As the horizon on the open world that was 2018 finally dawns, it’s time to sit round the camp fire, rejuvenate some hit points and wonder what the year was all about. We’re talking the best computer games to grace our screens of course! Here’s what we decided, after much deliberation, a few arguments and a some liquid lubrication.
1. Marvel’s Spider-Man. Super hero games aren’t always known for being the greatest, so our spider senses were understandably tingling when this new series dropped in front of us, but how wrong we were. This is probably the most fun you can have with a controller this year and it’s all done to movement – this game has the most fun way of bounding around a city we’ve had the pleasure to encounter, and throw in some superb Spidey quips, over the top baddies, and we’re all set.
2. Into The Breach. From the creators of the indie space gem FTL comes a ridiculously addictive tactical turn-based game where you guide giant robot mechs across a randomly generated set of maps to defend earth from impending doom…well, creepy aliens called the Vek. It may have a simple premise and retro graphics, but this is a thoroughly modern take on the genre that will have you on the edge of your seat.
3. Red Dead Redemption II. Like a super smoky charcoal fired scotch – we hated this game at first with its slow introduction, even slower controls and muddy plotting, but after a few tipples, we grew to love Arthur and his compelling adventures in the stunningly recreated Old West and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t shed a few tears when we reached the end of his tale.
4. Tetris Effect. This take on the timeless block sorting classic is so brilliant we can’t shout about it enough. While the shapes hurtle ever quicker towards the screen, you’re bombarded with what can only be described as a vivid, ever-changing visual art piece that feels like you’ve been blasted out of a cannon into another universe, while headphones pump out glorious electronica. The VR mode takes it to another level, so much so that you’re even more likely to lose hours upon hours in this art puzzle perfection.
5. Monster Hunter: World. This series is all about Monsters. You track them, you fight them and you craft their bits into better armour and weapons so you can fight even bigger enemies…if you don’t get killed in the process of course. All this while being assisted by a cat-like buddies called Palicoes, which may be the cutest felines in console history. Being able to climb the monster as you try to hack it to bits may be the most morbidly fun thing you’ll do all year. And did we mention the cats??
6. Moonlighter. This charming pixel-style action game focused around a shopkeeper who ‘moonlights’ as an adventurer is a breath of fresh air amid RPGs full-to-bursting with unnecessary plot, over-the-top visuals and clichéd characters. The feedback loop may be simple – you take your sword and shield to go loot dungeons in the style of Zelda, while using the proceeds to pimp both your equipment and your store – but we couldn’t put this game down.
7. Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Getting a Jigglypuff to smack Mario in his smug moustached face may be all you need to know about the latest entry in the Smash series. But if that’s not enough to persuade you, a ridiculously large single player mode, over 75 characters pulled from every inch of console history and more classic soundtracks then you can shake a Super Scope at should more than suffice.
8. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. It may the 11th title in the series, but Ubisoft still isn’t letting up. Not content with sticking to the same formula, they’ve dived headfirst into the giant open world and quest-style of games like the Witcher 3, and boy do they pull it off. Aside from the appeal of being able to explore Ancient Greece and the Aegean in groundbreakingly detailed realism, the Exploration Mode – where you have to talk to NPCs and explore the environment to discover quests and progress is something to behold – finally allows you to escape the dreaded map markers and pins that plague open-world games and ruin immersion.
9. Celeste. Yes, it’s a 2D platformer with retro graphics that could probably run on a toaster. But don’t let that put you off. Celeste takes all those platformer tropes of old, puts them in a blender and comes out with something fresh and exciting. The level design never feels old and pushes you forward in excitement, the controls are a joy to use and the music is something else, so good that you’ll be queuing up the soundtrack on all your playlists.
10. God of War. It’s been half a decade since a true Kratos adventure was released upon us and we can all agree that’s far too long for our liking. And this time, they’ve ditched the Greek mythos for Norse legends, overhauled the camera and controls, and given Mr K a magic axe which can be throw around like Mjolnir – all bold moves that more than pay off. The addition of Kratos’ son Atreus adds more depth to both the gameplay and the story, which was often a tad OTT in the previous entries.