SpicyMystery's 2018 Top 10 Games of the Year

What a year, eh? Between the world barreling towards dystopia and the gaming world offering some of the best experiences of this console generation, there's been a lot to keep occupied with. Seems like everyone is prefacing their lists with something like that, right? Well, that's as much as I'll say about it. 2018 was a great year for games, it didn't hit the highs of 2017 but there were still a wealth of excellent games to sink your teeth into. I've luckily been able to play a lot of them but of course there were a ton I've missed, 2019 will be great not only because of the upcoming games, but the ones from this year that I'll be able to get on sale - I'm already excited! But for now, here's my list of my top 10 games this year, I haven't beaten all of these but for all of them it's safe to say I've played enough to make a verdict.

P.s. - Shoutout to Hitman 2, which probably would have made my list if I had gotten it more than a week ago.

List items

  • #11 - Dragon Ball Z Fighterz

    2018 was the year I really got into fighting games, I bought my first fight stick and got my hands dirty with some of the best fighting games on offer. DBZ Fighterz certainly makes the grade as my favorite fighting game from 2018. I was able to pit my favorite anime heroes together against their mortal enemies in a nostalgia-soaked experience and for that reason alone, this game makes my list. Not only that but I was pull off some devastating combos because of the user-friendly controls which, for a short while, made me feel like I was good at fighting games! Until I played online and got trashed, again, and again, and again. But that's the name of the game, I guess. I still had a ton of fun with DBZ Fighterz, it was certainly made by DBZ fans and the little touches, like flashbacks to the anime during fights, definitely didn't go unnoticed. I'll probably be coming back to this game for years to come.

  • #9 - The Messenger

    The Messenger has been a contender for my GOTY since it came out a couple of months ago. From the art style, to the combat, it feels like a 90's game, which is a soft spot for me. I love the mechanic of earning an extra jump when you slash something with your sword, it makes the movement extremely fun. The controls were smooth enough that if I died, I knew it was my own fault. While any game in which you're a ninja fighting demons would almost certainly make my GOTY list, the real bright spot for me were the characters. The shop keeper is probably my favorite character this year, his quips and sarcasm had me in stitches throughout my whole playthrough. I spent way too much time trying to talk to him to get more dialogue from him. Man, what a guy. I've heard the second half of the game isn't so hot, I'm right about to hit the second half of the game, so I'll have to see if I agree. Right now, The Messenger is a standout experience that I'd recommend to anyone.

  • #8 - Crosscode

    First off, thanks to Ben Pack for talking about this game on the Bombcast! If not for him, I probably wouldn't have given it a chance. Crosscode is by far, my favorite action RPG of the year. The art style reminds me slightly of the old GBA Dragon Ball Z games, which really brought me back. Crosscode mixes open world fighting with a lot of puzzle-heavy dungeons. I had a very difficult time getting through most of them but I was having so much fun with trying to build out my skills tree and beating up on monsters that I didn't care. I was a big fan of the combat system, constantly switching up which element I was fighting with to defeat my enemies, all while trying to keep building my grade meter to earn better loot. For dozens of hours, I was completing side-quests, completely ignoring the main story, that's a telltale sign that a game is good, in my opinion. Crosscode, like the Messenger, has a lot of great characters and dialogue, I felt very connected to the members of my guild and invested in the main plot. Crosscode is a hidden gem and a must-buy in 2018.

  • #7 - Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

    This game might be one of my favorite Call of Duty's. The shooting feels great, I'm enjoying switching up my weapons and loadouts to suits whatever map I'm playing and those special abilities, while sometimes annoying, really add a lot to the gameplay, I certainly like that a lot more than I did in Black Ops 3. This is also the first Call of Duty I've really played online with friends, so that may be a reason for why I placed this game so high on my list. I think the main star of this game is the Blackout mode. After playing a lot of PUBG and a little bit of Fortnite, I have to say Blackout is probably the best Battle Royale game. The pacing is just right, with you being able to move faster than in PUBG, making it easier to stay inside the circle. The shooting is Call of Duty quality, which is great and I'm also a fan of the special items you can acquire to add a bit of variety to the experience. I'm still trying to get my first win but when I'm playing with my friends, winning doesn't matter, it's just so much fun to hang out and try and shoot some dudes.

  • #10 - Dead Cells

    Is it just me, or is this game hard? Like, really hard? Dead Cells tore me apart over and over again but I was still compelled to keep jumping back in to try and get as far as I could, knowing very well I wasn't going to even be close to making it. There's a giant amount of weapon combos to choose from and being able to add and upgrade weapon effects kept the game fresh. The controls were as smooth as butter, everything seems to flow so effortlessly. More than once I've been caught screaming at my tv as I was trying to dodge and hack at several tough enemies. Even now, I'm still not far into the game, I guess I'm just not that good at it. But I still want to plug away at it 'till I finally conquer the challenge, what I sweet feeling that will be...

