2018 was a very interesting year in video games. Over the last 12 months, we received even more proof that single-player games are alive and well, saw a mix of big releases and small indie hits, and watched as unexpected games crashed and burned (or rose to the heavens). We also, in many ways, had a lot of hopes and dreams finally fulfilled—no matter if you’re looking for a bit of smashing, or a smidge of redemption. And yet, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this generation’s days may truly be numbered, and that something is waiting just over the horizon. No matter what, it was a year that gave us a lot of great gaming. In the end, however, we could only pick twenty-five of those experiences to fill the slots of our “Best of 2018” rankings. So, after much deliberation, here are EGM‘s Top 25 games of the year, today looking at numbers 10 through 06.
Developer: Square Enix
Octopath Traveler proves there’s room in the market for all kinds of games. Inspired by classics like Final Fantasy VI, the game is a near perfect amalgam of old and new JRPG styles. The graphics are impossibly gorgeous for a pixel art game, the voice acting is top notch, and the battle system is so inspired it should become a template for future turn-based RPGs. Even though you choose a main character at the outset, you get the chance to play as eight main characters, each with his or her own compelling story and unique abilities. All of the elements come together to cast an enchanting spell that lasts more than 50 hours. Not every RPG needs to have a sprawling open world. Sometimes a more contained experience can offer just as much fun.
|#9||Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Battlefield is one of the best shooter series on this generation of platforms—or any, for that matter. And yet, something about 2016’s Battlefield 1 didn’t quite sit right with players, so developer DICE went back to the drawing board and came out with Battlefield V. That was a successful drawing board meeting. Taking the best parts of Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 1, the first thing you notice about the latest installment is simply how good it feels to shoot its weapons. Combine this incredibly tight gunplay and the series’ iconic destruction physics with new features like Fortifications, and you have a proud addition to the Battlefield family. Oh, and it looks amazing, but it’s a Battlefield game, so we figured you could guess that much.
Developer: Treyarch Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
|Call of Duty: Black Ops 4|
It may have had a bit of a rocky start, but Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is one of the strongest installments in the series. Thanks to the choice to do away with a story campaign, Black Ops 4 launched as a multiplayer power house. A full-fledged competitive multiplayer mode, its own massive battle royale experience, and an impressive four-map launch for its Zombies survival mode make Black Ops 4 one of the most content-packed games this year, and there’s much more still to come. Say what you will about Call of Duty, that team knows how to make shooters addicting, and even Call of Duty naysayers will have a hard time ignoring this one.
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
|Assassin’s Creed Odyssey|
With a massive world that spans the breadth of Greece and the length of the Peloponnesian War, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey attempts to invoke the scale of Homer’s writings, and it doesn’t disappoint. Ubisoft’s recreation of Ancient Greece is filled with stunning attention to detail, and it shows when climbing around colossal statues of the Greek gods, sailing through the open waters of the Mediterranean, or strolling through Athens and having a chat with Socrates. Odyssey sets itself apart from its predecessors by embracing new RPG mechanics, giving players a choice—not just between protagonists Kassandra and Alexios but in determining their personality and fighting style. Thanks to an epic-length narrative, compelling characters, and a sprawling world to travel through, this entry in the Assassin’s Creed series lives up to its name.
|#6||Publisher: Matt Makes Games Inc.
Developer: Matt Makes Games Inc.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, Linux
The past decade and half has seen no shortage of tough-as-nails, retro-inspired indie platformers, but Celeste manages to stand out from the crowd like a mountain among molehills. Much of that comes down to the artistry developer Matt Thorson and his small studio put into the level design, animation, and movement mechanics. The result is a deep, polished, and challenging experience that feels eminently fair even as you’re dying hundreds of times in a row. What makes the game truly special, though, is that Thorson deftly links these challenges to the story of Madeline, a young girl climbing a mountain while struggling with her own personal trauma and mental health. Always charming and never preachy, Celeste’s story is perfect proof that even gameplay-driven games can still find room to say something meaningful.
We’re taking a look at the best games of 2018 all week, from December 24th through January 1st. Check back every day for our Top 25 Games of 2018, as well as our personal lists for the games we loved most this year. Check here for everything that’s been posted so far.