Well, 2018 is finally almost over and 2019 will be trying its best to not be terrible. However, we think it is time for us to tell you what GAW’s Game of the Year pick was!  This year had so many games it really is hard to pick from just a top 5. So everyone here at GAW decided to give you our very own picks for Game of the Year. We asked the staff, “With so many games this year, what games would you give as some runner-ups, as well as your picks for GotY?” Here is what some of your favorite staffers had to say!

John Donadio
Chief Operating Officer/Streamer/Thinks He Deserves To Be On An Award Show

I know that GotY is coveted and usually reserved for AAA games, and that definitely is one of my picks but my runners-up were mostly indie games with a few AAA sprinkled on top. Some of my favorites this year were The Messenger, an 8/16-bit ninja game that was an amazing tribute to the old school Nintendo game, mostly, not surprisingly, Ninja Gaiden. The gameplay is fast-paced and exciting and the music is just incredible. If you haven’t gotten a chance to play it, please take the time, it is completely worth your time. Guacamelee 2, Light Fall, and The Swords of Ditto also make the list for being beautiful, colorful, wonderful indie games.

As far as AAA games Far Cry 5 and Sea of Thieves come up for my runner-ups, both are amazing games that continually gave us DLC this year. They continually gave us some entertainment and I still have great experiences playing them. While they lacked in certain aspects, each game had me laughing and having fun with friends the whole time. As for my actual name of the Year pick, this might be not much of a surprise for those that know me, but I cannot stop playing Red Dead Redemption 2. This game is well written, well acted, and amazing designed. I’ve spent hours roaming the Old West robbin’, lootin’, and shootin’. Well, to be honest, I’ve been trying to get through as just good-guy Arthur and it is no easy task. Either way that is 100% my pick. Have a great rest of the year everyone!

Adam Siddiqui
Senior Staff Writer/Will Try and Stay Away From the Champagne

I’ve played so many incredible games this year. Titles such as Monster Hunter World, Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry 5, Super Smash Bros. UltimateSpyro Reignited Trilogyand Marvel’s Spider-Man were some of the stand-out games for me this year. However, what truly shined above everything released this year was God of War.

As a fan of this acclaimed series since its debut on the PS2, it was refreshing and shocking to see how Santa Monica took the revengeful and one-dimensional killing machine Kratos into something deeper. Kratos still kills with brutal efficiently but now has decided to change his ways to prevent the death of another family. The incredibly emotional story is complemented with not only with outstandingly decorated environments and exciting battles but an enriching story populated with detailed lore and layered characters. Whether it’s his son Atreus or the witch Freya each character is wonderfully voiced, written, and choreographed. Gameplay, story, music, controls, and graphics all combine with an experience that shines above everything else that released this year.

God of War shows that single-player games are not only in high demand but flourishing. To those who argued against this and now see the truth of what gamers want, as Kratos would say, “Do not be sorry. Be better.”

Allen Saunders
Editorials and Reviews Manager/ Randomly Screams The Lyrics to “Country Roads”

I feel like none of the games I played this year got the love that they deserved. Yeah, this years’ Video Game Awards were cool and covered some great games but dammit not a single on any list? Strange Brigade was an early heavy hitter for my consideration when it came to Game of The Year. It’s a wonderful mix of exploration, treasure hunting, humor, and top-tier horde fights were amazing and I hope people down the road take note of the budding franchise.

State of Decay 2 was also really well done. Yes, it had its’ problems when it launched, but the team at Undead Labs was very transparent and worked to fix them alongside the community. Not to mention the post-launch content has been pretty well put together. The DLC that was all about sieges and defending an area was surprisingly fun and refreshing to play.

My absolute choice for game of the year has to be Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. It’s tactics based gameplay bests XCOM in every single way. The comedy laced into the writing and collectibles are superb. The characters in the main story feel really thought out and unique. The stealth sections of the game are nail-biting and had my Twitch Chat cheering when I got through it unscathed. Leveling the characters, the skill tree and the encompassing atmosphere are all wonderful talking points I can’t wait to delve into when the full review comes out.

Vanessa Marie
Founder/Cat Mom

I wish I could say I had a giant list of amazing games I played this year but I can’t. I didn’t get a chance to play as many new releases this year as I have in the past and I’ve honestly playing PlayUnknown’s Battleground more than any game I’ve played in the past several years. Now, PUBG is such a fun game but for me does not warrant my Game of the Year. This year I was taken by smaller titles like The Swords of Ditto which I found myself replaying. But, there is one game that has captured my attention and made me really appreciate the art in games. My Game of the Year goes to GRIS. This game is unlike any other game I’ve played before. It is slow and has so much beauty in both the meaning behind the game, how it flows, and how delicate the art style is. It is a game that is completely different from anything I played this year. 

Fernando Medina A.k.a. Chewlok
Community Developer/Jr. Staff Writer/Big Dreamer

2018 has been a great year for gaming in my opinion. There were so many titles to choose from and much excitement for those games to come. One of my top games of this year was the Destiny 2: Forsaken DLC. I know it’s just a DLC but the content came with changes that made the game feel a lot more different that got me back into the game after a few months. Fallout 76 is another of my top games. This title is a gem in the works that finally let me play with friends.

