Top 20 Video Games of 2018, According to Critics

As the year comes to a close, it's time to look back at the best video games of 2018. This year has seen some of the biggest game releases of the console generation, including God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2. It was a good year to be a gamer, but it was also an excellent year to be a game reviewer: most of the big titles did not disappoint.

Although there is often a disconnect between fans and critics, this year saw both groups agreeing on titles more often than not. Sure, there were some games that critics hated and fans loved, and vice versa, but all in all (especially when it comes to the bigger AAA titles), these two often disparate groups saw eye to eye.

Related: Fallout 76 is Bethesda's Worst-Reviewed Game in 12 Years

So, which 2018 video games did critics love the most? The results might surprise you, based on their Metacritic review scores. Here are the top 20 video games of 2018, as chosen by critics throughout the year.

20. Tetris Effect

Tetris Effect
  • RELEASE DATE: November 16
  • DEVELOPER: Monstars Inc., Resonair
  • PUBLISHER: Enhance, Inc.

Read Screen Rant's Tetris Effect Review

Here is an example of how classic games really never go out of style. Tetris got an update in 2018 for the PS4 with Tetris Effect, allowing players to spend their time fitting differently-shaped blocks into a pattern, with stunning visuals and music. It's just another form of Tetris, but it was so good that critics did nothing but praise its backdrops, music, and animation. What set this version apart, though, is that it was PlayStation VR compatible, meaning that players could experience the familiar Tetris game in an entirely new and magical way. Reviewers referred to Tetris Effect as the best version of Tetris yet.

19. Owlboy

  • RELEASE DATE: April 10
  • DEVELOPER: D-Pad Studio
  • PUBLISHER: D-Pad Studio

Sometimes a simple platform game is all a player really needs. It's also sometimes what impresses reviewers the most, as is the case with Owlboy, which released this year on the PS4, as well as PC, Xbox One, and Switch. But it was the PS4 version that made critics sing. Reviewers found the game to be utterly captivating while providing a beautiful adventure in a dream-like world. Many suggested that PS4 was the best platform for the game, with the console allowing for smooth gameplay that looked incredible on the console. Other critics called the story both beautiful and emotional.

18. Return Of The Obra Dinn

Return of the Obra Dinn
  • RELEASE DATE: October 18

Read Screen Rant's Return Of The Obra Dinn Review

Return of the Obra Dinn is a puzzle game by an indie developer that had all the critics talking about it. The unique graphics, along with the way that players have to use deductive reasoning and a special stopwatch to solve a mystery, had reviewers loving everything about it. Some critics called it one of the best murder mystery games of all time, while others praised the game's narrative. They also loved the game's atmosphere and music, along with its art style, which garnered it a nomination for The Game Awards 2018 for Best Art Direction and Best Independent Game.

17. Okami HD

Okami HD
  • RELEASE DATE: August 9
  • PLATFORMS: Switch
  • DEVELOPER: Clover Studio
  • PUBLISHER: Capcom

What's old is new again, at least when it comes to Okami HD. The original game, known merely as Okami, first released way back in 2006 on PS2 and the Wii. It got a remaster on other platforms, although it didn't arrive in Nintendo Switch until 2018. That port, however, went over extremely well with critics. In a game that allows players to take on the role of a sun goddess who is in the form of a wolf, critics loved the way it ported to Switch, praising its graphics on the console, as well as its fluid controls.

16. Into The Breach

Into The Breach
  • RELEASE DATE: August 28
  • PLATFORMS: Switch
  • DEVELOPER: Subset Games
  • PUBLISHER: Subset Games

Read Screen Rant's Into The Breach Review

It's not every day that one hears about turn-based strategy games on the Nintendo Switch, but one such title that got critics' attention this year was Into The Breach, which takes place in the far future where humanity is at war with monsters called the Vek. Humans use mechs to fight these creatures, tactically deciding the best way to take them down. Critics called this indie game on the Switch rewarding and potentially one of the best strategy games in the past decade. Although it also saw a release on PC, it was the Switch version that ultimately won reviewers over.

15. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • RELEASE DATE: October 2
  • DEVELOPER: SIE Japan Studio
  • PUBLISHER: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Now that VR has become a little more mainstream, critics are starting to find games that use virtual reality to the best of their ability. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is one of those titles, a platform game that stars a series of robot characters, who get assigned to various rescue missions. Some critics think that the game is one of the best VR titles to date, but many believed that even without considering VR, the game is an excellent platformer. Many praised the animation, as well as the art direction and special effects. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is undoubtedly the most highly lauded VR game of the year.

14. NieR: Automata - Become As Gods Edition

Nier Automata Fight
  • RELEASE DATE: June 26
  • PLATFORMS: Xbox One
  • DEVELOPER: PlatinumGames
  • PUBLISHER: Square Enix

Originally released on PC and PS4 in 2017, NieR: Automata was a sequel to 2010's NieR, which released on the PS3 and Xbox 360, and it continued the story that left off with the previous game. Set in the same post-apocalyptic world as NieR, NieR: Automata wowed players and critics alike, but Xbox One owners weren't able to get their hands on the game until this past summer, when it was ported over to the console (with some additional content) under the name, NieR: Automata: Become as Gods Edition - and the Xbox version was equally as impressive. Critics hailed it as a must-play and cited its story and world as the defining points of the game.

13. Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter-World
  • RELEASE DATE: January 26 (PS4, Xbox One)/PC (August 9)
  • PLATFORMS: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • DEVELOPER: Capcom
  • PUBLISHER: Capcom

In Monster Hunter: World, players take on the role of a hunter, with a mission to either trap or hunt that roam in the game's massive world. The fantasy game takes players from the Old World to settle in the New World, where mysterious creatures roam free. Critics quickly cited that this game was the best in the franchise, praising it for its ambition, upgraded combat and smooth animations. They also loved that it stayed true to the franchise, but still provided something new for fans. Although the game is available on PC, critics generally suggest that players should consider playing it on consoles. There's a reason this became one of Capcom's best-selling games.

12. Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight
  • RELEASE DATE: June 12 (Switch), September 25 (PS4, Xbox One)
  • PLATFORMS: Switch, PS4, Xbox One
  • DEVELOPER: Team Cherry
  • PUBLISHER: Team Cherry

Although Hollow Knight released on PC in 2017, it didn't make it to consoles until 2018. The game follows a knight on a quest as he tries to learn more about the mystery behind the abandoned kingdom of Hallownest, once swarming with insects. The 2D action adventure was a hit with critics when it released on consoles. Critics loved the lore of the kingdoms involved in the game, along with its combat system and its art and sound design. They called it beautiful, as well as praised its amount of content for a low price point: the game only cost $15.

11. Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus
  • RELEASE DATE: February 6
  • DEVELOPER: Bluepoint Games
  • PUBLISHER: Sony Interactive Entertainment

In 2005, Shadow of the Colossus originally released on the PlayStation 2. In 2018, though, the game got a remake, in the form of a PS4 version. The story follows a young man named Wander who finds himself in a forbidden world. His mission is to journey across that world and defeat the giant Colossi creatures to restore life to a girl. Critics loved the remake, mainly how it stayed true to the original game. They agreed that the update only enhanced the beauty of the original game, as well as enhanced the details in a way that works wonderfully on the PS4.

Page 2 of 2: Best Video Games: #10 - #1

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