We’re doing things a little bit differently with our GOTY awards this year. Up until this point we’ve focussed on the parts that define a game, from soundtrack and narrative to how a game feels to play and the sum of their parts in single player and multiplayer. Now we turn not to genres that somehow manage to be both too specific and numerous, and too broad and general at the same time, but rather to the platforms and the best games that you’ll find on each.
Through this, we’re leaning toward some of the more exclusive experiences, though that doesn’t preclude the appearance of cross-platform games if they warrant it. Speaking of which…
Monster Hunter: World was already one of the year’s best games – it won our GOTY award for multiplayer for a start – but Japanese companies have never typically gone the extra mile when bringing their games to the PC market. Monster Hunter: World utterly disproved whatever reasoning they’d previously had by becoming the best-selling Japanese title to ever launch on PC, and it was a great port to boot.
While PS4 Pro and Xbox One X owners were able to make a choice between pushing for resolution or frame rate, PC gamers with the right hardware could achieve the perfect mix of 4K resolution and 60fps – or above – and there’s future promises of improving the graphics even further.
Monster Hunter: World on PC easily highlights the strengths of the platform, taking what is one of the best games of the year and turning in the best version of it. Hopefully we’ll see more Japanese developers doing the same more regularly in future.
– Dom Leighton
Frostpunk – Runner Up
The vast majority of games are about success. They’re about finding hope and being the good guy. More often than not you’re an unblemished ray of light in an otherwise dark and foreboding world. Frostpunk stands out as a fantastic game because it is none of these things, instead opting to force you to embrace the haunting darkness.
The decisions you have to make in order to try and survive always come at a cost. There are no easy choices: If you want to survive you’ll probably have to put the children to work; if someone gets sick you’ll have to decide between looking after them and just straight up putting them down to save resources. It is genuinely abhorrent what must be done to survive in this game.
Despite the looming cloud of disaster, Frostpunk remains absolutely enthralling because of all of these choices. Everything you do feels like it matters, because it really does. It puts a remarkable amount of weight on each decision and it’ll keep dragging you back to try and get you to do better. It’s a cold, dark, and horrific world, but it’s damn compelling.
– Jason Coles
Two Point Hospital – Runner Up
With a resurgence of management sims over the last few years, it was really only a matter of time before someone sought to recapture the magic of the classic Theme Hospital. It was a game with a distinctively British sense of irreverent humour, with a cartoony style and numerous silly, pun-laden illnesses. All of that is preserved and brought bang up to date for 2018 in Two Point Hospital.
It really shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s some of the same developers that formed Two Point Studio to create this spiritual sequel. There’s the exact same penchant for puns like ‘light-headness’ turning people’s heads into light bulbs, ‘cubism’ making people look like cubist paintings, ‘premature mummification’, ‘mime crisis’ and more, creating something that’s quite uniquely charming and heart-warmingly silly.
Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
- Into the Breach
- Pillars of Eternity 2
- Return of the Obra Dinn
Those are our picks for the best PC games of the year, but let us know what you think in the comments below, and better yet, if you have opinions on Game of the Year in general, pop your vote down in our Community GOTY vote.