2018 Community Game of the Year

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Well, December is already here, fellow Goodjers! That means 2019 is just around the corner, and it's now time for the 2018 Community Game of the Year thread. This will be my second year picking up after all the hard work ClockworkHouse put in. I have little doubt that this year will be as exciting and amazing as it was last year. Reading your lists and seeing what diverse games we all play never ceases to amaze me.

I'm sure most of you know the drill by now, but before you all start posting your lists, quick rundown on how this works. Each year, GWJ community members vote for their favorite games of the year. Since we're all busy and can't always keep up with new releases, we're opening it up to all games you played for the first time in 2018. Doesn't matter if it's one year, five years, ten years, or twenty-five years old, what matters is that it's new to you. If you change your list, don't edit your post, make a new one and tell me you've changed your mind.

Complete guidelines in Q&A form in the post below, and final results will be posted here (perhaps even on the Front Page!).

Below are the Official Rules of the 2018 Community GOTY Voting Thread, Q&A style.

  • What games can I vote for? Any game you played for the first time in 2018. Say every one had been telling you how awesome Mass Effect is and you picked it super cheap and loved it? You can absolutely put it on your list. But if you're going into your third playthrough of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and already made it #1 on your list last year, then you don't get to vote for it again. Voting this year is still open to any game on any platform from any year.
  • How do you know if I really played it for the first time this year? Believe it or not, I don't have psychic powers. That'll be between you and your conscience. But really, why would you try to rig a silly forum poll?
  • What if I didn't finish it yet? Doesn't matter. If you feel you've played enough of this game for it to surpass others you've played this year, go ahead and put it on your list. Sometimes, we don't have to play 10 hours of a game to know we're going to love it (not to mention that some games are really suuuuuuuuuuper long: you might not have finishes, but still know it's awesome).
  • Why are we doing it this way? Because we're all busy and getting on in age. GWJ is a site mostly populated with mature, adult gamers with jobs (it's right there in the name of the site), family obligations, hobbies, and other things that take up our time. And we can't all afford the new hotness as soon as it's released. Most of us have piles (see m0nk3yboy's 2018 thread), and though we try to play through them, we don't often get a chance to say that we really love something even if it's old.
  • What if the top game ends up being from 2008 or something? In over ten years, that's never happened.
  • So how are votes counted? Games in the top spot on a list get ten votes, second place gets nine, et cetera, et cetera, with tenth place getting a single vote. If your list is out of format (lists that aren't ranked and/or lists that go over ten), games on your list will get one vote each for the first ten games only.
  • Can I vote for an expansion pack? For the purposes of vote counting (and my sanity), votes for expansions are folded into votes for the base game. So for example, a vote for The Wticher III: Blood & Wine is counted as a vote for The Witcher III.
  • I played a game before, but this year I played the remastered Director's Cut with new content on a new platform. Can I vote for it? Nope. Again, the spirit of this thread is to vote for things that were new to you this year, and replaying a game you love with spiffier graphics runs somewhat contrary to that. On the other hand, some remasters and re-releases significantly change the original game, and sometimes replaying something can feel more revelatory than playing something brand new. In the end, it's up to you (see the above, "but how do you know..." question).
  • Can I list a game multiple times so that it gets more votes? No. That's annoying cheating.
  • When does voting open? When does it close? Voting is open when this thread goes up, so: you can vote now.
    Go ahead, knock yourself out! Post your list! Voting will close on January 1st, 2019 (9am GMT+1, 3am EST, midnight PST). That should allow you to wrap up some of those late November games and/or sample whatever you might receive as a gift during the holidays.
  • Are you going to do anything really neat and special with the results? Absolutely! You can look for the traditional community's top ten list & special mentions for each platform. Additionally, the results will be analyzed to award other "'best of" titles such:
    • Best-Loved Game of the Year and Most Loved Game of the Year - These are given to the games with the most #1 votes and most unranked votes, respectively.
    • Classic Game of the Year - Given to the game with the most votes that wasn't released this year.
    • Darksiders of the Year - Given to the game that's maybe good. Better ask just to be on the safe side.

