One of the most exciting aspects of PC gaming is how quickly it can evolve. Trends come and go, new technologies inspire developers to push the boundaries of their creativity, and because it’s an open platform, ambitious upstarts have great freedom when it comes to creating and releasing their games. Now that there’s healthy competition for Valve from Discord and Epic, two companies that have recently launched their own digital game stores, there are even more opportunities for developers and consumers alike at the start of 2019.
But before we jump into the new year, now is a great chance to revisit the best of PC gaming in 2018. We must have played almost all PC games and I have rounded up every PC game that scored at least an 8 on the gamers list in 2018, and organized them by score below. Scroll down to see where your favorite of the year landed. You might find also find something new to consider playing before games start rolling in.
Here they are –
Ashen – 9/10
Ashen does more than enough to differentiate it from other Souls-like games. Although its combat utilizes the same stamina-focused mechanics, the inclusion of features that promote a sense of community with the game’s characters makes for a wholly different experience. It’s frustrating to spawn and see that your computer-controlled partner has a weapon that doesn’t complement the one you’re using. However, even when playing with NPCs, your allies’ efforts to assist you in battle cause you to care about the fates of the colourful cast of people you meet on your journey. The relationships you forge define your adventure through Ashen, and helping your new friends is a powerful motivator that drives you forward through the game’s beautiful world.
Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 4 – 9/10
Episode 4 of Tell-tale’s Batman: The Enemy Within has top-notch writing, thoughtful depictions, and impactful decision-making moments. It leaves Bruce, Batman, and you to grapple with questions and uncertainty. Between the future of Joker, the nature of Amanda Waller, and the potential fallout of Bruce’s mission on his allies, Telltale has set the stage for what could (better) be an explosive finale.
BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle – 9/10
Whether playing through the story mode alone or against hardened opponents online, Cross Tag Battle is an absolute joy with a surplus of possibilities within its wide roster and versatile fighting system. Even with all the ridiculousness of the overarching plot, I revealed in the charm of my favourite characters and embraced the many moments of fan service. It’s a masterful unification of styles and mechanics from four different universes that compels you to dig deeper and dedicate the time to getting the most out of the beloved members of this cast.
Celeste – 9/10
It’s a testament to convincing writing and ingenious design that after playing Celeste I felt like I’d been on the same journey as Madeline. Her struggle is one made easy to empathize with, her low points painful to watch, and her high notes exhilarating to experience. Her tale is delicately told and beautifully illustrated, confidently coalescing with the satisfying, empowering game it lies within. Not bad for a game about climbing a mountain.
Dead Cells – 9/10
Even if you can’t make it all that far, Prisoner’s Quarters is simple enough that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to “bank” cells for the aforementioned upgrades. That gives you a sense of constant progress, even when you bomb a run. In fact, the only real issue with the adventure is that some of the better upgrades can take substantially longer than they should. It stalls progress in the mid-game a bit and can lead to a feeling of grinding your wheels. Besides that, though, Dead Cells is a phenomenal effort to blend together some very disparate genres into a tight, cohesive whole. It’s one of the better examples of how to remix ideas without losing their individual strengths.
Dragon Ball Fighter Z – 9/10
Dragon Ball Fighter Z is complex and distinct enough to be enjoyed by fighting game competitors, but there’s no question that it’s been designed to tap into the hearts of Dragon Ball’s most dedicated fans, and no doubt those same qualities will win people over who’ve never given the series a chance. Where past games attempted to get there through huge character rosters and deliberately predictable trips down memory lane, Fighter Z has bottled the essence of what makes the series’ characters, animation, and sense of humour so beloved and reconfigured it into something new: a Dragon Ball fighting game that can go toe-to-toe with the best of the genre.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age – 9/10
Innovation in games is talked about a lot, but it’s also great to see traditional gameplay formulas that have been around for decades presented exceptionally well. Dragon Quest XI is one of the best modern examples of this; its beautiful presentation, both visual- and story-wise, combines with a tried-and-true gameplay formula for a journey that’s full of heart and soul. Once you find yourself sucked into the world of Dragon Quest XI, it’s going to be hard to put down until you reach the grand finale.
