My Top 15 Best Games of 2018 – Written by Jose Vega
If you thought that 2017 was a great year for gaming, think again. 2018 has blown it out of the water and there’s a reason why. What better way to celebrate this year than by looking back at what I consider to be the best of the best. This will not be an easy list and remember that my list is an opinionated one. So let’s get underway with a list that’s good. So let’s get to the cream of the crop, the pedal to the metal. These are my Top 15 Best Games of 2018.
Before I begin, here are some rules.
Rule #1: Straight-up ports or compilations to newer consoles will not be included. If they were, I would pretty much have half of the list devoted to them. There will be a few exceptions.
Rule #2: This list focuses on games that I’ve played and put time towards. So yes, expect the list to be not to your liking.
Rule #3: If you feel a game you like isn’t on your list, feel free to provide your own.
Now that we’ve got them out of the way, let us begin.
Number #15: Octopath Traveler (Nintendo Switch)
Kicking off the list is an RPG that has a simple premise yet works. It centers on 8 different characters, each having a story of their own to tell. What makes it so good is how players go about it. The game is a love-letter to old school RPGs, offering up something exciting while challenging you. Everything about it is great whether it be the gameplay, music, presentation, voice acting, etc. Plus with the fact that you can customize your party however you like adds replay value. Don’t take my word for it, even though I still need to beat it. Get this. Octopath is an RPG that deserves all the love it can get. Who will you choose to start your journey?
Number #14: The Alliance Alive (Nintendo 3DS)
In 2018, the 3DS continues to get support from companies like Atlus. This game is no exception. The Alliance Alive centers on a group of characters that must work together to free their world from creatures called Daemons. What makes this game stand out is the battle and leveling system. Battles take place on a 3×5 grid where your group can be in different formations offering unique and interesting strategies. Not only that but towers also help provide advantages in battle. Leveling is similar to games like the original FF2 with its nurture vs. nature mechanic. Not only that but the cast can wield whatever weapons they can use offering a lot of variety and strategy. It’s a very underrated game that deserves more appreciation. Give it a chance. You won’t regret it.
Number #13: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PlayStation 4, PC)
If there’s one thing I will say regarding 2018 is that this year is home to RPGs and this list is going to have plenty of these. It had been seven years since the last Ni no Kuni game and people wonder what happened. Well we didn’t have to wait that long, as Namco Bandai would give us a sequel, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Taking place hundreds of years after the events of the first game, Ni no Kuni II centers on Evan Tildrum and Roland Crane. Together the two must gather allies and save the world while dealing with those that threaten it including a sinister evil. It’s an RPG that I should have put more time towards. Plus its story is a journey for everyone involved. Thankfully the game did sell well enough that we’re getting DLC in the form of new campaigns and exclusive gear. Hopefully these guys can add more and let’s face it. The game is fun, the battle system is interesting and the building mechanics for the kingdom is interesting. It deserves your time and money.
Number #12: Hollow Knight (Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)
This is the one exception that is on this list and for a very good reason. Though it came out last year on Steam, the fact that Hollow Knight had come to consoles, especially the Nintendo Switch is more than enough to convince me to give it a shot. This game is part-Metroidvania/part-Dark Souls. It’s a game that I can’t put down and yet it offers so much more. Its atmosphere is dark, creepy and enticing. There’s a lot to do in the game. The challenge is there and will push you to your limits but when it’s all said and done, you will feel satisfied knowing that you made the impossible possible. It’s a reason why I put over 20 hours and there is so much more to do. The fact we get the final expansion Gods and Glory is meant to end it out on a high note and it did. Hollow Knight is an amazing game and if you haven’t bought it, you should. My review I did should be proof enough.
Number #11: Mega Man 11 (Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One)
We waited 8 years for a new Mega Man game and then Capcom decided to enter its dork phase and cancel anything relating to the blue bomber left and right either out of spite or stupidity. We would reach Mega Man’s 30th anniversary and Capcom announced a brand new Mega Man game in the form of Mega Man 11. Its plot has Mega Man stopping Dr. Wily once more as he uses a strange machine to capture eight new Robot Masters and use them in his goal for conquest. Mega Man is still as fun as you remember except he has a new trick: the Double Gear system. It can be used to either slow down time or power up his attacks. My only complaint with the game is that it’s not a long game. It’s still fun but I only wish that Capcom can consider adding DLC down the line such as Proto Man and Bass. That would help add more to the game. At least it’s not at full price because if it was, that’d be another story.
