Before I start this list I just want to make it clear that 2018 has been an amazing year for game releases but I haven’t had a chance to play all of them, so if a game you think should be on the list isn’t, chances are that I haven’t played it.
10 – Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4)
I always enjoy the Tomb Raider games and this one was no exception. It only just made my list this year as I actually played through the whole game over the past two days! It was a great way to end the year, and also end Lara’s rebooted trilogy. The only downside is that the game didn’t really do enough to separate it’s self from the other games in the series, making feel a bit same old, still it’s great fun to play and I enjoyed the new gameplay mechanics a lot!
9 – Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu (Switch)
As a huge Pokemon fan, having grown up playing Red and Blue and continuing to play all the games in the series thereafter, I was quite excited to see how GameFreak had decided to update the originals for the new generation of Pokemon fans. The results are… mixed. On one hand I love it, on the other I hate it. Let’s (Go) break it down…
I love the graphics and the fact that you can see the Pokemon in the wild, it makes the world feel more alive. I also love the fact that you can now (Like Heart Gold / Soul Silver) take the Pokemon out of their balls and walk them beside you, this game really goes the extra mile to capture the movements of the different Pokemon, for example, Venosaur runs like a toad! I love the little details like that.
They have considerably simplified the traditional Pokemon experience, making for a much shorter and easier game than the originals. I wasn’t a big fan of the new catching mechanic as the motion controls leave a lot to be desired, also the way you level up by catching Pokemon means it’s incredibly easy to level all your Pokemon up way past the expected level for the next area. For example, if you are looking for a shiny or specific Pokemon you are bound to be many levels higher and find the game a breeze to power though without even thinking.
Overall though I did enjoy the game, hence it’s 9th position on my best games of the year list! I’m looking forward to seeing which elements that have decided to take forward into the new pokemon game coming this year on the Switch!
8 – Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)
I was amazed a few months ago that I won an Xbox One X in a competition on Twitter, so naturally, the first thing I did when I got the console was get Gamepass and check out all the games I could download. Easily the best game i’ve played on the Xbox so far, and one of the best racing games i’ve ever played on any system.
Forza Horizon 4 has shocked me with it’s amazingly detailed open world, great driving mechanics, hundreds of card and challenges and a great soundtrack. Plus being from the UK myself it’s really cool to be driving around some recognisable areas and driving on the RIGHT (left) side of the road 😉 Really couldn’t ask for anything more, this game is racing perfection! (Until Forza Horizon 5 i’m sure…) it was also the first game i got to play in 4K HDR on my new TV which looks incredible!
7 – Wario Ware Gold (3DS)
As a fan of the Ware Ware series i’d been looking forward to this one for a long time! It mostly lived up to my expectations but for some reason something feels a bit off, maybe it’s the overly flash style animation on everything or the fact that it’s 90% re-used mini games. The game it’s self is just as fun as every though, throwing over 200 quick fire mini games at you, this time mixing up all the past games and including Touch, Twist and Button games. It’s great fun if you like Wario Ware, just don’t expect much int he way of new content. Earlier this year I did a video on the entire Wario Ware series, check it out below:
6 – Octopath Traveller
Easily my most anticipated game of the year, from the moment I saw the trailer at E3 last year, I knew this was going to be something special. It did not disappoint, from the amazing visual style, to the outstanding soundtrack, everything about this game was a joy for me. Apart from the story. I was hoping that every character would be as intrestting as Primrose, the girl you can choose to pay as in the demo, unfortunately though lot of the characters just seem a bit flat, with the game quickly turning into a typical – Go to the town, find someone with a problem, go to a cave, kill a monster, return to town, everyone is happy… repeat on loop for 100 hours… It’s not that I don’t like the game , I do, I have put in over 80 hours now. I just wish that Square would have done something to shake up the traditional RPG tropes a bit more.
5 – Megaman 11 (PS4)
Another game I was incredibly excited for, being the huge Megaman fan that I am, of course I got this day one and was not disappointed. In fact I got so excited about the fact that there was a new Megaman game out, that I went back and played all the older games in the series for my youtube channel! Unfortunately though, I then got too excited about doing the videos for my channel and forgot to actually play Megaman 11! I still have yet to finish it, but from what I have played I think it holds up extremely well and is a great next step for the series. I even love the graphics and this is coming from someone who usually hates 2.5D with a passion.
4 – Astro Bot (PSVR)
The surprise hit of the year for me, from the moment I put on the VR headset and booted up the game I knew I would love it. It really feels like a fantastic evolution of the 3D platform, with nice precise controls and a new viewpoint thanks to the VR, it’s amazing to play a game from this new angle and it works surprisingly well, of course, screenshots and videos don’t do it justice so it’s hard to show exactly how it works in VR. Just trust me, it works, very well indeed! One of the best 3D platforms i’ve ever played and a great first step for the genre in VR! I can’t wait to see how this genre evolved over the coming years.
3 – Smash Bros Ultimate (Switch)
Of course, this game needs no introduction and is probably atop many best games of the year list. Smash Bros Ultimate is everything a Smash fan could possibly want, every character plus newcomers, a very robust and deep single player adventure and simply the best gameplay and graphics of the whole series! I’ve been really enjoying going through the World of Light and completing all the challenges. The amount of content in this game is incredible, it’s hard to see how they will top this on Nintendo’s next console.
2 – Beat Saber (PSVR)
Ever since Beat Saber came out for VIVE I have been patiently waiting for the PSVR release, it’s finally here and I absolutely love it! I have already beaten all the songs on Expert and am looking forward to the DLC songs! It’s a great, fun and rewarding rhythm game which really works up a sweat! It’s a great workout too! Images don’t do this game justice so here’s a video of someone much better than me playing one of the new songs, enjoy.
1 – Tetris Effect (PSVR)
An easy choice for Number 1. Since the first trailer I was very intrigued about Tetris Effect, not much was shown other than it would somehow create a trance like state and was being developed by the genius Tetsuya Mizuguchi. When it finally came out towards the end of this year, I sat down, put the VR headset on and had one of the most magical gaming experiences I have ever experienced. It’s so much more than just Tetris, the journey mode takes you through 30 or so different themes, each with their own visuals and music which change based on how you play. They all flow continually from one to the other. During a few of the stages I actually had to stop playing as it was so overwhelming I was crying!
It’s games like this that make me glad i’m a fan of gaming so much so that something this special can come along and have such an impact. It’s truly a masterpiece and one that I will remember for years to come.
Thanks for reading, what were some of your favourite games of the year? Let me know in the comments below!