It’s 2019! Happy new year and all that. And with an exciting year ahead of us (we’re officially in Kingdom Hearts 3 month!) we’ve taken our pick of some of last year’s best games that won the hearts of all of us at n3rdabl3.

So here is n3rdabl3 staff’s Games of the Year 2018.

Aaron Richardson – Vampyr

new-screens-vampyr-08

From its very concept, Vampyr won me over. It’s a game which takes branching narrative and turns it on its head having not only your choices affect the outcome of certain characters or the story itself, but the entire world you play in. Sure, the combat was a bit tricky, but the way the story was presented completely outshone any of the game’s shortcomings.

The game not only gives you a sense of overwhelming power, but also a sense of massive responsibility over the survival of Victorian London and its inhabitants.

Josh Vale – Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade Screenshot

Strange Brigade is the latest title from Sniper Elite developer, Rebellion, and despite its flaws, it was some of the dumbest fun I had this year. NYAAAAAAAAH

Jake Dunbar – Darkest Dungeon: Ancestral Edition (Nintendo Switch Port)

Despite launching on steam in 2016, 2018 saw Darkest Dungeon released on Switch along with all DLC. The handheld accessibility compliments the ‘pick up and put down’ approach for run-based roguelikes, and Darkest Dungeon is no exception. The game is the truest embodiment of ‘risk vs reward’ thanks to its permadeath mechanics and procedural generated level designs.

Alan Copping – Battlefield 5

No game has captivated me quite like Battlefield 5 has this year. While not without its flaws, and the obvious bullshit that comes with being attached to EA, Battlefield 5 has a character that depicts the war in a way quite unlike any game prior. Coupled with the title’s incredible gunplay, it makes for an experience that is a real testement to the franchise.

Truth is, I haven’t been this invested in a shooter in years. People talk about ‘only in Battlefield’ moments, and usually, it’s bullshit. This time around, however, it feels prevelant. Be it watching a Tiger tank roll through a building like it’s paper or watching a distant dogfight, the world feels bigger than just your boots on the ground, and that’s what I want to see in a Battlefield title, boots on the ground alongside the armor, as it should be.

Angela DiLella – Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee!

Out of all the games I played this year, I think I had the most fun with this one. It brought back the gen I Pokemon games successfully, catering to both nostalgia and new fans, and it did a good job of bringing the graphics, music, and gameplay up to date. It’s easy to pick up and put down at your own leisure.

Most of all, it was fun going back to Kanto, even if I know Kanto like the back of my hand. And it is awesome that Eevee is getting some official love!

Dan Page – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

This isn’t a love letter to all things Nintendo, it’s a love odyssey. Complex, versatile gameplay wrapped in familiar yet stunning surroundings that just vacuum away hours of your life. I honestly believe that a game of Smash is an experience every gamer alive should have.

Its lifespan is frightening. Each one of the 70 plus characters multiplies the amount of time I know I am going to sink into this game, yet another thing to try and perfect. Yet, as with most Smash players, I’ll be lucky if I even get close to excelling with one.

There is no way I am ever going to see everything this game has to offer, but that absolutely won’t stop me from trying.

Melissa Gibbs – Detroit: Become Human

For me Detroit: Become Human featured a great story, with characters you actually care about!

Mark Caffrey, Gage Edwards – God of War

Mark: God of War has always been one of my favorite franchises. This “revamp” of the series delivered on every front and resonated with me long after I was done playing it. Being a parent myself, God of War gave me a character I could relate to on a personal level. The struggle of connecting with you child and the difficulties that came with it were realistic struggles that anyone with a kid faces at one point or another.

The move to Norse mythology was brilliant as well. The brutality of Kratos fits within the mythos of the Norse gods and made me fall in love with the series all over again. The soundtrack is fantastic and there are times where the music is what carries you through an event more than what is happening on screen. The music has a life of its own and it works in tandem with the story to help deliver emotional highs and lows that would otherwise not feel as heavy or effective if the game relied solely on dialogue.

God of War got a new lease on life in a way and I am so happy that, as gamers, we will be seeing more God of War titles for many years to come!

Gage: Everything in God of War works and it works together beautifully. It’s the perfect video game stew. Not a single part of this game felt short-handed and every bit of it got the detail and polish it deserved. The once “crazy” idea of having no camera cuts brought this game to another level where you never felt out of it. Kratos’ new weapon the Leviathan Axe may be one of video game’s all time great weapons. Swinging it felt fluid and visceral while throwing it felt natural.

Lastly, the narrative is incredible. There are so many surprises in God of War that’ll give you that feeling of “holy shit, that’s awesome.” God of War blew my expectations away and is my clear Game of the Year. The competition doesn’t come close for me.

Thomas Szczecina – Super Mario Odyssey

It is the culmination of everything Super Mario ever stood for, a truly unforgettable experience.

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