Top 10 PC Games of 2018
2018 has been the year of the PC underdogs. Indie games dominated the platform and with AAA dev's console-first preference, we're starting to see less of the big titles in rankings and more of the new. Out of more than 4500 games released in 2018, here are the 10 best PC games.
Bringing together Level 5 and Bandai Namco Entertainment, the second installment to the colorful, chibi-filled RPG finally released last March 23rd. With the first game, the series has been renowned for its Ghibli-like presentations, owing to the said studio's collaboration. Although Ni No Kuni II isn't a direct collaboration, it maintains the same kind of charm throughout, thanks in part to the return of designers and composers from the original game.
Evoking a sense of childish wonder, childish was also the word use some people used to describe the story which some felt didn't bring enough gravity or consequence to matter. Being a fairy tale story aimed at kids, it can be forgiven for its and idealism, if only for its mix of traditional JRPG tropes, RTS gameplay, and engaging world filled with memorable characters. A visual and relaxing treat for JRPG fans.
From Level 5's fairytale JRPG, we now come to the tragic, animated take on the tactics and tragedies of war. Coming from SEGA, this is the fourth main entry to their strategy RPG series. Building their legacy out of tactical freedom of their gameplay, Valkyria Chronicles 4 doesn't stray too far from the spirit of their first outing. A return to roots with new characters and the same cel-shaded graphics in a brand new engine, its small changes bring in just enough elements to make the game like new.
In many ways it’s been described as the perfect sequel as it refines the details of its addictive turn-based combat, while staying true to its creative storytelling. However appreciated its return to the original is, there have been some complaints about how little surprises it offers. It's a game that's far from perfect but it delivers on the strengths of their first title with the added benefits of awesome new missions and an improved AI.
From the makers of outstanding RPG experiences like Fallout: New Vegas, Pathfinder, and even The Stick of Truth, Obsidian Entertainment channels all of their RPG expertise into this newest entry to the series. Already acclaimed for its beautifully written narrative and immersive lore, Deadfire expands on all of that in their brand new nautical environment. And it's bigger than ever too.
Despite the larger scale, it's still so packed with content and plot. Although their main narrative is linear and simple, it's almost too easy to get lost in their sidequests and the many branching conversations. It translates all the good of their strong RPG foundations into the relatively fresh Pirate environment. Drawing ever closer to that Dungeons and Dragons game we never had, Deadfire is well-crafted and complex, but never tediously so. Blending humor, strategy, and classic imagery, it's an RPG thrill for both newcomers and veterans alike.
Witness the origins of the Yakuza lore in SEGA's brutal prequel to their popular beat 'em up action adventure. Returning players into the rich aesthetics of 80s Japan, Yakuza's open world is rife with violent delights, and, of course, Karaoke. Taking with it all the weirdness of its setting, this Yakuza origin story is one that doesn't take itself too seriously. Injecting humor into the otherwise violent world of crime, it nails both the action and excitement of gangster side while leaving enough to uncover in the sidelines.
A port from its old home, Sony, this PC version may not be the most stable with its stutters and freezes. But, offered at a low, low price of $20, Yakuza 0 is worth the trouble, if only to bring all the drama, action, and eccentricity into every preferred platform. An action adventure with enough content to let you create your own Japanese drama.
Following Inafune's departure from Capcom, things just hasn't been the same for the Megaman series. Taking their precious time with this 11th title, Capcom definitely gave their mega fans something to rejoice over. While their shift to the 2.5D aesthetic was something to get used to, the visual tweak ultimately added to the newness of the world. While it got high scores from gamers, Megaman's ratings have been significantly bogged down by critics disappointed by the lack of new ideas and the repetitive nature of its gameplay.
Still, as it makes up for a rehashing of the original formula, the eleventh installment, with its double gear system and new level of challenge, effectively sets the stage for the coming Megaman titles. Mostly though, it managed to deliver what fans wanted while sparking new hope for the series. Worth the eight year wait.
