Best Games of 2018, Ranked
This year was yet another great year for gamers. You may have already seen some of our biggest awards handed out, but now it’s time to just straight up rank the best games of 2018. We narrowed our list down to 35 of the best of the best. Let’s dig in.
35. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves got off to a slow start and left a lot to be desired when it launched back in March 2018. However, it turned the ship around over the last few months via free updates that have improved the game, and ended the year on the right peg leg heading into 2019.
34. Two-Point Hospital
We love strategy titles here at Twinfinite, and the original Theme Hospital game is one of our all time favorites. We held our breath that its spiritual successor, Two-Point Hospital would live up to its hype, and fortunately it pulled through.
33. Sushi Striker: Way of the Sushido
Sushi Striker will likely going down as one of the most underrated games of this year from Nintendo. The fast-paced, sushi-infused puzzle game will likely go down as one of the last great titles for the 3DS, and unlike WarioWare Gold, also hit the Switch as well.
32. Mega Man 11
The Twinfinite staff’s resident Mega Man superfan is Keenan McCall, and he wasn’t going to let Mega Man 11 slide if it didn’t continue the trend of recent, great 2D titles in the series. Fortunately, Mega Man 11 was great, and Keenan felt it was a “return to form” for the series.
Associate editor Tom Hopkins plays lots of racing games. All the racing games. And at least until Forza Horizon 4 came out, he felt very strongly that Onrush is one of the best games of 2018, and that it has been quite underrated all year. PlayStation fans got to see first hand throughout the month of December just how fun Onrush can be thanks to it being a free PS Plus game.
30. Overcooked 2
The Overcooked series has established itself as one of the great new party games of this generation. Like any good party game, it has the potential to permanently ruin friendships and relationships if you’re not careful, thanks to how reliant you are on your teammates to properly manage the kitchen of Overcooked 2.
29. Super Mario Party
While Overcooked 2 is one of the newest and best party games, the Mario Party series is the OG of the genre. While the last few have been so-so, Super Mario Party went back to the basics and was much more well-received from both fans and critics alike.
28. Hitman 2
Hitman 2 never ceases to crack us up thanks to its exhausting list of zany ways to assassinate targets. It fully embraced the weirdness in the latest game in the series, and benefited greatly from it.
Frostpunk is the latest strategy game from the developers of This War of Mine. Frostpunk forces players to make tough strategic decisions that might be for the greater good, but also have negative aspects on vunerable communities in the game’s fictional post-crisis city. Are you capable of sending children out to work in dangerous conditions if it will help the whole city survive?
26. A Way Out
A Way Out is one of the bravest games of 2018 as it forced co-op play whether you played locally or online. The game’s plot and mechanics rely on player cooperation to successful play their way through a narrative that will task them with working together to escape from prison. We were thrilled with the results.
25. Dragon Ball FighterZ
2018 was a great year for fighting game fans and the future of the genre is extremely bright. Dragon Ball FighterZ was the title that kicked this year off in the right way. It a great fighting game that was easy enough for people that primarily just watch the anime to give a go, and deep enough for hardcore competitive fighting game fans as well.
24. Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 is getting a surprise quick sequel in early 2019 continuing the events of the first game. Far Cry 5 was flawed, but it had a compelling enough narrative and cast of characters, that both fans and Ubisoft felt confident moving forward with in a second game.
23. Mario Tennis Aces
Some of us just need our generational dose of wacky Nintendo sports. It doesn’t need to be perfectly balanced, and it doesn’t need to be visually on par with something like MLB The Show. Mario Tennis Aces just lets us suit up with Princess Peach and rip some wicked spikes into the face of Bowser.
22. Pokemon Let’s Go
In case Pokemon wasn’t casual enough for you, Game Freak made a new Pokemon game this year that literally anyone that at least has a basic understanding of the series, or just video games in general, can handle. Inspired by the success of Pokemon GO for phones, Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee infuse many of the same gameplay mechanics into a story very heavily based on the events of Pokemon Yellow.
21. SoulCalibur VI
SoulCalibur V was extremely divisive and left some fans wondering whether the series would ever return to greatness. SoulCalibur VI luckily reigned SoulCalibur back in, and not only produced a technically sound 3D fighting game, also delivered a compelling single-player story mode as well.
20. Astro Bot Rescue Mission
The PSVR could use some more hits heading into 2019 and beyond, and Astro Bot Rescue Mission will be remembered as one of the best the platform had to offer in 2018. Considering all the PSVR sales that took place around the holidays, we expect a lot fans to start knowing why fans are counting Astro Bot Rescue Mission among the best new platformers of this generation.
19. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
While Shadow of the Tomb Raider didn’t end the re-launch trilogy with as big of a bang as some were hoping from a story perspective, it was at least some more Tomb Raider. Considering the high marks the series has hit since the 2014 reboot, that’s perfectly fine by us.
