Another Great Year In Gaming
The year 2018 has come and gone leaving behind a trail of gaming experiences that, once again, has allowed the industry to continue its remarkable growth within the entertainment medium. While we’ve covered the year’s best small team indie games, like Celeste and Dead Cells, now it’s time we move on to the big boys of the bunch.
These ten AAA titles flourished throughout the year with glistening polish, intense gameplay, incredible art direction and one memorable moment after another.
Let’s take a look at the top ten best AAA games that released in 2018.
10. Dragon Ball FighterZ
The lone fighter to make the list, Dragon Ball FighterZ took the Dragon Ball universe to feverish levels of excitement thanks to the perfected combat created by veteran fighting game developers, Arc System Works. A wide range of well-known characters from the franchise, both new and old, have never played so well in a Dragon Ball game to date. The simple controls allows almost any player to pick up the sticks for a few rounds of unabashed joy. However, the tight combo mechanics and powerful special abilities makes mastering each character an addictive, yet, satisfying endeavor.
9. Octopath Traveler
Square Enix was able to find their roots in 2018 with the gorgeously crafted pixellated RPG, Octopath Traveler. The turn-based combat, eight unique character arcs and beautifully imagined world gave RPG fan Switch owners something completely new and exciting to rave about. Octopath Traveler stays true to its roots with a grind fest of addictive combat systems re-introducing the coveted ‘jobs’ feature, a flurry of enemy weaknesses and plenty of weapon types to collect throughout your adventure. In a year where the JRPG games looked to make a comeback in the west, Octopath Traveler was one game that ceased to disappoint.
8. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Taking the iconic Assassin’s Creed franchise one step further from its predecessor Origins, Odyssey allowed players even more mouth-watering RPG elements to sink their teeth into. The massive map of Ancient Greece brimmed with memorable characters, tons of side quests and activities, and a world never before fully realized in quite this fashion. The real-action combat continues to flaunt its way to a more skill-heavy style, while the addition of selective dialogue continues the series towards a more rewarding RPG style of experience. Perhaps one of the best in the decade-long series, Odyssey seems to have finally put the AC franchise back on track to greatness, saving it from the cycle of redundancy.
7. Forza Horizon 4
With little big name racing games making an appearance in the year 2018, Forza Horizon 4 still managed to race its way into legendary territory. The massive map of the UK was a gorgeous playground of all sorts of racing events paired with a jaw-dropping collection of over 400 mean racing machines to shred through the streets. The seasonal changes provided a diverse arrangement of racing events like never before in the genre. From dexterous street racing to down and dirty off-roading events, Horizon 4 gave racing fans a mountain load of exciting events to take part in, no matter the season.
6. Monster Hunter World
The Monster Hunter franchise finally made its way back to home consoles for the first time in what seems like forever. Taking down massively devastating monsters that lurk in gorgeous landscapes has never felt more satisfying than in the sprawling maps of World. The ultimate hunting grounds for groups of friends to pair up and track, hunt and capture their target is as addictive as ever, and the incredibly daunting weapons and armor selection of upgrades is enough to keep players pumping in hundreds of hours of monster hunting mayhem.
5. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age finally saw its western release in 2018, and with it came a charming adventure filled with a cast of memorable characters. The traditional turn-based combat system is slightly amped-up thanks to the real-time navigation, but still manages to stick to what made the system so perfect in the first place. The lavish world of Erdrea is brought to life with the iconic character art style of Akira Toriyama – of Dragon Ball fame – and personalized with the original story from series writer/designer, Yuji Hori. Quickly becoming known as the best Dragon Quest in the franchise, Echoes of an Elusive Age is a fitting entry for any fan of the JRPG genre.
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The title says it all for the Switch’s approach to the famed party brawling icon. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the ultimate Smash experience for any fan of Nintendo’s ultimate cross over title. Bringing every character that’s ever appeared in a Smash game which puts that game at a whopping 74 playable fighters. While the core game is best played with a group of friends in relentless battles across a selection of over 100 themed stages, players also have a variety of other game modes to keep them busy, including a single player driven campaign mode. There’s a lot more to the Smash formula brought to life in Ultimate, making it ideally the best in a long line of releases the franchise has to offer.
3. Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar’s long-awaited prequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption western title opened up the doors for brand-new experiences set in massive open worlds. The awe-inspiring amount of detail swarming every single character, the beautifully crafted worlds from the snowy mountain peaks to the bustling city of Saint Denis, it seemed like there was always something to get into no matter the mood you found yourself in. Wrap all of that together in one of the most narratively gripping, most ambitious action-adventure games of this generation – and you have a recipe for something truly special.
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
When you think of a game in 2018 being nothing but pure fun, Marvel’s Spider-Man comes rising to the top of that list. From addictive web-slinging traversal, the open-ended combat and original Insomniac story, Marvel’s Spider-Man is a riveting experience from start to finish. Tons of side activities to help hone your Spidey skills, an impressive collection of authentic Spider-Man suits, all-new gadgets and abilities to help beef up taking down gangs of enemies all took part in creating one of the best single player experiences, not only in the super hero genre, but in gaming all together.
1. God of War
Rebooting a franchise is never an easy task. Rebooting an icon like Kratos from God of War is even more of a slippery slope. How do you take beloved combat mechanics, time period and characters and turn them into something even better while the risk of completely peeving off its fan base looms over your shoulder like an Earth shattering thundercloud? Sony Santa Monica did exactly that and delivered an experience like never before with their new vision of the God of War franchise.
An intense new battle system laid the ground work for a hardened and more experienced Kratos, the gripping narrative told one of the most memorable stories in gaming and the semi-open world allowed players the freedom of exploration without dumping an overwhelming amount of content into their laps. God of War 2018 took gaming to brave new heights, and perfected on nearly every aspect featured in the brutally challenging masterpiece.
While 2018 came and went with a bang, 2019 is lining up to potentially be even greater in terms of new game releases. Many of us no doubt still have plenty on our plate from the previous 12 months, there’s still lots more to come in the future.