Every year I make one of these lists… and every year it’s incredibly late.
Usually it’s because I genuinely try and play everything before putting together my list. Not because my list has any genuine journalistic value or sway, but because I want to make sure that my own personal choices are well chosen. However with the volume of games releasing and the ongoing lack of time I seem to have outside of work, it’s just not plausible anymore.
So this year I decided to make a few key differences. I’m opening it up to any game I’ve played in the last year, old or new. I’m also putting together this list based on not only my own opinions but also those of the entire Quiet Stories team and collaborator network. So this isn’t some really important list like those you might find on IGN. This is just Quiet Stories and I giving a nod to the other developers in the world who truly inspired us over the last year.
10. NCAA 14
Personally I don’t know much about this game… other than the fact it’s about American Football. I also don’t know why it’s better than NCAA 15 or NCAA 13. But it’s one of the only games artist Sam V plays and loves a tonne. He helped us put together some of the music for our upcoming game and we respect his tastes.
9. Insurgency: Sandstorm
A tactical online shooter that despite it’s rather drab color palette was our art intern Charlie Barker’s top pick for 2018.
Celeste didn’t exactly captivate me. I’m pretty turned off by both the pixelised art style and the challenging platforming. However Jenna Gavin, an AUT Lecturer and adviser for our upcoming game, was impressed both personally and academically by Celeste’s story and design.
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
I always have mixed opinions on the Call of Duty series. Advanced Warfare had a pretty good campaign and WW2 offered the only zombies mode I’ve ever invested in. Black Ops 4 removed the campaign but it’s battle royale mode Blackout was fairly fun and BLOPS4 packs some of the best overall COD multiplayer in years. For Tim Grey who interned for us for a few weeks last year, he couldn’t decide whether this or Forza: Horizon 4 was going to take his top spot.
6. God of War (2018)
God of War (2018) is an achievement for gaming in almost every way. It’s virtually no surprise that it won awards at virtually every major outlet. It was my old Fist Fight co-host Casey’s favorite game last year, as well as Goombastomp’s, a site I’ve written for extensively over the last year.
5. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead 2 should be my game of the year. It’s arguably the most artistically ambitious open world game to date, as well as being the sequel to my favorite game of all time. However it didn’t click for me like I expected. It did however click for my brother Nick who has been helping out our small team over the last few months and for Dylan from The Bucketlist Collective, a great team of documentary makers who helped us put together a short doc about our game.
4. Subsurface Circular
Subsurface Circular is one of the most recent creations of Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone). It is such a simple game, yet narrative wise achieves more than games made by far larger teams. It’s a bite sized tile, but one well worth playing.
3. Shadow of the Colossus (2018)
One of the most revolutionary games on the PlayStation 2 still dwarfs most current gen games in spectacle. I never truly appreciated Shadow of the Colossus, due to playing it 10 years after release. But with this remake, everyone can experience the magic for the first time, all over again. Well done Bluepoint!
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Although Marvel has dominated the box office, DC has kind of ruled the gaming space. They’ve had ongoing Telltale series, Injustice has been amazing and the Arkham trilogy elevated what we expect from super hero games. So it’s about time Marvel really invested in this space and make a big play. Well who better than insomniac to truly revitalize the web-slinger exclusively on PS4. They somehow managed to truly capture what it feels like to be a member of the Marvel Universe.
1. Metal Gear: Survive
I think every team of devs deserves a shout out, because every game is someone’s favorite game. I genuinely loved Survive. I know a lot of people hate what transpired with Kojima and the direction his famed series has taken. Yet I enjoyed this game more than any other game last year, and I applaud the devs who made it and probably suffered immense scrutiny for the work they put out.
For all my previous Game of the Year entries, check down below.