The Best Games of 2018

The best games released in June

Vampyr




Dontnod Entertainment made its name with teenage slice of supernatural life story Life is Strange, but has now taken a sharp turn to make an action RPG about vampires in the early 20th century. As a doctor who becomes infected with the classic vampiric powers and weaknesses, you fight your way through undead enemies, and must decide if you will suppress or embrace your new identity.

Available on PC, PS4, XB1 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Unravel Two




A surprise announcement from E3, the stringy platformer has now become an optional local co-op experience, with a pair of ‘Yarnys’ who can traverse the environments and solve puzzles using their woolly bodies to pull, swing and climb around the world. It has a beautiful look and gentle story, but also optional challenge levels for those who seek something more mechanically challenging.

Available on PC, PS4, XB1 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Mario Tennis Aces




The series’ debut on the Switch, Aces adds lots of new features to the arcade sports game, making it a far more interesting competitive experience both off and online, like new special moves to both make and defend tricky shots, and a super meter for the best techniques. There’s still an adventure mode for those who want a story element added to the matches, though.

Available on Switch | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Detroit: Become Human




Quantic Dream has continued to evolve its signature genre of cinematic branching adventure games, and Detroit: Become Human is certainly its best so far. Playing as three different android protagonists, your choices can take the narrative of androids going rogue in different directions leading to several varied endings; even if you lose fights, fail objectives or even get killed. It deals with some heavy themes (albeit quite bluntly at points), and there isn’t a lot of gameplay beyond pressing the prompted buttons, but the real joy will come from exploring all the game’s different story paths and its near-future world, and appreciating the motion captured performances of the main cast.

Available on PS4 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire




The previous Pillars of Eternity showed that there was still an appetite for the older style of isometric RPGs, and Obsidian Entertainment was more than happy to cater for it again. Now taking place on a cluster of islands five years before the first game, you and your ship’s crew pursue a recently awakened god to discover its plans and save the part of your soul it stole. There are many places to explore and many people to meet along the way, giving it the satisfying feel of a well-planned tabletop DnD session. If you are looking for a lore and gameplay-rich way to sink your time, you should definitely look at Deadfire. It's available on PC and Mac now with console versions coming in Q4 2018.

Available on PC and Mac | Check price on Amazon.co.uk



Dark Souls Remastered




For those who want to ‘git gud’ and praise the sun, but missed it the first time round, Dark Souls Remastered gives From Software’s action RPG hit a shiny new paint job for the current generation of gaming hardware. The notoriously tough (but fair) game takes you through a tightly connected dark fantasy world, filled with traps, enemies and enormous boss monsters. There is a story told in pieces by the few friendly faces you meet and the items you find in the world, but the majority of your time will be spent exploring and fighting for your life as you move from bonfire to bonfire. It comes with the game’s DLC content included too, making this the definitive way to play one of the most acclaimed titles of recent years.

Available on PS4, XB1 and PC | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


God of War




There’s been a lot of changes made to the new God of War when compared to the original PlayStation 2 and 3 games. More inspiration has been taken from RPGs, with the addition of side quests a branching world map and more upgrades for weapons and armour, Kratos’ son joins the fight with his own abilities, and the Greek setting’s been swapped for a chillier Norse one. Happily, Santa Monica Studio have made it all fit together well. The game looks and feels great, especially the combat with its diverse range of abilities and powers. Read WIRED’s review of it here.

Available on PS4 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Minit

With only 60 seconds to act each day before you are sent back to the start, Minit could be enormously frustrating. Instead, the Devolver Digital published title is in fact a fun little puzzle game in the guise of a retro RPG. The important events are permanent even after death, and there are shortcuts and alternative routes which let you save time or find a different goal to pursue. It’s understandably a short experience, but one that doesn’t waste your time.

Available on PC, Mac, PS4, XB1 and Switch


Frostpunk




Most city-building games don’t have obvious moral choices to make, but circumstances in Frostpunk are desperate. As the last city on a snowcovered Earth, it’s your responsibility to keep the citizens alive by any means. 11 Bit Studios, who previously made the war survival game This War of Mine, have once again created a morally grey world with the potential for players to make horrific choices in the name of living another day. It’s more limited in scope than its rivals, and repeat playthroughs are less enjoyable, but the steam-power and survival themes make it a novel experience.

