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 told Stephen that he'd have to spend the rest of his days in Slack with Sammy and Robert if he didn't deliver his list.
Fifth Choice: Tetris Effect
At the start of the year, I wouldn't have believed you if you'd told me one of my favourite games of 2018 would be a Tetris game, and yet here we are. What makes Tetris Effect so special isn't so much the block-arranging gameplay itself, it's more to do with the wrapping it comes in. Tetsuya Mizuguchi brought his unique audiovisual stylings to the game, and it transforms it into something rather special. The vivid colours, animated backdrops, and eclectic music all combine to provide a wonderful sensory experience -- and I haven't even played it in virtual reality yet.
Fourth Choice: Monster Hunter: World
Another Japanese title that caught my attention this year is Monster Hunter: World. It was a little tough to get into, having almost no prior knowledge of the series, but once it clicked, I fell in love with the game. Hunting giant creatures alone or with pals, and then upgrading your equipment further and further, is addictive and highly rewarding. There's something about the combat that feels great, and the sense of adventure when you're out on the hunt is fantastic. It's a bit of a time sink, and some of the systems are a little convoluted, but the PS4 has fewer games with a more compelling gameplay loop.
Third Choice: Marvel's Spider-Man
Like many others, I had high hopes for Insomniac's take on the legendary Marvel character, and boy did it deliver. Marvel's Spider-Man may not be the most original game in the world, but it's so satisfying to play that I didn't care one bit. The web-slinging and combat are both effortlessly stylish and incredibly fun to pull off, while a surprisingly robust story keeps you invested in Peter Parker's world. The setting is full of things to do and collect, and it's all so approachable that your time in Manhattan will fly by. This is up there with my favourite games on the PS4 full stop.
Second Choice: Red Dead Redemption 2
The original Red Dead Redemption was a favourite of mine back on PS3, and I'm so pleased that Rockstar knocked it out of the park with the sequel. It's a slow burning adventure, but it's well worth your time and effort. Arthur Morgan's tale, first and foremost, is an incredibly well told story that somehow kept me hooked for its 60-hour duration. However, this game is more than just its story; it's peerlessly detailed, with a vast world that's rife with things to do, people to meet, and trouble to get into. As far as open worlds go, this has to be the best of the generation.
First Choice: God of War
It was always going to be a close one between Red Dead 2 and God of War, but for me, the latter is the better game. Kratos' return is a resounding success -- the Norse setting is mysterious and beautiful, the new combat is satisfying, and the story constantly ups the ante. Perhaps the biggest accomplishment is Kratos himself, almost unrecognisable from previous games with his stoic, wisened persona. God of War had me glued to the screen like nothing else this year -- from cutting down that tree in the opening to fighting the Valkyries, this game is lean, gorgeous, and relentlessly entertaining.
A surprisingly non-indie list from our very own Tailby, but how are you feeling about his top five? Apply the laws of Quintumply in the comments section below.