Photo: BagoGames

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Along with its usual multiplayer and zombie modes, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 released the new Blackout mode, a take on the popular Battle Royale genre. It was highly anticipated and welcomed upon release with many preferring it for its realistic approach to the battle royale premise. Its multiplayer mode saw the return of the ‘boots on the ground’ style which was last seen in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in 2012, while the zombies aspect of the game brought a breath of fresh air to the genre with new maps Voyage of Despair and Blood of the Dead offering a challenging gameplay experience and a very innovative storyline. The Call of Duty franchise has been heavily criticised in the past five years but many believe that Black Ops 4 was a step in the right direction for the series, expanding upon pre-existing ideas to make them fresh while also adding a new mode and features for the community to enjoy.

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A stunning open world, addictive plot, mesmerizing combat system and relatable characters ensured the future of the Assassin’s Creed series as players worldwide enjoyed the eleventh installment.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was released in late 2018 to critical acclaim. Players can choose to play as the hero Alexios or the heroine Kassandra. The story is set in Ancient Greece, and centres around the Peloponnesian War in 431 BCE between Athens and Sparta. This addition to the Assassin’s Creed series was highly anticipated, as the series had grown stale until the release of Origins, and the future of the series depended on the success of Odyssey. A stunning open world, addictive plot, mesmerizing combat system and relatable characters ensured the future of the Assassin’s Creed series as players worldwide enjoyed the eleventh instalment. With its addition of a female lead character, Odyssey also expanded from its traditional male audience to a wider fanbase, welcoming the inclusion of women into its gaming community.

Spider-Man

Spider-Man was one of the most highly anticipated PS4-exclusive games of 2018 and certainly lived up to the hype. Marvel and gaming fans alike welcomed the game, with many citing its open world New York setting and thrilling storyline making it the best game of the year. Featuring many beloved Spider-Man characters such as Wilson Fisk, Doctor Octavius, and Norman Osborne, the game proved that Marvel knows no bounds as it is now spreading its empire to the media of video games. Spider-Man has raised the standards for future instalments in the series, setting the bar for comic book games in the process, as it proved that a brilliant story, realistic dialogue, and fluid game mechanics can allow a player to truly believe that they are the superhero of the story.

God of War

The eighth chronological instalment to the series by the same name, God of War follows the story of Kratos and his son Atreus as they journey to spread Kratos’ deceased wife’s ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms. However, on their adventure they encounter many monsters from Norse mythology, which the player must battle to progress through the story. The game was praised for its relatable yet flawed characters, engaging combat system, and stunning graphics. Many praised the game for its use of an over-the-shoulder camera as opposed to the fixed camera previously used, giving the series a new dynamic perspective. God of War was critically acclaimed by the gaming community and was hailed as the best game of the year by many media outlets, proving to be one of the most successful and best-selling PS4 games of all time with over five million copies sold.

[Spider-Man] proved that a brilliant story, realistic dialogue, and fluid game mechanics can allow a player to truly believe that they are the superhero of the story.

Fallout 76

Released three years after the success of Fallout 4, Fallout 76 shifted its focus away from a story-dominant game to an online co-op experience. It is the first game in the series to feature an online mode where players can play individually or in a group with up to three people in total. The game was acclaimed for the size of its world; set in Appalachia, a representation of West Virginia, the map is four times as large as the previous title. The story is progressed through robots and collectible holotapes as opposed to the series’ previous reliance on non-playable characters. Fallout 76 takes elements from previous Fallout games to morph them into something that is refreshing but familiar for the player. Fallout 76 proved that the franchise can evolve to an online platform while also maintaining its core elements, and has set the standards for the future of this renowned video game series.

Red Dead Redemption 2

The long-awaited sequel to Red Dead Redemption released in late 2018, almost missing out on its inclusion among the best games of the year. This western action game is set in 1899 and follows the story of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw dealing with the decline of western life. Players are allowed to customize their character and are thrust into many breath-taking scenarios, such as shootouts, hunting, and heists. The game was praised for its realistic digital world with stunning gameplay, an encapsulating storyline, and interesting dialogue. With over sixty hours of gameplay including side-quests, realistic non-playable characters, and a gripping narrative, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most addictive games of all time. This title has set the standard for future open world games, and any other game of its kind pales in comparison to this thrilling western.