2008 is regarded by many as one of the best years for video games in history, and for good reason. The year saw countless big releases that in many ways redefined areas of game design or the industry itself. These included titles like Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, and Grand Theft Auto IV. We haven’t seen a year so stacked with highly-acclaimed games until maybe 2017. Although we’re only a few months into 2018 at this point, it’s looking like the year could stack up just as well as the last one, if not better. So is there a chance we could see 2018 surpass even the lofty standards that 2008 set? We’ll take a look at the games already released as well as what’s on the horizon, that we know about, to see how 2018 can stack up.
Comparing the first two months of each year shows a pretty close competition honestly. January 2008 saw the release of the classic racing title Burnout Paradise, with the surprise hits of No More Heroes and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin joining it. Still, January 2018 clearly blows that away with the monumental success of both Monster Hunter: World and Dragon Ball FighterZ. The sales numbers for both titles were incredibly impressive, and they certainly stand to be two of the most memorable titles of the year, even with Dragon Ball FighterZ’s dwindling base playing on PC. This isn’t even to mention smaller releases like Lost Sphear, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, and the indie hit Celeste.
February still goes to 2018 as well, simply through the sheer number of releases, as the most notable releases 2008 had in the month was Devil May Cry 4, Lost Odyssey, and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. While all of these did go down fairly well both critically and with fans, 2018 saw the release of a strong mix of remasters and new games including Shadow of the Colossus, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, Bayonetta 2 on Switch, and Moss on PSVR.
While 2018 has eked out ahead of 2008 in the first two months, the following months set a really hard bar for 2018 to meet. March saw the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Condemned 2: Bloodshot, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 2, and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
April to June would bring us even more beloved games that would have staying power for years including; Mario Kart Wii, Persona 3: FES, The World Ends With You, Valkyria Chronicles, Ninja Gaiden II, and Battlefield: Bad Company. These months also gave us two gargantuan titles that both garnered Game of the Year awards, Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots.
Comparing what’s coming in 2018, there’s certainly a chance that it could overtake the impressive schedule of 2008’s first half. March has Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom and Far Cry 5 scheduled, an anime RPG and shooter that could definitely rival Valkyria Chronicles and Bad Company. There’s a number of other big new titles on the way too; Sea of Thieves, Kirby Star Allies, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, God of War, Nintendo Labo, Vampyr, and more. All of these will be out by June, and there’s sure to be even more on the way. The sheer diversity of those releases, along with even more remasters including Dark Souls: Remastered, certainly show promise for what’s to come. Chances seem good that the first half of 2018 will be even better than that incredible first half of 2008, and it’s been a hell of a start so far. Where the big question lies, however, is in the second half with the Fall rush and holidays.