The editor writes: We'll be publishing Eurogamer's official top 30 games of 2018 tomorrow. In a break with Eurogamer tradition, we didn't put that list together by voting among ourselves this year. But I still asked for everyone on the staff (plus the Digital Foundry team and a couple of our most regular freelance contributors) to submit their favourite games of the year because I thought it would be interesting to build up a picture of what the Eurogamer team really plays and cares about, rather than some homogenised arithmetic byproduct of that.

Each staffer submitted five games, listed in no particular order. Remasters and reissues on new platforms were allowed, as were games which weren't first released in 2018 but which made a major impact or underwent significant changes this year (such as Fortnite). I wanted these lists to reflect about what we were actually playing rather than the release schedule. This is our gaming life, warts and all. Don't judge us too harshly.

Aoife Wilson

Video Team

  • Spider-Man
  • God of War
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Hitman 2

Oh god, I'm so basic. But it came as a bit of a surprise, when I looked back on the year for this list, to see how few new games I'd actually gotten round to playing. Part of it, I think, is down to the fact I've been playing a lot of older games for the channel (Dark Souls, Bloodborne) and older games with my partner at home (Persona 5), but there just haven't been that many titles this year that I feel like I'll remember in a few months' time. The new games I have played, however, were played thoroughly - and Spider-Man was exactly what I wanted from Insomniac as a big comic book fan.

spiderman
Spider-Man. Correction: MARVEL's Spider-Man.

Bertie Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

  • Fortnite
  • Nintendo Labo
  • Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
  • Frostpunk
  • Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

Fortnite ruled - and continues to rule - 2018 in my home. Not so much because I play it but because my son plays it, and that's a very powerful thing for me. It's hilarious and weird. I love it. I just wish they'd lose the real guns. Nintendo Labo is just magic and it really ignited my son's curiosity. That inspired mind is priceless. I knew Thronebreaker wouldn't be crap but I didn't expect it to be dark, provoking and brilliant. I have never been so thrilled by a city-building game as I have by Frostpunk, because it's a survival game too and it keeps you on the edge of coping right until the bitter end. And sailing the warm Caribbean seas and tinkering with an archipelago's worth of politics and personalities in Pillars 2 is still an irresistible draw to me - less so the overarching story, so take your time there and enjoy it.

pillars
Pillars of Eternity 2.

Chris Tapsell

Guides Writer

  • Into the Breach
  • Pokémon: Let's Go
  • Spider-Man
  • God of War
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Into the Breach is the best strategy game of 2018, and probably one of the best since FTL - and that's one of the best ever. Pokémon was a lovely, candy-floss surprise. Spider-Man isn't a particularly sophisticated game - it feels a lot like a PS2-era ideal - but it needn't be. Few games this year have got close to its charm or heart. God of War was so relentlessly overpraised as a masterpiece that it actually lessened my opinion of it, but it is still a bellowing, cacophonous assault of pure, blockbuster action. And of all the battle royales I've now played, the sheer adrenaline of PUBG is still unmatched. As is its tactical depth, its arithmetical, long-range gunplay, and especially the unique and rather pensive, doomsday-prepper serenity of looting some quiet shore of Erangel at sunset.

pubg
It's pronounced pubjee, Emma.

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

  • Tetris Effect
  • Return of the Obra Dinn
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered
  • Into the Breach
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission

Searching for a theme to unite such a diverse gaming year has made me realise that this is almost a class-based top five. You've got Depth and Mastery with Into the Breach, Novelty with Astro Bot, The Shock of the New (it should be a class if you ask me) with Return of Obra Dinn, Comforting Familiarity with Burnout Paradise, and then there's Tetris Effect to bring us home: Transcendence.

burnout
Take me down to the paradise city.