    Stay tuned for more, I'm trying to keep these a surprise.

  • What if I change my mind after I posted my list? By all things holy and unholy, for the love of the Goodjerbot, if you do decide to change your mind (it happens!), then pretty please, be sure to put up a new post that lets me know you changed your list. It'll seriously mess with the thread-tracking if you don't.

If you are so inclined, you can check out previous years!

And you can even check out the thread I've dubbed "Community Game of the Decade" which Gravey ran last year to rank the ten community GOTYs from 2006 to 2015!

Oh boy. Too early for my list but tagging in so I don't forget. Hoping Smash Bros makes it next week since I pre-ordered already

I just realized Battletech was the catalyst for me building a new PC. It was the first thing I bought once I got my rig up and running, and...I haven't played more than 2 hours. I was sure that would make it to my GOTY list, and now I've disappointed myself.

Anyway! I've gotta brew up something over the next few days; Celeste, Dragon Quest XI, Yoku's Island Express...There are more than a few gems this year! Maybe not as many obvious big hitters as last year, but I think I had more fun with the little things in the last 12 months.

Already?! Way to get me stressed. So much left to play.

Thank you for doing this!

I guess I got to actually try to remember what I played this year.

My list is pretty finalized with only 1 game left to play and another that could move up or down.

#1. Monster Hunter: World
#2. Total War: Warhammer II

And that's it for me this year!

What..no.. I'm not ready.. D:

I'm with Vector --my list is pretty much done. I just need to spend more time with Hollow Knight to make sure I put it in the right spot .

Gesh, already time to figure out what the heck I played this year? my favorite games of the year were?

I still have one or two games left for me this year, so my list may not be done until close to the deadline.

Thanks Eleima for doing this again!

Thanks be to Eleima for running this annual show nowadays! Posting my list now while I have a moment, and will return to it with thoughts, etc., as possible - or maybe just leave it in list form, as kids allow little time for internet musings these days.

10. That Dragon, Cancer
9. Spec Ops: The Line
8. What Remains of Edith Finch
7. Doki Doki Literature Club
6. 20xx
5. Five Night's at Freddy's
4. Life is Strange
3. Hollow Knight
2. Guild of Dungeoneering
1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

It’s too soon! Too many things left to play. Oh boy...

zeroKFE wrote:

It’s too soon! Too many things left to play. Oh boy... :P

Gotta figure out what to put in slots 2-10, right?

This may be the first year I look back on what I played last Christmas and roll that over into this year. I mean, I didn't beat either Telltale's Batman Season One or Fire Emblem Warriors until 2018 anyway, and casting my votes before Christmas would just be a lot less stress. Still, need time to finish some of what I do have.

Speaking of...

Darksiders of the Year - Given to the game that's maybe good. Better ask just to be on the safe side.

Well, I mean, technically, if you look at the review scores, and also the title of the game, this should be, I guess, kind of a victory by default for Darksiders 3.

Too bad I'm probably gonna be the only one that even has it on their list, let alone is actually playing it right now.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Thank you for doing this!

Aristophan wrote:

Thanks Eleima for doing this again!

Yes indeed. Thank you, and also good luck.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

It’s too soon! Too many things left to play. Oh boy... :P

Gotta figure out what to put in slots 2-10, right?

Oh ye of little faith.

zeroKFE wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

It’s too soon! Too many things left to play. Oh boy... :P

Gotta figure out what to put in slots 2-10, right?

Oh ye of little faith. :P

Fool me once, and all that.

Thanks as well, Eleima! And thanks Clockwork for doing it in the past!

Woohoo my favourite thread of the year, thanks Eleima!

(You all played Subnautica, right?)

First year I've played more than one game in the year of its release.

This year my list is going to be weird because of 7 months I didn't / don't have access to my usual game PC. I've been playing lower tech games on an old laptop. This also means that next year I'll probably have a bunch of games from this year. I still need to work out what to nominate.

Thanks for doing this Eleima!

Thanks Eleima for your hard work on this!

I've narrowed my top game this to one of three, but I can't choose which. I have a feeling I'll never be quite satisfied.

