2018 Community Game of the Year

I've not yet made my top 10 goty list for this year. However I have made a significant start working up my top 10 2019 purchasing wishlist based on this thread ...

Spoiler:

1. Subnautica
2. Return of Obra Dinn*
3. God of War
4. Celeste
5. Donut County
6. Surviving Mars
7. Spider-Man
8. Hole down
9. tbc
10. tbc

*Auto-correct says Return of Obtaining Dinner would be a better name.

We'll see how many make my 2019 Goty list this time next year.

Edit. The above wishlist doesn't of course include the list of unplayed pile games bought because of the 2017 Goty thread.

Though I'm not 100% ready to submit my ranking, I've begun writing my post up. Y'know what? It's kind of difficult. I have a tendency to focus on a game's negatives as much as I do positives, or sometimes too much on the negative for a game I'm ranking lower than others have been. Not only is this strangely negative, but it also means my write-ups can be three-to-four paragraphs per game, and I'm trying to practice brevity this year.

What I think really contextualizes it is reading last year's list, however. I have some games I loved this year, but when you compare to 2017's pummeling of Nier: Automata, Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice... man, 2018 is just a shadow in the wake of that.

What is perhaps most disheartening is the knowledge that I will be unable to finish Monster Hunter World by Christmas, and I feel like that game would surely rank if I were to complete it. However, I've played a minimum of three games this year where my impressions at the start were greatly changed by the end. In September I was already roughly drafting the stacking of games in my mind, and they changed by October. That same ranking on December 1st was far, far different from what I expected just yesterday. It's important to me to complete a game for this very reason.

I'll be putting some time into World this week, though, so I'll see how I feel about whether I'll rank it or not. In the meantime, still trying to work on my write-up for everything else. Hopefully it will be worth reading by time I'm finished. I can confirm, however, that I'll once more be classic contrarian me.

Please look forward to it.

Classic cces, imo

kergguz wrote:

Just the list ma'am

I love that this is becoming a thing.

EriktheRed wrote:

#5 Tabletop Simulator - Does this count as a game?

Google classifies it as a "video game", so sure, why not!

Bubblefuzz wrote:

*Auto-correct says Return of Obtaining Dinner would be a better name.

I like the sound of that. Bubble, I'm holding off until I get your green light.

Thank you kergguz, robc, Phades, Sorbicol and EriktheRed for your lists! Every vote has been tallied.
Okay, so interesting, interesting... List has shifted a bit, some were knocked down, others moved up. Keep them coming.

For the past few years I have played about twelve games a year, so a Top Ten wasn’t too difficult to put together. This year, however, I have played through twenty-three, and even though I thought that would make it much harder to come up with my ten favorites, truth is these ten games easily made it to the top because they were head and shoulders above (most of) the rest. So here you have my ten favorite games of 2018, all of them for the PS4:

1. Horizon: Zero Dawn
2. Hearts of Stone & Blood and Wine
3. Life Is Strange: Before the Storm
4. Nex Machina
5. Uncharted 3
6. Little Nightmares
7. Hob
8. Unravel
9. Resogun
10. Styx: Shards of Darkness

Comments on each one of the games below:

Spoiler:

1. Horizon: Zero Dawn
I used to love open world games until I got burned out, and this one made me go back to the genre and reminded me how awesome they can be. A true masterpiece, in my opinion.

2. Hearts of Stone & Blood and Wine
The Witcher 3 was my game of the year in 2017, but I saved the expansions for 2018 because I needed a break after 80+ hours hanging out with Geralt. And if it hadn’t been for Horizon: Zero Dawn, everyone’s favorite witcher would have topped my list this year as well. Two amazing stories that might be even better than the game they expand on.

3. Life Is Strange: Before the Storm
I loved Life Is Strange when I played it a few years ago, but I wasn’t really planning on getting Before the Storm. Then I saw it on sale and thought “Why not?”, so I got it… and was blown away by it just like I was with the original. I loved absolutely everything about it, from the characters to the story, the voice acting, and the relationship between… well, you know who. An amazing experience I wouldn't have tried if I hadn't been fed up with Hollow Knight... and which it ended up replacing here!

