Looking back at 2018, I can’t say if I have just one favorite game. I’ve played more great games this year than I can count, but there are some that stand out for sure. From MMOs to Single Player, my backlog of games to finish keeps growing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But if I had to pick just a handful of games as my favorites from 2018, this would be the list. Mind you, these are just games that I’ve enjoyed playing the most, not an official award in any capacity. I’d love to read your lists too!
Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset
Like always, ESO has been my go-to MMORPG for the year. And though I’m still working slowly through Murkmire, Summerset as a chapter was, without a doubt, the best storytelling in an MMO I’ve ever played. I hope 2019 is really good to my favorite MMO, because I’m looking forward to putting the next chapter on this list next December. There are some things I’d love to see from the game in 2019, like more features/toys to play with but overall the game is in a great place and I’m glad to see it thriving in a troubled genre.
I don’t play my PS4 often. My kids often take over the TV that it’s attached to - no one wants to sit around watching someone play games when there’s Oddbods to watch, after all. But if there’s a videogame that actually united my house and made it OK to play PS4 for hours without kids cartoons in 2019 it was Spider-Man. An absolutely masterful open world super-hero game, it could wind up being my favorite overall game of the year. RDR2, AC: Odyssey and others are up there, but I can’t think of a title that was more all-around perfect in pacing and execution than Insomniac’s Spider-Man.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
I hope Ubisoft’s Starlink: Battle for Atlas wasn’t too hampered by a bad idea to make it a “Toys to Life” game in an industry that’s sort of moved beyond that concept in 2018. Because while it could be a bit grindy, the action, vastness, and sheer arcade fun of land and space dogfighting made Starlink one of a few games I’ve actually beaten in the year. I’d love to see a more focused and less toy-reliant take on the series, and if it ever comes to PC as “Complete Edition”, I’d urge all of you to give it a shot. On the Switch, it’s basically the Starfox 64 sequel I’ve been longing for, only better and more RPG-like than I could have anticipated.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
This AC game supplants all others as the best the series has ever been. While purists lament the more stealthy versions giving way to the massive open-world RPG that is Odyssey, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve put dozens of hours into Kassandra’s tale and I feel like I’ve still got dozens more to go before I can say I’ve seen it all. If you’ve yet to try this one, perhaps out of some fear that it’s just Assassin’s Creed as it’s always been, you need to give it a shot as it’s on sale on Steam and you’ve got that three-hour window to return it. Also, while you’re at it, don’t sleep on Origins either as it’s a fantastic open world RPG too. But Kassandra and the sheer amount of content in Odyssey make it the overall better game for me.
Destiny 2: Forsaken
Destiny’s 2nd year has been fantastic if you’ve given it a chance. An overall remarkable turnaround from the original release, with plenty of endgame content, great PVPvE in Gambit, and overall a focus on player-choice in how they play means Destiny 2 is finally where it should have been at launch. They’ve got an ambitious year planned for 2019, but I’m more curious to see what the rumored Destiny 3 is all about and if they can get it right out of the gate this time.
Yep, I said it. Fallout 76 has been one of my favorite games of the year. I know it has plenty of problems, but I can’t help the fact that it’s been a lot of fun for me. “The heart wants, what the heart wants” and all that. I’m excited to see what the team can do to reverse its fortunes in 2019, and if there’s any game that they should look to for in encouragement it’s No Man’s Sky, or even their own Zenimax Media brother, ESO.
Pretty Much Everything on my Switch
And lastly, the entire Switch console and library. This little thing has been my goto for gaming when I just can’t sit at the PC anymore, or when I’m on travel, or when I need to relax. It’s basically the PS Vita, but done well and supported with more software than you can imagine. There are games I’m still dying to see ported to it (hello, Path of Exile and FFXIV), but heck we’ve got an excellent Warframe version, Diablo 3 rules on it, and then there’s that whole Smash Bros. Ultimate thing. Some great JRPGs are on it too, with even more to come in 2019 including the brand new Pokemon main game, and Game Freak’s new IP in Town. We’ve got two in my house now, and I expect that’ll change to 3 in a couple year’s time. Just so I don’t have to share.