DualShockers’ Game of the Year 2018 Staff Lists — Travis’ Top 10
Who could forget the piece de resistance of our year-end traditions: the lists? Here are Travis' favorite games of the year.
As 2018 comes to a close, DualShockers and our staff are reflecting on this year’s batch of games and what were their personal highlights within the last year. Unlike the official Game of the Year 2018 awards for DualShockers, there are little-to-no-rules on our individual Top 10 posts. For instance, any game — not just 2018 releases — can be considered.
Ah, the end of the year. What’s not to love? The holiday weight gain, arguing about politics with your family members, getting invited to a loud New Year’s Eve party that you really don’t want to attend. Of course, who could forget the piece de resistance of our year-end traditions: the end of year lists.
Yes, the lists. The good, the bad, the best, the worst, the favorites, the least favorites, the this, the that. Lists are all terrific, subjective noise; they’re inflammatory by nature, they inspire debate, they create a narrative.
A lot of people blame the proliferation of list culture on BuzzFeed, which I find unfair. We love lists! We’ve always loved lists! Who could forget God’s famous listicle, titled, “The 10 Commandments?” I can’t believe “Thou Shall Not Murder” wasn’t number one. Talk about getting robbed!
You know who else loved lists? King Hammurabi of the First Babylonian Dynasty. Code of Hammurabi? Now there’s a great list. “An eye for an eye?” An absolute all-time classic. Old Hammurabi, an absolute madman. Complete legend! Don’t even get me started on ol’ Saint Nicholas. Did you see who made it on the nice list this year?
I contemplated whether or not I was going to make a year-end list for a while. Unlike literally all of my DualShockers colleagues, I don’t own a PlayStation 4, and thus, didn’t really play a lot of the capital-B Biggest games of the year.
So here’s the deal–I’m going to list my ten favorite games of the year out of the games I’ve played. Despite playing a lot of older games for the first time this year, I’m limiting the games on my list to games that were released in 2018, or games that released a substantial update this year.
Lastly, if you think I’m snubbing God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, or Red Dead Redemption 2 in some weird attempt to be controversial, you’re wrong, pal. I simply haven’t played them and have absolutely no business evaluating them. Now, without further ado, here are my favorite games of the year.
10. Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon was my first roguelike. It was the game that inspired me to jump headfirst into the genre and brought me countless hours of exploring, shooting, and most importantly, dying. This year’s Advanced Gungeons & Draguns DLC brought a ton of great additions to the game and has worked to make every run feel effortlessly unique. Seriously, I have logged over fifty hours in Enter the Gungeon and I’m still constantly uncovering new things. I can’t recommend this game highly enough, especially for Nintendo Switch owners.
9. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
For many people, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was a great disappointment. Upon its launch, the game’s ramshackle online infrastructure effortlessly undermined its glorious promise. After all, who wouldn’t want to revisit those original Halo games on today’s Xbox Live?
While Halo 4 and Halo 5 have brought more modern (*cough* Call of Duty-esque) sensibilities to the franchise, the original Halo trilogy offered a unique FPS experience. Thankfully, as a result of 343’s 2018 update campaign, players can finally experience those games’ online matchmaking without janky connectivity issues. As it stands, The Master Chief Collection is not just playable, it’s ridiculously fun.
8. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
2018’s “Fix PUBG” campaign and the new addition of Vikendi, the game’s snow-themed map, have kept me hooked on the classic battle royale game. Upon booting up PUBG, I don’t even remember the various optimization problems that caused me to lambast the game in the past. You can read my exhaustive thoughts on the game here.
Check out the DualShockers review of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on PS4 and PC.
7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Similar to most Nintendo fans, putting Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on my end-of-the-year list was a no-brainer. The game’s new characters are fantastic, its quality-of-life updates are palatable, and most importantly, I don’t have a reason to keep my Wii U plugged in anymore. What more can I say, it’s Smash; it’s the tried-and-true formula made better than ever.
6. Dead Cells
Dead Cells showed me how innovative a roguelike could be. Everything about this game feels so utterly satisfying. The game’s upgrades make it considerably easy for fans new to the genre to hit the ground running and make good progress. I would recommend this game to just about any gamer looking for a challenge.
Check out the DualShockers review of Dead Cells.
5. Super Sportsmatchen
Super Sportsmatchen essentially flew under everyone’s radar. Evoking old NES titles like Stadium Events, the game is a fantastic party game for those looking to duke it out with one another in sports-themed minigames. Above all, Super Sportsmatchen is perfect for those that don’t feel like committing to a game of Super Mario Party, or those looking for some fun on a budget.
Joggernauts is a beautiful, wacky, couch co-op game that will make your friends get mad at you. The game is simple– each player is a different color and can only run into obstacles matching their color. Players take turns switching to the front to defeat enemies, collect keys, and complete other platforming challenges. It’s ridiculously fun and extremely challenging if you play with several people.
Check out the DualShockers review of Joggernauts.
Minit was the first game I reviewed at DualShockers and it remains one of my favorites of the year. Minit didn’t just challenge the way I thought about game design, it challenged the way I thought about time. In a world of oversized, bloated AAA games, Minit is a refreshing breath of fresh air.
2. Mario Tennis Aces
Mario Tennis Aces is going to be the next Mario Kart: Double Dash. People bought it when it came out, enjoyed it for a month, said “yes, this new Mario Tennis title is fun,” and will forget about it until the next one comes out. However, like Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario Tennis Aces includes a treasure trove of interesting mechanics that transcend the tennis formula and will remain evergreen for years to come.
At the end of the day, as many others have already stated, Mario Tennis Aces is more of a fighting game than a sports game. Like all competitive fighting games, its meta is continually evolving, new content is regularly being added, and its die-hard fans are looking forward to the future. I hope this game sticks around for as long as possible.
1. Monster Hunter: World
Like a lot of people in North America, Monster Hunter World was my first taste of the franchise. Upon initially booting the game up I stopped playing it and wanted to return it. Unfamiliar with animation-locked combat systems and put-off by the game’s cluttered UI, Monster Hunter: World was initially too much for me.
One afternoon I decided to give it one last shot before selling it and oh boy, am I glad that I did. I spent the earliest weekends of the year sipping coffee and hunting monsters from the comfort of my living room. The game demanded a lot of me, forced me to learn, and I’m all the better for it.
Check out the other DualShockers’ staff Top 10 lists and our official Game of the Year Awards:
December 17: DualShockers Game of the Year Awards 2018
December 18: Lou Contaldi, Editor in Chief // Logan Moore, Reviews Editor
December 19: Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor // Tomas Franzese, News Editor
December 20: Reinhold Hoffmann, Community Manager
December 21: Scott Meaney, Community Director // Ben Bayliss, Staff Writer
December 22: Ben Walker, Staff Writer // Chris Compendio, Staff Writer
December 23: Grant Huff, Staff Writer
December 26: Jordan Boyd, Staff Writer
December 27: Max Roberts, Staff Writer // Michael Ruiz, Staff Writer
December 28: Rachael Fiddis, Staff Writer
December 29: Steven Santana, Staff Writer // Tanner Pierce, Staff Writer
December 30: Iyane Agossah, Staff Writer // Travis Verbil, Staff Writer // Zack Potter, Staff Writer