2018's Top Ten Monsters from Monster Hunter

There were some good games that came out this year, but none of them were as good as Monster Hunter, so instead of a Top 10 list of games this year I decided to create a list of my Top 10 Favorite Monsters from Monster Hunter This Year.

This list includes monsters from Monster Hunter World as well as Monster Hunter Generations which, between the two, had a total of 95 unique eligible monsters. Quite a few to whittle down, but I managed to find the 10 best!

Finally, if you really want a game recommendation, go play CrossCode the best RPG released this year or play Celeste the best Platformer this year (or just go listen to its music cause its the best OST this year as well).

1. Bazelgeuse

The Over Affectionate B-52.
The Over Affectionate B-52.

The Bazelgeuse stole people's hearts with Monster Hunter World, becoming probably the most recognizable Meme from the game. However, aside from being a hilarious Meme this monster represents the best of the design philosophy behind Monsters in the Monster Hunter Games.

The Beauty of Bazelgeuse is that as a monster it is designed to do one thing and excel at it: Be an annoying interrupter into your fights. Every part of this monster is designed to do this. From its annoying ability to fly into any part of a map, its uncanny ability to wander into any high rank fight (as well as being on all of the maps), and its abilities that leave behind traps and surprises that other monsters can activate. The insistence on this singular design is what makes it so effective at its role, much more than the equally meme worthy Deviljho, and is a large part of why I think its the best monster this year.

2. Kirin

Kirin is always looking down on its opponent.
Kirin is always looking down on its opponent.

A classic Monster, Kirin is one of the deadliest Elder Dragons for players new to the Series. In Monster Hunter World a tempered version of the creature stands as the final test before the game allows you to unlock your hunter rank. That they chose Kirin as that final test is no coincidence, the beauty of Kirin as a monster is how the design of the fights with it feel incredibly fair.

Putting aside random weird bugs like Lightning killing you at base, when in the thick of the fight, everything move Kirin does is telegraphed to tell you exactly how you will die. This is what makes it the perfect final test, any deaths you accrue on Kirin you know are your own fault, because the game shows you where the moves will land. All of this fits neatly into the Aesthetic of the fight as well: Kirin is a proud beast, one that is so sure of its victory it will give you the chance to dodge its attacks, and you will probably fail anyways.

3. Tigrex (Nargacuga/Barioth)

He's Hungry For You.
He's Hungry For You.

No top monster list would be complete without some variant of Trigrex on it. The monster and its various incarnations have become beloved among the fanbase, and for good reason! The beauty of Tigrex is in the fight. It's an incredibly difficult monster, but doesn't rely on any gimmicks. Instead its just fucking hard. Winning against a Tigrex feels like a real achievement, because the game doesn't give you any room to fail.

On top of the fight, the aesthetics of Tigrex are great. It's a big old hungry monster, that wants nothing more than to eat. The way it frantically scurries around the battlefield drooling at the prospect of eating you enforces this. There's not a whole lot more I can add here that wasn't said better by Gaijin Hunter's video on the beast, so I recommend checking that out.

I included Nargacuga and Barioth in this one because I didnt want to just have half my list be Tigrex Variants, but they are different from Tigrex.

4. Malfestio

How many licks does it take to cart a hunter, Mr. Owl?
How many licks does it take to cart a hunter, Mr. Owl?

Malfestio my beautiful bird boy gets big points on the board for not just being a lizard or a big ape thing, but more than that it gets points for having one of the few blights in the game that will actually mess you up!

Blights in monster hunter are basically status effects, and the majority of them arent really that impactful, usually only resulting in some mild damage over time or stamina drain and easily cured. In fact some blights are actively helpful (looking at you Magala)! However this monsters blight is both incurable and endlessly frustrating: it totally reverses your controls!

Obviously other games have used that concept before, but I believe this is the first time its showed up in Monster Hunter, and its a real mess of a time if you get hit by it! Monster Hunter is such a precise game that reversing your controls is just a mess, and it adds a lot of variety to the fights with this monster.

Plus this is a giant Owl Boy, big bonus.

5. Tzitzi-Ya-Ku

Tip: The stun can be blocked with a shield.
Tip: The stun can be blocked with a shield.

At first glance Tzitzi isn't anything too special, filling the weakest monster in the food chain role for its area as many other raptors have before it. However, there is one thing that propels this monster to greatness: its propensity for showing up in other monsters fights to paralyze them.

Much like the Bazelgeuse, this monster seems intentionally designed around this funny little interaction. Often it will show up in the middle of fights, randomly paralyze an enemy, and unlike every other enemy in the game it will simply run away. Satisfied it probably got both of you.

This leads to many enjoyable moments in hunts and for the smart hunter, many opportunities to gain the advantage on your target.

6. Chameleos

He comes and goes.
He comes and goes.

Chameleos holds a special place in my heart for being just such a strikingly weird design. Both visually stunning and mechanically perplexing this monster just is always a good time to fight.

The main gimmick of Chameleos is that it can go invisible, often disappearing and then immediately ending up behind you ready to strike. A monster you always need to be on guard for lest you end up its meal.

The real wonder of this Monster though is the way it animates. The movements of it in game are just so unsettling and jerky. When combined with the unsettling design, it leads to a tension in the fight that many other monsters just don't have. One of creepiness.

7. Zinogre

Sneak Preview of the Sonic The Hedgehog Movie.
Sneak Preview of the Sonic The Hedgehog Movie.

Zinogre is just Rad. I don't feel like I even need to explain why its up here, its a giant lightning dog that charges up and does rad attacks against you.

On top of just being a Rad monster, Zinogre also has some of the most rad looking armor in the game.

I don't have much more to add here, it's just fucking rad.

8. Paolumu

Really I just want to hug this thing.
Really I just want to hug this thing.

If Zinogre is on this list for Being Rad, then Paolumu is on this list for being Cute.

This monster is a cute little puffball that flies all around in a frantic way that makes for a very interesting fight. It really shows off some of the more innovative designs behind the Monster Hunter World monsters now that they have the power of a Console to back them up.

If the Zinogre had the most rad armor, the Paolumu has the absolute fluffiest.

9. Teostra

Are you ready to Rock?!?
Are you ready to Rock?!?

Teostra is a classic Elder Dragon that is just fun as heck to fight. From anecdotal experience, it is probably the hardest elder dragon for players to defeat in Monster Hunter World, and thats because it hits like a truck with its Supernova and Fire Breath attacks.

What really makes this Monster shine though is the level its in, the Elders Recess and specifically its lair in it. Fighting Teostra in Monster Hunter World is probably the most Metal fight in the entirety of the Series. You will find yourself inside an active volcanic area while lava erupts around you and this giant Fire Beast explodes like a Star. Even the Hunting Horn this monster makes is a frigging Guitar.

10. Diablos

Diablos is in fact ready to rock.
Diablos is in fact ready to rock.

No list would really be complete without including either Rathalos or Diablos, arguably the two most iconic monsters of the series, and while I like Rathalos, Diablos has to take the cake.

What makes Diablos great is that its the first monster in World where the game lets you know its not screwing around. For many its the first real wall in the game, being just hard as heck because Diablos hits like a frigging truck.

The monster forces players to pay more attention to monster patters, to consider bringing items (sonic bombs are your friend), and to learn how to lure monsters away from groups.

Additionally Monster Hunter Generations included some really amazing variants/deviants of this Monster.

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