  • #6 - Octopath Traveler

    Octopath hit me right when I was craving a turn-based RPG, so I'm sure that influenced it's ranking. First, let me say the game is BEAUTIFUL. My goodness, the way everything sparkles, and the shadows, and the lighting, and the art style - ugh, gorgeous. But this game isn't all looks, the combat is a fresh take on turn-based RPG fighting. When taking on several enemies, it almost becomes a puzzle game where you try and find the best combination to take the least amount of damage. This is made more fun by the great cast of characters you can choose to take into your party and the ability system, where you can mix and match abilities from different characters. Sure, the game was a bit "go to point A, fight, move to point B, fight" but the world looked so good, I didn't really mind. The game isn't perfect, I really don't like having to grind to level up a characters I dislike just to complete their part of the story, but playing a turn-based RPG again really made my heart swell up.

  • #5 - Celeste

    Definitely the 2nd-most charming game of 2018, Celeste was a real challenge to play through, and I mean that in a good way. The movement in the game is extremely fun and I enjoyed flying through stages while dodging the monsters of my [the character's...what was her name? Madeline? I renamed her when I played] inner demons. I really liked the characters in this game, from the millennial guy with the beard, taking selfies, to that bad, upside-down lady that puts Madeline down but somehow almost seems like she's looking out for her? That confuses me a little bit, maybe when I beat it I'll understand. I'll definitely be seeing this game to the end, I'm a sucker for fast-moving platformers and Celeste is probably the best one of those this year.

  • #4 - Yoku's Island Express

    2018's most charming game, Yoku's Island Express grabbed my heart and pumped it with joy. The cute little animals you encounter throughout the game kept a perpetual smile on my face as I was pinballing my way through the map. The pinball challenges were, well, challenging, but not too difficult to make me want to put the game down, this made the game keep moving which I enjoyed. The art is so pleasing on the eye and there's a whole host of environments, from snow, to a jungle, to caves, all of it looks glorious. The charm of this game is what puts it so high on my list. I feel like it went under the radar, which is a travesty, everyone should play this game.

  • #3 - Tetris Effect

    My very first Tetris game! What a great way to be introduced into the series. Tetris on its own is a fantastic game but where this game shines is in its presentation. All of the strobing colors and sounds flying by really enhances regular Tetris to a whole other level, and in VR it's stunning. Even now, I have this game on my PS4 just so I can listen to the ambient noise. There's not too much to say about Tetris because at it's core, it's a simple puzzle game, but the audio and visuals make this game one I'll come back to for years to come. It's so soothing playing Tetris - who knew?

  • #2 - Monster Hunter: World

    Another first - my first Monster Hunter! Finally, I dove into the series and boy, was I glad I did. Yes, apparently this game is very streamlined and beginner-friendly, but it almost makes me want to try the older games in the series. Monster Hunter: World is simple - Spec your character, hunt monsters, use their guts and bones to make better armor, repeat. But there's so many systems, there's a million different ways you can set yourself up for victory. I dumped over 250 hours of my life into hunting these monsters and it never got tiring. Sure, the multiplayer is a little wonky but if you're trying to play with random strangers, it's incredibly easy and there's not many better feelings than teaming up with other players to take down a gargantuan monster. I've decided I'm going to go for the platinum trophy for this game, I enjoy it so much. There's always another level to reach, always an upgrade to your armor or weapon and I'm so enthralled by the loop of the game, I intend to keep playing until I've got my fill, which will take a long while. P.s. - Shoutout to Capcom for continuing to add different monsters to fight because without that, the game might have gotten a little stale.

  • #1 - God Of War

    At first I was a little unsure of the new direction GoW was taking but after a couple of hours with the game, I fell in love with the series again, even going as far as getting the platinum trophy. I'm a huge history buff, so God of War has always been one of my favorite series, with it's psudo-historical cast and setting. The Norse-version of God of War is just as interesting, if not more so. I squeezed every bit of dialogue I could from that severed head's mouth because I enjoyed the myths that much. But God of War is of course, more than that. The crazy set pieces are all still there and the new take on the combat was incredibly fun. This year's God of War is an emotional rollercoaster and there are a few scenes, which I won't mention, that really tug at my heart strings. It was strange seeing Kratos care about, well, anything, but especially another human. His interactions with his son fleshed Kratos out into a better character, one I actually was invested in. The world is vast and it was very easy to just sail around the map, listening to Norse myths, then landing on some island and hacking some skulls up. Boy, this game really is art. It hints to a sequel, as well, I wouldn't be surprised if that makes my GOTY in a few years as well.