The annual Push Square Towers tradition is back, as we sit down our scribes and pester them once more for their five favourite PlayStation games of the year. With such a strong assortment of software in 2018, it’s always tough deciding upon the cream of the crop. We threatened Christian with matcha milk before he sent us his list.
Fifth Choice: Iconoclasts
There were plenty of excellent indie games released in 2018 and Iconoclasts is one that shouldn’t be missed. As someone who isn’t a huge fan of Metroidvanias in general, I appreciated how Iconoclasts set itself apart as a largely linear puzzle platformer with a superb story that only gets better as it goes along. I hope that more will be able to experience this masterfully paced and painstakingly crafted adventure courtesy of being free with PlayStation Plus in December.
Fourth Choice: God of War
I enjoyed the original trilogy of God of War games as well as the excellent pairing of prequel entries on the PSP, but I loved this new direction for Kratos. While it was homogenized into PlayStation’s exclusive catalogue of over the shoulder action-adventure titles, its small in scope but large in scale story kept me riveted from beginning to end. I was also caught off guard by the immensely deep combat system that left plenty of room for enjoyment after the main story finished. Just like everyone else, I can’t wait to see what Barlog and his team do next.
Third Choice: Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
Hollow Knight reminded me how much potential the Metroidvania genre has. Hollow Knight has the trademark exploration, boss battles, and metered progression that we’ve all come to associate with the genre, but it’s all done supremely well while being wrapped up in an art style that’s beautifully endearing yet grotesque. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but its cleverly constructed levels and satisfyingly simple combat kept me wishing that it would never end. Exploring its labyrinthine locations can be discombobulating, but conquering each new area provided me with a feeling of unrivaled satisfaction.
Second Choice: Dead Cells
I’m a sucker for a good roguelike, but Dead Cells is the first one since The Binding of Isaac to keep me enamoured for over one hundred hours and counting. Its blisteringly fast pace, deceptive simplicity, and devilishly good looks made me fall in love the minute I got my hands on it. Its limitless unlockables, near infinite replayability, and endlessly satisfying gameplay loop keep me coming back to get my fix.
First Choice: Celeste
There’s something inherently special about platformers that combine simple but effective mechanics with a sensational soundtrack to become timeless classics. Celeste stands toe-to-toe with the likes of all-time favourites Mega Man 2 and Super Mario World in the pantheon of side-scrolling platformer perfection. Celeste’s outstanding accessibility options allow you to tailor the challenge to your liking, and the deeply thematic story serves as impeccable icing on an already flawless cake. There were many fantastic games in 2018, but Celeste provided me with the most cathartic and entrancing fun I had all year bar none.
Christian's gone for many of 2018's under-the-radar sensations, and it makes for a refreshing list. Which of his favourites made your top five?