2018 Community Game of the Year

I already bought it and was underwhelmed. It's my fault, though. I knew what it was going in and I know that I don't play those games on a TV. I could see myself putting a lot time in once/if it comes to mobile.

I'm keeping an eye on the Switch release.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm keeping an eye on the Switch release.

Oh I see it's already announced for 2019. Maybe I can wait then.

Just the quick list:

1. Horizon zero dawn
2. Spider-Man
3. Destiny 2: Forsaken
4. Hollow Knight
5. Ashen
6. Dead Cells
7. The Messenger
8. Golf Story
9. AC: Origins
10. Celeste

I wrote a lot of this right when the thread first went up, but I wanted to wait until I'd played the Winter Sale games before finalizing it. I'm repeating things that other people have said, but they were mostly new when I wrote them.

A quick list for Eleima or those who don't care for my verbosity. Only 9 on my list, plus a dishonorable mention:

  1. Subnautica
  2. Frostpunk
  3. Dishonored 2
  4. Slay the Spire
  5. Ys 8: The Lacrimosa of Dana
  6. Prey
  7. Pillars of Eternity 2
  8. Bomber Crew
  9. Rimworld

Ok, the bloviated version:

  1. Subnautica. One problem with early access games: when do you list them? I was really playing this game, off and on, for like two years. Every once in awhile, I'd fire it back up and see how much further I could get, how much more content they'd added, and I'd play all the way through from the beginning, just because I enjoyed it so much.

    I've often found that early access games start fun, but become less fun as they're finalized; Rimworld was like that, for instance, with a lot of lousy stuff added just before release that seriously impaired my enjoyment. But that didn't happen with Subnautica; it just got steadily better as it went. Thalassaphobians need not apply, but for everyone else? Don't miss this game.

  2. Frostpunk: Holy cow, this one's good. It's sort of a city builder. Sort of. But most city builders are toys; there's no way to win, and typically losing is either impossible or very difficult. City sims are sandboxes.

    Frostpunk, on the other hand, is an actual game. You've got a limited set of people and resources you have to apply to a specific problem, and you will either succeed or fail at this task. In this case, the task is survival, with a hard time limit. Winter, you see, is well and truly here, and you're trying desperately to keep your people alive as conditions steadily deterioriate, which seems to happen on a fixed schedule.

    The backstory isn't well explained. It's sometime in the 1800s, and the governments of the world figured out that the climate was freezing up. Your country (England?) built some massive steam heaters in remote regions, with the goal of setting up self-sustaining colonies. But things got worse much faster than expected, and your colony expedition is probably the last one to head out before final systemic failure. Your steam engine broke down short of the goal, your expedition broke up, and you're part of the remnant that managed to stagger into the right place to find what you were looking for.

    Now you're in a constant, desperate rush to find your lost people, explore the area, advance your technology, improve your resource extraction, and keep your population alive as the cold deepens. You're juggling a lot of balls, building up a circular city around your central heater, and exploring the wasteland on all sides for the things you'll need. The balance on this game is remarkably good, where they pile on new problems just fast enough to keep you almost totally occupied if you're playing well. And, of course, at first you won't be, so things will probably Not Go Well.

    It's no Dwarf Fortress or Dark Souls, but this is an easy game to lose. Keep at it, it's fundamentally fair, and you've got enough flex to make quite a few mistakes in Normal mode and still survive. I would suggest not playing on harder levels until you've beaten it a couple times on regular mode.

    But do play it. It's a hell of an experience.

  3. Dishonored 2: Finally got around to this one in this last Steam Sale. It's thoroughly excellent so far. The graphics are solid, the level design is amazing (I just finished the Clockwork Mansion...what a trip) and the stealth play is lots of fun. If I have a complaint, it's that it seems substantially harder than Dishonored 1, which was already fairly hard. Those Clockwork Soldiers are a serious pain in the butt. Ghosting a level is very difficult with those guys around. I did it, but man that was a struggle. And it'll get worse, I'm sure. But I'm having a blast. Wish I'd gotten to it sooner.
  4. Slay the Spire: A remarkably addictive little strategy game. This is a deckbuilding roguelike, in essence. You start out with a basic setup, with one of three very different character types. I suppose if you super-squint you could call them fighter/thief/mage, but only in the sense of direct damage, versus damage over time, versus indirect damage. Their play mechanics differ drastically, to the point that it's almost like getting three games in one.

