2018 was a stellar year for gaming. Whether you were fighting in the dying west with a band of outlaws, tearing up the British countryside in powerful cars, on a somber mission with your son in Midgard or simply fighting other characters in one of biggest celebrations of Nintendo (and gaming as a whole) to date, countless incredible games released this year. Now, as 2018 is almost over, here is The Inner Circle Games Network – Game Awards 2018.

After quite a bit of voting and deliberation, the team at The Inner Circle Games Network is proud to present their awards for games that released in 2018.

Best Soundtrack

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018A stirring list of original songs that beautifully capture the sounds of the west guided this pick. Red Dead Redemption 2 is filled to the brim with powerful moments – both in its action sequences and its times of reflection – that simply wouldn’t be possible without this incredible soundtrack.

Best Sound Design

Winner: Battlefield 5

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Facing tough competition, Battlefield 5′s brings the sounds of war machines, roaring guns and chaotic battles to life. This kind of sound design lends the game a level of incredible immersion for which EA DICE deserves remarkable praise.

Best Visuals

Winner: God of War

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018In God of War, players will encounter all manner of fantastical foes and explore several Realms of Norse mythology. The incredibly-detailed character models and breathtaking scenery (all done in an impressive single-shot camera from beginning to end) earns this game

Best Art Direction

Winner: Sea of Thieves

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Rare’s open-world pirate game is beautiful, with gorgeous sunsets, violent storms, ferocious sea beasts and incredible waves. Yet all of it is still done with a whimsical flair, in an art style that doesn’t aim for complete realism but lends an adventurous tone.

Best Narrative

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018

In a year where story-driven games were strong all-around and celebrated, this was no easy pick. The story told in Red Dead Redemption 2 encapsulates the dying wild west with a complicated cast that is inevitably driven towards destruction, yet choose to endure all the same.

Best Lead Performance

Winner: Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018
(Image from IMDB)

Red Dead Redemption 2‘s narrative wouldn’t be possible without its incredible cast. While stellar performances about, Roger Clark’s work as Arthur Morgan, the protagonist of the game, renders a believable man, a man far more complicated than initial appearances would have you believe.

Best Multiplayer

Winner: Sea of Thieves

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018The world of Sea of Thieves is brimming with possibility, possibility that has drawn out player interactions in unique, fascinating ways. Rare adds new items, foes and areas into the game month-over-month, making this game a fascinating, bold push for multiplayer.

Best Racing Game

Winner: Forza Horizon 4

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018With this game, Playground Games has delivered the crown jewel of open-world racing titles. Whether you’re discovering new cars in hidden, derelict barns, participating in street races or simply having fun exploring, Forza Horizon 4 is an absolute blast to play.

Best Fighting Game

Winner: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Super Smash Bros. Ultimate goes the distance in every way possible. The roster fulfilling fans wildest hopes, the addition of Spirits, the World of Light, this game is a labor of love and has something for everybody to appreciate.

Best Action/Adventure Game

Winner: Marvel’s Spider-Man

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Insomniac Games did a great job with Marvel’s Spider-Man, combining great web-slinging and combat with a unique story that paid homage to Spider-Man’s history in comics and other media, while not being afraid to push things forward in some very interesting ways. Oh, and it looks stunning as well.

Best Action Game

Winner: Dead Cells

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Dead Cells combines frenetic action with difficult gameplay, tasking players with making their way through ever-shifting dungeons while not dying, lest they lose their progress. This game has put developer Motion Twins on the map.

Best Indie Game

Winner: Paratopic

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018This surprise hit from Arbitrary Metric is…unusual, to say the least. Elements of shooters, an intentional retro-inspired look and visions of rural America await anyone curious enough to check it out. An incredibly short game (it’s meant to be finished in an hour or less) this horror game is a huge step forward for indie games.

Most Impressive Technical Achievement

Winner: Google’s Project Stream of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Google stepped into game streaming in a big way during 2018, with a test of Project Stream using Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Streaming a game like this at a decent resolution and stable framerate is an achievement worth noticing and we’ll see how it evolves over the course of 2019.

Best Gaming Hardware 

Winner: Xbox Adaptive Controller

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018In a year that didn’t see any new consoles released, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is a clear choice for the best hardware released. This incredible device broadens the accessibility of gaming to countless players who might have trouble with regular controllers and would otherwise be unable to play.

Most Anticipated Game of 2019

Winner: Metro Exodus

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Metro Exodus is an upcoming title from 4A Games that promises to combine the tight gameplay, story and beautiful look with a more open setting that takes players on a trip across different regions of the Russian wasteland. Improved AI that allows you to subdue enemies and increases the tension of encounters, new monstrous mutants, difficult decisions that will affect your comrades and more all make this one of the most promising games of 2019.

Game of the Year 

Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2

The Inner Circle Games Network - Game Awards 2018Red Dead Redemption 2 is a landmark achievement for the developers at Rockstar Games, delivering an open world that fully realizes the west and a story that drives towards an inevitable conclusion that makes players appreciate the original game even more. It’s an incredibly detailed game, a cinematic blockbuster and an epic for the ages. In a year of difficult competition, with something for everybody’s tastes, it is our Game of the Year.

So, there you have our picks for the TiC Game Awards 2018! If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for future categories, feel free to leave a comment below.