It’s that time of year when we all love to look both forward and back. While there is plenty to anticipate in the new year ahead, let’s take a moment to think about some of the best games that came into our lives in 2018 across every platform from board games to consoles to handheld and online.
Celeste was originally created in just four days during a game jam before being developed into a full release. It’s a beautifully detailed and engaging platform game with stunning attention to detail. It’s highly unusual for an indie game to be nominated for Game of the Year, and that should tell you everything you need to know.
Everyone loves a driving game, and Asphalt 9: Legends has probably been the most popular of the year. It’s simply one of the best freemium games out there, and the career mode will keep you entertained indefinitely.
Florence is simple little mobile game that was released for Valentine’s Day on iOS and followed on Android in March. This indie offering is similar in concept to bigger budget releases like Choices, but delivers a far more heartfelt and authentic experience that will stay with you long after you’ve finished playing.
God of War showcases everything that’s great about the PS4. The gameplay is intuitive and the voice acting is movie quality. The only downside to the game is that you might feel it is all over too soon.
Conan Exiles was one of the most anticipated releases of 2018 and didn’t disappoint. It takes time to really get into the game, but persevere and you will reap the rewards, particularly in multiplayer cooperative mode.
Even in the digital age, there’s a market for old-fashioned party games. Decrypto is an entertaining variation on the code-guessing genre, in which four to eight players divide into two teams and have to communicate codes within the team, while trying to infiltrate their opponents.
The media is fond of ringing the death knell for the handheld, but there are still some fabulous games being released if you know where to look. Octopath Traveler is a case in point. The game is all about weakening and defeating enemies, but it is in its eight-player party mode that it really comes into its own.
If you like a roleplay adventure in which nobody spoon-feeds you the rules, then Monster Hunter World is the game for you. When you start playing the game, you’ll feel a little overawed as to where to start, but just stick with it and everything will fall into place. To say more would spoil the fun.
Something a little different for September. Everdell is a German-style board game that attracted videogame-like attention when it was released. With games like these it is always difficult to get the balance right between family fun and adult engagement. This one is perfect – games typically last an hour or so, the rules are simple once you get into the swing of it, and it’s something the whole family will enjoy.
If you love games in which you can roam open worlds, you will be blown away by Red Dead Redemption 2. The story, the missions and the exquisite gameplay all blend together such that you feel you are in the centre of a Hollywood blockbuster, not just playing a videogame. It’s a masterpiece.
2018 has been a year in which mobile slot games have become far more than just spinning reels, and Baron Samedi is a perfect example of how the genre has developed. A voodoo themed game named after the Haitian spirit of the dead, it has been developed by the increasingly influential Yggdrasil Gaming, a company whose name is steeped in mythology. It’s definitely one of the most ambitious slot releases of 2018, and Yggdrasil has pulled it off in style.
Finally, it is back to the Switch for party season. Super Smash Brothers is everything you want from the platform, with some bizarre crossovers that include PAC-MAN taking on Mario and Donkey Kong coming up against a horde of Pokémon. It’s festive fun at its best.