By Lianna Tedesco
Best Game of the Year:
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
With the release of Ultimate, Super Smash Bros received a critically acclaimed overhaul and update. Recently announced: the addition of the character of the Joker, from the award-winning JRPG Persona 5. Another glittery addition to the lengthy all-star line-up that populates this game.
Red Dead Redemption II
When Red Dead Redemption II was finally released after a long wait the game’s fans were ecstatic. The sequel did the admired series justice with its (slightly disturbing) realistic detail and intense narrative.
God of War
The brutal reality of ancient combat is resurrected in God of War, which is the reboot of its predecessor. This is most likely one of the finest games to have been released over the past two years. The narrative generates a spellbinding relationship between father and son — with some adequately gruesome battle sequences to match.
Monster Hunter World
This game garnered such high praise that it spawned a movie in its honor. Gameplay – which features thrilling monster hunts and intense battle — continually excites.
An interesting alternative to the average, Octopath Traveler premiered on the Nintendo Switch and amazed the gaming community with its retro, Final Fantasy-esque gameplay sequences. The game is glorious: a combination of the nostalgic and the modern.
Most Disappointing Game of the Year:
Much anticipated, Fallout 76 was publicaly blasted for its shortcomings, a lackluster story as well as gameplay.
Marvel Spider-Man turned out to be all hype. This is your average Marvel game, filled with just enough action and intensity to please hardcore Spider-Man fans. But nobody else.
Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom
The first installment in the Ni No Kuni series earned the game a reputation for excellence, but the sequel fell rather flat. Fans expected a narrative that would be just as endearing and emotional as the first installment — but muddily designed side quests and frustrating tasks stole the thunder from this game.
Didn’t Live Up To The Hype:
After the release of Life is Strange and its prequel (Life is Strange: Before the Storm) from game developer DONTNOD, fans were eager for the release of the company’s first full-fledged horror game. The trailer promised much; unfortunately, choppy, low-detail graphics and an anemic storyline hampered the actual gameplay.
What was intended to be a horror game that would reinvent the genre, Agony developers spent far too much time on whipping up gore rather than figuring out why it was there. Yes, players will feel trapped in their own personal hells, but there is no reason for the overload of overwrought bloody graphics.
Games That Surprised Us:
The Adventures of Captain Spirit
DONTNOD did succeed with one game this year, and that was The Adventures of Captain Spirit. This free download packed in roughly an hour and a half of gameplay, serving as the inspiration for what would soon be Life is Strange 2. Chris is a lovable (and playable) character and the narrative is filled with just enough emotional pull (as experienced via the inner life of a child) to steal our hearts.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
The Dragon Quest series has had some misfires over the years, but the most recent installment in the franchise helped boost Square Enix’s ratings upwards quite a bit. Dragon Quest XI is being hailed as the best game in the collection; it has been designed in a way that gives both old-school fans and newcomers an opportunity to appreciate the story and gameplay.
Lianna Tedesco studied under poet Robert Plath, a former student of Allen Ginsberg, before finding her passion in English Literature and Political Science at St. Joseph’s College. She currently writes for several international online publications. When she’s not writing, she’s advocating for positive change, seeking out the next iconic video game, and charming strangers with her extraordinary sarcasm.