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Kenny Omega and Xavier Woods' Top 10 Games of 2018

The two titans of esports entertainment put their rivalry aside to bring us another list of their favorite games of the year.

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Austin Creed, AKA Xavier Woods, is one third of the five-time championship winning tag team The New Day. When he's not touring the globe wrestling for thousands of fans, he's also the host of the video game YouTube channel UpUpDownDown. You can find him on Twitter @XavierWoodsPHD.

Kenny Omega is New Japan Pro Wrestling's reigning, defending IWGP Heavyweight Champion and the leader of The Elite stable. This January 4th, he'll be defending his title against NJPW's "Ace", Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13. He's @KennyOmegaManX on Twitter.

Atop a snow covered mountain, two figures could be faintly seen. These two figures that faced each other both were super jacked, handsome, had great smelling breath, and were manscaped properly. Both of them barely are able to stand, both of them bloody, bruised, and beaten, both of them refusing to ever give up.

Austin Creed and Kenny Omega looked as if they had been fighting for a year's time in this winter tundra. Even with all of the damage these two men had endured, both had amazingly beautiful curly hair that looked pristine and moist to the touch. As a young tired human approached them, they both recoiled like creatures of the night. The human stated that they were an intern from Giant Bomb and they were sent there because it was that time of year again. Austin and Kenny looked at each other and agreed to put their battle on hold per usual in order to do what had to be done.

The two then locked hands and ascended to an Astral plane, leaving the young intern there in the cold. AK appeared in a fully white room as if they had just jacked into The Matrix. Now that the two men were fully cleansed and wearing matching three-piece suits that they got for each other for their birthdays, they were now ready to reveal...

Kenny: Wait whoa... great intro, but um, are you saying we were wearing our birthday suits?! So much for PG programming, Creed, you’ve sullied this top 10 before we even got started.

Austin: Stop skimming through my lines! If you had taken the time to read it properly you’d have seen that I said--

Kenny: Nah nah, I like the artistic approach this year. Let’s go with the birthday suit idea.

Austin: WE ARE. But it’s the actual suits we bought ea.... you know what, I’ll just get to the list.


Kenny: Oh boy, typo city.

Austin: What?

Kenny: You accidentally put your name first

Austin: Yeah, 'cause I'm the one who writes the majority of this enormous feature every year!

Kenny: Tomato, tomato.

Austin: You understand that this is typed, Right? No one has any idea how you’re pronouncing the words.

Kenny: *makes a “W” with his hands*

Austin: Will you just start already?!?!

Kenny’s Honorable Mention: The Missing

Kenny: My good friend SWERY recently dropped this game and I unfortunately couldn’t finish it in time for this list. It’s off to a great start though, and if you’re a fan of Limbo and/or similar titles, this will certainly be up your alley.

Austin's Honorable Mention: Beat Saber

Austin: Beat Saber is going to get the nod from me. I love rhythm games and smashing stuff with light sabers is dope af. Plus all the mods that the community has created really make it a customizable experience that leads to hours of cutting blocks and dripping sweat.

Austin's 10. Far Cry 5

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Austin: Alright, so I'm super into cult stuff, and this game instantly got me. From the intro alone I almost became a believer. Then Jacob pissed me off so bad that I refused to play anything else until I took that entire area from him. I felt as if it was my actual duty to 100 percent that place and then I went to the final battle. I felt like it left me hanging a bit, but then at the same time I kinda liked that 'cause getting that "oh crap he was right the whole time" feeling made me legit uneasy. It made me feel legit emotions, so it makes it on the list.

Kenny's 10. Far Cry 5

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Kenny: What the...?! Come on man, it’s bad enough you ripped off doing hadoukens in your matches from me, but don’t copy my list too!

