Ryan's Favorite 2018 Games

2018 saw the completion of 25 games, many of which were backlog titles I was very happy to get to, and a few so happened to be new titles.

Looking at my list, these are the five which made the most impact on me. In no particular order:

1. Doki Doki Literature Club

Whoa. I played this just as 2018 began, and have been haunted by it since. The game went viral for a reason. The dark themes behind the cute anime exterior and amazingly catch soundtrack will creep into my mind at random times. Just Monika.

2. What Remains of Edith Finch.

This game fused multiple genres mechanics with impeccable environmental storytelling that persistently beckoned me forward in the game, and also left me with questions that I still ponder, nearly a year after playing it.

3. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Torna: The Golden Country

Xenoblade titles have become my favorite series of JRPG. These games provide bombastic combat, with just as insane a story, layers upon layers of mechanics, and a deadly serious world with a protagonist that believes everything can be solved with friendship and optimism. In a far too serious reality, Xenoblade provides potentially hundreds of hours of escape with interesting party members. The DLC has added so many new characters to collect for your party that I fully intend to begin a New Game Plus in early 2019.

4. Hollow Knight

Team Cherry's near perfect title released for Switch in 2018, and I took that as a great time to actually play it on PC, having received the game as a gift from gamertagged.net writer Chris Cesarano, when it released there. The care and detail put into the game is apparent throughout. Each of the insect inhabitants of this world have a unique personality that is displayed through movement, appearance, and sound. The sound in Hollow Knight is worthy of awards on its own, drawing you in the world even with eyes closed. There were moments where I wanted to throw the controller in frustration, but each time that occurred, within a few more minutes of exploration or attempts at finishing a boss battle, progress was made, and I was encouraged and emboldened to explore more. For me, the frustration level was just enough to be motivational, but I can see where others may leave the game unfinished, as some moments can be infuriating. (I'm looking at you, Soul Sanctum boss.)

5. Destiny 2/Paladins

Both these games provided some fabulous multiplayer evenings this year. They reignited a love for online multiplayer actually, playing and chatting with friends, and not feeling a sense of guilt for dedicating time to these games over the backlog.

Must Mention: Life is Strange, Season 1.

This SHOULD have been in my top five, unquestionably. However, loss of my save file (to something - I swear, it was there, than it was gone - could have been a slip of my fingers, or those of a kid, or some random act of digital file weirdness) and the inability to pick up in Episode 5 with choices tailored to what I had accomplished in the previous episodes diminished the experience dramatically. Also, there is a rather out of place Luigi's Mansion flashlight gameplay segment at the end I found ridiculously hard and unclear on how to progress. I had to nope on out of there, and watch the result of my choices on YouTube. Thanks, YouTube!

Full List of Completed Games in 2018

2018 saw the completion of 25 games, many of which were backlog titles I was very happy to get to, and a few so happened to be new titles.

Looking at my list, these are the five which made the most impact on me. In no particular order:

1. Doki Doki Literature Club

Whoa. I played this just as 2018 began, and have been haunted by it since. The game went viral for a reason. The dark themes behind the cute anime exterior and amazingly catch soundtrack will creep into my mind at random times. Just Monika.

2. What Remains of Edith Finch.

This game fused multiple genres mechanics with impeccable environmental storytelling that persistently beckoned me forward in the game, and also left me with questions that I still ponder, nearly a year after playing it.

3. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Torna: The Golden Country

Xenoblade titles have become my favorite series of JRPG. These games provide bombastic combat, with just as insane a story, layers upon layers of mechanics, and a deadly serious world with a protagonist that believes everything can be solved with friendship and optimism. In a far too serious reality, Xenoblade provides potentially hundreds of hours of escape with interesting party members. The DLC has added so many new characters to collect for your party that I fully intend to begin a New Game Plus in early 2019.

4. Hollow Knight

Team Cherry's near perfect title released for Switch in 2018, and I took that as a great time to actually play it on PC, having received the game as a gift from gamertagged.net writer Chris Cesarano, when it released there. The care and detail put into the game is apparent throughout. Each of the insect inhabitants of this world have a unique personality that is displayed through movement, appearance, and sound. The sound in Hollow Knight is worthy of awards on its own, drawing you in the world even with eyes closed. There were moments where I wanted to throw the controller in frustration, but each time that occurred, within a few more minutes of exploration or attempts at finishing a boss battle, progress was made, and I was encouraged and emboldened to explore more. For me, the frustration level was just enough to be motivational, but I can see where others may leave the game unfinished, as some moments can be infuriating. (I'm looking at you, Soul Sanctum boss.)

5. Destiny 2/Paladins

Both these games provided some fabulous multiplayer evenings this year. They reignited a love for online multiplayer actually, playing and chatting with friends, and not feeling a sense of guilt for dedicating time to these games over the backlog.

Must Mention: Life is Strange, Season 1.

This SHOULD have been in my top five, unquestionably. However, loss of my save file (to something - I swear, it was there, than it was gone - could have been a slip of my fingers, or those of a kid, or some random act of digital file weirdness) and the inability to pick up in Episode 5 with choices tailored to what I had accomplished in the previous episodes diminished the experience dramatically. Also, there is a rather out of place Luigi's Mansion flashlight gameplay segment at the end I found ridiculously hard and unclear on how to progress. I had to nope on out of there, and watch the result of my choices on YouTube. Thanks, YouTube!

Full List of Completed Games in 2018

Doki Doki Literature Club

What Remains of Edith Finch

That Dragon, Cancer

Thirty Flights of Loving

Timeframe

Champion's Ballad DLC - Breath of the Wild

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Torna: The Golden Country DLC

Skypeace

Destiny 2

Kamiko

Octoling Expansion - Splatoon2

Mega Man 7

Mega Man 8

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth

Saturday Morning RPG

Hollow Knight

Spec Ops: The Line

Five Nights at Freddy's

The Park

Guild of Dungeoneering

20XX

Life is Strange

Year Walk

Warhammer: Space Marine

Posted on December 31, 2018 .