Top 15 Games I Played in 2018
Here's a list of my favorite games I played last year, some older, some newer, with system, hours played, and rating on a 1-10 scale included:
1) Hollow Knight - PC, 56 hours, 9.25/10 - This game took me by surprise. I had heard good things, but 2d metroidvanias have always been a genre I've been somewhat lukewarm on. Hollow Knight packs in a ton of content, great art design, pretty good combat for a 2d platformer, and an amount of difficulty that is challenging but not frustrating into an overall well designed package. The developers claim Dark Souls isn't a large influence, which is strange because tbh this is the closest I've played to 2d Dark Souls - it has a near identical death mechanic, is difficult, has a similar checkpoint system, presents its story/lore in the same way, etc. The only thing holding it back is there are a few levels I just didn't enjoy, but man is this a fantastic game.
2) Divinity Original Sin - PC, 79 hours, 9/10 - An old school isometric turn based rpg. This ranks as high as it does because it might have the best combat of any turn based rpg I've played, and is engaging to play from beginning to end. The main issue is the writing/plot aren't great (not horrible, but pretty average overall), also I'm not a huge fan of the art style. But between the combat and the depth involved in building your team and having a fair amount of ways to resolve quests/choices and consequences, it's a very good game worth playing.
3) Xcom 2 - PC, 45 hours, 8.75/10 - It's Xcom 1, just bigger and better. Enjoyable combat, difficult and rewarding strategy and choices to be made in and out of combat, and a breadth of content makes this one of the better strategy games out there imo.
4) Pillars of Eternity - PC, 87 hours, 8.75/10 - Overall a worthy follow up to rpgs of old, but the writing can be too wordy and inconsistent in interest, and the combat encounters aren't as well put together as something like baldur's gate.
5) The Sexy Brutale - PC, 7 hours, 8.75/10 - I was blown away by this game, typically I'm not a huge fan of adventure games but this one is great. The puzzles are rarely too difficult or obscure that you get frustrated and look up a walkthrough like what tends to happen when I played older adventure games, but the puzzles also actually exist, unlike many modern adventure games. The art style is really nice, and the atmosphere and music are great as well. The game takes Majora's Mask's turn back time mechanic and fits it into a condensed, pure adventure experience. Very, very good and I recommend anybody to give it a shot, even if you typically aren't a fan of adventure games.
6) Prey - 35 hours, 8.5/10, PC - An "immersive sim" that is essentially a System Shock 2 spiritual successor, the game is very fun to explore and gives you a lot of options for different builds for your character. If you invest in Typhon abilities the game's combat gets really fun and interesting. The level design is great, and the game's opening 15 hours or so gives a level of challenge that builds an amazing amount of tension. The main problem with this game for me is after those 15 hours, the game becomes much easier due to the abilities you gain. The game is still fun after this, but the tension drops. There is also toward the end a part in the story that is fairly aggravating imo (I won't discuss to avoid spoilers). If the game had kept up its momentum in the first part of the game it might've challenged Hollow Knight for my goty.
7) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - PC, 29 hours, 8.25/10 - I honestly don't remember a whole lot about this game, I think I played it in April or so; at that time I recorded it as being an 8.25/10. It's a lot like Human Revolution (which I remember thinking was a lot better than DE:MD after finishing DEMD), which is good. It's fine, it's fun, but apparently it's also forgettable. I played it and enjoyed it but it didn't leave any lasting impact.
8) Thief: Deadly Shadows - PC, 28 hours, 8.25/10 - It's a lot like Thief 1 and 2, but the levels are a bit smaller and less open. It's definitely my least favorite of the first three Thief games, but I enjoyed it. Also there are no rope arrows, which sucks. I still really liked the game though.
9) Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze - Wii U, 15 hours, 8.25/10 - It's a classic style Donkey Kong Country game. Well made, good platforming, very nice looking art style. Fun, just doesn't rank any higher because this isn't really my favorite genre.
10) Torment: Tides of Numenara - PC, 33, 8.25/10 - Nice game with okay combat and very good writing overall. It doesn't live up to the billing of Planescape: Torment, but it's still the closest thing to it that there is, and it doesn't do a horrible job trying to mimic it. I really enjoyed my time with it overall.
11) Singularity - PC, 8 hours, 8.25/10 - A nice FPS that caught me by surprise. The story is fairly interesting. The combat is very fun, is somewhat reminiscent of something like Bioshock in terms of the combination of gunplay and powers. Also has an interesting time traveling mechanic in it.
12) Titanfall 2- PS4, 6 hours, 8/10 - FPS with a couple of fun mechanics in it, like teh fast paced movement of your character (you can run horizontally along walls, slide through levels, etc) and the use of your "Titan." The character and the Titan have two vastly different feels in terms of combat, and the Titan itself can find a variety of loadouts, meaning that combat has a large amount of variety in it. Despite this, there's something about the game that I can't quite put my finger on in terms of not being entirely invested in it. I wasn't dying to play the game and it felt like it was dragging as I played it despite simultaneously being a short game and having fun.
13) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - PC, 43 hours, 8/10 - It's good overall, has more interesting characters/story imo than Kotor 1, and has a good length that gives it tons of content but isn't too long. The main issue with this (as well as Kotor 1) is that neither really nails the strategic real time w/pause combat imo. Neither of them has what I would consider great combat encounters that require strategy and planning (there are exceptions, but for the most part I found this to be the case), you just kind of lay your attacks out and that's it. Overall worth playing, though.
14) Alpha Protocol - PC, 15 hours, 8/10 - A game that got lambasted on launch (I'm guessing it was buggy), but I enjoyed it. I thought the combat/gameplay was actually pretty engaging. What's great about this, imo, is that it's short. The reason this is great is because there are apparently an incredible amount of choices and consequences, making the game ripe for replay. Down the line I may replay the game and see how things turn out.
15) Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Wii U, 15 hours, 8/10 - A fun, light hearted game with a fair amount of content for what it is. Considering how limiting the mechanics are, this game is surprisingly engaging for virtually its entire playthrough. Toward the end it can get repetitive, but it's a fun game overall that I recommend.