Available on PC | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


The best games released in March

Sea of Thieves




Rare Studios’ pirating adventure is a bit of a short voyage at the moment, as it lacks enough varied content for long-term appeal. What is there, however, is enjoyable both on your own or with a crew of friends. The game puts a lot of effort into making what could be just another competitive multiplayer game stress-free and fun, with plenty of opportunities for nautical nonsense as well as serious objectives like attacking sea monsters or rival buccaneers. There are also some interesting new ideas of how to punish trolling players, and keep the community shipshape and Bristol fashion.

Available on Xbox One and PC | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Far Cry 5




After some well-received but iterative titles in recent years, Ubisoft is adding plenty of new ingredients to Far Cry 5 in the hope of getting players excited about its franchise again. Its US setting with religious extremist enemies is a departure from the more exotic locations and baddies of previous games, as is its arcade mode, featuring custom maps and game types to keep you entertained once you’ve liberated Hope County, Montana. At its foundations, the game remains a well-developed FPS, with plenty of action and excitement to be found in its open world.

Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Pit People




After tackling the run and gun, beat ‘em up and co-op platformer genres in its previous games, developer The Behemoth has now revealed the finished version of its turn-based strategy game, after just over a year of tinkering in its early access period. The mechanics contain plenty of depth for strategy enthusiasts, but they are very beginner friendly too. But the standout quality is the surreal humour and world design for which the studio is renowned. If you want to strike your enemies with unicorn horns and sink plungers while completing equally bizarre quests for XP and loot, look no further.

Available on Xbox One and PC


The best games released in February

Shadow of the Colossus




Team Ico's giant-slaying classic from the Playstation 2 has been given a refresh for the PS4, courtesy of Bluepoint Games. In order to resurrect a cursed maiden, the player must roam the Forbidden Lands and defeat all 16 bosses who inhabit it, each encounter part-environmental-puzzle and part-combat-challenge. It's just as mysterious and fun to play as the original, but now looking better than ever.

Available on PS4 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Into the Breach

From Subset Games, the creators of space-roaming rogue-like FTL: Faster than Light, comes another randomly-generated strategy adventure. Now piloting mechs instead of starships, you will face off against giant monsters in fast, turn-based skirmishes for the fate of the planet. When your likely defeat comes knocking, simply travel back in time to try the turn again, or send one of your pilots back to the start of the campaign to help you win the next time.

Available on PC


Night in the Woods




The Nintendo Switch has been doing some catching up in February, including ports of platformer Owlboy, spectacle fighters Bayonetta 1 and 2, and Infinite Fall's Night in the Woods. As college dropout Mae, you explore your now unfamiliar home town and reunite with your old friends to find a missing person. While a platformer mechanically, the heart of the game is really its cast of well-rounded characters and the struggles they face in their lives.

New on Nintendo Switch; also available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One


The best games released in January

Monster Hunter: World




The Monster Hunter series has finally got the mainstream acclaim in the west that it deserves with Monster Hunter: World. Capcom's RPG series has made giant steps in progress by opening up its world and polishing its mechanics, while keeping the central loop of hunting monsters to get better gear to then hunter bigger monsters more engaging than ever before. It's easy to lose dozens of hours stalking the New World for dangerous prey, whether you are an existing fan or a newcomer to the franchise.

Available on PS4 and Xbox One | Check price on Amazon.co.uk


Dragon Ball FighterZ




Helmed by Arc System Works, creators of the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series, Dragon Ball FighterZ adds the anime's well-loved characters into an approachable fighting system, and bursts with details and references from the show that fans will love.
It also contains a three-part campaign made in association with DB:Z creator Akira Toriyama for story fans and in-depth tutorials and training modes for beginners. Meanwhile, fighting game veterans can dive straight into arcade or multiplayer modes.

Available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC | Check price on Amazon.co.uk
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