    You're constantly cycling through your deck, trying to beat enemies into submission. Each time you succeed, you get a little gold, perhaps another treasure, and you can optionally add a card. The thing is, there's a tension between adding stronger cards and keeping what you have, because a smaller deck cycles faster, meaning you can get back to your existing strong cards that much faster, and get more chances at good combos. Every time you increase your deck size, you increase cycle time and make existing combos less frequent. And then you've got a whole 'nother layer in terms of what strategy you're going for with this deck, as each character type has several possible strong approaches to combat.

    No matter what choice you make, it'll probably end up killing you. Just... differently.

    Between combats, you're navigating a map that works a bit like FTL's; you've got four broad paths through each level. They crisscross back and forth, and you can see all the encounters and their types before you arrive, allowing you to strategize somewhat. (i.e., feeling strong? Try for the elite. Feeling weak? Run for a rest spot and heal up. That sort of thing.)

    Everything about this game has depth to it. Every time you make a decision, it's at least a little bit interesting. There's almost always multiple acceptable choices at any given time, and while sometimes one of those choices is optimum, it's not always that obvious. Worse, sometimes it's obvious just after you click. (as in, "Dammit, why didn't I just kill him instead? I could have killed him. You big dope.") Like that.

    The graphics aren't very good, and the rules aren't well explained, so it takes some figuring out. But the design is superb; the author(s) has/have hit on something here. I'm looking forward to seeing what new ideas he/she/they will come up with.

  5. Ys 8: The Lacrimosa of Dana. This was a startlingly good game. I played through it twice, the second time to understand a lot of the early plot points that didn't always make that much sense the first time around. The American voicing is a little weak, and the Japanese origin of the plot is sometimes apparent, but it's still a deep story built on top of a fun and challenging action RPG. (it's very reflex-based, but has a wide variety of difficulty levels, so you should be able to tune it for whatever skill level you have.) It's about a fifty-hour game per playthrough, and you may well do it a second time like I did. A ton of fun, and an intricate, memorable story, good enough to go through twice.
  6. Prey: I got this at the Summer Sale, and was very happy with it. It's not a perfect game by any means: you can't really meaningfully be stealthy, at least as far as I could determine, and the lack of any ability to speak is really, really annoying at times. Unlike most 'silent protagonist' games, you're interacting with a lot of people, and they're frequently speculating about your motives for doing things, and you can't tell them. This gets genuinely irksome.

    Yet, the opening sequence might be the single strongest I've ever seen in a computer game. I mean, of all the games I've ever played, which I'm sure is a disgustingly large number, the first two hours of this one might be the single best. I can't be specific without spoilers, and spoiling this game would be a crime.

    There are landmark moments that everyone that enjoys gaming should experience. Two that come to mind right away: finally meeting Polito in System Shock 2, and the Shalebridge Cradle level in Thief: Deadly Shadows. Prey's opening is right up there alongside, and while the rest of the game never reaches that level again, the first part's so strong that much can be forgiven. It's a very difficult game; I truly struggled with it, and ended up dropping back to Easy mode. But I had a lot of fun anyway. I just wish the character wasn't silent.

    I rated Dishonored 2 ahead of this one, even though I'm not done with Dishonored, because I like the systems and the stealth better there, and the difficulty level is much more reasonable. Prey has more flaws, but is still a worthy offering.

  7. Pillars of Eternity 2. Fixes the bland characterization and plotting from the first game, and maintains a pretty good combat engine. It's semi-open-world, lots to see and do, has fun characters, a genuinely interesting plot, and a combat system that's deep enough to be challenging without being inscrutable. Enemy AI seems pretty good, and fights are pretty fair as long as you're careful about where you go. You can set enemies to auto-scale, but I turned that off, as I like it when the world is just the world, rather than being some kind of twisted funhouse reflection of my party. Sans scaling, you can easily bite off more than you can chew and get stomped, but things are signposted pretty well, and you'll typically know you're being risky.

    If the plot has a weakness, it's that it's basically a four-way conflict, and you can choose any of the sides to back. The problem is that they're not clearly differentiated from each other in the early hours; what each side is doing and what they want takes a long time to figure out, and you'll normally be backing one of them by the time you do. The political setup's a little too complex, and you're not really eased into the conflict in a way that makes the lines clear. You do figure it out eventually, but probably won't have things truly straight in your head until near the endgame. Admittedly, this may have been my own failing, but I wish I'd been clearer about the sides much sooner in the plot.

