As is becoming an annual tradition here at Push Square Towers, we’ve corralled our core group of staff writers and prodded them until they’ve told us what their favourite five games of the year are. With such a strong assortment to select from, added force was required in some instances. We threatened to jot down John for some truly rotten 2018 reviews if he didn't share his list.
Fifth Choice: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
While I was semi-excited to see Crash Bandicoot return to PlayStation when it was first announced, at no point did I imagine I'd end up loving the remasters as much as I did. You could practically hear the collective gasps around the globe as PlayStation gamers slapped the N. Sane Trilogy into their consoles and were reminded that old school platformers used to be harder than a coffin nail, and I'd be lying if I didn't have my fair share of near smashed pad experiences while I was working towards the Platinum.
Fourth Choice: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
The only way in which The Fractured But Whole didn't deliver, for me, was in the surprise department, but that was always going to be a big ask after The Stick of Truth turned out so well. The battle system is more refined, the superhero storyline is mostly entertaining, and the jokes are frequently some of the funniest you'll find in a video game. It's as close as you'll get to an interactive episode of the show, and it's a riot from start to finish.
Third Choice: Horizon: Zero Dawn
The world is beautiful, the storyline is both moving and engrossing, and fighting robot dinosaurs is absolutely radical. The only thing that really holds Horizon back as far as I'm concerned is the combat against humans, which is unequivocally awful. In every other regard the game is a home run, and if Guerrilla addresses some of the niggling issues with it in time for the inevitable sequel, then Horizon 2 could be something really special.
Second Choice: What Remains of Edith Finch
It only takes around two hours to finish What Remains of Edith Finch, but in that time the game undergoes a handful of inventive gameplay changes and manages to tell an utterly captivating tale. By the time the credits were rolling on this one I really felt like I'd been through the emotional wringer. It pushes the walking simulator genre about as far as it can conceivably go without becoming something else entirely, and it was probably the game that I spent the most time thinking about once it was all over in 2017.
First Choice: Persona 5
I can't even begin to tell you the relief that I felt once I booted up Persona 5 for the first time and it was glorious. After nearly a decade of waiting for the follow up to one of my favourite JRPGs of all time, I was terrified it wouldn't deliver. But it did, and then some. Persona 5 is, for my money, one of the best JRPGs ever made, with a killer battle system, a wonderful cast of characters, a relentlessly entertaining story, and an utterly ludicrous disco-metal soundtrack.
An eclectic mix of genres and styles from John – but how many of his favourites would have made your Game of the Year list? Let us know in the comments below.