As 2018 comes to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on what the year has brought us. With a few titles that were sure to shine, there were a few gems that seemed to have come out of nowhere. Although I wasn’t able to get to as many games as I had wished, this year still was a great year for gaming.
On to my top 10!
10. Beat Saber – PC, PS4/VR
Rhythm games will always have a special place in my heart and although we’ve seen a decrease in them over the years, this one came out of nowhere for me. After catching a streamer going through some songs this was immediately purchased, even before figuring out how I was going to play it (at the time, no VR gear was owned). It’s a simple concept that is fun to pickup and hard to master. It also got me feeling some type of way for all my rhythm game peripherals collecting dust.
9. Dragon Ball FighterZ – PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
You cannot look at this game and not think beautiful. Any Dragon Ball fan should have no issue finding comfort in the gameplay and seemingly straight-out-of-the-anime cutscenes. When a video game can make you feel like you’ve taken control over the anime, you’ve got something special on your hands. This might be the most complete Dragon Ball fighter ever.
8. Super Mario Party – Switch
Nintendo finally listened and (somewhat) fixed Mario Party! Gone are horrid wagon mechanics and team ups. Back are the friendship-ending random stars and decent minigames. With the addition of online play, this title seems to put the Mario Party franchise back on track. I was happy with this title until Danreb shared the idea of an “ultimate” edition, now that’s all I pray to the Nintendo Gods for.
7. Tetris Effect – PS4/VR
Another gem. Being a huge Tetris fan, I’m also critical of how a Tetris game feels. Sure, the concept is simple, but when you play a great Tetris game, you feel it through your fingertips. Tetris Effect goes beyond that and gives you visually stunning effects (at the time, I have yet to experience it in VR) that somehow seem to enhance the gameplay. Mizuguchi’s touch on the game is something that I never knew I needed until now. I think my colleague Filippo puts it best, “If you own a PS4, you need this game in your collection.”
6. Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee – Switch
Hesitant to pick up this game at launch, I finally bit the bullet and purchased one of each for me and my partner. She has not put it down since and I found myself wanting to return to Kanto in this new form. While it’s essentially a remake, it is a beautiful game and exploring Kanto felt like a new experience. I loved being able to have my favorite Pokémon alongside me and avoiding the 100th Pidgey as it flew across the field. It seems like Nintendo can do no wrong when it comes to the Pokémon franchise.
5. Octopath Traveler – Switch
RPGs don’t usually catch my radar but once buzz got around about this title, I had to know why. Sure enough, all the buzz was well deserved. Square Enix knocked this one out the park and hope this means more JRPG-like games make their way to the States. It’s also very visually reminiscent but at the same time modern. This game feels like one of those RPGs that us in the states could only read about back in the day.
4. God of War – PS4
This franchise is one of the few that made me stay with the Sony family. Kratos journey has been one that I think anyone into stories and video games needs to experience. Although the game has been popular because of its memes, it doesn’t take away from its greatness. The dynamic between father and son is interesting and only helps shape Kratos’ character even more. It’s also one of the most visually stunning games of the year.
3. Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4, Xbox One)
Boy was this a rollercoaster. Another hit from Rockstar as the prequel to their 2010 hit FINALLY released. The game stays true to Rockstar fashion and time spent on sidequests and random things rivals that of the story. It’s also interesting to see the development of John Marston, our lead in the first Red Dead Redemption. The single player has never been an issue for Rockstar but their online presence still continues to be their only really issue.
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)
With this being our most anticipated game, it had to meet a lot of expectations. And it didn’t fall short. Being able to web sling through New York has never felt better and the game does a great job of keeping things fluid, just like the early trailers had shown. Insomniac did an amazing job; any fan of the web crawler would be pleased. When a game about a Spider-Man game is so good that it forces an actual comic featuring that version of Spider-Man, that’s very telling. Between this, the Into the Spider-Verse film and the Spider-Geddon comic, it’s been a huge year for Spider-Man!
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Switch
EVERYONE IS HERE! We wanted everyone and we got everyone that’s ever been in a Smash Bros. game. There’s not a ton of new stuff here, but the tried-and-true formula of pitting characters from over 32 different franchises in a deathmatch is something might not ever get old. With the recent announcement of Joker from the Persona franchise, there’s no telling what other fan favorite character will join the fight. Although a latecomer to the party, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is my game of the year.
And there we have it! Nintendo again dominated the year for me as they continue to drop a few amazing titles throughout the year.
The big surprise is the return of single player games. Many of the titles are single player only but are some of the best games of the year. Who said single player games were dead?
2019 is going to be an interesting year in gaming. With Fortnite and Rocket League closing the gap between platforms, will that continue to be the case? Will be get announcements of the next generation of consoles? So many things to look forward to in 2019!