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15 Incredible Video Games from 2018 That Are Still Worth Playing Today

2018 was a banner year for gaming, with dozens of titles that pushed the medium forward in exciting ways. From massive open-world adventures to clever indie puzzlers to intense multiplayer shooters, there was something for everyone.

But the very best games from that year have endured and are still just as fun to play now as they were at release. Some have even gotten better over time thanks to substantial updates and new content from the developers. If you missed out on these gems the first time around, it‘s not too late to see what all the hype was about. And if you‘ve already played them, most are worth revisiting to appreciate their timeless game design.

Here are our picks for the 15 best video games from 2018 that every gamer needs to experience:


God of War

The God of War series got a brilliant reboot in 2018 that transformed it into a more mature, story-driven experience without losing the intense, visceral combat the franchise is known for. Players control Kratos, the former Greek god of war, as he embarks on a journey through the Norse wilderness with his young son Atreus. The relationship between father and son forms the emotional core of the game, as Kratos learns to temper his rage and connect with his child. Battles are spectacular and satisfying, with the Leviathan Axe being one of the most memorable video game weapons in recent history. A sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, was one of the biggest hits of 2022, but the 2018 game is still absolutely worth playing first.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar‘s sprawling Western epic raised the bar for open-world gaming with its meticulously detailed environments, nuanced characters, and engaging mission variety. Set in 1899, Red Dead Redemption 2 serves as a prequel to the original game and follows outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as the Wild West era comes to an end. Every inch of the game‘s world feels alive and authentic, from the bustling city of Saint Denis to the snow-capped mountains of the Grizzlies. The story is full of memorable moments and explores weighty themes of loyalty, redemption, and the high cost of the outlaw lifestyle. While the more deliberate pace frustrated some players, RDR2 is a true landmark in video game development.

Marvel‘s Spider-Man

Finally, a Spider-Man game that makes you really feel like the witty web-slinger himself. Developed by Insomniac Games, this PlayStation exclusive nails the exhilaration of swinging through New York City and battling Spidey‘s most iconic villains. The combat is fluid and intuitive, borrowing from the Batman: Arkham series while adding aerial acrobatics and gadgets. But the game‘s biggest strength is its surprisingly affecting story that depicts Peter Parker struggling to balance his personal life with his duties as a superhero. Comic fans will love the countless Easter eggs and deep cut references. A remastered version was released for PlayStation 5, and a sequel, Spider-Man 2, is due out in fall 2023.



Indie studio Matt Makes Games proved platformers could be just as emotionally resonant as any other genre with Celeste. Players control a young woman named Madeline as she climbs the treacherous Celeste Mountain while battling her own inner demons. The platforming action is super tight and precise, with each death teaching you how to improve. But the real heart of the experience is Madeline‘s struggles with anxiety and depression, represented by a dark reflection of herself that haunts her throughout her journey. Celeste is a genuine work of art with a beautiful message about mental health and perseverance.

Sonic Mania Plus

After years of 3D missteps and gimmicky gameplay additions, Sega finally took Sonic back to his 2D roots with Sonic Mania in 2017. But they perfected the formula with Sonic Mania Plus, an enhanced version that added new characters, bonus stages, and remixed versions of previous zones. Rather than just coast on nostalgia, Mania introduced plenty of clever ideas of its own, like the dizzying corkscrew paths of Chemical Plant Zone Act 2. The presentation is absolutely gorgeous, with vibrant sprites and detailed backgrounds that look like they‘re straight out of the Sega Saturn era. If you have any affection for classic Sonic, you need to play Sonic Mania Plus.

Fighting Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Arc System Works applied their unmatched 2D fighting game prowess to the beloved Dragon Ball Z franchise, and the results were spectacular. FighterZ‘s cel-shaded 3D graphics perfectly capture the look and feel of the anime, with all your favorite Super Saiyans duking it out in lightning-fast 3v3 tag battles. The simplified control scheme makes advanced techniques like air combos and Ki blasts accessible for genre newcomers, while still providing plenty of depth for competitive players to sink their teeth into. Even if you‘re not a fighting game fan, the stunning visuals and over-the-top spectacle of FighterZ are worth experiencing.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Nintendo‘s crossover fighting series reached its peak with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It‘s the most ambitious Smash yet, with every single fighter from previous entries returning alongside newcomers like Simon Belmont, King K. Rool, and Incineroar. The sheer amount of content is mind-boggling, from the 100+ stage options to the 900 music tracks to the expansive World of Light single-player campaign. Ultimate‘s gameplay strikes a perfect balance between casual party game fun and hardcore tournament viability. While the DLC roster has expanded even further since launch, the base game is a complete package that will keep you occupied for years.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

After a disappointing foray into sci-fi with Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brought the juggernaut FPS series back to its twitchy, grounded roots. The game was multiplayer-only, ditching the traditional campaign in favor of expanding and refining its online offerings. The core competitive modes were as addictive as ever, with new additions like Control and Heist adding welcome variety. Black Ops 4 also saw the debut of Blackout, a full-fledged battle royale mode that was far more polished than many of its early access competitors. And Zombies mode got its biggest outing yet, with three massive launch maps and a new perk system. While some fans missed the bombastic set-piece moments of a single-player story, Black Ops 4 delivered where it really counted.