4. Nex Machina
I didn’t see it coming, but this game captured my imagination like few others have. It’s fun, frantic, hellish, challenging, exhausting, beautiful, and replayable like few other games, and I find myself going back to it while I’m in between games and I just want to have fun. An amazing time, every time.

5. Uncharted 3
I played both Uncharted 3 and 4 this year, and while I liked the fourth one a lot, I thought Uncharted 3 was the best of the series (I haven’t played The Lost Legacy yet) because it had the most interesting story, the best balance between platforming, puzzle solving, and shooting, and didn’t overstay its welcome like 2 and 4 did. I love this kind of big budget, third person, action/adventure game, so I am quite surprised that most of the games on my list this year are not that kind of game at all. Uncharted 3 will have to represent them, I guess.

6. Little Nightmares
I loved everything about this game: the atmosphere, the character design, the creepiness that permeates everything, and that demented last level. As a horror movie fan, I found the game fascinating, and I enjoyed moving around the spooky environments solving the different puzzles while trying not to become some hungry creature’s lunch. A formidable game.

7. Hob
Hob is an overlooked gem that anyone looking for a gorgeous Metroidvania game should play. I thought the game was lots of fun, and I enjoyed exploring the world, gaining new abilities, and trying to figure out what on Earth was going on (I confess I had to look it up online to fully understand). A great game that will keep you entertained for many hours.

8. Unravel
This game moved me in ways video games (and movies, really) don’t usually do (unless they are titled Life Is Strange). It is so melancholy, so relaxing, and so full of personality that I couldn’t help loving it. Plus, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous.

9. Resogun
The second Housemarque game on my list, I thought Resogun was a complete blast. I would have liked it more if I hadn’t played Nex Machina first, but I still enjoyed every second of this fast-paced, phenomenal shmup so much that I had to include it on my list.

10. Styx: Shards of Darkness
Despite not-exactly-stellar reviews, I decided to check out this game even though I had never played the first one and I’m not very good at stealth games. Some people did not like the main character’s humor, but to me, his abrasive personality, his meanness, and his eff-you attitude made the game. I spent most of the game laughing out loud, and had a great time hanging out with Styx, so much so that I will definitely check out a hypothetical third game if it’s ever made... and if it includes a quick save option like this one does.

Finally, I must include an honorable mention: Seasons After Fall, a gorgeous game I adored in which the player controls a fox that has to solve puzzles using the power of the seasons (it might even be a little weirder than it sounds). I thought the music and the art direction were outstanding, and if it hadn’t been for a crushing bug that prevented me from continuing my quest when I was over 80% done, forcing me to leave the game unfinished (or play it through again with no guarantees that it wouldn’t happen again), it would have made my Top Ten. You should check it out, though, keeping your fingers crossed so that the bug doesn't stop your progress!

So, Slay the Spire is going to win this?
Can't wait to play it. Supposedly it is releasing very soon.

ccesarano wrote:

Though I'm not 100% ready to submit my ranking, I've begun writing my post up. Y'know what? It's kind of difficult. I have a tendency to focus on a game's negatives as much as I do positives, or sometimes too much on the negative for a game I'm ranking lower than others have been. Not only is this strangely negative, but it also means my write-ups can be three-to-four paragraphs per game, and I'm trying to practice brevity this year.

Apparently I am you.
Except I did finish Monster Hunter World before Christmas. Barely.

Shadout wrote:

So, Slay the Spire is going to win this?
Can't wait to play it. Supposedly it is releasing very soon.

I hope it does. Everyone should play it!

1. Destiny 2: Forsaken - I love this franchise and have put a ton of time(Looks like I'm over 600 hours across the two titles in the franchise) into it but I had really soured on D2 by the beginning of the year. But then Forsaken came out and gave me more things, more gear, and made re-doing things worthwhile by bringing back Random mod rolls for weapons(gotta find those god tier rolls, right?).
2. Spider-man
3. Subnautica
4. Valkyria Chronicles 4
5. Steamworld Dig 2
6. Alliance Alive
7. Picross S2
8. Monster Hunter World
9. Fallout 76
10. 7th Dragon 3 Code VFD

Honorable Mention: Xbox Game Pass - Honestly they've killed it this year with this product and I just wanted to mention that it's amazing value.

