Most of CoG’s GOTY content is already out and the best games of 2018 discussions are also winding down. Still, there are some games we have yet to talk about. In this GOTY article, we talk fighters! Here are Culture of Gaming’s Best Fighting Games of 2018!

WINNER – SUPER SMASH BROS ULTIMATE

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Surprising to no one, Smash Bros comes out on top once again.  Yes, the game has been released rather recently, but boy did it come out swinging.  

With over 70 playable characters (and counting), you would imagine it would be difficult to balance the characters and make each one of them unique. But as always, Nintendo finds a way.  Each character feels right, having attacks and animations that suit them in every way. On the other hand, the balance is close, but not perfect. Some characters break away from the pack, obviously needing to be dialled back.  On the bright side, Nintendo has stated they will actively rebalance characters to keep a fair playing field for all contenders. And to put the cherry on top, Nintendo has also reworked several fighters, such as Zelda and Ganon.  And boy are they fun.

The DCL fighters are quite intriguing as well.  Piranha plant shows how far they are willing to go to make characters work, while Joker gives us some insight into the type of deals can make to bring surprising fighters into the ring.  There really is no telling how far they are going to go with some of these choices. All I ask is we see Solair from the Dark Souls series summoned to fight.

 To accompany this ensemble, there are over 100 playable stages, along with several variants of each stage.  Creating endless combinations of characters and stages. Then there is the music. 850 music tracks were chosen to go into this game.  Bored of a particular song, switch it. Don’t like a song, block it. Want to jam to Gangplank Galleon, blast it.

Looking at all of this, it’s a no brainer Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the best fighting game of the year.

Written By: Matt Garcia

RUNNER UP: DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ

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With so many hands in the pot of Dragon Ball Z, the newest game from Arc System Works titled Dragon Ball FighterZ is one to behold. It’s developed by the same developers of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, and one of my favorite all-time gaming companies. Here is a video game that really shows off what they can do when given a fighting game franchise to explore. The game is beautiful visually and within the story. Dragon Ball Z games are indeed known for their story, which is usually the same. Although now, with new episodes and films being released, there are dynamic changes to the story as we know it. You’re also able to play as villains, which is my favorite thing to do. For me, there is no beating Frieza or Kid Buu, even though Android 21 is secretly my new favorite.

With combos galore, it does hold your hand when you need it, while testing you the deeper into the game you venture. Being beaten by more skilled players, there is no real sense of heavy loss, and I just pick myself up and continue to train. This game rewards training. In fact, every thing is a reward, and not just a simple hand-out. The better you do and the further you progress, the more characters are unlocked and the more money (zeni) is gained that allow for things such as reskins. I applaud that you don’t spend a dime to get what is the equivalent of a loot box. It’s easy to see why it is considered to be one of my favorite games to date. It also happens to be developed and published by a couple of my all-time favorite developers. Dragon Ball Z FighterZ deserves to be among the top fighting games.

Written By: Jonathan Torres

THIRD PLACE: SOULCALIBUR VI

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A Tale of Souls and Sword eternally retold took on a whole new meaning with Soul Calibur 6. After Soul Calibur 5 and being declared the “worst Soul Calibur game ever made,” many players felt like the series had hit a snag and would not return (or at least not for another six years). So what better way to revitalize the series than to take a page from Mortal Kombat and go back to the start of the series?

While the sixth entry retells the story of the first Soul Calibur game (and the second), the game feels like it also brought the series back to its glory days. The combat got revamped while it brought back all the favorite characters. Soul Calibur 6 also brought us two separate story modes in the form of following the cast and your custom character.

The combat also saw a boost as characters could start attacks to help block consecutive attacks and a standoff to deliver massive damage to your opponent. Everything in Soul Calibur 6 was put under great care and the result gave us a fantastic fighting game title for this year.  That and there’s no denying that having a Geralt and 2B as crossover characters were sweet too. The Soul still burns and it is great to see the series shining as bright as ever.

Written By: Mike Sol

And there we have it, Culture of Gaming’s best fighting games of 2018. What are your thoughts of our picks? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below and follow us for more content like this.

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