Austin: You do realize that I only did those hadoukens long enough to get it in the WWE 2K moveset. You know, so that if people wanted to create you then they would have that as an option in your moveset. YOU'RE ALWAYS SO QUICK TO JUDGE, ALWAYS! YOU DON'T APPRECIATE SHI--

Kenny: Anyway... yeah, what Creed said but also, this has the ability for co-op story mode which I’m always a huge fan of. Tons of vehicles, great weapons, interesting (and shocking) story... Maybe the most satisfying multiplayer shooter story since Resistance 2, IMO.

Austin's 9. Mega Man 11

Austin: So this is not news, but I love Mega Man. Before this dropped I tried playing through all 10 of the previous mainline games, and by the time I got to 7 I thought I was going to pull my own brain out of my skull from pure frustration. They did a really solid job with this game, though. The level of frustration/feeling of accomplishment when you beat it (on superhero mode) is proportioned verrrrrrry well. I actually felt a sense of catharsis upon beating it and you don't always get that with game anymore.

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Kenny: Oh man, I love Mega Man, but what a nightmare this game was. I will say this, however: if you love speedrunning, this one’s practically made for you. If you despise boring level design, uninspired music, troll death traps, pass on this one and don’t look back.

Austin: AKA here's yet another game you fall behind me in so you have to trash it to make yourself feel better. You don’t have to comment on my games, just focus on yours!

Kenny: Just say it, Creed. Say that you’re still salty, say that you can’t sleep at night, that you dream about the day you’ll finally beat me in Street Fighter on your YouTube channel (or whatever it is)!

And as for this game, I couldn’t help it, dammit! I literally came out to Mega Man music for eight years of my career.

Austin: Oh you mean the award winning UpUpDownDown to which everyone should subscribe? Merely a one-time deal. And yeah yeah yeah, Mega Man music is great and Megaran sounds great when he raps on the tracks. Moving on...

Kenny: Hey I love Megaran too, and stop using this list as an excuse to plug your incredibly entertaining and award-winning YouTube UpUpDownDown that I may or may not have subscribed to! Ahem, moving on...

Kenny's 9. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

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Kenny: Maybe I should just say “Blackout”, because it’s all I’ve played, and I play very, very often. Yes, I avoided the battle royale craze for the first two popular iterations, but the COD version got me to try and I’ve been hooked since. I was conflicted with ranking this game because I haven’t really experienced it fully, but I can’t deny that I’ve put in the time and enjoyed both the highs and absolute lows of the battle royale life.

Austin's 8. DragonBall FighterZ

Austin: The fighting game I had been waiting for finally dropped this year. The fact that it looks just like you're playing the anime is wild to me. As much as I enjoy playing this game, I think I enjoy watching high level play way more. Watching finals for these tournaments always has me on the edge of my seat.

Kenny: Allow me to get a barf bag. What a joke of a game.

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Austin: So any game I can beat you in is a joke, I’m guessing?

Kenny: Oh here we go. I’d ice you so bad in this game you’d start calling me Frieza.

Austin: Wow.

Kenny: What, did that reference sail over your head?

Austin: No, I get it, but, uh... let’s just say I can see why fans say you’re cringy on the mic.

Kenny: Nobody actually says that! Do... do they actually say that? :-(

*Kenny takes a 30 minute break in a dark room with an Ibushi stuffed toy and blankey*

Kenny's 8. (Tie) Bloodstained & The Messenger

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Kenny: It was just too hard to choose one over the other. Bloodstained is a better classic Castlevania than even Castlevania itself, and falls in line with being a great 8-bit throwback. Creative level design, awesome bosses, catchy (and appropriate) music, and a cast of playable characters that are all fun to use.

The Messenger had a beefier story, more lovable characters and its best tunes stayed with you long after the game. It loses some points on the travel system once the game becomes a metroidvania (tons of backtracking through full levels) and the Shuriken as the reward for doing every challenge was a huge let down. But, hey, I was still able to use it better than Creed's Ibuki could at E3 this year.

Austin: I... Well... Umm... My next pick is...!