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

Contributor

  • Subnautica
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Cultist Simulator
  • Dead Cells
  • Into the Breach

The more I think about Subnautica, the more I think it could be the finest open-world game I've played. It sticks out from the crowd of Ubiworlds and Ubiworld imitators like a downed starship from an alien ocean. Octopath's battle system is as juicy, testing and ruthless as they come. Cultist Simulator is a magnificent, tittering parasite of a card game. Dead Cells is that rare roguelike - or as its creators might prefer, "roguevania" - that feels utterly silky in the hands. And Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game of quite terrifying compactness, one that is somehow as simple as noughts-and-crosses yet as dense with approaches as, say, Final Fantasy Tactics.

cultist
Cultist Simulator.

Emma Kent

Reporter

  • Fortnite
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Warframe
  • God of War
  • Return of the Obra Dinn

2018 once again displayed the power of existing games to re-invent themselves, with Fortnite receiving possibly the biggest glow-up of all. Epic's stellar environmental storytelling, continuous maintenance and charming sense of humour has established Fortnite as the new gold standard for online gaming. Warframe also had a strong year, with a solid Switch port and major open world expansion serving to revitalise its enthusiastic community. Meanwhile, on the single-player front, God of War took the series in a more mature direction with beautiful world-building and careful nods to Scandinavian history. New year, new you - so just who will it be next time?

warframe
Warframe.

Ian Higton

Video Team

  • H1Z1
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Moss
  • Firewall: Zero Hour
  • Beat Saber

My year has been dominated by VR, so much so that I've just not had enough time to commit to playing through the big titles like God of War, Spider-Man and so on. The year was off to a cracking start with Moss showcasing just how good PSVR could be, and it only got better with the additions of Astro Bot and Beat Saber. Firewall: Zero Hour proved to be my favourite first-person shooter of the year - the gameplay and immersion is just incredible, and this makes up for the lack of modes and the myriad of lobby issues. Finally, H1Z1 on PS4 was my most played game and it let me scratch that battle royale itch on console without the annoying building aspects of Fortnite or the performance issues of PUBG on Xbox One.

saber
Beat Saber.

John Linneman

Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

  • Tetris Effect
  • Mega Man 11
  • Monster Boy & the Cursed Kingdom
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Spider-Man

A truly magnificent presentation combines with arguably the greatest puzzle game of all time in Tetris Effect. It's Tetris on the surface only - the experience of playing (and replaying) its various challenges and modes left a huge impression on me. Mega Man 11 plays like classic Mega Man and I feel it stacks up against the best in the series. Monster Boy & the Cursed Kingdom is a brand-new successor to the Wonder Boy series that manages to outshine every single of them, plus the soundtrack, featuring composers such as Michiru Yamane and Yuzo Koshiro, is sublime. Astro Bot Rescue Mission is easily one of the best VR games ever made. Finally, it's no secret that I'm burned out on open world games but Spider-Man manages to solve this with superb traversal, a great mainline story, slick combat and gorgeous visuals.

megaman
Mega Man 11.

Johnny Chiodini

Video Team

  • Sea of Thieves
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • Dead Cells

Because so much of the world feels like it's perpetually on fire at the moment, my year has been characterised by big, vibrant games that are fun to play no matter what you're doing. Sea of Thieves and Monster Hunter World in particular have been joyful distractions and I am grateful for how meticulously they were crafted.

deadcells
Dead Cells.

Malindy Hetfeld

Contributor

  • Yakuza 6
  • Florence
  • The Red Strings Club
  • Into the Breach
  • Ni no Kuni 2

While endowed with the same over-the-top silliness as most anime titles, Yakuza provides a much more approachable look at Japanese culture. Yakuza 6 is less boastful than previous games, oddly for a send-off to the series, but there's still nothing quite like it. Florence is a poignant and relatable exercise in how much you can say without words. I picked up The Red Strings Club on a whim and it turned out to be one of my favourites: I'm a cyborg, a magical bartender and a hacker in a cyberpunk environment? Well, sign me up! It's stating the obvious to say a game is cleverer than I am - games anticipate your reactions like a cat with a string - but my, Into the Breach is a clever game if I've ever seen one. There is so much nuance to the simple task of defending buildings with a few mechs, and it's a strategy game in which even the best-laid strategies can fail spectacularly. It was one of many cold and unforgiving games this year, but sometimes you want a comfort blanket of a game, and that's where Ni no Kuni 2 came in. It's kind at heart, perhaps too kind to the player with undemanding combat and a simple narrative, but it's all the richer for it. In a year in which unkindness was once again a near-daily companion, I accept without any cynicism its message that a great kingdom can be built on the grounds of kindness.

nnk
Ni no Kuni 2.