EriktheRed wrote:
Shadout wrote:

So, Slay the Spire is going to win this?
Can't wait to play it. Supposedly it is releasing very soon.

I hope it does. Everyone should play it!

Buncha console normies have yet to come in here to vote for God of War or Red Dead

heh First half of the month, in my experience, some weird indie game takes the lead powered by the niche PC players, and I would think, "This thing can't possibly win it, right?" Second half of the month, things stabilize, and we're back to exactly the games you would expect to win being in the lead. (And I object strenuously to that "console normies" label. Most of you motherf*ckers play on PC, and most of you motherf*ckers have the same vanilla mainstream tastes as people on console. Y'all with your 6-bit early access Jank Simulator 2019 votes are super niche and you don't even know it. )

Yeah well, I was a PC normie before it became cool!
And it only took three reinstalls to get there.

Sometimes mainstream vanilla stuff is good, you know?

And, sometimes a super niche, hard core janky simulator is supported well enough to be your game of the year multiple years running.

Totally possible to enjoy a wide variety of things.

But 6-bit early access Jank Simulator 2019 was so good!

tboon wrote:

But 6-bit early access Jank Simulator 2019 was so good!

Rock me in my cradle!

I've thought long and hard about this. The list below contains all the games I've played this year in the order I chose to rank them:

1. Slay the Spire

Yes. Slay the Spire comes in at number one, in a list of one game that I played this year. Steam says I've put 444 hours into it and I believe it. It was a challenge getting to the ending with each character, then getting to the true(?) ending and now trying to scale up ascension ranks. So much fun constantly trying to better yourself - to choose better cards, play better, find card combos you haven't played before, try to find combos that potentially "break" the game.

I'd be happy if Slay the Spire won, but I'd be ecstatic is Subnautica won. I expect it to be something like Monster Hunter: World. It's AAA, was well received, is on the main consoles AND PC (if RDR2 or Spiderman was on more platforms I'd favour one of them more in this particular race I think). But we'll see won't we! Just in the threads I've been reading this year Battletech seems like it's in with a shot too.

Wow... @Tscott, you have as many hours in Slay the Spire as I do in Skyrim.

And I'd love Subnautica to win... makes me sad I've been playing it for a year or more, so I can't vote for it now!

1. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
2. God of War
3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Thank you so much for running this. It's my favorite thread (on the internet) to read!

1. Prey
The PC controller support was awful. I ended up installing a fan patch to get Xbox 360 support back in the game and had to unplug all of my other controllers. Once that was over with, the game has a great setting, fun mechanics, fun characters, etc. I love these sorts of games. Went heavy into the alien powers.

2. Bloodborne
A very fun souls-like game. The agressive focus took a while to get used to and I did fall back on heavy weapons, but it was fun. I hit a few sticking points, but guides and character builders were helpful. I probably got headaches from the framerate. on a normal PS4.

3. Steamworld Dig 2
A fun metroid style game with good movement and a good length.

4. Quantum Break
Pretty fun wonky characters and story. Weird mix of treasure hunt and action.

5. Parasite Eve
This screams late 90's and Playstation and I love it for that. The characters are great and the story is dumb in a fun way. It has a fun real time / turn based combat system which is not too hard, but kind of has too many mechanics for what you end up doing. People have sung the praises of this game and compared it to the early Resident Evil games (which I like a lot), but something about the name and cover always turned me away.

6. Secret of Mana (snes)
Another weird mix of real time and turn based combat. I enjoyed the bright environments, the characters, the world, and the story. The magic system was neat, but required ridiculous grinding.

Spoiler:

Your mom is a tree.

7. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
This is a fun if not mind-blowing Zelda game. The Oracle games are very similar, but better.

8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Smooth and great pacing. Almost none of the trading quest stuff. Nothing too mind-blowing. It is Zelda.

9. Titanfall 2
Encourages you to go very fast, do everything a little and then it's done. The various things you get to do are quite fun.