    There's some really fun characters and voicing in this game. Definitely a high point of the year. It's much better in this respect than the first game. You can just jump right in on this one, by the way, you don't need to play PoE1 first.

    Oh, a quick play suggestion: the central city is vast and has a huge number of quests and errands and people to talk to. It can get awfully samey if you try to do it all at once. Anytime you get a mission to go outside the city, do it right then. Take the excuse to get out awhile. The change of pace will do you good.

  8. Bomber Crew. Another Summer Sale game. This is beer-and-pretzels flight simulation, entirely silly in most respects. It's nowhere near as sophisticated as Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe from the late 80s. Yet, it's fun! I went through the campaign probably three times, and I'm sure I'll eventually revisit it. I didn't spend much, I think less than ten bucks, yet got substantial (air) mileage out of the purchase. If you're looking for something silly, fun, and reasonably challenging, you might watch for this one in the Winter Sale.
  9. Rimworld. As I mentioned in Subnautica's entry, I actually liked the earlier releases of this game better. They increased the endgame difficulty enormously in the last couple versions, and I don't care for that much at all. I would have ranked the earlier versions substantially higher on this list. The rest of the game, though, is still good fun, and worth your time.

    It looks much like Prison Architect, but I believe the design here is far stronger. It's exceptionally solid, too: I don't remember ever seeing an obvious bug, much less a crash. Every new patch would have a long list of fixed bugs, and they were always super-subtle, more design tweaks than actual bugs. In an agent sim, that's remarkable. The person or team on this game is extremely talented.

Dishonorable mention: I loathed Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The writing and story were good, as you'd expect with Avellone being involved, but the design work was awful, and the game was an utterly broken mass of bugs when it shipped. They were pushing daily patches for weeks trying to get things into reasonable working order. Fundamentally, this is a game that they did not play before they shipped it to end-users. There is no way anyone actually tried to sit down and go through this game, from beginning to end, even once, but they still shoved it out the door.

Once they'd finally beaten it into alpha status, their poor design choices became visible. As DMs, these guys are mean. They're exactly the kind you learn never to play with in real life, with a minmaxed world that's totally combat-based. For instance, every single fighter you ever run into, even level 1 mooks, will have at least a 16 strength. Every single one of them is minmaxed, every time, without fail. Your party had better be similar. If you're not totally combat-oriented, with all the right feats, you're going to get creamed, and that's on normal difficulty.

I believe that these guys come from the school of thought that players are a DM's opponents, that campaigning is conducting war against the other side. It's not a collaborative experience, it's them against you, and you can almost feel how much they want you to fail, that they resent the idea that you might be able to win with more than a single hit point left. They keep doubling down on this stance, too, claiming that it's for the players' benefit, but it isn't. This is what bad DMing looks like, and I strongly suggest giving this game a hard miss.

It's a shame, too, because I think Avellone's plot is probably pretty cool. But I got, I dunno, probably about 2/3 or 3/4 done, and realized that I had had enough, that the bullsh*t was neverending. I'm sure I could have finished, and I couldn't be arsed. I don't enjoy this style of D&D at all.

1.Super Smash Bros Ultimate
2. God of War
3. Fallout 76
4. Enter the Gungeon
5. Gris
6. Prey
7. The Messenger
8. Celeste
9. Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Is that the first time Gris has been on a list? So new, definitely on my wishlist.

Gris is real good. Simple, but good. Absolutely beautiful graphics, relaxing gameplay...
And the music...

Listen here (spotify)

"Taharka" wrote:

relaxing gameplay...


I didn't play many games this year, and can only think of 4 that left a lasting impression:

1. Nioh - a delicious blend of character action and RPG systems, harks back to Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls but is actually something quite different, something I didn't know I wanted until I'd taken a few bites.

2. Ys VIII - seems scrappy at first glance but somehow, miraculously, it all just works. I'm still not sure how they pulled it off.

3. Battle Chasers Nightwar - JRPG party combat served up in satisfying, bite size chunks. Distils what I like about dungeon crawlers and JRPGs.

4. Rogue Legacy - a game I started to pass the time until Dead Cells came out. I still haven't got around to DC yet. That progression loop, so good.

