RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 IS THE BEST GAME OF 2018

Red Dead Redemption 2

2018 Red Dead Redemption 2
(XB1/PS4)
97
2017 The Legend of Zelda:
Breath of the Wild
(Switch)
97
2016 Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
(PS4)
93
2015 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
(Xbox One)
95
2014 Super Smash Bros. for Wii U(Wii U) 92
METACRITIC’S GAME OF THE YEAR
(HIGHEST-SCORING NEW TITLE, MIN. 7 REVIEWS)

We’re pretty sure you already know this, but Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is the past year’s best-reviewed game.

That’s not a surprise, obviously—and it’s still a great accomplishment, given that only two other games have achieved a similar 97 score in the past five years—but what is a pleasant discovery is the sheer number of great games released in 2018.

Two years ago, only six games scored 90 or higher. A year ago, in 2017, 10 different titles scored in the nineties. But in 2018, that total shot up to 17 (which translated into 24 total products, thanks to many multi-platform releases). True, some of those great “newcomers” were merely ports of older titles to the new-ish Switch console. Still, that’s an impressive total, made all the more welcome by the fact that it includes several brand new IPs, including Dead Cells and Celeste.

A bit further down the page, you’ll find this year’s best-reviewed games for each console (plus sections on PC and handheld games). Before that, here’s a quick look at how each of the gaming platforms compared during the past year.

CONSOLE/PC COMPARISON – 2018
Console # of Scored
Games*
Score
Distribution
Average Metascore Great Games**
(90 or higher)
Good Exclusives**
(75 or higher)
PS3 PlayStation 4 407 70.0 7 13
Xbox 360 Xbox One 310 70.8 7 0
Switch Nintendo Switch 519 70.8 9 10
PC PC 378 72.3 1 33

* Games with 4 or more reviews in Metacritic’s database released between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 (based on North American release dates, except in cases where a game has not been released in North America).
** Titles not available on any other platform; excludes games with fewer than 7 reviews but does include DLC.
All Metascore data for this and all other tables in this report is from December 31, 2018. The pie charts reflect the percentage of all releases for each console with Positive Reviews (receiving a Metascore of 75 or higher indicating), Mixed Reviews (receiving a Metascore of 5074), and Negative Reviews (receiving a Metascore of 49 or below). Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

And here are 2018’s best-reviewed titles, regardless of platform:

THE 90+ CLUB: THE BEST-REVIEWED GAMES OF 2018 (ANY PLATFORM*)
Rank/Platform/Title Publisher Genre Metascore
1 Xbox 360 Red Dead Redemption 2 Rockstar Games 97
2 PS3 Red Dead Redemption 2 Rockstar Games 97
3 PS3 God of War Sony 94
4 Switch Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo 94
5 Xbox 360 Forza Horizon 4 Microsoft 93
6 PS3 Divinity: Original Sin II – Definitive Edition Larian Studios 92
7 Switch Bayonetta 2 Nintendo 92
8 Xbox 360 Dead Cells Motion Twin 92
9 PS3 Shadow of the Colossus Sony 92
10 Xbox 360 NieR: Automata – Become as Gods Edition Square Enix 92
11 Xbox 360 Monster Hunter: World Capcom 92
12 Switch Hollow Knight Team Cherry 91
13 PC Into the Breach Subset Games 91
14 Switch Dead Cells Motion Twin/Merge Games 91
15 Xbox 360 Celeste Matt Makes Games 91
16 Switch Undertale tobyfox/Fangamer 91
17 Xbox 360 Divinity: Original Sin II – Definitive Edition Larian Studios 90
18 Switch Celeste Matt Makes Games 90
19 Switch INSIDE PLAYDEAD 90
20 Switch Sonic Mania Plus Sega 90
21 PS3 Celeste Matt Makes Games 90
22 PS3 Monster Hunter: World Capcom 90
23 PS3 Astro Bot: Rescue Mission JapanStudio/Sony 90
24 Switch Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2 Nintendo 90

*Excluding iOS games. Games are ranked by Metascore prior to rounding. Only games with 7 or more reviews are included in this and every other list that follows.

Now, let’s take a look at the best games of 2018 by platform …

PS4

It was a mix of good news and bad news for Sony’s console in 2018. The good: Seven different PS4 releases scored 90 or higher in 2018, which is the highest total in years. (There were just two such games in 2017.) And PlayStation continued to dominate Microsoft’s rival console in terms of exclusives. The PS4 had 13 positively reviewed exclusives released in 2018, including God of War, Tetris Effect, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. The XB1? It had no good exclusives in the past year.

