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Game of the Year Awards 2018

We celebrate the best games of the past year with our annual feature

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Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best PC Exclusive
Best PC Game 2018 Frostpunk winner badge Frostpunk

"In Frostpunk you take control of a colony attempting to survive a meteorological anomaly - the plummeting of Earth’s temperatures and the beginning of a new ice age. Luckily, you’ve got the power of steampunk technology on your side. The game blends survival mechanics with the familiar set up of a city builder - think SimCity but set in Antarctica, and you have a good idea of what you’re getting into. Frostpunk is a solid entry into the city-builder genre with a unique survival twist, and one that's bound to appeal to those who have enjoyed similar games." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Return of the Obra Dinn, Two Point Hospital

 

Best PlayStation 4 Console Exclusive
Best PS4 Console Exclusive 2018 God of War winner badge God of War

"A reinvention of the highly popular over the top action franchise from the PS2 days, the new 2018 version of God of War takes an entirely new approach, one that fits very comfortably in the modern big budget PS4 lineup. It features all the hallmarks of game design that first-party Sony studios have found success with, from a cinematic and dramatic storyline to the third person combat and new RPG elements. It succeeds on delivering the highly polished modern experience that fans have come to expect from a console exclusive." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Marvel's Spider-Man, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Detroit: Become Human

 

Best Xbox One Console Exclusive
Best Xbox One Console Exclusive 2018 Forza Horizon 4 winner badge Forza Horizon 4

"Forza Horizon 4 brings the most notable changes to the series since the second entry. The franchise is always seeking for new ways to innovate, and it very much succeeds with its take on the weather seasons. This is a stunning game to look at – on the Xbox One X at 1080p, the lighting systems, the vibrant colors, and the art design are simply impeccable, without even going into the photo mode. This is likely the best looking game on the console this year. Also, if you do have an Xbox One X, you can trade away some of the visual fidelity for a new Performance mode. Just as the Quality mode runs at unshakable 30FPS, so does the Performance mode but at 60FPS, and is a great option to have for racing purists." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: State of Decay 2 , Ashen, Sea of Thieves

 

Best Switch Console Exclusive
Best Nintendo Switch Exclusive 2018 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate winner badge Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

"Move over, Melee, there’s a new heavyweight champion in town, and its name is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s a decadent feast bursting at the seams with content, and sports an almost absurd array of customizable options, stages, and characters, along with the game’s standout new concept, Spirits. Ultimate is simply a non-stop pummeling of action-packed fun, along with plenty of warm and fuzzy nostalgia from Nintendo games and other iconic franchises. The best multiplayer game on Switch, and the richest, strongest entry in the Smash series, at least in terms of sheer content. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate should prove to be a near endlessly entertaining go-to for friends who want a fun, enduring party game." - Stephen LaGioia

Honorable Mentions: Octopath Traveler, GRIS, Pokemon: Let's Go

 

Best New IP
Best New IP 2018 Celeste winner badge Celeste

"Games don’t always need meaning, but when something like Celeste comes along that not only delivers an exceptional gameplay experience, but can tie that experience to a poignant lesson about adversity, you have to give it some extra props. Celeste definitely delivers where it counts. Its mechanics are wickedly brilliant and well crafted, and you might not even appreciate all of the platforming tools because they’re blended in so well. It offers a story that connects not only with the gameplay but the relatable struggle of overcoming adversity, both within and without, to accomplish something others told you was impossible." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions: GRIS, Octopath Traveler, Vampyr

 

Most Improved Sequel
Most Improved Sequel 2018 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey winner badge Assassin's Creed Odyssey

"Last year's Origins charted a new path for the long running action adventure franchise, and Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a direct continuation. The game offers further updates to the combat system, an improved main story with satisfying quests and the ability to hunt down the cult at your own pace. In a sense, it improves on everything that Origins introduced. If you've enjoyed last year's game, then Odyssey is certainly an improvement and likely to satisfy." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Warhammer: Vermintide 2

 

Most Surprisingly Good Game
Most Surprisingly Good Game 2018 Monster Hunter: World winner badge Monster Hunter: World

"So if you’re like me, someone who is wondering what exactly Monster Hunter has to offer, I’m happy to tell you that Monster Hunter: World is an absolute delight and something that can be enjoyed by any player. That being said, it is a deep and challenging experience. It takes patience and a desire to learn the inner-workings. Even beyond that, with some elements being poorly explained, it might require you to find wikis, forums, or helping hands. Monster Hunter: World, while not being impenetrable, certainly isn’t going to make things easy for you. But as you start to learn the systems and the overarching mechanics that form of a loop of gameplay where you explore, battle, fail, succeed, craft, and improve, the game becomes addictively rewarding and deeply fascinating." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions: Super Mario Party, Valkyria Chronicles 4, A Way Out

 

Best Game No-one Played
Best Game no-one played 2018 The Gardens Between winner badge The Gardens Between

"The Gardens Between is an elegant nostalgic puzzle adventure that has you watching two friends ascend abstract islands. Each island is part of a memory, providing wonder, imagination, and challenge. The simple puzzle mechanic of going back and forward through time is used extensively and customized for individual memories. While the story is minimal, the islands provide overt clues as to the scenes they depict. The Gardens Between will only take two hours to finish and there is not much reason to play it again, but once is certainly enough to create a good neighborly bond." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions: Iconoclasts, Unforeseen Incidents, Aegis Defenders

 

Even more award winners on the next page!

 

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