Number #10: Soulcalibur VI (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Never thought Namco Bandai would ever go back to this series, especially after Soulcalibur V. This is a game that’s going to make or break the series… thankfully it helps give the series new life. Soulcalibur VI serves not only as a reboot of the series but also a celebration of the franchise. It goes back to its roots meaning the game’s fast paced and really fun. With a roster of 21 characters and additional characters incoming such as 2B, it’s a game I feel that breathes new life to the series. In addition the game also has a really good story mode where you create a character and travel on a journey in the Soulcalibur world. That’s amazing. A game like this deserves all the love it can get. I don’t want the Soulcalibur series to die.
Number #9: Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee & Let’s Go, Pikachu (Nintendo Switch)
There’s going to be somebody here that will complain at me wondering why it’s so low on my list. To be fair, this game is a bit divisive but honestly, this is a spin off and it’s meant to hold us over until Game Freak actually releases Generation 8. Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee takes us back to Kanto where it all began except in a very different way. The difference between that the game incorporates elements from Pokemon Go. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since it’s only done to make the game a bit easier. It’s accessible for people new to the franchise while bringing something that has us old-school veterans feeling nostalgic. Let’s only hope that when Gen 8 does come, its gameplay should be like every other main line in the series. Don’t screw it up guys.
Number #8: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country (Nintendo Switch)
A DLC making this list?! You don’t say but thing is, this is no ordinary DLC we’re talking about. Monolith Soft surprised us with something that could almost be a full game if it wants. Torna ~ The Golden Country is set hundreds of years before the events of the main game. It focuses on a pair named Jin and Lora who travel the continent of Torna. Meeting new and familiar companions, their story details how Torna had fallen and how it all leads up to Xenoblade 2. This feels like a full game and it does. It offers a lot of customization for the cast, quests to complete and plenty to do. I am amazed that they were able to pull it off and it’s another that I recommend you should get on the Nintendo Switch. Heck it’s available as a separate game so there’s that.
Number #7: Dragon Ball FighterZ (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
When it was announced, everyone was excited for it especially when Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite turned out to be a dud. Dragon Ball FighterZ is pretty much Marvel vs. Capcom 2/3 but it incorporates characters from Dragon Ball Z. The result is absolute beauty. Dragon Ball FighterZ is the definition of an amazing fighting game. 3-on-3 action that’s intense, addicting and satisfying. We even have a story mode that’s split into three acts, each just as good as the next. It felt like a breath of fresh air and even the roster has everyone you ever want and then some… almost. Though the game is real fun and it has its moments, I only hope that the tournament scene doesn’t get screwed over… hopefully. Yeah. DBFZ is great. It really is. Also Android 21 is best waifu. Don’t @ me.
Number #6: Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PlayStation 4)
2018 should also be the Year of Kiryu. Why? Well, because in addition to a fantastic remake of the 2nd Yakuza game, we also get one that serves as a fitting yet emotional finale to his tale. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life has a simple theme: “How far would you go for family?” For Kiryu, it’s more than you realize as he’s on a journey to save those that matter to him while uncovering a secret that could rock the fate of Japan. It’s Kiryu’s tale and it feels so strong and emotional. Not only that but Yakuza 6 is awesome in terms of gameplay and content. The Dragon Engine allows the game to run amazingly at 60fps. Not only that but there is much for Kiryu to do and so much more. This may be the final tale for Kiryu but not the end of the series. With the announcement of a spin-off titled Judgment coming this year, it’s flame will not die out. It deserves the #6 spot and it’s a bit fitting too.
