When deciding a Game of the Year, it must have a bit of everything: Excellent scriptwriting, immaculate world realisation, meaty, tactile controls and believable, enjoyable character arcs that tie it all together.
It must hook you from moment one, and bring something else completely unique to the table that elevates the entire project into extra special territory.
Thankfully, God of War does this and then some. A labour of love for Sony Santa Monica across a staggering five year development period, the result is a wondrous re-contextualisation of Kratos as a character, alongside his role in shaping video game violence as an escapist thrill.
By twinning the maturation and self-reflection of Kratos' personality with that of trying to raise a child under the guise of only drip-feeding his worst past crimes, is one hell of a setup. It makes for a story that's every bit about where these characters go from here, but what God of War has meant to the industry so far.
Combat is ludicrously brutal and satisfying, the world design encourages you to check behind every last rock, and from smacking the God Baldur around a forest to conversing with the World Serpent in an ancient tongue, God of War is THE game of 2018, and perhaps, the generation.