2017 was a banner year for video game releases with some of the best games this generation of consoles has seen. The stars seemed to align to give use an incredibly generous selection of great games. Between Horizon Zero Dawn, the release of the Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and everything in between, we were essentially spoiled rotten.
Having just passed the six month mark for this year, it’s an opportune time to take stock and single out the games that have made 2018 a reasonably fruitful year for gaming, with many more stand out titles to come like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fallout 76.
Here are the six best games of 2018 to date.
1. Monster Hunter: World
Moving the Monster Hunter franchise away from the safety of handheld platforms was a gamble for Capcom, and boy did it pay off. Keeping many of the intricate combat mechanics that made the franchise so popular in Japan, Capcom was able to create a game appealing to console owners. Monster slaying has never felt so polished and captivating. No wonder Monster Hunter: World has the coveted spot of the best-selling game Capcom has ever released.
2. Detroit: Become Human
Quantic Dream’s futuristic cyborg adventure tackles some tough subjects with aplomb and does so while ensuring game play remains enthralling. Detroit: Become Human delivers a world where the player feels that every decision has a consequence. The non-linear format also grants a degree of freedom that many games only dream of emulating. Check out Italia’s revealing review right here on EXP.GG.
As a concept Frostpunk twists the usual city-building formula on its head by introducing a sense of urgency: ensure your people survive amid an all encompassing glacial volcanic winter intent on stifling out any signs of life. With this in mind, the game play loop is clever and challenging, while remaining fun and engaging, notably the inclusion of laws that can help calm a fractious populace or push them over the edge. The scenarios are packed with interesting backstories, and have players juggle civic duties, construction, and resource harvesting with the weight of moral decisions such as whether to accept new refugees, thus saving their lives, but risk straining the settlements already limited resources. Getting all this right is no easy feat, but seeing those furnaces churn out life giving heat at full capacity is pure satisfaction.
4. God of War
You’re probably as fed up as I am of seeing God of War feature on top ‘insert random’ number lists, so I’ll spare you the sycophantic praise, which by this point is verging on the nauseous. God of War is great; end of story.
5. A Way Out
With the wonderful premise of co-op escape from a US penitentiary, A Way Out was bound to be worth our time. Hazelight Studios delivers and more with a compelling narrative and stunning visuals that capture the vibe of prison breaking with your best bud. The developers have well and truly risen to the challenge of immersing both players in a game where collaboration is crucial, yet each character offers a truly personal experience.
6. Sea of Thieves
For all the more or less justified backlash at launch, Sea of Thieves has picked itself up by the bootstraps and through successive content-packed updates morphed into the pirating adventure we’ve been expecting for years. There’s something to be said for commandeering a vessel and sailing the seas accompanied by friends. Rare has done an exceptional job at creating a world you want to spend time in, and it also looks amazing with its cartoon-ish style and vibrant colors. With much more to do and see, Sea of Thieves has matured into one of the better games of 2018.