It’s that time of year where we decide what our Games of the Year were, rather than having an overall winner (Even though it’s probably Spider-Man) the team have given their thoughts on the games they enjoyed the most this year,

Greg Giddens

The Golf Club 2019 – This is easily the best golf game on the market! Then again, it doesn’t really have any competition, at least not in the simulation camp. Despite this lack of competition, that doesn’t take away how excellent this title is. Incorporating the PGA Tour license gives it an authenticity it previously lacked, and the physics and visuals have been tweaked to make this the most robust and fast in terms of performance. And with it’s great selection of official courses and practically limitless community created courses, this is a title that keeps on giving.​

God of War – With its unbelievable visuals, weighty and satisfying combat, intriguing lore and compelling story, God of War is an excellent third-person adventure. Moreover, it’s transformation from mindless, button mashing combat adventure to something more cerebral is nothing short of miraculous and outstanding. This is a game that oozes clever, thoughtful design in it’s combat, environments, puzzles, characters and story. It’s very hard to put into words to how exceptionally well-crafted this title is. It really is a must play.​
Spider-Man -We haven’t seen a title from everybody’s favourite webslinger for a while, and it was such a treat to play Insomniac’s open-city, crimefighting Spider-Man title. Moreover, it managed to meet the hype, providing excellent controls, visuals, and combat mechanics that made you truly feel like Spider-Man.​
Civilization VI: Rise and Fall – Civilisation 6 already proved to be an excellent turn-based strategy game, but it’s Rise and Fall expansion added a wonderful twist of dark and golden ages to provide and ebb and flow to your civilisations progress over the centuries that felt real and hugely satisfying to engage in. Additionally, the new political mechanics of different alliances and pacts, as well as emergency action against hostile opponents made for some interesting decisions that made the game even more engaging and fun. I’m super excited for the next expansion in early 2019.​
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon – It’s a Castlevania game in all but name, and with a reduction in difficulty so it can actually be mastered without having to perform unspeakable dark rituals. It’s an ideal nostalgic trip back to the 8 bit days, with its wonderful pixel art and fixed arch to your jumps, boss fights and weapon/companion unlocks. It’s also a terrific teaser for the next game in the series that bring a more modern visual theme to the classic gameplay.​
Yoku’s Island Express – It’s a collectathon, Metroidvania, 2D pinball platformer! It’s a mad combination of mechanics that miraculously work together in a compelling little package. It’s got the frustration and satisfaction of pinball, the compulsion of collecting, the puzzle of searching out new abilities and items, and a cute story to pull it all together. outstanding stuff!​
Fallout 76 – The inclusion in my Games of the Year list may be surprising, but few games have eaten my time away like Fallout 76. It’s riddled with bugs and was released in an embarrassingly poor state, shame on Bethesda, and there are countless missed opportunities to make this feel like a proper Fallout title, with exploration largely resulting in disappointment due to a lack of characters and events, but multiplayer shenanigans can absolve a myriad of sins. Playing this with others is fun. Emergent gameplay occurs frequently, with intense combat and intriguing exploration created by shared wonder and tragedy. Indeed it disappoints in so many ways when playing, but often the journey between the disappointments ends up being highly enjoyable. It’s difficult to explain in a few sentences but ultimately I feel Fallout 76 is one good expansion away from being excellent, and I’ve very much enjoyed playing it.​
Metal Gear Survive -Another odd choice you may think, but Metal Gear Survive is surprisingly deep. What at first appears to be a mere survival experience soon reveals a deep and convoluted story, very true to the Metal Gear formula. Moreover, once you overcome the stiff difficulty of the first few hours, things really open up and become interesting, with challenging objectives to fulfil, compelling base-building, and a fun multiplayer horde-esque mode to master. the biggest issue ended up being how few people played the game, spoiling the multiplayer, but if you can get a group of four together, this is enjoyable and surprisingly compelling game.

Dave Moran

Forza Horizon 4 – Driving Games don’t come better than this, when they announced the game would be set in Britain I was excited, but not sure it would be as fun as the previous games setting. How wrong I was. The driving as ever is fun, there is a huge amount to discover and Britain looks more gorgeous than ever. Playing with friends with fun and the new Forzathon Live events keeps the content fresh.

Fortnite – The game that keeps reinventing itself, I was a sceptic of this game but spent nearly all my time playing season 5, I took time off in 6 and have jumped back on over Christmas. The constantly changing battlefield, combined with interesting new weapons and timed events keeps players coming back. I wasn’t sure that the introduction of Aeroplanes would be a good idea, but they are brilliant o fly and the air combat is great.

Black Ops 4 – In the year of the Battle Royale I was intrigued to see how Treyarch would handle a Call of Duty version, I was really pleased with the results, the game is really well placed and I never felt out of place on the battlefield. There is something hugely satisfying about smashing through windows to take out opponents and the sense of achievement when winning with your squad is awesome. This years Zombies mode is excellent, with a huge amount of content and lore to discover, while the multiplayer is as fast paced and action packed as ever.