Then there is a bunch of games I had a good time with, but more or less forgot about once I was done. If I had to pick 6 of them and put them into some kind of list it would go like this:

5. Ni No Kuni 2
6. Mafia 3
7. Steamworld Dig 2
8. Persona 5
9. Yakuza Kiwami
10. God Of War

Thanks everyone for your lists and the rule makers for accommodating those of us who haven't caught up with 2018 yet

Top thread as always. I'm enjoying folks views immensely. All of them!

Eleima, who seamlessly took the reigns with great success from the awesome, and treasured, Clocky, has done a fantastic job. My head spins thinking on outlining rules, tallying votes, dealing with edits, pondering a write-up. You deserve a proper good cookie, or ten, and a bailey's on ice (if I recall correctly). Thank you. And Happy Christmas! It's almost upon us!

Eleima, are you going to do some kind of tally stream on Twitch?

BNice wrote:

Eleima, are you going to do some kind of tally stream on Twitch?

Yeah what else am I subscribing for?

1. Battletech
2. Dead Cells
3. Into the Breach
4. Spider-Man
5. Slay the Spire
6. Return of the Obra Dinn
7. Ori and the Blind Forest
8. Pyre
9. Banner Saga
10. Tetris Effect
Honorable mentions: Hyper Light Drifter, Uncharted Lost Legacy, Gris

The top 4 are all pretty close, and definitely a tier above everything else. I think Into the Breach is probably the best designed of the four, but requires so much thought to play that it feels less relaxing, so I ended up enjoying Battletech and Dead Cells just a bit more.

I have had a minimal number of brand-new games, but found a few older games that I picked up for the first time this year. Still, didn't quite make it to 10 new games this year.

1. Spider-Man
2. The Wolf Among Us
3. Monster Prom
4. X-Com 2
5. Star Control: Origins
6. This War of Mine
7. Blood Bowl 2

Quick list:

1. Divinity: Original Sin 2
2. Overcooked
3. Battletech
4. Red Dead Redemption 2
5. Nantuckett
6. Below
7. They are Billions

Not a big year in gaming for me this year, would have clocked under 100 hours total, busy times and my enjoyment of the hobby seems to be fading

Thanks Eleima for all the work on the list this year, appreciated.

Short list:

2. Pillars of Eternity 2 (PC)
3. KOTOR 2 (PC)
4. Destiny 2 (PC)
5. Surviving Mars (PC)
6. Girls Frontline (Android)
7. Idle Heroes (Android)
8. Age of Civilizations (Android)
9. Doki Doki Literature Club (PC)
10. Black Desert Online (PC)

Long form

Before I provide my longer comments, I want to preface it by explaining my situation and how it's fed into my evolving gaming habits. Basically, I've got a 9yo son who is starting to explore his gaming tastes and who wants to share my gaming time doing co-operative or multiplayer games. I'm also neck-deep in running my own firms and my disposable time is dwindling at a breakneck pace. Both these things cause me to look for games I can pick up and put down at will, with less realism in violence, and less shock factor.


1. BATTLETECH: 81 hours. I'm an old Mechwarrior fan who never had the financial chops as a teenager to delve into tabletop or the Mech Commander games. So to see huge mechs from my early gaming days come alive and be able to commandeer more than one mech at a time was glorious. It was a booster shot in the arm for an aging gamer with dwindling free time. Highly recommend it at the current discounted price it may be found on greenmangaming.com or Steam winter sale.

2. Pillars of Eternity 2: 62 hours. Had a blast working through various builds available with the class system. Also really enjoyed talking about the game with other Goodjers. I felt it could have used a tighter narrative but many of the great RPGs are those where you forget about saving the world for plot reasons and instead going on your own adventure.

3. KOTOR 2: 54 hours. Yes, I'm late to this particular party! Purchased on 31/12/2017 and last played on 4/01/2018 according to Steam. You can see this got its hooks into me to the point I was obsessively playing it with reckless abandon at the start of the year during the festive season. Go and get it, it's still worth playing in 2018/2019.

4. Destiny 2: hours unknown but est. 20 hours. This is probably the game that Mass Effect: Andromeda should have been; lots of pew-pew and good integration of online play. I played it free thanks to the giveaway but ended up buying the DLC and expansions in support of the game and because I wanted to enjoy more of the game. In saying this, I'm not sure I like their business model of gating content to vanilla gamers; it's an interesting one, in terms of what they did in this game vs what Paradox do in Stellaris. Also, it would rate higher, but wow 87+GB download and really poor bandwidth on their servers for installation and patching.

