Rocket Chainsaw’s 2018 Game of the Year Awards

January 7, 2019

Every year sees the release of a cavalcade of games, some good, some bad, and some that we have been waiting years for. This year was certainly filled with the latter, with a number of games released after years of rumours, speculation and anticipation. After 8-year-long waits, we finally got a follow up to Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption, a brand new mainline Dragon Quest, and a reboot/continuation of the God of War franchise. We also saw a number of long-developed early access games reach full release, with Rust, Wreckfest and Dead Cells being some of the most notable. Combined with some strong new IPs, refreshing indie games, and some exciting new entries into existing franchises, 2018 was a good year for games.

We’re five years into the eighth console generation, and yet with the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X in full swing, we’re still seeing some breathtaking visual wizardry coming from games. Sea of Thieves brought some of the most impressive water to be seen in games, while Red Dead Redemption 2 brought the most visually stunning open world ever, with amazing weather effects, as well as the most animations ever seen. The highs of the year weren’t limited to technical accomplishments, with some great artistry and writing appearing as well. Games like GRIS and Return of the Obra Dinn impressed with their style, while others like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Beat Saber impressed with their controls.

With such a great line up of games, each staff member was tasked with selecting their 8 favourite games of 2018, with lists being kept secret from each other and each game being assigned a weighted score. It was a close race, with the final list catapulting our Game of the Year into top spot.

Without further ado, here are Rocket Chainsaw’s Games of the Year.

Best Indie & Best New IP

Dead Cells

We doubt there are many out there that could have predicted how Dead Cells would turn out when it was initially announced by developers Motion Twin. Having only previously released browser and mobile games, Dead Cells was a complete departure from their previous works, and yet Motion Twin have put any doubts to rest, releasing and incredibly engaging game filled with precise action and fantastic style.

The rogue-like has quickly become the genre du jour, with multiple games releasing using the genres mechanics every year, but Dead Cells stands head and shoulders above the competition thanks its constant progression system, and its fair and responsive combat. While many games in the genre force you to meet a minimum threshold to make any progress in the overarching stat systems, Motion Twin instead opted instead to allow for constant, small progression where you can gain from every run. Combined with responsive controls that never let you down, a myriad of weapons, abilities and traps that allow you to customise your builds in a run, and some fantastic enemy and level design, and animations, it’s not surprising to see Dead Cells take out both the Best Indie and Best New IP awards.

Best Indie Runners Up: Yoku’s Island Express, Beat Saber, GRIS and Return of the Obra Dinn.

Best New IP Runners Up: Yoku’s Island Express, DETROIT: Become Human, Octopath Traveller and Beat Saber.


Game of the Year

God of War

If you had told us a few years ago that a God of War game would have been our Game of the Year in 2018, we would have laughed you out of the room, but such is the strength of Cory Barlog and Sony Santa Monica Studio’s direction and reboot, that God of War is in fact our favourite game of the year.

Through clever writing, smart characterisations and some incredible voice acting by Christopher Judge, Kratos was transformed from a monster into a character filled with depth, doing his best to come to terms with his current situation, his past and trying to be a father. The change to Norse mythology allowed for some beautiful scenery, which was shown off with the game’s tight level design and incredible direction during cutscenes and cinematic moments. A slower, more deliberate combat system moved away from the chaos of the series’ past, while the focus on a more inwardly personal story brought new life to it.

God of War’s amazing quality was so consistent throughout, it pushed the title above the competition to be our Game of 2018.

Runners Up: Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


2018 was a great year for games, and while the year may be over, hopefully this article gives you some suggestions for some great games to try out. From Dead Cells to God of War to Beat Saber and more, the range of genres encompassed by 2018’s best games is amazing and you’re sure to find something fantastic to play, so make sure to turn your eyes back as 2019 continues and pick up and play some of the best the year gave.