My definite choice for GOTY is going to be Super Smash Bros Ultimate. The moment the title screen came on I traveled back in time to when I spent countless hours playing Melee on the Nintendo GameCube. Even before the game came out, the final trailer gave me the feels. The new story mode will keep you busy for days and the addition of spirits that you can collect and power up making the experience a bit more interesting. In addition, having the classic mode to hit that nostalgia spot going through the single player mode until you confront that bothersome hand as the final boss. The gameplay itself felt so familiar unlike Brawl and the SSB Wii U entries and the roster is even more epic than ever. Super Smash Bros Ultimate, by far, is a game that I think is just amazingly fun to play, whether you choose to play it by yourself or with others. I know that I will continue to spend countless hours playing it.

Orlando Villarreal 
Web Master/Can’t Wait For Marvel’s 2019

Weel, I suppose say Stardew Valley cause they came out last year but it came out on iOS which makes it the ultimate handheld experience. So, probably, the Game of the Year award goes to the game that I loved that actually came out this year, Red Dead Redemption 2. This is a game that lived up to my expectations, the story, the characters, and the graphics alike. Playing this game in 4K is definitely something else, and just seeing all the little details that were put into this game.

If anyone says single player games are dead then they haven’t gotten any hands-on time with this instant classic. If you are a fan of classic westerns or any type of western even the new age westerns like Westworld you will love this game. This is one of those games that my girlfriend and I sit down to and just love riding on through the game and admiring the beauty in this game. As for the multiplayer…have a team, otherwise, you will find yourself getting hog-togged A WHOLE LOT and not in the ‘haha this reminds me of my nights in Vegas’ type of way, but more along the lines of being utterly annoyed.

Robert Rodriguez
News Editor/ Still Trying to Become A “Dragonyule Saint” in Dragalia Lost

It’s got to be Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, hands down. It’s one of the few 2018 games I’ll be playing in 2019 and almost definitely further into the future. I’ve been totally charmed by the game’s unbridled love for video games and the IPs it represents.

For starters, let’s talk about the game’s main slogan, “Everyone is here!” The game’s director, Masahiro Sakurai, and his team were willing to add extra development time and jump through difficult copyright legal hurdles to bring every single character in Smash Bros. history into the game alongside highly requested fan favorites. When every other fighting game series- especially other crossover fighters (especially last year’s Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite) are constantly bickering over the character roster, it’s wonderful to see a fighting game that doesn’t leave me salty.  Thanks to that, almost every fight is a unique match-up of video game icons who I’d never imagine together.

I’m also a huge fan of the game’s meaty World of Light campaign mode. With the game’s Spirit characters, the game often invites me to remember characters, scenes, and boss battles from games all over my gaming history. It’s had me laughing and grinning the whole way (well, with some groans here and there), and I really appreciate what they’ve done.

Noah Dominguez
Jr. Staff Writer / Openly Despises Sausage Pizza

After much consideration, I have decided to make my pick for game of the year purely out of spite.

From the very moment it was announced, Fallout 76 was faced with a massive amount of criticism for its departure from the the franchise’s established playstyle. Nevermind the creativity that went into building the game’s map or the fact that classic Fallout purists’ beloved Black Isle Studios considered implementing multiplayer in Van Buren (the original Fallout 3), of the matter is that Bethesda could have put out a masterpiece of the highest order and it still would have gotten bad reviews because people had already made their mind up about the prospect of a new, multiplayer Fallout game.

Is Fallout 76 a perfect game? No. However, is it an exceptionally entertaining adventure full of fun areas to explore, enemies to fight, lore to uncover and an absolutely stellar selection of classic tracks to listen to on your Pip-Boy’s radio? Absolutely.

I’m a fairly simple man. If a game is fun, I will enjoy it to its fullest. And Fallout 76 is, in fact, an exceptionally fun game that I am proud to say gets my endorsement as 2018 comes to a close.

Christopher Taylor
Staff Writer / Frame rate junky

So many great games released this year! My only regret is not having the time to play all of them. Despite this, I was still able to play quite a few fantastic gems. The top three games which I feel deserve the coveted title include Dead Cells, Detroit Become Human and Assassins Creed Odyssey.

All three games were extremely fun to play and all have different and unique styles of gameplay, though I think the winner is…Assassins Creed Odyssey. AC Odyssey takes the title due to the extensive amount of time I have played the game, 62 hours, and still haven’t finished the main campaign. I haven’t been this engaged with a game since Skyrim launched during the Cretaceous period. Besides, after watching the movie 300, who doesn’t want to be a Spartan?

OK, There you have it, folks! The picks from all the staff. So let’s tally up those votes and see who wins!

Red Dead Redemption 2: 2 votes

Super Mash Bros. Ultimate: 2 Votes

Looks like we have a tie for Game of the Year! Congratulations to all the games that came out this year, you all did so well! Let’s hope 2019 is just as great. What was your GotY pick? Tell us in the comment section below. Keep on gaming and thank you all for a wonderful year. We will see you all in 2019!

About The Author

John D
Chief Operating Officer

John Donadio a.k.a. SomeBeardy2Love is the COO here at GAW. He once had a show that he produced, wrote, and co-hosted called the Wide World of Games, you can probably find it on youtube. He is also a co-host on a podcast called Party Up! John is an Action-Adventurer, platformer, RPGer, and FPS kind of gamer. Quick to play any game that has magic, swordplay, and/or stealthy elements. If you can customize a character he is in it for the long haul or just give me your 2D platform and he's a happy camper. What else do you expect from a gamer with a beard and a bow tie tattoo? Seriously.