That said, XB1 releases had a slightly higher average Metascore than PS4 releases: 70.8 for XB1 compared to 70.0 for PS4. The percentage of PS4 games that received positive reviews from critics also fell compared to the prior year—down to 36.8% (from 37.7% in 2017), which was the lowest approval rate for any platform in 2018.

BEST PLAYSTATION 4 GAMES OF 2018

PS4 Game of the Year 
97 Red Dead Redemption 2

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Entering 2018, one title stood atop numerous lists of the year’s most-anticipated games. The hype, it turns out, was justified. Rockstar Games’ first new game in five years is a sequel to their 2010 open-world western Red Dead Redemption—one of the best games released for the previous generation of Xbox and PlayStation. And RDR2 isn’t just the highest-scoring game of 2018; it’s now the best-reviewed game in history for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (surpassing fellow Rockstar release Grand Theft Auto V for each console).

PS4 Exclusive of the Year
94 God of War

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The first new game in Sony’s 13-year-old God of War franchise designed for the PS4 (its exclusive home), this new game both serves as a series reboot (hence the stripped-down title) as well as a sequel to 2010’s God of War III. While protagonist Kratos returns (as a father!), the new game is set in the world of Norse legends rather than Greek mythology. Critics found the story and execution superb, and called it a series high-point even though it made so many changes to the franchise.

HIGHEST-SCORING PS4 GAMES OF 2018
Game Publisher Buy It Metascore
1 Red Dead Redemption 2 Rockstar Games AMAZON 97
2 God of War Sony AMAZON 94
3 Divinity: Original Sin II – Definitive Edition Larian Studios Games AMAZON 92
4 Shadow of the Colossus Sony AMAZON 91
5 Celeste Matt Makes Games 91
6 Monster Hunter: World Capcom AMAZON 90
7 Astro Bot: Rescue Mission JapanStudio/Sony AMAZON 90
8 Tetris Effect Sony/Enhance Games AMAZON 89
9 Owlboy Soedesco AMAZON 89
10 Injustice 2: Legendary Edition Warner Bros. Interactive AMAZON 88
11 Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom FDG Entertainment AMAZON 88
Dead Cells Motion Twin/Merge AMAZON 88
13 Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Capcom AMAZON 87
14 Dragon Ball FighterZ Bandai Namco Gmes AMAZON 87
15 Marvel’s Spider-Man Sony AMAZON 87
16 Sonic Mania Plus Sega AMAZON 87
17 Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Square Enix AMAZON 86
18 DJMax Respect Neowiz Entertainment 85
19 Yakuza Kiwami 2 Sega AMAZON 85
20 Moss Sony AMAZON 85
21 F1 2018 Codemasters/Deep Silver AMAZON 85
22 428: Shibuya Scramble Spike Chunsoft AMAZON 85
23 Dark Souls Remastered Bandai Namco AMAZON 84
24 Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Level 5/Bandai Namco AMAZON 84
25 Valkyria Chronicles 4 Sega AMAZON 84
26 Beat Saber Hyperbolic Magnetism 84
27 SoulCalibur VI Namco/Bandai Namco Games AMAZON 84
28 Assassin’s Creed Origins: The Curse of the Pharaohs Ubisoft 83
29 Disgaea 1 Complete NIS America AMAZON 83
30 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Activision AMAZON 83
31 Guacamelee! 2 DrinkBox Studios 83
32 Transpose Secret Location 83
33 Prey: Mooncrash Bethesda Softworks 83
34 FIFA 19 Electronic Arts AMAZON 83
35 Yoku’s Island Express Villa Gorilla AMAZON 83
36 Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Sega AMAZON 83
37 Battle Chef Brigade Adult Swim 83
38 Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection Capcom AMAZON 83
39 Iconoclasts Bifrost Entertainment 83
40 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Ubisoft AMAZON 82
41 Laser League 505 Games 82
42 Destiny 2: Forsaken Activision 82
43 Hitman 2 Warner Bros. Interactive AMAZON 82
44 Spyro Reignited Trilogy Activision AMAZON 82
45 Sprint Vector Survios 82
46 MLB The Show 18 Sony 82
47 Mega Man 11 Capcom AMAZON 82
48 NBA 2K19 2K Games AMAZON 82
49 Burnout Paradise Remastered Electronic Arts AMAZON 82
50 Slime-san: Superslime Edition Headup Games 81

Xbox One

Microsoft failed to offer a compelling case to pick up an Xbox One rather than another console in 2018. The best “console exclusive” titles released for XB1 last year could also be played on your PC, and there wasn’t a single game exclusive to Xbox One alone that received positive reviews from critics. But if you already own an XB1? Well, there were plenty of great games added in 2018, with an impressive (though equal to PS4) seven new titles scoring 90 or higher, including the year’s best overall game.

