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Every Game I Played in 2018 Ranked (Part 4)

I am nearing the end of this series now, with the penultimate part of my 2018 video game rankings ready to go today.  I love everything on this portion of the list and beyond, so my rankings are going to begin feeling somewhat arbitrary.  How do I pick which title I loved more between two that I consider favorites?  Regardless, I highly recommend everything here to anyone looking for some great games to pick up!

Note:  Clicking through to purchase the games I talk about may contain affiliate links.  Purchasing something using one gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you!  Thanks for supporting my blog!

28.  Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut

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I am a huge Portal fan, so I always try to find mind-bending physics puzzlers to fall in love with.  Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut isn’t the best title of this genre (my heart belongs to The Talos Principle), mostly due to its weak story, but I still quickly grew addicted to moving cubes around and finding the path to the next room.  There’s also a sequel out that I can’t wait to play soon!

Purchase Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut

27.  Prison Architect

Prison Architect

When I started Prison Architect, it was mostly because I knew it was coming out for Switch and I wanted to give my Steam copy a review.  I didn’t expect to love it, yet I honestly did.  There is something about this management title that reminds me of the old-school tycoon titles I have an unhealthy addiction for.  It has a decent tutorial, so players unfamiliar with simulation titles should be able to pick up the mechanics pretty quickly.  There is a possibility that this game may expand into an entire Architect series helmed by Paradox Interactive, and I am incredibly excited by this possibility.

Purchase Prison Architect

26.  Grim Dawn

Grim Dawn

Grim Dawn is one of my go-to relaxation games.  I realize that it’s actually a difficult game at times, but as a Diablo clone, the mechanics are simplistic enough for me to play it in short bursts over a period of six months.  Therefore, whenever I am frustrated with my current game or can’t find something interesting to play, I run through a few more quests and level up.  The story definitely wears on a little longer than I prefer, but I always have a great time and intend to eventually run through the campaign on a harder difficulty.

Purchase Grim Dawn

25.  Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda

I put off Mass Effect Andromeda for a long time because of the massive fan backlash against it.  Everyone seems to hate the game and I didn’t want to ruin my memories of a fantastic franchise with a bad experience.  After a while, though, my love of Bioware won out so I decided to give it a try and, as it turns out, I adore it!  Yes, it will never live up to the original trilogy, but to compare it is unfair.  It’s introducing new characters and a completely different storyline.  I still hope that Bioware gets another chance to revive the franchise and that it isn’t dead forever, because I think some additional love and attention could make a potential sequel to this title absolutely phenomenal.

Purchase Mass Effect Andromeda

24.  Last Day of June

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Sometimes, I go into an indie title blind and just see where the experience takes me.  In the case of Last Day of June, I went in expecting a light puzzle title and came out with an experience I would never forget.  With a touching narrative, a unique graphical style, and puzzle-solving mechanics unlike anything I’ve ever played before, this is an absolute must-play for fans of indie games that put an emphasis on strong narratives.

Purchase Last Day of June

23.  Finding Paradise

Finding Paradise.jpg

Speaking of story-heavy indie games, Finding Paradise is the follow-up to one of my favorite titles of all time, To the Moon.  I don’t want to say much about this and give away its secrets, so I’ll just give some general advice, instead.  Play To the Moon first, as it is the stronger of the two titles and will give additional backstory to Finding Paradise, and go in as blind as possible.  This series packs an emotional punch and doesn’t hold back, though, so be prepared.

Purchase Finding Paradise

22.  Subsurface Circular

SubSurface Circular

Thomas Was Alone is one of the first indie titles I ever played and I have a lot of respect for Bithell Games.  Therefore, when I found out about Subsurface Circular, I knew that I needed to play it immediately.  The title plays out like a visual novel with some light puzzle-solving, allowing me to become fully immersed in the world and characters.  For more information about this, check out my review!

Purchase Subsurface Circular

21.  Quarantine Circular

Subsurface Quarantine

Quarantine Circular is the follow-up to Subsurface Circular, taking everything that made the first game great and building upon it.  Characters have complex motivations and the story’s stakes are sufficiently high to create some tension while making dialogue choices, allowing me to become completely immersed for a few hours while playing through it in one sitting.  The multiple endings also add replayability, as I wanted to go through multiple times and find out all of the different ways this story could wrap up.  Hopefully, we see more games in the Circular series in the future, but regardless, I’ll be keeping an eye out for more Bithell Games productions.  Check out my full review here!

Purchase Quarantine Circular

20.  Volantia

Volantia Kingdoms in the Sky

I have a weird relationship with strategy titles.  When I love them, I get addicted and can’t stop playing until I have perfected my tactics.  Unfortunately, the games in this genre that I enjoy are few and far between.  Volantia, while simple, is one of the better strategy experiences that I’ve had recently, mostly because it doesn’t try to do too much or get overly convoluted. Rounds don’t last longer than an hour and the mechanics are simple to pick up and play without any trouble.  There isn’t more than a few hours of content, but what is here is wholly enjoyable.

Purchase Volantia

19.  NieR:  Automata

Nier Automata

I didn’t want to play NieR:  Automata at first because of its infamous narrative choice of playing through the game three times.  One of my gaming pet peeves is forcing me to replay segments in order to see the full story, but thankfully, the reputation that the title gets is undeserved.  Yes, it can be a bit tedious to run through the same desert a million times as three different characters, but the actual story being told between each playthrough is different, breaking up the repetition.  If nothing else, it’s worth playing simply for the sublime musical score that I will likely have on repeat for many years to come.  Go here and see my review for more of my opinions on this title.

