The year 2018 went by in a flash but the best games will remain in the forefront of our minds as we enter a whole new year of gaming! Each year our Bago team compiles a list of what we believe are the best games of the year. We hope you share your opinions with us and let us know in the comment section below what you believe are the best games of 2018.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate – World of Light Mode (Nintendo Switch)
I have been obsessed with the Super Smash Bros. series since Brawl. After learning Super Smash Bros Ultimate would include every single previous fighter I could barely contain my joy. Everything about this game is gorgeous. The stages are absolutely beautifully rendered and so are the fighters and spirits. Besides having the usual smash modes, Nintendo includes the mysterious World of Light mode into this classic game. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t sure if it would be worth my time playing this special mode. After playing this mode for weeks the beauty and challenge grew on me. World of Light is my favorite part of Ultimate to play on my own. The best part is collecting spirits. Its entertaining to continuously progress through the board and collect spirits from Nintendo’s multitude of franchises. Seeing how much time and thought that went into this mode makes SSBU a phenomenal 2018 game.
YS VIII – Lacrimosa of Dana (Nintendo Switch/ PS4/ PS Vita and PC)
In 2018 many JRPGS were released but one in particular is my favorite JRPG of 2018. YS VIII Lacrimosa of Dana was beautifully developed by Falcom. Story and character design aside, this game is worth playing just for the music and graphics. It pulls the player into this mysterious island. A land filled with ancient history, primordials and a larger than life mystery create a living experience. Adol is an adventurer who, along with his shipmates, is stranded on a deserted island full of prehistoric creatures. As he works towards finding the other castaways, the mystery of the island unfolds into something unpredictable. Lacrimosa is an absolute must for every adventurous Switch owner.
Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu / Eevee (Nintendo Switch)
Octopath Traveler (Nintendo Switch)
Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PS4 and Xbox One)
I felt uneasy about putting a remaster on this list because it’s technically not new, but Spyro will always hold a special place in my heart. As Spyro 1 and 2 were my first two games I ever owned with the Playstation 1 being my first console, I can’t help but go into the series and always have fun. It’s not only that the gameplay here has been retouched and remastered but they completely overhauled it. Details were done to the games that I would say go further than a remaster, with every dragon you uncover in Spyro 1 sporting a unique design, the levels looking gorgeous with their visuals, and your allies from Spyro 2 and 3 receiving in most cases completely new designs and voices. They took the classic Spyro trilogy and not only restored and remastered them, but built onto them, making them feel even more complete as games. This isn’t simply a remaster, this is a definitive edition of all 3, and if you are a Spyro fan, you are doing yourself an incredible disservice by not experiencing it. I’m excited that a new generation will get a chance to play these classics in a form they can embrace and maybe we will be getting a new Spyro game in the future??? (Please?)
Dragonball FighterZ (PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC)
You want to talk about a match made in Other World, you talk about this game. Taking the anime accurate visuals of Guilty Gear developers Arc System Works, their classic heavy rock style music that they are renown for, and mashing it together with Dragonball? You get one of the best fighters this year. I have been talking about love letters a lot already this year but man oh man, is Dragonball FighterZ the most unapologetic gut punch right into our dragonball hearts. Music that is fantastic and cites old classics, visuals that stun and are fast paced, huge beams, teleporting, flying, explosions, huge cinematic attacks, we got it all here in this 3v3 fighter that allows you pick from Dragonball’s complete all star cast, (even though like 5 of those characters are versions of Goku.) The insanity of Marvel vs. Capcom meets the already insane fighting of Dragonball and a faithful art style that plainly Arc System couldn’t have pulled off any better, along with music that I don’t think I will ever want to turn off while playing, there simply isn’t a huge amount of flaws with this game. Despite the current controversy with apparently some company limiting its play at tournaments for some reason, I think that Dragonball FighterZ will inevitably receive a follow-up and I’m excited to keep playing the current game until it does.
Spiderman, Spiderman, does a game other heroes can’t. I will be honest, I feel like Insomniac deserves a lot of praise for what it does. It feels like the studio is sort of overshadowed by Naughty Dog in a lot of ways but man is their pedigree solid. They had already worked on a superhero game with the Infamous series and because of that solid gameplay, when I heard they were doing Spiderman? I was immediately excited and was pretty confident that they would do the wall crawler complete justice. And hey, turns out I was completely right! Spiderman is the epitome of not only a Spiderman game, but a superhero game. Developers looking to produce a superhero game need look no further than the efforts of Insomniac here, who I would say rivals Rocksteady in how faithfully they cite and use the source material to it’s absolute benefit. A huge array of villains to fight, characters to meet, and Peter Parker dealing with his everyday life alongside his role of New York’s favorite superhero and J.Jonah Jameson’s most hated. The combat is fluid and agile, web swinging is rapid and dizzying while also retaining complete control, and the characters are spot on even though this takes place in an its own separate universe. As my favorite superhero of all time, Spiderman has always been the one from Marvel to stand next to icons such as Batman and Superman and this game only highlights why that is, and why Spiderman will always remain a superhero icon. I’m glad you were able to see it Stan Lee, Excelsior!
Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight (PS4, Vita)
Despite the fact that I never played Persona 3, leaving me with a greater attachment for Persona 5‘s cast, Dancing in Moonlight captivated me more than I could have imagined. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight‘s lopsided soundtrack compounds the anemic track-list. With each game only containing around 25 songs each, there’s not much content to dig through.
That’s where Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight comes in. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight has a tough time competing with songs like:
- Mass Destruction
- When the Moon Reaches for the Stars
- Soul Phrase
- A Way of Life
- Light the Fire Up in the Night
- Brand New Days
- Deep Mentality
By comparison, Dancing in Starlight‘s soundtrack only has three or four songs that hype me up as much as Dancing in Moonlight.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4)
Yakuza 0 was my introduction to the franchise and a perfect way to start 2017. Its uncompromising tendency toward Japaneses sensibilities made for a shocking experience. Its sub-stories and optional activities like phone sex shined in an industry so afraid of having fun. The western triple-A market keeps moving closer and closer toward immersive experience whereas Yakuza remains firmly rooted in its “videogames as hell” approach to design.
The incredibly gripping narrative, which is one of the industry’s best, somehow worked even when it exists within the same space as a game that asks you to buy a porno magazine for a child. Yakuza‘s open world shenanigans clash with the serious human drama of its main narrative, but that gives Yakuza its identity.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 keeps that spirit alive. Its sub-stories aren’t as consistently funny or jarring as Yakuza 0 or Yakuza Kiwami, but it’s hard not to look fondly on such iconic moments as “I peacocked your mom” and “Let’s pacify this bitch!” coming from a muscular Yakuza boss in a diaper. I wasn’t a fan of Kiwami 2‘s simplified combat, ripped from Yakuza 6, but you still get to punch a tiger in the face AND experience a great story.