Japan, eh Ubisoft?

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man

Now we all know who Spider-Man is, and we all love him. So a few years ago to hear about a new Spider-Man game coming from Insomniac, the legendary creators of Ratchet & Clank, the excitement was through the roof.

This was a highly anticipated game, and rightly so, as it redefined what a Spider-Man game can be, and what it can achieve. It took us through the story of 23 year old Peter Parker, and his struggle with keeping is web-head on while managing his personal life and struggles. The story is phenomenal, and is certainly a Marvel to behold.

I was a little worried in the final wait for this game, as I was scared it would just be another mediocre web-slinging game about punching goons and bad puns. I was happy to be proven wrong, giving me one of my favourite experiences this year, and stepping on every other Spider-Man game that ever existed. It’s still all about punching goons and bad puns, but in all the best ways.

2. God of War

I have never played a God of War game before, as I wasn’t a massive fan of hack-and-slash or quick-time events. The titles eluded me, and were one of those classics I never experienced for myself. But with the story-continuing reboot of Kratos and his new boy Atreus, I was blown away to say the least.

The story was powerful, personal, and experienced first-hand by the player all the way. With not a single camera-cut in the entire journey, you fall so much farther into the adventure than you initially set out to. The story, music, graphics, and awesome axe all come together to create a game that was surely a GotY contender, even with its release so early in 2018.

No matter what style of game you like, no matter how much time you spend on games, no matter what you enjoy most in these experiences, everyone should play through this amazing masterpiece of a game. I can’t picture a scenario where someone does not enjoy it, even a little.

1. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2. I cannot say enough about this game. Now placed as one of my favourite games of all time, I will treasure this title always. I played through it twice, and would happily go through it a third time any day of the week.

Why is this game amazing? I’ll tell you why. The gameplay is astounding, using everything great from all of Rockstar’s past works into one. The graphics are brilliantly realistic, capturing that ‘boringly bleak’ colour palette that is real life and leaving you in awe. The story and the music are incredibly powerful, leaving an impact on me like no other story has from a gaming experience. I have the entire soundtrack ready to listen to at any time on my phone, as I surely will have surges of need to hear it all once again. The performance of every single character in this outstanding title will pull you in, and you will care for each and every member of the Van Der Linde Gang more than you could believe.

Much like God of War, I believe everyone needs to experience what this game has to offer. Play it, watch it be played online or by a friend. However you can witness this masterpiece and take in the deep-impacting storytelling, do it.