Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out my personal "Top 5 Games of 2018" article. As always, these types of lists are pretty subjective and, for me at least, are usually highly influenced by what I actually got to play this year (for example, I'm still in the middle of Dragon Quest 11 and oh man, is that a fun game so far), but still, doing these types of articles is good fun, so let's get into it!
Favorite Game Released Before 2018, Played in 2018: Super Mario Odyssey
This was a pretty easy pick (and it sure helps that 2018 is the year I finally got a Nintendo Switch), but man did I ever have a blast with Mario Odyssey. I'll be the first to admit that I'm way behind on my Nintendo backlog and haven't really played a 3D Mario game since Sunshine, but Odyssey is just pure unadulterated fun. The controls are just perfect, there's a ton of things to collect, and Nintendo does a fantastic job at always interjecting variety in each world (Cappy and the main game play hook here guarantee that). All of that makes Mario Odyssey the best game from 2017 I finally got around to playing this year!
2018 Honorable Mentions
20XX, A Way Out, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Lost Sphear, Secret of Mana (PS4)
Top 5 Games of 2018
5. Mega Man 11
Picking number five was actually the hardest choice this year, but I have to give it to Mega Man 11. I adored the Mega Man series as a kid and lord knows it has been through rought times recently. So much so that we saw the release of "Mighty No. 9", which was unfortunately an utter disappointment.
Even though Capcom has ignored the Blue Bomber for years, perhaps that was the kindling they needed to release this new title. No matter what the reason, Mega Man 11 is a solid entry that any fan of the series should enjoy. This is pretty much classic platforming action, but has the "Double Gear" system as the primary feature, which lets you enhance your speed and power for short bursts. This drastically affects the game play by either slowing down time or powering up your weapons (and robot master weapons), which is a fun addition. That and the stages and robot masters here are all well designed and just plain fun. Highly recommended for fans of the series and retro platforming all around!
4. Monster Hunter World
Next up we have a game that took me by surprise (pleasantly), as this is the first Monster Hunter game I've ever played. And oh man, it was definitely a good time to get into the series. While this is definitely the type of game you only want to get into if you have a good group of friends (as the story is... pretty laughable), the sheer variety present all throughout the game is truly impressive. Not only are there a ton of monsters to fight and take down, but there's a ton of different ways (player lasses) and weapons to take them down with. The game play loop is quite solid as well, as you craft better armor and weapons with each kill.
This game released worldwide in early 2018 and just recently got an expansion trailer, so even if you haven't gotten into it yet, it is clearly not too late to grab a couple friends and go on a journey of survival together!
3. Octopath Traveler
Oh, Octopath Traveler... If you're an old-school RPG player like me, a game like Octopath Traveler almost seems like some sort of Siren Song. SNES-era graphics. Retro JRPG game play. It seems like these types of game (appealing to... older gamers) come out all the time, but they seem to rarely make an impact.
Thankfully, Octopath truly stands out. The game play here is a modified version of the "Bravely Default" system (risk vs. reward) combined with the tried-and-true staple of a job system that leads to some good character customization (the gameplay can be surprisingly deep, actually). It also helps that the music here is fantastic and the graphics are a 2.5D effect that are not only beautiful but look like they come straight out of a pop-out book.
The best thing about the game though has to be its story though, as you are told the tale of eight distinct travelers ("Octo") who come together and share in each others hardships through several chapters. All in all this, is my pick for the best pure RPG of the year, and with the success the game has had on the Nintendo Switch, I can't wait to see what Square-Enix follows this up with!
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
This should come as no surprise (as I'm sure this game just dominates lists like this around the internet). What can I say? When Rockstar goes all in on a single-player game like this, you can expect awards (and sales) galore. After spending a ton of time with this title, it's pretty apparent why: the level of detail in this game is outstanding. Not only is the story just plain epic, but it is chock-full of small details. Random events and stranger quests are everywhere, as are side quests and engaging story missions. That's if the mini-games, hunting, fishing and collectibles don't distract you.
This game is just plain huge and has a ton of heart, which is why you hear everyone gushing about it. Personally, I can do without the micro-transaction economy of "Red Dead Online", but Arthur's tale in this prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption is fantastic and definitely worth your time.
1. God of War
And finally we have my personal pick for Game of the Year: God of War (2018). A lot of us saw Kratos' journey in the original series on the PS2 and remember those games fondly, but Kratos has been away for quite awhile, which makes this triumphant return that much sweeter.
This is not the Kratos you remember. Instead, we have an older Kratos who has moved far away from his homeland (and past life) and now resides in the north, amongst Norse Mythology with his new family. What makes God of War special isn't just its tight and satisfying game play, awesome music or breathtaking visuals (although those are all present in spades, with a dash of RPG mechanics mixed in), but the story is quite literally a work of art as Kratos and his son undertake a very memorable journey together.
And that's it! My top 5 picks for game of the year. I will say that my gut is screaming at me that games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Dragon Quest 11 belong here, but sadly there just isn't enough time in the year, right? Right! Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my fellow reviewer's picks!
It's good to meet you! I'm better known online as "Bkstunt_31" and have been writing Reviews and video game Strategy Guides/Walkthroughs for WAY too many years! Feel free to stop my my Facebook page and say hello! Have fun and keep playing!