F1 2018 – 9/10
F1 2018 is brilliant, and the most complete Formula One game to date. The changes to career mode make it the strongest and most appealing it’s ever been thanks to the revamped upgrade system, while the simulation-like additions to the driving model bring you closer than ever to the feeling of sitting on the grid with 1000+ horsepower at your feet, without overwhelming those who just want to jump in and drive.
Far Cry 5 – 9/10
Despite some brief irritations and missed opportunities with its narrative, spending time in the world of Hope County remains absolutely delightful. Far Cry 5 boasts a wonderfully harmonious flow to its adventure, with its smart changes to exploration, discovery, and progression distinctly bolstering the enjoyment of creatively engaging and experimenting with its spectacular open world.
Forza Horizon 4 – 9/10
There’s such a diverse range of activities stuffed into every corner of Horizon 4, and meaningful changes contribute to smart driving dynamics and a more consistent sense of achievement. Everything you do in Horizon feels valuable, no matter how big or small—from the basic thrills of speeding a fast car down a gorgeous mountain highway to spending time tinkering with your favourite ride to manage seasonal road conditions to just hanging out with friends and strangers online and goofing off in friendly games. The charm of the Horizon series is as palpable as ever, a winning, all-inclusive recipe that celebrates the joy of driving above all else.
Subnautica – 9/10
Subnautica’s story, scares, and beautifully rendered underwater setting make it one of the most fascinating survival games around. You will always have to grind away to a certain extent to gather necessary resources, but the overall experience is both accessible and refined. Subnautica may not make you eager to get back to the beach this summer, but right now there is no better virtual way to experience the beauty, and the terror, of the deep blue sea.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – 8/10
Despite this, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s ambition is admirable, which is reflected in its rich attention to detail for the era and its approach to handling the multi-faceted narrative with strong protagonists at the lead. While its large-scale campaign—clocking in at over 50 hours—can occasionally be tiresome, and some features don’t quite make the impact they should, Odyssey makes great strides in its massive and dynamic world, and it’s a joy to venture out and leave your mark on its ever-changing setting.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – 8/10
Black Ops 4 isn’t short on content, and its three main modes are substantial. Multiplayer introduces more tactical mechanics without forcing you into them, and it largely strikes a good balance. Zombies has multiple deep, secret-filled maps to explore, though its returning characters don’t hold up and prove distracting. Finally, Blackout pushes Call of Duty in an entirely new direction, making use of aspects from both multiplayer and Zombies for a take on the battle royale genre that stands on its own. Sure, there isn’t a traditional single-player campaign, but with the depth and breadth of what is there, Black Ops 4 doesn’t need it.
Hitman 2 – 8/10
The addition of other minor mechanical changes—like concussive weapons, a picture-in-picture enemy activity alert, and visible security camera sightlines—help to improve Hitman 2 overall as a dense and accessible stealth assassination game.
Reigns: Game Of Thrones – 8/10
Reigns: GoT is by no means perfect. It doesn’t lend itself to long play sessions thanks to the potential for repetition, which can make the action feel tedious. But that’s ultimately a minor quibble for what’s a genuinely fun experience: a choose-your-own adventure where you’re faced with non-stop decisions and a seemingly endless combination of ways for things to play out.
The Walking Dead – The Final Season Episode 1 – 8/10
Beautiful things are possible in the new world and the new ways to play that Telltale has laid out in Done Running. But something ugly and horrifying is likely to happen first, and it is going to be captivating to watch.
The Walking Dead – The Final Season Episode 2 – 8/10
We leave The Walking Dead on a Telltale firmly willing to make mechanical and tonal risks, nearly all of which pay off well in this episode, hinting towards a bright future we may never get to see. If this is the last time we see her, the fact that she, and this series, have become what they’ve become is maybe the closest thing to a Happily Ever After as can be expected from The Walking Dead.
Many more games were released, but all which are listed above are the most popular ones. Search for your favourite one, or go finish the one up which you have not played yet.