As 2018 winds down, discussions about the best games of 2018 are winding up. This can be a contentious time of year, pitting friend against friend in debates about what single title deserves to be called “game of the year.” On one hand, you can be a loser and say that we were all fortunate to have so many amazing interactive experiences in 2018, blah, blah, blah. On the other hand, you can be a winner and fight relentlessly for your personal favorite, burning bridges and alienating people in the process. For those who choose to stand up for their principles, this infallible list of tips will help you emerge victorious from any debate about this year’s best games.
1. All other games except your favorite are terrible
You don’t win arguments by acknowledging that the other side has some good points. This is the most important rule of any game-of-the-year debate. Instead, you need to mercilessly tear down the competition with gross exaggerations and misrepresentations, making their flaws appear obvious and hilarious. After your artful ridicule demonstrates that only a fool could love any of the alternatives (and everyone agrees), you present your personal pick – the knight in shining armor that rides in as the champion. You can’t gain any ground simply by singing the praises of your favorite and hoping other people are moved by your passion.
2. Fandom is bad!
This is a crucial fact that will help you discredit any console-exclusive games you might find yourself arguing against. Any advocates for God of War are drooling PlayStation fans. People pushing for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are brainless Nintendo drones. If Xbox One had any decent exclusives, the people who liked them would also be biased. Here’s the trick: If you’re going to use this line of attack, you must do it first (preferably with a well-rehearsed eye-roll). You need the dismissive superiority that comes from this initial gesture. It loses all of its power if you accuse someone of being a loyalist only after you yourself have been accused. No one ever won an argument saying “No, YOU’RE an Xbot!”
3. Fortnite doesn’t count
Just take this one off the table right away. Yes, by many metrics, Fortnite was probably more successful than traditional game-of-the-year contenders. However, teenagers really seemed to like it, which casts serious doubt on its quality and longevity. Thankfully, there’s a loophole that lets you guiltlessly dismiss a game enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people: It technically released in 2017. Disqualified!
4. People who like popular things are sheep (not you though)
Red Dead Redemption II. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. These games were hugely popular, and as such, they can’t possibly be good. The people who like them are just mindless followers who eat what Big Video Games wants to feed them. Of course, you are too smart for that. You are wise and discerning, and have given each game careful thought and due consideration. But what if you like something that is mainstream? If this comes up as a counterpoint in your discussions, your response should be that it’s basically just a coincidence that your good taste happens to coincide with the whims of the dumb masses.
5. “What about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?!”
You need to pick your moment, but sometimes shouting this when you’re cornered (instead of formulating a real response) can help your case – or at least confuse your opponent. However, if you’re smart and actually followed the first four tips on this list, you will never be cornered. Enjoy the sweet taste of victory.