It’s been a crazy year, and unlike many, my list contains a large amount of dark horse nominees. As someone whose budget and time didn’t allow, popular games such as Spider-man, God of War, and Red Dead Redemption 2, didn’t make it on my list. Still, this was a great year for gaming outside the conventional, and hopefully you learn of a game you might not have before.
Favorite Game Released Before 2018, Played in 2018: Blood Bowl 2
Despite being out for awhile, Cyanide’s game Blood Bowl 2 has been one of my most played games over the year. Joining a league with a bunch of guys, I’ve sunk a bunch of time not only taking out my fellow players, but also against a pitiful A.I. that still allows for me to have fun. A strategy game that’s “rugby with football rules set in Warhammer Fantasy”, Blood Bowl 2 has it all. Built upon a nice community of like-minded fans, I recommend giving it a go, as there’s a race and build for every type of player.
2018 Honorable Mentions
Sky Force: Reloaded, Wasteland 2: Directors Cut, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Pokemon Let’s Go: Eevee, Victor Vran: Overkill Edition
Top 5 Games of 2018
5. The World Ends With You: Final Mix
Well I can’t rightly have a top 5 list without a game I claimed “can, and should, be listed among the best titles in the history of the medium.” A game that takes awhile to get going, and with a lot of unique and risky choices, The World Ends With You: Final Mix was a title that took me on an emotional roller-coaster. Though not for everyone, it was ahead of its time before, and its emergence on the Switch makes it a title I feel is worth giving a shot.
4. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Another Switch game, another port, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was a game that surprised me. Not because of its quality, I knew about that going in, but the fact that I went in expecting a good time, and had a better time than expected. Plus, for such a fairly short game, there is a lot of content and extra challenges to let you sink as much time into it as you’d like. Add in the price point of $39.99 (US) and it’s a great time for a great price.
3. Monster Hunter World
I love Monster Hunter. I’ve been a fan since Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the WiiU, and played hundreds of hours of every release since then. Yet Monster Hunter World still surprised me with being a great move into the future. Keeping the core feel of the franchise, and adding in accessibility and new concepts, it does a great job at being a stepping stone into the future for a once cult hit franchise. My biggest complaint is that the endgame is a bit thin, but with plenty of events, as well as an expansion coming next year, the future of Monster Hunter looks to be big.
2. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
When I started this game, I had no idea I was jumping into something that would be so close to being my GOTY. Despite being a long-running franchise, and having a slightly rocky start, the game really gets going a few hours in, and the experience was nothing short of fantastic. Fun combat, an engaging story, fantastic characters, and a mysterious setting all came together to create a game so close to being top on my list. Go play it, after you read my number one, because this game is seriously under-looked in terms of GOTY honors.
1. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
While Monster Hunter World is a great step in the franchise, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate was the best way to say goodbye to the old franchise. I’ve played this game twice technically, as I sunk hundreds of hours into the Japanese exclusive Monster Hunter XX, despite not speaking Japanese. Full of content, this game has taken more of my free time this year than any other game. The mobile nature of Monster Hunter may be going away with the shift to PS4 and Xbox One, but those who got in at that level should take a step back and experience it on the Switch. It’s different, there’s a learning curve for sure, and you might need help. But with a huge, helpful online community and dozens of resources, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate does a great job at showcasing the best aspects of the franchise.