IGN's Best Game of the Year category is a celebration of the best of the best – the most compelling, thought-provoking, and fun games that we played across all genres and platforms, no matter how big or small.
- See all IGN’s Best of 2018 Awards
Hugely anticipated video games, some of the most thrilling movies and TV shows in years, exciting strides for comics and anime, and tons of incredible new tech have defined a year full of surprise masterpieces and hidden gems.
Best Game of the Year 2018
Scroll down for our nominees or head to our Best of 2018 Awards hub to see more of IGN's top picks of the year.
Click through the gallery for all our nominees or scroll through them below.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Developer(s): Ubisoft Quebec
From IGN's Review: "Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a resounding achievement in world building, environment, and engaging gameplay with occasional problems throughout. Its incredible recreation of ancient Greece is something I’ll want to go back to long after I’ve finished its main story, and its excellent systems mesh together in a way that’s hard to beat. While there are definite rough edges, Odyssey sets a new bar for Assassin’s Creed games and holds its own in the eternal debate over the best open-world role-playing games ever."
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
Developer(s): SIE Japan Studio
Publisher(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment
From IGN's Review: "It’s hard to overstate how incredibly different and exciting Astro Bot Rescue Mission’s new perspective is for the platform genre. The depth of the PSVR’s 3D leads to some truly incredible moments, like when Captain Astro leaps from eye level down to a trampoline metres below, only to bounce up and over your head. In almost every level I audibly gasped or smiled with delight, like when I needed to duck my head underwater to watch the little robot swim through some pipes or simply when Captain Astro would stand close enough to touch. The challenging platforming and natural implementation of VR make it one of the most interesting and genuinely new-feeling games in recent memory. Astro Bot Rescue Mission delivers on the potential of PSVR and is a must-buy for owners of the device."
Developer(s): Matt Makes Games
Publisher(s): Matt Makes Games
From IGN's Review: "Celeste is a surprise masterpiece. Its 2D platforming is some of the best and toughest since Super Meat Boy, with levels that are as challenging to figure out as they are satisfying to complete. Hidden throughout those levels are a wealth of secrets and collectibles, some of which push the skills it teaches you to the absolute limit, along with enough end-game content to keep you playing for dozens of hours. But the greatest triumph of Celeste is that its best-in-class jumping and dashing is blended beautifully with an important and sincere story and an incredible soundtrack that make it a genuinely emotional game, even when your feet are planted firmly on the ground."
Developer(s): Motion Twin
Publisher(s): Motion Twin
From IGN's Review: "Dead Cells is rewarding in its flexibility in a way few games are. Each easily digestible run through its beautifully detailed and shifting levels instills a feeling of discovery and familiarity. It goads you to push the limits of your ability, and mercilessly crushes you when you get too comfortable. There are layers of strategy and tactics buried not only in the immediate choices you make, but in the grander metagame each run builds toward. Dead Cells is a triumphant union of instinct, forethought, fun, and failure."
Forza Horizon 4
Developer(s): Playground Games
Publisher(s): Microsoft Studios
From IGN's Review: "I’ll always have a massive soft spot for the down under delights of Forza Horizon 3, but open-world racing has never looked as good as it does in Forza Horizon 4. It combines a beautiful world that’s really four hugely distinct maps in one with a constantly rewarding and self-renewing racing experience and I really can’t tear myself away from it. Playground Games hasn’t just upped the ante once again; it’s blown the bloody doors off."
God of War
Developer(s): SIE Santa Monica Studio
Publisher(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment
From IGN's Review: "I expected great action from God of War, and it delivers that handily. But I didn’t expect it to be a thrilling journey in which every aspect of it complements the others to form what is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a game in which Kratos, a previously one-note character, becomes a complex father, warrior, and monster, embattled both on the field and within his own heart about how to treat his son; one in which the world opens up and shifts, offering rewards in both gameplay and knowledge of its lore that I treasured with each accomplishment. The obvious care that went into crafting its world, characters, and gameplay delivers by far the most stirring and memorable game in the series."
Developer(s): Insomniac Games
Publisher(s): Sony Interactive Entertainment
From IGN's Review: "I wanted Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 to make me feel like Spider-Man: To sail between the highrises of New York City, to nimbly web up hordes of enemies, and tussle with familiar, animal-themed villains. Insomniac Games’ first foray into the world of Marvel handily delivers on all of that. But what I didn’t expect from Spider-Man was to come away feeling just as fulfilled to have inhabited the life of Peter Parker. Aside from a few odd pacing issues, which momentarily took me out of the experience of being a superhero, and a world of optional missions that don’t always quite live up to the heft of the main story, Insomniac has delivered a Spider-Man story that both surprised and delighted me, coupled with gameplay that made me feel like Spider-Man nearly every step of the way. The Wall Crawler’s open world doesn’t consistently deliver the thrilling moments of its main campaign, but the foundation laid here is undoubtedly a spectacular one."
Monster Hunter: World
From IGN's Review: "Whether or not it's the best, this is certainly the most audacious Monster Hunter game. World takes a dramatic leap into a look, feel, and size that feels truly new, simultaneously staying true to the series’ ideals by maintaining the addictive loop of combat, intimidating monsters and meaningful upgrades that fans love. The sheer depth and commitment required is still intense, but it clearly isn’t Capcom’s aim to court a casual crowd. This is as all-consuming and incredible a ride as ever."
Red Dead Redemption 2
Developer(s): Rockstar Studios
Publisher(s): Rockstar Games
From IGN's Review: "Red Dead Redemption 2 stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Grand Theft Auto V as one of the greatest games of the modern age. It’s a gorgeous depiction of an ugly period that’s patient, polished, and a huge amount of fun to play, and it’s combined with Rockstar’s best storytelling to date. Even after finishing the lengthy story I can’t wait to go back and play more. This is a game of rare quality; a meticulously polished open world ode to the outlaw era. Looking for one of this generation’s very best single-player action experiences? Here’s your huckleberry."
Return of the Obra Dinn
Developer(s): 3909 LLC
Publisher(s): 3909 LLC
From IGN's Review: "Return of the Obra Dinn stands as something wholly unique. An investigative puzzle game with clear goals but completely open ended paths to completing them, it’s a challenging exercise in piecing together a mystery without being spoon fed what to pay attention to. It’s got some small quality of life issues here and there, but the “moment of death” clue-hunting mechanic at its core is an absolute triumph. Return of the Obra Dinn is one of the best detective games I’ve ever played, and now I want so much more of it."
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Developer(s): Bandai Namco Studios, Sora Ltd.
From IGN's Review: "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to its name, offering the most comprehensive game in the series to date. It has an absurd amount to play, fight, and unlock – though that can be to its detriment at times. While the World of Light adventure mode isn’t reason alone to get Smash Bros., it’s still a consistently amusing and shockingly large campaign, and a worthy compliment to Ultimate’s incredible multiplayer core. The Smash Bros. series has always maintained a wonderful balance of chaotic beat-em-up fun and tense fighting game action, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate refines and improves on both sides of itself without abandoning either one."
Developer(s): Monstars Inc., Resonair
Publisher(s): Enhance, Inc.
From IGN's Review: "Who would think that a new version of a simple game like Tetris could deliver such a thoroughly absorbing experience? The merging of time-tested gameplay with the synesthesia-inducing sound and visual design of Tetsuya Mizuguchi creates something you’ve likely never experienced. While Tetris Effect’s diverse and beautiful presentation can sometimes literally get in the way of the gameplay, this is proof that even after 30+ years, Tetris can still feel fresh."