2. God of War
Impeccably reinventing the franchise while not entirely neglecting its face-melting roots, God of War was a masterful reboot-sequel that cleverly incorporated the series’ existing mythology while giving protagonist Kratos a more thoughtful, considered character makeover.
SEE ALSO: Read our review of God of War here
Touting the year’s most satisfying combat alongside eye-melting visuals, a surprisingly excellent father-son team dynamic, addictive progression and a lush, sprawling world, this is a rarest of AAA blockbusters that thoroughly exceeded the hype.
Above all else, it set a fertile foundation on which to tell future stories, and achieved the thought-impossible task of actually making players care about its muscled, monosyllabic brute of a protagonist.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
No game released in 2018 is better deserving of the term “flawed masterpiece” than Rockstar’s long-awaited western sequel, which while almost insistently slow and at times unwieldy to the point of clumsiness, is also the year’s strongest case of a developer committing fully to an artful vision and pulling it off (mostly) spectacularly.
Red Dead Redemption 2 gifts players perhaps the most evocative and alive open world ever conceived, populated with meaningful content and characters while telling a story worthy of the company’s very best.
The mind-boggling level of detail and boldly meditative approach to blockbuster thrills makes RDR2 often feel like an art-house western made on a AAA budget, and though that’s understandably not to all tastes, if the game got its hooks deep in you early, there was nothing better released all year.
So, what do you make of this list? Agree or disagree? What were your favourite games of 2018? Sound off in the comments below!
Shaun Munro – Follow me on Twitter for more video game rambling.