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Game of the Year 2018: The Winners

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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.

If you’ve followed our Game of the Year festivities in previous years, you’ll notice one big difference: This year, we split our Editors’ Choice writeups out into their own posts, which ran over the holiday break. Here’s our take on 2018, with each nomination hand-picked by members of PlayStation.Blog and PlayStation Store:

But you didn’t come here to read what we think. Let’s get to the exciting part!

Game of the Year 2018

As Voted by PlayStation.Blog Readers

Best Narrative
God of War for PS4
Best Narrative - Platinum
God of War

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. Honorable mention to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2: Forsaken, and A Way Out, which received noteworthy support as well.

Best Narrative - Gold
Red Dead Redemption 2
Best Narrative - Silver
Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best Narrative - Bronze
Detroit: Become Human
Honorable Mentions: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2: Forsaken, A Way Out

Best Multiplayer
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Dead of the Night
Best Multiplayer - Platinum
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

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 honorable mentions for the support they received.

Best Multiplayer - Gold
Red Dead Redemption 2
Best Multiplayer - Silver
Battlefield V
Best Multiplayer - Bronze
Monster Hunter World
Honorable Mentions: Destiny 2: Forsaken, A Way Out, PUBG

Best Sports Game
Best Sports Game - Platinum

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.

Best Sports Game - Gold
NBA 2K19
Best Sports Game - Silver
WWE 2K19
Best Sports Game - Bronze
Pro Evolution Soccer 2019
Honorable Mentions: Madden NFL 19, EA Sports UFC 3, MLB The Show 18

Best Graphical Showcase
Red Dead Redemption 2 for PS4
Best Graphical Showcase - Platinum
Red Dead Redemption 2

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.

Best Graphical Showcase - Gold
God of War
Best Graphical Showcase - Silver
Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best Graphical Showcase - Bronze
Detroit: Become Human
Honorable Mentions: Battlefield V, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Destiny 2: Forsaken

Best Art Direction
God of War
Best Art Direction - Platinum
God of War

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.

Best Art Direction - Gold
Red Dead Redemption 2
Best Art Direction - Silver
Detroit: Become Human
Best Art Direction - Bronze
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Honorable Mentions: Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Destiny 2: Forsaken

Best Sound Design
God of War for PS4
Best Sound Design - Platinum
God of War

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.

Best Sound Design - Gold
Red Dead Redemption 2
Best Sound Design - Silver
Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best Sound Design - Bronze
Battlefield V
Honorable Mentions: Detroit: Become Human, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Destiny 2: Forsaken

Best Soundtrack
God of War: Memories of Mother
Best Soundtrack - Platinum
God of War

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.

Best Soundtrack - Gold
Red Dead Redemption 2
Best Soundtrack - Silver
Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best Soundtrack - Bronze
Detroit: Become Human
Honorable Mentions: Beat Saber, Destiny 2: Forsaken, Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Best Ongoing Game
Best Ongoing Game - Platinum

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.

Best Ongoing Game - Gold
Rainbow Six: Siege
Best Ongoing Game - Silver
Best Ongoing Game - Bronze
Monster Hunter World
Honorable Mentions: Destiny 2, Rocket League, Final Fantasy XIV

Best Independent Game
The Forest
Best Independent Game - Platinum
The Forest

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.

Best Independent Game - Gold
Beat Saber
Best Independent Game - Silver
Best Independent Game - Bronze
Tetris Effect
Honorable Mentions: Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Guacamelee! 2

Best PlayStation Console Exclusive
God of War: New Game Plus
Best PlayStation Console Exclusive - Platinum
God of War

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.

Best PlayStation Console Exclusive - Gold
Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best PlayStation Console Exclusive - Silver
Detroit: Become Human
Best PlayStation Console Exclusive - Bronze
Shadow of the Colossus
Honorable Mentions: Yakuza Kiwami, Astro Bot Rescue Mission

Best Performance
God of War
Best Performance - Platinum
Christopher Judge – Kratos, God of War

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.

Best Performance - Gold
Roger Clark – Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption 2
Best Performance - Silver
Yuri Lowenthal – Peter Parker, Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best Performance - Bronze
Bryan Dechart – Connor, Detroit: Become Human
Honorable Mentions: Alex McKenna (Sadie Adler, RDR2), Darin De Paul (J. Jonah Jameson, Marvel’s Spider-Man)

Best PS VR Experience
Beat Saber for PS VR
Best PS VR Experience - Platinum
Beat Saber

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.

Best PS VR Experience - Gold
Borderlands 2 VR
Best PS VR Experience - Silver
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
Best PS VR Experience - Bronze
Tetris Effect
Honorable Mentions: Star Trek Bridge Crew: The Next Generation, Creed: Rise to Glory

Best PS4 Game
God of War (PS4)
Best PS4 Game - Platinum
God of War

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).

Best PS4 Game - Gold
Red Dead Redemption 2
Best PS4 Game - Silver
Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best PS4 Game - Bronze
Detroit: Become Human
Honorable Mentions: Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Call of Duty Black Ops 4, Assassin’s Creed Odyseey

Most Anticipated Game
Kingdom Hearts 3
Most Anticipated Game - Platinum
Kingdom Hearts 3

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.

Most Anticipated Game - Gold
Resident Evil 2
Most Anticipated Game - Silver
Mortal Kombat 11
Most Anticipated Game - Bronze
Death Stranding
Honorable Mentions: Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima, Anthem

Studio of the Year
Santa Monica Studio
Studio of the Year - Platinum
Santa Monica Studio

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.

Studio of the Year - Gold
Rockstar Games
Studio of the Year - Silver
Insomniac Games
Studio of the Year - Bronze
Epic Games
Honorable Mentions: Ubisoft Quebec, Capcom, Bungie

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