5. Surviving Mars: 78 hours. A bit slow to start off with and it's been a while since I loaded it up, but had a great time with it and also playing with my son (who will probably live long enough to see humanity have a stab at colonising the solar system). Not a bad sim/city builder at all.

6. Girls Frontline: hours unknown but probably too many. Okay, this is an "anime" art style gacha game that's not going to do anything positive for the feminist movement. But gee, it got me talking in the official Discord channel and really getting into the "grind". It rates so high for me also because it's a mobile game that doesn't necessarily require you to resort to the cash shop or to draw those blasted 5* units to get somewhere in the game. This should be applauded for its boldness in a world full of competitors doing exactly the opposite. I was so humbled by their approach that I decided to support them with my first ever in-game purchase (it wasn't a huge purchase at all, but for a F2P gamer that I am, that's a huge statement).

7. Idle Heroes: hours unknown but est. 20 hours. Another gacha style mobile title. Got into it with my son while we were travelling in China. It was cool to play it together, learning in-game levelling systems and loot mechanics; he's never been interested in RPGs, particularly tactical games, so this was a big leap forward in terms of his gaming experience. Uninstalled it later once we got back home (out of disgust for the 5* and cash shop for progress issue) but still worth checking out for a casual player.

8. Age of Civilisations: hours unknown but est. 20 hours. One of those "strategy" mobile games where you have a city/base, you train up troops, join alliances, then raid PVE and get into clan wars. Similar to entry no. 6 in my list, I installed it as something to do with my son while travelling. It taught him about resource generation, human history, and whaling (seeing people do it and the frustration of not being able to do it). I also kept an eye on him while he engaged in clan chat, it was an opportunity for him to experience a more social side of gaming in a safe environment. It's been a while since I've seen such passionate gamers over a mobile title (there was a lot of drama in the servers, volatile and juvenile chat etc). It probably wouldn't rank so high in my list if I'd played more games in 2018.

9. Doki Doki Literature Club: hours unknown.... I won't spoil it, I'll just say go and download and play it if you haven't already. Subverted my expectations!

10. Black Desert Online: 21 hours. MMORPG I played after watching my brother play it a bit on his new gaming rig and curved 144hz gaming monitor. Was fun while I was still interested in exploring the game's systems but for some reason I haven't had the desire to go back to it.

Honourable mention - Jagged Alliance: Rage! 4 hours. Honestly I haven't had a chance to sit down and play this game properly (it came out in December 2018 and I've been rather busy). It's not as bad as the Steam review bombing would make it out to be. Actually, y'know, those who played Phantom Doctrine might want to give it a look - if you can get past the obnoxious tutorial, there's a pretty cool tactical "XCOM-like" game with stealth mechanics under the hood. I wanted to vote for it to support the franchise and also to alert other tactical gamers to the title. Although for those who never played Jagged Alliance 2, you should do yourself a favour and grab it and update to the fan-made v. 1.13 and you'll see why the old fans have nuked the reviews for this game.

First off, thank you to Fastmav347, chooka1, Sonrics, MulderTPC, Malor, chromebison, ComfortZone, Pacman, Feegle, troubleshot and Bfgp for your lists! Votes have been tallied and double checked.

Very thrilled to see games like KotOR 2 and Monument Valley on people's lists.

Sonrics wrote:

THANKS to Eleima for keeping US together in this wonderful thread and all the LOVE you can feel if you read all the posts in this thread in accordance with this time of the year!!!!

Thank **YOU** for bringing Project Highrise to my attention!!!!

Stele wrote:
BNice wrote:

Eleima, are you going to do some kind of tally stream on Twitch?

Yeah what else am I subscribing for? :P

Well.... That's not really on the list because I do have to up with the votes on the regular basis and update my Excel spreadsheet as I go. It would be way too much work to do it all at the end. So in essence, I could shut it all down today (I won't) and give you all a top ten (not happening). What I can say, however, is that 67 goodjers have voted for a grand total of 277 games. That's pretty cool.

Happy holidays, everyone! And keep those lists coming. Promise mine is coming. Soon.

Eleima wrote:

What I can say, however, is that 67 goodjers have voted for a grand total of 277 games. That's pretty cool. :)

Yeah! That's almost 1/4th a GWJer per game!

