Gamer Escape's Top 5 Reviewed Games of 2018

31 Dec 2018

As the final hours of 2018 tick down, it’s about that time again for us to take a look back at my little corner of the Gamer Escape empire! In our continuing efforts to make Gamer Escape the only website you need to visit for all of your gaming needs, we have again grown the amount of reviews we’ve had the pleasure to present to you all.

This year, we had the opportunity to review 62 games…but only five can truly be called the best of the year. As such, your dedicated review team sat down and deliberated, argued, and professionally wrestled each other to determine which games would be walking away with the prestigious right to call themselves Gamer Escape’s best of the year.

As in the past, we did not give these five games any particular rank; they are listed in order of their release date. We also forced threatened brought back the original reviewer of each game to give their final thoughts for this list.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our team’s reviews as much as we’ve enjoyed writing them for you, and we plan to continue doing much more in 2019! Until then, we present for your reading pleasure…

Gamer Escape’s Top 5 Games of 2018!

~ Monster Hunter World ~

Reviewed by: Urthdigger
Release Date: January 26th, 2018
Systems: PS4, XB1, PC
Reviewed Version: PS4
Gamer Escape Score: 10/10

Monster Hunter World didn’t only impress me during my time playing for the review, but has gone on to be the game I’ve spent the second most time with this year (right behind the time vacuum that is FFXIV). Monster Hunter World is a textbook example of how you streamline and modernize a series, as Capcom took a great formula and streamlined the more annoying and time-wasting elements of it while keeping the game refreshingly hard and exciting. The result is that while it’s easier than ever to go into a fight well-prepared with medicine and armor skills, the likes of Vaal Hazak, Lunastra, and Behemoth are ready to smack you down if you get cocky.

With plenty of free content added over my time with it, and the new Iceborne expansion coming out in summer 2019, this is one title I really don’t see myself getting bored with any time soon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go practice using a charge blade.

~ Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age ~

Reviewed by: Brin
Release Date: September 4th, 2018
Systems: PS4, PC
Reviewed Version: PC
Gamer Escape Score: 10/10

Like I said in my initial review, Dragon Quest XI is the best RPG I’ve ever played. While you might have a different experience with this game, for me, and for 2018 in general, this game hit on a variety of themes that I was experiencing in my every day life. 2018 was a year of loss, with a reminder that we are not invincible. For me and my play though of Dragon Quest XI, the characters and the story felt like they were a reflection of that self same experience.

Director Takeshi Uchikawa and producers Hikari Kubota and Kokuto Okamoto crafted a story and a world that captured me with beautiful graphics, compelling characters, and a world that I cared about. They took me on a journey, one that I would easily recommend everyone take. Your journey and mine won’t be the same, but it’s a journey we should all take, and revisit when this game releases on the Nintendo Switch in 2019.

~ Forza Horizon 4 ~

Reviewed by: FireMarth
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Systems: XB1, PC
Reviewed Version: PC
Gamer Escape Score: 9/10

Forza Horizon 4 really shouldn’t have worked for me. I’m not really into cars or racing games, and I’m a noted anti-fan of open world games. Something about this title, though, somehow clicked with me.

I think the most standout aspect of Horizon 4 is the sheer amount of things available to do; things that feel well-thought out rather than just tacked on for more playtime. Whether I was street racing, dodging trees while taking a “shortcut” through the woods, or trying to get even more air off a cliff jump, I never found myself bored while playing through this game.

The amount of options available to tailor the game to the way you want to play made this game even more remarkable. Want to jump online? Go for it. Never want to interact with another player ever? Not a problem. Play arcade style or dive in to tweak your car just the way you like, your choice.

With just the amount of content and options available, Forza Horizon 4 has earned itself a permanent place on my hard drive, which is saying a lot with the size of the game.

~ Hitman 2 ~

Reviewed by: FireMarth
Release Date: November 13th, 2018
Systems: PS4, XB1, PC
Reviewed Version: PC
Gamer Escape Score: 9/10

Hitman 2 felt more like a series of intricate puzzle boxes rather than a single cohesive game…and it’s an approach that I really loved. For all of my pining that games need to have a good story for me to take interest in them, Hitman 2 took that idea out back and shot it in the head.

The setup of each level is simple: here’s your location, here’s your targets, go take them out. How you do it is up to you, and the game gives options to appeal to just about any player. If you want to figure things out on your own without any help, you can do so. If you’d rather have a more structured experience, the game offers up mission sequences that you can follow. Hell, if you want both, you can jump between the two organically – try to find a way to the target on your own, stumble upon a mission sequence, follow it for a bit, then abandon it later.

My disappointment in the plot quickly melted away as I found myself lost in experimenting and fiddling around with each stage. Putting together crazy kill ideas and watching plans come to fruition created some of my favorite moments in front of my PC this year.

The game kind of got lost in all of the huge titles released in November, but if you didn’t have the chance to pick it up at launch, you definitely need to grab Hitman 2 and give it a shot. It’s the most fun planning murders you’ll probably have this year.

~ Gris ~

Reviewed by: FireMarth
Release Date: December 13th, 2018
Systems: PC, Switch
Reviewed Version: PC
Gamer Escape Score: 10/10

When I walked away in awe from a simple demo of this game, I already knew it had a good shot at taking one of our top spots this year.

Released less than a month ago, Gris just absolutely stunned me. Admittedly, much of this was due to the soundtrack and how music is used throughout the game. Music often makes a game for me, and the tracks created for the game by Barcelonan band Berlinist are hauntingly beautiful. As I said back in our PAX West preview of the game, the ambiance of the music here reminds me heavily of the band Sigur Ros.

The core gameplay of Gris is no slouch either. While definitely “easy,” the creative platforming puzzles contained throughout the game were fun to work through. Really, all aspects of the game work together to create a surprisingly emotional experience.

I’ve seen many calling this “just another artsy walking simulator” or “a ripoff of Journey,” and I implore you to ignore them. Gris is an amazing title and definitely worth the experience.