As an aside, for 2018 decided to take note of every game I played for the first time, with the only condition being that I had to have played it more than once, so I actually remember what I played this year. I also did this for all music listened to, movies watched and books read. It's been really interesting to keep track of my habits and has been interesting to reflect on as the years go on. I encourage anyone interested to try it!

Fave starred! Thank you Eleima.

oho. This is going to be a struggle this year as i've played surprisingly few games that end up fitting my GOTY requirements (I need to have completed the game, or gotten as close as possible before I'll consider it valid for the list). Mostly i've been too busy with other stuff, or playing table-top games.

So it begins! Thank you BoogtehWoog and Zoso1701 for your lists! And thank you all for your kind words. I do enjoy doing this quite a bit. I'll hold off a bit til I post my list, as I'm still moving games up and down ranks, so are a bit of a close call. Still. It's been a great year for gaming. Again.

ccesarano wrote:
Darksiders of the Year - Given to the game that's maybe good. Better ask just to be on the safe side.

Well, I mean, technically, if you look at the review scores, and also the title of the game, this should be, I guess, kind of a victory by default for Darksiders 3.
Too bad I'm probably gonna be the only one that even has it on their list, let alone is actually playing it right now.

We'll see about that.

I've played surprisingly few games this year, getting 10 really good ones for my list is actually quite a challenge. There's a ton of REALLY good games I've played but not enough to warrant putting them on a list yet, so they will very possibly show up next year instead (*cough* AC : Odyssey *cough*)

Anyway... for what it's worth:

(quick list for copy-pasting)

1 Subnautica
2 Life is Strange : Before the Storm / Farewell
3 Shadow of the Tomb Raider
4 Unavowed
5 Vampyr
6 Simulacra
7 Resident Evil 7
8 Gorogora
9 Far: Lone Sails
10 The Initiate

-------------------------------------------------

1. Subnautica

I can't descripe the amount of joy (and terror) this game gave me, given my utter fear and loathing of deep water (or, more specifically, of all the things with TEETH that live in the deep water). The only way i could get through it was by cheating (I made myself essentially invisible to the hostile creatures in the game) but I'm glad I did because it's by far the best "survival" genre game that's emerged so far. Exploring that underwater world was a huge amount of fun (giant murder-worms aside) and I'm very much looking forward to the Arctic region expansion pack and the new (lady) main character.

Also - if there were one game that could sell me on getting a VR headset it would be this one, but i don't know if i'd have the guts to play it that way beyond the pleasant, brightly lit safe zone of the tropical starter area!

2. Life is Strange : Before the Storm / Farewell

A flawed but fitting end (start?) to the story of Chloe and Rachel. There were tears shed, but the highlight by FAR was the dungeons and dragon games run by Chloe's cool nerdy lesbian friend Steph who I was secretly wishing would sweep Chloe off her feet and the two of them could escape to safety instead

3. Shadow of the Tomb Raider

More Tomb Raider! This is going on the list despite SEVERE technical problems and memory leaks that made some of the game virtually unplayable for me. But despite that I still have a total soft spot for Lara's particular brand of irresponsible cultural vandelism. And she looks super cute in that culturally appropriated Incan dress.

4. Unavowed

Urban Fantasy adventure game set in the same world as the Blackwell games with shades of Mass Effect's companion dialogue systems and an episodic "monster of the week" style storyline that incoporates everything from elementals, dryads and faeries in a gritty New York setting. LOVED IT. Also it has a pretty cool plot twist 2/3 of the way through.

5. Vampyr

Surprisingly more fun than I expected it to be. I'd have liked to have had the choice of playing as the main character's sister instead (i feel like they could easily have done a "dishonored 2" style character choice at the opening chapter and it wouldn't have affected the gameplay much at all). Aside from that it was a really neat little "AA" game of the sort we don't get enough of these days. Bonus points for the final area being set near Inverness (even if it was hilariously fictional).

6. Simulacra

I am always impressed when people can come up with cool ways of presenting horror stories that don't rely on classic cliche's and this game manages to make staring at an iphone a tense and creepy experience. Really well done.