Bfgp wrote:

3. KOTOR 2: 54 hours. Yes, I'm late to this particular party! Purchased on 31/12/2017 and last played on 4/01/2018 according to Steam. You can see this got its hooks into me to the point I was obsessively playing it with reckless abandon at the start of the year during the festive season. Go and get it, it's still worth playing in 2018/2019.

As someone who bought the game on release back in 04, loved the gameplay, but ended up disappointed at the missing story bits near the end, I have to know...

Did you install the Restored Content mod?

Totally ignoring the BattleTech praise. Nope. Nope. Not pushing the plans for a new rig forward... *resolve failing*

I found one!

1. Woflenstein - The New Colossus
I tried it around launch and it loaded up into a black screen. So I didn't fire it up until I got my new 2TB SSD a few days ago.
I have only played it for ~5 hours but Machine Games knows how to elevate a tried and true shooter.


In a wheelchair, really?! With escalator puzzles? Wow!

I saw Battletech on enough list that I had to get it. It's paid off so far. I can see it easily making next year's list.

Eleima, remind me to have my write-up done by Boxing Day night, please. Otherwise it won’t be completed before New Years. The actual list is done. Going to Japan for three weeks on Thursday.

Boxing Day? Is that some shade being thrown at the French?

1. Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The best game in the trilogy by far. The story was tight, and I loved every moment of this game. I played the whole thing in four days, shirking my grad school assignments for how intense some of the cinematics were. I'm definitely going to play this again.

2. Life is Strange: Before the Storm: I loved the original, and this prequel knocked it out of the park. I cried after the first one, and this one left me feeling the same way.

3. Uncharted 4: I might be needing to add the third game on here too, but I loved the story of this. I enjoyed the adventures of Nate and Sam, then the addition of everyone else.

4. Uncharted: Lost Legacy: I just started this, but so far I'm 100% into it. I've always enjoyed Chloe's character, and getting further backstory on her is wonderful.

5. Destiny 2: Definitely the FPS I've been looking for, but perhaps a bit too open world for me - not to mention always needing to be online isn't really my jam.

6. Legends of Solgard: Interesting RTS mobile game that I started playing over the summer.

7. Westworld: I haven't watched the show, so this introduction to the universe through the mobile game was interesting. I have no idea what the story of this is about.

8. Board Kings: All I wanted was to play Monopoly on my phone. This is kind of like Monopoly but with bunnies and bunny-related puns for the themes of the boards. It's cute and fulfills that boardgame need.

9. Slidey: I saw ads for this game which calls itself the sideways version of Tetris (which is a game I love). it fills that craving to play a puzzle game that I can just hyperfocus on and get lost in.

10. Toon Blast: Everyone has probably seen ads for this game. The GF plays it and she got me addicted. I'm almost 700 levels in. It's too late for me. I'm hooked.

Here is a Christmas / Holiday wish from my son and I - my wife too who was running the camera, all the way from France!

1- Horizon Zero Dawn
2- Last of Us
3 - Warframe
4 - Kingdom Hearts
5 - Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
6 - Pillars of Eternity
7 - Final Fantasy XII
8 - Final Fantasy XV
9 - Child Of Light
10 - Oxenfree

1- Horizon Zero Dawn
I love open world, action-adventure, RPGs. Horizon doesn't knock Witcher 3 off the top spot for me but the fact it's in the conversation says a lot. This is one that the whole family would sit down and watch me play, a fantastic setting portrayed beautifully.

2- Last of Us
If I was ranking the best games on the past 5 years, rather than my favorite or most enjoyed, this may well take the top spot. I've enjoyed the Uncharted games but they always get weighed down in mediocre, overused gunplay, Naughty Dog showed a lot of confidence here to produce a AAA action game where the setting, characters and story are given more focus that the combat.

3 - Warframe
As a longtime fan of loot-em-ups, this is the game I wanted Destiny 2 to be. There is so much to grind for and yet the game is respectful of your time, there is always something achievable, and gameplay changing, to work towards, and the ability to switch to any frame without rerolling a new character is fantastic. Add in excellent, varied gameplay, a surprisingly decent story, and a decent free to play model and you have me hooked.

4 - Kingdom Hearts
How is this game over 15 years old? I played this as a JRPG club pick and absolutely loved it. The Final Fantasy meets Disney setting was made for me, and the gameplay holds up much better than I would have expected. This was another one that had the whole family watching on whenever I fired it up.

