Like the year before it, 2018 blessed us all with a wide variety of titles to be pleased with.
Amazing single-player experiences graced every console and remained a huge part of the current gaming landscape. Well-known IP’s made their grand return with standout sequels and and prequels. The PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC all featured an exclusive that stayed on the tip of gamers’ tongues all year long. So many games released throughout the year, but there’s only a select few that managed to go above the level of good. The titles listed below stand tall as the very pinnacle of gaming and the types of games we’ll look back on fondly in the near future.
So without further ado, let’s remember all of the top games that came out in 2018.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Taken From Review: Dragon Ball FighterZ has already provided 2018 with one of the best games of the year. Its mix of stunning graphics, collection of fun modes to conquer, meaty roster, and fascinating gameplay mechanics shouldn’t be passed up. Hardcore fighting game fans will get a lot out of mastering the hyperactive team battles, plus casual fans won’t be left out in the cold either. There’s a lot to appreciate here. Arc System Works took a peek inside the heads of Dragon Ball fans to create the dream fighter they’ve always ever wanted.
Monster Hunter World
Taken From Review: Monster Hunter World is a gorgeous and captivating game that will have you invested for dozens, possibly hundreds of hours. There is so much to craft, hunt, farm, and forge in this game that it’s easy to lose track of time. From the deep character customization to the fascinating monsters that roam gorgeous landscapes, Monster Hunter World is a triumph.
Even with some wonky issues revolving around the online component of the game, it was never bad enough to detract from my enjoyment of the game. If you are a veteran or completely new to the series, Monster Hunter World is a game worth trying. Now if you excuse me I need to go pick through some bones so I can upgrade my next piece of armor.
EA Sports UFC 3
Taken From Review: EA Sports UFC 3 continues the upsurge in quality of its franchise. The stand-up game flows so much better than it once did, plus maneuvering on the ground and looking for a submission feels just as improved. The GOAT Career Mode and Ultimate Team Mode has gotten plenty of additional perks that push it towards near perfection.
There’s still a few kinks to work out, such as the odd fighter animations, collision-detection errors, and somewhat off commentary. It’s clear that EA Canada is getting better at presenting a quality MMA simulator with this entry’s boost in quality. UFC 3 is proof that a championship run for the franchise is attainable.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Taken From Review: Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of the most engrossing and captivating RPGs I’ve ever played. Despite a lackluster lead, the story is entertaining and adds some fun twists to worn out medieval cliches. If you can get past the cumbersome information dumps and questionable save system you’ll find one of the most rewarding games of the generation. It’s easy to get lost for hours as you explore the countryside or attempt to increase Henry’s stats. Even the act of learning how to read is surprisingly fun and engaging. If you are looking for a new RPG to play then do not miss out on Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Taken From Review: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is a massive step-up when compared to the game that came before it. Following along with Evan’s desire to build a kingdom that thrives off of peace is compelling. Moments that are full of sadness and exuberance are sprinkled throughout – these instances push the game along and keep you enthralled the entire way through. A more action-RPG centered battle system, wondrous world exploring, and an gorgeous anime sheen make this JRPG shine. However, the kingdom management portion sticks out as one of the weaker aspects of this lengthy experience. When judged as a whole, Level-5’s latest project should still be judged as a triumph.
God of War
Fans had every right to be a little skeptical of the next entry in the God of War saga. The first three games in the PlayStation exclusive series were brutal, loud, and full of amazing God killing antics. The 2018 installment added several elements that got fans pretty nervous – a constant companion in the form of a little boy, a more mellow Kratos, and a new combat/camera system.
But once it finally launched, all those fears subsided. The return of Kratos was marked by an adventure full of epic clashes, emotional moments between the troubled warrior and his son, and a unique take on the franchise’s close-quarters combat. The incredible voice work, sweeping orchestral score, and jaw-dropping reveal at God of War’s close made it all the more memorable.
Taken From Review: DrinkBox Studios has done it again. Guacamelee 2! proves that the success of the first game was no fluke – everything that worked before returns in a sequel that’s bigger and bolder than other titles in its sub-genre. The animated visuals maintain their flashy nature due to their focus on representing the best in Mexican culture. There’s an abundance of humorous moments strewn throughout that poke fun at all parts of pop culture and your newfound world saving mission. The elements that make up Metroidvania games is fully represented and done in an even more masterful way.
The 4-player co-op is a mere sidenote that’s only good for a quick giggle with your local buddies. Getting the most enjoyment out of Guacamelee 2! should be done by your lonesome. Exploring every timeline, upgrading every move, learning new combos, completing side missions, conquering platforming sequences etc. feels even more incredible when you do it all by yourself. There’s plenty to do and see in the ever expansive Mexiverse. Guacamelee 2! helps the series graduate from an upper mid-card luchador to a main event level strongman that ultimately shines.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Taken From Review: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is an old-school JRPG at its heart. It utilizes the types of mechanics that have been a hallmark of the sub-genre and does them well. But for those of you who are veterans of those types of games, most of this entry’s content feels a bit stale and dated in comparison to its modern contemporaries. The story is a slow-burner that gets more intriguing as you see it through, which feels rewarding.
The lighthearted nature of the series and your quirky cast of characters constantly brighten the mood. Plus the fun combat mechanics and addictive character customization system knocks this entry’s entertainment value up a notch. What’s being offered here is a JRPG that sticks to what it knows best and doesn’t stray too far away from what Dragon Quest is known for. There’s not a whole lot of franchise innovation to speak of, but Dragon Quest XI still provides a sweeping journey worth completing.
Marvel’s beloved wall-crawler was featured in plenty of great games, as well as some truly terrible ones. When Sony decided to partner up with Marvel Games and developer Insomniac Games, a grand plan was put into place. It turns out this partnership was finalized in order to produce the greatest Spider-Man game of all time.