Spider-Man – What can I say that the others already haven’t? Not a lot really. This game saved my PS4 from being sold, web-slinging through New York is an absolute joy. The combat is brilliant and the voice acting is superb. The story and DLC is fantastic and I have had such a blast playing this game.

Far Cry 5 – I almost forgot about Far Cry 5, while writing this the soundtrack for the game popped up on my Spotify and I fell in love once again. A brilliant story with some fantastic characters complimented the excellent gameplay you would expect from a Far Cry title. If you didn’t get time for this, then you really should play it.

Adrian Garlike

Spider-Man – No game made me smile more than this did in 2018. I said in my review that two things have to be perfectly achieved to make a great Spider-Man game which are the swinging and the fan-service, and Insomniac did indeed get these two things right. It’s full of knowing nods to the years of lore that this character has, and it’s just such awesome fun to play. Add to that an excellent story, with well-rounded and superbly written characters and you have a game worthy of GOTY nominations. It may lose out on the big awards to the behemoth that is God Of War, and rightly so, but that shouldn’t discount the quality that Spider-Man possesses.

God Of War – This one is going to win big in most of the Game of the Year awards. It is an absolute masterpiece, from start to finish. Particularly great is the complete lack of any cut-away from Kratos at all during the game. Graphically stunning. well-written characters and with loads of emotion, this is not only one of the Games of 2018, but is up there with games of this generation.

Dead Cells – The only game this year that I have double-dipped on, Dead Cells is a brilliant indie Metroid-Vania game, that rewards you constantly as you play through it. Different starting weapons change the way you approach each level, and as you proceed you get stronger and quicker and get further in the game. Although I am far from finishing it, this is still my go-to Switch game of choice when I am travelling, and is the perfect game to while away a short plane or train journey.

Onrush – A great driving game that gets doesn’t bother with all that racing nonsense, Onrush is instead an amazingly fast and furious car combat extravaganza! Hideously under-rated and didn’t sell half as well as Codemasters would have liked, Onrush can now be found on Xbox Game Pass and was given away free with PS+. It may be too late for the franchise to be saved but Onrush deserved so much more. It’s just a great multiplayer driving game.

Hitman 2 – More of the same with a few tweaks, IO Interactive delivered another great stealth-action game based around our favourite bald assassin. All the new locations were created to provide us with multiple ways for us to take down our targets, and the game really comes alive after the initial contracts have been completed. Add to that the new multiplayer mode, elusive targets, escalation contracts AND the entirety of Hitman Season 1 and it makes this game such brilliant value for money.

Sea Of Thieves – Yes, it did have a lack of content upon release, but Rare have rolled up their sleeves and throughout the remainder of 2018 have improved Sea Of Thieves no end. Although I enjoyed it upon release I unfortunately moved away from this gorgeous world as I had other games to review. I have recently gone back and found a completely different game than the one I left behind, and one of my regrets of this year is not putting as many hours into this as I really wanted. Damn games reviewing!

Moonlighter – Another indie game that was one of my favourites this year, Moonlighter was a great mash-up of dungeon crawler and shop simulator. Like Dead Cells it has that constant risk/reward upgrade system that constantly makes you have ‘just one more run’. One that I really should also own on the Switch as it is a perfect game for a quick blast when travelling.

Also on my list for the year are Forza Horizon 4 (the best driving game), Fortnite (Epic have developed and improved on this to make it a cultural phenomenon), Red Dead Redemption 2 (just haven’t managed to put any time into this but can tell it’s a classic) and Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice (Debuted on Xbox in 2018 and is a magnificent single player story).

Thomas Mulrooney

Red Dead Redemption 2 – The slow-paced nature and extreme detail put into the Western world of RDR2 makes you feel like you’re simply living the life of a Western outlaw rather than playing a game. I’m enjoying not rushing through the game and just appreciating the world I’m currently living in. The massive amount of content Rockstar has included means I’ll be playing this for months to come.

God of War – GoW was already a fantastic franchise, but the reinvention of the series has worked wonders. An enthralling father-son story, gorgeous visuals and pulse-pounding gameplay make this one for the ages.

Spider-Man – It’s hard to beat the feeling of swinging through a virtual New York City. Spectacular visuals, satisfying gameplay and a great story make this the best Spider-Man game ever released in my book.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – I put over 80 hours into Origins, getting the platinum trophy, and Odyssey just improved upon a winning formula. Improved RPG elements, fantastic ship combat and the ability to pick from two characters made this game even better.

Monster Hunter World – Taking down huge monsters with your friends never gets old, and this latest entry in the series ensures it makes the most of the current generation of consoles.

Battlefield V – Battlefield always scratches that itch when I just want to zone out and play online. The latest entry is as packed with the random joys of a Battlefield match as ever. War has never looked so good.