5 - Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
I'm not a big x-com fan, was I always feel like I have no idea what I am doing outside of combat, so I loved the focus here. Great turn-based combat, with just a little bit of puzzling had me picking up the switch whenever I had a spare 5 minutes.

6 - Pillars of Eternity
I played this for the CRPG club. It started out as a slow burn, but once it hit it's stride I was all in. I tend to prefer more action focused combat now but this was a great reminder of the classic infinity engine games I sunk so much time into during my teens.

7 - Final Fantasy XII
Another JRPG club pick. I somehow missed this one back in the day, while it is very much of it's time in it's presentation and story, the MMO-light, grind heavy, program your characters gameplay still holds up, and particularly with the fast forward option really scratched my lizard brain.

8 - Final Fantasy XV
This might be the most perfect encapsulation of modem FF we ever see. It bares almost no relation to any other FF title and yet is filled with nostalgia, the combat system is unique and will no doubt never be seen again, the story makes no sense but is filled with enjoyable characters, fantastic epic set pieces and heartwarming moments, and the setting has no consistency or logic at all but is a fantastic world to explore.

9 - Child Of Light
A fantastic light RPG experience. I would love to see more in this style.

10 - Oxenfree
Played this as an adventure game club pick.
Oxenfree did a fantastic job of telling a interesting, non-annoying, teen story in a truly haunting story without resorting to jump scares. The dialogue is top notch too.

In case it wasn’t already obvious the various game clubs running here have been excellent this year in guiding me towards games I have loved and probably wouldn’t have played otherwise. A huge thanks to Godzilla Blitz, Eleima, steinkrug, bobbywatson and LastSurprise

First of all, thank you, Eleima, for taking over this year. It’s certainly not an easy task.

Here is the short version for you:


1. God of War
2. Hollow Knight
3. Wolfenstein 2
4. Portal 2
5. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

This is by far my favourite thread each year and it is great to see what everyone has been playing over the course of the last twelve months. Especially because I haven’t been really active this, it’s great to read everyone’s opinion.

Compared to the last three years, I haven’t really played a lot of games this year... All in all, I’ve only played ten new games — only five of them were released this year.
Every year I try to find things that I’ve learned from each game, which didn’t really work out this time. But taking a look at my top five, I realised that all of them have actually one theme in common:

You can’t run away from the ghosts of your past — you simply have to face them at some point.

1. God of War (PS4) - Kratos tries to bury (quite literally) his past, but has to deal with what he really is by raising his son, so that his son doesn’t become what he hates most about himself.

2. Hollow Knight (Switch) - The knight has to face his ghost, again and again, to become stronger... so that he doesn’t end up like his predecessors.

3. Wolfenstein 2 (PS4) - Damn those Nazis! But Blazkowicz even takes them on in a wheelchair to make the world a better place for his offspring.

4. Portal 2 (Mac) - So you think you defeated your enemy? Instead it comes back with a vengeance... and it gets even worse (again, a game where evils from the past are buried deep down — quite literally).

5. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PS4) - So, the person that gave Billie her power once is her enemy now and she tries to get rid of him, so that he cannot actively corrupt more people.

The other five in no particular order:
• Moonlighter (Switch) - This would have been higher if it hadn’t been so repetitive.

• Monster Hunter: World (PS4) This would have been higher if it hadn’t been so repetitive.

• Spider-Man (PS4) - this would have been higher on my list if the Peter Parker part of the game had been better. No matter the time of day, Peter Parker moves around the city as Spider-Man? Also, most of the suits are pretty ugly apart from the classic suits... (where is the classic black and white suit?)

• Super Mario Bros. Ultimate (Switch) - my first Smash game ever... It’s okay, I guess, but the World of Light would have been so much better if the enemies had been the proper characters and not just spirits. Sadly, I seem to be very bad at this game and most of the time I don’t know what the hell is happening on the screen.

• Pillars of Eternity 2 — I’m just not that much into the pirate theme, but on the whole it’s not a bad game... I lost interest 2/3 into the story though.

Dominic Knight wrote:

1. Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The best game in the trilogy by far. The story was tight, and I loved every moment of this game. I played the whole thing in four days, shirking my grad school assignments for how intense some of the cinematics were. I'm definitely going to play this again.

Interesting, I kept hearing how it was more of the same and a step back.

I've installed Board Kings now. Looks a tad like Itadaki Street but not as hardcore crazy.