2018 was a bit of a slower year for gaming, likely due to the impending release of new consoles in a couple of years. That does not mean that there weren’t some amazing games released this year.
Find our choices in a number of different fun categories, for game of the year 2018.
Who was polled?
“This year sucked because there were a lot of games that were great, but lost out barely to some others in all categories.
For me, this looked like Return of the Obra Dinn, Dragon Quest Builders (Switch), Marvel’s Spider-Man, Hollow Knight (Switch), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Into the Breach.”
“Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise (post apocalyptic Yakuza goodness!), Octopath Traveler (when will Square Enix learn that people actually like the kind of games that made them famous?), Dead Cells (great time sink, it’s very hard to not say “one more try”), Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee (not Pikachu. Admit that the adorable puppy-fox is cuter!)”
Best “Old” Game of 2018
As gaming evolves, Best “Old” Game becomes more difficult to define. Some games release on different systems in different years. Others are revived with new content. Old gems are reborn as HD remasters (I’m looking at you, Spyro).
How do we even define this category in 2018? Is it worth keeping next year?
Katamari Damacy Reroll
Tristan: “There were many contenders for this entry, but as soon as that theme started playing I was immediately taken back. Back to my college years. Back to that winter when my friends and I built a huge ass snowman with the Katamari soundtrack playing from the open balcony of our lounge. I swear I could smell that old sofa we had. That is why it wins this spot.”
Dan: “Okami was re-re-released on the Switch this year, as Okami HD. It was the first time I had returned to the game since its release in a big way. I had forgotten how enjoyable this game was from start to finish.”
Biggest Gaming Surprise of 2018
Joker in Smash and the potential newcomers
Tristan: “The doors are open, boys! Sakurai even said that they’ll all be characters you wouldn’t expect in Smash.
I’m personally holding out for Dante from Devil May Cry. He and Bayonetta really need to be in a game together.”
Super Mario Party
Dan: “I’m not saying that Super Mario Party is game of the year material. What I am saying is that the Switch version of Mario’s near-annual party is a return to form. It is worth buying if you have a group of gaming friends or if you still have blisters in the middle of your palms.”
Best Video Game Story of 2018
God of War (2018)
Tristan: “What did you expect? Bringing back a familiar character and giving him new depth while weaving in Norse mythology. An amazing journey, plus Christopher Judge as Kratos gets all my approval.”
Dan: “I have always appreciated the stories of God of War for being simultaneously epic and grounded. Minus a hiccup in the middle with a shift in Atreus’s character, I love the way that Kratos and Atreus grow from start to finish.
I’m a sucker for ambient storytelling in games. Between Atreus’s actions in gameplay and the hidden stories of the various sections of the world, nothing did it better for me than God of War.”
Favorite Gaming Moment of 2018
Yakuza Kiwami 2 – Punching a tiger in the FUCKING FACE
Tristan: “. . . or Kiryu voice acting for a Yaoi game in Yakuza Kiwami 2. I’ve been waiting to fight those tigers since I saw it in the trailer.”
Donut County (The Whole Thing)
Dan: “Up until a week of writing, my favorite moment was the first battle with Baldur in God of War. Then I played Donut County, which is short enough to be considered an experience in itself. You will laugh. You will laugh. You will laugh. But mostly, you will scream with joy.”
Most Disappointing Game(SSSSSSSS) of 2018
Most disappointing games of 2018 deserves a post by itself, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Here are some of our picks below.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dan: “Dragon Quest XI was probably my single biggest true disappointment of the year. The old-school combat is excellent as ever, but the developers chose all of the wrong things to make ‘modern.’
The additions to mobility serve to only make the game feel more restrictive. The music/story are a step back from what made Dragon Quest VIII special. This series is really starting to show its adult diapers.”
Red Dead Redemption II – The Opening Hours
Dan: “I’m giving Red Dead Redemption II way too much of a chance. I am currently slogging through Chapter 2 of the game, and it feels like Chapter 72 at this point.
