2018 was the year of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Sure, plenty of other games released this year garnered a great deal of attention. Some were chosen as GOTY over Red Dead Redemption 2 by certain publications.

Many individual players will say that a game other than RDR2 defined their 2018. But for gaming as a whole? It was the year of Red Dead.

The game got glowing reviews across the board, sitting at a Metascore of 97. Very few people had anything particularly bad to say about Red Dead Redemption 2, and even fewer among them who weren't doing it just to be contrarian.

It also sold exceedingly well, outselling the lifetime quantity of Red Dead Redemption in under 7 days. Ever since the game was released, it has been a nearly unending stream of news and content.

However, even before we got the game into our hands, before the press was given a chance to review it, it was already a massive phenomenon. Few titles could garner the kind of hype generated by Red Dead Redemption 2, not to mention how little marketing there was, comparatively.

The game was delayed twice, first to this year's spring, then to the final release date of October 26th.

In the early months of 2018, we were all anticipating Red Dead Redemption 2 like it was just around the corner. Then, in the middle months of 2018, we did the exact same thing.

Speculation, leaks, screenshots, the very occasional trailer and more gave the fandom plenty fo chew on. The game's dedicated Subreddit thrived even when the game was months away.

We all spent much of 2018 waiting for Red Dead Redemption 2, but not waiting passively. Few fandoms were as engaged as that of this game in the pre-release period. Whether it was about a prolific map leak, the possibility of a PC version or the likelihood of a Nintendo Switch port the community always found something to talk about.

The game's setting and characters were only revealed in full this year, and that alone sparked plenty of coverage. Though a few games like God of War, Spiderman or Fortnite drew the spotlight at times, Red Dead Redemption 2 coverage and discussion was constant.

Then, after the game was actually released, the power keg went boom. A sudden slew of guides, reviews, explanations, easter egg reports and, unfortunately, discussion about bugs was unleashed. Though Red Dead Redemption 2 had a solid launch, especially compared to Fallout 76 which launched around the same time, it did have one particularly widely discussed graphical issue.

This torrent of news and discussion was hardly subsiding when the launch of the Red Dead Online Beta gave it another push. More controversial than the single player game due to its microtransactions, Red Dead Online was well received nonetheless and its player base continues to flourish.

A game with this measure of acclaim and cultural impact needs to be recognized. At this year's The Game Awards, Red Dead Redemption 2 won several trophies, and countless publications are naming the open world Wild West romp their game of the year. You won't need to guess twice whether or not we're among them.

Since this was the year the game was released, there is no need to highlight how important it was for the game. Rather, it's the other way around - Red Dead Redemption 2 was the definitive game of 2018.