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The 2018 game before it was a near-perfect reboot, but the sequel addresses every single issue. There are more enemies to fight, the story is expanded, more characters get the limelight, there are more ways to do battle, more realms to explore, and Kratos finally confronts his past. Also, you’re not constantly getting blockaded on your way to the top of a mountain. Thank Odin.

It would have been easy to go the way of the old series and just up the ante – smash the shock and awe dials right up – but there’s a calm hand guiding the game along. It’s self-assured, it knows what it wants to say, and it hammers it home with the power of Thor.

It’s a game with the confidence you can only earn by living your life and being comfortable in your own skin, which is something that Kratos also learns to do over the course of the game. It doesn’t need to be overly brutal and bloody because it knows an emotional gut punch can be more painful than a curb stomp.

I love its reimagining of Norse myth, from the complexities of Atreus as a conflicted Loki to the way Thor and Odin carry themselves like modern gangsters. The excellent cast leans right into this creativity, making sure every character leaves their mark after the credits roll.

Odin, Thor and Kratos in God of War Ragnarok

God of War: Ragnarök's Thor and Odin act like modern gangsters.

I’ve never been the kind of person to grab every collectible in a video game – I usually don’t care – but I just wanted to spend as much time as possible in this world. I’ve done it all – every single chest, all the ravens, all of it. And when I was done, I went straight back in for some more on the hardest difficulty.

When the year started so strong with Elden Ring, I never imagined another game would knock FromSoftware’s masterpiece off the top stop for me. But there’s just so much heart, so much focus in God of War Ragnarök that my game of the year couldn’t be anything else.