BEST XBOX ONE GAMES OF 2018

XB1 Game of the Year 
97 Red Dead Redemption 2

movie still

Entering 2018, one title stood atop numerous lists of the year’s most-anticipated games. The hype, it turns out, was justified. Rockstar Games’ first new game in five years is a sequel to their 2010 open-world western Red Dead Redemption—one of the best games released for the previous generation of Xbox and PlayStation. And RDR2 isn’t just the highest-scoring game of 2018; it’s now the best-reviewed game in history for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (surpassing fellow Rockstar release Grand Theft Auto V for each console).

XB1 Exclusive of the Year
92 Forza Horizon 4

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The latest acclaimed entry in Microsoft’s open-world racing series is set in Britain and features dynamic seasons and weather, a shared open world populated with your fellow players (allowing you to team up in groups with your friends), and over 450 licensed vehicles, including off-road cars and motorcycles. Note that this is only a console exclusive (also available on PC); there were no positvely reviewed true Xbox One exclusives released in 2018.

HIGHEST-SCORING XB1 GAMES OF 2018
Game Publisher Buy It Metascore
1 Red Dead Redemption 2 Rockstar Games AMAZON 97
2 Celeste Matt Makes Games 94
3 Forza Horizon 4 Microsoft AMAZON 92
4 Divinity: Original Sin II – Definitive Edition Larian Studios Games 92
5 Dead Cells Motion Twin 91
6 NieR: Automata – Become as Gods Edition Square Enix 90
7 Monster Hunter: World Capcom AMAZON 90
8 The Banner Saga 3 Versus Evil 88
9 Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Ninja Theory AMAZON 88
10 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Ubisoft AMAZON 87
11 Dragon Ball FighterZ Bandai Namco AMAZON 86
12 Destiny 2: Forsaken Activision 86
13 Dark Souls Remastered Bandai Namco AMAZON 86
14 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Activision AMAZON 85
15 PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Microsoft/Bluehole AMAZON 85
16 F1 2018 Codemasters/Deep Silver AMAZON 84
17 SoulCalibur VI Bandai Namco AMAZON 84
18 Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Funcom 84
19 Moonlighter 11 bit studios/Digital Sun 84
20 Hitman 2 Warner Bros. Interactive AMAZON 84
21 Forgotton Anne Square Enix 83
22 NBA 2K19 2K Games AMAZON 83
23 Overcooked! 2 Team 17 AMAZON 83
24 Spyro Reignited Trilogy Activision AMAZON 83
25 FIFA 19 Electronic Arts AMAZON 83
26 Owlboy Soedesco 83
27 Yoku’s Island Express Villa Gorilla AMAZON 83
28 Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Fatshark AB 83
29 The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories Arc System Works 83
30 Shadow of the Tomb Raider Square Enix AMAZON 82
31 NHL 19 Electronic Arts AMAZON 82
32 Prey: Mooncrash Bethesda Softworks 82
33 Far Cry 5 Ubisoft AMAZON 82
34 Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 Konami AMAZON 82
35 Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom FDG Entertainment 82
36 Super Mega Baseball 2 Metalhead Software 81
37 World of Final Fantasy Maxima Square Enix AMAZON 81
38 Unravel Two Electronic Arts 81
39 Ashen Annapurna Interactive 81
Madden NFL 19 Electronic Arts AMAZON 81
41 Laser League 505 Games 81
42 Ys Origin DotEmu 81
Aragami: Shadow Edition Lince Works 81
44 Lumines Remastered Enhance Games 81
45 Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 – Roads Square Enix 80
46 The Council – Episode 1: The Mad Ones Focus Home Interactive 80
47 Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection Capcom AMAZON 80
48 The Adventure Pals Armor Games 80
49 The Golf Club 2019 featuring PGA Tour 2K Games/HB Studios AMAZON 80
50 A Way Out Electronic Arts AMAZON 79

Nintendo Switch

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