The first half of 2018 has delivered some spectacular games. Though we still have about five months remaining in the year, it seems safe to say that some potential Game of the Year contenders have already surfaced. From big-budget titles to small indie projects, 2018 has given birth to some of the greatest gaming experiences in ages. With that said, here are the five best games (in no particular order) that have truly stood out so far this year.
Release date: July 13 (Nintendo Switch)
It may be jumping the gun by putting this game amongst the top, but Octopath Traveler has already proven its potential within a short amount of time. The game has earned top spots in sales after only a few days, showing that gamers were immediately drawn to this take on classic JRPGs. Though it may suffer from a lack of an overarching story, the game excels in both its gorgeous pixel art style and its unique take on classic mechanics. Anyone who decides to play Octopath Traveler will experience a beautiful, intimate game that promises to give an enjoyable challenge.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Release date: January 26 (PS4, Xbox One, PC), 2018 (Nintendo Switch)
When you first look at Dragon Ball FighterZ, you wouldn’t expect much. It’s the latest in a slew of fighting games taking inspiration from an anime that, until recently, hasn’t seen any new content in over a decade. Fortunately, FighterZ manages to bring a new and exciting feel to the game. The combination of stunning visuals, easy controls, and satisfying combos adds a much-needed new coat of paint to the series. The addition of new characters from the newest iteration of the anime also gives veterans to the games something to enjoy. Despite its lineage before it, Dragon Ball FighterZ succeeds in making something seemingly overdone feel invigorating and plain fun.
Release date: January 25 (Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Celeste probably has the most impactful story of any game in 2018. It tells a well-crafted story of mental illness and suffering. You will empathize with everything that occurs throughout the game, there’s no doubt about that. Celeste also brings its own spin on the classic platformer. It gives fans of the genre a real challenge while also rewarding them for their time along the way. Though the game began as a small indie project, it has transcended into one of the must-play games of the year.
God of War
Release date: April 20 (PS4)
This reboot of the franchise balances what made the games before it successful along with some major improvements. It retains the addictive action gameplay and epic world while also creating a more mature story to follow. The tale of a father and son turns the perspective of the previous installments on its head. Ultimately, God of War recognizes the flaws that needed to be fixed and corrects them in a spectacular fashion. Hopefully future iterations will continue to show this kind of potential.
Monster Hunter: World
Release date: January 26 (PS4, Xbox One), August 9 (PC)
Perhaps one of the most ambitious games of 2018, Monster Hunter: World knocked it out of the park. The numerous quality-of-life improvements and the better integration of combat systems allows series rookies to easily jump into the game. The game also boasts a more in-depth narrative and a giant world that makes exploration enjoyable and engaging. Simply put, World has taken the Monster Hunter formula to the next level to create an enormous game worth playing for years to come.
These games have stood out among the vast library of 2018 as the best games this year. Though there is still time for another upcoming game to blow the industry away, it’s likely that at least some of these will remain as the top of the gaming juggernauts of this year.
What games do you think are the best of 2018? Let us know in the comments below! Also, be sure to follow us on all our social media pages for all things gaming!