7. Resident Evil 7

I Put off playing this for ages because the whole "louisiana swap cannibals" theme was rather off-putting. But i'm glad i finally got around to it. It's REALLY good! There's less of the "running around without weapons avoiding the wandering monsters" thing that i was expecting and it feels a lot more like a traditional RE game than I would have thought after playing the demo . I've not gone back to the DLC yet, so that's still on the to do list.

8. Gorogora

Really pretty and well illustrated puzzle game. Honestly i mostly just played this for the illustrations.

9. Far : Lone Sails

Bleakly beautiful and melancholy "walking sim" with surprisingly satisfying mechanics as you keep your little sand skiff house in order. It's short but was a really interesting thing to play.

10. The Initiate

Honestly at this point i'm struggling to find games that qualify for my list. The Initiate wasn't bad though - it's effectively a series of escape rooms strung together into one larger puzzle set in a house that's been converted into a puzzle dungeon. It's great if you're a fan of escape room stuff.

Thanks again for running this Eleima

So... yeah. Very much into all my old comfort games again this year. Here's the new stuff:

1. Battletech
2. Into the Breach
3. The Witness
4. Tales from the Borderlands
5. Dishonored 2
6. Super Hot
7. Divinity OS 2
8. Bomber Crew
9. Slay the Spire
10. Orwell

1. Battletech

Spoiler:

This one could be in places 1-10 all on its own to be honest. I backed this one on Kickstarter the second it was announced. I was a big fan of the original boardgame back in the 80s and this game captures it absolutely perfectly. The one thing I have against it is that once the storyline is over and your dropship is fully upgraded there's not much incentive to keep going. Looking forward to the expansions for this one.

2. Into the Breach

Spoiler:

FTL remains one of my all time top 10 games so a mech game by the same firm was a no-brainer.
This one hasn't grabbed me as much but it's an entertaining puzzle game that feels more like a set of chess problems than a mech game. Not that that's a bad thing.

3. The Witness

Spoiler:

It's not often I need to play an absolutely stunning walk-around-and-solve-puzzles game but when I do it's when my brain is too loud and I want to get to sleep.

Did I mention it's absolutely stunning?

4. Tales from the Borderlands

Spoiler:

I am not usually a Telltale guy but I really like the Borderlands world so this one turned me around. It's the insanity of the shooty-looty version without the shooting and looting.

5. Dishonored 2

Spoiler:

A bunch of us played Blades in the Dark at a recent Euro GWJ S&T. So... yeah.

6. Superhot

Spoiler:

SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT.

I don't need to tell you about this one. I haven't actually finished it because That Scene (you know the one I mean) is my absolute deep dark nightmare button since childhood and it scared the bejeezus out of me.

7. Divinity OS 2

Spoiler:

I was in the mood for a western CRPG and having tried and discarded a few of them I settled on this one. Turn-based is definitely my style for this kind of thing and the sneak mechanic (hiding in a barrel) is hilarious.

8. Bomber Crew

Spoiler:

I wanted to like this more than I did. The gameplay is basically FTL in a cartoony Lancaster bomber but there's not pause mode so the whole thing is a frantic scrambling hold-this-crate-together kind of affair which I sometimes find stressful and am sometimes absolutley in the mood for.

9. Slay the Spire

Spoiler:

An entertaining deckbuilder marred only by the fact I had a major mental health episode in the middle of one of a game once and now I can't look at it again. Shame.

10. Orwell

Spoiler:

Another one I wanted to enjoy more than I did. The premise is that you're a crowdsourced signals intelligence grass working for a totalitarian regime. You snoop on everyday citizens and work out if they're a security threat. Your choices drive the story yadda yadda. Obvious parallels to Papers Please but with a slower pace and less charm. Didn't get very far through it but I might yet jump back in again.

So far I have one game on my list.

1. Monster Hunter World
2. Disgea 5 (pc)
3. Marvels Spider man
4. Lets Go Pokemon (Eevee or bust)
5. Obra Dinn
6. Yakuza 0 (pc)
7. BATTLETECH
8. Into the Breach
9. Bayonetta 2
10. Assassins Creed Odyssey

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