Number #5: Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
After the success of the Crash N. Sane Trilogy, Activision figured that if one franchise found new life, why not do the same to another. The result is the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Activision and Toys for Bob delivered a trilogy that was remade from the ground up and treated with love and respect. We know all about the struggles of the game’s development & that Activision did the right thing by delaying the game. For all the negatives the company has done, they did at least something right. As for the game itself, the game is completely redone. It looks amazing, plays amazing and is just so good. It made me now be a fan of Spyro and I feel that the praise will convince Activision to give the franchise another shot. Let’s hope it does. It’s why Spyro Reignited deserves to be in the Top 5.
Number #4: Monster Hunter World (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Where do I even start with a game like this? Monster Hunter World is just incredible. A game that is not only accessible for newcomers but also offers something veterans can enjoy. The best of both worlds and it’s great. A game like this is more fun when you have friends along. You can play it solo if you want. Plus the fact that it continues to add more content in a way that can get people back in is just stunning. This is how you get people coming back to your games. With the announcement of it’s first expansion, Icebound coming this year, what better time to get into this game is now. Did I forget to mention that it looks great with a great amount of accessibility? Yep. Monster Hunter World is the franchise at its highest point and it’ll only continue to get higher.
Number #3: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)
If I wanted to, it would be #1 but it’s not and there’s a very good reason for it. Sakurai and Nintendo should be praised to high heaven. No one ever thought that there would be a system seller the way Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild were. Well look no further than this: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s the game where EVERYONE IS HERE! Yep. Every character from Smash 64 all the way to Smash 3DS/Wii U have made their return along with the arrival of many new characters such as Ridley, K. Rool and Simon Belmont. The game is fun, simply fun whether online or off. Not only that but the game’s Adventure Mode, World of Light will take you quite a long time to do. I can’t do it justice. This is truly a game Switch owners MUST HAVE! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the magnum opus of the franchise. Immediate recommendation and if I wanted to, this would be #1. But it isn’t and like I said, for good reason.
Number #2: Spider-Man (PlayStation 4)
After years of the Spider-Man license being dragged through the mud courtesy of Activision & Beenox, Insomniac comes in and delivers a game that gives the webhead justice. Marvel’s Spider-Man is a blessing. It’s not a movie-licensed game but it is one of the best Spider-Man games ever. The gameplay is amazing. It has a lot to do in terms of content such as side quests, challenges, bases and it goes on and on. It’s story is real good. They skip the origin story and give us an older Peter Parker who has to deal with the Daemons and I really don’t want to spoil the rest. The DLC, while nice could be better but it shouldn’t dissuade anyone from enjoying this. I hope that they get the opportunity to do the sequel. They set the bar for Spider-Man and I hope with the sequel, it’s set even higher. Oh and if this doesn’t convince you to get a PlayStation 4 and play this, the next will.
Number #1: God of War (PlayStation 4)
Here’s the thing. My brother got me this as a birthday gift and I swear, the sooner I started playing it, I was hooked. God of War for PlayStation 4… I have no words to express my real feelings on this. This game along with Spider-Man and many others are pretty much a big, fat, FU to Electronic Arts & any others that say, “single player games are dead and that online & live services are the future”. Future my ass! The fact that it’s a PS4 exclusive says a lot. Sony killed it this year. They really did.
God of War is simply incredible. Everything about the game is awesome. The story is well done and crafted. Combat is real good and the customization for both Kratos and Atreus is real good. Speaking of which, Kratos and Atreus are two characters that share a bond and you see it grow throughout the game. It’s so good that it makes you cry when it’s all over. When a game like this makes me cry, you know it’s a game worth your time. I’m not kidding. As I said already, if Spider-Man isn’t the reason why you should get a PS4, this definitely will. You will not be disappointed. That’s a guarantee.
Not every game that was good is on this list. Therefore I will provide some honorable mentions, games that are real good along with my reasons why.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
I’ve heard a lot of good things about the game and I was able to give it a shot. I liked it but I truthfully should have put more time into it. It deserves an honorable mention because you should give it a chance. It’s a Dragon Quest game made for the current generation of gaming. My issue is with Square-Enix behind the scenes. They didn’t bring the 3DS version overseas, the Switch version is delayed to 2019 & they even have the gall to say that they won’t release any more Dragon Quest games westward if the game doesn’t meet expectations. How petty & pathetic. Should this stop you from trying DQ XI? No.