DONTNOD Entertainment’s FREE prequel Demo to Life Is Strange 2 is a short, somber and sympathetic experience. Proving that the game engines they’re using isn’t the same as the first Life is Strange game, Captain Spirit flies with grace and ambition with better visuals and atmosphere.
Life is Strange 2 didn’t make the cut due the short amount of critic and gamer reviews. Overtaking the Diaz brothers on our list, meeting Chris reminds all of us that we’ve been in this kind of moment during our childhood.
In this 2-3 hour adventure, players control Chris’ alter-ego, Captain Spirit, as he goes on a superpowered quest to do his Sunday chores. It’s creative, fun, and it adds so much potential to the Life is Strange universe. It’s praised for its emotional story and its perfect use of Sufjan Stevens in the soundtrack.
INTI Creates platformer is definitely one the most convincing 8-bit platformers out there. Taking the pixel artstyle out of the old console limitations, Bloodstained detailed levels and stages look absolutely gorgeous even by modern standards. Other than perfecting the classic visuals to a tee, this game's platforming mechanics are equally impressive.
Players conquer vast lands and dark castles as Zangetsu and fulfill his quest for vengeance against a powerful demon. Unlock new paths as different playable characters along the way, and discover new endings for each playthrough. It’s praised for its retro platforming elements reminiscent to Konami’s Castlevania series with a bit edginess in between. Aside from that, it’s strategic gameplay doesn’t associate itself to the old Retro elements; it’s modern and it gives room for challenge-seeking players out there.
However, it’s short game time can be a bit frustrating to some players.
The assassination contracts continue in this sequel to IO Interactive’s stealth action-adventure game. Literally nowhere is safe from the world’s greatest assassin. Whether they try to flee from a flying briefcase, or a sniper shot from miles away.
Following the events of the first Hitman, everyone’s favorite version of Jason Statham hunts a mysterious new organization. As per usual, the players main objective is to destabilize their organization with pure espionage.
Its best features lie in its massive locations to infiltrate. Be it as a disguised racecar driver set in a racetrack in Miami, or a civilian casually dressed to kill as he eliminates the head of a cartel in Colombia. Not to mention the game’s massive collection of high-tech gadgets. James Bond ain’t got nothing on Agent 47 when it comes to these bad boys.
It’s in the moments of execution where HITMAN 2 excels at, and it’s possibly the most refined game of the series.
The icy touch of 11bit Studios’ latest IP comes with the return of their excellent design and depressing state of societies. Just like This War Of Mine, prepare to make huge sacrifices in a world consumed by ice. Think of this game as a dark and gritty version of Sim City.
Frostpunk is set in an alternate history where the world is on the brink of extinction. Humanity is pushed to the edge to develop steam-powered technology to survive. Players assume the role of a city ruler and build a city that can brave through the endless blizzard. Players make tough choices including sacrificing survivors, limiting rations, finding resources and even go down a dark path as a Religious Zealot or a Dictator.
The game was critically acclaimed due to its unique take on the survival genre. However, some of the critics disliked its optimization. The game can get a bit slow when players construct more buildings, even for high-end PC’s.
A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. Square Enix’s latest Dragon Age title in the long-running series takes the number one spot on our PC list.
The age of turn-based combat isn’t coming to an end anytime soon. Square Enix’s love for this kind of gameplay proves that they can always improve and tweak their tried and tested formula. Players embark on a traditional RPG quest where they fight bad guys, explore dungeons and find treasure. This trifecta of JRPG design makes Echoes of an Elusive Age a wonderful treat for fans.
Considered as one of their best entries ever, the game is a combination of all the good things Dragon Quest was known for including a fantastic story, memorable characters, great JRPG elements and a fun magical world to get soaked into. With its success, it sold over four million copies worldwide on all platforms.
To view our complete, up-to-date ranking of all releases this year, visit our list of the best PC Games of 2018.