10. Mass Effect Andromeda
It's OK. It's not nearly as good as the other Mass Effect games, offers little choice, but does offer some fun characters, dialog, and missions. There is so much clutter. Ignoring all but the top three tiers of missions was a good choice. A year plus after release and with low expectations I left the game hoping for a sequel.

Honorable Mention. Dark Souls
Not new, since I'd tried twice before to play this. This time I got farther than before and ended up playing Demons Souls, Bloodborne, and Dark Souls 2, and Lords of the Fallen. By far my favorite of all of those, but not new. Building a strength build and going to guides and character builders as needed was a huge help.

So much Slay the Spire and so little Red Dead 2. Kinda shocked by the latter.

garion333 wrote:

So much Slay the Spire and so little Red Dead 2. Kinda shocked by the latter.

I actually like this turn of events very much.

1) Rust (PC)
IMAGE(https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/252490/header.jpg?t=1544610127)
Completely obtuse, infinitely frustrating, janky, runs like ass and the community is a bag of dicks. But Rust is one of the most interestingly designed games I’ve played in a long time and the headspace it puts you in is so primal. You get hooked on the range of emotions it can evoke, always searching for that next hit. And when it happens, it sizzles right into your brain, making another memorable moment only video games can create.

2) Celeste (PC)
IMAGE(https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/504230/header.jpg?t=1544736069)
Everything mechanically is perfect which makes traversing the diabolical level designs satisfying. And the way they tied the themes of the game to the difficulty, mwah stereotypical Italian hand kissing motion.

3) Monster Hunter: World (PC)
IMAGE(https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/582010/header.jpg?t=1544082685)
The greatest animations to ever grace video games. Stuff that happens in this game is so anime that it feels like you are playing a cut scene. And I love that the design of this game is “combat feels awful when they first try the game, but if they stick around, players will want to engage in the combat over and over again” and it actually works.

4) Dragon Ball FighterZ (PC)
IMAGE(https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/678950/header.jpg?t=1542398878)
Have you seen this game in motion? It’s insane. Arc System Works really took their art and animation to new heights. And all of the little homages and references for Dragon Ball fans were great. I’m hoping for a Rev 2 version that fixes a lot of the online issues and adds some more variety to really get in.

5) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/6glsbxO.png)
Haven’t been able to put much time into this yet but it looks like Sakurai once again over delivered.

6) Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (Switch)
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/wFMWYVk.png)
Super polished and great levels. A fun little game.

7) Into the Breach (PC)
IMAGE(https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/590380/header.jpg?t=1541171325)
Such a simple yet engaging puzzle game.

This is a weird year for me and video games as I usually have enough to fill out a top 10 but random stuff kept popping up in life, and I started and stopped a bunch of games (Octopath Traveler, Dragon Quest XI, Battletech and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire). Really enjoyed them so I’ll return to them at some point.

I could also fill this list out with older games as it’s allowed (played Bayonetta 2, Grim Dawn, Tropical Freeze, Dying Light, Nioh and Doom 2016) but I like to keep to release date.

2019 looks bananas.

Game I didn’t play that I would probably enjoy:
Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[st], Valkyria Chronicles 4, God of War, Yoku's Island Express, Guacamelee! 2, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, Two Point Hospital, Tetris Effect and Artifact.

BNice wrote:

3) Monster Hunter: World (PC)
.....And I love that the design of this game is “combat feels awful when they first try the game, but if they stick around, players will want to engage in the combat over and over again” and it actually works.

See, it's stuff like this that makes me worry I missed the magic in MHW, and I need to try it again. As it stands it's on my disappointment list, but I see words to this effect so often I wonder if I shouldn't have given it more time. Fwiw I played about 15 hours, mostly with the hammer.

garion333 wrote:

So much Slay the Spire and so little Red Dead 2. Kinda shocked by the latter.

I'd want to get RDR2 but I'm going to wait for a sale. Not with my PS4 for another 3 weeks. So much stuff to play too.

garion333 wrote:

So much Slay the Spire and so little Red Dead 2. Kinda shocked by the latter.

