Even early this year it could take a little longer than I’d have liked to find a match, and I can’t imagine it’s really improved.
I tend to come and go on these games, but the ones I’ve enjoyed the most this year.
Azur Lane - So, this is a game that is sigh a F2P gacha game starring historical ships anthropomorphized as anime girls (yes, yes I know). But it’s a great little time waster, has extremely fair gacha pulls and best of all you can’t use premium currency for gacha pulls so you don’t have the nagging sensation of having better shipgirls locked behind money. I sometimes step away for a while but I always come back–the power of shipgirls is too strong.
Warframe - It’s an extremely fun game in basically all aspects, but I got burnt out on grinding for parts halfway through the year. I’m sure I’ll come back eventually.
Elder Scrolls: Online - This game has some enormous flaws, the worst of which is the craft bag being locked behind a subscription, but the world is fairly well realized, and the loops of an MMO work pretty well in this context.
Here’s what I’m mulling over.
Warframe because the lore is just crazy, the switch port changes the way I enjoy the game for the better, and the game is pretty fun to play in bursts, so I keep coming back. And the addition of open world-ish content means they aren’t resting on the old procedural mission structure, which is exciting.
Diablo 3 because the switch port is just great, and it continues to be a fun game to just hit some monsters in without ambitions to be anything more.
And a shout out to the Eternal CCG. A damn fine, actually Free to Enjoy CCG, with games that go fast enough and feel fair enough that it doesn’t feel lame to lose. I think it just officially released, but the newer expansions continue to make the game more interesting.
Prey got so much better with Mooncrash, it’s crazy. The multiplayer DLC just landed, and a VR game too. And it’s already great. I don’t know why an “underperforming” game is getting this much love, but I’m totally okay with it.
Eternal Legend which is one of my “go to” relaxation games got really a decent expansion this year, which I very much did not expect. It’s not really evolving, so much as continuing to be a great game.
Stellaris for all of its problematic content, continues to evolve, in public, in often huge ways, toward the ultimate Space 4x, which is something I respect and love.
Honestly Battlefield 1 this was the best game I’ve played.
BF1, Destiny 2 from Warmind on, Stellaris, and Diablo 3 were all my favorites from the year.
I can only speak for the PC version but it’s definitely slow to get into matches consistently on there. I imagine the PS4 userbase is a little more robust, but no guarantees. All that said you can probably pick up the game and like all of its DLC content (it’s a lot) for like 10-20 dollars I bet at this point, which seems like an absolute steal even if it it means you’ll have to deal with some waiting
This feels a bit like an odd choice, but my nomination is going to be for Star Traders: Frontiers. This game came out of Early Access in early August after receiving 88 updates in 10 months, and since release the dev team has not slowed down, with over 40 updates since then.
This aren’t just bug patch and balance updates, but also quality of life improvements, added story vignettes, new weapons, skills and enemies. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it for a single-player game.
For the developers this was all part of their roadmap, but it’s still impressive to see them continue to consistently work on it. They have a great sandbox set up, and keep adding to the enjoyment of playing in it.
Destiny has to be my pick here, but I can’t wait for Path of Exile to come to PS4, having played it on-and-off on a very lackluster laptop (to the point where I would get mobbed in high level areas with the frame-rate dropping to 10-15 and would go from full health to dead in between refreshes). Looking forward to getting my teeth into that again, really hope it’s a good port.
I have now been playing Granblue Fantasy for just over three years. Over those three years, I believe that I have at least logged in to the game every single day. They continue to add characters that I like, and put those characters in events that I like–which both do a good job of negating some of the standard “this event is only running for 10 days” mobile game pressure. I’ll procrastinate on clearing out events sometimes, but I rarely ever feel like I’m doing them begrudgingly. Though the mobile game itself remains only officially released in Japan, the brand itself is almost certainly going to make its way west soon, with an Arc System Works fighting game and a Platinum co-op action game currently in development.
Destiny 2 is an interesting one because for the first 7’ish months of this year I would have nominated it for worst ongoing game. The changes they made going from Destiny 1 to Destiny 2 resulted in the latter experiencing a precipitous drop off like 6-8 weeks into the game’s life, and the first couple of small, mostly bad expansions they put out didn’t do much to help with that. In August, however, they put out a major sandbox update that more or less reverted a number of things (weapon load outs, ammo economy, random rolls, and movement speed–things that some people here may remember me moaning about in like July 2017) back to something resembling how they worked in Destiny 1. That was enough to get me back in and playing again, and then they released a good expansion off of that new foundation, and now I’m back to playing a bit every week.
Tekken 7 is just a game that was good last year and is still good this year. They’ve made some good balance changes and continue to add new characters (though they’re maybe a bit more than fashionably late with the Walking Dead collab, tbh.) It’s fun to play, and tournaments are never not amazing to watch. This and Under Night (from this year) are the two fighting games that I actually want to sit down and focus on/get better at these days, which is more of a statement than you might think considering the number of good fighting games out there right now.
No Man’s Sky is unquestionably my favourite ongoing game this year, and possibly every year following its release. I was among the people who largely liked what was there at launch for NMS but I’ve been very impressed by how Hello Games has supported it since with several major expansions. What I experienced of the NEXT update this year was just fantastic (the planets have rings now :o) . I had a delightful time moving from solar system to solar system, recording my travels with many screenshots taken from the fairly robust photo mode. It’s a game I can quite easily see myself revisiting again in 2019 and I’m excited to see what more Hello Games does with it.
I didn’t play a great deal of it this year but I would also like to give props to what DICE has done this year to Star Wars: Battlefront 2. That game was quite the mess in 2017 (no doubt thanks in part to the pressures from EA & Disney) but they have genuinely turned it around in a major way. Earlier this year they completely overhauled the progression systems in there for levelling your characters and have since added a number of new characters and modes to the mix. The highlight for me was definitely an “Ewok Hunt” mode that plays out like a horror game, the stormtroopers slowly being picked off by ewoks as they helplessly run around in the dark with their ineffective blasters. It’s a lot of fun.
I’m going to be a bit cheeky and say Doom. I’ve been falling back into it this last fall and (as I went into more in the anniversary thread) I am astonished at how much new work the community is (1) releasing (2) even (3) now (4).
It’s not the original developer supporting the game, just a devoted group of fans. That’s incredibly inspiring to me.
With the deadline for phase 1 fast approaching we wanted to remind everyone to get their nominations in if they haven’t already. The google forms will stop taking submissions by 10pm GMT (2pm PST / 5pm EST) on Saturday.
That said, these threads will remain open so that people can continue to share their thoughts on specific categories/games for the remainder of the event. We hope you’ve enjoyed the event thus far and we’re excited to unveil the the voting phase over the weekend!
Final Fantasy XIV is the most rock-solid consistent MMO on the market today, and perhaps ever. Like clockwork, a new patch comes out every 3.5 months that can be depended on to have new raid content, new trials, PVP maps, crafting endgame, and at least one Brand New Thing™, whether that be a new type of exploratory content or an ultra-high-end raid. It’s not glamorous. It’s not sexy. It’s reliable and will be there for you, even when a reactionary minority of the playerbase fault it for that feature. Even though I don’t play every day anymore, I’ve been subscribed to this game continuously for practically six years now and it’s because of the dev team’s relentless devotion to their craft of putting work out consistently and on time.