‘Red Dead Redemption 2,’ ‘Monster Hunter World,’ ‘God of War’ among the best games of the year
“Red Dead Redemption 2” cast an enormous shadow over 2018. One of the most anticipated video games ever shifted rival games’ release dates and dominated conversation. It’s a type of project that sucked up all the air in the room.
That’s not to say the rest of 2018 was forgettable. Far from it, the year was one of the stronger ones, dominated by sequels and revamps of old standbys. This is the point in a console generation when studios have mastered the hardware, and they’re pushing the limits of what they can offer. Here are our top 10 games for 2018:
1. “Red Dead Redemption 2”: Rockstar Games hasn’t published a game in five years, so the hype behind this project was palpable. This chapter of the Wild West saga is a prequel that follows the Van der Linde gang and takes players to a lush vision of the age. “Red Dead Redemption 2” sets the bar for graphics with Rockstar crafting a world that’s stunningly realistic. Combine this with an epic tale about the fading world of the Wild West and this sequel is the most memorable game of the year.
2. “Monster Hunter World”: Capcom has always had problem translating the magic of its popular series from Japan to U.S. audiences. With this entry to the series, the team finally gets it right. The developers streamlined the more cumbersome and onerous aspects of the game, so players can concentrate on the skillful ways they can slay enormous creatures in a complex fantasy ecosystem.
3. “God of War”: Fans remember Kratos as a raging monster who took down the Greek gods. This revamp follows the Ghost of Sparta in the next chapter of his life. He is a father raising a son named Atreus and he’s found a life in a world dominated by the Norse gods.
4. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2”: Treyarch turned the series around with this sequel. The team essentially did away with the single-player campaign in favor of a robust set of multiplayer modes. Think of it as “Fortnite” with quick and addictive gameplay one would expect from “Call of Duty.”
5. “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey”: This sequel finally gets the formula right. “Odyssey” takes players to ancient Greece, where they take on the role of either Kassandra or Alexios, two Spartan children with a curious heritage.
6. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”: Bigger is indeed better with the latest sequel to the beloved fighting game franchise. With a roster of 74 playable characters and 103 stages, this offering gives fans more of what they love. The surprising addition is the World of Light single-player campaign that has as much depth as most role-playing games.
7. “Spider-Man”: After several years of trying to make the perfect “Spider-Man” game, Insomniac pulls off the feat with aplomb. The story that focuses on Peter Parker as a young adult also gives players a new perspective on everyone’s favorite webhead.
8. “Valkyria Chronicles 4”: Sega brings back the turn-based battle mechanics that made the original addictively fun while adding new elements such as weather mechanics and the grenadier class. Inspired by the Russian front of World War II, this strategy game echoes some of the larger themes of that conflict.
9. “Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee!”: With the success of “Pokemon Go,” Game Freak had to find a way to bring a new wave of fans into the main series of games. The solution was a drastic update to how players catch the pocket monsters. That change coincided with the series’ first major entry on the Nintendo Switch.
10. “Octopath Traveler”: Music does a lot for video games. With one of the best soundtracks in a long time and graphics that harken back to the golden age of Japanese role-playing games, this unusual title gives fans a heavy dose of nostalgia while also offering new mechanics and storytelling tricks.