Another game I got my hands on but never got around to playing, so much so that I also got the Definitive Edition of Hitman 2016. iO Interactive had their work cut out for them when developing this. Square-Enix pulling out and de-investing them didn’t help. Thankfully they stuck to their guns and gave us a game that is just as addicting as the original. They continue to add more content in the form of elusive targets & they’re bringing back the missions from Hitman 2016 but revised and improved. It’s truly good. All of this may want me to give it a shot. You should too.
Kirby Star Allies
When I first played & reviewed the game, it was all right but it lacked in some ways. Almost a year ago, the game feels now complete. I want it on the list but I always review games based on as they are. Thankfully the game has a lot of additional content in the form of new modes, allies, the works. It now feels complete and I commend the people at HAL for devoting their time to this game. I love it. All of this may want me to go back. The game is more fun if you have friends and it shows.
Mario Tennis Aces
We haven’t had a proper Mario Tennis game in a while and the Wii U version was a major dud. Camelot Software Planning had their work cut out for them. At least with this game, it fixed many of the problems the Wii U game had. Although I still feel Mario Tennis Aces could have been a lot more. Though they added new characters and modes, I feel it’s not enough. The Adventure Mode was okay. Now I only wish Camelot Software can maybe give us a brand new Golden Sun game. It’s been too long.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Another 3DS game I should have put more time into and I feel bad because if there’s any company that deserves praise for their commitment to Nintendo’s handheld, it should be Atlus. This game is an updated port of the original DS game but with a lot of updated bells and whistles such as visuals and music. It also has a new sub-plot where you explore alternate timelines and what happens there can unlock new stuff in the main timeline. It’s awesome and a game like this really should get you interested. I mean it. Why do you think I wish I could put time into it huh?
Red Dead Redemption 2
There’s going to be somebody here saying that Red Dead Redemption 2 should be on the list. Look… I know. This game broke sales records. It defied expectations and then some. The game is incredible. Rockstar has a reputation for delivering amazing single-player experiences. RDR2 is no exception and I should have at least put some time into it. I didn’t and I regret it. My only issue is the multiplayer and I feel it’s going to be the same way they did it with what they did to GTAV. I’m worried since GTAV suffered due to online making them more money. That is my only worry. I will enjoy RDR2, just not the online though.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Originally, it was going to be on this list but after much consideration, I changed my mind. Starlink has some good ideas. The game is like No Man’s Sky but with ships, ship combat and a lot of battles. If you plan on getting any version of it, get the Switch version. The Switch version is a recommended because you get an exclusive character and ship, Fox McCloud and the Arwing. Not only that but an exclusive campaign regarding the Star Fox team. It’s good. My issue with it is the DLC. Unless you got the $80 digital deluxe edition, expect to spend a lot of money to get everything. Plus the toys-to-life stuff while good is a bit problematic. That’s what turned me off but its Ubisoft so what else is new. Give it a chance if you can.
Valkyria Chronicles 4
A game I got for Christmas and one I should put time towards. I never thought we would get another Valkyria game after that awful Valkyria Revolution. I was worried but SEGA surprised us with a game that takes us back to what it should be. It’s well done. It has characters that you will like and the gameplay is back to how it was in the original Valkyria Chronicles. Expect to spend a lot of time towards a game like this and yes, there is additional content as DLC. So yeah, you are getting more for your money’s worth and then some.
Yakuza Kiwami 2
Yakuza Kiwami was a major hit and then SEGA announces that they are remaking the second. But it isn’t just any remake. They just went the deep end with this, implementing the Dragon Engine used for Yakuza 6 in this game. The story is awesome, the combat is refined and there’s so much to do it would take you hours. I kid you not. Not only that but this game also has a side-story centering on the Mad Dog of Shimano himself, Goro Majima. It’s not long but it does add more to the overall plot of the game. With the Judgment spin-off coming next year and hopefully HD remakes of Yakuza 3-5, the franchise is going strong. Very strong.
And that’s my list in a nutshell. If you feel there’s a game you like that came out this year that should be on here, feel free to tell me. I look forward to hearing from all of you.