While 2017 might have been a year where Independent Games took much of the spotlight, 2018 was once again dominated by AAA titles from some of the biggest publishers. In fact, both Xbox and PlayStation had a solid year, with both publishers releasing titles that placed in the top five.
Since their acquisition from WB Games over a decade ago, it’s crazy to see the continued improvement of Netherrealm Studios with every release. Not only has the Mortal Kombat series grown into the behemoth that it is today, but they’ve also built up a second series with Injustice.
Injustice 2 was a massive improvement over its predecessor and featured an awesome lineup of characters. To this day, I still find myself going back to watch Doctor Fate’s reveal trailer. Most importantly though, it was an excellent fighter that improved significantly upon Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World brought an already successful franchise to new and greater heights. The series provides some of the most fun and unique gameplay experiences, and Monster Hunter World was no different.
Designed to take full advantage of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Capcom created an amazing experience that not only thrilled diehard fans but also convinced new players to jump into the series.
Perfect for those of you that love a fast-paced game that also provides a challenge, Celeste is the lone indie title on the list this time around.
The recipient of critical acclaim upon its release, Celeste received a heap of praise for its approach to its storyline and Madelaine, the protagonist of the game. It’s a game that’ll keep you engaged, especially with its incredibly enjoyable platforming mechanics.
4. Shadow of the Colossus
It’s not the only PlayStation-published game on this year’s list, but it might be one that fans hold near and dear to their hearts.
Originally released for the PlayStation 2, Shadow of the Colossus is a remake developed by the incredibly talented team at Bluepoint. Known for their work on remakes, it should come as no surprise that the game was heaped with praise for maintaining the overall feel of the original game, while also significantly improving upon it in many ways.
3. Forza Horizon 4
Ah, another welcome appearance from the Forza Horizon series. It’s interesting to see how much of a behemoth this series has become, especially when you realise that Playground Games had never worked on anything else beforehand.
Somehow, the team have managed to create hit after hit, improving on a winning formula that has resulted in Forza Horizon 4 not only being the best game in the series but one of the best racers ever.
Set in the United Kingdom, Forza Horizon 4 saw the introduction of seasons, as well as a shared world where players could interact with each other and participate in online events together. The game is insanely good, and the team clearly impressed those at Microsoft as not only were they acquired by them, but they’ve been given the lead on working on another beloved franchise; Fable.
2. God of War
In early 2018, I was struggling to find a game that really satisfied me. That was until I got my hands on God of War. I, like many others, was immediately drawn in by the sheer production quality that this game possessed. As someone who previously despised the character, this was a massive change of opinion for me.
God of War saw the return of Kratos after a five-year hiatus. This time though, the fan favourite was older and trying to live a quiet life. Naturally, that didn’t work out too well, but it did result in some of the finest storytelling and addictive combat that we’ve seen over the last decade.
God of War is easily one of the top games of the generation, and arguably one of the best ever. With a follow up announced recently, I’m sure everyone is excited to see what’s next.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
I’m sure this isn’t a surprise to anyone. We all know how wild critics and gamers were for Red Dead Redemption 2, and it’s well deserved.
A fantastic follow up to one of the greatest games to release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Red Dead Redemption 2 featured some of the best storytelling to date, as well as stunning performances, exceptional animation, and a gameplay loop that’s not only enjoyable but addictive.