2018 was a pretty decent year for Party games. Here are our favorite Party games of 2018.
WINNER – SUPER MARIO PARTY
To use an absolutely cliché and overused term, Super Mario Party is a return to form for the long-running series. Mario Party has become a Nintendo mainstay, but somewhere along the way, it began to feel stale. And the attempts to mix up the formula ended in (relative) disaster. Thankfully, Super Mario Party succeeds because it sticks to Mario Party roots. Thankfully, Nintendo realized how bad of an idea it was to lump everyone into a car together. This iteration finally scrapped that awful idea. While Super Mario Party is essentially a “back to basics” approach, there is one game-changing mechanic: character-specific dice. Each die has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s up to you to decide what’s the best move for your character.
But that’s only part of the Super Mario Party experience. Other modes make Super Mario Party a much better package. Toad’s Rec Room is more of a fascinating showcase of tech than it is an engaging party mode, but River Survival is an absolute blast. Co-op Mario Party is somehow even more chaotic than competitive. Now you need to worry about teamwork and coordination in addition to winning minigames. Like most Nintendo home consoles, the Switch has quickly established itself as a go-to party game machine, and Super Mario Party has quickly risen to the top. The minigames, while simple, are intuitive, and really make good use of the Joy-Con.
If you’re looking for an excuse to throw in $80 for a new set of Joy-Con, this is that excuse. There’s nothing better (or worse) for a family or friend gathering a game of Super Mario Party. Everything about this game makes it the Best Party Game of 2018.
Written By: Aidan Simonds
RUNNER UP – OVERCOOKED 2
The first Overcooked was already a fantastic couch co-op game. The three-button control scheme made chopping food and barking orders more accessible for both lax and hardcore gamers. Scurrying around each cleverly-designed kitchen with three friends made for some chaotic, laughter-filled moments. It wasn’t flawless, however; the campaign was laden down by strange UI design, a repetitive soundtrack, and quite a few off-putting difficulty spikes.
Overcooked 2 may not reinvent the entire formula, but it certainly touches up those few imperfections. New with the sequel comes the ability to throw food, hurling it from one side of the crowded kitchen to the other. Often, the clever design of each kitchen takes this new mechanic into account, requiring you to aim and toss tomatoes or seaweed across gaps to fill out orders on time.
There’s a certain level of polish in Overcooked 2 that the first game was largely missing. The minor changes to the menus, loading screens, overworld design, and character models give every aspect of the sequel a homey, down-south atmosphere. And the new music-pieces are some of my favorite of the year, from the melodic harmonica of the opening theme to the jazzy riverboat stage song.
Of course, one of Overcooked 2’s biggest selling points is its online functionality. If you can’t find a fellow cook to grab, there’s always likely to be a random chef online to play with. And thanks to the new taunt button, you can easily signal to the other chefs what needs to be done from moment to moment. It works surprisingly well, even without voice chat.
Overcooked 2 is a fantastic follow-up, and a wonderful co-operative game. It’s simple yet chaotic, tense yet comedic, and angering yet delightful. When you can gather a group of friends around your TV, Overcooked 2 is one of the best teamwork-building exercises around.
Written By: Ethan Braun
THIRD PLACE – JACKBOX PARTY PACK V
The Jackbox games are like an old friend. Every holiday you see each other and just have an absolute blast. The same can be said about The Jack Box Party Pack 5. I’ve heard zero complaints from those I roped into playing with me. Which points me to another fantastic thing about the Jackbox games, the ability to play on any phone or tablet. There are usually enough devices for everyone to grab one and have some fun.
Most of this can be applied to most Jackbox Party Packs, but I think the fifth on the series is one of the best. The included games are You Don’t Know Jack, which is a very solid trivia game with some added bonuses of being digital. Trivia is always great and I’m really glad that Jackbox Games has brought back this classic mode.
Split The Room is an odd idea, where each answer wants to be divisive and really makes you think about the audience you play with. You only want to appeal to some people in the game. You don’t want everyone to like your answer, so be careful with what you say. I have to add I love the weird Twilight Zone vibe, that’s also hosted by a cat.
I’m terrible at drawing, but Patently Stupid is just such a silly game. You draw on a napkin and pitch your ingenious creation in order to get funding. Most drawings are bad, but I always had fun. It’s a little difficult to explain, but if you hang in there in can be very funny.
I can confidently say that Mad Verse City is the best game that Jackbox Games has included in any pack. Mad Verse City puts two people head to head in a rap battle. However, the rap is done by robots, and delivered in the exact tone you expect. It’s absolute hilarious to dig into your brother-in-law about something ridiculous and have it delivered by a monotone robot. I’ve never had more requests at family gatherings in order to play the “robot rap game”.
This title is one of the best Jackbox Party Packs and there’s no doubt in my mind this is one of the best party games of 2018.
Written By: Andrew Duron
And there you have it, the best party games of 2018! What are your thoughts on 2018s year for gamers? Did we miss anything in this list? Let us know in the comments down below.
Anthony is the Owner for Culture of Gaming and he spends his days studying, gaming and working on the site.
Anthony has worked for the past 7 years in the Video Game journalism industry and has worked for over 30 different sites in that time.