Martin Robinson

Features and Reviews Editor

  • Tetris Effect
  • Isle of Man TT
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Laser League
  • Wreckfest

It's not, I think, been a stellar year all told, though maybe that's just the whining of a Nintendo fanboy about what's been a relatively quiet year for them after the bonanza that was 2017. Still, there's been enough to make me more than happy, and in Tetris Effect there's what I think will go on to be an all-time classic. Oh, and some half-decent racing games, too - I'd have loved to have made space for Onrush, which was brilliantly offbeat, or for the amazing F1 2018, a true equal of Geoff Crammond's greats, or even for iRacing and Gran Turismo Sport which saw sizeable updates this year - but the nostalgic part of me just adores Wreckfest and its take on knockabout 90s racers, and the incredible achievement of Isle of Man TT in bottling the magic of the world's most outlandish motorsport event.

TT
Isle of Man TT.

Matt Wales

Reporter

  • Subnautica
  • Parkitect
  • Hollow Knight
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Fortnite

Subnautica is a game of always compelling, often terrifying, exploration through a wonderfully realised underwater world. In a year that's been a dream for management sim fans, with the likes of Two Point Hospital, Megaquarium and Parkasaurus, Parkitect is a real standout: an engrossing, staggeringly well realised experience, combining surprisingly powerful building tools with a rich, forward-thinking management core. It still blows my mind that Hollow Knight is the work of, essentially, four people: a near-flawless, modern-day classic. Sea of Thieves is certainly not the best game on my list by any traditional criteria, but it's easily my favourite, and the one that I've played most in 2018: I've lost count of the number of times where I've turned off the game only to be faintly surprised to find myself on a chair in front of the TV. I somewhat grudgingly played Fortnite at the start of the year to see what all the fuss was about and fell in love with it almost immediately. It's a game that sees no shame in being silly. Throw in Epic's absolute mastery of background narrative, its flawless sense of occasion, and its ceaseless capacity to surprise and it's hard to think of another game quite as rich, quite as consistently engaging, this year.

parkitect
Parkitect.

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

  • Fortnite
  • Minit
  • Celeste
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • Shenmue 1 and 2

Fortnite and Assassin's Creed Odyssey might feel out of place against the rest, but these are finely-crafted experiences brimming with personality - elevating them above their blockbuster peers. Minit and Celeste were two perfect Switch experiences: Minit, a brief but enormously clever adventure that doesn't waste any of your time, and Celeste giving me a Super Meat Boy-style challenge I've not had since the XBLA days. Shenmue, meanwhile, was the sheer relief of playing some of my favourite ever games and realising they hold up remarkably well - and though technically rough, the collection was the perfect way to bring them back, by keeping them almost exactly as they were.

shenmue
Shenmue.

Oli Welsh

Editor

  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Into the Breach
  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
  • Shadow of the Colossus

Even-numbered years are always good gaming years for me, because they mean a new Forza Horizon and a new World of Warcraft expansion. That's my entire gaming diet taken care of from late summer and well into the following year. Horizon 4 has a stunning map and I love the weekly seasonal updates - I think developer Playground will nail the live game experience next time out. The rest of the year was mostly spent on Switch with the deliciously post-modern JRPG Octopath Traveler and catching up with all the indies I'd missed when they appeared on Steam, the microcosmically perfect Into the Breach being the standout. Bluepoint's astonishing rebuild of Shadow of the Colossus, which I reviewed way back in January, cast a long shadow over the year, though. Such clarity of vision isn't easy to come by in games in 2018, and its sheer emptiness now seems not dated but daring and refreshing.

wow
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.