Austin's 7. A Way Out

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Austin: Two guys teaming up to break out of jail has never been so fun. So I had the opportunity to play this with one of my closest friends, Tyler Breeze, over at UpUpDownDown (go subscribe if you haven't yet). Breeze and I have the same kind of relationship as Kenny and myself, except Breeze and I used to live together. Which means I've got even more animosity for Breeze than I do for you, Kenneth. Hard to imagine, I know.

Anyway, this game makes the list for multiple reasons. You only need one copy if you wanna play online with a friend. If you're playing locally it breeds competition in meaningless tasks that have nothing to do with the game. By that I mean that one of the most fun things in the game is doing the meaningless stuff with a good frenemy. For instance, there's an impromptu arm wrestling competition that happens at one point. No one wins anything but pride, and it was probably the second best part of the game. Best part was the ending. No spoilers, you should just experience it for yourself.

Kenny's 7. Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series

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Kenny: First, a shame what happened with the Telltale folks. Incredible storytellers and game designers, and their unique take on their Batman series is no exception. A mature Batman story where you have the opportunity to essentially lead the Joker on a different path in life by how you treat him as a person... incredible. Very gripping from start to finish and I just wish I could say, “see you in Season 3.” Hopefully somehow, someway...

Austin's 6. South Park: The Fractured but Whole

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Austin: South Park per usual created another disgusting, amazing, sick, hilarious twisted game. Yes, there a ton of stuff in this game that's just ridiculous and unnecessary, but that's why I love it. On top of all that is a game that, at its core, is just a really solid, fun RPG. One could easily imagine something like this being nothing but fluff and shock value, but it's a rock solid RPG all around. It never felt grindy to me, and there was always something to laugh at.

Kenny's 6. Hollow Knight

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Kenny: There's no shortage of metroidvania games floating around these days, but this one does it perfectly across the board, and with a fantastic original art style. It’s rare for me to pump over 80 hours into a handheld game, but this one did it for me on the Switch. Some intense challenges and boss fights, but an abundance of soothing exploration as well. Great time investment, and never a dull moment.

Austin's 5. Tetris Effect

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Austin: Got my hands on this at Gamescom in Germany and immediately knew it was gonna be on this list. Yeah, it's just Tetris right? Wrong! It's something else. It's like Lumines (one of my favorite puzzle games) but it's Tetris. Tetris with incredible music and incredible visuals. Incredible. Then playing it in VR is a totally different experience. You may feel like you're playing five minutes and they you realize it's been an hour. Actually drawing on psychological experiences--AKA the titular Tetris effect--really put this game over the top for me.

Kenny's 5. Dead Cells

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Kenny: I only recently became a fan of rogues with Enter the Gungeon, so seeing a new rogue that looked and controlled like Symphony of the Night piqued my interest immediately (and was an instant buy), but I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into. Though the few bosses here are a tad uninspired, the gameplay and strategy that goes into every run makes this something special. It was an infectious “one more run” experience, and my love for the game sparked a ton of conversation with fellow Dead Cellers. Even if you aren’t typically a rogue-type person, I'd say try this one anyway. It’s converted many a fellow.

Austin's 4. Detroit: Become Human

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Austin: I LOVE NARRATIVE GAMES WITH QUICKTIME EVENTS. I always explain them like choose-your-own-adventure books but way better. You play as three different androids with three completely different experiences. And you get to choose if you want equality through violence or through peace. It's very easy to guess which route I picked. There were many times in the story where I found myself screaming at the screen because I could literally feel the discrimination and it worked its way into my soul. I may have used this game to play out some stress-relieving scenarios... Regardless, LONG LIVE MARCUS!

Kenny's 4. Celeste

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A friend put me on to this one. Absolutely insisted I make time for it, even when I was slogged with a ton of other projects. I’d kind of seen a few screens out of context on YouTube and what have you, but didn’t actually know what the game was about. Without spoiling anything, this game is an incredible journey of self discovery for not only the main character, but maybe even the player as well. Completing this game by climbing the mountain leaves you feeling a true sense of accomplishment that transcends the typical feeling of beating a game. Warning: this one gets emotional on more than one occasion.

