Despite what the subject line might make you think, this is not me ranking the best games of 2018. It is instead me sharing the top 5 games I played this past year in terms of time gaming and time spent thinking about them.
Disclaimer: I work for Wizards of the Coast, which is very relevant to this list as we make the top two games on this list: Magic: The Gathering & Dungeons and Dragons. I specifically work on Magic.
1. Magic: The Gathering
My favorite game. The original trading card game and it has continued to thrive. This past year Wizards unveiled the new digital version of the game, Magic: The Gathering Arena. And I have spent many many many hours playing Magic digitally or on table top.
2. Dungeons & Dragons
While I only started a weekly session towards the end of 2018, D&D occupied a lot of mindspace for me because D&D streams are one of my favorite means of entertainment.
In addition to watching those streams, I also played it a great deal between playing on Clerical Error and other games. For the last few months of the year I started a weekly D&D game with friends, and as DM I spend several hours preparing for each week’s session.
3. Stardew Valley
This indie game is amazing. It is my favorite self-care game. When I have bad days, or when I am stressed, I like to come home and work on my farm. My main farmer is named Boris, his farm is “Motherland Farm” (I was watching The Americans when I started this farm.)
4. Alto’s Odyssey
My favorite mobile game from 2018, it’s a simple game. You snowboard, or in this case, sandboard and sometimes surfboard, across the realm of this game. It’s relaxing and good for winding down before I’m going to fall asleep.
My interest in chess rises and falls in a sine-like wave over the years. I’ve been in a valley of that wave for a while, but this was a late entry to the list as I dove deep back into it with the 2018 World Championship duel between Carlsen and Caruana.