Paul Watson

Social Media Manager

  • Night in the Woods
  • Florence
  • Gone Home
  • Pokémon: Let's Go
  • Dark Souls: Remastered

2018 has been a tough year for pretty much everyone, I reckon. I think that's fair to say; it seems like we've all spent the past 12 months being beaten down by one loathsome current event after another. The games I've enjoyed the most this year, then, have been games which offered pure escapism - an escape to tender tales of love and existentialism, like Night in the Woods, Florence and Gone Home; to a cheerful colourful world inhabited by cute creatures, like Pokémon: Let's Go; and, because sometimes the best therapy is smashing things with a big hammer, to a world where I can batter the absolute spit out of evil unholy creatures from the safety of my bed, like Dark Souls: Remastered.

nightin
Night in the Woods. (It came out on Switch this year.)

Tom Morgan

Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Pokémon: Let's Go
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey

The biggest surprise of 2018? Seeing Assassin's Creed reinvent itself so effectively in Odyssey as an action RPG set across a gorgeous medley of islands. It got lost in the end-of-year muddle, but it's the one I'm most eager to get back to. Most played? Another surprise. The Blackout mode in Black Ops 4, for a short while, became a nightly obsession. It worked so well, but I found myself wanting more variety from the map, and faster than Treyarch were able to implement it. Here's hoping they do - and that it's enough to lure my squad back from Fortnite.

smash
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Tom Phillips

News Editor

  • Fortnite
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • Forgotton Anne
  • Yoku's Island Express
  • Tetris Effect

I believe Fortnite is probably the most interesting game in the world right now, irregardless of it also being the most popular. I feel like it is going to be a template for the future of gaming way outside of battle royale. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is also kind of Fortnite-y, in a way: it's as close as Ubisoft has come to making a live world, and it is so rewarding and fun to jump back into. Its procedural quest system is both banal and brilliant - it provides excuses to simply play around with the systems it has set up for you to have fun with. I love it and Kassandra is the best. Forgotton Anne is my indie pick of the year, a beautiful self-contained story which is just the right length and just the right amount of weird. Yoku's Island Express is joyful, instant smiles, and perfect-feeling controls. And then there's Tetris Effect. Unlike some on the team, I don't think it is trying to reprogram us all to become better people - but it is an endorphin-releasing trip I'm glad to have partaken in.

forgotton
Forgotton Anne.

Vikki Blake

Contributor

  • Far: Lone Sails
  • Minit
  • Gris
  • The Missing
  • God of War

I love first-person shooters, but there's not a single one of them in my top five games this year. I don't think that's happened before. I'm not sure if it's because I'm growing up or the pickings were just too slim this year, but despite a new Far Cry and a Destiny 2 expansion to sink into - two of my favourites - my top five consists of four indie diamonds and a AAA game from a series that I've hitherto intensely disliked. What a turn up!

gris
Gris.

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

  • Tetris Effect
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition

It's hard to remember what happened in 2018 that wasn't Tetris Effect, so all-encompassing is that game. But it turns out I quite like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, whose Blackout mode is a wonderful battle royale, and Destiny 2 expansion Forsaken, which kept my attention for a solid month. Earlier this year we got two superb fighting games: Arc System Works' Dragon Ball FighterZ is just a joy on every level, and Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition did its best to right the wrongs of Street Fighter 5's disastrous launch. Not a banner year by any stretch of the imagination, but Tetris Effect came on as a late game substitute to rescue a point for team 2018.

streetfighter
Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition.

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

  • Battletech
  • Battlefield 5
  • Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Overcooked 2

Battletech's rocky launch ultimately didn't detract from a long-awaited tactical return to a treasured sci-fi setting. For me, Battlefield 5 is modern, chaotic and destructive; the best Battlefield since Bad Company 2. Pillars 2 was my favourite game world of the year, a vibrant fantasy take on the Caribbean with a memorable lexicon and the confidence to tackle hard topics. Forza Horizon 4 is the best reproduction of Britain I've ever seen, with fun and varied racing wrapped in an incredibly slick package - and Overcooked 2 has caused more arguments and laughter in my house than any other game.

battletech
Battletech.

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