Battlefield V

EA and DICE‘s venerable military shooter series returned to its World War II origins with Battlefield V. The game had a rough launch, with bugs and a lack of content leaving many players underwhelmed. But DICE continued to improve and expand the game significantly post-release, turning it into a multiplayer sandbox that can stand proudly alongside earlier entries like Battlefield 1942. The shooting and vehicle combat are as satisfying as ever, and the dense European maps provide plenty of opportunities for emergent "only in Battlefield" moments. New modes like Grand Operations and Firestorm kept things fresh, while the return of War Stories delivered emotionally impactful single-player vignettes set during lesser-known WW2 conflicts.


Remothered: Tormented Fathers

Survival horror games are always looking for ways to ratchet up the tension and scares, and Remothered: Tormented Fathers does so by making you play as a middle-aged woman instead of a trained soldier or police officer. You‘re constantly at a disadvantage against the deranged, homicidal inhabitants of the Felton estate, forced to rely on your wits to solve puzzles and evade danger. The stealth-based gameplay is nerve-wracking, as you must study enemy patterns to sneak past them or temporarily incapacitate them. Influenced by Italian giallo horror films, the game‘s unsettling story unravels through found documents and answering machine recordings to keep you hooked. A sequel, Remothered: Broken Porcelain, is also available.


Looking like it flew in straight from 1996, DUSK is a love letter to classic shooters like Quake, Blood, and Redneck Rampage. If you miss the days of blisteringly fast movement, maze-like levels full of secrets, and chaotic weapons that spit hot death, this retro FPS is for you. But rather than just being a simple throwback, DUSK innovates in clever ways, like levels that transform in front of your eyes or enemies that wield your own weapons against you. The creepy rural Pennsylvania setting and memorable enemy designs, like the flying scarecrows with sickles for hands, set DUSK apart from its ‘90s inspirations. An instant retro-FPS classic.


Monster Hunter: World

Capcom took a notoriously complex and rewarding series and streamlined it for modern consoles with Monster Hunter: World, creating the best-selling entry in the franchise to date. Your goal is to track down and slay or capture increasingly deadly creatures in a variety of stunning environments, then use their parts to craft better gear so you can take on even tougher challenges. World‘s gameplay loop is dangerously addictive, as you constantly chase that next piece of equipment or attempt to shave a few more seconds off your best hunt time. The game is an absolute joy in co-op, with up to four players able to team up online to conquer the biggest monsters. An expansion, Iceborne, added even more beasts and a sprawling new area to explore.

Octopath Traveler

Square Enix combined retro 16-bit RPG graphics with modern effects in Octopath Traveler, a Switch exclusive that follows the tales of eight unique adventurers. Each character has their own origin, abilities, and motivations, and you can play through their stories in any order you want. Combat uses a traditional turn-based system with a few twists, like being able to store up attacks to unleash multiple at once or exploiting enemy weaknesses to stun them. Composer Yasunori Nishiki‘s score is one of the best in recent memory, perfectly capturing the mood of each traveler‘s journey. Octopath Traveler is a heartfelt tribute to the golden age of RPGs, while still managing to feel distinctly modern.


Tetris Effect

Named after the phenomenon where people see Tetris blocks in their dreams, Tetris Effect is one of the most immersive and emotional versions of the classic puzzle game ever created. Designed by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the mastermind behind Rez and Lumines, Tetris Effect combines the timeless gameplay with psychedelic visuals and an incredible soundtrack that reacts to your actions. Each of the 30+ stages has its own vibe, taking you from the deep sea to the far reaches of space. The new "Zone" mechanic lets you briefly freeze time to get out of a tough spot. As you progress, the music and visuals work together to put you in a flow state unlike any other. Tetris Effect is a synaesthesia dream come true.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Lucas Pope‘s follow-up to 2013‘s Papers, Please trades that game‘s grim Soviet bureaucracy for a 19th century ghost ship mystery. You play as an insurance adjuster tasked with figuring out how the entire crew of the Obra Dinn met their grisly fates. By exploring the ship and using a supernatural pocket watch, you can view frozen moments from the past to gather clues and deduce what happened. The monochromatic 1-bit graphics give the game a completely unique look, like an old Mac adventure game come to life. Piecing together the story from these scraps is incredibly satisfying, as "eureka!" moments come with each solved fate. Obra Dinn is a masterclass in non-linear storytelling and deduction.


Video game development is only getting more costly and time-consuming, which means titles have to have serious staying power to justify their investments. The best games from 2018 have maintained active player bases and cultural relevance for years after release thanks to their ingenuity, craftsmanship, and endless replayability.

Whether you want to swing through the streets of Marvel‘s New York, explore a detailed Wild West frontier, or just stack some blocks and chill, these games will provide you with hours of entertainment. Some have received direct sequels or spiritual successors, while others remain one-of-a-kind experiences.

If you haven‘t gotten around to playing them yet, make 2023 the year you finally see what you‘ve been missing. And if you have fond memories of your time with them, a replay might reignite your passion or give you a newfound appreciation for all the intricate design decisions. Great games like these never truly age.