I honestly applaud Take 2 and Rockstar Games for taking such a chance and going ‘all in’ on a realistic experience. It takes balls to pour so much budget into something like this.
I think some types of gamers are absolutely going to thrive in this world, so much so that they may look back on this game as one of their favorite games. EVER. For me, a person who loved the original Red Dead Redemption, I just don’t get the sequel. I hope to write something longer about this in the future as I force myself through the slow grind of Arthur Morgan’s day-to-day life.”
“Where the shit do I begin? This year was filled with disappointments. Sea of Thieves? Fall-Out 76? Diablo Immortal? Agony? Metal Gear Survive? BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle? We Happy Few? Nintendo Labo? Waluigi still not playable in Smash?”
“Rounding out my choices, NBA 2K19 and other sports games are still inundated with microtransactions. Stop buying credits! A Way Out was fairly disappointing. I wanted it to be better, than it was, but I also did not have crazy expectations for it, unlike others. Unpopular opinion – Night in the Woods is not a good game. I’m sorry, it’s just not. Make it an animated series or something.”
Best Music of 2018
Persona 3 and 5 Dancing
Tristan: “Persona already has great music, and more remixes are always welcome!”
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Tristan: “The sheer amount of music in Smash Bros Ultimate places as a close second (hey, did you know a full game came with this Video Game Soundtrack collection?! What a value!)”
Dan: “The music of Celeste is so moving and perfect for the gameplay, setting, and story, that I had to make this my top choice.”
Best Looking Game of 2018
Tristan: “That game looks like how we remember the show looking. Then you watch the show and realize that DBFZ looks BETTER THAN THE SHOW.”
Dan: “There were plenty of games with better graphics. Red Dead Redemption II and God of War absolutely floored me with their attention to detail.
I like to give Best Looking to a unique new take on visuals, and nothing was more unique and well-executed than Octopath Traveler. The pop up book style of graphics is a perfect fit with old school “Square” RPG style play.”
Games we Wished we Played in 2018
- Ni No Kuni 2
- Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice
- Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
- Marvel’s Spider-Man
- The Messenger
- Yakuza/Fist of the North Star
- Yoku’s Island Express
- Anything Battle Royale – It feels like I need to experience one of these to try and understand what the hubbub is about.
Best Waifu of 2018
Tristan: “This was a tough one for this year. Well, picking a video game waifu was at least. If anime could be included then it would be Komi-San, hands down (all glory to our silent goddess). In the end though, I have to give this one to Isabelle, the most pure and innocent of Smash newcomers. Plus the fact that everyone partners her up with Snake is just great.”
Dan: “Isabelle is one of my new ‘mains’ in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and a wonderful part of the Animal Crossing universe. She is my favorite.”
Game of the Year 2018
Yakuza Kiwami 2
Tristan: “Another tough choice. It would not be wrong to put Smash Ultimate or God of War in this spot. Personally though, I have to put Yakuza Kiwami 2 in this spot.
This was the year I finally tried the Yakuza series and I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a series so quickly. In a series of amazing games, Kiwami 2 represents a huge technical leap forward. Better weather, better lightning, better collisions and streamlined mechanics, plus other quality of life enhancements ensure that the fictional ward of Kamurocho has never looked better.
If you have a PS4 and haven’t experienced the world of Yakuza, then you should start with Yakuza 0 and eagerly await your chance to start Kiwami 2.”
Dan: “I hope to write a full review of Celeste soon, in an attempt to explain why I loved Celeste so much.
I think what it comes down to is that Celeste is a master craft of its genre, the difficult 2D-platformer. Every element of the game works well together, and it is as long as you want to make it. You can play the game in easy mode to see the simple but effective story. Or you can spend hours unlocking and completing all of the end game challenges.”
What were you favorite games of the year?
Let us know your thoughts on the best games of the year! Anything to add to this list?