18. Tetris Effect
While Tetris Effect can be played on any PS4 system, it’s best enjoyed in VR where you can be fully immersed in the game’s trippy visuals and music.
17. Valkyria Chronicles 4
Valkyria Chronicles 4 was our consensus pick for the best strategy game of 2018, and reestablishes the series as premiere franchise capable of telling an emotional story while also being fun & challenging.
16. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is one of the most daring entries in the franchise in years. It completely ditched the campaign in favor of offering three unique, very beefy multiplayer game modes. The gamble was worth it. Both Zombies and traditional CoD multiplayer are well-developed, and the new Battle Royale mode Blackout is proving to be incredibly popular.
15. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
Yakuza 6 is the proper emotional send-off that long-time Yakuza fans that have stuck with the series since its PS2 roots were hoping for. In addition to moving the franchise forward in all phases even in its last game, it still included all of the zany side-activities that fans have come to expect and enjoy.
14. Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World is the game that finally put Monster Hunter on the map for mainstream gamers. While the series has always been hugely popular on handhelds, especially among Japanese consumers, Monster Hunter: World’s impressive visuals, cooperative online play, and availability on popular home consoles has elevated the series to a new level.
13. Detroit: Become Human
Quantic Dream put everything they have learned since Heavy Rain together into one successful package with Detroit: Become Human. Give it a go if you want to experience perhaps the most ambitious choice-driven AAA game ever made when it comes to sheer quantity, and stay to experience some of the best characters of 2018.
12. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Of all the titles on the list, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is perhaps locked into the smallest niche. Isometric, old-school CRPG-styled titles are quite rare these days, and Pillars of Eternity II doubles down on the complexity of the genre. Instead of making it more accessible to a larger crowd, Pillars of Eternity II aimed to push the genre forward with new ideas, and hit its mark.
11. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was maybe a little too similar to Origins from a gameplay perspective, which held it back a little at least compared to last year when we had Origins a bit higher. Still, the Assassins Creed series is in a great place now, and Kassandra in particular was one of the best characters in all of gaming this year.
10. Forza Horizon 4
It doesn’t get much prettier than Forza Horizon 4. Xbox One X owners looking to find the game that puts their powerful contest to the limit will find just that in Forza Horizon 4. It’s not just a pretty game though, it’s one of the best racing titles of this generation for those looking for an accessible, open-world, and/or arcade-like experience.
9. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
The first game in the series was an ambitious venture from Level-5, and succeeded largely thanks to its unique charm. Going for a sequel was risky then, but luckily, Level-5 was wise enough to mix up the right elements to not only give Ni No Kuni II it’s own personality, but improve on its already great predecessor as well.
8. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Similar to Monster Hunter: World, Dragon Quest XI might be the game that finally helps the series get over the hump for the wider Western audience, and helps series get better name recognition over here in the United States. It helps that Dragon Quest XI is arguably among the best in the long-running and respected series to-date.
7. Dead Cells
Dead Cells masterfully merges two of the most in-vogue mechanics this generation: souls-like combat and rogue-lite games. Dead Cells, along with the next game in our list of the best games of 2018, solidified this year as yet another wonderful one for indies.
Celeste despite being an indie developed platformer game, was able to charm enough socks here at Twinfinite to be mentioned in the same list of massive AAA titles that were among the best games of 2018, and is equally adored by fans as well. Not only is it a tight platformer that rewards persistence, it also tells a heartwarming story about overcoming anxiety and battling pervasive bad thoughts that we all experience from time to time.
5. Octopath Traveler
2018 was arguably the best year for JRPGs that we’ve seen all generation, and Octopath Traveler stood tall among the pile of great traditionally styled games. What was especially surprising is that it didn’t achieve that feat by blowing us away with a memorable story like one would expect. Instead, it was the combat of all things that set it apart from the pack.
4. God of War
What’s bizarre to come to terms with when discussing God of War’s success this year is that the number one reason for the praise is how touching Kratos is. This would be unimaginable to fans that just know Kratos from the original trilogy of games, but here we are! Come for the new over the shoulder action-heavy gameplay, stay for the feels from big daddy Kratos.
3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
So many games these days build up obscene amounts of hype before release and to varying degrees, fail to meet some or all of its fan’s lofty expectations. This is a game that fans have been waiting for years for, and the hype was amplified when we learned that “everyone is here.” Super Smash Bros. Ultimate not only survived, it was everything fans were hoping for and even more.
2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Since the success of the Batman Arkham games, and even more so following the popularity of the MCU films, fans of superhero stuff have been begging for more high-quality video games on par with Arkham. Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PS4 proved that Batman isn’t the only one that could pull off having its own separate, and successful, video game universe, and is hopefully a sign of more to come.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 set new bars in storytelling, music, visuals, open-world immersion, character development and even more. It’s easily among the best games of 2018, won our Game of the Year 2018 award, and will go down as one of the most important video games of this generation. An easy choice for the final entry of our best games of 2018. What’s your personal favorites? Let us know in the comments below.