Purchase NieR: Automata

18.  HIVESWAP:  ACT 1

Hiveswap

HIVESWAP:  Act 1 made me fall in love and then broke my heart.  As far as point-and-click titles go, this may be one of my favorites.  It has an interesting story, cute graphics, logical puzzles, and a plethora of funny moments.  Unfortunately, as I covered previously, if act two ever comes out at all, it is still nowhere near release.  I’ll fully admit that I have never read or experienced anything involving Homestuck before, so I cannot speak to the current status of the fandom, but I know that the lack of updates for this game has been a crushing blow to many people that supported the crowdfunding campaign.  I still recommend playing this because I think it’s still a fun game regardless of the status of future updates, but it’s sad to think about how much potential is being wasted with future entries still missing in action.

Purchase HIVESWAP: ACT 1

17.  Donut County

As a longtime fan of the Katamari franchise, Donut County is exactly the kind of game that I enjoy.  Between the fun humor and wacky gameplay of creating a giant hole to suck the world into, I played this title from start to finish with a huge smile on my face.  I definitely recommend picking this up on Switch, as its short levels are perfect for playing on the go.  If I’m not getting a new sticky ball-rolling game anytime soon, then sucking the world up is the perfect alternative!

Purchase Donut County

16.  Spyro the Dragon

I owe my interest in gaming to Spyro the Dragon, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the remake that came out last year.  Obviously, I was not disappointed.  Due to my time being sucked up by another title that I will talk about in the final part of my rankings, I didn’t get a chance to play the second or third entries, but I did take the time to follow Spyro’s first adventure.  The graphics are gorgeous, I am in love with the remastered soundtrack, and the levels are as fast-paced and fun as I remember them as a child.  This plays like a love letter to fans of the purple dragon and I am definitely getting to the rest of the trilogy this year.

Purchase Spyro the Dragon

15.  Disgaea 2 PC

Disgaea 2

My final game for this list is Disgaea 2 PC, which I have a bit of a complicated relationship towards.  After finishing the first title, I immediately jumped into this one because I wanted more tactical combat action.  Unfortunately, it didn’t hook me the same way, mostly because I found the characters to be weaker and the plot to be less interesting.  After a few months, I came back to it, however, and finally got hooked.  It doesn’t live up to the first entry in the series, but it’s kind of unfair to expect it to be as good, either.  I have a review here, and I plan to play more Disgaea in the future.

Purchase Disgaea 2 PC

Well, that’s it for this part of the list!  There’s only one more part to go and it’s filled with fourteen games that I would consider to be new personal favorites of mine.  Have you played anything on this list?  Let me know in the comments below!

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14 replies »

  1. Having to play Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn a second time in order to get more content was one of the more annoying things about it, so I can sympathize with you being irritated about having to play NieR: Automata three times in a row. That can work, but I think you need to change things up a bit with each playthrough; otherwise, it’s just filler. I myself haven’t finished NieR, though a lot of people really like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I overall did enjoy Nier Automata in spite of the three playthroughs mechanic, mostly because an individual run wasn’t very long and only the first two playthroughs share similarities. The third time around, things are totally different. Kingdom Hearts is really bad about doing the multiple playthroughs thing, though, and it drives me nuts. Chain of memories makes you play as two characters, as does Dream Drop Distance, and Birth by Sleep makes you play three times. All the releveling, visiting the same worlds, and getting the same plot revelations wears thin after a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As a fan of the Mass Effect Franchise I really enjoyed Mass Effect: Andromeda despite the mass fan backlash that followed the game upon its release. While it didn’t quite live up to the original trilogy, I also went into with lesser expectations just because it is a completely different story. The game’s open world maps were also quite fan, and I always wanted to see BioWare take the series in that direction anyways. While that did end up coming with some repetitive activities and quite a bit of fetch quests, I generally didn’t engage in those as much and just went with the story flow. Andromeda can’t beat Mass Effect 2 & 3 in terms of enjoyment I had with those two but nonetheless proved to be a solid game experience. Bigger variety in guns and armor, as well as ability to modify those was quite nice too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly. Mass Effect 2 is one of my favorite games of all time, so Andromeda was probably never going to live up to that. Regardless, I enjoyed it for what it is, flaws and all.

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  3. Mass Effect: Andromeda was quite hilarious and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It had more of a campy fun quality than the original trilogy, which made the experience more light-hearted. So even though my copy did glitch out on occasion or showcase awful facial animations, I had a pleasant time with it the whole way through.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How did you even begin to rank all the games? I’m not sure I could do it!

    The original Mass Effect trilogy are probably my favourite games of all time. I didn’t hate Andromeda. Yeah, it had its problems, but I really wish it hadn’t been abandoned. There was so much potential for more stories to be told in DLC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My rankings are actually coming from the running list I keep. Immediately after finishing a game, I rank it on my running list to preserve my thoughts upon initial completion. While there’s some recency bias doing it this way, I like seeing how I felt about every game the second it was over. What’s actually interesting is that, when I go and do a re-ranking a few years later based upon how the games have been treated by my memories, my rankings are radically different. Games I thought I loved turn out to be forgettable, and games I felt mixed on turn out to get stuck in my head.

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