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Best Console Exclusive Games of 2018

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Best Console Exclusive Games of 2018

Best Console Exclusive Games of 2018

It’s award season here at Twinfinite! Let’s look back at the best console exclusive games of 2018. Voted on by our editors, these were the best exclusives that helped define the experience this year on their respective consoles.

Let’s start with a couple honorable mentions, and then our top vote-getting runner-ups, and finally, of course, our overall winner!

Editor’s note: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was not released in time to be considered for this award.

Honorable Mention: Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee

pokemon let's go pikachu and eevee

Staff Writer Greysun Morales: When we first heard that Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee would be an HD re-imagining of the classic Game Boy game, Pokemon Yellow, we were ecstatic. Another reason to travel around the Kanto region, collect the eight gym badges, and become a Pokemon champion once again, but this time, on a shiny new hybrid console.

Once everyone found out that the game would use elements from Pokemon GO, such as capturing and candies, some people were hesitant of how this would work in a traditional Pokemon experience, thinking that these twin games would be super-easy and not meant for veteran players.

But, lo and behold, once everyone got their hands on Pokemon Let’s Go, they soon realized that the quality of life changes that Game Freak brought to these games were a definite improvement to not only Pokemon Yellow, but to the mainline Pokemon series as well.

Being able to see Pokemon in the wild and the graphical upgrades to the environments certainly brought the world we know and love to life once again. The new games may not be for everyone, but you can’t deny how streamlining the overall experience helps.

Pokemon Let’s Go is the perfect experience for anyone new to the franchise and serves as a cozy nostalgia trip for long-time fans of the monster-catching phenomenon.

Best Console Exclusive Games of 2018

Honorable Mention: Forza Horizon 4

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Associate Editor Tom Hopkins: In years when Gears of War and Halo are absent, it’s up to the Forza series to take up the Xbox One exclusive mantel.

Of course, 2018 also saw the release of State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves, but Forza Horizon 4 is undoubtedly the best Microsoft’s console has seen in 2018.

This time, the Horizon festival made its way to Great Britain, giving us a chance to explore an approximation of the Yorkshire area and Edinburgh. You may expect it to rain all the time there but the changing seasons is Horizon 4’s biggest new feature.

Not only do the dramatically different seasons look phenomenal, especially in 4K, but the weather affects how races play out. Tracks get slippery and difficult to see in the snow, and spring covers the racing line in mud.

The racing itself is wonderful once again, too. When the excellent soundtrack, the stunning visuals, and cinematic moments come together in the showcase events, Horizon 4 also seems like it’s showing off.

Playground Games’ exclusive is the best open world racer you’ll find on current-gen consoles and is still up there with the best that the Xbox One has to offer.

Best Console Exclusive Games of 2018

Second Runner-Up: God of War

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News Editor Giuseppe Nelva: God of War is an absolute masterpiece. It shows that strong storytelling and deep character progression can turn a franchise from simply enjoyable into a completely new experience that remains fun to play, but also engages the player at a deeper level.

There are veteran voices within the gaming industry that seem to portray storytelling almost as an enemy of gameplay, and God of War proves beyond reasonable doubt that they are wrong.

God of War reinvents nearly everything about the franchise, from the older more grizzled version of Kratos to the up close and personal combat that puts a larger emphasis on rhythm and defensive options than past entries.

The emotional voyage with Kratos and Atreus brings a charming perspective in which the “boy” isn’t the only one who needs to improve himself and struggle to reach maturity. It breaks the stereotypes without feeling out of place.

Best Console Exclusive Games of 2018

First Runner-Up: Octopath Traveler

octopath traveler

Senior Editor Hayes Madsen: Octopath Traveler was one of the most interesting games revealed alongside the Nintendo Switch, a nostalgic 16-bit JRPG that takes the interesting approach of telling eight self-contained character stories. As promising as this idea sounded at first, it turns out the actual game went above and beyond the expectations it set.

True to its promise, Octopath tells eight separate stories about eight separate characters, although there are links between them, especially near the end of the game. Great writing and likable main characters help drive home the unique format, but it’s the gameplay that really sells Octopath Traveler.

Octopath’s battle system is traditional turn-based with a twist. Characters can “boost” their actions using boost points that build up over time, allowing them to unleash multiple attacks in one turn or strengthen an ability or spell. This system is absolutely essential to claiming victory, and Octopath becomes devilishly hard by the end.

It’s a challenging game, for sure, but Octopath gives you so many options for building your characters and party however you want, and developing your own unique strategies. It’s battle system appeals to that turn-based tradition but pushes it forward into the modern age.

Of course, you can’t talk about Octopath without mentioning its stunningly gorgeous art style, or incredible soundtrack. By combining modern graphical concepts with a 16-bit style Octopath becomes something wholly unique, and the orchestrated score is both inspiring and adrenaline-pumping all at once.

Octopath Traveler, somehow, manages to harness nostalgia while also creating an experience that feels entirely fresh. It’s amazing to say that one of the Switch’s best exclusives isn’t made by Nintendo, but that’s what happened this year.

Best Console Exclusive Games of 2018

Winner: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Contributor Joseph Yaden: Marvel’s Spider-Man is a game that had no business being as good as it was. Sure, we’ve gotten some pretty good Spider-Man games in the past, but Insomniac’s is undoubtedly the best.

What makes it so memorable? Well, for starters, swinging around Manhattan feels incredible, especially when you learn to master it. Once you overcome the slight learning curve with the game’s controls, you’ll likely notice how satisfying it feels to traverse this expertly-crafted open world. Before long you’ll be clearing buildings and entire city streets with ease. 

While swinging around the city, it’s hard to overlook how stunningly beautiful everything is. This is the best looking Spider-Man game and one of the most gorgeous games of 2018, period. Everything from the animations and the facial expressions, to the way the lighting reflects off of building windows, proves how impressive this game is, visually.

Speaking of swinging around the city, Insomniac did an excellent job of encouraging you to want to get out and explore. It’s easy to want to swing around because of how satisfying it feels, but there’s much more incentive.

Littered throughout New York are hidden collectibles, citizens to save, side missions, and dozens of activities to keep you distracted. It’s not uncommon for it to take hours to get to your next story objective because of all the detours you’ll take on the way.

Tying everything together are some great performances from the voice actors that bring the characters like Peter Parker and Otto Octavius to life. This makes the story more engaging and a great balance to the fast-paced gameplay.

Spider-Man is one of the best PS4 exclusives to date, and fantastic way to kick off a new era of Marvel games.

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