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More so than perhaps even playing them, Steam is a place where people go to yell about games. Here are the games they yelled most positively about last year.

Steam reviews are kind of a mess. The positive/negative binary squelches nuance and doesn’t translate well into an overall percentage score, and the system is easily exploited by review bombers. Still, they’re the best available metric to determine how more than 100 million people feel about a vast selection of games.

In 2018, those users—or at least, the ones who leave reviews—really liked simulation games, inventive indies, roguelikes, and anime sex games. Per Steam 250, a site that ranks Steam games based on user reviews, the top ten games were:

1. RimWorld

2. Mirror

3. Beat Saber

4. Celeste

5. Subnautica

6. Dead Cells

7. Return of the Obra Dinn

8. Dusk

9. Gris

10. Nekopara Extra

Most of these games are pretty well-known if you follow the indie game scene. The only one I had to look up was Mirror. It describes itself as “a game that combines match-3, GALGAME elements, and beauties.” Accompanying screenshots show that it is not exactly subtle about these elements.

Now, it’s worth noting that Steam 250 ranks games via an algorithm that factors in both the percentage of positive reviews and the overall number of reviews. That’s why while Subnautica (94 percent) has a lower percentage of positive reviews than Dead Cells (95 percent), it has a lot more reviews in total, so it ends up ranking higher.

For comparison’s sake, I also looked at the top eight games (the list cut off after that) from 2018 on the third-party Steam data site SteamDB, which uses a similar algorithm—albeit one that weights things a little differently.

1. RimWorld

2. Mirror

3. Beat Saber

4. Celeste

5. Return of the Obra Dinn

6. Dusk

7. Gris

8. Dead Cells

Steam itself opts for a much simpler approach, dividing positive reviews by total number of reviews to determine an overall review score. Valve is much more rudimentary in determining its rankings, and while it’s not a free-for-all (games with less than 500 reviews don’t show up before any games with more than that), it’s close. That method, naturally, produced a pretty different result than Steam 250 and SteamDB:

1. RimWorld

2. Beat Saber

3. Celeste

4. Dusk

5. Return of the Obra Dinn

6. Touhou Luna Nights

7. Lethal League Blaze

8. Cube Escape: Paradox

9. Steins;Gate 0

10. The Room Three

So there you go: now you know the best-reviewed Steam games of 2018. Or maybe you don’t? There’s a lot going on here, and also, like, is it really possible to know anything, man?



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