As the year draws to a close, it’s time for another annual round-up of the best video games of the last 365 days. With so many incredible gaming experiences to choose from, paring down the contenders to a final dozen was near-impossible.
Always up for a challenge, Young Post’s resident gamers buckled down and worked triple-overtime to bring you their picks of 2018.
Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World is the first of the action RPG series to be set in an open world. The expansive format allows hunters to track and kill monsters smoothly, and eliminates the dreaded loading screen between areas. Additionally the graphics of the whole game have been improved greatly, and monsters look stunning in the vibrant ecosystem of the New World. Better matchmaking and a user-friendly hunting system will also entice both new and returning hunters to this wonderful JRPG.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games always amazes us with the greatest open-world games, and cowboy tale Red Dead Redemption 2 is no exception. The long awaited sequel is every gamer’s Wild West dream. The amazing landscape of the American west is jaw-droppingly beautiful and its countless hours of gameplay will keep you entertained for hours on end. A bonus is that you can saddle up with friends online in Red Dead Online, a multiplayer mode with many robust activities.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The all-star brawlfest is back on the Nintendo Switch; Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brings back all their past characters and stages for gamers to duke it out with each other. With improved graphics and a vast roster, players just can’t wait to smash it up.
Bonus pick: Beat Saber
Virtual Reality is the future of gaming, and games like Beat Saber are paving the way. The concept is simple: players cut up colour-coded boxes with dual lightsabers, to the beat of the chosen song. This game has already been a great success on Twitch with full-time streamers adding dance moves to the block chopping aspect of the game. One of the best VR games out there with a simple and fun gameplay system.
God of War
Kratos’ latest journey is also his greatest, as he must defeat all kinds of demonic monsters while learning how to prevent his son from becoming one. The combat is satisfying, the graphics are beautiful, but it’s the story and progression of the father-son relationship that truly make this adventure shine. For a real challenge, try to defeat the nine fallen valkyries on ‘God of War’ mode. The sense of achievement you’ll feel is worth the hours and hours you’ll need to do it. Or so we’ve heard. We played on easy mode.
Marvel’s reboot of the video game Spider-Man is completely unrelated to Tom Holland’s take in the MCU universe, but it brings the same fun, earnest energy to the iconic character. Swing around a lovingly-recreated New York City and fight classic Spider-Man baddies while quipping clever one-liners that are so bad, they’re good. And for the real Spidey fanatic, there are dozens of costumes to collect from his various incarnations in the comics.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human didn’t make it onto this list because of revolutionary gameplay or flashy graphics. But the story it tells of androids that slowly begin to feel human emotions is a riveting tale that you’ll want to finish in one sitting. Play with friends and make key in-game decisions together for maximum enjoyment.
Bonus pick: Yakuza 2 Kiwami
The Yakuza series has always been a wacky and fun look at Japanese culture. Playing as ex-Yakuza member Kiryu Kazama, this remake of the 2006 PlayStation 2 classic is a beautiful adventure game with modern mechanics. This time, Kiryu must take on Ryuji Goda of the Omi Alliance to prevent all out war between the Tojo and Omi clans, so there’s only one thing left to do: Feel the heat!
Kai's picks for PC
Frostpunk is a city simulator survival game set in an alternative steampunk history where the world is freezing over and you are in charge of a band of townspeople trying to live in a cold and unforgiving wasteland.
The game doesn’t present you as a hero to save the day, but as a leader in charge of making tough decisions to ensure your settlers can live another day. Do you force children to work? Do you stretch out your food supplies by mixing in sawdust? The best part of the game is the tension you feel as you’re forced to make these tough moral choices.
Two Point Hospital
This spiritual successor to cult classic hospital sim Theme Hospital puts you in the shoes of a hospital administrator in charge of building an effective medical establishment.
The game combines solid gameplay with wacky humour, as evidenced by punny illnesses like “Light-Headedness” where the patient has a lightbulb for a head that needs to be unscrewed. Pick it up now if you enjoy your sims with a side effect of silliness.
Adapted from the 1980s board game franchise of the same name, Battletech by Harebrained Schemes of Shadowrun fame is a turn based tactics game where you command a team of giant robots and fight other giant robots. If science fiction, giant robots and strategy games are your thing, look no further.
Part of what makes game play unique is the detailed damage system, where each part of the mech has its own health bar which makes for some interesting strategic choices. Should you go for a riskier leg shot in hopes of decreasing enemy mobility, or focus on the torso? Experiment with different strategies in the lengthy campaign and enjoy the ride!
Bonus pick: Soulcalibur VI
The latest work in the Soul Calibur series is one of the premier fighting game games out there. This latest iteration has solid mechanics (essential for fighting games where fractions and frames matter), but believe it or not, it also has a decent single player campaign. While most people are likely going to pick it up for the online battle mode and in person vs mode with friends, a bit of extra content is always a plus.
And there we have it: the definitive list of the best video games of 2018. Whether you’re a PC purist or a casual console player, there’s sure to be something here for everyone.