Austin's 3. Marvel's Spider-Man

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Austin: You've probably played Spider-Man. You are likely aware it's good. I decided to complete ALL of the checkboxes before beating the game. This took me so long, and a quarter of the way through I was told that it doesn't count toward any trophies. This hurt. It hurt real bad. But even with that information I couldn't stop. I had to do it anyway. So, after like two months of randomly playing in airports and hotels around the world, I finally finished them. I happened to be in a hotel room in the UK when the time came for me to actually finish the game. So, there I sat, fully nude in my hotel bed, about to finally beat this game. Once I got rid of Doc, the ending scenes began to play. I was not ready for the emotions that scene evoked. Since I had taken my time with this game and played it slowly, getting super attached to everyone in it, I was hit way harder than I imagined I was going to. When Peter has to make that choice. MY GOD. Tears were streaming down my face, and I was audibly sobbing like it was happening to me! HELL OF A GAME.

Kenny's 3. Marvel's Spider-Man

Kenny: I can’t believe it. Another repeat. Well, this is a case where I won’t blame you, Creed. The quality and care that went into this title speaks for itself. Web slinging is fun, and aside from the terrible Screwball challenges, nothing feels tedious. 100%-ing this game was a joy, and though I still stand by my original opinion that Spectacular Spider-Man is the best iteration of the Spidey-verse ever, this game featured the best Doc Oc I’ve seen. And yes, it does get very emotional as Creed said. Can’t wait for more DLC and the eventual part 2. We all know it’s coming.

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Austin: I don't know how to feel about having similar picks this year. It feels like we have things in common and it's making me feel... strange.

Kenny: Mr. Creed, I don’t feel so good...

Austin: It's like after doing these lists the past couple of years...

Kenny: ...I'm starting to...

Austin/Kenny: A G R E E W I T H Y O U

*Creed immediately vomits and Kenny lets a shart rip through the fabric of space and time. After a brief pause to clean up and collect themselves, the list resumes.*

Austin's 2. Electronauts

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Alright, kids. Y'all may not have messed with this one and daddy's gonna tell you why you should. TL/DR: It's an amazing VR music game where you get to literally recreate songs to your liking. Play it.

Electronauts is made by the dopest VR company currently out there, Survios (#NotSponsored). You're essentially a DJ in this beautiful scrolling virtual universe. The songs that you get to choose from are all preloaded and there are tons of them. Now, rather than getting to do the normal DJ thing and transition between songs, you select a song, take the assets of that song, and you get to rebuild it however you want. You have small drum sets with noises from the song attached to them and you can hit them in whatever speed or rhythm that you want, and they always play on beat. You can then drop in the vocals and the break of the song. There are endless options of what can be done with the tracks in the game. There is no actual objective beyond making something dope and chill. I have gotten completely lost in this world for hours and have loved every second of it. Since the music is created by you every time that you play it, the replay value is through the roof. If you like creating things and you like music games then I highly recommend you go pick this up for your Oculus Rift asap.

Kenny's 2. Monster Hunter: World

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I will always believe in Capcom and dive headfirst into every one of their projects. Thank goodness I blindly jumped into this one. Some 300 hours later and I now believe the hype behind Monster Hunter. Heck, even a certain Individual that I have an undying rivalry with teamed up with me to knock out some tempered hunts from opposite sides of the planet. Love this game and the universe. Late to the party, but glad I joined.

Austin's 1. Monster Hunter: World

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This was my very first Monster Hunter game. Honestly, I wasn't excited about it. I had seen a little bit about it and knew it was a popular franchise, but just never took the plunge. Then one of my buddies really gave me a hard sell on it, and I'm glad that he did because this became my favorite game of 2018. If I was only playing by myself, I'm not sure that I would have enjoyed the game as much as I did. I had the chance to regularly play online with my friends, and was actually able to make some new friends through the game that I ended up playing a bunch with as well. I love this game so much that Kenneth and I actually got online at the same time to play with/against each other. That's how much I love this game!