It was undoubtably a smashing success! Spidey’s PS4 exclusive stood out amongst the year’s best due to an exciting recreation of New York City, plenty of Easter Eggs and fan service, an amazing storyline (pun intended), and a damn near perfect web swinging system. Spidey joined Batman in the hall of great comic book video games thanks to his 2018 open-world epic.
Mega Man 11
Taken From Review: Mega Man 11 plays the series’ greatest hits while still providing something fresh and new. Navigating each stage and battling Robot Masters is as hard as ever yet still fair. The side-scrolling and shoot ’em up gameplay remains as fun as ever. And there’s a multitude of hard-to-reach items to find and collect. The traditional elements of this latest entry come packaged with the clever Double Gear system, a welcome addition that impacts every aspect of the game in a positive way.
What you’re getting here is a fine return to form. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel or tell its ongoing storyline in a more intriguing way. And on the audio front, Mega Man 11 doesn’t offer a memorable soundtrack worth replaying outside of the game. Playing it safe while also providing a fun new mechanic works well enough for this long-awaited sequel. The Blue Bomber’s modern-day revival is largely a success.
Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise
Taken From Review: There’s finally a good Fist of the North Star game available within the States thanks to Sega and the brains behind its successful Yakuza IP. Lost Paradise offers a fan-friendly foray into the open-world of a classic anime and lets players fight the good fight as the powerful Kenshiro. A fresh plot, familiar characters and moments, wild minigames, and an interesting hub locale to explore makes Lost Paradise a standout experience.
A few negatives keep it from being just as great as the series it’s based on, though. The driving feels a bit off, the Wasteland is a chore to explore, and certain features related to the combat system grow repetitive. Beating down hapless thugs and other menacing martial artists is still quite enjoyable, though. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise works well as a love letter to the manga/anime and Yakuza games that inspired it.
Forza Horizon 4
Taken From Review: Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios are masterful in their approach to open-world racing. Forza Horizon 4 is clearly proof of that. The never-ending reward loop, huge host of events to compete in, massive collection of vehicles, and interesting takes on competitive/co-op multiplayer challenges do a lot to make this racer worthwhile. Ripping down the roads of the UK is an incredible experience, plus the seasonal changes do a lot to freshen up everything featured on the beaten path.
One of the newer mechanics on deck for Forza Horizon 4 is Forzathon Live. Unfortunately, it’s not as effective in delivering the high fun factor the rest of the game is known for. That mode stands out as the only blemish on an otherwise incredible open-world racer. Forza Horizon 4 is an exhilarating tour through the beautiful countryside of Great Britain. Racing game fans and non-fans alike need to give this amazing sequel a go.
Taken From Review: Project Soul has finally returned to fine form with the introduction of Soulcalibur VI. The full slate of single-player content is enjoyable, the combat looks and feels superior to past entries, the music is as grand as ever, and the character creation feature is a fun time sink that’s highly addictive.
There’s definitely a list of issues that knock it down a few pegs, though. Keeping a series favorite locked behind a paywall is bothersome, plus there’s not enough new characters in place for this sequel. Plus the character creation feature is lacking in a few areas. Hopefully, these issues see some kind of improvement in the future. Even with all these problems present, Soulcalibur VI still maintains its position as an incredible 3D fighter that does right by its hardcore fanbase. The soul burns once more…
Far Cry 5
Taken From Review: Far Cry 5 won’t win anyone who hasn’t been a fan of the series, it’s a great entry. The level of freedom and creativity offered to players alongside the shockingly rich story makes Far Cry 5 an extremely memorable ride. Even with occasional A.I. hiccups and Father getting overshadowed by his siblings, it’s hard not to invest in the struggles of your allies. Thanks to the much-needed addition of Arcade mode and fleshed out co-op mode, shooting crazed cultists is a ton of fun with a buddy. Far Cry 5 is the second best entry in a series and the first great FPS of the year.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Taken from Review: With over 70 hours into Red Dead Redemption 2, I still have a ton of animals to hunt, gang hideouts to destroy, and side quests to finish. The sheer level of detail to this world cannot be understated and it’s so easy to just get lost exploring. Despite the fairly simplistic combat, the unique missions and focus on developing the characters make up for any major shortcomings. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a marvel and the team behind deserves immense praise. It’s impossible not to get swept up in Arthur’s story and the ending might just make you shed a tear or two. This is not a game you just play, but one you get completely lost in.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Taken From Review: Activision and Toys for Bob have done a bang up job with Spyro’s original PlayStation trilogy. The heavy coat of remake paint splashed all over each game helps them fully realize the vision of its original creators. The re-recorded dialogue, remastered soundtrack, and gorgeous looking worlds you’ll explore all must be commended – these elements come together to do an awesome job of reminding gamers of Spyro’s pre-Skylanders run.
What’s being offered here is a collection of games that are still enjoyable for longtime fans and are incredibly welcoming to gamers who need a new platformer to invest in. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy may not be incredibly challenging, which may be an issue for those looking for something a bit harder to engage in. Plus the camera options for all three games can sometimes be a headache to manage. However, this compilation still manages to offer three rewarding experiences for anyone who chooses to embrace them.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The hype is real! Nintendo’s own Masahiro Sakurai and his dedicated development team answered the outlandish wishes of its Super Smash Bros. fanbase with an “ultimate” new entry in the series. The crossover franchise fighter made its debut on the Switch in a major way.
Everyone who was ever a playable character made their return, hundreds of songs and stages were included, and the gameplay was just as addictive as ever. The newly included characters managed to be worthy of inclusion, which made the game’s roster top-tier for everyone who gave the game a spin. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate managed to improve on perfection and it’s hands-down the best Nintendo title of 2018.