2018 saw the return to two massive franchises, both of which were critically acclaimed and divvied up the game of the year awards across the industry. Taking those two out of the equation, 2018 is still a phenomenal year with solid games across the board. Some new indie darlings burst onto the scene, and some longstanding series hit their peak. We still don’t have enough distance in time to accurately evaluate 2018, but there is no doubt that it was a great year.
Keep an eye out here for every year’s list of the past decade, including an overall best 100 games of the 2010s.
The 15 Best Games of 2015
15 – Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
Developer: Inti Creates | Release Date: May 24th, 2018
How do you get people hyped up for your modern retro game? Make an actual retro game. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is the rather awesome 8-bit prequel game to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and it served as a fantastic first introduction to the world of Bloodstained. The prologue game managed to be a good introduction to a world worth spending some time in.
14 – Far Cry 5
Developer: Ubisoft | Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Welcome to Montana, home of mountains and Hope County. Also a wacky religious cult with an insane leader. In your quest to take him down, you’ll be participating in all sorts of FPS shenanigans. Far Cry 5 features a fantastic open world and all the tools you need to do some truly ridiculous things in it. Because it’s a Far Cry game, it also features long cutscenes of weird villains making dramatic monologues, which everyone always loves. Come for the shooting, stay for the soundtrack.
13 – Octopath Traveler
Developer: Square Enix | Release Date: July 13th, 2018 | Game Page
Making a modern throwback is rather difficult, but Octopath Traveler manages to hit many of the right notes. Telling eight stories about characters who are caught up in various events around the world, the game utilizes classic Final Fantasy styled combat, and manages to blend 2D and 3D art in one of the most interesting ways. It also has a fantastic soundtrack that invokes both the classic and modern games. Combining the best of both worlds is a win for all.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Best Soundtrack
12 – Celeste
Developer: Matt Makes Games | Release Date: January 25th, 2018 | Game Page
Making a 2D platformer isn’t a particularly difficult choice. Making one as pixel-perfect, smooth to play, and overall fantastic like Celeste is far more difficult. You play as a woman climbing a mountain, and actually getting to its peak is going to require all of your skill. From endlessly fresh and fascinating mechanics to a story that actually manages to do a great job connecting you with the character, Celeste was the best way to start the year.
11 – Hitman 2
Developer: IO Interactive | Release Date: November 13th, 2018 | Game Page
When Hitman came out a lot of people were surprised by how it managed to revitalize the old series. So how do you follow it up? Make a sequel that includes the entire original game. Hitman 2 not only has all of Hitman with the new mechanics but also offers up new stages of its own. Better yet, these new stages are of quite high quality. If you have a hankering for figuring out how to assassinate a target, Hitman 2 is your man.
10 – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Release Date: October 5th, 2018 | Game Page
In 2017 the Assassin’s Creed series got an insane revival that turned it into an action RPG, making it stand out from past entries in a unique way. Odyssey followed up on this with a game that is just bigger, and better, in every way. Featuring a large open world, a ton of interesting side quests, and a story that actually changes depending on your actions, there’s a lot to love in this massive undertaking. Just be ready to put time aside for it.
9 – Subnatucia
Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment | Release Date: January 23rd, 2018 | Game Page
Survival games and Minecraft have taken over the world by 2018. So how do you make yours stand out? Put it underwater. Subnatucia manages to capture all the fun of building a base with all the terror of being underwater and realizing that the only thing ahead of you is a dark ravine. You just know a shark or some other underwater monstrosity is going to get you, so you better stay on your toes.
8 – Return of the Obra Dinn
Developer: Lucas Pope | Release Date: October 18th, 2018 | Game Page
When a boat floats away people notice. When it floats back and the entire crew is dead, a lot of people notice. Return of the Obra Dinn has you investigating a boat that has a lot of dead crew on it. Armed with little more than a ledger, notes, and the ability to observe, your goal is to figure out just what happened. You’ll have to find corpses and, using the world around them, figure out who they are and how they died. This is one for the detective in all of us.
7 – Dragon Ball FighterZ
Developer: Arc System Works | Release Date: January 26th, 2018
We all saw episodes of Dragon Ball Z and couldn’t figure out what the point was beside the punching. So Dragon Ball FighterZ does a fantastic job getting to the point. You pick your favorite character from the series and find new and creative ways to combo them into oblivion. Combine this with an art style that is always true to the show, and there’s really something unique about this 2.5D fighter.
6 – Dead Cells
Developer: Motion Twin | Release Date: Augusy 7th, 2018 | Game Page
Roguelites keep getting bigger and bigger, and Dead Cells is the most recent love letter to the genre. How do you manage to be that love letter? Well, you simply need to refine everything to a sheen and make sure that it all flows as smoothly as possible. If you add in some fantastic weapon ideas and great enemies, then you get Dead Cells, and you’ve also got another winning game on your hands.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Indie Game of the Year
Our 5 Best Games of 2018
5 – Monster Hunter: World
Developer: Capcom | Release Date: January 26th, 2018 | Game Page
Resident Evil 7 may have brought Capcom off the brink of death, but it was Monster Hunter: World that truly saved the company. Taking a beloved niche series and reworking it for a crowd is always an extremely difficult move that could just make everyone upset. However, in Monster Hunter: World‘s case, it was one that pleased everyone. It turns out Monster Hunter is fine, it just needed to be slightly more accessible.
4 – Marvel’s Spider-Man
Developer: Insomniac Games | Release Date: September 7th, 2018 | Game Page
There have only been a handful of good Spider-Man games. Most people say we really haven’t gotten one since the PlayStation 2 days. Thankfully, we had Insomniac to fix that. Marvel’s Spider-Man isn’t just a good Spider-Man game, it’s an absolutely fantastic one. More importantly, it’s one that loves the source material and goes well out of its way to make sure it’s as true to the friendly neighborhood superhero as possible.
3 – Red Dead Redemption 2
Developer: Rockstar Games | Release Date: October 26th, 2018 | Game Page
So much was put into Red Dead Redemption that it’s no surprise so much was also put into its prequel. Red Dead Redemption 2 is another massive open-world game that lets you explore the west and interact with so much. With plenty of story-filled side quests and main missions, a ton of shoot outs, and the ability to tie someone up and drag them behind your horse, there’s something here for everyone. It helps that there’s also another giant content filled multiplayer mode to go with it.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Best Writing
2 – Super Smash Brother Ultimate
Developer: Sora Ltd. | Release Date: December 7th, 2018 | Game Page
Everyone is here! With the single goal of taking every single character from every single Super Smash Brother game and making sure they all get a chance to shine, everyone was shocked to see how many characters there really are. When you also add in a bunch of surprise DLC characters, there’s certainly a party going. Now with a massive single-player mode, a fantastic soundtrack, and more weird fights than you can shake a stick at.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Best Multiplayer
1 – God of War
Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studios | Release Date: April 20th, 2018 | Game Page
There really is no reason God of War should be as good as it is. A soft reboot of a classic PlayStation franchise that, for most people, ended in 2010, there wasn’t really much expectation for it to be much other than good enough. For it to totally blow every other game that year out of the water? Now that was a shock. Kratos has once again tried to settle with a family, and the bond he forms with his son as they try to spread his wife’s ashes from the mountain is simply one amazing emotional work. The fact that it’s tied together by one of the most genuinely fun and varied combat systems in a God of War game, a great semi-open world with plenty to do, and some absolutely lovely graphics? Just icing on the cake. The God of War is back, and he’s once again in charge.
2018 TechRaptor Awards won: Game of the Year