The fact that there are so many different weapons to main really made me wanna try to get good at the game. Turns out I'm a switch axe guy. Also, all of the different combinations of armor and weapons that can be built really kept me interested. When games are customizable like that I tend to really dig into them. Plus, being able to trick out your Palico? Sooooo doooooooope. I spent over 130 hours playing this game. 130 hours of my life is owned by Monster Hunter: World. Thats 5.4 days. I don't have that kind of time!!!! But Monster Hunter forced me to make that kind of time. It demanded it of me! And I'm glad that it did.

Kenny's 1. Undertale


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Kenny: Okay, yeah I know, let me have it... I’m a cheater. But folks, allow me to explain. I played this on Switch, that version technically was released in 2018, and if I’m getting disqualified on a technicality then I’ll add Deltarune to this Which was only ever released in 2018. That works, right? Maybe not... but damn, I’ve gotta stick my neck out for this game because it’s transcendent and joins the ranks of the Mother series as a timeless classic. No matter what generation of gaming we enter, The graphics of Undertale will never lose its charm, the soundtrack will never not be a masterpiece, the battle system won’t stop being fun yet challenging...

So what is it that makes this game so special? To me, I’d imagine it’s the same stuff that drives people to vote Celeste as game of the year. This game is a journey full of characters that you care about, a world that you can believe in, and gameplay mechanics that are comprehensive yet fun and innovative. When I played this game, I flipped back and forth from feeling a deep and profound message from its creator, Toby Fox, and then feeling a real connection with the make believe characters in the world as well. I felt like I understood their thoughts and motivations and truly wanted the best outcome for them. Which is why when I beat this game for the first time I immediately replayed it from start to finish. I HAD to give this world their happy ending. Oppositely, For that very reason, I couldn’t play this game again and rewrite what I’d done. I Cared too much, even though i knew it was “just a game”. I couldn’t go to the dark side. Yes, I missed new dialogue and boss fights, but I was fine with that knowing that my world was safe and in a good place. I can’t recall any other game that had that effect on me. It’s a special one, and you may disagree, but unless your name is Austin Creed, I won’t fight you over it (in the newest Super Smash Brothers) and respect your opinion.

Austin: I don't disagree, and I'll gladly confess that I'm trash at Smash but I'll still run through you if you wanna get wobbled with some ice climbers. So don't make threats you can't own up to.

Kenny: You just never back down, do you?

Austin: I'm trying to become the video game fight promoter extraordinaire. Can’t back down from small fry like you.

Kenny: Just keep in mind you’re talking to the only pro wrestler fully sponsored by an esports team in RAZER. They don’t just hand those out like mass produced pancakes on the better of your two televised shows! Haahahahahaha!

*A shadow of a sledgehammer creeps into view*

Oh no, I’ve said too much!

Austin: KENNY RUN!!!!

*Much later, after the heat has died down...*

Austin: There's our top ten games of 2018. I have now completed my contractual obligation to Giant Bomb of being nice to Kenneth Jerome Omega for the holidays.

Kenny: And after being civil with you, I've competed my act of charity for the year.

Austin: Alright, that was pretty good.

Kenny: Yours was too.

Austin: ::sigh:: OK, so remember when we played Street Fighter at E3?

Kenny: Yeah, what about it?

Austin: So when I was dying from eating those peppers--one of the most painful moments of my life by the way--I had a revelation.

Kenny: And what was that?

Austin: As much as I cannot stand you. I'm glad that you exist. You're like the Goku to my Vegeta, the Wario to my Waluigi, the Zelda to my Link, the--

Kenny: Wait. Are you naming yourself the popular workhorse of the group that people actually like and referring to me as the front man that people are about to be sick of?

Austin: Oh, you caught that?

Kenny: *rips off suit to reveal he's been wearing his wrestling gear all along* Your place or mine?

Austin: *does the same* Why not both, if we can get everyone to play nice again?

*As they charge towards each other, the scene fades to black and our story comes to a close...

...for now!*