As 2018 comes to a close, most media outlets are working to shuffle together their favorite games of the year. Whether it be the likes of God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, or even the late entry of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, this year brought no shortage of quality AAA experiences. But what games caught the most attention this year? What was everyone talking about, regardless of the pros and cons of said titles? With Google being one of the biggest harbingers of traffic on the internet, what games were people looking into the most?
As expected, Epic Games’ Fornite was the most searched game through Google for 2018. Given not just the buzz around video game fans, but as an entire shift in pop culture this year, Fortnite‘s battle royale mode has been relevant throughout the entire year, with multiple new seasons, changes to its map, and the attention brought to it by celebrities. With these significant factors in mind, it should be no surprise Fortnite has topped the list.
Following in second place was Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, the company’s first new game in over five years, which released in October with expected commercial and critical success. Third place fell to Bethesda Game Studios’ Fallout 76, though compared to the two games ranked higher, it grabbed attention mostly for the wrong reasons.
Running through the rest of the list from 4 to 10: Far Cry 5, God of War, Monster Hunter: World, Sea of Thieves, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and finally Zombs Royale, which is a free browser game, meaning every play session per person equates to a user search. Notable omissions include Marvel’s Spider-Man, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, FIFA 19 (given its popularity in Europe), Pokémon: Let’s Go, and even Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
While some of these are great titles in their own respect, they didn’t bring as much controversy as some of the games that made the cut. Far Cry 5’s fictional setting of Hope County, Montana drew much attention, Sea of Thieves hasn’t lived up to the expectations placed on developer Rare as an Xbox One exclusive, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance was talked about for its portrayal of people of color and surrounding societies in the game.
If these results of Google’s 2018 search engine are to say anything, it’s that a game doesn’t need to be great to grab attention. The final ranking is also influenced by a game’s release date, such as Monster Hunter: World launching in January compared to Super Smash Bros.Ultimate not being revealed until February, then releasing in December.