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My Top Ten for 2018

2018 was an interesting year for me as a gamer.  This was the year that I was made a Twitch Affilate.  Sure that isn’t all that hard to do, but I have put a lot of work into the stream in 2018 to hit over 400 followers and have a stable audience of regulars that come and visit.  I have found new franchises to enjoy and some that I am not all that interested in.  This has been a productive year for me in actually playing and completing games, which I attribute to streaming games on a regular basis.

But hey, this isn’t why you clicked on the link, is it?  You want to know what I think are the ten best games of 2018, so with no delay, let the list begin.  I should add one more note that I am trying to stay away from remastered games, so when you don’t see Burnout Paradise Remastered or Bayonetta 2 on this list, that is your answer.

1. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life – I was not sure what to expect for this installment of the Yakuza series. This was billed as the climactic ending of the Kiryu Kazuma story line and that could have gone two ways. Thankfully for me it was a great finish to a series that is only now gaining traction here in North America. I for one felt satisfied with the ending for Kiryu and the combat system was perfect. Sure, the 45 minute cut scene in the middle of the credits was a bit much, but it was a great way for Kiryu to ride off into the sunset. One can only wonder where this series goes from here, but I am curious to see a different take from the developer with their upcoming title, Judgement.
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man – When you hear about licensed games featuring comic book heroes, I immediately think of disaster. Yet somehow, the folks at Insomniac found a way to make a Spider-Man game for the ages. Everything from the swinging to the main story are top notch. Sometimes, I just found myself swinging around town to have fun because it felt so rewarding. Most of the collectibles are a treat for those that want to see some deep dives on the history of Spider-Man. It does have its point of repetitiveness with some of the side missions, but for a first shot out the gate, Insomniac it deep over the fences.
3. Sea of Thieves – I know this one might not be a popular choice with many, but this is a game that over time, as become far more enjoyable to play. More importantly, it has become a staple for group play with several of my Twitch friends. We have found ourselves playing for three to four hours on Saturday mornings, raising havoc and having a ton of laughs with our goofy mistakes. I still have issues with the game having no loot progression, but as a casual co-op game that I can jump in and have a blast, I found it to be a huge surprise for me after an initial disappointment.
4. Forza Horizon 4 – Sure this is the fourth game in the series and yes, Microsoft made a bit much about how “Seasons Change Everything”. Somehow though, Playground Games continues to find new locations and gameplay features that add to this long running series. Now you can build whole routes, break through walls to new areas and yeah, seasons do actually add to the ways you interact with the world. It sounds dumb, but I love being on the server when the world changes from falling of the leaves and rain of summer to the snowy frozen world of winter. Cap it off with a huge roster of cars and fun liveries and I am here once again finding myself enamored with another Forza Horizon title. I even think that the Horizon series might be eclipsing the traditional Forza Motorsports title when it comes to flat out fun.
5. Monster Hunter World – I have never found myself wanting to play a Monster Hunter game, but as I watch others playing Monster Hunter World, there was something about it that really made me want to try it. Lo and behold, I had a blast playing it. Sure, the co-op system is a disaster, but there was something really cool about teaming up with a group of friends to take down a giant beast that was determined to survive. The game does have its quirks, but from the sounds of it, the quality of life improvements along with fun gameplay got me playing it and wanting more. Plus, Cats make you ridiculous plates of food – what more could you want.
6. Detroit Become Human – Yes, I think that David Cage can be up his own ass sometimes, but I do like playing his games. Yes, I like making fun of them as well (press X to Jason), but I did like Detroit Become Human. No, its not all that difficult to finish, but I enjoyed how different the story can turn out. Comparing my wife’s story to mine, we experienced drastic changes. For me, I had an android paradise while my wife’s story ended in disaster for the city of Detroit. Sure, it isn’t all perfect, but there is enough there for people to grab on to and build their own experience.
7. Strange Brigade – Man this was a game I did not expect to see on my best of list at the end of the year, and it almost would not have if it had not come to Xbox Game Pass. It lives it is shlocky 1930’s style action sequences. The shooting isn’t the best that you will play and some of the scenery seem generic, but you forget that and just sit back to enjoy the insanity of it all. It is a blast to play whether in co-op or solo play.
8. FIFA 19 – Yes, there is a FIFA every year. And yes, normally it would not be on my list. However, this was the conclusion of the story that the series started in FIFA 17. Following Alex Hunter’s journey has been a fun experience and the best story mode I have played in a sports game. NBA 2K has been trying to get it right since 2K11, but even it has not touched what FIFA has been doing and its completion in FIFA19. Yes, all the other modes are there and I do love taking a team from League Two to the Premier League.
9. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – This might be the one game that I have not quite finished yet, but that is just because there is so dang much to do. I like the idea of choosing your protagonist’s gender, as I found Kassandra to be a flawed, yet interesting character. Sure some of the side missions do not have the same caliber as Assassin’s Creed Origins, but I think the characters are much more interesting this time around. I do enjoy the game, but the grind can get to you after a few hours of playing. But there is so much great gameplay to uncover that I am excited to continue playing.
10. Far Cry 5 – Yes, I know, another controversial choice, but I liked Far Cry 5. I thought the shooting mechanics were good and I liked the mission types that you were asked to undertake. Surprisingly, it was the main boss fights that were the most annoying. But the environment, the cars and the weapons were all top notch and I just had fun playing it. The flying mechanics were a bit shoddy, but I loved how the game ended and I am intrigued to see how the new sequel links into the story of this game. I know some have complained about the way that Ubisoft didn’t take a stand on the politics of the story, but I thought it was popcorny fun.


 

Please let me know what you think of the list and if you agree or disagree with any of these choices.  Also, apologies for this taking so long, but I have been busy and it took me longer than normal to put it out.  Enjoy!

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