If Rockstar gave enough of a crap to put it out on PC then it would probably be on my list as well, but alas, it was not to be.

There are going to be a lot of games on my list that I haven't finished. I haven't had much time this year. Not even sure I'll have 10.

kergguz wrote:

See, it's stuff like this that makes me worry I missed the magic in MHW, and I need to try it again. As it stands it's on my disappointment list, but I see words to this effect so often I wonder if I shouldn't have given it more time. Fwiw I played about 15 hours, mostly with the hammer.

Trying another weapon might have been worth it. Only really tried long sword myself, except a single try in 'arena mode' where I randomly got assigned an axe or hammer or whatever it was, which was awful to play with. Have never been friends with slow weapons on Souls games either.

Not too surprised RDR2 isnt showing much. Average GWJ has never seemed to care that much about Rockstar games? And it is still quite new.
I'd expect some of this years PS4 or Switch games would show up though.

garion333 wrote:

So much Slay the Spire and so little Red Dead 2. Kinda shocked by the latter.

You'll probably see more of it next year when people get it on sale. There may even be a lot of folks expecting it for Christmas. However, we also aren't near the end of the month, which tends to be when you get a sudden bum-rush of votes after people have squeezed every drop of play time they can out of the year.

It'll probably crop up more.

What I wonder is what will happen with Fallout 76. Has it been viewed as a disaster within the GWJ Community? It sure sounds like it to me, but I don't really engage with the Bethesda/CRPG/PC crowd in these parts.

kergguz wrote:
BNice wrote:

3) Monster Hunter: World (PC)
.....And I love that the design of this game is “combat feels awful when they first try the game, but if they stick around, players will want to engage in the combat over and over again” and it actually works.

See, it's stuff like this that makes me worry I missed the magic in MHW, and I need to try it again. As it stands it's on my disappointment list, but I see words to this effect so often I wonder if I shouldn't have given it more time. Fwiw I played about 15 hours, mostly with the hammer.

A friend of mine tried it with the hammer and doesn't like the game much either. He found guides that recommended it for beginners because "it hits hard", but that just boggles my mind because it's not the sort of weapon that makes it easy to learn a monster's pattern. I feel like slow weapons go to the experienced players, not beginners.

I started with the dual-blades and haven't looked back. Even so, the game's combat has a finite level of polish, so while switching weapons may help, there could be key issues with it that would prevent you from enjoying it.

I might actually post my list sooner than usual. I pondered breaking my "finished" rules after all, but after spending hours in MHW last night and Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion today... I might actually be fine with my list as it currently is. I like both games, but I'm not sure I like them more than anything in my top 10.

ccesarano wrote:

What I wonder is what will happen with Fallout 76. Has it been viewed as a disaster within the GWJ Community? It sure sounds like it to me, but I don't really engage with the Bethesda/CRPG/PC crowd in these parts.

I love it, so that should tell you everything you need to know about the broader reaction.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

What I wonder is what will happen with Fallout 76. Has it been viewed as a disaster within the GWJ Community? It sure sounds like it to me, but I don't really engage with the Bethesda/CRPG/PC crowd in these parts.

I love it, so that should tell you everything you need to know about the broader reaction.

This is precisely why I find you unpredictable. For some reason I never expected you to even look at the game, let alone love it.

Speaking of.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

1. Tacoma
2. SOMA
3. What Remains of Edith Finch
4. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
5. The Alliance Alive
6. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country
7. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
8. Little Nightmares Complete Edition
9. Silence
10. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

I know you wrote a lot about how your habits changed what sort of titles wound up on your top ten and what was as a result excluded, but I still keep forgetting you even posted your list. I keep sitting here thinking excitedly that you're gonna post your list only to remember you did, you just didn't do any naval-gazing.

And that makes me sad.

Knowing that a few others haven't posting around here this year also makes me sad, because that means there's some key folk I typically look forward to eagerly whose lists won't be making an appearance. Pour one out for 'em, I suppose.

If I don't post this week, then I'll likely end up posting late night Christmas Eve. That way I'm not tempted to try and rush through something I receive for Christmas just to see if it belongs on the list.