And here we are. With hundreds of thousands of votes (thank you!) across 15 different categories, PlayStation.Blog readers have curated a series of gaming experiences from 2018 that exemplify the best the medium has to offer.
Longtime PlayStation fans will likely be pleased to see which title raked in the most overall votes, but many will be surprised by the degree by which it dominated. Popular categories like Best Narrative and Best PS4 Game showcase how last year’s polls became a battleground for titans. There are also some fun surprises in there, too, such as the stylish winner of Best PS VR Experience, Best Independent Game, and more.
Kratos. Arthur Morgan. Peter Parker. Some of the most impactful stories in video games were told last year, featuring some of the most memorable characters. The voters have spoken — the familial tale of Kratos and Atreus conquers the category. Honourable mention to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2: Forsaken, and A Way Out, which received noteworthy support as well.
Call of Duty this year was all about multiplayer, so it’s fitting that Treyarch’s trio of industry-standard competitive and co-op modes captured the category. Even though the trail-ridin’ beta for Red Dead Online didn’t launch until late in the year, Red Dead Redemption 2’s multiplayer mode still ranked high. The narrative co-op adventure, A Way Out, as well as Destiny 2: Forsaken deserve honourable mentions for the support they received.
PlayStation fans worldwide showed up to show support for the planet’s most popular sport, securing FIFA’s dominating victory here. While they didn’t break the top four, MLB The Show 18 and Madden 19 also got strong support.
From the wondrous, sprawling lands of Midgard to the spectacularly detailed streets of Marvel’s New York, the games of 2019 teleported us to some stunning locales. Rockstar Games’ jaw-dropping interpretation of the Wild West in Red Dead Redemption 2, with its rolling prairies and meticulous interiors, captured the most votes this year.
Graphical fidelity doesn’t mean much unless you have a compelling art direction to focus that power. The fans have chosen God of War as the reigning deity of this category, with its vivid imagining of mythological realms from Norse myth. Whether you were stunned by the otherworldly design of the massive World Serpent or were sucked in by the ornate décor of Tyr’s Temple, developer Santa Monica Studio packed Kratos and Atreus’ journey with beauty. Red Dead Redemption 2’s devilish details – from intricately furnished homes to elaborately designed general store catalogues – also placed it high in the running.
Expert sound design is one of those hidden pillars that separates great games from the fantastic. God of War cleaned house in the category, from the weighty “whump, whump, whump” of Kratos’ spinning Leviathan Axe to the rumbling bass of the World Serpent. Red Dead Redemption also receives recognition for recreating a convincing Wild West soundscape, down to the way Arthur whistles for his trusty steed.
Bear McCreary’s epic score earned God of War the top spot here. The musical backing of the father and son’s journey perfectly underscores the game’s adventurous bombast and quiet moments of bonding. Red Dead Redemption 2’s driving rhythm and country twang earned high praise, too. Fans also showed a groundswell of support for the sounds of Beat Saber and Destiny 2: Forsaken.
This was Fortnite’s category to win, and it did so handily with nearly a quarter of all “Best Ongoing Game” votes. It was a tight race otherwise, with Rainbow Six: Siege, Overwatch, and Monster Hunter World separated by just a few percentage points each. Rocket League and newcomer PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds also mustered strong support.
The indie space hosted one of this year’s most competitive races, with survival game The Forest leading the pack and PS VR hit Beat Saber coming in a close second. Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, and Guacamelee! 2 were narrowly edged out… and Dream Daddy: Dadrector’s Cut saw strong support, too.
A high-impact combo of stellar titles made 2018 a banner year for PlayStation exclusives. The web-slinging fantasy of Marvel’s Spider-Man exceeded fans’ expectations and Detroit: Become Human delivered an impressively intricate story — but God of War garnered the most votes, landing it the Platinum Trophy for this category. What an incredible time to have a PS4.
In a year defined by larger-than-life performances, Christopher Judge’s nuanced take on world-weary Kratos won over voters. Alex McKenna (Sadie Adler) and Benjamin Byron Davis (Dutch van der Linde) also fared well, proving the value of Red Dead Redemption 2’s sprawling ensemble cast.
PS VR was built for transportative experiences like Beat Saber, giving players one-to-one freedom to slash to the rhythm in a visually entrancing world. To that end, Beat Games’ musical hit ran away with the number one spot. These titles showcase how amazing last year was for PS VR, and Star Trek Bridge Crew – the Next Generation nearly joined the winner’s circle as well.
PlayStation fans showed huge support for the Santa Monica Studio-developed God of War across all categories, so of course its huge victory in the Best PS4 Game category was no exception. Quantic Dream’s narrative-driven sci-fi thriller Detroit: Become Human also notably secured a place among the winners. This category also received the most write-ins, with Fortnite having the lion’s share (though not enough to squeeze in among the winners).
Voters are amped up for 2019, which this competitive category conveys. Years of anticipation for Kingdom Hearts 3 earned it the winning spot with Days Gone and Ghost of Tsushima also faring well with support. The Last of Us Part 2 also raked in a ton of write-in votes, but as we noted before, Naughty Dog’s hotly desired sequel wasn’t eligible since it won Most Anticipated in 2016.
The tightest race of the year, with less than 1% of votes separating Platinum and Gold. Santa Monica Studio ultimately took the top spot over Rockstar Games, but just barely. Toys For Bob (Spyro) and Quantic Dream (Detroit: Become Human) saw noteable write-in support.